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Are you starting, or thinking about starting, the Whole 30 program? Not sure what kind of meal plan or recipes you can create?
I started my second round of the Whole 30 program last week, and I am excited to share with you my Whole 30 meal ideas from the last seven days! I hope this sparks some amazing inspiration in your kitchen!
In case you are wondering why I decided to do a second round, I did it because after the first thirty days, my family ended up going on a semi-impromptu vacation to southern Florida, and I didn’t do a reintroduction phase once I was finished. Oh, I tried to eat whole food, but it was daunting because it seemed no one served anything really clean! So I decided to not stress about it too much and try again later.
The reason why anyone would want to do the Whole 30 program is simple.
What it is not: It is not meant as a crash diet to lose weight, though weight loss is a nice side benefit. It is not to prove you can eat truly clean, no processed food for thirty days as a challenge.
What it is: The Whole 30 program is designed to rid your system of all foods that you may not be tolerating well, so you can figure out what food are causing symptoms. What is causing you to bloat? What is causing irritability? Headaches? Insomnia? Anxiety? Skin problems? You would be surprised at how much food affects your entire well-being! I know that the years I ate total crap food were the years I was truly depressed.
Cutting out those foods for thirty days will help your body solidify new good eating habits, and become all the more sensitive to the reintroduction phase. Once you are ready, just like a baby, you will slowly reintroduce different foods back into your diet and watch to see what kind of effect it has on your body. If you notice undesirable symptoms and inflammation, you can pinpoint right away what foods you cannot tolerate. You can read about this in depth in It Starts With Food, the predecessor to The Whole30 Program.
Is it a ton of food prep work? Yep! Is it hard to stick to? Yep! Is it doable? YEP! Is it worth it? Oh heck YEP!
Each week, I will share with you the meal plans I enjoyed throughout the week. If you want a sneak peek, I post them daily in my Instagram. Please join me in this, and share with me in the comments your own meal ideas! I would love to hear them!
Day One: For breakfast, I had scrambled eggs, sauteed in a little bit of ghee (clarified butter), with a side of blueberries. For lunch, I had a grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast topped with clean salsa and avocado, served with summer squash. For dinner, I was tinkering with my meatballs recipe, and I did not have good light by the time I had this finished. I promised in my Instagram report that I would share it again the next day.
Day Two: For breakfast, I had more scrambled eggs, topped with leftover avocado slices, and salsa. For lunch, I had my recipe for Flavorful Meatballs, on a bed of spaghetti squash. (Recipes in links.) For dinner, I had boneless, skinless chicken breast on top of a baked sweet potato seasoned with ghee, salt, and pepper.
Day Three: One thing I realized by day three is that it was much easier to enjoy leftovers as often as possible. Trying a brand new recipe each meal is incredibly expensive, because you most likely already have the ingredients to re-purpose leftovers, but to do a new recipe, you need to shop for a lot extra. Don’t be afraid to be redundant in your meals, you will still feel satisfied.
For breakfast, again I had scrambled egg, avocado, and salsa. For lunch, I made Whole 30’s marinara sauce (from their cookbook) which is chock-full of vegetables, and I paired it with ground beef and spaghetti squash. I had the same for dinner, too! Like I said on my Instagram, “So nice, I had it twice!”
Day Four: By day four, I felt like the days were zooming by! In round one, I couldn’t have been more irritable by day four! I came into round two with a much different attitude and decided that I know I love whole foods, so I am going to let myself ENJOY the fresh meals! And surely enough, I AM!
For breakfast, I had potatoes and scrambled eggs. (Surprisingly potatoes are Whole 30 compliant! Seems weird considering they are not a part of the Paleo plan. But let’s not question it. Just enjoy the dang potatoes!) For lunch, I created my own blueberry vinaigrette salad dressing to drizzle over my salad. For dinner, I made Whole 30’s Cold Thai Salad with Sunshine Dressing (again, in their book), and I added grilled chicken breast.
Day Five: I was starting to feel ridiculous posting these meals on Instagram because I repeat so many of them. But honestly? Repeating meals / having leftovers is soooo much easier! Plus, my friend, Melinda, pointed out that later on in the Whole 30 plan, when you’re feeling out of ideas, looking back on what you loved in the past will bring about inspiration! For breakfast, I had the potatoes and eggs. For lunch, I experimented with an easier way to cook spaghetti squash, and it ended up blowing my mind! Best results to date! This day looks imbalanced, but I promise I topped my noodles with lots of sauteed veggies and had fruit for snacks.
Day Six: On this day, I was definitely ready for some new ideas and recipes! I started out my morning with apple slices and macadamia nut butter. For lunch, I tried Nom Nom Paleo’s famous, life-altering Cracklin’ Chicken recipe! I also wanted a creamy salad dressing, so first I made The Clothes Make the Girl’s Whole30/Paleo compliant mayo as the base. (I’m just going to save you the trouble of trying a million ways to find a decent mayo recipe — some are SO bad! — this is the BEST recipe. Hands down. This one is a winner! Especially if you use avocado oil, like I did.) I then turned the mayo into Amazon Ashley’s Ranch Dressing. Ugh, it was to die for. Homemade ranch, you just can’t beat it! For dinner, I tried a balsamic roast, but was once again out of natural lighting, so I save the image for day seven.
Day Seven: I have a confession: I have eaten many a plantain, my fair share for sure, but I had never, ever purchased fresh plantains for myself! I can’t wait to find some fun things to make with fresh plantains! Plantain chips are one of both my and my husband’s favorite on-the-go snack! For lunch, I had leftover from Day Six’s dinner of Primally Inspired’s Crockpot Balsamic Roast Beef, roasted potatoes, and cucumber salad with day six’s ranch dressing. It was a pretty heavy meal for lunch, so I had just one piece of Cracklin’ Chicken and steamed broccoli for dinner.
Well, that’s it for this week! Please follow along on Instagram, and if you have any ideas or suggestions (especially for plantains!), please let me know in the comments below!