Recipe Roundup: 50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

50 Delicious Whole30 RecipesI learned an important lesson last year: In order to look and feel great, you have to fuel your body with nutrient-dense real foods. It sounds like such a no-brainer, but since my early teens, I stubbornly tried to fight this notion with the hope that I could lose weight by eating limitless pasta, 100-calorie snack packs and my favorite junk foods “in moderation.” And while technically these principles sometimes led to weight loss (depending on how much I was actually eating and whether or not I was exercising regularly), I was still left hungry and in a bad mood, with low energy, headaches and eczema for days.

In February 2014, I embarked on my first Whole30, eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes and processed foods from my diet for 30 days. This was a challenge for me – not only because I love bread and pasta (and there is some variant of sugar in everything!), but also because I’m a picky eater and I had never really cooked before. Suddenly, I had switched to a heavily plant-based diet, which required me to experiment in the kitchen and try a lot of new things. To this day, I’m still figuring out how to balance Whole30 living with the occasional unhealthy craving, but through several rounds of the program, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve greatly improved my cooking skills!

When people hear about the Whole30, one of the first questions they ask is What can you eat? The answer: A lot! Before Whole30, I never ate zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, or cabbage. I had no idea how to prepare sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, or any protein other than eggs. I had never heard of a spiralizer, and thought that “poaching chicken” literally meant that I had to hunt and kill my own poultry. Therefore, if could complete 30 days of this program, anyone can do it!

Today, I’m going to share 50 of the recipes I enjoyed on the Whole30. (That’s right – 50 recipes!) Some of these will require slight variations in order to remain compliant, so I’ll make note of those as they pop up. As a rule of thumb, replace soy sauce with coconut aminos, don’t use the optional sweeteners or cheese if you’re sticking to the Whole30, and be mindful of what cooking fats you use. I’ll also share which of these recipes are regular favorites of mine. : )

Enjoy the recipe roundup and be sure to share with friends!

50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Soups

1. Watermelon Gazpacho (Our Savory Life)

2. Chilled Cantaloupe Soup (AllRecipes.com)

3. Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Basil Soup (Paleo Comfort Foods) 

50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Salads

4. Moroccan Carrot Salad (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @bloemingfabulous) – **FAVORITE** 

5. Cucumber “Pasta” Salad (Holistically Engineered)

6. Pineapple Cabbage Slaw (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @whatjennyeats)

7. Red Cabbage Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Raisins (Clean and Delicious)

50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Sides

8. Lemon and Thyme Potato Wedges (Olive Tree Kitchen)

9. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Meyer Lemon Relish (Brooklyn Supper)

10. Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)– Tastes awesome with ghee!

11. Roasted Cauliflower Poppers (Whole Lifestyle Nutrition)– Replace butter with ghee. – **FAVORITE**

12. Shoestring Sweet Potatoes (Fit Foodie Finds)

13. Garlic Cabbage Steaks (Rockin Mom’s Kitchen)– **FAVORITE**

14. Butternut Squash Risotto (Paleo Grubs)

15. Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous (Unbageled)

16. Roasted Herby Spiralized Vegetables (Fit Foodie Finds) – **FAVORITE**

17. Creamy Dreamy Vegan Potato Salad (Max Pankow Fitness)

18. Cumin-Roasted Broccoli Spears (Daily Bites Blog)

19. Cauliflower Roasted in Dijon & Lemon Butter Sauce (Divalicious Recipes) – Replace butter with ghee. – **FAVORITE**

20. Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato & Apple (Consider The Leaf Turned)

21. Broccoli Fritters (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @happywifestyle)

22. Easy & Healthy Fried Plantains (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) 

23. Sweet Potato Tater Tots (Paleo Grubs)

24. Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” (Nom Nom Paleo) – Replace butter with ghee.

50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Vegetarian Main Dishes

25. Low-Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice (Amuse Your Bouche) – Replace soy sauce with coconut aminos. – **FAVORITE**

26. Zoodles and Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (J is For Judy)

27. Indian Pineapple Cauliflower Rice (Stupid Easy Paleo)

28. Spaghetti Squash Breakfast (Whole Fork)

29. Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli (Oh My Veggies)– Replace flour with almond flour and skip the Parmesan.

30. Breakfast Bowl (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @inexactscience)

31. Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes (Hello Fresh) – Skip the peas. – **FAVORITE**

50 Delicious Whole30 Recipes

Meaty Main Dishes

32. Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (Daily Bites Blog) – **FAVORITE**

33. Sweet and Sour Chicken (Paleo Leap)– Skip the “optional” honey.

34. Zesty Chicken Bites (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)– **FAVORITE**

35. Whole30 Approved Burrito Bowl (Katrina Runs)

36. Moroccan Grilled Chicken Kabobs (Closet Cooking)

37. Lemon and Cilantro Calamari with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Meatified)

38. Chicken Piccata (Elana’s Pantry)– **FAVORITE**

39. Paleo Chicken “Alfredo” Pasta (Just Jessie B)

40. Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers (Holistically Engineered)– **FAVORITE**

41. Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken (The Big Man’s World)

42. Baked Pesto Chicken Skewers (Fit Foodie Finds)

43. Tuesday Night Chicken (Popular Paleo)

44. Paleo Curry Lime Chicken (Plaid and Paleo)

45. Paleo Sesame Chicken (Consider The Leaf Turned)

46. Garlic Butter Chicken (Life Made Full) – **FAVORITE**

47. Coconut Crusted Mini-Schnitzel (1000 Lovely Things)

48. Paleo Italian Chicken Fingers (Tastes of Lizzy T’s)

49. Almond Crusted Chicken With Strawberry Balsamic Sauce (Cooking Classy) – Skip the bread crumbs and replace canola oil with extra light olive oil. I used almond flour.

50. Green Fajita Chicken (Meatified)

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Share your favorite Whole30 recipe links in the comments section below!

Recipe Roundup: 5 Healthy Green Dishes in Honor of St. Patrick’s Day

Recipe Roundup: 5 Healthy Green Dishes in Honor of St. Patrick's DayHappy St. Patrick’s Day, readers! Are you doing anything fun for the holiday today?

For some, holidays like today can be a big deterrent from a strict diet program. From heavily dyed foods to competitive drink specials, parties and restaurants tend to serve unhealthy but festive treats we can’t help but crave. Luckily, today’s post covers a few more nutritious options for flavorful green meals. Make one of these easy meals to bring to your friend’s St. Paddy’s Day shindig and become the life of the party!

1. Popcorn Broccoli.
Roast your broccoli with a little parmesan and get ready for the magic to happen. This recipe is one of my all-time favorites and will be loved even by your veggie hating friends. Dani from Clean and Delicious shares the recipe here.

Recipe Roundup: 5 Healthy Green Dishes in Honor of St. Patrick’s Day2. Cucumber Pasta Salad.
Grab those spiralizers and get to work! I love this Cucumber Pasta Salad because it’s Whole30 compliant (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, etc.), the dressing is delicious, and the salad is easy to pack for work or events. As a picky eater, I sub out a few of the ingredients to meet my restrictions. Feel free to add in some halved green grapes for a little extra oomph! Check it out at Holistically Engineered.

3. Zoodles.
Still have that spiralizer at the ready? Whip up some zucchini noodles by spiralizing your zucchini and softening on the stove. Top with Monte Bene Garlic Marinara sauce (which is Whole30 compliant and made from real ingredients, no sugar added) or try out this cauliflower “alfredo” sauce by J Is For Judy. The sauce is dairy free and perfect for those following a paleo lifestyle.

Recipe Roundup: 5 Healthy Green Dishes in Honor of St. Patrick’s Day4. Coconut Lime Chicken Bites.
Okay, so these aren’t primarily green (at least not the way I last photographed them!), but the lime zest adds a pop of color and flavor that you can’t help but love. These chicken bites are gluten free, dairy free, and Whole30 friendly. With only a few ingredients, the recipe is simple but will quickly become a household staple. Check it out at Daily Bites blog!

5. Power Salad.
When in doubt, why not make a salad? With unlimited combinations, the world is your oyster! Grab your choice of greens, mix in your favorite fruits or veggies, chop up a protein (I believe that no salad is complete without a hard-boiled egg), and drizzle on a healthy dressing. My favorite homemade dressing comes from Max Pankow at Max Pankow Fitness, combining equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. Salads are a fantastic way to pack in a lot of nutrients without spending your whole day in the kitchen.

Bonus Treat: Who needs the pot of gold when your rainbow looks so good? These fruit skewers form a beautiful and easy-to-make rainbow that will be a big hit at parties.

What are your favorite healthy green recipes? Share a few of your go-to meals in the comments section below. May the luck of the Irish be with you! 🙂

Whole30 Recap: Week 5

Whole30 Week 5 Recap | So It Must Be TrueGood evening, Whole30-ers! For those of you who completed the program in January, your 30 days are over. Congratulations! For others, you may have started your Whole30 later in the month or are planning to embark on this journey at another point in the future. I started to feel the positive effects of the program toward the end of January, and decided to extend my Whole30 to at least 60 days.

Whole30? Whole60? For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with these terms, the Whole30 is a 30-day strict elimination program that cuts out gluten (including non-gluten “grains” like quinoa), dairy, soy, sugar/artificial sweeteners, legumes and all of the bad chemicals we find in processed foods. The program is designed to help participants discover the effects that these problem foods can have on their physical and mental health. People who complete the program report better moods, weight loss, improved skin, sound sleep, and much more. I highly recommend it!

For the first four weeks, I shared a list of meals I ate and observations I made on a day-by-day basis. However, because this has started to become repetitive after the first 28 days, I have decided to limit my weekly recaps from now on to simply include my observations, tips, and any new recipes I tried that week. (Besides, how many times can you read “Moroccan Carrot Salad” and “hard-boiled egg” in one sitting? :)) For a more detailed recap, please visit Week 1Week 2Week 3 and Week 4 to see how I felt at the beginning stages of the program and what I ate. You can also check out my introductory post here.

Feelings and Observations

Whole30 Week 5 Recap | So It Must Be TrueThe program really felt like second nature at this point. Because of my adventures in the kitchen throughout January, I already had some favorite recipes up my sleeve that made it easier for me to meal prep. Admittedly, I didn’t feel very well this week – I suffered a few headaches and stomachaches – but I’ve changed up a few habits to see if that will improve in the next few days. I would like to see some more changes in appearance (i.e. weight), but I know that will mean dragging my lazy butt to the gym and getting up earlier than I’m used to. I just need to push through and continue to form healthy habits!

New Recipes

Whole30 Week 5 Recap | So It Must Be TrueTakeaways from the Week

  • It is important to think positively and expect things to turn out for the best. I was freaking out on Tuesday when I cooked the Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers because (A) I had never poached chicken before, (B) I had never shredded chicken before, and (C) I had never baked stuffed peppers before. I was so afraid this dish wasn’t going to come out the right way, even though I followed the directions, but you know what? It was delicious – one of my favorite Whole30 recipes thus far! I spent all that time worrying that it was going to come out horribly and that I would have wasted all that time and food, when I could have focused my energy into something more productive (like cleaning up the mess I made in the kitchen!).
  • The Internet has everything you need. Seriously. Need to learn a new technique? There’s a video on YouTube for that. I am learning a lot from short how-to articles and videos I find. You don’t need to own Julia Child’s cookbook (or even have access to the Food Network) to learn how to cook.
  • Some cravings do start to go away. I’m not going to lie – I would love a bowl of penne pasta right now – but I also remember how bad gluten has made me feel in the past, and it reminds me that the initial taste isn’t worth the stomachache or skin breakout. There are still some foods that I would love to have, but my cravings are diminishing as I recognize the negative effects that certain foods have on me.

What have you learned on your Whole30 thus far? What awesome recipes have you tried? Sound off in the comments section below!

Whole30 Recap: Week 3

Week 3 has come and gone, and we are practically in the final stretch of the January Whole30! In spite of my very strong, very strange macaroni and cheese cravings (more on that later), sticking to the program has gotten easier and I’m starting to remember why I did this program in the first place! My headaches were chronic during those first two weeks, but they are finally improved, and I’m not experiencing the same kind of bloating I had before, either. I’m even planning to keep this going for a Whole60… and then who knows?

 During the third week, my relationship with the program was very love/hate. There were times when I loved cooking and trying new things, but toward the end of the week, my enthusiasm in the kitchen started to really decline. I’m hoping to bring more of that back in the fourth week!

Having said that, I’m excited to share my latest weekly recap, complete with my daily observations and meals. In spite of my lackluster meal prep toward the end of the week, I tried some amazing dishes in Week 3 that will definitely make reappearances in future meals. For those just catching up, visit my introductory post and then check out my recaps for Week 1 and Week 2, also known as the daily log of my headaches. 😉

Whole30 Week 3 Recap

Before you keep going, don’t forget to read through these disclaimers:

  • I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
  • This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
  • I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again! 🙂 However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
  • You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!

Day 15 (Jan. 15)

Feelings: I had a headache for a chunk of the afternoon, but otherwise, it was a good day. I tabled at an event at the university in the morning and early afternoon, and I felt like I was on my A-Game.

Breakfast: Trader Joe’s Apple + Banana Bar and grapes. I was on the go in the morning and ran out of hard-boiled eggs, so my protein intake was lacking.

Lunch: I hit the salad bar in the university’s student union – an impressive accomplishment, since this was yet another event in which free pizza was served (which is a common theme when your company works closely with college students!). My salad included romaine, hard-boiled eggs, strawberries, grapes, cucumbers and red peppers.

Although labor intensive, this was possibly my favorite recipe all week!

Although labor intensive, this sweet potato gnocchi was possibly my favorite recipe all week!

Dinner: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with ghee and herbs (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) and garlic-roasted green beans. This gnocchi was fantastic – I can’t recommend the recipe enough!

Day 16 (Jan. 16)

Feelings: I felt fantastic today and experienced an exciting little “non-scale victory.” There is a style of pencil skirt from The Limited that I love so much that I have multiple pairs, and I can always tell if I’m losing weight based on the way the skirt fits. Today, I noticed that the skirt hung a lot lower than before, and was therefore a lot longer. This was a nice reminder of my progress!

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and Trader Joe’s apple + banana bar.

Lunch: Mashed Sweet Potato! (Microwave your sweet potato, mash up the insides, mix with plain applesauce, and heat again. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. So easy and delicious!)

Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken (from Paleo Leap) with red pepper, yellow pepper, water chestnuts and pineapple.

Day 17 (Jan. 17)

Feelings: I felt a lot thinner when I looked in the mirror, and noticed my energy levels are much higher than they had been for a long time. My mood is significantly improved.

Breakfast: Grilled Pineapple (inspired by @danikabrysha’s guest post on @whole30recipes).

Lunch: Salad with spinach, cabbage, carrots, orange, and warm grilled chicken. Yum!

Whole30 Week 3 Zesty Chicken

Dinner: Lemon Rosemary Potato Wedges (from Olive Tree Kitchen) and Zesty Chicken Bites (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen). What a perfect dinner that my boyfriend and I both enjoyed!

Day 18 (Jan. 18)

Feelings: When I woke up in the morning, my stomach felt much flatter than it had felt for quite a while. My mood was overall positive, except when the Seahawks beat the Packers that evening.

Breakfast: Hard-boiled eggs, raspberries, and grapes.

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (from @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes).

Dinner: Moroccan Chicken (from Closet Cooking) and roasted broccoli (cooked in olive oil, salt, and garlic at 400F for 20 minutes).

Day 19 (Jan. 19)

Feelings: Although I suffer from eczema, my biggest observation on Day 19 was that my skin felt infinitely smoother than it had in recent months. I still had some breakouts that were healing, but my skin was much softer and less irritated overall.

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and a nectarine.

Whole30 Week 3 Recap Salad

Lunch: Salad with strawberries and cucumbers.

Dinner: Hard-boiled egg, grilled pineapple (inspired by @danikabrysha’s guest post on @whole30recipes), and roasted broccoli. (Originally, I had prepared a much more exciting meal, featuring two new recipes, but I burned both beyond recognition and had to throw them out.)

Day 20 (Jan. 20)

Feelings: I woke up feeling queasy, and so it was hard to eat much for breakfast or lunch. I also experienced the famous Day 21 interlude a day early. Even though my skin, mood, energy, and weight are all drastically improved, I was discouraged by yet another failed meal attempt (explained in Dinner section) and major food boredom.

Breakfast: Raspberries. (It was all I could force down at that point.)

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (from @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes) and applesauce. I had a working lunch that day, so this was an easy option for something portable.

Dinner: Roasted broccoli and two hard-boiled eggs. That night, I had also planned on a more exciting dinner, but once again, I burned my food into something ugly and inedible, and had to resort to my already-cooked eggs. This put me in an uncharacteristically foul mood for the rest of the evening – and suddenly, all I wanted to do was make macaroni and cheese (which is admittedly delicious, but not a usual craving for me and not even a food I buy). At one point, I tried to justify to my roommate that I should eat some beans, since they would be easy to make and not require a whole lot of clean-up. Finally, I sucked it up and avoided temptations. I was a total brat on the night of Day 20.

Day 21 (Jan. 21)

Feelings: Much more positive than they were on Day 20, that’s for sure! At several points in the day, I kept trying to remember why I was in such a good mood, and then I realized that my mood in general has been a lot more positive for no reason as of late.

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and two nectarines.

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Lunch: Cucumber Pasta Salad (from Holistically Engineered), applesauce, and Trader Joe’s Apple + Banana bar. This was yet another event that featured copious cheese pizza, my mortal enemy in the land of healthy eating.

Dinner: I spent the evening at my sister’s house, and because I hadn’t packed any food and was babysitting* while she was in class, my food choices were somewhat limited. I wound up ordering delivery from an Italian restaurant – a spinach salad with grilled chicken, oranges, and red pepper. The salad was not bad, but the smell of garlic bread from the other bag was oh-so-tempting. I sat there consumed with lust for the rest of the evening.

Takeaways from the Week

  • Whenever I felt the urge to run to the nearest grocery store or fast food restaurant and pick up comfort food, I had to remind myself of how much better my body has felt since I changed my food habits. I can’t say I will never eat pasta, dairy, or legumes ever again, but this week only solidified the fact that I need to make this a Whole60. (Still debating if I will keep blogging throughout Days 31-60! Thoughts?)
  • This is another week when preparation really helped me stay on top of things. With such an event-heavy job, I have to remember that not-so-healthy food will be served and I will need to compensate for that. Perhaps after the month is over, I will compile a list of easy-to-make pack-and-go meals that have helped me on these days!
  • Sometimes your enthusiasm will go in waves, and that’s okay. As long as you are sticking to the plan and working hard, you are going to see results. I am hoping for a more enthusiastic Week 4 for you guys next week!

What were some of your favorite recipes for the week? Anyone else planning on extending to a Whole60?

Share your experiences in the comments section below!

* – This is who I was babysitting last night.
lucille

Whole30 Recap: Week 2

diet-funnyWe’ve survived another week! Can you believe we are about halfway through the January Whole30? I’ll admit that some of my symptoms, such as bloating and headaches, still haven’t fully disappeared. However, I am amazed to see my differences in mood, skin and energy levels!

With a new week behind us, I’ll share my latest round-up of meals and daily observations during my own Whole30. For more information, visit my introductory post or check out my recap from Week 1!

Keep in mind the following disclaimers as we delve into Week 2’s program:

  • I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
  • This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
  • I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again! 🙂 However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
  • You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!

Time for some Whole30 deliciousness!

whole30 round 2 veemoze

Day 8 (Jan. 8)

Feelings: I have always been convinced that I have ADD, but today I felt like my concentration was at an all-time high. Even when faced with some stressful subject matter, my mood was a lot more even. When I eat a lot of processed foods, I find that I get a lot more emotional over the little things and am not as efficient when it comes to solving problems. On Day 8, I felt like a lot of my irrational processed food monsters that had resurfaced during the holidays were gone.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter and a bowl of raspberries.

sweet potato noodles veemoze

I sprinkled in rosemary for a little something extra!

Lunch: Sweet Potato Noodles (from Civilized Caveman Cooking) and a hard-boiled egg.

Yum!

Yum!

Dinner: Went out to a local restaurant and ordered the California Salad, with spinach (which you’d normally have to force me to eat), cucumber, blueberries, strawberries, orange, and a hard-boiled egg.

Day 9 (Jan. 9)

Feelings: For the love of Gosling, my pants are tighter! I wish I could skip this side effect and instantly feel all the positive ones, but it should only last a few days… right? It was frustrating to feel bloated and have a stomachache all day, but I had to remind myself that “this, too, shall pass.” Because of this, I ate fairly light on Day 9.

Breakfast: Bowl of raspberries. (Like I said, I really wasn’t feeling well on Day 9.)

Lunch: Cucumber Pasta Salad (from Holistically Engineered), accompanied by Whole30-compliant applesauce and a hard-boiled egg.

Ohhhh, pineapple. I just can't get enough of you.

Ohhhh, pineapple. I just can’t get enough of you.

Dinner: Roasted broccoli (cooked in olive oil, garlic and salt at 400F for 20 minutes) and this delicious grilled pineapple inspired by @danikabrysha’s Instagram guest post on @whole30recipes, sans walnuts.

Day 10 (Jan. 10)

Feelings: When I woke up on Day 10, I felt extremely well-rested and in a very good mood. This could have had something to do with the fact that it was Saturday and I’d slept in, but I’d like to think some of it had to do with my positive food choices!

Breakfast: Nectarine and a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower (cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of paprika for 20 minutes) and more grilled pineapple because it has become my favorite thing in the world.

Coconut Lime Chicken Bites = Yum!

Coconut Lime Chicken Bites = Yum!

Dinner: Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (from Daily Bites Blog) and diced potatoes cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I was so excited to cook something that my boyfriend also enjoys!

Day 11 (Jan. 11)

Feelings: On Day 11, I noticed that a lot of the puffiness in my face had gone down. I woke up feeling very well-rested again today, but felt increasingly tired as the day wore on. As much as I hate to admit it, I attribute this to a lack of proteins and fats throughout the day.

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Breakfast: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’ Instagram post on @whole30recipes).

Lunch: Picked up lunch from another local restaurant with my boyfriend and sister and ordered the Southwest Salad, with mixed greens, carrots and raisins.

Dinner: Leftover Coconut Lime Chicken Bites and diced potatoes, because leftovers are fun, too.

Day 12 (Jan. 12)

Feelings: Today I was feeling super bloated. I thought this phase of the program would have been over by now, but it wasn’t. With today’s stomachache, I tried to eat fairly light meals again.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter.

Lunch: Roasted Broccoli (cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic at 400F) and a bowl of grapes. Looking back, I now think that too many grapes may have perpetuated the problem.

Dinner: Scrambled Eggs (my first time making them myself in months!) and a nectarine. Not going to lie, it was total comfort food on a rainy day.

Day 13 (Jan. 13)

Feelings: I didn’t feel as bloated on Day 13, but I did have a pretty persistent headache throughout the day. Usually I get those from processed food and artificial sugars, but with those foods out of my diet, I’m not really sure where this headache came from. The weather was pretty dreary, so my headache probably had something to do with the barometric pressure or something intelligent like that.

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and a nectarine.

Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower (see Day 10 for exact instructions) and another egg.

The chicken didn't come out the way I wanted, but the veggies/sauce were fantastic!

The chicken didn’t come out the way I wanted, but the veggies/sauce were fantastic!

Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken (from Paleo Leap) with red pepper, yellow pepper, water chestnuts and pineapple. I love the crunch of the water chestnuts! This was a fantastic dinner – one of my favorites so far.

Day 14 (Jan. 14)

Feelings: It was an eventful Wednesday, but I really felt positive and empowered, like I could take on the day! Of course, after I took on the day, I fell asleep on the couch watching an adorable animal movie and woke up to Season 2 of The Wire, a show I do not currently watch. Still, it is important to note the profound effect this program has had on my mood!

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg (typical) and an apple.

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad and plain applesauce. This was especially tough, because at one of my work events that day, we gave out pizza and it smelled amazing. Thankfully, I remembered how awful I feel when I eat pizza, and suddenly my carrot salad was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.

Dinner: I was exhausted from working back-to-back events, so I went out to dinner and ordered a spinach salad with warm grilled chicken (don’t you love when the chicken is actually warm?), carrots, cabbage, and orange slices.

Takeaways from the Week

  • Ghee is really good. I never had it during Round 1 or Round 2 of my Whole30 in 2014, but I finally picked some up and used it in my sweet potato noodles and my scrambled eggs. I love the taste and will definitely use it in the future!
  • Even if protein is your least favorite food group, you still need to eat it. Otherwise, you will be a sleepy, grumpy jerk until you do.
  • It is important to have a game plan when you know you will be faced with tempting food choices. Pack a lunch if you know you’ll be all day, or check the menu ahead of time before you go out so that you already know what you’ll be ordering. You can even be a control-freak like me, and pick all the restaurants yourself! Your friends can get junky bar food anywhere, but it ismuch harder for you to find something Whole30-friendly at most restaurants that still looks appetizing.

What have you learned this week? What new recipes do you suggest testing out? Share your Whole30 experiences in the comments section below!

Whole30 Recap: Week 1

t-338Hi there, Whole30-ers!

For those of you who are completing the site-wide January Whole30 as part of your New Year’s Resolutions, Mazel Tov on finishing your first week. For those of my readers who are not familiar with the program but eager to learn more about it, you can read my introductory post here. I am so excited to share my own Whole30 experiences with you on a week-by-week basis. Every time I have done this program, I have learned new things about myself and developed positive new habits. I can’t wait to see what this month brings!

Before I proceed with my week of meals, please note the following disclaimers:

  • I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
  • This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
  • I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again! 🙂 However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
  • You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!

And now, onto the meals!

Day 1 (Jan. 1)

originalFeelings: I woke up feeling like crap on New Year’s Day. My nose was stuffed up, my skin was completely broken out, and I had an awful headache that my mom and I attributed to a food hangover, probably from all the pizza and junk food I gorged out on the night before. I tried to begin the day in a totally zen, conquer-all-my-resolutions-at-once way, but it quickly turned into a Kill All The Things kind of day.

Breakfast: My mom’s scrambled eggs (yum!) and a bowl of strawberries.

Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken and cucumber slices, topped with balsamic vinegar.

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Moroccan Carrot Salad! This has probably been the most popular food picture I’ve ever posted on Instagram, and it tastes delicious.

Dinner: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’s recipe on Instagram) and a hard-boiled egg. (For the carrot salad, I season with just paprika and cinnamon, and leave out the almonds. I could go either way with the cilantro – tastes good with or without it!)

Day 2 (Jan. 2)

Feelings: My stomach felt a lot less bloated today, but my headache from Day 1 stuck with me until mid-afternoon on Day 2.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and an Apple + Banana Trader Joe’s bar. (These bars are a nice on-the-go option when you don’t have a lot of time, but you will probably want to pair with a protein.)

Lunch: Sweet Potato Hash (sweet potato diced and cooked with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other seasoning) and a salad with cucumber, strawberries, and a hard boiled egg.

Dinner: Coconut Chicken (made by my mom, but not unlike this recipe, except she used coconut flour instead of almond), broccoli and baked sweet potato.

 Day 3 (Jan. 3)

Feelings: It was great to wake up without a headache! I felt well-rested when I woke up this morning. The day was bittersweet, because it was my last day in South Florida on vacation, so I had to pack up my car and say goodbye to my family that afternoon. Still, I felt somewhat clear-headed and better than I’d felt the past two days.

My mom's famous scrambled eggs!

My mom’s famous scrambled eggs!

Breakfast: One more round of my mom’s scrambled eggs (I never make them as well at home, so I had to take advantage on my last day!) and a bowl of strawberries and blackberries.

Lunch: Leftover coconut chicken, broccoli and a nectarine.

Dinner: Hard-boiled egg and a bag of grapes. (I was driving around dinnertime and couldn’t stop for dinner, so I had these packed ahead of time to eat in the car.)

Day 4 (Jan. 4)

Feelings: I started to notice a big difference in my skin by Day 4. My skin felt a lot smoother (although some of that could have been from all the time spent in my parents’ saltwater pool!), but I also noticed that my eczema breakout from back home was finally clearing up. In the mirror, I saw that my face looked less puffy than it had looked in a while. The only negative symptom on Day 4 was that my awful headache decided to return.

Breakfast: Moroccan Carrot Salad. (Throughout this Whole30 series, you’ll start to notice that this is one of my favorite meals… In fact, I can eat it at all times of the day!)

You can throw together a salad so quickly with whatever ingredients you have!

You can throw together a salad so quickly with whatever ingredients you have!

Lunch: Salad with strawberries and a hard-boiled egg.

Dinner: Zesty Chicken Bites (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) and a bowl of roasted broccoli (drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and cook for 20 minutes at 400F).

Day 5 (Jan. 5)

Feelings: I was exhausted this morning! This probably had something to do with the fact that this was my first day back at work in two weeks, so I had to adjust to getting up earlier and getting back into my old routine. I was also extremely bloated on Day 5, but my face still looked thinner and less puffy.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter, cinnamon and a few raisins sprinkled on top.

Lunch: Salad with strawberries, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and blackberries.

Cucumber Pasta Salad may have been my favorite recipe all week!

Cucumber Pasta Salad may have been my favorite recipe all week!

Dinner: Cucumber “Pasta” Salad (from Holistically Engineered) and a hard-boiled egg. The pasta salad was to die for and my very first experience with a vegetable spiralizer! The dressing was superb, and I will definitely make a bottle of it in the future to use on other salads. I skipped the olives and instead of grape tomatoes, I decided to be extra fancy and use actual grapes.

Day 6 (Jan. 6)

Feelings: I was even more exhausted on Day 6 than I was on Day 5. I definitely could have used a nap! I was no longer bloated, but I had a lot of stomach pain throughout the day – I even woke up in the middle of the night with it! Because of this, I stuck to smaller meals and tried to drink more water instead.

Breakfast: Banana with almond butter.

Lunch: Roasted broccoli.

Cauliflower “couscous” features cauliflower, cilantro and raisins (yum!), while this Moroccan chicken combines pretty much every spice in my cabinet.

Dinner: Cauliflower Couscous (from Unbageled) and Moroccan Chicken (pan-fried instead of grilled onto kebobs, inspired by Closet Cooking). This has been one of my more adventurous meals and my first experience with cauliflower rice. It was delicious!

Day 7 (Jan. 7)

Feelings: When I woke up on Day 7, I realized it was the first time in a while that I slept completely through the night! I felt a lot more well-rested, and when I looked in the mirror, I noticed that I looked a little smaller around the ribcage.

Breakfast: Two hard boiled eggs. How fancy!

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Dinner: Salad with strawberries, grapes and a hard-boiled egg.

Takeaways from the Week

  • No matter how experienced of a chef you are (or in my case, inexperienced), it is still important to try out new techniques. I used a spiralizer and riced cauliflower for the first time this week, and will definitely be incorporating both of those into my meals in the future!
  • My selfies will never get as many Instagram likes as my food pictures. (Waaaaah.)
  • I may not be experiencing all of the fabulous feelings I have gotten from previous rounds of Whole30, but I know that these things take time. My job is to be patient and keep at it! I am still feeling a thousand times better today than I did on Day 1.

How is your Whole30 going? Any recipes or tips you’d like to share? Feel free to add yours in the comments section below!

And don’t forget to follow me at @veemoze on Instagram for more recipe and food excitement!