5 Staples That Got Me Through My Whole30

Melissa Hartwig (the mastermind behind the Whole30 lifestyle) states in the Whole30 resources that many things in life are hard, and that of those many things, Whole30 is not hard. Sure, the loss of loved ones, disease, losing a job, etc. are all hard things we may face in life. But I’m here to tell you: Whole30 is hard too. I’m not saying it’s up in the ranks with the most difficult things in life, but it is most certainly challenging.

Though many of my recipes have been inspired by Whole30 and Paleo lifestyles for quite some time, I have only recently completed my first Whole30. It was difficult, and often times annoying, but I did indeed see some amazing changes in my body and have learned some great lessons about myself. In this blog post, I’m sharing some of the simple staples that I had available or prepared at all times. These staples = life for me on my Whole30, and I hope that they make your round of Whole30 that much easier, too. But first, for those of you who are knew to Whole30:

 

What the heck is a Whole30?

Whole30 is not a diet or weight-loss plan. Whole30 is essentially a dietary reset that challenges you to eliminate processed or altered foods and only consume whole foods for thirty days. The program has a ton of rules that I’m not going to include in this post. I will, however, point you in the direction of some resources if you’d like to learn more:

The Whole30 masterminds have quite a few books available for purchase (click the images above to shop on Amazon). These books are a GREAT resource for Whole30 rules, tips, and recipes. The Whole30 website also offers many free resources that are super helpful.

These resources are great! Although, many of the recipes they include here are on the complicated side. They are delicious, but do require several ingredients and often also require a lot of your time. During my Whole30, I found cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for 30 days to be exhausting and overwhelming. So along the way I started to implement some simple and easy staple recipes/ingredients into my routine.

 

Staple 1: FRITTATAS

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, but on Whole30, it’s tough to whip up a compliant breakfast when you’re in a hurry. My work-week breakfast staple quickly became frittatas. They are easy to make and one batch will last you several days. Simply store in the fridge until you need it, and the reheat at work (or home) when you’re ready to eat! Here are some of my favorite frittata recipes (pictured above, omit cheese if listed in recipe):

STAPLE 2: COCONUT MILK

Coffee is a Whole30 compliant beverage, but cream and sugar are not compliant add-ins. This is a big problem for some people, but I’m happy to say that I’ve found a life-long replacement for cream (I’ve never been a sugar in my coffee person) in my coffee: coconut milk. Not the boxed kind you find stored next to the almond milk in the refrigerator isle, though. I’m talking about full fat canned coconut milk. It is thick, creamy, slightly sweet and so so delicious in my coffee (frothed along with my collagen peptides of course).

Not only is it delicious, it’s a healthy fat that will help keep you full throughout the morning. Canned coconut milk is not created equally though, as some brands are not compliant due to extra additives. Pictures of some compliant brands are included below, click them to shop:

       

STAPLE 3: CHICKEN SALAD

Cranberry Nut Chicken Salad

Cranberry Nut Chicken Salad

Whole30 recommends eating leftovers from dinner for breakfast or lunch the next day. That advice is great in theory, but not so much in practice (for me at least). My boyfriend and I did Whole30 together, and by the time we each ate our fill of our meal, there was almost never any leftovers to save for later. Our giant dinners always nearly disappeared, as if by magic, no matter how much “extra” we thought we we had made.

My solution to the lack of leftovers issue was chicken salad! Make a big batch at the start of the week, and eat it on the days that you run out of leftovers. My favorite recipe is Cranberry Nut Chicken Salad. It does call for cranberries, though, so make sure you’re using berries that are compliant. If you can’t find compliant cranberries, try substituting grapes or diced apples, or switching to Super Crunch Chicken Salad instead.

STAPLE 4: SMOKED SALMON

Smoked salmon was an absolute live saver during my Whole30. It’s not only decadent, but it requires no cooking! A compliant protein (fish) that doesn’t need to be cooked! Hallelujah. A no-cook, no-prep meal is a real treat on Whole30. Add it to a salad for lunch or dinner, or serve it along side some eggs and an avocado for breakfast. A little squeeze of lemon and a shake of Everything But The Bagel seasoning is all it needs. Smoked salmon is in the same boat as coconut milk, though. You’ll definitely need to read your labels to make sure there isn’t any added sugar. The images below are examples of some compliant brands.

 

STAPLE 5: HARD BOILED EGGS

I had never had a hard boiled egg until doing the Whole30. I always thought they looked and smelled gross, so I never even though to try one. I’m not sure what encouraged me to start cooking them during my round of Whole30, but boy am I glad I did! They are delicious. During Whole30, I’d whip up nearly a dozen at a time, and save them to use in breakfasts and lunches, and as emergency snacks. The pictures above are examples of how I’d incorporate hard boiled eggs into simple and easy meals. A sprinkle of salt, pepper and Everything But The Bagel seasoning or cayenne pepper is my favorite topping. If you’re new to cooking boiled eggs, here’s how I do it: Perfect Almost-Hard Boiled Eggs.

YOU CAN DO IT!

A round of Whole30 is hard. You are forced to live without foods that are deeply engrained in your diet, but it is worth it. You will learn so much about yourself and your body. If there’s anything else I can help you with, please let me know in the comments below!

 

FULLBELLYWHOLEHEART

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

Eat Green 2 Week Challenge

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Diets aren’t fun. We all try them, we all want them to work, we all hate life when we’re on one, and we all too often fall off the diet train before we see any results. Maybe the reason diets often fail is that they are viewed as a negative more than a positive. They’re all about limiting what you can and cannot eat. No sugar, no carbs, no red meat, no cheese, no fun, no happiness, no life, no, no, NO. It’s not fair, is it? Raise your hand if you’re tired of having to cut things out of your lifestyle to see a positive change in your diet or appearance.

What if we changed the way we think about making healthier choices? What if we stopped saying “no” to typical anti-diet foods and started saying “more” to healthy foods? Instead of saying “I can’t eat that”, how about saying “I need more!” …I’m talking about vegetables, green ones specifically.  I’m not a nutritionist or anything fancy like that, but I know that green vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients, and I know that most people should be eating more of them.

So, I’m challenging YOU to make a positive change to your lifestyle for two weeks. Are you up for it?

The Eat Green Challenge:

This challenge is simple. All you have to do is add one or more green vegetables to each of your meals, everyday, for two weeks. That’s it! I’m talking spinach, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, avocado, asparagus, green beans, peas, etc. in your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This is not a less is more challenge. It’s a more is more challenge! Beef up all of your meals with green veggies for two weeks and see how you feel at the end. The goal of this challenge is to help you learn to enjoy eating a diversity of green vegetables, and (hopefully) have you craving them. The more vegetables you eat, the less room you have in your belly for “no” foods. You’ll feel better, and, in time, look better.

You can do it! It will take some thought, creativity and commitment, but it’s possible. To help you get started I have included some recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner below.

I’ll be taking the challenge at the start of 2018 from January 3rd to January 16th. Follow along on Instagram!#fullbellywholeheart #fullbellyeatgreen

Breakfast:

Adding leafy greens or other green vegetables to your breakfast might seem a little odd, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not fill up on nutrient-rich green goodness?

Spicy Brussels Breakfast Bowl (Whole30)

Spicy Brussels Breakfast Bowl

Spicy Brussels Breakfast Bowl

Brussels sprouts for breakfast is my new favorite way to eat brussels sprouts. My coworkers look at me like a crazy person, but that’s just because they don’t know what they’re missing out on. 😉

Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Egg Muffin Cups

These egg cups by Happy Go Lucky Blog look absolutely scrumptious. You can even make these egg cups over the weekend in preparation for the work week to make weekday breakfasting easy. Try serving these with a side of fresh spinach or roasted asparagus to add even more greens to your breakfast!

Kitchen Sink Frittata

Similar to my Veggie-Dump Frittata, the Kitchen Sink Frittata by Whip and Wander is a great way to throw all kinds of veggies into an easy, make-ahead breakfast or to serve a large crowd.

Breakfast tips:

  • Add a side of leftover veggies from the previous night’s dinner to your breakfast. I love eating asparagus along side a frittata in the morning.
  • Spinach is an easy green to add to breakfast. Throw it in a wrap or burrito, or serve it along side your meal.
  • If you’re a smoothie drinker, try adding greens into the mix:
  • When in doubt, put an avocado on it or wrap it in collard greens.

Lunch:

Spring Power Bowl

Holy yum this looks so good. It has not one, not two, but three different green veggies! A home run in my book. Thank you Simple and Savory for inspiring my lunches for the next week!

The Prettiest Harvest Salad Ever

harvest salad recipe

Salads don’t have to be boring and repetitive, and they are a super easy way to add more greens to your diet. This recipe by Mom Wife Foodie hits the nail on the head for being flavorful, interesting, and full of greens. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty, either. 😉

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Using greens in place of breads not only increases your green intake, but also decreases your bread intake. Win win, am I right?

Lunch tips:

  • Eat leftovers for lunch. Cooking two separate meals every day can be exhausting and time consuming. Simply throwing leftover meat and veggies on top of salad greens makes a great lunch!
  • Collard greens are your friend! Use them to make a wrap instead of a tortilla.
  • Add leftover sides to your lunch. Pair a sandwich with leftover broccoli as a side instead of chips. Here are some green side ideas:

Dinner:

Courgetti Aglio E Olio with King Prawns

I know zoodles (zucchini noodles) are not the same thing as pasta, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. This zoodle and shrimp recipe by Emma Eats & Explores is full of green veggies and looks super tasty.

Collard Greens Chicken & Veggie “Enchiladas”

Collard Greens Chicken & Veggie "Enchiladas"

These enchiladas are a staple in my house – I absolutely love them. They are great to make in large quantities for family dinners and reheat well for lunch. Don’t knock it ’till ya try it.

One-Pan Chicken Alfredo

Adding veggies to decadent meals is one of my favorite ways to indulge. This recipe by The Gluten Free Homestead adds veggies and ditches the pasta, but still remains rich and flavorful. You’ve got to give this one a try.

Dinner tips:

  • Love pasta? Try beefing up your favorite pasta dish with extra veggies and lots of spinach.
  • Roasted veggies (broccoli, brussels, asparagus, etc.) are a simple and easy side to serve with dinner.
  • Prep your veggies ahead of time. Cut and roast them in advance, and the reheat them in a skillet for dinner.

YOU CAN DO IT! <3

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram January 3rd to 16th when I take the challenge! If you decide to take the challenge too use the hashtags #fullbellywholeheart and #fullbellyeatgreen so that I can cheer you on!

Good luck and stay green!