So, before I get into my favorite recipes from my Whole 30 experience, I want to talk a little about meal planning.
The fear of meal planning is probably what held me back the most from meal planning and like I said yesterday, really preparing for reintroduction.
After finishing the program, the actual meal planning in and of itself I still have just as little love for as I did before. But the ease of feeding yourself and your family that comes with it? Amazing. You can totally pay people to do this for you but that’s not in my budget or my heart to be honest. I do want to learn, I just wanted to be good at it right away and I’m learning this is a process. Slow for some, quick for others and I’m definitely in that first group.
But! If there’s anything this program has thought me it’s that I possess the self discipline and self determination to do what I put my mind to! If you’re as bad as I am at meal planning, I would say give yourself a month to plan. If you prefer to have it all mapped out 100% before you start. Tackle one day at a time if you need to. If I could do this all over again, I Would take a month to plan as opposed to a couple weeks. Just be honest with yourself. If you’re not good at/have no experience meal planning then don’t sit down expecting to just be able to pick meals that sound good. Trust me. That’s the easy part.
I will say though that I feel like people would want to tell me I would have had better success with better meal planning but I feel like I had great success. I was very happy with the way my self-evaluation came out. I tried to follow along with other weekly plans that other people had made, template style and whatnot but that style was just not fitting.
To be totally real, I kinda don’t like the idea of my diet being totally dependent on meal planning. I suppose when we start a family it might prove to be key but I feel like it’s a box of stress I don’t want to get into. I can see it now…If something were to go against the plan (as it often does…) me getting super anxious at what to do now?! Meal Plan B?? What happens if something happens and we can’t do Meal Plan B? Meal Plan C?! how many meal plans should I have?!?!?!?!?
So as you can see, I feel the need to find balance between planning meals and not feeling chained to something if that makes sense. In planning events, yes, things must be solid but planning everyday meals? There should be room for fluctuation because things come up, and things change in the everyday.
»»Enter this blog post by Miranda of Miranda Writes about the Capsule Kitchen. I was still on the program when I saw this so I decided that once I was off of it, I would commit some time to trying this out. It seems like the perfect way to find balance between planning and a more free flowing approach. I’m really excited to start working on mine this week!
With the capsule kitchen you make the grocery lists yourself so at any point I could reuse any one of these recipes should I have the ingredients because everything is full of nutrients and has zero sugar or processed anything really. They are all totally Whole 30 compliant and anything compliant with the program is a-ok and good to have on any grocery list really. All of these can be found on my Whole 30 pinterest board, which I am still adding to so check it out! Side note- if you look around my pinterest and notice it’s a mess over there..ehh..yea sorry about that. Organization over in those parts is a work in progress.
So! To finish this off, I want to leave you with some of my favorite Whole 30 recipes that are now staples in my recipe repertoire. You might find some recipes on my board aren’t exactly Whole 30 specific, but once you have a handle on approved ingredients you can make pretty much anything…as long as it’s an approved dish of course (just say no to pizza, pancakes and fries guys. just say no). You may have seen some of these floating around on pinterest already, I gather they are pretty popular. These are just some of my favorites :)
Slow Cooker Spinach Meatballs&Spaghetti Squash
This is by Melinda at Kitchen Tested. I chose to post this one because this was one of the first meals I made. I used her homemade sauce recipe as well and it turned out great. Eventually I started using different methods to cook the squash and sauce from the jar if I was pressed for time. My Food Lion has a GREAT organic section packed full with Whole 30 approved products. Read your labels people! You’ll find a couple other recipes for spaghetti squash on my pinterest board. Any will work, but I really enjoyed these meatballs.
Easy Whole 30 Meatballs
These were excellent as well. They’re from Tracy at stayfitmom. They actually have a ton of great Whole 30 recipes on that site.
These poppers from Emily at One Lovely Life were a big hit with my husband! I tried them both ways. I baked them and fried them in coconut oil. I liked the fried ones better, obviously. The citrus avocado sauce she mentions though…kinda epic fail on that. I tried, but it turned out more like green, bitter mayo. Better luck next time I suppose. I’ll keep you posted. Speaking of mayo, you’ll find a recipe or two for that on my pinterest board as well but that was an epic fail too. It was more like raw egg soup. It was my first attempt though so I’m not too discouraged. Stay tuned for the future mayo chronicles.
Kelly at the Nourishing Home has a bucketload of Whole 30 recipes for you to try. Her instructions for Cauliflower rice were the first I have ever seen actually (if you can believe it) and they were super simple and easy to follow. This is pretty much replaced regular rice in my house. I would call it a stape side dish at this point. No one had ever had it before over here and we love it. Andre claimed to hate Cauliflower before I put this on his plate underneath some chicken without telling him but now he “likes it”! Goodness I’m having flashes of dinnertime with future little ones…
This is the chicken I was talking about that I put over the cauliflower rice. It was a HUGE hit with my family. I would say this was their favorite dish. I loved it too. We had it a couple different times (by request) and just mixed and matched various side dishes. This dish is from Devon Stiles.
I don’t know why I love meatloaf so much but I do. I feel like I didn’t as a kid but I do now. This recipe (another from stayfitmom by Krista) did not disappoint.
Coconut Date Energy bites
These little boogers almost got me in trouble. In truth, sugar is sugar. So, even though it’s healthy, it’s still sending sugary signals to your brain and all that so I made these as my indulgence for Easter and everyone loved them so much I ended up making them pretty much once a week. Philia at Sweet Phi rocked my world with this. So. Good.
So those are what I would say my favorites. It’s not a complete list of everything I’ve ever mentioned but I don’t think that everything that works for one person works for everyone else. I would encourage you to start with browsing pinterest for recipes, choose what seems like the best for your family’s taste and budget then work out a plan from there. Like everything else in life you have to look at things and ask yourself, ok how would this work for me. Doing something the exact same way as someone else doesn’t always guarantee success!
So with that. I leave the Whole 30 behind for now. As I said before I am seeing more food chatter around here in the near future so I’m sure it will come up again. Please feel free to email me with any further questions on my experience. If you’re thinking about starting out, go for it! If you’re starting out, good luck! If you’re in the middle, stay strong! If you finished, congrats to you!
Ok I’m done now. :) Don’t forget to check out my Whole 30 Pinterest board for a gazillion more compliant recipes.
*******Linking up with Miranda for Coffee Chat today!**********