Week 1 Day 6

Breakfast: Sweet potato bowl (leftover)

Lunch: Butternut noodles & beef (leftover)

Dinner: Burger, potatoes, mixed vegetables

Breakfast and lunch were super easy since the sweet potatoes were already cooked from prep earlier in the week, and the noodles and beef were leftovers. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of meal prepping. You can prep once a week, twice, or every night before bed if that’s what works for you. Try out one way, if that doesn’t work then try something else. It’s about finding what works for you and your family!

This dinner is a favorite of mine. I season the ground beef with a few different spices, whatever I’m feeling that day and cook on the grill or a cast iron grill pan. The potatoes can also be grilled or put in the oven (400) by brushing with coconut oil, seasoning, and put on aluminum foil or baking sheet for 20ish minutes. I used the potato slices as a bun for my burger and it was pretty amazing, no need for bread! I also added a grilled pineapple slice and a few jalapeños on top, a combination I’ve been obsessed with ever since a friend suggested it as a pizza topping. I knew the pineapple would taste good on top of the beef because of a burger I had at the restaurant Tortuga’s Lie while on vacation in the Outer Banks.

I make mixed vegetables a couple different ways. The easiest, and how I made them this day- a frozen bag from the freezer in the microwave for 4 minutes. Obviously the go to when I’m pressed for time. The other way, when I have the time, is to chop fresh vegetables of choice (broccoli and carrots are my usual), drizzle with coconut oil, season, roast at 400 for 20 minutes. If you make the potatoes in the oven, you can stick everything in together and it will be done in about the same amount of time!

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Week 1 Day 7

Breakfast: Egg whites, diced potatoes with green pepper and onion

Lunch: Chicken sausage, diced potatoes

Dinner: Nachos

This is an easy breakfast, and one I used to have pre-Whole30 too. You can prep the potatoes ahead of time, just chop and store in the fridge in water to keep them from turning brown. Drain and rinse when ready to use.

Chicken sausage is something you have to be careful with if you’re doing a Whole30 because almost every package I’ve come across has weird added ingredients. There are maybe two compliant labels at my Walmart and I haven’t seen any at Aldi, but I’m sure a more health conscious store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s would have more options. The potatoes for this meal were leftover from breakfast.

Similar to the nachos from Day 2 , this time with both beef and shredded chicken, sautéed red & green peppers and onions, salsa and jalapeno. Salsa and chips is one of my favorite things to binge on, but when I make this I only slice enough potatoes for one serving for each person so I know I can’t over do it.

Whole30 has a timeline outlining how you might feel during the thirty days and it was similar for me. The first couple of days were perfectly fine, I had recipes lined up and food prepped and I was anxious to get started. I never had a hangover type feeling, but I had a day of wanting to eat all of the things, and a separate one for kill all of the things. The only opposite feeling I had was that I felt like I had more energy already after only a week instead of wanting to nap as the timeline suggests. Having more energy is one of the best parts of this whole thing; to not feel like I need a nap in the middle of the day make me so much more productive and happy.

Week 2 Day 1

Breakfast: Steak, eggs, potato slices

Lunch: Apple, banana, larabar

Dinner: Pork roast, potatoes

Steak & eggs just sounds like a massive meal that would leave you feeling sluggish, but this breakfast was awesome and only made me feel energized and ready to take on the day. I really try to listen to my body when I’m eating a meal because it’s easy for me to over eat when something tastes good, but that makes me lazy and sleepy and I really do not enjoy those feelings, especially first thing in the morning. I kept the eggs simple this time since there is a lot of food on this plate, so just some salt, pepper, and hot sauce. The potatoes are easy to cook on the stove, I used my biggest cast iron skillet with coconut oil and seasonings and cooked the potatoes until soft. I didn’t have much of a lunch because breakfast kept me full for a long time, so just a couple of my usual snacks throughout the afternoon.

Maybe the best invention, as far as lazy cooking goes, is the slow cooker. I put a pork roast, quartered potatoes, green peppers and onions in with seasonings and a little water and a few hours later the house smelled amazing and, with little effort, dinner was ready. So the only work that went into cooking for this day was the eggs and potatoes at breakfast! I had the potatoes, onions, and peppers chopped and ready from my prep work so it took no time at all to put together these meals.

When I buy packaged products, like coconut oil or almond butter, I always get the kinds in glass jars because they can be washed and reused. I store chopped vegetables, prepped egg whites, and leftovers in them or I’ll use as drinking glasses for iced coffee or apple cider vinegar mixes. Use them for anything and everything!

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Week 2 Day 2

Breakfast: Almonds, banana, leftover pork roast

Lunch: Burger + avocado, sweet potato fries, homemade ketchup

Dinner: Chicken thighs, green beans, leftover sweet potato fries

While I was training for my competitions, I was eating a lot of the same foods over and over so I got used to eating weird combinations or I wouldn’t warm things up before eating because I didn’t care anymore and I just wanted to get the food into my body. This has somewhat carried over into the off season, as I don’t really think about what foods I’m having together or if they are “supposed” to go together. I like easy going mornings so having leftovers for breakfast is the best. I have almonds almost every morning with my coffee, and bananas are an easy carb source.

A burger patty topped with avocado is one of my favorite combinations. No need for condiments and so satisfying. I make sweet potato fries by cutting the potatoes into a fry shape and then put into a bowl of cold water to soak for a couple of minutes, then dry with a towel and toss with coconut oil, salt and pepper. I like to use parchment paper anytime I use a baking sheet so I know for sure nothing will stick, so onto a sheet the potatoes go and in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, flip half way. I found this recipe for ketchup on Pinterest, it was my first time making my own ketchup and even though (of course) it’s not like bottled ketchup it still tasted good with fries. You definitely have to let it sit in the fridge for a while to make sure it’s completely cold. Nobody likes warm ketchup, right?

I like to buy chicken thighs that are boneless and skinless. I used my cast iron grill pan, seasoned the chicken with Tuscan seasoning, and when almost done cooking I added red peppers and onions to the pan. Once they were soft I added spinach to the pan too. Spinach takes two seconds to wilt so thats why I save it for the very end. I used frozen Prince Edward medley green beans and carrots from Aldi and leftover sweet potato fries from lunch, this was easy to put together and is one of my favorite meals.

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Week 2 Day 3

Breakfast: Banana

Lunch: Egg white omelette

Dinner: Soup, baked potato

Some mornings I wake up and don’t have a big appetite, so after coffee and a few almonds I might just have something simple, like a banana. I don’t recommend doing this if you have a busy morning because you’ll need more food for more energy, but since I stay at home I can eat whenever I want and don’t have to worry about what time my lunch break is or when I’ll be able to eat next.

For lunch, I still had some leftover pork from W2D1so I mixed some egg whites, spinach, almond milk, salt and pepper together and poured in a smaller cast iron pan to make an omelette. Once cooked almost all the way, I added some shredded pork and flipped the egg over to close and heat through. I let it cook for a couple more minutes then moved to a plate and topped with avocado! Eggs take no time at all to cook and adding leftover meat gives you even more protein to keep you feeling full and awake.

I went to a friends house this evening and stayed way longer than planned so had dinner with her. She eats clean all the time so I knew the soup she was making would be compliant to Whole30 and I didn’t have to worry about messing up my thirty days. It was full of vegetables and gave me the energy to power through a tough Spartan inspired workout we made up, posted below.

I didn’t get home until about 11 p.m. that night and was really hungry, but also didn’t want to cook anything so I made a baked potato in the microwave (no skin) and added coconut oil, salt & pepper, hemp hearts, and hot sauce on top. This isn’t a very nutrient-dense meal or snack, but it made my stomach stop growling and I didn’t have to do any work to make it. I also had a Larabar which makes this a carb-heavy snack, but I was hungry so I wasn’t worried about any of that! (<—This is where bad decisions are usually made (cookies, ice cream, sugary snacks) you just have to remind yourself of your goals!!)

Spartan style workout

Complete Four Rounds:

1 minute Battle Ropes

1 lap walk around track carrying dumbbells

Rope Climb

1 minute burpees

 

Week 2 Day 4

Breakfast: Banana

Lunch: Chicken sausage, eggplant chips

Dinner: Beef roast, carrots, mashed potatoes

Another weak breakfast, I think because coffee fills me up (almonds too) and then I get my morning motivation and start jumping around to all the tasks I need to accomplish that day and my mind is completely taken off food. Figuring out what works for you is the most important thing because everyone has a different schedule and life and one way of eating is not going to work for every individual situation. If you feel better eating six smaller meals in a day, then eat six meals. If you work better eating two large meals a day, then do that!

Let me talk about this a little more. You have to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, you have to eat. If you’re feeling sleepy in the middle of the day, you might need to eat. Brain fog? Irritable? Hangry is a real thing! Food controls so much of our emotions and the way we feel so if you’re feeding it garbage (or maybe just not enough!) you’re not going to feel great. There are so many different ideas about how you should eat and when and that can be overwhelming so I like to follow a couple guidelines. I eat when I’m hungry and I try to make sure I have a protein source, a carb source, and a vegetable with every meal, that way I know all my nutritional bases are covered. Even when not doing a Whole30 I use whole foods, avoiding packaged products the majority of the time. If I do use something packaged I make sure the ingredients list is squeaky clean or pretty close. Becoming familiar with ingredient lists and nutrition labels is the best thing you can do when wanting to be healthier or lose weight.

Chicken sausage is a product that can have all kinds of added ingredients in it. I found this one and had with some mustard, and I used this recipe for the eggplant chips. I found eggplant on sale, but wasn’t sure what I would do with it as it’s not something I buy regularly (but it’s always fun to try out new things!). I wanted to use a recipe that included turmeric because I had recently bought some after reading about all the nutritional benefits it has. I didn’t use sage, oregano, or thyme because I didn’t have them on hand. Okay so I burned most of the chips. The ones that didn’t burn were probably cooked too long too, they tasted okay, but not my favorite thing. I might try these again one day and watch them as they cook, maybe they will be better ugh.

I love the feeling of knowing I have something cooking in the Crock Pot and I won’t have to do any work when dinner time rolls around. I put in the roast and added salt & pepper and then put in carrots that I chopped in to thick pieces. I put a little water in the bottom of the slow cooker, turned it on low and let it sit for about 6 hours; it’s ready when the carrots are soft and the meat falls apart easy. I made mashed potatoes with red potatoes, clarified butter, and coconut milk and served the beef and carrots on top. The ultimate comfort meal.

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Week 2 Day 5

Breakfast: Egg whites (see this post for how I make eggs)

Lunch: Yellow squash noodles + beef

Dinner: Lunch leftovers

Squash is a great clean carb source and I love using it in place of pasta. It really does feel like a comfort food in the same way pasta does, but you can feel good about filling up on squash where pasta will probably just make you want to sleep. I used my biggest cast iron skillet and it made a ton so I ate a little for lunch and more for dinner.

I have this electric spiralizer that I found for five dollars! at Habitat for Humanity and it might be my favorite kitchen gadget ever. I spiralized two medium sized yellow squash while I browned about a pound of ground beef. I added salt & pepper, chopped garlic and onion, and when it was done cooking I drained any grease from the pan then added the squash and a full jar of this compliant pasta sauce from Aldi. Stir it all up, turn the heat down low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Week 2 Day 6

Breakfast: Eggs whites, potatoes, steak

Lunch: Snack

Dinner: Ruby Tuesday

My birthday! I really had to mentally prepare for this day because I’m the type who likes to celebrate hard- with treats. Cake, ice cream, WINE. But knowing ahead of time that I had to make good, clean choices made the day easier and I still felt fulfilled.

I had a huge breakfast of steak, egg whites and potatoes, a ton of protein and I definitely felt full for a long time after eating this. A good explanation why I only had a snack for lunch, and I knew I would be going out to dinner so I wanted to make sure I felt hungry before going to the restaurant. I spent the day looking up different menus so I could confidently order something Whole30 compliant, and found that Ruby Tuesday had the most options.

I ordered a small steak with a plain baked potato (I added salt, pepper, and hot sauce) and the salad bar. I had to ask for the steak to be cooked without butter as it was pictured on the menu; I always hate making special requests, but it was a small change and they didn’t seem to mind.  I loaded up on salad, went back for seconds, and even took a to-go box full of greens and veggies home! I was a little sad I had to skip the croutons because Ruby Tuesday has the best kind, but I had so many other good things on my plate I got over that pretty quickly.

I got a box of Lemon Bar Larabars as a gift, they taste JUST LIKE a normal sugar loaded lemon bar which amazes me! That was my celebratory treat and it was so incredibly satisfying. I’m not sure if this goes against Whole30 rules a little because they want you to try to stear away from celebrating with food, but I already felt like I had control over cravings and food intake so I didn’t feel like I would be tempted to fall off track. I also got two new Lodge cast iron pans, a 10-inch and a grill pan! Maybe I’m just easy to please, but I don’t need much to make me happy. I like to keep things low key these days, and my 4 year old was at Grammys house, so I took advantage of some peace and quiet and relaxed at home for the evening. I’m a big fan of staying in during Winter.

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-Cast iron love-

Week 3 Day 1

Breakfast: Egg whites

Lunch: Snack

Dinner: Chicken, veggies, mashed potatoes

Coconut milk and clarified butter are used to make these mashed potatoes and they taste just like any other mashed potato recipe! I don’t use exact amounts of either, I just add some butter then add milk until it is the thick and creamy texture I like and then I’ll sprinkle in pepper & garlic salt for extra flavor.

One product I frequently include in my diet, but might have to be checked for Whole30 compliance, is collagen powder. I heard of it through a couple different social media accounts that I follow, each saying how great it had been for their hair, skin, and nails so I was curious to try it out. My nails have always grown long, but I don’t think my hair has ever grown further than my collar bones…until I started adding collagen powder to my water and coffee. I’ve seen recipes for collagen smoothiesshakes, and juice but have yet to try any of those recipes for myself. I’m hooked on adding a scoop into a cup of coffee with a little almond or coconut milk, it tastes like a treat since I usually drink my coffee black. I’ve only tried thisbrand that I find at Marshall’s for ten dollars and it lasts me a couple months.

Week 3 Day 2

Breakfast: Egg whites, chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies

Lunch: Banana, almond butter

Dinner: Steak, egg whites, broccoli+cauliflower,  sliced potatoes

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love having leftover dinner for the next days breakfast, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE LEFTOVERS. I’m capable of being a morning person when I need to be, but if I can use a K-Cup in my Keurig and leftover food to eat as breakfast, I am much more likely to start my day off happy and motivated as opposed to if I had to actually do work to feed my body.

This was a very filling first meal so I had a small lunch, but was hungry again for a big meal at dinner time. Usually I will only buy steak if I find a good sale, but during my Whole30 was willing to spend slightly more on grocery food since I only went out to eat once the entire month; to me the spending kind of equals out. Also, frozen veggies are great if you’re pressed for time, I eat them plain or with salt&pepper and/or hot sauce.

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