Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Whole30 Must Haves

My snack pack for attending a football game when I knew I couldn't eat anything in the stadium.
 I tend to approach Whole30 fairly simply for a couple of reasons. First, I am feeding not only myself, but also my husband, who does not do Whole30 with me. So I'm typically making something that accommodates both of our eating preferences. I also don't want to break the bank buying a whole bunch of specialty foods or ingredients that are only used for Whole30 recipes.

But there are some foods that I found to be totally worth it, that make life more delicious and stress-free. Some of these are things that make life easier, and others are things that feel like treats, which makes Whole30 feel a lot less restrictive.

1. Ghee/clarified butter - so glad that I found this. You can make your own, but that just sounded like a lot of work when I can find it at Trader Joe's. There are just certain foods that could use that buttery flavor, and so this was totally worth it.

2. Guacamole - watch the ingredients on store-bought guacamole, but know that guac got me through two Whole30 rounds for a reason. Your body needs healthy fats to feel full, and these are perfect for that. Costco has the huge packs of Wholly Guacamole singles, but I've also purchased single-serve guacamole from Aldi, Target, and other places too. One of my on-the-go breakfast items (almost every day) was dipping carrots in guacamole.

Whole Foods Gua-kale-mole is really good stuff.
3. Coconut Aminos - If you like to cook different meat and veggie stir frys, this is a great substitute for soy sauce. And one of my easy peasy meals during Whole30 is creating lettuce wraps with ground chicken or turkey cooked with garlic, ginger, and coconut aminos. Limited ingredient, super quick meals are totally my thing.

4. Chomps Snack Sticks - Okay, you might be able to live without beef sticks. Not me. I ate a lot of beef sticks prior to Whole30 (my coworkers can attest), and so I was very excited to find compliant ones. For days that I needed to pack some emergency snacks, these came in handy.

5. Almond butter - Almond butter became a little bit too much of a comfort food for me during the first Whole30 (I went through more than one jar...). There were times that I would get home from work and need a quick spoonful to give me a little boost before making dinner. This time I was much more mindful, and ate a lot less of it, but it was another great thing to keep on hand for those days that I needed a quick snack. Plus it's tasty with celery sticks or apple slices.

6. LaCroix - LaCroix has helped me kick my soda habit a few different times. It's become such a part of my daily routine that I'm known to show up at friend's houses with a LaCroix in hand. My alcohol-free version of BYOB, I guess?

7. Peppermint Tea - At our house we have developed sort of a nightly ritual where we drink a cup of peppermint tea after dinner while watching tv. It's become such a comforting ritual that I look forward to each night.

8. Fancy olives - One of my favorite splurges has been going to the Whole Foods olive bar and making a small container of mixed olives and roasted tomatoes. Total treat. And amazing salad topping that eliminates the need for a dressing!

Mmm. Briny and delicious.

9. Macadamia nuts - The splurge of nuts, but boy do I love them. Definitely in the treat category.

10. Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning - One of my favorite discoveries this time around was that my favorite cajun seasoning is Whole30 compliant. Since that moment, I've been putting it on everything - chicken, broccoli, potatoes.

Everyone has their own things that help them to make the program fit for them. My must haves may be totally different than yours, and have also varied some between my two Whole30s. For some folks it's Larabars, which unfortunately I can't eat. For others it's specific fruits or veggies - I ate a whole lot of kale salad and roasted broccoli this time around.

Have you done a Whole30? Do you have any must haves?

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