On March 17, 2014 I was encouraged to try the Whole30. So I started reading It Starts with Food. It sounded impossible! So many crazy eating rules - I would never be able to make it! But once it started I never wanted it to end, in fact my Whole30 turned into Whole60 and now it's WholeMostOfTheTime. I kept a food journal and I have an entirely new appreciation for my body and for what food is supposed to do for me.
If you're not familiar with the Whole30, I suggest just taking the time to read the book It Starts With Food. There are so many blogs and such out there that talk about the Whole30 that have contradicting information. But the basics are:
- 3 meals per day
- Eat your first meal less than an hour after waking up
- Don't eat right before bed
- Eat 1-2 palm size portions of protein at every meal- meat, fish or eggs
- Fill the rest of your plate up with veggies - just go crazy! (limit your starches - no white potatoes)
- Learn what a healthy fat is - start eating them :)
- No dairy
- No legumes
- No grains
- No snacking
- No alcohol
- (Learn how to) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
At first it was hard - it took a lot of planning. I was having to eat a huge amount of food at breakfast because I thought I was getting hungry before lunch. Turns out, I just wanted to eat. I'm a grazer. I never used to like to sit down to an entire meal, I just ate a little here and a little there. But according to the program, that doesn't give your body anytime to actually digest what you've eaten, because you just keep refilling it. Makes sense. This is when I learned what my body was actually telling me. Like right now, I want to eat something. But when I refocus that "want" into determining a "need," I realize that I'm actually not hungry at all.
Once I learned how to listen to my body, things became a lot easier. Planning my meals became a lot easier, and a lot more fun! The book has so many great recipes and I took a lot of them and made them into my own. I'm a pescatarian aka a vegetarian who eats fish/seafood, so the salmon cakes were one of my favorite on-the-go options.
My Whole30 Salmon Muffin "Recipes"
- Chop up some kale, celery, onion, broccoli, spinach, squash (really just chop up a bunch of veggies in a bowl - this "recipe" always changes depending on what I have in the fridge
- Season the veggies
- Peel some carrots and a beet and put them in a blender with a couple eggs (this will help keep your "muffins" together. Sort of like a frittata. You can add some coconut or almond flour if you find that the muffins are too soggy. The book suggests using canned sweet potato here so that's always an option too!)
- Mix it all up with a few cans of salmon
- Put it in muffin tins (or a skillet)
- Bake for 35-45 minutes (or however long it takes you) at about 350 degrees.
- Eat them (for an ACTUAL recipe, please refer to It Starts With Food)
The reason I like this recipe so much is because it's a grab and go option. It covers all of the Whole30 rules in one little muffin!
Whole30 has changed my life because I've learned so much about myself and about what my body needs. I know I've lost a few pounds because all of my clothes fit better - but my skin is brighter and clearer, my mind is more focused and my body functions better! I perform better at work and at the gym and it's all because my body and mind are functioning the way they are supposed to! I thought for a while that I was experiencing a low thyroid problem, but I wasn't. I was just eating the wrong stuff.
So if something off in your body, if you're getting sleepy during the day, if you just want to find out what actually makes you feel good, I highly recommend the Whole30.
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