Our MH team is currently doing the Whole30 program together. I’m so proud to say we’re on day 26! I’ve been sharing a bit of my journey over on my Instagram stories. Many of you seem so interested, asking lots of questions and requesting recipes! I thought I would share a little about why I’ve loved it so much here and there with a few recipe posts, and my tips and tricks.
I first heard about Whole30 from my mom in January. She looked fantastic. Like a healthier, happier version of herself. Of course, I asked for her secret. Turns out it was Whole30.
Right then, I knew I needed to try it. My body needed a kickstart. I have two kids. Work is busy. Resolving my adrenal fatigue is a process. Exercising regularly isn’t enough. I’ve tried plenty of cleanses and diets, but never stuck with them. I just wasn’t motivated to keep going. Seeing the positive results in my mom was the inspiration I needed to give Whole30 a try. Thanks mom!
And now? I’m in love. My energy is up. My clothes fit better. Even though it isn’t over, I’ve enjoyed my Whole30 experience so much I’m ready to go for 60 days!
The Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to reset your system. It promises to help you nix cravings, dump your processed food addictions, restore your metabolism, heal digestive issues, and more. (Great, right?) When you commit to Whole30, you basically cut out all sugar (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes from your diet. You get to enjoy meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, oils, nuts and seeds. The Whole30 book and cookbook was super great to have on hand!
Now, trust me, it’s not as scary as it may seem. The Whole30 website is super informative, and there’s tons of helpful information online. The first couple of days or so were tricky while I tried to figure out what I could and couldn’t have. But now, I don’t feel deprived. I don’t have to count calories. Eating this way for 30 days feels attainable and isn’t as limiting as you’d expect. I stay motivated by thinking about the benefits it promises: increased energy, decreased sugar cravings and inflammation.
It doesn’t phase me when I have to say no to something, and I’m usually a total cheater with diets. (I love treats!) There’s an enormous variety of food to enjoy, and I’ve enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, finding new favourites like this yummy beet salad AND this dressing!
This dressing is everything! It has been one of my staples that keeps me from cheating and makes it really easy to enjoy a delicious salad for lunch or dinner. What’s not to love? With basic whole ingredients including avocado, fresh basil, parsley, garlic, and lemon, it’s a winner! Recipe below.
Salads are a great way to start your Whole30 journey. They are quick and easy, and something that most people are comfortable creating. Once you have a good handle on what you can and can’t have, all the other recipes can be created with what’s in your fridge that day. Or you’ll find yourself ready to be adventurous and trying really phenomenal meals that come second nature to your cooking skills. Here are some staples you might want add to your pantry and fridge!
Some of my mom’s secrets, tips and tricks really came in handy too! Search Google or Pinterest for some easy staple recipe creations that will make Whole30 as easy as possible. Here are some of my favourites: homemade mayo, sautéed yams, eggs (lots of eggs!), fruit for those hard moments when you crave something sweet. I also made my own bars from almonds & dates, with the help of my food processor. I bought two different Whole30 approved flavoured protein bars for emergencies- Larabars & Rx Bars. (My ultimate favourites are: Lemon, Chocolate Sea Salt and Coconut Chocolate. Make sure you buy approved Whole30 flavours. Sorry no peanuts! )
Having a hard few hours? Cut up a banana and mix it with a spoonful of almond butter and warm roasted coconut! Those are my little secrets that have gotten me to day 26! I also highly recommend investing in a food processor if you don’t already own one. Makes chopping and grating super convenient and quick!
3 – 4 medium-sized beets (You can use colored ones)
1 small package of baby kale or any other baby green you’d like
Microgreens, if available
2 organic, free-range chicken breasts
1/2 cup avocado oil
Bunch of fresh basil
Bunch of fresh parsley
1 – 2 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp. of white balsamic
Pink Himalayan salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prep the beets first: Wash and dry them thoroughly. Wrap each beet individually in tinfoil and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes.
While the beets are roasting, heat up a couple tablespoons of coconut oil or avocado oil in a frying pan. Brown the chicken on both sides. Place in the oven on the baking sheet to finish cooking. (Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Let the chicken cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting. This helps the chicken retain moisture.
For the dressing:
Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper to your liking.
Divide everything among 2 – 3 plates, and enjoy!
Have you given Whole30 a try? What was your experience like? Do you have any favourite products you recommend? Are you interested in learning more about our team’s experience? Let us know with a comment below!
Recipe created by MH food editor, Erin Girard.