Tips For Your Round

Starting a round can be overwhelming. The planning, the prepping, the label reading–we get it. We’ve been there! Here are some of the tips to help you on your round.

  1. Read the book! Or books! Be familiar with the rules.
  2. Keep it simple and eat leftovers.
  3. Double up recipes and freeze them.
  4. ALWAYS have an emergency meal in your freezer for days that you just can’t deal. I always have hamburger patties in my freezer so I can grab one, fry up some veggies, add a plated fat, and be done!
  5. I prep for the start of the week on Sundays and make a couple of pans of roasted veggies, some sort of protein (a roasted chicken, carnitas, a roast), a sauce or dressing (though I use a lot of Whole30 approved sauces/dressings these days), and a breakfast bake.
  6. Later on in the week, I’ll usually roast some more veggies (you’ll go through veggies so quickly!) and make another easy dish like sloppy joes that I can just heat up.
  7. Consider getting a 30day trial with ThriveMarket to stock up on the essentials. Judith and I both have memberships and love them. You can join or just stock up once with no commitment. Click here to shop. Also, they do offer free memberships to teachers, those in the military, veterans, and those who qualify as low-income families.
  8. If you’re doing this with a friend, consider having a cooking date… I’ve done this several times with friends and it’s always been fun and takes the chore out of cooking.
  9. It might take a couple of days to tweak your meals to get the right amount of food on your plate. You’ll end up eating more than you think you should–don’t fall into the diet mentality! Look at how many veggies are on there.
  10. Eggs–I eat 3 in the morning. Don’t starve yourself–see point #9. Diet mentality GONE!
  11. Do a sanity check halfway through your round. Are you loading up on too much fruit to feed your sugar dragon? Are you eating nuts by the handfuls? Tweak your round if you need to early on. You can get the meal template here.
  12. When you get back from the grocery store, chop up or slice some of your veggies so you can grab and go.
  13. Try one new recipe a week so you don’t plunge into food boredom. Try some new spices, seasonings, or sauces to keep things interesting.
  14. Think ahead if you have any social situations that you’ll have to navigate on your round. Party? Dinner with friends? Planning ahead will make it stress free.
  15. Carve some space for your Whole30 supplies. It’ll make it easy to grab what you need when cooking.

What are some of your most helpful tips?

“I might as well”: How to stay focused in the final days of the year!

By Judith

Happy Limbo Days!

These days between Christmas and New Year’s can be a hard time to navigate. Leftovers and desserts are everywhere. Break rooms at work are still filled with treats. No one’s sure exactly what day it is – but we know that a fresh start — January 1 — is right around the corner.

It could be REALLY EASY right now to throw in the towel on healthy eating and say “I might as well” eat EVERYTHING. After all, we’ll restart our diet or our Whole30 in 2020 and get back on track then. Right?

There are six days between now and January 1. How do you want these six days to play out? In six days, you can make a lot of #nortworthit decisions/or just totally give up and end up feeling pretty badly. You can start the new year feeling tired, stressed, achy, and desperate to regain your health.  

Or you can flip this switch on the old diet mentality. You can spend these next six days being mindful about what you’re eating. You can enjoy some treats – but not ALL THE THINGS. Going back to re-read Food Freedom Forever is always a good idea. It’s one of my favorite Whole30 books and it’s filled with tangible tips on how to decide which foods are worth it.

These eight questions from FFF are key to keep in mind as you evaluate potential treats.

  1. Will it promote cravings or make my Sugar Dragon roar?
  2. Will it make me feel lethargic or put me on an energy roller coaster?
  3. Will it disrupt my sleep?
  4. Will it mess up my digestion or leave me with gas or bloating?
  5. Will it negatively impact my mood, attention span, focus, or motivation?
  6. Will it make my symptoms (pain, swelling, fatigue) flare up?
  7. Will it trigger an adverse reaction (asthma, migraines, skin breakouts)?
  8. Will it mess me up?

But the Sugar Dragon is fierce and it may be hard to even step back from the sweets and ask yourself those questions. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to go back to a Whole30 Mini Reset for a few days. Yes, you have to follow ALL of the rules of Whole30 but it will serve you well as you head into the New Year.

If doing a strict Mini Reset is not in the cards right now, then can you focus on eating Whole30-ish? Think lots of protein, veggies, healthy fat, and fruit. Don’t stress over a tiny bit of sugar in your bacon or additives in your salad dressing.

Eating close to Whole30 – avoiding the big food groups of dairy, grains, legumes, soy, alcohol, and recreated baked goods – is a guaranteed way to feel better. Maybe you’re planning to indulge mindfully on New Year’s Eve. That’s fine! Just get right back to your Whole30-ish eating (or maybe your January Whole30 if you’re planning on it) the next day.

It’s NOT about punishing yourself with a diet or forcing yourself to do a round of Whole30 because everyone’s dong one in January. (If you are doing a January round, do you have a clear WHY?) It’s about entering the New Year feeling strong, positive, and empowered around food.

I like to tell my Whole30 coaching clients to think about Whole30 as their baseline of eating, their “new normal.” To that, we can add some special “worth it” foods. Sometimes a food will actually be worth it. We eat it and move on. That’s a huge victory and an awesome feeling!

And sometimes we eat it, and it’s not worth it. It happens. This is where the work really happens. Stop eating it. Follow Melissa’s One Bite Rule. From moment, get back on track with your regularly scheduled Whole30/Whole30-ish eating. Don’t let that decision derail you. You may feel bad or guilty or mad at yourself – but what happens next is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the process. 

Make your next bite, your next meal, your next day, your next week – whatever you need – filled with foods that nourish your body. Breathe. Remember how good you feel when you treat yourself right. Review the Whole30 Non-Scale Victory checklist. Write down your WHY. Remember your worth. You deserve to be a healthy person. You are a healthy person.

And if you need more support, post in our Facebook group. This month marks four years since we’ve been here helping thousands of people navigate Whole30 and life beyond a round. We are here for you – as are the thousands of people who are also walking the same path.

We wish you all the best for a happy and healthy 2020! May this be the year that you find your BEST self and ultimate peace with food. We believe in you.

Whole30 Christmas Recipe Round Up

I normally travel back back home for Christmas but we’re going to skip the pricey Christmas airplane tickets and go a little later. This means I’m on the hook for cooking turkey dinner this year and I’m going to knock it out of the park!

So, here’s what I have planned for the day. I’m going to have my Crock Pot and Instant Pot out to free up some space on my stove top and do what I can ahead of time. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly. If not, I’ll make extra gravy and get people to douse their food in it–I mean, gravy can fix most anything, right?


APPETIZERS

You know the old adage about eating with your eyes first? It’s so true. Just look how beautiful Fit Living Eats’ Holiday Pomegranate Guacamole on Roasted Sweet Potato Toasts look.

Give your guests something to dip into with this wonderful Paleo Spinach Artichoke Dip by Mary’s Whole Life. Whole30 never looked so good!

These sweet potato cranberry turkey poppers by Unbound Wellness look so deliciously festive. I expect these to fly off the plate as soon as I put them down. This is definitely a make ahead app!


MAIN DISHES

Meet the star of my Christmas dinner this year–Flavor The Moments’ Dry Brined Orange Rosemary Roasted Turkey It looks like a work of art and I plan on parading this out to the table while my guests stand up and applaud the beauty of this turkey! Well, if the standing applause doesn’t happen, there had better be compliments or everyone will be asked to leave.

I’m all about getting anything and everything off the stove top when I have to cook a big meal. Grab your crockpot and whip up these amazing Whole30 crockpot mashed potatoes by 40 Aprons.

My guests aren’t on Whole30 so I’ll be making my traditional Acadian stuffing for them but will cook up this beautiful Riced Cauliflower Stuffing from Mary’s Whole Life for myself and anyone else that wants to try it. I’m pretty sure this will end up on other people’s plates!


SIDE DISHES

Waitrose’s Buttered Turnip and Carrot Mash “Substitute the butter with ghee and you’ve got yourself a delicious Whole30 compliant side dish. This is sure to be a family favourite!”

Primal Gourmet’s Green Bean Almondine “Green Bean Almondine is a classic, French side dish that comes together in just 15 min. This Whole30 version requires minimum effort & yields maximum reward.”

The Endless Meal’s Garlic Bacon Mushrooms “These crazy delicious Garlic Bacon Mushrooms are the ultimate side dish. They’re easy enough to make as a weeknight side yet tasty enough to serve alongside a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.”

The Busy Baker’s Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots “These Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots make the perfect holiday side dish for your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner! They’re on the table in 30 minutes or less with only 4 ingredients!” Remember to use ghee instead of butter.


SAUCES

40 Aprons’ Instant Pot Easy Whole30 Cranberry Sauce With Apples and Rosemary “This Instant Pot Whole30 cranberry sauce with apples and rosemary is the perfect Whole30 cranberry sauce: sweet and tart with no added sweeteners at all!”

Cook Eat Paleo’s Easy Paleo Gravy “This easy paleo gravy is perfect over my favorite mashed potato swap for the holidays—roasted garlic cauliflower celery root mash. Try this gravy over roast turkey and stuffing and you’ll never miss the flour!”