Maybe you're sick of hearing about the Whole30, or maybe you're loving the recipes, but either way this is my last post that recaps my week of recipes for the program!
What am I going to do now that it's over?
I've been trying to answer that question myself and figure out what the best strategy is for me moving forward. I've gone back and forth with saying that I'm going to implement Whole30 for 5 days a week vs. just trying to incorporate it as much as possible (lets say 80-90% of the time?). Here's my dilemma: It doesn't seem like a long-term approach to specify the days per week I will stick with this because I don't want to always have to be following RULES. Rules do not equal long term success and balance with nutrition. To be honest, though, I get anxious if I don't have specific days of the week to follow some kind of guideline.
So, long strong short, I have decided to incorporate Whole30 recipes as much as possible, but without any strict rules. I know I feel better, sleep better, perform better, etc. while eating this way, BUT I also love to go to cool restaurants, travel, and go out with friends. This is where the word moderation comes in. This so-called strategy is all about balance and moderation! It's the harder route initially, but learning to take the no-rules route of eating is waaaay more satisfying and freeing.
And now, here are the recipes for my final week of Whole30.
Chia seed pudding or Smoothie for breakfast (see previous posts)
Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and condiments for lunch
1.5lbs of 93% ground turkey
1/2 chopped red onion
2 tbsp almond flour
1 seedless chopped jalapeño
Garlic salt, pepper, oregano, italian seasonings
Combine ingredients in one bowl and form into 6 equal size discs (about size of your palm). Spray sauté pan with cooking oil and cooking about 3-4 minutes on each side. I completed the dish with a side of baked sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, some no-sugar-added ketchup, and 1/3 sliced avocado.
Mexican-inspired Carnitas with Green Beans and Eggs Over Easy for dinner
1.5 lbs of pork shoulder or butt
1.5 cups chicken stock
Juice of 1 lime
1 chopped white onion
1 chopped jalapeno
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 325. Slice pork shoulder/butt into 4-6oz pieces and add to baking dish. Add the rest of the ingredients in the dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1.5 hours, and then take foil off and bake another hour uncovered.
Drain the liquid (I saved mine to use for a stock later and put it in the freezer) and place the pork on a plate. The pork should be tender enough to pull into shreds with a fork. Once shredded, serve immediately with steamed green beans/spinach/broccoli/other veggie of choice, and top with 2 eggs over easy, cilantro, avocado and salsa.
The leftovers of this recipe can even be a great one to make for a savory brunch!
For Week 3 of the Whole30, I wanted to make meals that (1) did not include chicken and (2) could be made all in one pan. After three weeks in a row of recipes with chicken, I was over it. Needed a break. Love it, but can't overdo it. Also, I wanted the recipes to be simple and thrown together in one pan, but complex in flavors. I think I did just that!
Overnight Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 scoop vanilla pea protein powder
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
Additional toppings: unsalted chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut, dash of cinnamon
Directions: Mix everything but almond butter together in a Tupperware bowl and let sit in the fridge overnight. When ready to eat, drizzle almond butter on top and additional toppings if you want!
Mustard-rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples for lunch (pictured above)
4 4-oz pork tenderloins
4 tbsp brown mustard (look for no sugar added)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Mix mustard and balsamic together and rub onto tenderloins with a brush on both sides. Salt and pepper both sides too. Spray saute pan with cooking spray and add tenderloins to the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes on the first side. Flip the pork and add chopped apple slices to pan. Cook for another 5 minutes and take out the pork. Let the meat rest while finishing sautéing the apples.
Serve over a bed of spinach, or add any other leafy green vegetables of your choice!
Turkey and Vegetable Asian Stir-fry for dinner
1 lb 93% ground turkey
1 stalk of bok choy, chopped
3 zucchinis, sliced
2 heads of broccoli, sliced
2 cups of pre-chopped carrots
3 cups of spinach
Red pepper flakes, garlic salt, pepper
Directions: Saute turkey in a large pan over medium heat, and break it up into pieces while it's cooking. While sautéing, add bok choy, broccoli, carrots and zucchini in a bowl with 1/4 cup water and microwave for 4 minutes to steam. Add vegetables to pan once turkey is browned. Add spinach and wilt it down.
Once everything is mixed together, drizzle coconut aminos into pan and top with seasonings.
WAIT- what are coconut aminos?
It is a sauce made from coconut sap that resembles a light soy sauce, but it is soy free and gluten free – making it the perfect replacement for those on the Whole30. You can buy it at any major store.
Also, here's a little roommate spotlight! My roommates are doing the Whole30 with me and I am seriously so proud of them. They are getting creative in the kitchen and even taking aesthetic pictures of their food for me to feature :) Nicole's turkey burger is pictured above with a bed of greens, 1/2 sliced avocado and some sliced jalapeños to add some flare. Pam's turkey burger is pictured below with allll the fix-ins: chopped red onion, tomatoes, kalmata olives, banana peppers, 1/2 avocado and of course a pickle!
Week 2 of the Whole30 has come and gone, and that means I am more than half way done with the program! I'm seriously not counting down though because I don't think much will change after the 30 days- probably just some vodka-sodas and an indulgence at Chicago's Restaurant Week.
For last week's meals, I kept it pretty simple and the meal prep was really fast! I went with a theme of COLOR- try to get as many colors into my diet as possible. This meant trying new vegetables (i.e. small colored potatoes) and herbs (i.e. basil, thyme) to add in whenever possible. Here's what I came up with!
Week 2 meals
Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash- for breakfast or lunch
1 medium sweet potato, chopped and roasted in 425 oven for 25 minutes
1/2 white onion, chopped
Big handful of spinach
2 no-sugar added chicken sausage links (can sub ground Italian sausage, or any other meat)
Eggs over easy, fried in a touch of olive oil
While sweet potatoes are roasting, sauté onion in olive oil for 5 minutes until translucent. Add spinach and chopped chicken sausage. Cook until spinach wilts. Add sweet potatoes to pan when they are cooked through.
Transfer a serving to a plate and top with 1-2 eggs over easy. To finish, I added some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and 1/3 sliced avocado!
Pesto Chicken, Steamed Brussel Sprouts, Roasted Colored Potatoes- for lunch
1 pound of boneless chicken breasts, sautéed in a pan with cooking spray
Homemade oil-free pesto (click for link to recipe)
Brussel sprouts chopped and steamed
Small colored potatoes chopped, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in 425 oven for 30 minutes
Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles, Broccoli and No-sugar added Marinara Sauce- for dinner
For the turkey meatballs:
1 lb 93% ground turkey
1/2 chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp almond flour
Salt, pepper, oregano, thyme
Roll into golf ball sized balls and cook in 375 oven for 15-20 minutes
Serve with steamed zucchini noodles, steamed broccoli, homemade or purchased no-sugar added marinara sauce. Additional toppings: red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast.
7 days of the Whole30 down, 23 days to go.... But who's counting?!
If you haven't heard of the Whole30, or not sure what it exactly entails, check out their website for a simple description of the Do's and Don't's: whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/
I am actually feeling better than I have in a really long time, so I couldn't be happier with this program. I honestly fell off track with eating healthy consistently (I had really good weeks and really bad weeks, and some in betweenness), so it feels great to have this accountability to be consistent. I don't feel deprived, nor hungry; instead, I feel energized, satisfied and somewhat freed.
I want to share what my week of meals looked like to give everyone an idea of the foods I am eating, how I planned for this program, recipes I created and followed, and to show how YOU can do this too!!
Week 1 Meals: Monday thru Friday
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup frozen riced cauliflower
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop pea protein powder (no sugar added, the brand I use: chicagohealthfoods.com/collections/proteins-fitness)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
Egg, Turkey and Spinach Frittata and roasted sweet potatoes for Lunch
1 small sweet potato
6 eggs, 2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
2 cups spinach
Preheat oven to 350. Slice sweet potato thinly and line bottom of pie pan with them. In a bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, almond milk, salt and pepper. In a separate pan, brown the ground turkey and add spinach to wilt it. Pour turkey and spinach mixture onto sweet potatoes, then pour over egg mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes until browning on the sides.
White Chicken Chili for Dinner
Check out this recipe I followed: therealfoodrds.com/slow-cooker-white-chicken-chili/
I topped it with red pepper flakes, cilantro and 1/3 avocado
Handful of raisins
Blackberries, blueberries, apple
About this Section
This section highlights any type of noteworthy experience I've had with food. It also covers some of my traveling adventures! I am an avid traveler and love trying out new cuisines and local foods wherever I go. I will give any and all the details of the food I've tasted around the world.