Sunday, January 4, 2015

Whole30: The First Few Days + A Recipe

We're now on day three of the Whole30--or four if you started on Jan. 1--and so far things are going well! Like last time, I think my body is skipping the "hangover" phase of the Whole30 timeline. I haven't noticed any headaches and have been feeling great, so I'm thankful. I'd be fine with skipping "kill all the things" but let's be honest, that's probably not going to happen.

If you're looking for an exercise routine, check out Buzzfeed's Get Fit Challenge, an option Nick discovered the other day. It technically starts tomorrow, as today was a rest day, so you haven't missed anything. I'm thinking about doing at least parts of it with him, interspersed with Zumba. Let me know if you're going to do it too!

Meals + Tips

As for meals, here's what we've been having so far.

Day 1, breakfast: Eggs scrambled with clarified butter, and black tea to drink.

Day 1, lunch: Taco lettuce wraps--ground beef seasoned with homemade taco seasoning--with guacamole and sliced scallions and tomatoes. For a side we had carrots and more guac.

Day 1, dinner: Hamburger patties prepared with freshly crushed garlic cloves, onion powder, salt and pepper and cooked over charcoal. We had sliced avocado and oven-baked potato bites (recipe below) as sides, and topped them with some homemade ketchup.

Day 2, breakfast: Eggs scrambled with clarified butter, clementines, and black tea with fruit.

Day 2, lunch: Leftover taco meat over leftover potato bites with sliced avocado.

Day 2, dinner: Homemade chicken and vegetable soup and all-natural apple sauce.

Day 3, breakfast: Eggs scrambled with clarified butter, clementines, and green tea with fruit.

Day 3, lunch: Chipotle's chicken salad with pico de gallo and guacamole.

When you're making food for the Whole30, my advice is to make enough for several meals, keeping leftovers for the days when you don't have much time or motivation to cook. Tonight we'll be having some of the soup we made yesterday since we tripled the recipe, which will help since our Sunday evenings are full with youth activities. Knowing you have to make food from scratch for every meal can be daunting, but you can help yourself out and make some extra.

Cravings + Tips

Cravings are an inevitable part of the Whole30, and honestly one of the hardest parts. I'm not really looking forward to those days when all I want is something I can't have, like chocolate, or cereal, or bread. But I think there are a few ways we can all do ourselves a favor and combat cravings at the source, in our minds.

1. Don't dwell on it. When you start to crave something, you have two options. You can keep thinking about it, wishing for it, and feeling sorry for yourself that you can't have it. Or, you can redirect your thoughts to something else and focus on that. If all you focus on is what you can't have, you'll essentially torture yourself, only making things harder. My advice is to not allow yourself to go there. Don't think about the flavor, don't visualize yourself eating it, don't keep thinking about how much you want it. Just don't go there.

2. Visualize it. If you can't stop yourself from thinking about the bad food you can't have, visualize what that food is made up of. Be honest with yourself, bad food is made up of crap. Crap that isn't doing your body any good, like toxic sludge working its way through your body. Re-associating food with what it really is, bad junk clogging your system, will help you want the healthier choices of the Whole30. Think about those options for what they are, good, wholesome, nutrient-rich foods that are doing your body a whole lot of good.

3. Practice mental coaching. A lot of the struggle of the Whole30 is in our minds. It's not hard to eat well, it's not hard to cut out a food group for a month. We have access to the food items we need, we have the physical ability to choose what we can have over what we can't have. The hardest struggle is inside the mind, where we think we need something just because we want it. Work on mentally coaching yourself through the process of the Whole30. Tell yourself the truth, that you will have cravings, it will be difficult, but you are strong, you can do it, it's good for your body. You'll need mental toughness to do it, but mental toughness is something you can have, you just have to coach yourself through it.

What do you to to help yourself through the tough days of the Whole30? What meals have you been enjoying? How is the process going so far? Share your tips, recipes, and experiences in the comments. I'm always looking for new recipes to add to my Whole30 Pinterest board, so please pass along your favorites!

Oven-Baked Potato Bites
- Four small baking potatoes
- 1 Tblsp olive oil or melted clarified butter
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Scrub potatoes thoroughly, then cut each potato lengthwise into 8 slices, then dice each slice into bite-size pieces.
3. In a bowl combine oil and herbs/spices. Stir potatoes into the mixture.
4. Arrange potatoes on a baking pan (approx. 11 x 7 x 1/2 inches) and bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Best served hot.

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