When Brett and I did the Whole 30 diet back in March, after returning from four weeks of gluttony (namely wine, cheese, dutch pancakes and croissants) in Europe (see also, Belgian beer), I really wasn't sure if I would be able to make it work. The first few days were agony, as my body detox'ed from sugar, booze, and of course, bread.
What it did do, after a while, was change the way that I thought about what I ate. Bread no longer became a staple in our house, my stash of english muffins replaced by the very occasional loaf of focaccia from Bread by Us, or a loaf of Art Is In's garlic and rosemary sourdough. It became a treat. As did most other grains. Quinoa? Rarely. Chickpeas? Never. Dairy products? Except for cheese, which also became a decadent treat, it was out. I buy cream for other people's coffee, and that's pretty much it. Before the diet, these were staples of my everyday mostly-vegetarian diet, and all of a sudden, I just didn't need them any more.
The truth was, I didn't need a lot of things. And those things mostly included sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes, and dairy. And since we finished the diet in April, having each lost a respectable amount of weight, we couldn't just go back to the way things were. Especially because we both felt amazing.
But, summer, it has a way with twisting your arm. Gelato here and there, afternoon beers on the porch, carb-loading for long bike rides, family visits. Add them all up and we're ready for a bit of a break again. The last time we did this diet, the number one question I was asked was "BUT WHAT DO YOU EAT?!" I thought I'd start by keeping track of what fills ours meals and snacks for a change. We started our second whole 30 yesterday, so here goes nothing.
Usually some combination of the following + coffee:
- 1 cup of papaya chunks, 1 banana, 1 medjool date
- apple slices with pecan butter (recipe courtesy of Cookie & Kate)
- scrambled or fried eggs with an avocado. sometimes sausage or bacon.
- sliced pineapple with whipped coconut cream
- hardboiled egg + a cup of soup
- homemade applesauce
- fresh berries
- KIND fruit + nut bar (in a desperate "gotta run to this meeting!" kind of pinch)
Sometimes leftovers, sometimes one of these or a combination of a couple:
- a mason jar of Carrot Ginger or Buttercup Squash soup
- a wedge of frittata
- beet salad with toasted walnuts, citrus segments, roasted golden beets, arugula, red onion, and a citrus/walnut oil dressing
- green salad with pan-fried butternut squash, pepitas, sliced boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing
- roasted veggies with sea salt + ghee
- carrot sticks + guacamole dip
- charcuterie plate - seed to sausage cured sausages, pickles, spicy carrots, cherry tomatoes, dried figs and some olives
- in a pinch, cafeteria soup with some veggies + a hardboiled egg
While it can sometimes get a bit challenging, so far we've eaten great dinners. These are just a few.
- roasted potato, (no sugar) bacon, and scallion frittata (2 wedges)
- spicy green beans with garlic, ginger, green onions and sriracha (based loosely on this recipe but Whole30 compliant)
- thai red curry with vegetables (broccoli, snap peas, carrots and red peppers)
- homemade aloo gobi
- pulled slow-roasted pork "tacos" with romaine lettuce shells, red cabbage slaw, quick pickled red onions and homemade guacamole (avocado + lime)
- roasted chicken + salad
- oven-roasted vegetables
- curried butternut squash soup with crispy brussels sprout chips
- kale salad with apples, radishes and walnuts
I feel no guilt at all about snacking on this diet!
- a handful of carrot sticks
- a clementine orange
- medjool dates + dried calmyra figs
- a handful of toasted pecans
- homemade applesauce
- spoonful of pecan butter
- sliced cucmbers + cherry tomatoes
- half an avocado
- a chunk of fresh coconut with pureed mango sauce
- roasted cashews, mixed nuts, or almonds
- pomegranate seeds
- and so on
Update: We're two weeks in, and other than a couple of hiccups (we caved an ordered pizza and drank a bottle of wine on Friday night), the diet is great. The one thing I love about it is how clear my head feels - I feel smarter, more productive, and clear-headed, with or without my daily coffee.