Whole 30 Final Thoughts

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Today is Day 29 of my first ever Whole 30. Obviously, I have been inconsistent in blogging this experience. I also went back to school around the same time this was beginning so I lost track of the time. I can’t believe 30 days went that fast. I will link my favorite recipes post so you can see what recipes I used throughout this 30 days down below.

You are supposed to strictly do Whole30 for the entire 30 days with no cheating. The reason I decided to try Whole30 is because I wanted to remind myself that eating clean and healthy doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. There was definitely a hope for finding some solid recipes we could put into our normal meal rotation. I wanted to give my body a chance to be healthy and to feel good about myself again, to find my normal after having a second baby. Since, having my second daughter, I was having these really difficult cycles of being extremely emotional that coincided with specific times during my menstrual cycle that were really difficult to navigate. I only felt normal for about 2-3 out of 6 weeks and was curious if eating better would help me find some emotional balance. By the second week I felt like this way of eating is something I could apply to my life most of the time.

With the understanding of my goals in mind I now admit my mistakes:

Day 21 a friend and I traveled four hours away for the day to do some shopping for me. Until that day I hadn’t shopped for myself in 7 years besides maybe a shirt here or replacing torn jeans there. While gone I did eat a burrito bowl from Chipotle which included brown rice and black beans (I left off the cheese and sour cream) which is against the rules. I knew eating on the day trip would be difficult but packed some snacks, ate my Chipotle and went right back to Whole30.

Day 26: My husband and I had a rare opportunity for date night (my last one was in May…yea its September). I chose not to stress about food but enjoy my husband and our opportunity. We also decided this week that 2 days after my Whole30 ends we are going to start another 30 days for him that is similar so he can try to find some more energy and pain relief. So after this date we won’t be eating out again for at least another month. I had wheat and a slight amount of dairy and I will admit I felt nauseous within an hour of eating and it took a couple hours to feel better.

Day 28: We were out with friends all day about an hour away, kind of in the middle of nowhere. I had planned on coming home after a few hours but we didn’t so we ate out with friends (dairy and wheat again) and again I felt pretty yucky a few hours later. Bloated, and upset stomach. Today is an only feel good food day!

Now, that you I’ve been honest I will share what I’ve learned. Cashews and almonds make me so sick. Who knew nuts could destroy your stomach but I’m thankful to have this knowledge. My nearly 3 year old absolutely loves “sweet tatatoes”. My husband enjoys me cooking by the Whole30 guidelines more than my “easy dinners”. I’m more excited to cook because I’m actually hungry. I’ve learned when I eat specifically too much dairy or wheat I feel bloated and full all the time. I don’t want to cook come dinner time because I’m not hungry and I just feel apathetic. Emotionally there has been total balance when normally at this place in my menstrual cycle I would have been having a terrible time when it came to my emotional health. This balance alone is enough to make me want to eat like this most of my life. I’ve found the reminder I was looking for and plan on incorporating most of the recipes I used into our normal meal plan rotation.

Physical Results were also pretty awesome.

When I went on my shopping trip on Day 21 I had already lost a pant size which I wasn’t expecting. I measured myself today and lost an inch off my waist and 3 inches off my hips. I kept feeling smaller but thinking it was all in my head. Nope! It was real!

Recipes and Foods I Made During Whole 30

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Recipes and Foods I ate on Whole30

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Dinners

Kalua Pig — This was EASY and AWESOME!

Slow Cooker Chicken Marinara over Veggie Noodles The recipe calls for zucchini noodles but I don’t have a spiralizer and don’t plan on getting one. I used a bag of broccoli slaw instead

Grilled Veggie and Chicken Salad A kick butt salad without lettuce

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Crockpot Chicken and Kale I didn’t use anything creamy and loved this without it.

Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker with potatoes, celery, carrots. I didn’t use a recipe just through it together for the best I’ve ever made!

Burrito Bowl

Slow Cooker Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Coconut Chicken Thai Curry

Veggie “Pancakes” and Eggs

Chicken Curry Stir Fry

Green Bean Chicken and Potatoes I don’t ever use seasoning packets even when I’m not doing whole 30 so I use this Homemade Ranch Seasoning and olive oil instead of butter. I used broccoli instead of green beans some nights too.

Sweet Potato Greens Breakfast Saute and Eggs

Ham & Sweet Potato Soup

Bunless burgers with veggies

Leftovers – I ate leftovers on nights I was at school and my husband cooked him and the babies things he felt like cooking.

Most dinner recipes I used twice throughout the 30 days.

Lunch

Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps–There are awesome recipes but I just mashed avocado with dried minced onion and was good for me.

Avocado Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken and raw veggies (Broccoli, snap peas, baby carrots)

Leftovers

Breakfast

Leftovers

Eggs and Avocado

Fruit

Snacks

Salt & Pepper Cashews — Super yummy but I discovered cashews make me sick

Fruit

Chicken

Raw Veggies

Larabars — You have to read ingredients because some have sugar in the way of chocolate.

Whole30 Days 9-10

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I feel really great! I don’t often enjoy looking in the mirror but I’m loving the mirror. My body seems to be heading back to the version that doesn’t look pregnant. The way I am eating is also motivating me in my quest for a healthier amount of physical activity. Today even included video workouts with my kids. One joined in and the other alternated toddling, brushing my hair and climbing on me. The most exciting part I wasn’t frustrated at all by the distractions. I enjoyed them and usually that would discourage me to the point of quitting.

Breakfast both days was simple again. Green smoothie for day 9 and chicken and apple on day 10. I know for a lot of people who do this they make these meals that look amazing but since I’m taking care of two tiny humans I was barely eating before this. There isn’t exactly time in my schedule for intensive meal prepping or thinking for daytime meals. not yet anyway. I pretty much lived on toast, goldfish crackers and sandwiches during the day and ate whatever I made for dinner at night. As I already had the grab whatever mentality it hasn’t been strange for me to eat chicken for breakfast.

Lunch both days was leftovers which is so helpful in the easy, think free category of recipes. Which leads us to dinner.

Last night I made these Broccoli Slaw Burrito Bowls.  The girls and I had them as bowls but I made them in tortillas like tacos for Kenny who needs all the carbs. I was worried they might not turn out well and that Kenny would not be a fan but I loved it and he thought it was the best taco night we’ve had so this recipe is definitely a keeper. What a great way to add veggies to a simple dinner!

Tonight, I haven’t made them yet but I will be making what I call Veggie Patties because if I call them pancakes my 2 year old will be mad when they aren’t pancakes. We will probably have eggs with them too because breakfast for dinner is awesome! I’ve made them before and they remind me of really flavorful hash browns. I found the recipe in one of my go to cookbooks 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love. There are a lot of great recipes on the 100 Days of Real Food blog but there are also exclusive recipes in the book but thankfully the veggie pancake recipe is on the blog for whoever is looking at this! I usually use yams, zucchini, potato, and carrots in my veggie pancakes. This time I’m doing Whole 30 so will be using almond flour instead of regular wheat flour. Making these you need to shred the veggies which can be a perfect opportunity to make an excuse. I often try to make excuses for not making things because I don’t have the proper kitchen tool. A mandolin slicer would definitely be easier but if you have a decent cheese grater that can work well for shredding your veggies. I use this one by Kitchenaid. KitchenAid Gourmet Box Grater (Black) It shreds my veggies well and is the best grater I’ve ever had.

I didn’t expect it but I have had more compliments on dinner the last 10 days than I have had in months! Some of these dinners will definitely make it into our normal meal planning rotation which will really help keep me feeling and looking the way I want.

Whole30 Day 8

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One of the reasons I started this is that I wanted to remind myself that eating well can be fun and not as difficult as my mind tries to trick me into believing. I told myself over and over the only way I could eat well is if I made two different meals for dinner. I don’t have picky kids or a picky husband so that is nonsense. The last 8 days I have been easily modifying recipes so everyone is happy. Tonight was a great example of modifying recipes to meet needs. I usually don’t have to do this much work but it was easy and saved me time when it came to serving. So for today’s post I’m focusing only on dinner.

Tonight I made this Chicken Curry Stir-Fry recipe I found while meal planning for my Whole30. We don’t always have great success with curry recipes but this one was a home run. Most of the time I forego recipes with this much spice because the girls can’t eat it (almost 1 and almost 3) but tonight I had a brilliant idea, at least I thought so. While I was cutting everything I put out two bowls, one for them and one for us. I tossed small pieces in the girls bowl while cutting and then didn’t have to worry about cutting when it was time to serve. There was a kid sized batch with only oil, salt and a little tamari as well as an adult batch with all the good spices!

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Kid Pan Cooking

My husband has a crazy metabolism so he usually needs more food and more starches than I do. I made a pot of rice which is something I do anyway when I’m not doing Whole30 so no extra step there. Everybody else is a huge fan of rice so that was the main difference an easy one at that!

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Everyone loved it even the girls! Whole30 or not it is a great recipe!

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Whole30 Days 6 and 7

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On the Whole30 website you can find The Whole30 Timline which is a series of feelings, physical and emotional experiences you may have. My body has decided it will not stick to the timeline but I will experience these things at surprising intervals. For example, I experienced some truly enjoyable moments in the bathroom (are you feeling the sarcasm here) on day 4 that the timeline discusses happening on days 8-9. This morning I woke up and wanted to never look at another egg again which is strange because I haven’t eaten that many eggs and the “over it” mentality shouldn’t be kicking in for two weeks according to the timeline. I haven’t felt the anger either so that is great! All of this considered, I am no longer referring to it as an accurate timeline rather a “potential side effects” pamphlet. I’m still super proud of myself so let’s get to the what I ate portion of this post…

Day 6 – You will notice today was a little embarrassing but I’m here!

Breakfast: Today I was tired and a little over it. I had no desire to make breakfast really and my daughter was asking for pb&j so I gave in. I gave her pb&j and I grabbed a piece of leftover chicken and an apple.

10:30ish am: I went on a long awaited coffee date sans kids with my girlfriend. I was hungry from my small “breakfast” and thought on my drive, “Crap! Why did I schedule a coffee date at a place called Old Town Coffee and Chocolates–key word chocolates in the first week of my Whole30??” I told myself, ” I can do this! No bagel with lox and cream cheese. No muffin, no chocolate. They have to have something I can eat there!” My prayers were answered when I discovered my innocent friend had decided against bringing me a muffin and they had fruit and hard boiled eggs.

Plain Peppermint Tea, Orange and Hard Boiled Eggs

Lunch: 1/4 cup almonds and more leftover chicken

Dinner: I was making one of my favorite meals already for a friend who had just had surgery so I decided I would make it for me. It was inspired by this recipe but I’ve changed it so will list it below.

It calls for a zesty italian seasoning packet and I don’t like to do weird processed things when I can avoid it. I’m especially not using ingredients like that while doing a Whole30 so I always use this Homemade Ranch Seasoning Recipe I found years ago. I also used Olive Oil instead of butter for the sake of my 30 days but my friends will get that butter because it is SUPER good! Also, tonight I ran out of green beans so we had broccoli instead. It was awesome!

Day 7

Breakfast: 2 eggs 2 slices bacon

Lunch: Leftover chicken and broccoli from dinner night before

Snack: Apple, carrots, and snap peas

Dinner: We were at friends house for a 3 year old’s birthday party so I ate several slices of watermelon, a glass of Odwalla Super Food Smoothie and a hot dog without a bun or condiments. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be eating hot dogs and don’t plan on doing it again but unfortunately I did not plan as well as I could have. Even with my poor planning, I did not give in to a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I did take one drink, forgetting I couldn’t have them and immediately realized how sweet it was. I thought, “Oh no! I can’t have sugar. This has to have sugar! Oh wait, I can’t have alcohol either while I’m doing this.” So I apologized and my husband helped me out by not letting it go to waste. I also conquered a cake that had minions made out of twinkies…adorable!  My girls made quite the mess with them so that was fun!

Snack: I didn’t really eat much due to my poor planning so had about 1/2 c leftover chicken with 1/4 of an avocado smashed up with it before bed.

The way I’m making this happen is really by having some things already made so I don’t have to worry about preparing all day. I eat leftovers when possible and buy rotisserie chickens I can pull the meat off and leave refrigerated for lunches and other times too. I also have a huge bag of baby carrots, cashews (I already ate all of them though), and snap peas for snacking. It has been really helpful. I feel like there are definitely ways to make a Whole30 easier! Also, clearly mistakes were made but I’m not quitting because of them. I am learning from them and continuing this challenge with excitement for what’s to come!

Whole30 Days 1-5

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Really quick Re-Cap: I decided kind of on a whim to do Whole30. I’m a mother of two ages 2.5ish (3 in November) and 11 months. I don’t have time for complicated. I don’t have the budget for uncommon expensive ingredients. I’m doing this to redefine how I feed myself and my family and I want to share what I’m eating to maybe inspire others. I didn’t do a ton of whole30 research so don’t get mad if I make a mistake. I’m sure there will be mistakes but hopefully less as time goes on! Here we go Days 1-5!

Day 1:

Breakfast: 2 Eggs cooked in olive oil (I normally use butter so it doesn’t stick but no dairy) and half an apple

Lunch: Was shopping at Costco so Costco Caesar Salad with about 2Tbs of their dressing and didn’t eat the cheese. This was day 1 and I hadn’t shopped yet so the dressing was not whole 30 approved.

Dinner: Shrimp (already had in freezer bought on sale) sauteed with mushrooms, onions, green beans and garlic in olive oil with a little lemon juice. Seasoned and served over rice for the family. No rice for me 🙂

Day 2:

Breakfast: Green Smoothie (Whole30 Doesn’t really recommend smoothies but I’m choosing to do them because I do green smoothies and would like to work them in more often) Almond milk unsweetened, kale, banana, strawberries. I found this really helpful tool for making green smoothies that doesn’t have a weird consistency, gets you lots of greens and also tastes really good.

Snack: Apple and Baby Carrots

Lunch: Avocado Chicken Salad wrapped in Romaine Leaves I was inspired by this recipe but you can’t do mayo and I wanted simple so I just mash avocado in with my chicken, add some salt, pepper, minced dried onion flakes. I also used rotisserie chicken that I took the skin off of because I wasn’t sure if there could be sugar and refrigerated for more of this salad and snacks other days.

Snack: Blueberries and a little piece of chicken

Dinner: Unstuffed Cabbage which is a recipe we already like and happens to be Whole30 friendly

Day 3:

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with 1/4 of an avocado. Also gave one to the little who has tried her allergens early thanks to big sister and two to the bigger little with fruit for them too.

Lunch: Leftover Unstuffed Cabbage

Snack: small piece of chicken

Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner. With eggs over this awesome “Sweet Potato” They’re really called Yams but whatever dish!

Day 4:

Breakfast: Green Smoothie

Lunch: Apple and 1/2 c cashews Plain canned tuna. I’m a little ashamed of the tuna but it was easy and I like eating plain tuna so whatever.

Dinner: Crock Pot Taco Wraps. I actually chose to do mine more like a Taco Salad and served it over chopped romaine and avocado. For the family they had tortillas, cheese, sour cream. I won’t lie the salad would have been better with some sort of dressing and cheese but it was good and I felt good about it.

Day 5: Isn’t over yet but here is what I’ve eaten so far and the plan for the rest of the day!

Breakfast: 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon. The girls had eggs, bacon, and strawberries. I had a few strawberries too.

Lunch: Green Apple, Snap Peas and Baby Carrots, Avocado Chicken Salad on Romaine Leaves

Snack: 1 cup ( I got carried away!) Cashews

Dinner: My husband loves ground beef in gravy over mashed potatoes. I recently discovered I kick butt at making gravy so I started making it for him as a normal part of our meal plan so they will be having that tonight. I’m going to separate the ground beef out and mix it with onions cooked in olive oil and put it over a baked YAM not sweet potato 😉

So far my thoughts are positive. I’m clearly a creature of habit and don’t mind eating the same things. I didn’t want to have to make two separate meals and I’m not! I also feel like by choosing to feed myself better I’m also feeding my kids a lot better than I usually do which is really motivating for me! Here is to 25 more days!!

From Pinterest to Whole30 in 10 Easy Minutes

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I’m about to share on a whole new topic. I tend to have a hard time narrowing down my interests which is why I named my blog what I did. Now I’m free to talk about anything I’m interested in, mommy stuff/my kids, and anything that moves me which I consider beautiful. Let’s go back to this past Sunday so I can bring you up to speed on what I’ve started this week.

Sunday night, I was tired after a super fun 3rd birthday party with our friends and I was beginning my meal plan for the next 15 days so we could grocery shop. I’m scrolling through pinterest looking for something that inspires me so I can shake up our dinners. I see a post on Whole30 that I chose to check out because I’ve heard a lot about Whole30 though I know nothing about the plan. The meals look good so I google Whole30. I like it because it isn’t a change your lifestyle diet (though it may change my life we shall see) nor is it a quick fix gimmicky diet. It seemed like something different. As I was reading the instructions I thought it seemed like just what I needed. So, I decided I would meal plan that night, shop the next day and start.

When Millie was born and I was still breastfeeding she had some sensitivities until around 4 months while her belly was maturing. I cut out dairy and soy which really helped her belly issues. With that change I started researching, read books, watched documentaries and we got really passionate about eating clean, real food. I lost all my baby weight plus an extra 20 lbs by the time she was 6 months old. Somewhere along the way, we moved, got busy, I got pregnant again and then became the mother of two and was just plain tired. I didn’t feel the motivation that drove me before. You can probably guess that I did not lose all the baby weight this time and haven’t  felt that great either. I truly want to eat better and feed my family better but have been feeling too overwhelmed at the thought of trying to make eating better work with our budget and my lack of motivation to cook periodically. Whole30 has stepped in now and I’m really excited about it.

When you do Whole30 you do 30 days of eating real food. You can eat fruit, veggies, meat, nuts, eggs and that’s pretty much it. You can not eat dairy, grains, beans (green beans excluded) or any kind of sugar/sweetner which means no honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave. All the alternative sweeteners that are often used are not allowed while doing the 30 days. The way I’m looking at this 30 days is it is an opportunity for me to redefine my relationship with food, remind myself that eating the way I want doesn’t have to be overwhelming or break the bank and try to determine if there are any foods I consistently eat that are negatively impact either my physical or emotional health.

Just like that in the span of 10 minutes I was starting Whole30. I’m now on Day 5 and thought to myself, “Hey! Maybe there are other moms or anyone really who feels like I feel! I should totally blog what I’m eating since I’m a normal, busy person.” I’m going to do just that. I have a spreadsheet so I can keep track of my meals and share them. I don’t have time for ingredients I’ve never heard of for every meal (though I love trying and cooking new things). My kids cry at my ankles if cooking takes too long so I want something that isn’t too time consuming. I also unfortunately do not have my dream luxurious grocery budget and I’ve honestly been nervous I won’t even be able to make it the full 30 days due to that so I’m excited to prove myself wrong.

If you’re interested follow along with me! My next post will be my first five days. I’m really excited about this dietary reset for me and my family and hope its encouraging for you too!