If you follow me on Instagram, you’re well aware that I’m in the middle of a Whole30 challenge. And I say challenge instead of ‘diet’ intentionally because that’s what it is: a nutritional challenge, not a weight loss gimmick. While I do have weight loss goals, and most people who make it through a Whole30 do lose weight, this time around I’m seeking life changes instead of just body changes.
If you read my last few pots, you might get the sense that I’ve been feeling pretty ‘bleh’. I can’t blame it on the winter blues anymore because summer is definitely approaching and the longer days are feeling great. Despite this, I was still feeling very low on energy, unable to focus, and generally drained of motivation to do much of anything, and my admittedly shitty diet was not helping.
I completed my first Whole30 back in October/November 2016 and I remember how great I felt during that time. I wanted that again. So, I planned for my second one starting on May 8th, which means I’m at the halfway point right now. And without fail, I am already feeling amazing. I’m sleeping great, getting up early and feeling rested, and I am noticeably more energetic and productive during the day. I almost don’t recognize myself, and I love it!
I tried to learn from my first Whole30 and do a few things differently this time, mainly with my meal planning. I truly believe that meal planning is a must if you want to make it through your Whole30 without pulling your hair out. I did meal plan on my first go-around, but I wanted to do it better this time. I really focused on seasonal produce, big salads, mixing up my proteins, incorporating more fish, trying a variety of recipes, and minimizing waste as much as I could.
I recently started bullet journaling (which I’m now obsessed with!), so on Thursday or Friday I will sit down and write out the meal plan for the next week. I search for delicious looking recipes using Google, Instagram and Pinterest. My go-to blog for recipe inspiration this time around has been The Defined Dish. I think I’ve made about 6 of her recipes so far and they have all been amazing. I make sure to account for leftovers when picking recipes, and once I’ve got everything mapped out I’ll make my grocery list so I’m ready for Saturday morning grocery shopping. Here’s what’s on the menu this week (yes, I have the same breakfast every day):
It’s impossible for me to actually buy and prep all the food I’m going to eat for the entire week. I’ve tried this and decided it’s not for me: 1) because my fridge is tiny and we have basically no freezer, and 2) I love to cook and prefer cooking things fresh as often as I can. So I’ll get any pantry items, plus fridge staples that are small and won’t go bad quickly, and then everything I’ll need for the next three days. I usually go to the store about every other day during the week, so if I forget something, no big deal.
Here are some recipes I cooked last week and loved!
Greek Braised Cod
Hawaiian Chicken Burgers
Curried Tuna Salad
Whole30 Chicken Parmesan
I’m fortunate to work from home, so this method of meal planning, not prepping, works best for me. I still have everything I need for delicious and sometimes quick meals right in the kitchen, and I make sure I have time to cook when I need to. I’ve seen some amazing meal prep on Instagram and Pinterest, so if you’re interested in trying that out, go give it a looksie.
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This was hands down my favorite meal I cooked during the first week of this Whole30! It’s full of flavor, super filling, and makes great leftovers. This recipe is for 4 LARGE servings. I usually cook the taco meat per the recipe and then only bake 2 sweet potatoes for me and the hubs. Then I’ll save the leftover meat and bake fresh sweet potatoes when we’re ready to have it again. The skin gets nice and crispy from the oven, and it’s just not the same reheated from the fridge. The meat, on the other hand, reheats great. Enjoy!
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