Happy Hump Day! Sadly, I have been hit by the bug that seems to be plaguing everyone I know & it is BRUTAL!!! Being sick in general sucks but getting back into the swing of a healthy routine and hitting a road block right away is doubly disappointing! I am super grateful for my husband who is taking amazing care of me, my students/clients who’ve been very understanding, my fellow teachers for volunteering help & shifting schedules around, and of course, for my little cuddle companion as I recover! BEFORE I got sick, we had some friends over for dinner. Entertaining is up there on the list of my favorite things & it’s an added bonus when there are dietary restrictions I have to cook around. As a health coach I love when people take steps to better their health through food, and Whole 30 is an awesome way to do that. My friends are trying Whole 30 to kick off the new year and see if it is a lifestyle change that works for them. If you’re not familiar with Whole 30 it is a program that helps people get back to eating cleaner. Below is a break down of the rules pulled directly from their site.
The Whole30 Program Rules
- Yes: Eat real food.
- Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.
- No: Avoid for 30 days.
- Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
- Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results. These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.
It was really fun to cook a clean meal for friends and remind myself of how much of these ‘NO’ foods I tend to eat. We started with some Za’atar spiced crudite, spicy dehydrated kale, & a strawberry lime mocktail. Dinner was citrus & herb poached salmon, vinegar dressed greens, & roasted delicata squash w/coconut gremolata. We finished with some subtly sweet pears that were perfectly ripe & an incredible way to round out our healthy meal! I wish I had taken some photos but I did manage to snag a few while I prepped.
There are so many way to get creative with fruits & vegetables! They don’t have to be boring, bland, or basic!! While I do think Whole 30 is awesome, it is not a diet I follow. There are plenty of foods on the ‘No’ list that I find to be perfectly healthy but there is something to be said for removing anything that could cause irritation, inflammation, or stress for the digestive system. After 30 days you can start adding things back in slowly and see if anything bothers you/makes you feel lethargic, bloated, or headachy. If you ‘react’ after adding things back, it could be a sign you’re allergic or sensitive to that particular food….something to think about considering millions of us suffer from food sensitivities and don’t even realize it.
’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂