I’ve mentioned before that I don’t spend a lot of time each week planning out our lunches. Instead, I plan dinners that are large enough to have leftovers for us to make lunch out of the next day. On Sundays, though, I do like to make a big batch of something to supplement those leftovers at lunch. Lately, this broccoli salad has been on rotation (I double the recipe).
This recipe is…. wow. So good.
The meatballs are great on their own but are taken over the top with the coconut sauce. Like I actually just want to make a batch of this sauce every week to put on all of the things. I also love changing up your typical meatball by using ground chicken instead of beef and Thai spices.
As some of you may know, my husband and I are currently in the midst of our second round of Whole 30. If you are unfamiliar with what Whole 30 is, the intent is for it to be used as an elimination diet–to strip certain food groups from your diet for an extended period of time and then strategically add them back in to have a better understanding of what certain foods do to your body.
These food groups are added sugar (of any kind – including honey, stevia and Paleo sugars like coconut sugar and maple sugar), alcohol, gluten and non-gluten grains (rice, quinoa, oats, etc), legumes (peanuts, beans, peas, chickpeas, etc), and dairy (ghee, or clarified butter, is an exception). On top of these food groups, you cut out additives like carrageenan, MSG and sulfites–really any processed foods.
Aside from being used as an elimination diet, the other goal of the Whole 30 is to change your relationship with food. You are not allowed to recreate desserts, breads, tortillas, etc with “approved” ingredients–because in your brain, a slice of cake is still a slice of cake whether it’s made with refined sugar and wheat flour or coconut sugar and almond flour. That isn’t to say that the Paleo version isn’t a healthier choice, but the program is about making good food choices for 30 days.
Lastly, you’re not allowed to step on the scale, take any body measurements or count any calories during the 30 days. Because, as you’ll notice, this diet isn’t about losing weight (though I promise you will). It’s about learning to listen to your body and see weight change without stepping on the scale and other non-scale victories (i.e. clearing up acne, getting thyroid disorders under control, learning that it’s the sugar you are putting in your coffee every morning causing your midday crash).
It may seem overwhelming and it does take a lot of planning to be successful (one slip-up means you go back to Day 1), but hopefully some of the resources I’m providing here at Whole Life Handbook will inspire you to do it and help get you through it! Here’s an overview of what we ate during the first week (including links to recipes!)
Since there is no penne pasta in this recipe, I probably cannot call it “Penne Rosa.” But I don’t know what else to call it. So here we go.
As you may know, on Mondays I like to share standard recipes I’ve modified to be Paleo and/or Whole 30 approved. This week is a pretty simple one, but I wanted to share it anyways to show you how easy it is to make small tweaks to your favorite recipes to make them healthier.
This recipe from Wholefully is a recreation of Noodles and Co’s Penne Rosa. It’s actually a really great start–I only made a few modifications. The most obvious one is swapping out the pasta since grains are a no-no on Paleo. The swaps I’ve made make this recipe both Paleo and Whole 30 compliant.
In the winter, we make some sort of roast in our house once per week. My favorite is a nice pork roast with BBQ sauce, served over a sweet potato and topped with coleslaw.
Since this sauce uses dates rather than honey, it is not only Paleo, but also Whole30 Compliant. You could also use a bit of unsweetened apple sauce in place of the dates.
On Mondays, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite non-Paleo recipes that I’ve made a few tweaks to make them Paleo. This one, in particular, also happens to be Whole 30 approved.
On the surface, Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets seem like a safe choice, but one quick look at the ingredients list will prove you wrong: soybean oil, modified corn starch, sugar, cane molasses (sugar) and dextrose (more sugar)—all things you should avoid in general, but are definitely not allowed on Whole 30. Luckily, a quick Google search brought me to this homemade version from Girls Can Grill.
We shop at Costco once a week and the items they carry constantly rotate, so I’m always finding new things (and spending too much money!). I’ll usually do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Whole Foods, HyVee or Trader Joe’s on the weekend and then make a stop at Costco during the week after the gym. It’s easily the most cost effective option (at least in our area) for staples like organic chicken and eggs.
In the future, I’ll do “What I bought at Costco” type posts with some of the new items I find. This list, for the most part, are the items I find in my cart regularly.