Our Favorite Whole 30 Recipes
We did it. Whole30. CHECK!
A few months ago I got the crazy idea that we should give Whole30 a go. All the cool kids are doing it. If you haven’t heard of Whole30 before you can read more about it here…but it basically it is eating WHOLE foods in an effort to cleanse your body of known irritants and processed food. I have been pregnant or nursing a baby for almost 5 years straight and after Poppy turned ONE I decided my body needed a reset. At some point ice cream EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. catches up to you. I managed to convince III to do it with me, and we determined the month of August was going to be our best shot. I mean, we had to finish before college football season, because watching Auburn while eating broccoli & grilled chicken every Saturday just wasn’t going to work!
The first week was pretty tough (hello sugar detox) and meal planning/prepping takes a little more work…but it was soooo worth it! And if you know me, you know that means a lot. If you are new here I stay at home with our three young children and while we try to be pretty healthy overall, we definitely have our weaknesses (Coke…ice cream…Annie’s Mac N Cheese…nutella…convenience). So adding extra meal planning/prepping while wrestling three kiddos, four and under wasn’t easy, but it was totally manageable.
To be honest, we weren’t looking for a complete life change, just an overall awareness of what we are putting in our bodies and how it may affect us. And we definitely learned we feel better when we stick to WHOLE foods. What happened? Well, I lost 7 pounds, III lost 12. We ate A LOT of eggs for breakfast. I learned sugar is in EVERYTHING. Our energy levels were up (after the first week, I never woke up tired), we felt lighter, nagging joint injuries didn’t bother us after working out, my belly hasn’t been this flat since high school and we just overall felt better!
I think it changed our thoughts on food too. We went to a wedding this weekend and we both found ourselves ordering salads, loading up on meats and veggies and passing on the sugary drinks. We did of course have wedding cake though! My new kind of “full” is different than it used to be. Before “full” meant stuffed and kind of bloated feeling, probably from too much cheese and carbs. Now I have a new perspective on what it means to be full. I’m snacking less and just making better choices even if they require a little extra effort.
Our kids did pretty well too trying some new recipes. They didn’t always eat Whole30 but dinner is always made for all, so they ate what we did and we moved to healthier WHOLE food snack options. Their only real complaint….when will we go back to Chick-fil-a!
I want to share some of our favorite meals with you in case you are thinking about giving clean eating a go. This will be a work in progress as I post recipes and come back to link them here. A lot of things I found from other food bloggers who ventured into Whole30 before me, but some came from friends or me playing around with ingredients I knew were compliant.
Apple Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash
Veggie and Hashbrown Casserole
Veggie and Sausage Casserole
Eggs, Avocado, Hashbrowns, and Bacon/Sausage
Salad with veggies and usually some kind of meat
Loaded Chili Sweet Potato Fries
Simple Chicken Marinade and Veggies
Citrus Chicken Marinade and Veggies
Oven Roasted Steak and Veggies
Meatloaf and Mashed Red Potatoes
Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Lettuce Wrapped Burgers
Stupid Easy Chicken Nuggets & Zucchini Fritters
Instant Pot Carnitas
Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice
Mayo – Although after the first batch I ended up buying the Chosen Foods brand at Costco
Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
I think the biggest thing I learned from Whole30 is to pay attention to what I’m eating and how it is making me feel. To be more mindful. And that moderation is key. Because let’s face it…I’m going to eat ice cream again. So if you were to give up dairy, gluten, grains, sugar and legumes, what do you think you would miss the most????