Bye Bye Whole30

Have you ever had that workout that you are SO ready for and then you get there and your body just won’t cooperate? That’s what happened to me tonight. I was looking forward to my barre class all day and then I get there and it felt like every muscle in my body was so tight and sore already and we were just in the warm up.

Needless to say I was ready for a great meal for dinner tonight and got it with minimal work due to my meal prep on Sunday. That is the first thing I have to say about Whole30. The more you plan the easier it will be. The first two weeks I was making meals each weeknight for dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day and that takes some work. Meal prepping at least the basics made the last two weeks so easy!

The second takeaway from my last month is how well rested I am. I have even woken up early a few Saturday morning’s to workout which is nearly unheard of for me. I don’t feel weighed down by alcohol or processed foods as I have previously.

The third and final big takeaway is the best in my book. Since about the second week of Whole30 when I had started to really feel the effects of not consuming anything processed, all of my health issues have gone away. Previously, I would slip up at least 3 times a month with food which led to some serious pain and general discomfort. With Whole30 I haven’t felt that once.

Whole30 is an awesome way to kickstart your bodies reset. I can definitely see why people try out this lifestyle change but I cannot see it long term. One reason for that is the inability to recreate something you love (i.e. taco’s or rice) in a Whole30 approved fashion. That is why I am excited for Paleo…well that and getting to use natural sweeteners again ūüôā

Keep an eye out for my first post of ¬†April to kick off my Paleo month! Before I completely say goodbye to Whole30 though I did want to pass along one more recipe that I fell in love with this month, stuffed poblano peppers. If you can’t find poblano’s just use regular bell peppers and add a jalapeno!

Let me know how you felt after completing Whole30 or if you have any questions about getting started!

-Katie

Breakfast Sweet Potato

So far this blog has predominantly focused on meals for later in the day. That is all about to change with this amazing breakfast sweet potato. Prior to Whole30 my breakfasts were normally yogurt or overnight oats. I did not mind switching to eggs and getting to experiment with different varieties but nearing the end of my Whole30 month I wanted something different.

I feel like I have to throw it out there that I am a sweet potato traditionalist. By this I mean I enjoy my sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, and cheese. Very occasionally I will accept them in chip or fry form so the idea of having one for breakfast was crazy! Yet, this month, and year for that matter, is all about stepping out of my norm with food. That being said I still wanted some old reliable flavors for my first step out of bounds. Thank goodness for sunflower butter and chia seeds. All of these ingredients individually are stars but together…Oh My Gosh. It was amazing. This can be eaten as a gooey sandwich on the go or with a fork if you have some more time. This morning I preferred to savor it and may or may not have licked the plate.

This is a slightly lengthier breakfast process than I am used to. Since this post took me two days to write I was able to try baking a sweet potato overnight, wrapping it in foil, then applying the sunflower butter and chia seeds in the morning and warming it up in the microwave. Clearly it was still delicious because I remembered I was supposed to take a picture post-first bite. Honestly, I was on cloud 9 and contentedly full after eating it both mornings so I am counting that as a double win. No need for that mid morning snack attack.

Ingredients:

1 Sweet Potato or Yam

1 tbsp Nut Butter of Your Choice (Sunflower and  Almond are my preferred)

A Generous Sprinkle of Chia Seeds

Let me know if you try this out and what you think! I can promise you will not be disappointed.

-Katie

The Day With No Fruit

I cannot believe I am about to say this but I am breaking up with fruit!

Sounds crazy right? But I have fallen into what I can only refer to as a Whole30 induced fruit overload. I know, I know I am only supposed to be eating fruit in moderation but occasionally I forget to pack food for the office. When this happens I am left with processed snacks, bread, or fruit. Let’s just consider the blood orange the gateway fruit because after I had one for a quick breakfast last week I couldn’t stop. I ended up buying predominantly fruits on my Sunday grocery trip and I kid you not had fruit for 3/4 of my day on Monday.

To some this may sound like a dream day but around 2pm when I started to feel sick I was not a fan. I realized I had absentmindedly replaced my snacks for the past week with fruits and then my breakfasts. While I can confidently say I have avoided scurvy for another year (pirate humor) I had also not eaten an egg or anything green in days!

That is where Whole30 is actually a blessing. I knew instantly what was making me feel not my best. Instead of wondering what was in the food I just consumed or any number  of other concerns prior to this month I was able to easily pinpoint where I had taken a wrong turn.

That being said I knew it was time for a break. This weekend I had the most amazing Cajun sweet potato wedges from Whole Foods so I knew I wanted to incorporate some of that flavor into a meal. Additionally, I have been musing about blackening spices for a while so why not combine the two?!

This salmon recipe is the love child result. I was honestly surprised how simple and quick this recipe came together, one pan people! The flavors were delicious together and definitely reminded me what I had been missing. With my sweet tooth curbed for the time being I am excited to get back on track with more vegetable and protein, read: well rounded, recipes to finish out my month of Whole30.

Blackened Salmon and Mixed Spiced Vegetables

Super quick, super easy weeknight meal

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 18m
  • Total Time: 25m
  • Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Salmon Filet
  • 1 1/2 Zucchini/Squash
  • 1 cup Baby Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Blackening Spice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Pat dry salmon filet and drizzle lightly with oil then spread blackening spices patting into the salmon
  3. Slice zucchini into 1/4-1/2in slices and then in half and halve tomatoes
  4. Mix together paprika, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper and coat vegetables
  5. Assemble vegetables and salmon on one sprayed baking dish
  6. Bake for 16-18 minutes
  7. Enjoy!

Have you fallen into a similar situation with Whole30 or other diet changes? I would love to hear how you realized it and corrected!

-Katie

Beets Me

Hi Friends!

It is almost the weekend and a cold but beautiful day here. This week has been all about experimenting with Whole30 recipes. For me this process has been a blast. I have always tried to eat pretty clean but living without the staples of brown rice and natural sweeteners like honey has forced me to think outside the box.

I was previously under the impression I did NOT like fruit on salad but with one of this weeks creations I am starting to change my mind. The weather being constantly in flux has me thinking spring salads while still craving the warmth of potatoes and more cold weather, hearty vegetables. I am a huge fan of beets but wanted to give them a Spring twist. Citrus seemed like the perfect outlet for this. We have had a lot of blood oranges around the office lately and I love their not so sweet flavor and hoped that, as well as, the slightly darker color would compliment the beets.

The recipe is below but I also wanted to highlight other ways to eat beets. They are seriously underrated. Don’t be scared to try them and experiment! If you do not love them in their standard beet salad¬†form, try the handheld¬†version, have them as chips, even mix up the colors!

Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

Perfect Winter-Spring recipe

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 55m

Ingredients

  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 beets
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. If beets are not cubed, cut them into cubes and put on non stick or sprayed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted into the beets
  4. Zest and peel the orange and separate into segments
  5. Combine olive oil (or avocado oil), the zest of the orange, juice of the lemon, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. This can be altered to your taste. Should be sweet but not overly sweet.
  6. Separate the spinach, orange segments, and chopped walnuts between 2 plates. When the beets are done separate between two plates (will probably have some left over), pour dressing on top, and enjoy!

Let me know which beet recipe you try or if you have a favorite I didn’t mention!

-Katie

Straight Kale Homie

This month I have decided to try Whole30. Since I have been traveling most weeks and weekends for the past two months I have not been eating as well as I want to. For me not eating well leads down a dark and tumultuous road of health issues, as well as, a little less tone than I prefer on my 5″3 frame.

Today is also the first day of March! We are closing in on the first day of Spring and this has me seeing green. I wanted to create a Power Bowl to reflect my change in lifestyle and the changing season and this bowl does the trick.

This bowl combines my newfound enjoyment of zoodles with garlicky kale, butternut squash, and lemony roasted chicken. It is flavorful, healthy, and mega-green. For those other Whole30-er’s out there add an egg to this and call it breakfast!
Kale to me is a completely versatile food that you can eat as a salad, chip, topping, or side dish. I have collaborated with Iris-and-Oak to spotlight this powerhouse vegetable. The tank top we created is reminiscent of an Ohio University shuffle I loved with a foodie twist. Wear it with pride as you create this or your own kale-centric  power bowls.
Let me know which other ways you incorporate this vegetable into your life.

Garlicky Kale and Zoodle Power Bowl

Light and  flavorful and will keep you full all day

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 40m

Ingredients

  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 package tuscan kale
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cube butternut squash, season with salt and pepper
  3. pat dry chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, and add a slice of lemon on top of each thigh
  4. Add chicken thighs and butternut squash to a pan and lightly coat with a tablespoon olive oil
  5. Bake for 30 minutes
  6. While they are baking spiralize zucchini into noodles
  7. add half an avocado, one tablespoon of avocado oil, juice from half a lemon, and salt and pepper to a bowl and mix
  8. Once the avocado dressing is a smooth consistency add the zoodles and mix to coat fully
  9. Heat a pan on medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil
  10. mince three cloves of garlic and add them to the heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  11. add the kale leaves and a little more olive oil, mix the leaves and the garlic and cover for 3-5 minutes until kale is wilted. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes here (optional)
  12. The chicken and squash should be done at this point. Separate ingredients into bowls and Enjoy!
-Katie