Our family just went through the health program Whole30!!! If you’ve heard anything about it, it’s pretty shocking how many things considered daily staples cannot be included in the month’s meals. Nathan, Alexander and I had done a very strict Whole30 over a year ago, and we didn’t have a hard time. We were eating delicious food, bigger breakfasts than we ever had, more bacon, more guacamole, and lots of almond butter. Not bad. But this time around was exponentially harder.
To be fair, it was much easier in some ways (like menu planning or second guessing our food choices), but that everyone in the family was on the program, even the little ones, made it harder. Their cravings seemed more uncontrolled or at least they verbalized it more than any of us older ones would have admitted to. Everyone did excellent and enjoyed what we could eat for 25 days, and then mom made grilled cheese. I called it quits! They smelled the forbidden food from all over the house and came running to hug and kiss me for the gift of a little hot sandwich- hahaha!
Before I tell you how we dined for 25 days, I’ll go through the basic rules of the program: no real or artificial sweeteners (no honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.), no grains (corn, rice, sprouted grains, quinoa, etc.), no legumes (all kinds of beans, soy, peanuts, peas), no dairy (cow, goat, sheep), no preservatives/additives (msg, carrageenan, sulfites), no alcohol nor tobacco. Lastly, cannot consume baked goods, treats, or junk food even if it’s made with ingredients you can eat. The program is for a strict 30 days of no sneaking or skipping, or cheating. There are numerous benefits to completing the month, but primarily, the health program’s goal is to help you “slay the sugar dragon” and identify your food sensitivities or inflammation triggers. We involved the children this time around because we were curious if there would be any measurable improvement in their focus and cognition.
Two things helped us to be successful:
Incorporating all the meals we already eat and love that were compliant into the Whole30 menu. By planning meals we eat regularly instead of looking up all new ideas and recipes, we simplified mom’s menu planning and guaranteed we’d all enjoy the familiar foods.
Ketchup – yes! Expensive, compliant ketchup : )
fried eggs, scrambled, poached, or soft boiled eggs with sausage or bacon
sausage and potato breakfast casserole (shredded hash brown potatoes instead of squash)
eggs shakshuka (no jalapeno nor cheese)
hot dogs (compliant)
meatballs and marinara
burgers and potato wedges
baked salmon and roasted Brussel’s sprouts with bacon
baked lemon-herb chicken with mashed potatoes
baked pork chops and roasted asparagus bundles wrapped in bacon
sausages/brats (compliant) and coleslaw
meatloaf and sweet mashed potatoes
Quick sides to any meal or “desserts”:
all fresh fruits
fried apples (omitting the sugar, using coconut oil)
fried bananas (same way as the apples)
I hope our experience can be a help to you if your considering a journey like Whole30. We would recommended it, not to tell you it’s easy, but to tell you it’s worthwhile. Let us know if you have any questions!
with love. Damaris