Here we are near the end of our Whole 30 journey, and while it’s been a good experience overall, I must admit we timed it poorly. Next year, we will do it from January second through the thirty-first. We had to endure our style being cramped for Super Bowl snacks (bothered my husband more than me) and our birthdays (bothered me more than him). Oops. We did time it to finish in time for Valentine’s Day, so that’s a “plus”. Here are my thoughts on the ordeal, and our favorite recipes.
While I didn’t do this to lose weight, my husband did and was very successful! My personal takeaway was the meal-planning. I had been meaning to get into this for quite a while much but just never did. When you Whole 30, meal planning is imperative. So I have a new good habit – hooray! I never stopped craving sweet things, I am sad to say. I thought it might disappear after a couple of weeks, but I am just as ravenous as ever for french toast, pancakes, or chocolate in any form. The strange thing is that when I do eat those things, they are mostly homemade and with honey or maple syrup in lieu of processed sugar…so I didn’t expect it to be such a big deal for my body to let them go for a while. I suppose comfort food is comfort food is comfort food. And for me, anything involving chocolate or baked breakfast-type goodness is comfort food. Sigh.
Now: recipes! We loved stuffed baked sweet potatoes from Danielle Walker’s wonderful blog Against All Grain. You can stuff it with whatever veg you have on hand, the chicken breast adds protein, and if you like bacon it adds a nice crunchy, savory kick. We also loved her recipe for enchilada stuffed poblano peppers. My husband loves stuffed peppers, and these have a lovely roasted tomatillo chile verde on top. Both of these made for tasty and satisfying lunches the next day. I took a risk on her roasted beet and bacon salad, which turned out to be a real winner (that recipe is in her first book Against All Grain and is the middle right photo above). I roasted chickens and made salads with the leftover breast meat, which was easy to send him off to work with. We kept it pretty simple to keep our budget under control. Big Brother and I had a lot of eggs and banana nut porridge for breakfast.I modified that recipe to include baked apples in lieu of the bananas for my husband to take to work because he can’t stand bananas. [I baked the peeled, quartered apples in my crock pot overnight with cinnamon, turmeric, clove, ginger, and vanilla extract, then subbed that for the banana and prepared the recipe as usual. This didn’t add much prep time because the nuts need to be soaked overnight anyway.] The only “fail” was when I tried meatloaf meatballs with quick ketchup sauce (top left in the above picture). I liked them, Big Brother was indifferent, my husband was not a fan. To be fair, the sauce called for honey, which I omitted. Oh well – win some, lose some!
I thought my husband was going to hate this little experiment, and at first he did, but he actually suggested we do this twice a year last night! I look forward to being more prepared next time, with the knowledge gained from this first adventure.