Happy New Year! Wow, another year has come and gone! This past year has been so incredibly life changing for me and my husband. We gave birth to the most amazing little gift – our daughter, Elena. She has changed our lives and challenged us in so many ways. She has taught us patience, perseverance, how to be more compassionate, how to love a little deeper, and how to not sweat the small stuff. I suppose having a child makes you feel like you can tackle anything. It gives you the mentality that because you birthed a human you can do anything. It truly is an incredible feeling. I don’t know if I would have been ready to embark on a Whole30 journey if I had not pushed myself in a way that I had never done in my entire life by having a baby. I have evolved so much as a person since I have entered motherhood. I know the next 30 days might bring challenge, but we will tackle it and see it through to the end!
Day one has come and I realized that I am so used to grazing during the day since I am nursing mother. I like to have little nibbles of things here and there between meals. Today was different though. It was a busy day and lunch was missed, though we ate a late breakfast. Dinner wasn’t until 5ish so I grazed on some raw veggies to hold me through. I had never realized how GOOD raw veggies are. Seriously, this is like a little epiphany for me. I am a saucy girl… I love my sauce! Sauce on my meats, dressings on my salads, sauce on everything. Well no sauce today. The Whole30 approved mayo I ordered has yet to arrive in the mail so I haven’t been able to make my Dump Ranch this week (find the recipe here). Next time you are confronted with a plate of veggies and dip, just try the veggies. I’m telling you, you will be surprised with the complexity of flavors they hold.
Speaking of Whole30 approved, one of the things I wanted to share in this post was some of the food I bought to prepare for my first Whole30. After going through our fridge and cupboards I realized that there is a lot of junk in our foods. Stuff I thought was junk free, was not. Our vinegar had sulfites, our mayo had sugar (even though it was a natural sweetener, honey, it is still not Whole30 approved), our ketchup was way off the charts with junk, and even our dijon had extra additives. I also looked at the ingredients on our bacon and smoked hams- all had sugar (Noooooo!). How could I possibly live without bacon? So that was a little discouraging for me. All of these staples in my diet I already had to find alternatives for, or I would have to live without them for 3o days. So the hunt began and I managed to find quite a bit. I would type in my questions on google and it would direct me to the Whole30 forums. Those were so helpful! I also reached out to someone I know who is a Whole30 alumni and asked about the bacon. Because I could not find sugar free bacon ANYWHERE! She saved the day and told me she found one at Costco of all places! Thank God our Costco carried it… because really…30 days no bacon. Come on.
I also made a trip to Trader Joe’s and found a plethora of Whole30 approved items. It took a little extra reading and preparing but we were able to stock up on quite a bit!
So in this photo you will see all sorts of goodies! Not all are from Trader Joe’s but most of them are. For one we have our fresh basil and parsley (can’t live without that!). The basil from there lasts a good couple of weeks if you keep it watered. Store bought packaged basil is about the same price and will not last nearly as long. I also picked up a couple boxes of Hearty Vegetable Broth from Trader Joe’s. Finding Whole30 approved beef broth in local grocery stores is nearly impossible. Almost all of them have some sort of sugar in them. The closest I found was Swanson’s Beef broth, but there were some questionable ingredients in that as well. Otherwise you can always order Whole30 approved beef or bone broth online, but you will end up paying quite a bit more. There is also the option of making your own beef broth which can be relatively easy, but can also be very intimidating for someone who has never worked with animal bones (which is most of us). I also picked up a couple of cans of fire roasted tomatoes that I will be using for soups and a jar of Kalamon Olives for something quick and tasty, as well as some canned chicken (in water of coarse), and some roasted plantain chips. I wasn’t sure about the plantain chips at first, but after doing some research they are okay to eat while on Whole30. As long as you don’t eat them like you would a bag of chips. They encourage eating them with other foods, like using them with guac or in a Whole30 taco salad. I will be trying them out when I make Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 Sweet Potato Chili this week. I also snagged some cans of coconut milk from Trader Joe’s which I have been using for quite sometime and really like. Some other great finds were the Applegate Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs and some Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage (watch out for sugars though, not all are compliant).
As for condiments, I ordered a 4-pack of Whole30 approved dressings from Tessemaes. So excited to try those. I also am waiting for my Primal Foods Whole30 kit to come in the mail! I have tried their mayo before and liked it, so I decided to stock up for January’s Whole30.
I also picked up some Tin Star Brown Butter Ghee which is Casein & Lactose free. Tin Star is the only grass-fed ghee company that I know of that tests their products for those two allergens. I had mentioned in a past blog post that my daughter has a dairy intolerance through my breast milk, so I want to make sure to stay away from those. I have yet to try ghee, so I’m excited to see what flavors it brings!
It is important to know that it does take some prepping and planning, but nothing that can’t be done. If you don’t want to spend the money on the pre-made stuff there are plenty of recipes online for Whole30 dressings, dips, and marinades, as well as mayo (I hear homemade is the best kind too!).
Here’s to a happy Whole30 and happy New Year!