Whole 30, something we’ve all heard of by now, something most of us have probably done (I’ve done it twice), and something I’ll be starting up next week! Whole 30 is a month long program devoted to resetting your body by nourishing it with whole foods. While it falls into a “diet” category it really is structured to be so much more. There are multiple success stories out there on how it has changed people’s lives, helped heal autoimmune diseases, and reintroduced people to a love of healthy eating etc.
Chicken sausage, sweet potato, bell pepper and spinach stir fry that will be seen during my Whole 30! Peep the ugly orange athletic socks.
For me, I love the way it makes me feel and truly love the fun challenge it puts around cooking (food nerd alert). I’ve been on a bit of a bender since moving to Dallas. Rightfully so I think. I’ve wanted to eat, drink and see all the things I can while exploring my new city. Zero regrets, buuuuut it’s time to reign it in. I was talking to a friend a couple weekends ago who is currently following a vegan diet. She lives in D.C. and like me, has eaten and drank all the things while enjoying the summer months. She mentioned how she’s an all or nothing girl. I’m the same. I struggle to just say “I’m going to eat healthy this month,” and actually follow through with it. While I stay pretty regimented during the week, weekends, parties and events come up and all bets are off. Give me every piece of cheese, tortilla chip and dessert in sight.
Crock-pot chicken loaded in a sweet potato with compliant salsa, guac, and red onions. Based off this recipe.
My experience with Whole 30 in the past has helped control this type of chaotic eating in the best way. The guidelines (aka rules) of Whole 30 give me the structure I need to actually say no in situations like this. I find that acquaintances are more understanding when you say no to a cheesy app or cocktail when you say you are following a program like Whole 30 or vegan or whatever it may be, opposed to just saying, “oh i’m just trying to be healthy.”
Kale & turkey taco salad with compliant salsa, tomatoes, green onion, avocado and crushed plantain chips.
Ramble on, let’s get to the quick bases of Whole30. For 30 straight days you say yes to whole foods, quality animal protein, and all the veggies. You say no to dairy, legumes, sugar and grains. With the way our cooking and healthy eating mindset has shifted in the past few years, this isn’t as daunting as it used to be. I completed my version of Whole 30 August 2016 and January 2017. I wrote a post going more into the program and links to some favorite recipes here.
Sliced banana drizzled with creamy almond butter, tahini and a sprinkle of cinnamon - my favorite non-egg Whole 30 breakfast.
Is anyone else doing September Whole 30? It kicks off Monday, September 2nd and runs until Tuesday, October 1st. I mentioned above that I have done Whole 30 twice, that being said it has been “my” version of Whole 30. I give myself grace and may slip a drink in here and there on the weekends, but I do try to keep in under control. Because the more alcohol I drink, the more grains, sugar and non-whole 30 items I crave. Whole 30 also tells you to restart to day 1 if you slip up. Let’s get real, a mistake here and there is okay. If I have a non-Whole 30 food, I move on and do better the next day.
I have a couple friends here in Dallas who are doing Whole 30 with me. I’m excited to branch out on my cooking and do a few special dinners with them. However, my biggest advice for Whole 30 is don’t overthink it. People often complain about the amount of money they spend on groceries and the meat heavy dishes. I try to keep things easy and not out of my wheelhouse, by including smoothies or eggs for breakfast, loaded salads or snack boards for lunch and some kind of easy chicken and veggie dish or soup/chili for dinner. No need to buy an instant pot or air fryer just to successfully complete Whole 30 ;) Below I’ve included some Take A Bite Whole 30 approved recipes and a round up of recipes I hope to try in this upcoming month.
Take A Bite Whole 30 recipes:
Butternut Squash Soup (no granola, I like to top with crispy prosciutto when on W30)
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Turmeric Chicken Zoodle Soup
Crock-Pot Chicken Curry
Crock-Pot Carnitas (in a lettuce wrap, pictured above)
Thai Chicken and Broccoli Curry
Thai Chicken Lettuce Boats
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce (no cheese)
2 Ingredient Shakshuka (using no sugar added marinara)
Baked Egg Sweet Potato
Mayo-Less Salmon Salad
Mayo-Less Tuna Salad
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs
Pumpkin Green Smoothie
Strawberry, Almond Butter and Fig Smoothie
Whole 30 recipes I love already or hope to make:
Hibachi Style Chicken with Magic Mustard Sauce (my fave Defined Dish meal, pictured above)
Buffalo Chopped Chicken Salad
Ultimate Chicken Taco Salad
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Kale + Chicken Waldorf Salad
Everything Bagel Chicken Salad
Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Tom Kha Gai Soup
Spicy Potato Kale Bowls with Mustard Tahini Sauce
Give my Whole 30 Pinterest board a follow and I’ll be sure to update it through the month.
Go to Whole 30 Meals/Snacks:
Banana or Apple with almond butter
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Chicken Sausage Stir Frys (just make sure your sausage is sugar free)
Breakfast for Dinner with scrambled eggs, bacon and roasted sweet potatoes
Plantain Chips with Guacamole or Salsa
Dates with Almond Butter
The best Whole 30 snack or dessert - medjool date and almond butter!
Now that you’ve read all of this and may be gearing up for a #SeptemberWhole30 yourself, I want to leave you with this article. While this article brings up a fantastic point and many many things I agree with,I still plan to complete Whole 30 next month. Having completed whole 30 twice and successfully not gone on a rapid binge day 31 I’m feeling confident about the 30 day and beyond challenge. But, read this article, be mindful of it and take it as you want.
Are you doing #SeptemberWhole30? Comment below if you are or if you have questions!