On May 31st, we started our fourth round of whole30, essentially a 30 day long reset with a focus on stripping unhealthy eating habits and allowing you to find what feels good for your body by eliminating all sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol and processed foods. I won't lie, it is incredibly challenging, doubly so if you've got kids - every non-complaint, sugar-laden thing they eat in front of you will be a test of sheer willpower for you (e.g. when your toddler asks for weekend pancakes and you have to make them, drizzle maple syrup on them and watch him eat them). We have always loved the way we felt at the end of whole30 - lighter, less fatigue, less bloated, better digestion, less mood swings etc, and we often do it once or twice a year when we've been a little excessive and feel we need a reset.
If you're just starting whole30, it can all feel a little... daunting. You'll find that you're reading every label and googling every "is ___ allowed on whole30", scouring the internet for recipes etc. The one thing that has helped us the most is meal planning. This last whole30, I planned our dinners for the entire month at one go; previously, I'd do one week at a time. These meal plans are, of course, flexible depending on what's available at the supermarket, if i have stuff in the fridge that needs using up or if we have something in particular we want to have.
Here are some of our favourite Whole30 recipes that we've used every time:
Slowcooked Kalua Pig, so easy and delicious. We always make an extra portion, throw it into the slow cooker in the morning and voila, dinner at night in lettuce wraps or with a side of roasted veg.
Damn Fine Chicken, so good and easy to make. We usually serve with caulirice or roasted vegetables.
Chile Lime Wings, we make these without the jalapenos so the kids can have them too. You can also make them using chicken thighs instead of wings. We usually serve with a side of potato salad and coleslaw or with crudites dipped in dump ranch.
Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps, easy enough to make without a recipe. Sautee diced onions and diced veg of your choice (pumpkin, tomatoes, zucchini etc), cook till soft, add ground beef into the pan with a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. We top with guacamole, shredded carrots or salsa.
Cauliflower Fried Rice, we usually make this with leftovers we've gathered over the week. Sautee diced vegetables in a pan until soft, add chicken and caulirice. Done! Serve topped with a fried egg if you like!
Scotch eggs, these are an easy make ahead. I usually make a whole batch at a time and freeze them for later. As a meal, serve on top of salad or a side of your fancy. I also use these as a quick breakfast or snack if I'm in a pinch.
Balsamic Steak with Chimichurri, an easy way to jazz up a steak. Chimichurri is a great way to use up leftover herbs (as is pesto!), sometimes we make this with half coriander and half parsley.
Shakshuka, always a crowd pleaser. We make this for dinner or for weekend brunch for a little something fancy!
Oven-Baked Ribs, for whole30, leave out the coconut sugar. We serve with homemade apple, carrot and red cabbage slaw.
Shepherd's Pie. Sautee ground beef with diced onions and vegetables in a pan, put in casserole dish and top with mashed sweet potato or potato (we make our mash with ghee and coconut/almond milk).
Cracklin' Chicken, this is Steve's speciality. He'll make this once every whole30, it is SO good. A little tip, keep the chicken bones to make some chicken stock for soup!
Whole30 Compliant Mayo, this mayo is life-changing. I had never made mayo before this and will now never go back to store bought mayo. If you have an immersion blender, this is the easiest thing to make. We use it for everything, as dip for sweet potato fries, in chicken/tuna or potato salad and as a base for other dips like ranch.
Dump ranch, make it, you won't regret it. That's all.
Lettuce Burgers, when you feel like a burger without the big burger bloat after. You can jazz it up with some tomato/sundried tomato, sliced avocado or guacamole, a fried egg, sautéed mushrooms or compliant bacon. We usually serve with a side of slaw, potato salad or baked sweet potato fries.
Sausage Kale Sweet Potato Soup, so easy and hearty. Make sure you're using compliant sausage and stock (better yet, you can make your own easily with leftover bones and vegetables). You can also substitute the sweet potato for another starchy vegetable, like white potatoes, pumpkin or butternut squash.
Chicken Salad. We make one similar to this recipe for an easy, tasty lunch with leftover chicken from dinner or you can also substitute the chicken for canned tuna for an equally delicious salad. You can add anything you like to it, our favourite things to zest this salad up are diced avocado, apple, beetroot, cucumber or olives.
I hope this list of recipes help you through planning for whole30. There are also a multitude of recipes on pinterest and online if you're looking for more inspiration. I've found that keeping food and recipes fairly simple on whole30 is a good strategy for us, we will sometimes try a new recipe and if it requires too many ingredients or too much time, we'll avoid it the next time around. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Good luck, and you can do it!