Wow! What a summer it has been. We have had amazing weather, lots of adventures, visitors from Bejing and Vancouver, an amazing European Vacation (very similar to National Lampoons) and this gal…turned 40 (eep…still feel as mature as my 15 year old self).
Needless to say, it’s been a summer full of indulgences. Okay, who i’m I kidding? I’ve been indulging for like 2 years. So, as I reflected and started to feel a lil mid life crisis-ey, I decided to try the Whole 30 Challenge. As many of your know, I love to eat…so this was going to be a tough one…no sugar, no dairy, no wheat, no legumes and GASP…NO ALCOHOL. As much as I contemplated doing a Whole30 with booze…I decided against it.
I am pleased to report that…I actually completed the WHOLE damn thing!! Y’all know I’m an excellent starter of the things…just not always as great at finishing the things. Well uh, unless it’s a bag of chips. I’m pretty good at finishing those!!
Here are a few of my tips so far if you are contemplating taking on this challenge:
- Get down with prep. For real. If you work full time, are in school, have children or are just living life…not being prepared is the easiest way to fall off the plan. I have found that planning out your meals, having great food on hand and pre making some staples like salad dressing or chopping veggies is the best way to stay on track.
- Publicize what you are doing. I don’t mean taking an ad out in the paper or enlisting a marketing agency. I just mean, be honest about what you are doing with your family, friends and colleagues. This way you have a support network and you also have accountability buddies. When a bag of chips finds its way in to your pod at work…those glaring eyes can keep you on track. I was a little terrified to put myself out there but then I said, pony up lady…and I declared it on my instagram feed. Before I knew it, there were people messaging me inquiring about what Whole3o was about, asking how they can join and suddenly we had an instant community of Whole30’ers. This little community became quite helpful when we were all carb raging and concocting devious plans against the gluten exclusive non supporters!! Made for some serious comedic relief!
- Check out other food bloggers that focus on Paleo and Whole30 and you are bound to get some inspiration. (Nomnompaleo, paleomg, nocrumbsleft, iheartumami were absolutely some of my faves!! )
So here are a few breakfast recipes that will keep you going while you are on the Whole30 challenge. I don’t know about you but I have never been a regular breakfast eater. Brunch of course is another story but I mean getting up and having breakfast, has never been my jam. Coffee on the other hand…an absolute requirement! So here are a few ideas to consider when it comes to breakfast and getting a great start to the day!
This breakfast is so easy and simple to make and it will only take you 2 minutes. Perfect for a quick throw together before making a mad dash out the door in the morning (Am I sharing too much about how most of my mornings go?)
Here’s what you will need to do:
- Slice 1 banana and place in to bowl
- sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon
- add blueberries (or fruit of your choice)
- add tsp on almond butter
- sprinkle with cashews or almonds
- Top with coconut flakes
How simple is that? Seriously, I am not a huge banana fan normally but this was a winning combo and a nice change for when you are craving a healthy sweet treat that can also be a fab breakfast.
Another amazing breakfast I made on Whole30 was a soft boiled egg with bacon wrapped asparagus dippers (or soldiers as I like to call it)!! There was no need to miss bread when these babies were around for dunking!!
A crazy adventure I decided to take when I was missing toast was…sweet potato toast! That’s right, sweet potato toast!
I legit roasted sweet potato and added almond butter and then topped with berries and some coconut! Boom!!
I have to say, deciding to do a Whole30 was not only a reset for me but an adventure in creativity! I think this little challenge really was just that…a challenge in doing my best to make whole food super yummy in a way that allowed for variety and trying some new things. I’m not one of those people that can eat a grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli everyday for 30 days…but damn, life would have been way easier if I was!
There were definitely some low points for me …especially what felt like endless prep! I actually enjoy meal planning and prepping but when you work full time and have young children…you just gotta stick to plan and not let the moaning, refusal to eat stuff and overall temptation get you down!! As much as often I tried to keep things normal for the fam jam by modifying a few things for myself so I could eat too! For example, making compliant tacos so that taco friggen Tuesday could remain in tact…I modified mine to a compliant taco salad version. #winning
Some of my favourite meals that I made were:
Nomnompaleo kalua Pig which I put on top of tostones (deep fried plantains) for when the taco craving was deep!! I loved this dish so much, I made it a few times. So so good!
I made my own ground chorizo style sausage which I used in breakfast hash a lot! I would just throw potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, peppers in with the ground chorizo and voila…beauty of a meal! Throw an egg or avocado on it if you wanna be fancy!
Lemongrass Meatballs were outstanding!! I basically whipped up some Vietnamese inspired Meatballs using lemongrass, fish sauce, coconut aminos, garlic and pepper and then made a lemongrass cream sauce to go with it using coconut milk! It was a beauty and the whole family enjoyed it!!
Another favourite dish was the pollo asado I made using a variety of citrus, garlic and achiote paste! An absolute stunner of a dish!! Unfortunately I ate it before I could take a pic!! Sorry people!
One night I came home from work late, family already ate, husband was on his way out with friends and I just had a feeling of being defeated by this whole thing!! I pulled it together and whipped up a phenomenal beef and green bean stirfry and it restored faith in my ability to not be concede to my own laziness!
I also made nomnompaleo ‘s spicy Watermelon Salad a few times (a completely vegan dish…if you are in to that or totally sick of meat). So simple and so easy!
One of the best surprises for me was when a friend invited our families over for a BBQ and she made all Whole 30 approved dishes!! How sweet was that? She made these beautiful grilled peaches with basil and wrapped in procuitto! They were off the hook and crazy delicious!!
Overall, it felt great to actually complete this challenge and even though it was hard at times, I really enjoyed it!! It was a great reset for me and even though I have been finished for almost a week, I’ve been eating pretty close to what I was eating on the challenge.
The bonus…I lost 11lbs!! Woot!!
The big question I have been getting asked:
Will you do it again?!?!
Answer: YUP! Most likely gonna crush another one in January!!
Thanks is to all my compliant and non compliant homies who supported me through the 30 days. Sorry if I secretly wanted to throat punch you.
Love this! Congrats lady!!! You echo my every thought and fear about Whole 30 — but I wanna join you in January. That good looks mad delicious!!!
Thanks Jo! I promise I will set you up for success in January!! Imma need some post holiday reset!!
Delish! Thanks for having us! We had a great time. Nice work on the whole30 you are inspiring me!
Awh, thanks Gen!! It was awesome having you guys here and we had a blast!! You are more than welcome to swing by, anytime.
If you want to join me for a whole30 in January…I promise it will be fun