One of the first questions I get asked when talking to someone about meal prep or doing a round of Whole30 is about how hard is it to go 30 days without getting to eat any of the "good stuff"? The second question is usually about how much work goes into making sure you've got compliant food to eat throughout a busy week.
Now, I'm always honest. It's important to commit time to getting your food ready, especially if you're like me and work weird hours. I usually spend a few hours on Sunday afternoon cooking. Honestly, I've really grown to love it. Grocery shopping and chopping and mixing spices has become a sort of therapy for me. I dig it. A lot.
As far as the other thing goes, I always shut that down.
Yes, on Whole30 you don't consume added sugar, dairy, grain, legumes or alcohol. Yes, that's likely super different than what you're used to when zipping through the Starbucks drive-thru for a frapp and happy hour cocktails with bar bites are your Friday night ritual. Girl, I feeeeeeel you.
But when you commit, and I suggest you really go all in, you'll find that it gets easier. There are so many more things that you CAN eat than things you can't. Also, it's 2018, and lots of companies, chefs, stores and even restaurants are making it so much easier to find compliant products, recipes and meals. Literally, I just found a compliant almond butter at Target, and I did a victory shimmy in the aisle. I think, as the program becomes even more popular and widespread, it'll get even more common to find things that fit the program.
I am going to do my third round in May, with May 1st as my start date. I would love for you to join me, but even if you don't...I wanted to share some of my favorite (mostly) compliant recipes with you guys.
These are delicious, easy and inexpensive as far as ingredients go. They're also meals I've made multiple times, both on and off the program, and will likely making many more times.
SLOW COOKER TACO BOWLS x BUDGET BYTES
This is the only recipe in this post that actually is not Whole30 compliant as it's written. Beans, corn and (obviously) cheese are not compliant. I've made it when I was not doing the program and paired it with compliant Mexican cauliflower rice , tostada chips and tortillas. Finding compliant salsa is easier than I thought. I use the Sam's Choice brand from Wal-Mart, but I have to be careful because some of the flavors have added sugar.
If you're looking for an easy, inexpensive recipe that's not necessarily Whole30, making it the way it's written is delicious. If you are on the program, it's still delicious. Hold off on the corn and beans, try adding peppers instead. Then, once you shred the chicken serve it with compliant guacamole on cauliflower rice or on a salad.
This might be my favorite recipe right now. I'm a Texan, so I LOVE tacos.
I recently flew back from a trip late at night and had to go straight into work the next day. I scooped up the ingredients on my way home, plopped them in my slow cooker and went to sleep. Literally, so good.
PALEO TACO CASSEROLE x PALEO SCALEO
This is a slam dunk for anyone who really likes cauliflower rice. It's spicy, flavorful and reheats really well.
SLOW COOKER WHITE CHICKEN CHILI x THE REAL FOOD DIETITIANS
This might be my second favorite recipe, behind the slow cooker taco bowls. I was nervous about using coconut milk to make the soup creamy and white. Nobody wants to eat coconut-flavored chili. I mean, really.
However, all of my fears went away right after I tasted it. Literally so good, comforting and flavorful. I add compliant hot sauce to make it spicier. So perfect for anyone in the market for a super easy, hearty soup.
When I make it, I take it for lunch every day and get tons of questions from co-workers about the yummy smell.
BARBACOA-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS x PRETEND IT'S A DONUT
These babies are definitely the most aesthetically pleasing things I've made. They raked in TONS of Instagram likes. There's something fun about eating something delicious that also looks super cute.
Cooking the barbacoa takes a bit of time, so this isn't the most simple recipe on this list. However, they're delicious, fun and reheat well. If you want to impress someone with your culinary skills, I would definitely try these. Also, the cilantro lime sauce is DELICIOUS.
MY GO-TO HASH x THE REAL FOOD DIETITIANS
One of the saving graces of Whole30 is that you can eat potatoes and sweet potatoes. I have fallen IN LOVE with hashes. This one is the perfect combo of spicy ground sausage and sweet potatoes. I like this recipe because it's delicious, but easy. It is also great to eat for breakfast if you get tired of eggs.
WALNUT-CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN x SARAH JONES FITNESS
For when you want to feel a bit fancy, but not put in a ton of work. Pork tenderloin isn't the cheapest thing to buy, but this recipe will last you a decent number of meals. I like to slice this and put it over salad or eat it with roasted vegetables. It's tender and flavorful. I'm definitely a fan!
POTATO CHICKEN CASSEROLE x JUST JESSIE B
This is a really simple, classic recipe. I like that it's filling and inexpensive. I add a bit of extra hot sauce and seasoning to keep it from being bland. There's a sauce suggested in the recipe. I would taste-test it first before drenching your casserole in it!
TO WRAP THINGS UP
My philosophy is this: if something is tasty without extra stuff that causes inflammation and bloating (reference the WHOLE30 book for this), why even add it?
For that reason, I've gone without adding sugar to my coffee, using butter, always adding cheese (I do sometimes) or keeping milk and bread at home.
I definitely have a lot further to go in my journey to building a super healthy relationship with food and my body, but I am grateful for the progress. I'm grateful for how this program makes me feel. I'm also grateful for the encouragement I have received from so many of you.
If you are interested in doing this with me, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me through the journey via Instagram (@morganyoungtv).
I'll be sharing the recipes I will make throughout this round a week ahead to hopefully help guide anyone doing it through the process.
If you're interested- I would take a look at the website or the book.
Can't wait to embark on my third round of this awesome program. I hope you'll join me!
With Love & Glitter,
I'm Morgan, and this is my little slice of Internet space. I work in television news and have a heart for Jesus, bold lipstick, new books and good outfits. Thanks for stopping by; I hope you'll stay a while.