Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Whole30 Review

So I first heard about Whole30 a year or so ago in an online fitness challenge group. At the time it seemed radical and impossible (especially since I was pregnant and the thought of healthy food made me queasy). But then, I saw another blogger do it. And then I heard a couple at church did it. I was coming out of the mommy fog, and needing to do something about that lingering pregnancy weight. I was also really tired of craving sweets ALL.THE.TIME.

So, I gave the website a browse. It didn't seem toooo hard. Another friend of mine said she wanted to join in, and John agreed to do it too. We both of course want to be healthy, but our main motivation was weight loss.

So I printed out their shopping list, took an afternoon and clarified butter, made mayo and ranch, and meal planned. All in all I probably put in 6 hours of prep time before we started, and about 2-3 hours grocery shopping at 2 stores.

I will be honest, it takes planning, cooking, and kitchen cleaning. You'll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I don't really mind cooking, so it isn't too bad. I also limited my involved recipes to only twice a week or so. I'm not spending 2 hours a day cooking and cleaning up.

Tonight is our last night of round one. We plan to take the weekend off, then start another round. I will say that I never really had withdrawal symptoms, and I also never really felt "Tiger's Blood" energy that some do. But, I am happy in knowing we are eating much much better food, and setting a better food example. I have lost 5.5 pounds and John has lost 15. Men! I was hoping for more dramatic loss, but, we probably ate more potatoes and bacon than we should have. We are going to try and be more conscientious about that next round.

These are the store bought foods we found essential:
Coconut Aminos (our Publix sells a brand, and it's available online too, used like Soy Sauce)
Coconut milk
Nuts roasted in approved oils (cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts)
Tomato paste, tomato sauce
Extra light olive oil (for making mayo)
Fruit for snacking
Almond butter
Apple juice (John used this to flavor his LaCroix seltzers)
Apple cider vinegar
Nutpods (a compliant coffee creamer sold on Amazon, for John, I don't drink coffee)
Unsweetened flake coconut (our Publix carried Bob's Red Mill brand)
Bacon (our local family owned butcher shop sells nitrate free uncured bacon)
Alexia brand hash browns (in the freezer section)
Sam's Choice Angus Beef Patties
Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausages (Publix)

And these are the recipes we tried and liked:
Mayo- I have an immersion blender which made it super easy. If you're freaked out by raw eggs, you can pasteurize them yourself on the stove, I did it for one batch)
Ranch Dressing
Ketchup (I actually combined the seasonings from this one and this one, and omitted the fish sauce, and added water til it got the consistency I wanted)
Marinara/Pasta Sauce (to make Spaghetti over Zoodles)
Turkey Sausage Patties
Paleo Breakfast Bowl
Smoky Sweet Potato Hash
Monkey Salad
Chicken Salad (I could eat gobs of this)
Meatloaf  (I did not make the gravy)
Rosemary Pork Burgers
Chocolate Chili
Hamburger Pie (I used some of the Alexia hashbrowns as a crust)
Garlic Ginger Chicken
Ground Beef and Brussel Sprouts (I added Coconut Aminos)
Apple Cider Vinegar Pork
Shepherd's Pie (I topped with potatoes instead of cauliflower and ground beef instead of lamb)
Mustard Balsamic Chicken
Pork Roast with Apples and Onions
Cracklin' Chicken
Zesty Chicken Bites
Chicken Fajita Bowls
Zucchini Sweet Potato Latkes
Lazy Sunday Pot Roast

Then we'd have dinner salads, chicken stir fry, taco salad, and John smoked a pork shoulder. During the work week we mostly had variations of scrambled eggs, or Monkey Salad. We do bigger cook breakfasts once a week on the weekends. I mostly made double batches of dinner so we could have it for lunch the next day. If I didn't we usually had a salad topped with protein, or a chicken sausage link. For out and about food, we made trail mix with our nuts and raisins. We would have three meals and usually one snack a day.

We didn't have the best Whole30 you can, we could eat more veggies and therefore less meat and potatoes, but we ate veggies at least once a day, and we had NO ADDED SUGARS! for 30 days!!!!!

I also thought these 3 sites had lots of good Whole30 resources
Also want to point out that you really have to read labels- things you think would be approved, sometimes aren't. When 70% of manufactured foods have added sugar, it can be pretty hard to avoid and pop-up in places you don't think of!