5 Questions with…Jason Burke, Founder/CEO of The New Primal

Today, we’re thrilled to kick off a new blog series called “5 Questions with…” With this series, you’ll have the chance to learn more about some of our favorite Whole30 Approved brands – who they are and what they stand for. We’re excited to begin today with one of our top picks, The New Primal! Happy reading!

What began as a business born in a kitchen has turned into one of our favorite Whole30 Approved companies. The New Primal – maker of marinades, sauces, beef thins, and jerky – is a champion of the Whole30 lifestyle and an incredible supporter of the Whole30 Coaching Community. We caught up with Jason Burke, Founder and CEO of The New Primal to learn more about the origins and values of this visionary company.

Tell us a little about your story – How did The New Primal come to be?

The New Primal started on my kitchen counter. In 2009, I embarked on a journey to improve my health. Portable protein kept me on track. Disappointed in not being able to find a jerky that met my dietary standards, I started making it at home (for a desk snack). Three years (and six dehydrators!!) later, determined to change the landscape of protein snacks, I quit my day job and The New Primal was born. My instinct told me I wasn’t alone, and there was a big possibility The New Primal would be a transformative brand.

Why was it important for you to become a Whole30 approved company?

I’ve personally been following this movement since 2010. Going “paleo, keto, Whole30” all involve resetting. Internally, most of our office has gone through a Whole30 and have first-hand experience with the power of the program. The key to making a lasting change in our life to is to change our relationship with food. The reason I think Whole30 is so incredibly effective is because of the peer-to-peer support of the community. There are groups on social media, books, guides, recipe blogs, coaches, journals, and all kinds of resources available to aid the journey. And, let’s be honest, Melissa Hartwig facilitates this movement like no one else in the health and wellness industry (in my opinion). Simply put, the program works, and it’s well-organized with a single authoritative voice. The guidelines are clearly defined without wavering.

As a business that serves the “lifestyle-diet” consumer and having gone through a Whole30, we began to relate to the daily challenges associated with going Whole30 and started filling the gaps. Aligning with Whole30 and better-serving the community became a no-brainer. We have the resources to create items that make going through a Whole30 more convenient and more delicious.

From your social media, The New Primal seems like such a FUN place to work. Tell us a little bit about your company culture.

Our culture is defined by commitment, work-ethic, passion, and integrity. When you share universal values and a shared commitment to an enormously important goal, it galvanizes the workplace. For us, it’s making healthy eating simple, convenient, and delicious. Helping people change their relationship with food while disrupting a massive industry is also a lot of fun. Fortunately, we seem to attract people with a work ethic to match their passion for the cause.

As a business that started on my kitchen counter and essentially launched with a few people without a background in the food or grocery business, we’ve had plenty of challenges to overcome. I think the core group has experienced so many challenges together that today we’re incredibly aligned.

Your company is so supportive of the Whole30 Coaching program – offering multiple scholarships to aspiring coaches. Why do you believe in the Coaching program?

We know the power of grass-roots efforts. The coaches are in the trenches in their community’s. There’s nothing more powerful and influential than that in our opinion. Once we aligned ourselves with Whole30, we began looking for ways to serve the entire community, and we found the coaching program to be one with potentially the highest ROI (return on investment) – it’s an investment in people, the ones that are helping lead their communities into a new relationship with food.

Melissa Miller at The New Primal is one of the best in the world at facilitating brand partnerships and community relationships. She has really led the charge here and doing a phenomenal job. On the scholarship side, it seems like a very minor investment that will yield an enormous impact on the population.

We know it’s hard to choose a favorite child – but which is your favorite The New Primal product and why?

Oh boy! It’s a very close call between the Sea Salt Beef Thins and the Classic Marinade. The marinade is just so versatile and helps even the most novice people in the kitchen make great tasting meals. The Beef Thins are the perfect high-protein snack in my opinion. It’s a whole muscle cut of meat that is seasoned with four ingredients and cooked low and slow in an oven until it reaches crunchy perfection.

There’s very little processing, it’s easy to chew, the crunchy/chewy/savory taste makes it extremely snackable. It’s unlike anything in the marketplace – literally, nothing else compares so I’d give it a slight edge to the marinade.

Want to try products from The New Primal? Shop online at www.thenewprimal.com and use the code “whole30facebook” for 25 percent off your order!

Vacation Time!

Hi from the beautiful East Coast of Canada to all our wonderful readers!

I’m on vacation right now at home visiting my parents (it was their 50th wedding anniversary–so exciting!). It’s great being surrounded by family but it’s left me with less free time than I thought to work on the blog. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.

In the meantime, here are some other posts to look at. Also, if you need some extra motivation, check out our success stories—real people with relatable problems and lots of success!

I hope everyone’s having a great summer. See you soon!

Jenny

xoxo

A Week with Cooked

It’s a Whole30-er’s dream come true. Compliant meals arrive at your house, individually portioned and containing your protein, fat, and vegetables. You either heat and eat – or in the case of the salads – you dress and eat. There’s very little clean-up, no dishes (beyond the fork you use), and you finish your meal feeling full and satisfied.

Welcome to Cooked!

This Whole30 Approved meal service partner does all of that. Cooked was founded by parents of young boys who didn’t have the time to “cook the kind of nourishing, healthy meals we wanted to.”

Recently, I had the chance to try Cooked. They sent me some meals to sample but all opinions here are my own! I will note that while Cooked serves most of the U.S., they do not yet serve Massachusetts – so, they sent me these meals as a special one-off opportunity.

When I knew I was ready to order, I logged onto the Cooked website and went to the Whole30 offerings. I selected the week I wanted my food delivered (I smartly chose one of the weeks my dishwasher was broken!) and chose which meals I wanted. When my order was placed, I got a confirmation email and then when my food shipped, I got another email with tracking info.

My meals arrived in a big insulated box. Each meal was in a plastic tray with a film cover. As Cooked does not usually ship to my area, a few of the film covers had tiny rips – it definitely looked like the box got a bit jostled around in transit. I was assured that this does not usually happen with their regular shipping methods. (My box was shipped FedEx rush delivery, which is not the typical type of shipping they use. Meals are delivered by hand in Chicago and Cooked uses standard FedEx outside of the city.)

Tyler, from Cooked, also told me that the company is investing in new boxes to use with their shipping customers. The new boxes will be significantly sturdier and have an internal skeleton that can keep each individual meal separated and supported. They are also changing the ice packs used to fit better into these new boxes, which they think will help keep the meals colder, longer. The new packaging is set to roll out in the next few weeks!

I unpacked my meals (which were all labeled with ingredients and the Whole30 logo – I love seeing that on products!) and stored them in my fridge. Cooked meals can be heated up in their original packaging in the oven or the microwave. I am not a fan of putting plastic in the oven so I transferred the food to a small oven-safe casserole dish and heated in that. I also prefer the oven over the microwave!

For dinner that night, I started with the Turkey Picadillo Chillis Rellanos, essentially two turkey and vegetable stuffed peppers. They were delicious – and spicy!! With raisins, almonds, cilantro, mint, parsley, and cinnamon among the ingredients, the meal was delicious and different. Just be sure you like your food HOT with this one!

Next up, I grabbed a Cranberry Cobb Salad for dinner the next day. This is a BIG, hearty salad that’s delicious! The bacon and chicken were so tasty and it was such a treat to have compliant cranberries. The lettuce on this one was a touch wet (again, I am chalking this up to the less than ideal shipping I received) but once I mixed the salad together it was fine. I am OBSESSED with the Cooked salad dressing and I made sure not to use the entire container so I could save some to use on my breakfast vegetables the next day!

The next day, I had the Chicken a la Plancha, which is served with broccoli, onions and plantains (my favorite!) Yum! I added some cashews to this one for an added fat and I honestly could not even eat the entire portion. I found that I could stretch the Cooked meals a little longer (desperate dishwasher-less times called for desperate measures) if I split them in half and added my own vegetables and additional fat to the plate.

Other meals I enjoyed were the Chicken Piccata with Carrot Noodles, the Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast, and the Jalapeno Chicken Bites with Avocado Lime Sauce. Each meal was flavorful and more than enough food for me – and I eat a lot!

When you order Cooked, you can choose a 7-day plan (each week you will receive 2 deliveries of food – a first delivery of 4 lunches and 4 dinners and then a second delivery of 3 lunches and 3 dinners) or a 4-day plan (each week you will receive one delivery with 4 lunches and 4 dinners.) You can also choose to order for 1 week or 4 weeks, and you can opt to exclude one of these ingredients from your meals: pork, read meat, seafood, or shellfish.

On the website, they display menus for the next four weeks so you can plan ahead and schedule meal delivery when you are busy or undergoing a kitchen renovation or just need a break from cooking! Cooked also offers non-Whole30 meals, along with vegetarian and kids’ options so there’s something for everyone.

All in all, my Cooked experience was a good one! As a self-proclaimed meal prep queen, it was nice to gain a little time back in my life on the weekend as I cooked less in advance of my delivery. The quality of the food was high, the meals were filling, and I felt satisfied with the portions.

Want to try Cooked? As a special offer to our group, the team at Cooked is offering 10 percent off your order! Use the code WHOLE30FB at checkout to redeem this offer.

Have you tried Cooked yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

** When you purchase meals from Cooked, we make a small commission from your order to help underwrite the cost of our blog. Thanks for your support! **

Label Quiz: Can We Stump You?

We read so many labels while on a round. Have you ever scrutinized your labels on products that are already laying around your kitchen? It can be a bit shocking! Of course, it’s also shocking how much time you spend cooking on a round so, take stock of what changes you can make while you’re off a round. Can you make better choices? Buy something with, say, no thiamine mononitrate or three forms of sugar? Or, can you make it from scratch instead of buying it? Homemade stuffing vs. Stovetop?

Take our quiz and see if you can guess what these products are from the labels? Comment below with your guesses and labels in your kitchen. When we get to 20 comments, we’ll reveal the answers. Happy guessing!

#1) Does this look familiar to you?

#2) What about this?

#3) Surely, this rings a bell?

#4) Yummy?

#5) Mixed tocopherols!

#6) Any guesses?

The Story Behind Tiny Little Chef

Hey there, my Whole 30 friends! Many of you have tried and loved my Handcrafted Seasoning Blends, and now I want to give you a little scoop on my culinary background, how the seasonings came to be, and how I went from a smoker to a nutritionist!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Christy and I have been a professional chef for close to 19 years. I’ve worked at many restaurants and hotels, doing pretty much every job there is in the Food and Beverage Industry.

I got the name Tiny Little Chef, when I was trying to come up with a new email address in culinary school. My Dad said, “Well, you are tiny, you are little, and you are going to be a Chef.” So, right then and there, Tiny Little Chef was born.

In culinary school, I was known as “the master of seasoning.” I know how to make pretty much anything taste delicious! I love trying out new flavors and in my head, I can nail a flavor profile in about 5 seconds.

In 2004, I decided to step away from the restaurant industry, and start my own meal delivery service. I had some amazing clients, and I quickly started getting requests to do large, private catering jobs. I did everything from baby and bridal showers to large fundraisers to huge corporate events. I loved it, but it was a lot of work.

I married my husband, TJ, in July 2012, and in February (Valentine’s Day!) of 2013 we found out I was pregnant. I continued to cater, but being pregnant took a toll on my small frame, and I began having contractions almost 3 months before my due date. The contractions had to be stopped. We already knew I had to have a C-Section due to a very contracted pelvis so my doctor ordered me to stop catering. With mixed emotions, I took a step back.

I kept cooking and making new recipes in my own home, but I felt like I needed to do more. I worked on recipes, and published some e-cookbooks before and after my son was born.

After my son was born and I was recovering my from C-Section, I also had a pretty bad case of postpartum depression. When I finally went to the doctor to discuss what was going on, the nurse said to me, “I was wondering when I was going to see you for this.”

I have had a history of depression for many, many years – sometimes mild, and sometimes, pretty severe. The ways that I had dealt with my depression in the past were not healthy, so this time I decided I need to change myself from the inside out!

For many years off and on, I was a half a pack a day smoker. I thought it helped me with depression, but in all honesty, it made it far worse. I surrounded myself with many negative people, and I myself became a negative “Debbie Downer.” I became a victim of my own thoughts and environment.

Something FINALLY clicked in my head after my son was born. I was done. I was done treating myself like crap, and as much as I had helped other people, I needed to help myself. I went on anti-depression meds, and started to really deconstruct myself. It was hard, and the tears flowed, but it was beyond necessary.

Many people knew of my food and exercise knowledge, and therefore I was constantly asked about nutrition. I researched many programs, and I decided to become certified as a Weight Management Specialist via the National Council of Certified Personal Trainers.

In 2015, I created a recipe membership site, and started uploading hundreds of my recipes for my clients, including those for my House, Blackened, and Italian Seasoning Blends. They were a hit, but I kept getting asked if I could bottle them up.

Using my restaurant and catering connections I sourced the best possible herbs and spices, created some labels, and found some great packaging. I mixed them up, bottled, labeled and sealed them, and posted about them on my social media platforms. Within a month I had sold 1,000 bottles and it was right then and there that I knew my life was about to change and that my career was about to take a hugely different path.

I am happy to say that the negativity, in all forms, is gone, and that I have not had in cigarette in a very, very long time!

Here’s the thing about healthy eating…if it tastes good, you’ll eat it, right? And there is absolutely NO need for the junk that is found in many other seasoning blends. I refuse to use any sugar or dairy, there are no preservatives or additives, and unlike other companies,

I won’t even use “flow agents”, meaning that in some of my seasonings that have peppers (they have a naturally higher moisture content) you “may” see clumping, and that’s good thing! Just break it apart with your fingers or a fork!

I have 15 blends, but being a one-woman show, I do not have all flavors in stock all the time, so I always encourage you to keep an eye out in the Whole 30 Facebook group for updates on which ones are available.

Haven’t tried them yet? What are you waiting for? Head on over to www.tinylittlechef.com/store and use code WHOLE30 for 20 percent off and free shipping! I promise you’ll love them.

I also wanted to share some of my favorite ways to use the blends in Whole 30 cooking. Check out my Top 7 Favorite Whole 30 recipes here.

Have you tried any of my seasonings? Which one is your favorite? Happy cooking!

Broccoli For Breakfast: Egg-less Options

I hear you. You are sick of eggs. If you look at an egg one more time you think you may vomit. You hate eggs. Also, it’s possible you may be someone who is allergic to eggs or trying to rule it out so you’re avoiding them. In any case, I hear you.

First of all, I really need you to reexamine the way you approach the first meal of the day. If you do this, everything will change. ANY FOOD is available to you to eat first thing in the morning. In fact, if you reference the Whole 30 Meal Planning Template the only thing it mentions is that you should base your meal around protein, vegetables, healthy fat and occasionally fruit. The world is your oyster! Even oysters! If that’s your thing…

Eggs are a great source of protein, but they aren’t the only ones. It may take you a little while to wrap your head around eating “non-breakfast” foods for breakfast, but if you are that sick of eggs, you’re probably ready to try anything. It’s definitely a part of retraining your brain and habits, but you’re up for a challenge! You are Whole 30! Let’s do this!

My personal favorite is sweet potato hash. It is super versatile, and you can basically use any veggies that are in your fridge. I will cube 1-2 sweet potatoes, a pepper, onion and whatever sausage you like. ProTip: cut all your veggies before you get cooking or things will get…crispier than you’d like. TRUST. ME. I cook mine in a cast iron pan with a combination of coconut oil and ghee, but you can use whatever cooking fat you’d like. I also finely chop kale and add it at the very end, to up the veggie quotient, and for an added bonus, it looks pretty. Plate that bad boy and throw a scoop of guacamole on top. BOOM. You’re welcome.

Another good one is Melissa’s Chicken Hash. Melissa Hartwig created this recipe herself when she was sick of eggs. It uses chicken thighs, shredded sweet potato, apples, walnuts, granny smith apples and spinach. You guys, any meal that all goes in one skillet, and is as simple and delicious as this, is a winner in my book. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Let’s talk about leftovers. You’re golden if you are planning your dinners large enough for leftovers, because it’s a built in bonus meal. You can mix and match leftovers to create another meal or make something like a delicious burger salad with fresh greens, a burger patty and roasted potatoes. I’ve also had pulled pork, sweet potato chicken poppers or egg roll in a bowl for breakfast before. The key is being open to moving away from what your traditional idea of a breakfast is.

What have you eaten that was your favorite egg-less breakfast?

Whole 30 Pop Quiz

Who doesn’t love a good pop quiz? We all know that there’s a lot to know about Whole 30. Take our quiz and see if you’re an expert! We’ll reveal the answers on Friday, 11-May-2018 at 8pm in our Facebook group. Answers will be pasted below this coming weekend.

Ready! Set! Go!

1) Which of the following is considered a sweetener on Whole 30?

a) Coconut Nectar

b) Monk Fruit Extract

c) Fruit Juice

d) Dextrose

e) All of the above

2) Is this lemon juice compliant?

a) Yes

b) No

3) Is MSG allowed on Whole 30?

a) Yes

b) No

4) Which ones are considered SWYPO?

a) Sweet Potato Toast

b) Banana Pancakes

c) Cauliflower Pizza

d) B & C

e) All of the Above

5) Which of the following is NOT a Whole 30-recommended added fat, per the meal template?

a) Coconut milk

b) Avocado

c) Ghee

d) Bacon

e) Olives

6) Which of these forms of vinegar is NOT Whole 30 compliant?

a) Apple cider

b) Malt

c) White Wine

d) Rice

e) All of the Above

7) In March 2017, Whole 30 made a change to the program rules which two products, deeming the first NEVER compliant and the second ALWAYS compliant?

a) Pickles and Coconut Flour Tortillas

b) Sunflower Seeds and Almond Butter

c) Commercially-made Chips and Coconut Aminos

d) Cauliflower Gnocchi and Zucchini noodles

e) Paleo Cereal and Nutpods

8) Which of the following oils does Whole 30 recommend that you limit while at home?

a. Grapeseed

b. Avocado

c. Rice Bran

d. Corn

e. Coconut

9) Which instance would require a restart according to the rules?

a) Eating a Dish Sweetened With Dates

b) Weighing Yourself During Your 30 Days

c) Eating A Meal That Doesn’t Completely Meet The Meal Template

d) Having A Larabar Every Night

e) None of the Above

10) If you decide to have a pre-workout meal, what should it include?

a) Fruit and Fat

b) Protein

c) Protein and Fat

d) Vegetables and Fat

e) Vegetables and Fruit

BONUS QUESTION:

11) Eating 100% cocoa standalone is acceptable during your Whole 30?

a) True

b) False

Whole30 Meal Planning: Success is in the Prep

After completing multiple rounds of Whole 30 and mini resets I learned that preparation is the key to my success. Before creating my own meal plan template, my preparation consisted of writing a random grocery list on the back of an envelope. That resulted in multiple trips to the grocery store because I’d always forget something. That process and cycle made meals and shopping frustrating and overwhelming. I would become easily overwhelmed with trying to figure out what I was going to eat for the upcoming week and when I was going to cook it.

I sat down and thought, “What is the most stressful part about meal planning and how can I incorporate meal planning and prep into my busy lifestyle more easily?” Being the list- maker that I am, I decided to expand upon the idea of a list and designed my own meal prep template.

My meal prep planner is a tool used to map out my meals, their ingredients, and timing throughout the week. As a Whole 30 Certified Coach, I send my clients the meal prep template as part of their welcome packet. My coaching philosophy is centered around preparation and planning as part of the foundation for a successful Whole 30 transformation.

Changing your habits and finding time to prepare meals can be stressful. To reduce the stress, I suggest using the meal prep template two weeks before starting Whole 30. This way, the client is familiar with the ideas of the template and have incorporated filling it out into their weekly routine. Again, success is in the plan!

The template has four components: Shopping (my biggest vice), Prep, Cooking utensils, and Storage. I will explain the rationale behind each section below.

Shopping: Having a grocery list is a no brainer. This will ensure you have all the ingredients you need for your prep. It’s something most people do, but I wanted to elevate the simple shopping list. The template list section takes away the broad valley that is the grocery store, which saves me time and money. If I don’t have a list made, I will literally go up and down each aisle! That is why I organized the shopping list by food sections. My hour and a half long shopping trip can be done in about 30 minutes at most now. I only get what I need for that week, and I get out! Shopping is no longer the bane of my existence now that I am fully organized.

Prep: I added this portion to the template because I was spending too much time on Sunday cutting, cleaning, mixing, etc. I found by breaking up the prep and cooking steps reduced the block of time I had to be dedicated in the kitchen. By prepping the day before, I could execute my cooking the next day seamlessly and in a timely manner.

Cooking Utensils: This part seems a bit extra to some, but I found it to be critical. I use this section to write out what appliances I will be using and the amount of time it will take to cook. I pull out the kitchen appliances the night before when I am doing my prep work. This helps me to create a flow for the cooking day.

Storage: This portion was added mainly due to frustration with putting food into a container, only to find out that I didn’t have a matching top. While doing Whole 30, I already have to wash dishes 34 million times. Adding extra dishes due to poor planning was not going to help me succeed. I figure out what food needs to go into the refrigerator and what food will need to be frozen after I cook. I also separate what food will be at home and what I will take to work with me for lunch all week. I then ensure that my containers have the matching tops by placing them out on prep night. With that, I am ready for cooking day.

Whole 30 is totally doable without having to meal prep, but for me, “Prepared Patty,” it is a total must. It takes the guess work out of what I am eating, and it keeps me from having a slip-up because I have nothing readily available to eat.

There are times in my Food Freedom where I will rummage the pantry due to not being prepared and having convenient compliant food on hand is key. It is rare that you would go into a meeting or a project without a plan or being prepared. This is the same for Whole 30 and Food Freedom. Have a plan and execute it. You will be far more successful on your journey to a healthier lifestyle!

I post meal prep tips every Friday on my Instagram account, @Whole30Noir. If you would like a copy of my meal prep planner to print out and use for yourself, please email me at Melissa@Whole30Noir.com.

If you – or anyone you know in the Nashville, TN area – are in need of Whole30 coaching sign up at www.Whole30Noir.com!

#EatWholeLiveFit

Melissa

Achoo! Can I Whole 30 While I’m sick?

Being sick stinks! Being sick while on Whole 30 super stinks!

We can’t reach for many of the comfort foods that we often associate with helping us feel better – namely crackers, ice cream, ginger ale, and toast.

And with low energy and a nagging cough/cold/fever/infection, we’re not exactly in the mood to spend lots of time in the kitchen cooking.

I’ve been there. It’s hard. Last year, during my Whole 60, I caught the stomach bug around Days 13/14. I powered through with seltzer, scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, and bananas with nut butter.

I recovered and then after my Whole 60 ended, I was knocked down for a week with a super bad case of strep throat. It was terrible. I was not on a round then, and could not swallow anything (thanks to the feeling of razor blades in my throat!!) so I opted for a diet of dairy-free ice cream and sorbet. When I finally recovered, I wanted to get back to my ultimate health, so I did another round of Whole 30 shortly after and bounced back to feeling great.

Fast forward to this year: During my Whole 75, I once again caught strep – along with conjunctivitis. The next day (on Valentine’s Day – oy!), I also sliced my finger while cooking (damn you, ginger!) and ended up with stitches.

Needless to say, between the infection and the painful finger, I wasn’t feeling my best for about two weeks. But I stayed on track with my Whole 75 and here are some of my best tips to surviving a Whole 30 while sick!

Read up on great cold/flu strategies from the experts at Whole 30: This blog post is one of the most popular I share in our Facebook group. It’s super helpful in terms of ideas of foods to eat, hydration while sick, and supplements to take to feel better.

When I had the stomach bug on Whole 30, I stuck with seltzer while I was actively sick and unable to keep food down. If you have to skip a meal or two (or three) while you are really sick, don’t worry. Once you are ready to eat again, keep it simple.

Thanks to Instagram, I can see exactly what I ate post- stomach bug. Some of my meals included scrambled eggs with coconut milk, a mashed banana with almond butter, cinnamon, and raisins, an RxBar (again, I do not recommend these on the regular, this was an exception for me), roasted sweet potatoes, applesauce, riced broccoli and some simple chicken with avocado. Nothing fancy or crazy – just basic foods to fill my stomach, give me some nutrition, and fuel my body while it was recovering.

Stay hydrated with Whole 30 compliant “super foods” like bone broth and chicken soup. Bone broth has a zillion benefits and one of them is helping you recover (and stay healthy!) I am relatively new to the bone broth train, so when I was sick, I had pre-made bone broth from Five Way Foods, which is locally made here in Boston. If you’re super tired and sick, you can use these Lono Life bone broth K-cups for a quick and easy cup.

If you’re up for it, whip up a compliant chicken soup – like this one from Against All Grain, this one from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy or this one from the Whole 30 website. You can also reach for a cup of Whole 30 compliant tea or herbal tea.

Don’t worry so much about the meal template. Eat what sounds good. It may be applesauce with some raisins or a microwaved sweet potato with ghee. Give your body nutrients to heal and recover but don’t fret about getting in all of the elements of a Whole 30 plate.

Take the medicine that you need – even if it has non-compliant ingredients. Remember, on Whole 30, your doctor’s orders > the program rules. I had to take antibiotics for my strep. I was not happy that the only added sugar I was consuming in 75 days was of the pink, medicinal variety – but you got to do what you need to in order to get better!

Really focus on rest. Like really, rest. When I was sick this year with strep, I had a hard time sitting still and felt compelled to meal prep when I was home recovering. And that’s when I cut my finger! It’s hard to set aside your ingrained habits – like meal prep, exercise, and food shopping – but listen to your body. If you have to rely on some simple meals like eggs, tuna fish, or something you pull from your freezer for a few days after you get better, it’s OK. It’s hard to slow down when you are used to going a million miles an hour but if you don’t, you can make things worse, like I did!

Once you are all better, treat yourself with some quality time in the kitchen, some new recipes, a new ingredient, or something to reinvigorate your Whole 30. Celebrate your health with something special to help you along your good food journey!

How have you stayed on track with Whole 30 while being sick? Share your tips and ideas here!

Cauliflower Four Ways

If you’re sick and tired of cauliflower rice and can’t bear to have it again, raise your hand! My hand is raised high but there was a time when it wouldn’t have been.

While I used to be super excited about cauliflower rice, I’ve now had it so many times that I needed a break! I got burnt out! But, I wasn’t ready to part ways with cauliflower so I started to look for new ways to fall back in love with this staple vegetable in my cooking.

Here are four way to shake things up with your cauliflower!

CAULIFLOWER BUFFALO BITES – For lovers of all things hot and spicy, this The Real Food Dieticians recipe is for you! Be warned though, it is spicy. You can tone down the kick by just using less hot sauce so it’s quite adaptable. I made these a couple of days ago and they were delicious (and they left the house smelling wonderful!) The ranch dressing and green onions offset the heat of the hot sauce nicely. I mentioned to my husband after making that they’d be a perfect football snack. His reply while laughing: ‘Nothing says football like cauliflower, YUM!’ OK, so I still have a bit of work to do with him!

CAULIFLOWER STEAKS – These are so simple and so, so good. All Recipes roasted cauliflower steaks have a really nice garlic lemon sauce that you’re sure to love. I’ve made this several times and love it! This recipe makes enough sauce for a regular sized cauliflower. If you buy one that seems particularly big, then double your recipe for the sauce. I do find that I like bit more lemon so I usually drizzle the cauli steaks with lemon juice when I serve them.

CAULIFLOWER MASH – Making this is just as easy as making mashed potatoes except, to get the same creaminess, you need to toss your steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender. My super picky husband ate some of it, which is saying something. Christy at Tiny Little Chef has given us some winning recipes that we’re loving! You need to subscribe to get her Whole 30 recipes, but it’s well worth it to do so!

CRACK CAULIFLOWER – Eat Drink Paleo has a great recipe for crack cauliflower. The sauce listed is NOT compliant but I typically have just used compliant ranch dressing in its place. This recipe would be a good for a picky eater to try!

So, there you go. Cauliflower, four ways! It’s easy to become bored with cooking the same ingredient the same way so branch out and give these a try! One of my Whole 30 NSVs is improving my cooking skills. I can look at something like cauliflower and think of many ways to cook it instead of just the one or two ways I used to rely on time and again.

If you have another way to make cauliflower, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!