Brad and I both completed our second Whole 30 in January 2018. We first time we did it was in June/July of 2015. This time around was a lot easier – mentally – and I think that had a lot to do with timing. After the holidays, spending lots of money, gorging ourselves on rich food and booze, we were feeling adequately shameful to attempt a nutritious reboot. We headed into a new year with motivation to do something about our potbellies and debauchery. If you’re interested in trying a Whole 30, I highly recommend trying it in January, or perhaps February, when things seem to slow down a bit. Doing it in the summer when there is so much fun stuff going on all the time was brutal.
Here are some of the things we consumed, along with some tips. If you want to do a W30, be ready to werk in the kitchen. Also, money. We like to eat out once a week or so and so we still realized a savings overall since it’s basically impossible to eat out. But, for those of you who don’t frequent restaurants, prepare to spend more money on groceries. Sadly, eating healthy whole foods is often more expensive than a cart full of Flamin Hot Cheetos and Bota Boxes.
- On Saturdays, we would map out meals for the week through the following Friday dinner. I would write these out on a cute pad of paper and tape it to the wall with cute washi tape in my pantry. This practice made the Whole 30 seem more fun.
- Sundays were spent doing lots of meal prep including:
- Cutting/peeling all veggies (usually lots of carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, & peppers)
- Cook and chop 2-4 chicken breasts so they are ready for a variety of recipes
- Make rosemary almonds for the week
- Make any soups on the docket
- Hard boil 10-12 eggs
- Pre-make anything else we could
- We experimented a lot more with recipes this time around, which made it less monotonous and filled lots of time (a good thing as we did Whole 30 the same month we did a no-spend). Among the recipes we attempted, I liked these the best:
- This soup was restaurant-quality if you like Asian flavors. We don’t have an Instapot, so we just cooked in a stock pot. We also just used some of our diced chicken from aforementioned meal prep. We replaced the kombu with button mushrooms. I was so pleasantly surprised by the kelp noodles (found those at Whole Foods on a low shelf in Asian foods aisle- sharing because they took a while to sniff out).
- Butternut squash casserole. This was so yummy and one of the first few recipes made experimenting with nutritional yeast (wtf?). It is a low-calorie natural ingredient that helps to lend a nutty, cheesy flavor to things that normally would take cheese, which is not allowed on W30. We both loved this dish and next time I may add more kale. We ate it as a main dish accompanied by a salad. This would be a fun and healthy Thanksgiving side dish.
- Eggplant parmesan. This was delicious! We used beef instead of pork because we had some in the freezer. This was one of those meals where I actually felt like I was cheating because it was so flavorful.
- We found Epic Bars, which really helped for snacks. Either they are new since 2015 or we just overlooked them on the first go-round. Larabars also come in handy for easy snacks, we especially loved this one that tastes like a yummy natural fruit roll-up (be careful, not all Lara bars are compliant with Whole 30 rules- just read the ingredients before choosing).
- Golden milk. I stumbled upon the idea of golden milk on one my blog reading black holes and the idea seemed so cozy and cute that I couldn’t resist trying it. I made some in place of the hot tea I usually drink at about 7:30/8pm. It was yummy but super rich tasting (I used unsweetened coconut milk). I will definitely try it again, and not only because I spent a mortgage payment worth of spices on it. Next time, I think I will try it with a thinner milk like my homemade almond milk.
All in all, we feel great ending the month and we both lost weight. I lost 5 pounds and Brad lost 15. I even think I had a few drops of Tiger Blood on a few of the days (particularly 3-4, 16). There’s something about starting a new year off with clean eating and no alcohol that feels good even if it sucked at times. I might consider doing this each year from here on out. For the sake of the list, I’m glad I got this one out of the way early on!