Whole30 Holiday Wish List

With Hanukkah and Christmas just a few weeks away, we are all in list making and shopping mode. The holidays are a great time to share Whole30 with others (or treat yourself!) by gifting helpful kitchen accessories, cookbooks, and favorite Whole30 products.

I’ve put together a list of my top 10 holiday ideas for someone on Whole30/thinking about it – or even just someone who’s passionate about cooking and healthy living. And remember, these are perfect things to buy for YOURSELF — You are worth it!

Immersion Blender: This is a Whole30 kitchen game-changer for making homemade mayo, dump ranch, sauces, and soups. I have a Cuisinart immersion blender that’s a few years old but I love this one which has a chopper/grinder attachment. It’s easy to clean and much easier to use than dragging out the food processor.

Slow Cooked Paleo: Bailey from Whole Kitchen Sink is a Whole30 rockstar and her new cookbook does not disappoint! This is a great gift for someone (or you!) who is looking to kick the new year off with some healthy, easy meal ideas! Click here to get it.

Mixing Bowls: I use my mixing bowls for SO many recipes. It’s helpful to have a nice set to make your life easier and I like this one from OXO.

The New Primal Whole30 Approved Starter Kit: This kit from one of my very favorite Whole30 brands, The New Primal, has the sauces you need to kick off a delicious round of Whole30. Grab it for a friend or get it for yourself as a way to restock your pantry. Use code WHOLE30FACEBOOK for 25% off your order, which brings the price down to around $20!

Thrive Market Membership: We’ve posted a lot about Thrive Market in the big group — for good reason. It’s an awesome CONVENIENT online marketplace with super prices on Whole30 pantry staples, home and beauty products, meat and fish, and more! Use this link to activate a free trial and save 25% off your first order. A membership runs around $60 a year and is a great way to give someone easy access to lots of healthy products. www.thrivemarket.com/everydaywhole

Whole30 Water Bottle: Rep the brand that’s helped you change your life with this awesome stainless steel water bottle. I have it and I love it. Perfect to bring to the gym or keep on your desk at work to ensure you are keeping hydrated!

Coffee mugs and Holiday nutpods: I love this set of stoneware coffee mugs from Target! Add in some peppermint mocha nutpods (Use code JUJUSWHOLE30 at www.nutpods.com to save 25%) and you have a perfect DIY gift set.

Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers: Earlier this year, I decided it was time to get rid of most of my plastic food containers. I replaced them with two sets of these glass meal prep storage containers from Amazon – and I have been super happy so far! These are great for the home cook in your life!

Naked Bacon Bundle: Instead of sending your loved ones cakes or cookies, send them bacon and sausage! Whole30 Approved Naked Bacon has some great bundles that include their delicious compliant bacon and sausage. Use code EVERYDAYWHOLE for 10% off your order when you shop this link.

Avocado Pajamas: Here’s something you didn’t even know you needed! These avocado PJs are cute and comfy – I’ve seen several people rave about them on Instagram. Now you can be reminded of the important of added fat – even in your sleep!

What’s on your holiday wish list? Let us know!

Checking In With Yourself: Is Your Whole30 Working?

It’s halfway through your Whole30 and you’re feeling frustrated. Your clothes don’t seem loose, you’re not feeling that different, and to be honest, oftentimes you’re dragging. You’re thinking about quitting – but you want to follow through with what you started.

So, what do you do?

Before you throw in the towel, it’s smart to have a heart-to-heart with YOURSELF. Here are some questions you can run through to make sure you’re on track. Remember to be honest with yourself – these points are key to your success on Whole30.

Are you eating per the meal template? Whole30 is not about eating unlimited amounts of bacon and RxBars. It’s about following a meal template, which we’ve outlined here. As a base, start with plates that are at least half filled with vegetables. To that, add 1-2 palm-sized portions of protein and some healthy fat. Take a hard look at your meals and make sure they are plated by the template. It’s recommended by Whole30 because it works!

Are you eating enough fat? We’ve all been brainwashed that fat is bad (hello, 1980s and 1990s!) so undoing this one is hard for many people. Whole30 suggests that you add a healthy fat (think avocado, nuts, olive oil, ghee, olives, etc.) to every meal. The fat keeps you satisfied, happy, and it provides your body with essential nutrients to keep it operating. Take a look at the official Whole30 meal template for more ideas on healthy fat sources. And check out a blog post on some of our favorite sauces, which can serve as added fats on your plate. Don’t skimp on the fat! It will backfire in the end. However, be mindful of portion sizes when it comes to healthy fats like nuts. It’s easy to mindlessly grab handful after handful – so we recommend portioning them out and putting the bag away before you start grazing!

Are you eating a variety of vegetables? I’ll be honest: It can get easy to get lazy on Whole30. Maybe at the beginning, you were eating a wide range of veggies and now on Day 21, you’re eating a potato and some cucumber slices with your chicken and calling it a day. Make sure you are eating a broad array of vegetables – A good rule of thumb is to aim to get every color of vegetable on your plate (and in your body) daily! A tip that I am implementing more and more is to start each meal with a bed of greens and build from there. That knocks off one vegetable without any thought. Potatoes are fine (and encouraged!) on Whole30 – Just be sure they are not taking up all of the space on you plates and crowding out other nutrient-dense veggies.

If you have access to a local farm, farmer’s market or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share this summer, those are good options for getting lots of delicious, fresh vegetables to your plate at reasonable prices. I just started a 20-week CSA and I love knowing that I will have a new supply of local veggies every week – They taste amazing and the variety keeps me happy.

Are you eating too much fruit? Fruit is certainly encouraged on Whole30, and there’s certainly a bounty of it in the summer. (Hello, local strawberries!) But fruit has (natural) sugar and that sugar can awake your sleeping sugar dragon if you keep feeding it. We suggest eating fruit with your meals and not generally as stand-alone snacks during the day. That way, you are not feeding your body straight sugar but eating it alongside protein, veggies, and fat. Also, be sure to check your quantities. A few handful of blueberries on a salad is great, for example, but we would not advise you to eat a giant bowl of fruit salad at every meal. Be honest with yourself and keep your fruit portions in check. This also applies to dried fruit – which is even sweeter and can become a substitute for candy for many. If you’re constantly popping dates or dried figs or raisins into your mouth, are you really changing your habits around sugar?

Are you getting enough sleep? Your body is going through a lot on Whole30 – It’s working hard to change how you source energy from your food (from sugar to fat/protein.) You’re also probably spending more time than usual in the supermarket and kitchen, shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning. It’s exhausting! Sleep is a beautiful, restorative thing and it does not serve you (or your Whole30) if you skimp. Try to get to bed earlier (even work on this in increments of 15 minutes), shut off electronics earlier, and focus on being calm and relaxed as you hit the sheets. My issue is that I don’t always “schedule” enough time for sleep but over my years doing Whole30, I have improved on this. I can feel the difference when I get enough sleep – it’s the BEST feeling!!

Are you moving your body? Movement is not a formal part of Whole30 but we all know that movement helps support a healthy mind and body. If you were exercising before beginning Whole30, hopefully you can keep it up (maybe with a few adjustments, such as pre/post-workout meals if needed and varying the intensity of your exercise.) If you were not exercising prior to Whole30 (and have the OK from your doctor), now is a super time to start moving in tandem with your new way of eating. It does NOT have to be complicated. Start with walking (going for a walk, adding in steps by parking farther away from a store or getting on a subway at a stop or two earlier), take the stairs when you can, do some at-home yoga (there are lots of online options for free yoga or check out yoga DVDs!), or sign up for a class at a local studio. (Many studios offer your first class for free!)

Are you truly prepared? Whole30 is a big endeavor, especially your first round. Your meals do not have to be complicated or beautiful but there is some element of preparedness that is necessary for success. And it’s different for everyone! For some, it may be just having compliant ingredients, quick protein, and pantry staples on hand (Be sure to check out Thrive Market – www.thrivemarket.com/everydaywhole – if you need to stock up!) so you can whip something up after work. Others need to prep meals for the whole week on Sunday. Whatever’s the case for YOU, make sure you have what you need in your house to get it done. Compliant food is not going to magically appear when you’re hungry so be true to your style of prep and you will be sure to succeed!

Have you had to check in with yourself during a Whole30? What did you discover you were doing well or could do better?

Tips On Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthy Foods

Divided plates are a hit with my kids

Got a kid or kids that could live on a diet of pasta, chicken nuggets, and ketchup? I’ve made plenty of meals that have ended up on the floor for the dog to eat. I’ll skip over the obvious cutting out sugar, junk food, and blah, blah, blah because you all know that one. I want to tell you about what I do to engage my kids and help get them on board to eating healthy.

Fun Plates

I completely underestimated how much my kids would love to eat on something fun. I have a bunch of plates and bowls for them on one of our bottom shelves. They can pick their plate for their meal and it seems to make them a little more open to eating whatever is on it. Everything apparently is more appealing when there’s a dinosaur involved!

The Golden Rule

There’s only one rule in my kitchen, which mostly applies right now to my 6 year old daughter because my 2 year old son is…well, he’s 2. The golden rule is if something is on your plate that’s new, take ONE BITE. Just try it. You don’t have to like it, just try it.

I’ll put literally one piece of something new on their plates to try. I remember that my daughter didn’t want to try a red pepper and she had exactly one little piece on her plate along with one piece of red onion and one piece of yellow pepper. I told her she had to try one of those three things–her choice. She took a teeny tiny nibble of the red pepper and ended up taking another nibble. She told me it was actually good. I’ve gotten them to try a lot of food this way. The super small quantity isn’t overwhelming and just trying it (yep, they can spit it out if they don’t like it) is working for us.

I should mention that if there’s a huge fuss about it, I don’t push it. I don’t want it to become something dreaded and on days that are long or if they’re tired, there’s no need to force it.

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping tends to be my alone time. I know, I know…living the vida loco over here. Don’t judge. I do bring the kids along sometimes and get them to pick out what THEY want for fruits and veggies. I encourage them to look for new stuff.

The other week, my daughter was with me and I ran into someone I knew and stopped to chat. I set her free in the produce section and told her to go pick what she wanted. It was interesting to see what she picked, the funniest being when she plopped a bag of green beans into the shopping cart. There were literally 14 beans…basically what she could fit in her little hand.

The great thing is that when she picks something, she wants to eat it. She’s asked about produce that she doesn’t know about and has been wanting to try cabbage. Who knows if she’ll like it but she’ll willing to try it and that’s all that counts.

Junior Chef

On days when you have time, toss an little apron on your kid(s) and let them channel their inner junior chef. I have supplies for them (see above)–my daughter loves her measuring spoons and cups and the salad spinner is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Sometimes I put my daughter in charge of making a salad for the family or have her help her little brother stir something. Mix something, measure something, mash something, cut something…anything that’s age appropriate. She feels proud of herself and has a great time when she’s helped in some way to make a meal. Needless to say, I watch her carefully ’cause safety and all.

Little Herb Garden

When it’s finally warm enough, we go out and buy some starter herb plants. My daughter picks them and we talk about the smell of it and what it’s used for. City living doesn’t lend itself to gardening very well so, right now, we’re confined to a small little herb garden.

With the new herbs, we plant a bunch of them in containers and watch them grow. What kid doesn’t love getting their hands dirty? My daughter helps water them and when they’re big enough we go out on the deck to pick what we want to use for supper. It’s just another way to get her invested in eating well.

So, there you have it, this is what’s working for me and my family. I hide veggies in things and do all the other mom tricks to get them to eat healthy stuff. I want them to have a good and healthy relationship with food and am hoping that by giving them the tools and opportunity to make good choices that it’ll help.

Do you have any tips that you do to encourage your kids to eat healthy?