Coach Juju’s January Faves

Happy Day #9 of the January Whole30! It’s been exciting to see how many people are taking on this challenge to improve their lives, their relationship with food, and their all-around well-being!

I am a few days ahead of the “official” January Whole30 – today is my Day #11 and I am feeling GREAT! Bring on the Tiger Blood!

This month, as I am doing my own Whole30, I wanted to share some of my current favorite products. These are my tried and true standbys that I rely on ALL of the time! I hope these help you as you navigate your round!

  • Fourth & Heart Himalayan Pink Salt Ghee: This is my ride-or-die added fat on Whole30. Sometimes I use it in the pan to cook and other times, I add a nice dollop to my food. It’s salty, buttery, and makes everything taste better! I usually grab it on Amazon but recently I got a GREAT deal on it on Thrive Market and I stocked up!
  • The New Primal Cilantro Lime Meat Sticks: True confession time: These meat sticks have become my #1 favorite on-the-go protein. They are SO smoky (they remind me of salami) and delicious. The New Primal recently converted all of their meat sticks to become Whole30 Approved – and this is the best news to kick off 2020. You can grab yours at www.thenewprimal.com and use code “WHOLE30FACEBOOK” to save 25% off your order!
  • Chosen Foods Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is my go-to cooking oil for pretty much everything I make – for both me and my daughter. I go through it quickly so I try to get the big bottles from Costco (when my friends go to Costco and buy them for me!) when I can. If not, I can find this at Target or Trader Joe’s, or on Amazon.
  • Georgia Grinders Cashew and Pecan Butter: This Whole30 Approved nut butter – made with a family recipe – blows any other nut butter out of the water. It’s so good that it’s almost TOO good – be sure to portion out some to use as your added fat so you don’t accidentally eat the whole jar! I will often add a spoonful to fruit on my plate as an added fat or use in a recipe – like this one from Whole Kitchen Sink. Use code “JUJURULES” at www.georgiagrinders.com for free shipping on orders $30+.
  • nutpods: I am a coffee queen and I start my day with two cups of coffee with nutpods. They make me so happy. And yes, I go to bed at night dreaming of my morning coffee! You can grab yours at www.nutpods.com with code “JUJUSWHOLE30” to save 15% off your first order! COFFEE IS LIFE!
  • Paleo Powder Coating Mix: One of my favorite recent easy meals is chicken tenders made in my Air Fryer with Paleo Powder coating mix. I dip the chicken in egg and then roll in the coating mix. Then, I put it in my Air Fryer, spray with some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, and cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or so on each side. I dip in compliant ranch or ketchup and enjoy! These are great to reheat during the week as well or chop up to use on a salad. You can snag the coating mixes for 20% off with code “EVERYDAYWHOLE” at http://bit.ly/2J2NlJ1.
  • Tessemae’s Buffalo Ranch Dressing: I received this dressing as part of a gift pack sent to all Whole30 Coaches for the January Whole30. I was skeptical because I thought I didn’t like Tessemae’s products. Boy, was I wrong! I quickly started putting this on EVERYTHING I ate and used it to make this buffalo ranch chicken casserole. It is so good that I ordered a bunch more from Thrive Market to make sure I was well stocked for my January round! Through January 31, you use grab 20% off Tessemae’s products with code “W30COACH” at www.tessemaes.com
  • Polar Seltzer: Polar is a local favorite here in the Boston area and I can’t get enough. I especially love the seasonal winter flavors and the junior cans. If you can find Polar in your area, it’s a winner in my book and the perfect way to wash down your Whole30 meals!
  • Special deliveries – Misfits Market and Cooked: To keep your Whole30 fresh and interesting, it’s fun to receive some special deliveries. Every other week, I get a box of organic produce from Misfits Market. I don’t know in advance what I will receive but it’s a neat challenge to cook it all. If you want to give it a try, code “COOKWME-TY6OGJ” will give you a discount (usually between 25-50% off) on your first box at www.misfitsmarket.com. And if you need a break from cooking, Whole30 Approved partner Cooked will save the day! I’ve been working with them to create some new Whole30 Approved meals that you can just heat and eat. You can save 15% off your first order with code “EVERYDAYWHOLE” at www.eatcooked.us. Enjoy the time away from the kitchen!

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.