Taking on the Whole30 Challenge

Before ringing in the new year, my husband Jason and I had decided we wanted to do something to reset our digestive systems and metabolism.  There are plenty of “cleanses” and “detoxes” out there but many of them are unhealthy, extremely restrictive, and can mess with your metabolism.  I did some research and decided that the Whole30 would be the perfect way to achieve our goals.

The Whole30 is a challenge in which you eat a diet filled with vegetables, meats, healthy fats, and fruits.  No dairy, gluten, grains, sugar, legumes, white potatoes, and alcohol for 30 days.  The purpose of the Whole30 is not only to detox your body from gluten, sugar, and other additives in our foods but to “re-train” yourself to eat real, unprocessed, whole foods.

Jason insisted that we start after the Superbowl and yesterday we began our Whole30 journey.  But boy, we sure went out with a bang! **WARNING**  The dishes you are about to see are NOT Whole30 approved!!***

He even bought me flowers for the date.  What a guy!

He even bought me flowers for the date. What a guy!

Jason took me out to one of my favorite restaurants in Des Moines, Bistro Montage, and it was amazing!  Some of the best French cuisine in the state.

Butternut Squash Risotto with White Truffle Oil

Butternut Squash Risotto with White Truffle Oil

Main Course

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce

We also made sure to enjoy all the wonderful snacks that come with Superbowl Sunday.  Talk about a food coma!

Alright……back to what you CAN eat….

To prepare for the Whole30, I planned out all of our meals and snacks for the week and went shopping for everything last Saturday.  For snacks to have on hand, we purchased a lot of fruit!  Grapefruit, Clementines, apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, and pineapple.

Big basket full of fruit!  Yum!

Big basket full of fruit! Yum!

I also bought Whole30 approved nuts, almonds and pistachios.  I bough small little snack sized ziplock bags and measured out single portions so that we are able to just grab and go.  Nuts are so easy to over eat!  So this really helps keep the portions right!

Grab and go pistachios and almonds

Grab and go pistachios and almonds

I also cut up celery and carrots to place in grab and go baggies as well.  These baggies make it so simple to make the right choices throughout the week.

Grab and go carrots and celery sticks

Grab and go carrots and celery sticks

For lunches, I boiled 4 chicken breasts in water along with an array of seasoning (garlic powder, salt, dried herbs, etc) until the chicken was cooked thoroughly and easily shredded (about 30 minutes).  After I let the chicken cool, I shredded it and stored it in a Pyrex bowl for us to have easy access to for salads and lettuce wraps.

Shredded Chicken for lunch

Shredded Chicken for lunch

And last, but not least….I boiled a TON of eggs!  Super fast, healthy way to get your protein on the go.  These are perfect to pair with fruit for breakfast or as an after work out protein snack.

For dinners, I purchased bulk chicken, wild caught Salmon fillets, and ground turkey.  I have a Food Saver at home which makes buying in bulk easy!  Giant bags of frozen green beans and broccoli were also purchased.

The hardest part about the Whole30 so far has been reading labels and realizing just how much sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy oils are in the foods that we eat.  But it has been a huge wake up call.  I thought I was pretty aware of what I was consuming but this brought it to a whole new level.

If you are interested in joining me in the Whole30 Challenge, here are some helpful websites and PDF’s that I have used to guide me through the challenge.

Program Rules:  http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

Shopping List:  http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-shopping-list.pdf

As Jason and I go through this challenge, I will be posting about our progress and different Whole30 approved recipes to help those taking this challenge on be successful.   As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!  I would love to help!

Looking forward to feeling amazing and establishing positive eating habits.  Are you taking on the challenge?  Let me know if the comments below and let’s support each other!

3 thoughts on “Taking on the Whole30 Challenge

  1. Nice article! Maybe I will be motivated to do this one day!

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  2. […] 1. Preparation is key.  Our success would not have happened if we did not prepare.  Having items ready to go in the pantry or refrigerator was essential.  If you have healthy choices available, you will make the right food choices.  Every Sunday was my day to create a menu for the week, get my grocery shopping done, and meal prep.   I will definitely continue to meal prep on Sundays going forward.  It has made breakfast, lunch, and snacking a breeze throughout our busy work weeks.  If you are needing ideas on what to prepare for the week, check out my post Taking on the Whole30 Challenge. […]

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