After a short break filled with crazy life stuff, I’m back. I finally have time over the next few weeks to put together some great content and recipes for you guys and I’m so excited about it. First things first, a little bit of life lately.
The big news here is that for the next 4 months I’ll be living it up solo while my husband completes a study abroad semester in Finland! He’s finishing up his masters degree and we knew from the beginning there was a possibility of him going abroad for some of that time. Well, this is it. I’ll admit, it sucks a little bit. I’ll be staying in Vienna, continuing to work from home while he is way up north studying full-time. I plan to visit as much as I can (I’ve already booked my first trip!), and I intend on sharing all those adventures with you.
Now, if you’re in any way part of the paleo or Whole30 world then you know the September Whole30 is in full swing. A few weeks ago, I had every intention of being on that ride. Unfortunately, my intentions were not enough to actually prepare me for a Whole30, because on day 5 I bit the dust thanks to some intense sugar cravings. Not my best moment (there were mug brownies involved). So what went wrong? Lots of things.
For one, I got a little cocky. I have already completed two Whole30 challenges and honestly thought I could do another without doing any prep or planning. You see, my husband was flying out on September 1. His last day in Vienna was the day before September Whole30 started. I didn’t want to waste any time worrying about meals I would be making while he was gone, and I focused instead on spending time with him, going to our favorite restaurants and just being together. It was so much fun and I’m glad I did it. The only downside was that when September 1 rolled around, I had no food in the fridge and no energy to do anything about it. I powered through for a few days until the ‘mug brownie incident’ on day 5. I did not set myself up for success, and ultimately failed.
But instead of falling down the rabbit hole, I decided to just start over. I gave myself a few days to recoup and restarted my September Whole30 on September 9th. Today is day 6 and things are looking good. I’ve learned my lesson and have done some serious meal planning this time around.
Meal Planning for the Win
Meal planning has been a learning experience. In no way have I mastered the concept, but I have figured out how I like to do it and what works best for my tiny kitchen and refrigerator. Meal planning has been a lifesaver on stressful days. It keeps me on track to eat healthy, Whole30 meals and it’s one less thing for me to worry about every day.
Make a plan
I prefer to do more meal planning than prepping. I don’t have room for a ton of prepped food in my fridge, so having a game plan works better for me. Normally on Saturdays I make a list (on actual paper) of all the meals or recipes I want to cook during the week, leaving room for leftovers. I usually find inspiration on Pinterest or from my favorite Whole30/paleo Instagramers. And as much as I love planning out my meals, I also don’t like feeling tied down to cook something if I don’t feel like it, so I always leave some wiggle room in case I want to change things up mid-week.
Shopping for Groceries
Because my fridge is so small (think college dorm room fridge, but maybe one extra shelf), when I go to the store I usually buy groceries for the next 3-4 days of meals. I’m forced to do smaller grocery hauls because of my minimal storage space, but I’ve grown to prefer it. I can focus on eating what’s on hand and all my fresh produce stays crisp, juicy and delicious until it’s gone. I’m not staring down moldy fruit or squishy carrots because I only buy what I plan to eat within a few days. Yes, this means I’m going to the grocery store more often, usually about 3-4 times a week, but I love it. It feels so good to use up the last of my veggies when they are all still fresh, and then restock the fridge with more. This also means I can mix things up and have a variety of fruits and vegetables during the week.
A little prep goes a long way
Some meal prep is still necessary for this to work. For me, this means washing greens and putting them in plastic bags, cleaning and cutting fruit for the fridge, making condiments and sauces, and washing veggies. If I have something like tuna salad on the menu I will go ahead and make that because it will last several days in the fridge and stay fresh. And that’s it. Everything is ready to grab and go. I don’t like making entire meals in advance to reheat during the week. I love to cook and I’m fortunate to have time to cook all my meals.
Whole30 Week 1 Meals
Here are a few things I cooked this week with links to their sources if you want to try them out! This isn’t the whole list of planned meals, but some of my favorites that happened to have decent pictures 😉 .
The Defined Dish
So flavorful and super easy! I halved the recipe and it was good for 2 of my meals this week.
The Defined Dish
Super easy lunch that keeps great in the fridge. I like to have it with a bunch of greens and freshly shopped veggies. I made about 2/3 of the recipe and had this for 3 meals.
The Defined Dish
There are tons of great mayo recipes on the web so find one you like. It’s worth it! Perfect for making quick sauces and dips.
Loaded Warm Bananas
Central Plus Seven
Something I created for a quick, sweet snack. Warm a banana with some cinnamon in the microwave for a few seconds and top with your favorite toppings.
The Organic Kitchen
Holy cow, this was so good. I made several adjustments to this recipe and hope to share my version soon! In the meantime, this one is awesome. This lasted me for 3 meals.
Central Plus Seven
I don’t have a real recipe for these bowls, but this is what I do with anything leftover or about to go bad in the fridge. Load it up on some greens, add some protein and a sauce. I have something like this 3-4 times a week.
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