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Whole 30 tips and tricks

This is the post excerpt.

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Soooo….my first post!

I’m on day 27 of whole 30 and I can’t say how helpful all the resources online have been for me. So I thought I’d make a post about how I made my whole 30 experience not only bearable but actually enjoyable….and pay it forward! The first few days were fun then the dreaded slump of week 2 and the monotony kicked in! But I realized in week 2 I could be putting a little more effort into my food and surprisingly just that small bit of effort paid off and things started to get yummy! I will also say that I did a few things that may be regarded as “semi” compliant. Not in the ingredients but in the preparation…did someone say frozen banana?! Lol

But seriously I weighed it out in my head…do I have a chip problem? A soda problem? No. so why not buy a bag of olive oil potato chips just in case when I can compliantly have an rx bar? Or add a couple dates to an unsweetened carton of creamer when they say it’s cool to have ketchup sweetened with dates?! Having coffee in the morning is truly one of the funnest and most peaceful moments of my day!

So obviously it’s a personal choice of how far you want to take it. I can say I didn’t eat a single uncompliant ingredient the whole month. I feel amazing, I lost weight, my skin looks great and my emotional health is great! I also don’t feel the need for sweets after every meal! So read away for some “totally compliant” tips and some “semi” ones ūüôā ¬†Let’s walk through a day!

Click here if you’re not a big reader and don’t want to be gloriously entertained for the next 5-7 mins and just want the list of stuff to buy!¬†

Black coffee? No thank you.

So thanks to another whole 30-er online I was able come across a decent coffee creamer. I usually use califia brand barista blend almond milk for creamer which has cane sugar-it’s about as sweet as milk or cream and I don’t add sugar to my coffee. But they have an awesome unsweetened creamer made with almond and coconut milk called better half


Yup that’s it ūüôā but I have to say it’s not that yummy…I figured I can make ketchup with dates so why not add a couple to this. 2 medjool dates (don’t forget to take the pits out!), a full container in the vitamix and a funnel to get it back in the box later and wowsers!!! I hit the jackpot! Whiz it for a while, take out one serving for your first coffee (otherwise it can overflow with the new foam and dates added) and enjoy! FYI there’s quite a bit of foam the first time u do it!! Added bonus for that first cup! I’m high on coffee right now!!!

Breakfast

I have to say I was lucky enough to have an organic market open near my house. I mean really lucky! For years Walgreens was the closest store…yug! I could not have made it through without the ease of making breakfast. If you are like me then a traditional breakfast doesn’t really get boring. I probably ate this exact breakfast almost every day of the whole 30. There are only a few bacon brands that are paleo-most are cured with sugar. But wow I can’t tell the difference with this one!

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And these frozen potatoes

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They don’t have oil so I fried it in the bacon fat if there was enough of it or used some macadamia oil or even yummier…ghee. ¬†I added frozen greens from Costco to the potatoes.

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This is what one of the inner bags looks like the outside bag in the freezer at Costco has a colored depiction of the greens. I can’t say enough about the greens I add them to everything and they taste awesome! Alternately I will make a bunch of baked potatoes in the toaster and keep them in the fridge and cut them up for breakfast potatoes with some minced onion. The resistant starch in the cooled and reheated potatoes make them even healthier and I must say they are much more delicious that way. So (minus an egg I fry at the end) this is what breakfast looks like!

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Confession: I’m really a two mealer/day with snacks so this was really lunch most days!! So I sadly don’t have a ton of lunch ideas but dinner and lunch are pretty interchangeable on this program ūüôā

Snacks anyone?

This was by far the most yummy snack I made while doing whole 30…ants on a log. My beloved school lunch hero pulled it through again on whole 30. I substituted almond butter for peanut butter.

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Since I mentioned them before they are definitely worth an actual post…the rx bar-best flavors are blueberry and chocolate sea salt. I found these a little later in the game and they were a game changer!!! If I was in a hurry and starving they bailed me out!!!

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Ok so I know it’s super simple but worth mentioning cause this brand of frozen blueberries is like dessert. They like freeze the large and super yummy ones! I would eat them at night-frozen of course! They do make u look like u drank a bottle of wine tho lolimg_5387

I am also guilty of¬†whizzing a very ripe frozen banana in the vitamix sometimes with frozen peaches and some unsweetened compliant almond milk…this one is full of fat and doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor

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The potato chips. For the first week I didn’t have them but pre knowing about rx bars I found myself in a bind and in a hurry and I picked up some avocado oil potato chips from Kettle brand. They were ok…not amazing but I made a decision I was gonna let myself eat them cause I don’t have a chip problem and don’t overeat them. I don’t feel that they in any way hindered my experience doing whole 30 but this is a personal decision and I think if I was a chip addict I would have steered clear.

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Another snack I had was carrots and celery sticks with ranch dressing but in order to make ranch dressing you need the best mayo recipe ever which I will get into in the condiments section following meals.

Meals!

Ok so I’ve been holding off on writing this section cause there’s a LOT of info!

SAUSAGES

One of the most convenient ways to fit protein into a meal is with sausages. ¬†I found 3 compliant ones that are downright DELICIOUS. ¬†The thuringer sausage from teton waters ranch is maybe one of the yummiest sausages I’ve ever eaten. ¬†It’s like the best frank on steroids! ¬†I would just fry it in a pan and eat it with some saurkraut and mustard. ¬†Next best is the Taveritte’s Make It Italian sausage. ¬†I would cut up some already cooked white potato and saute the cut up sausage with onion and tomato and season it. I would also roast some spaghetti squash and add some garlic, salt, parsley and ghee to make it like a yummy pasta and put the “sauce” on top. ¬† I can’t describle how good this was. ¬†I would ALWAYS smash on the leftovers. ¬†And finally, aidells chicken apple sausage you can get in a bulk pack from costco. ¬†They are a little on the sweet side but super yum and a great breakfast sausage in my opinion. ¬†I would cut these up into tiny pieces and make a hash out of them for breakfast. ¬†Also just good with mustard. ¬†GREAT

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WINGS

Wings became a staple dinner option cause despite the intimidation factor they are actually one of the easiest and most satisfying things to make. ¬†Start off by getting some wings (this recipe is for a package of 14), i wash mine to get off any slime, throw them wet into a large ziploc, add a tbs or so of olive oil (or any compliant oil) and shake so the oil is coating the wings. ¬†Then put a few tbs of the ranch seasoning on it (see below ranch mix link-very easy to make and keep on hand) and mush around to get the wings coated. ¬†I let mine sit a few hours until dinner that way but I also did it right before making without marinating and it was still great. ¬†Put the wings on some tin foil or baking tray of your liking (if you have a wire rack to cook on with something that catches juices that is preferable but I don’t and they came out just fine. ¬†Bake for about 15-20 mins on 400 or until you see them browning. ¬†Then with tongs flip them and put back in over for about another 7-10 mins until the other side browns. ¬†In a large mixing bowl which can stand heat put in a couple tbs of ghee and double the amount of franks. ¬†I usually ended up with 2tbs ghee and 4 tbs franks (this isn’t an exact science and really any amount in that ballpark will do). ¬†Put the bowl on top of the oven (not near any open flames) so that the ghee melts. ¬†You can also just melt on the stove top in a sauce pan over flame I just didn’t to save washing an extra dish. ¬†When the wings are done put them in the bowl and toss so they are evenly coated and serve…so yummy!!! ¬†I also made some homemade ranch dressing (see how to make below) with carrots and celery sticks and also would make some duck fat fries with it.

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pic 1 marinated uncooked wings pic 2 sauce mixture before melted down pic 3 ready to roll

DUCK FAT FRIES

there really is a reason why the French use duck fat to make their potatoes. ¬†Keeping a bag of potatoes on hand and always having some baked and cooled in the fridge was essential to always having some carbs handy. ¬†I also got yams (try out all the varieties cause different colored ones are more delicious depending on the time of year and also the area). ¬†I was lucky enough to have a chinese market nearby and tried some Japanese purple yam (with white skin) and they were delectable. ¬†But I digress…back to duck fat fries!! ¬†So simple-you can buy duck fat now pretty easily online or in whole foods. ¬†Put a couple tbs in a pan and heat. ¬†Cut up some already cooked baked potatoes in whatever fashion you like. ¬†Cook over medium heat until brown and then flip. ¬†Then salt. ¬†Yum.

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH “PASTA”

Another staple was buying different types of squash all the time, cutting in half and just putting in the oven for 45 mins. ¬†So easy and great to have on hand. ¬†Spaghetti squash really can be a great substitute during the whole 30 for the real thing. ¬†For the sauce, saute some onions in a pan with a little olive oil. ¬†Add a fresh tomato or 2, and cut up a one of those taveritte italian sausages. ¬†I also cut up a cooked baked potato (i know its weird but it makes it so yummy). ¬†Add any italian spices you may like like oregano, garlic powder, etc and cook for about 10-15 minutes. ¬†You can add a little water if it gets too dry but you just want the tomatoes to cook. ¬†This isn’t really a sauce but it’s so flavorful that it kind of becomes one. ¬†Take the already cooked spaghetti squash and mix ghee, some garlic powder and parsley into. ¬†Serve with the sauce on top and sprinkle with almond meal as fake parmesan. ¬†Fantastic!

SHEPHERD’S PIE

There’s a big thank you to my friend todd on this one. ¬†He introduced me to it and he tweaked the recipe. ¬†Here’s a link to the recipe. ¬†Instead of using turmeric he used cumin and it was so delicious. ¬†I also substituted the peas for cut up green beans as they aren’t allowed on whole 30. ¬†I played around a lot with different vegetable options and you pretty much can’t go wrong adding any greens or other vegetable. ¬†I also used cooked acorn squash I had on hand instead of pumpkin and that came out great. ¬†Just make sure you use enough salt. ¬†This is a crowd pleaser and great if you are having company or have a bunch of mouths to feed. ¬†Here’s the link. ¬†Thanks todd (and gina from so…let’s hang out : )

paleo curried shepherd’s pie recipe

BURGERS

Just a quick mention for the frozen grass fed organic burgers from Costco.  They are already cooked and if you are in a bind they make a great quick meal with a potato and veg.
Condiments and beverages

Ok so I could not do without a few VERY important items that I made myself. Mayonnaise and ketchup. I searched for and found some awesome recipes

Whole 30 mayo

Very important to use the Felippo Berio brand olive oil.  Came out perfect using the whipping attachment on my ancient food processor.

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Whole 30 ketchup

I’d use a little less cayenne unless you like a bit of a kick!

Ranch mix

Wish I had made the ranch mix sooner…it’s so versatile and flavorful. I even used it to marinate lamb chops which came out phenomenally good!

I also made ranch dressing by mixing in some ranch mix with the mayo and adding the unsweetened almond milk until it was the right consistency. You would never believe it was nondairy!

“Parmesan cheese” this one came thanks to my friend Todd’s brother Tory who told me to use almond flour in place of Parmesan for texture. I tried that but added a nice bit of salt and even a little garlic powder. Confession-I actually put some spoonfuls of this directly into my gob!

I also used some store bought condiments which were immensely helpful. I got franks on amazon and the aminos in the health food store. The aminos are kind of sweet and taste a bit like teriyaki. I made mostly greens with them but I’m sure marinating meat in it would also be pretty yummy if you are missing a sweet kind of marinade.

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Another must mention is this brand of ghee. It literally tastes like caramel without the sugar.

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I got a super big one on Amazon and wish I would have had it the whole time…the ghee I got before just wasn’t anything special.

Which brings me to drinks. My go to beverage for all of whole 30 was seltzer with a little tangerine or orange juice. The juice is so sweet that you need just a little to flavor the sparkling water. Like 1/4 or 1/5 of the glass. My favorite kombucha has added sugar in the ingredients and I’m not a huge fan of gt’s so making the “soda” was a game changer. Later on I also got Concord grape juice and did the same thing. So sweet you just need a little and it’s truly amazing!!!!!! I love grape soda!! I also drank coconut water-harmless harvest is the best but it’s quite expensive. They have it at Costco tho and it’s a little less expensive there. It’s really a treat and so refreshing and delicious.

So, there you go….

I hope my experience was helpful for you and can make your experience easier and more enjoyable. ¬†I am just now finishing this post a couple months after starting it (i know i’m a slacker) but it’s here!! ¬†And I still continue to use the recipes from my whole 30 experience. ¬†I try to eat whole 30 (just not as strict) at home and I am much healthier for it. ¬†Happy new year….bon voyage!!!!!!

shana : )

whole 30 tips and tricks shopping list

COSTCO

frozen cooked grassfed burgers
tommy’s super greens (frozen)
frozen smoothie packs with kale and berries
aidell’s chicken and apple sausage
also take advantage of their fresh meat there…they do have some organic and grassfed options

HEALTH FOOD STORE OR SUPERMARKET

meat
chicken wings
taveritte’s italian sausages
teton waters ranch thuringer sausage
pederson’s whole 30 approved bacon

produce/dairy
bananas-let ripen for freezing
bag of potatoes
sweet potatoes and yams
onions
celery
tomato
carrots
spaghetti, acorn, butternut kabocha squash
pastured eggs
califia better half unsweetened creamer
New barn unsweetened almond milk
sauerkraut

beverages
seltzer
concord grape juice
orange or tangerine juice
gt’s kombucha
coconut water

frozen
stahlbush farms frozen blueberries (the best of the best ūüôā
cascadian farms frozen country style potatoes

dry items
boulder canyon olive oil chips
rx bars
dates-medjool are best but make sure to take pits out for creamer
raisins
almond butter

spices/condiments
spices for ranch mix (garlic powder, onion powder, dried minced onion, parsley, salt, pepper)
ground mustard for mayo
almond flour (for parmesan)
ketchup-additional ingredients needed (1 6oz can tomato paste, 1 14 oz can diced tomato, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, bone broth-i got frozen at my health food store but epic also makes now in refrigerated section)

AMAZON (check market they may have these but i had to order here)

ancient organics ghee
Felippo Berio extra light olive oil
frank’s original hot sauce
duck fat
coconut aminos

this list does not include the items needed for the shepherds pie cause it’s a little involved and you can take a look at the recipe to make that as a special item.