Whole30 Fried Rice

For those of us on the January Whole30, can you believe it’s finally Day 14? Now that I’m no longer having sugar withdrawals, I’m starting to see the light and feel some of the positive effects of the program. My energy levels are always fairly low for the first couple weeks of the Whole30, so it’s important for me to have meals that are easy to prep and throw on the pan on those days when I just want to #KillAllTheThings.

That’s why this paleo stir-fry has always been a go-to of mine! I keep things really simple buy purchasing frozen cauliflower rice ahead of time (Birds Eye Steamfresh is a great option I can find in most grocery stores), but feel free to make your own by popping some cauliflower in the food processor. This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, Whole30-friendly, and paleo-friendly!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation.

Whole30 Cauliflower Fried Rice | WellnessAndWanderlust.net

Serves 3(ish)

Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers, chopped (any color – I like to mix them up, but you can do all one color)
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded or chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package Birds Eye Steamfresh Riced Cauliflower (or equivalent of other brand / homemade)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (or more, to taste)
  • Optional: Salt and garlic to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in chopped peppers and carrots. Let cook while microwaving frozen cauliflower rice.
  3. Pour in cauliflower rice, add ginger, and cook on medium for 10 minutes.
  4. Create space in the center of the pan, and crack both eggs. Scramble gently, break up the eggs, then mix back in with the rest of the veggies and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in coconut aminos and stir. Let cook for another minute or two.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Healthy Veggie-Loaded Hash Browns

These healthy veggie-loaded hash browns are also Whole30 compliant!

When I think about hash browns, the first thing that comes to mind is the side dish at one of those diners where you always end up ordering way too much food and waddling back to your car. The second thing that comes to mind is a delicious potato recipe fried on a high heat with bad oils and more butter than Paula Deen would know how to handle. I love hash browns, but I hardly think of them as a healthy meal.

Of course, several rounds of Whole30 have required me to get a little creative (by the way, I’m on Day 1 today!), and after a recent hash brown craving, I wound up creating this masterpiece. White potatoes are considered Whole30-compliant — Hallelujah! — so why not add to the party by mixing other veggies to make a fabulous breakfast bowl?

Paderno Spiralizer

I use my Paderno 3-blade spiralizer to quickly shred my potatoes for this dish. If you’re considering a paleo lifestyle or embarking on a Whole30, I highly recommend you invest in a spiralizer like this — it’s a great way to integrate more veggies into your diet and enjoy a new texture. (As someone who misses pasta terribly, I love the noodle consistency that the spiralizer gives many of my compliant foods.)

Add in a couple of eggs prepared to your liking, and you’ve got a full meal! This recipe feeds one hungry person (myself) but could also serve as more of a side dish for two, especially if you’re cooking up a big breakfast. Adjust the quantities accordingly!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole white potato, peeled
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (mixed package of shredded broccoli, carrots and cabbage)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced (whichever color strikes your fancy!)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: Garlic to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add broccoli slaw and diced bell pepper to the pan.
  3. Spiralize your potato with the thinner blade. Chop up the spiralized pieces afterward so you don’t end up with 12-foot potato noodles!
  4. Add the spiraled potatoes, paprika, salt and garlic powder (optional) to the pan.
  5. Cook on medium for about 20 minutes or until it reaches desired crispiness, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat and serve. Bon appétit!

I hope you enjoy today’s hash brown recipe! Test it out and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to share and subscribe to my blog for more recipes, Whole30 resources and other goodies! 🙂

Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower & Potatoes)

If you’re anything like me, you have a few favorite comfort food recipes that regularly make it into your meal rotation. In my case, I can’t get enough of this aloo gobi recipe — I make it at least once (if not two or three times!) per week. This Indian-inspired dish mixes cauliflower and potatoes and is not only easy to make, but it’s Whole30 compliant! In other words, it’s healthy and packed with flavor.

Aloo Gobi Recipe - Whole30 Compliant!

One of the great things about this meal is that you can easily customize it to match your taste preferences. Add in turmeric, garam masala, or tomatoes to switch up the flavor profile. Oh, and did I mention that it pairs amazingly with my curry and coconut crusted chicken bites? You can thank me later. 😉

I live alone and generally cook for one, so this recipe is meant to serve one fairly hungry person or two less hungry people with no sense of adventure (kidding). Adjust the quantities based on your needs!

Aloo Gobi Recipe - Whole30 Compliant!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter (or regular butter if you’re not following Whole30)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: A few spoonfuls of petite diced tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Melt your ghee or butter over medium heat.
  2. Add in cauliflower florets and diced potato.
  3. Drizzle on olive oil, then mix in curry powder, garlic powder, chili powder and salt.
  4. Cook on medium for about 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
  5. Remove from heat, take a million photos of it until you can get the lighting right, post on Instagram with a few decent hashtags, and serve.

Bon appétit! If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. 🙂 Please share and subscribe to my blog for more recipes, Whole30 resources and other goodies!

Whole30 Beauty Bowl

When you’re following a program like the Whole30, it can be easy to overcomplicate things. After all, there are few things more satisfying than mastering a difficult recipe and sharing it in all its glory on your Instagram! 🙂 However, sometimes when you’re in the middle of big lifestyle changes, you need to simplify your meals once in a while. That’s what my Whole30 Beauty Bowl is all about.

BeautyBowl09

Why a Beauty Bowl? Believe it or not, I did not call it a “beauty bowl” because of its vibrant colors (although they are definitely beautiful in their own right). Rather, the meal is packed with vitamins that promote beautiful skin, good vision and a healthy immune system. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and is filled with flavor. You’ll want to add this one into your rotation!

BeautyBowl06

Some would call this an “ingredient meal” because it barely requires a recipe, just ingredients! However, today I’ll share my method for a flawless (and delicious!) beauty bowl. This recipe feeds one person, so you’ll want to make sure you adjust your ingredient quantities accordingly!

Whole30BeautyBowl

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • A few handfuls of broccoli slaw (mixed package of broccoli, carrots and cabbage)
  • Cooking fat of choice
  • Rosemary (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Handful of blueberries

Instructions

  1. Heat up your oil of choice over medium heat. (I used extra virgin olive oil.)
  2. Add in chopped sweet potato and broccoli slaw.
  3. Drizzle on a little extra cooking fat, and sprinkle on rosemary and salt to taste.
  4. Let cook on medium for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When finished, add in blueberries and hard boiled egg.
  6. Enjoy!

Let me know what you guys think! Please share and subscribe to my blog for more recipes, Whole30 resources and other goodies! 🙂

Link Love Wednesday: Kate Spade & Mercury Retrograde

imageGood evening, readers!

For those of you who have been feeling a little off lately, you’re not alone. Mercury is in retrograde, which means that everyone is going absolutely crazy — particularly those of us who are Virgos or Geminis — and life is stranger than usual, to say the least. (According to my dad, this might have more to do with the fact that I’m not taking my vitamins than the idea that the planets control my life, but it’s fun to imagine nonetheless.) Have you noticed any changes in the last few days?

Whether you’re a big believer in all things astrology or a skeptic, enjoy today’s batch of links to get you through the week!

What links are you loving lately? Share your favorites 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 4

For those who began Whole30 on New Year’s Day, can you believe the month is almost over? For me, Week 4 was the week when the program became almost second nature. I still had a lot of temptation (here’s looking at you, free pizza and Chipotle), but I came out of the week strong. My pre-Whole30 ailments still aren’t completely eradicated – you’ll read more about that in a bit – but nevertheless, I know I’ve come a long way since we rang in the New Year.

Because I am planning a Whole60 through the month of February, I will still post an entire Week 5 recap next week, featuring Days 29-35. After Week 5, the recaps will get shorter. Instead of a day-by-day list of what I ate and how I felt, I will simply post my weekly takeaways/general feelings and a list of new recipes I tried and would recommend. (A full list of meals is going to get repetitive after a while because I’ve found some favorites that I will be making regularly!)

Enjoy this week’s batch of recipes and daily observations! I had a major attitude adjustment in Week 4 and started to get excited about cooking again. I hope you find some fun meal inspiration that excites you, too. If you’re new to this blog, be sure to check out my introductory post, as well as my recaps for Week 1Week 2 and Week 3.

Some disclaimers before you get started:

  • 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!

Whole 30 Weekly Recap | So It Must Be True

Day 22 (Jan. 22)

Feelings: When I looked in the mirror this morning, all I could think was, Wow, I look really pale. Then I realized that I wasn’t looking any paler than usual – my skin just isn’t as red and irritated as it used to be. I’ve battled with eczema my whole life, but it’s reassuring to see how significantly my healthier eating habits have improved my skin.

Whole30 Week 4 Recap

Breakfast: A bowl of strawberries and blueberries. (I was staying at my sister’s place and didn’t have the same food access as I do at home, but the night before, we picked up a few staples for me to keep there.)

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes Instagram feed, packed ahead of time) and applesauce. At that time, I was at a workshop where free pizza was served… and oh, did it smell delicious.

Dinner: Market Salad from a local salad/sandwich restaurant, with raisins, apple slices, oranges and grilled chicken.

Day 23 (Jan. 23)

Feelings: I had an early morning event, but still felt energized throughout the day. I was a little hungry, probably because of the lack of protein at breakfast, but overall I was in a good mood and felt productive. My willpower game was strong. We sponsored an event that catered from Chipotle, and it took every fiber of my being not to grab a bowl of rice and beans with cheese melted on top. Mmmmmm, melted cheese… where was I?

Breakfast: A bowl of strawberries and blueberries.

Lunch: Salad with mixed greens, red bell pepper, cucumber, grapes and hard-boiled egg. Thank goodness for the salad bar.

Dinner: Curry Roasted Cauliflower (inspired by @danikabrysha’s guest post on @whole30recipes Instagram feed) and a hard-boiled egg.

Day 24 (Jan. 24)

Feelings: Boundless energy! I don’t know where it’s coming from… I still don’t get enough sleep, but I definitely have way more energy at all times of the day than I did prior to this Whole30.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter and cinnamon.

Lunch: Two hard-boiled eggs and a bowl of raspberries.

Dinner: Spinach salad with grilled chicken, oranges, cabbage, and carrots.

Day 25 (Jan. 25)

#SelfieQueen

#SelfieQueen

Feelings: I experienced the first headache I’ve had in a while, but I don’t think it had to do with my food choices. My entire family is prone to headaches, and while I think that sugar consumption makes mine happen more frequently, I also understand that there could be other reasons why I experience them. I was also a little bit stressed this morning, but found that I bounced back from that stress very quickly.

Breakfast: {gasp} I had a smoothie! My boyfriend mixed up a smoothie for me with strawberries, banana and spinach. If this breakfast choice bothers anyone, I urge you to visit this Whole30 blog post on the rules vs. recommendations.

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’s guest post on @whole30recipes Instagram feed) and a hard-boiled egg.

Dinner: Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (from Daily Bites Blog), roasted potatoes, and a bowl of grapes.

Day 26 (Jan. 26)

Feelings: I had an easier time waking up this morning and was in a good mood when I woke up. I felt a rediscovered sense of adventure today and was ready to try something new in the kitchen!

Breakfast: Blueberries and a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Roasted broccoli (cooked at 400F for 20 minutes in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic) and a hard-boiled egg.

Whole30 Recap Week 4

Dinner: Cauliflower Fried Rice (from Amuse Your Bouche). This dish was off the chain – it really tasted like fried rice! (I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to keep this meal compliant.)

Day 27 (Jan. 27)

Whole30 Weekly Recap

Feelings: I woke up about an hour before my alarm to find that my skin was uncontrollably itchy. When I went back to sleep, I started having extremely graphic, gory nightmares. I’ve been known to have weird food dreams during the Whole30, but never something like this! Suffice to say, I didn’t sleep well. I’m thinking the breakout stemmed from a contact allergy, because it was limited to one area and the rest of my skin still looked and felt drastically improved.

Breakfast: Banana with almond butter, blueberries and a nectarine.

This was so good!

This was so good!

Lunch: Cauliflower Steak (from Brooklyn Supper) and two hard-boiled eggs. This cauliflower steak was amazing! I adjusted the relish a little to include rosemary instead of parsley and garlic instead of shallots. I highly recommend trying it!

Whole30 Weekly RecapDinner: Zesty Chicken Bites (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) and Sweet Potato Fries (from Life Made Full).

Day 28 (Jan. 28)

Feelings: My energy was back! My horrible skin reaction from the day before seemed to have healed somewhat and I had a much more restful night of sleep.
Breakfast: Bowl of blueberries and a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Whole30 Weekly Recap

Dinner: Mexican Cauliflower Rice (from Slender Kitchen).

Takeaways from the Week

  • As I’ve learned throughout my Whole30 journey, it is important to try new things! Last year, when I started Whole30, I was all about those sweet potato recipes… This time around, I joked that this was Cauliflower Week, as I attempted four separate cauliflower dishes throughout the week. I now know what the cauliflower rice fuss is all about!
  • Another thing I mentioned last week rang true again this week: You haveto be prepared for difficult food situations. Does it sometimes feel awkward to bring your own food to a lunchtime event? Yes. Is it difficult to turn down pizza and Chipotle in the same week? Oh, yes (at least if you’re me). But it would be even more difficult to say no to these non-compliant foods if I didn’t pack along my own meals or at least have a game plan? YES. At the beginning of the week, make a plan that will keep you accountable on the days when you know that you’re going to be tempted. Don’t face your temptations while hungry!
  • While my mood, skin and energy are all radically improved, I am no longer seeing the same body changes I remember from previous rounds of Whole30. I’m starting to feel like I’ve hit a plateau (although it’s hard to judge those changes when you see yourself every day), so I am going to start thinking more critically about if/when I’m snacking, what times I’m eating (sometimes I start dinner waylater than I should) and how much exercise I’m getting. Still, I am very proud of how far I’ve come, and have very high hopes for the rest of my Whole60!

Any Whole30ers with a favorite recipe to share? 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!