All Posts Tagged ‘Whole30 approved

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Whole 30 Meal Plan – Week 3

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Week 3! Finally in the second half of Whole30 where everything starts feeling gooooooood. I can’t believe that I can wake up now and actually function without coffee. I definitely still miss the taste, but I’m so glad that I’m not relying on it.

What do you find the most challenging about Whole30? For me it’s definitely the social functions. I hate being the odd one out, not eating yummy treats at a ladies night or dinner get together. I also hate turning down food that has been cooked for me by someone who loves me. A friend of mine had me over last night and baked a wonderful looking gluten free peanut butter pie and I felt awful for turning it down. I REALLY hate being thought of as the girl who is always on a “diet”. That’s not at all who I am, but when you give the 30 second Whole30 run down to someone, it can certainly come across that way.

However, with all that being said, I’ve found that most of those people at those social functions eventually come to me later wanting more information about Whole30. I’ve seen a lot of them change their lifestyle around completely, and then it’s all worth it, right? We’re spreading the Good Food Word. Plus, no hangover, no food baby, and no extra toilet time.

Here’s what I’m eating this week.

Breakfast:

Paleo Sausage Egg “McMuffin”

Baked Yam and Brussel Sprout Hash

Sweet and Savoury Quiche 

Dinner:

Easy Paleo Pot Roast

Roasted Nectarine Salsa on Wild Salmon

Healthy Braised Pulled Pork

Vegetable and Mango Curry With Basil-Ginger Quinoa (Use cauliflower rice instead of quinoa, chicken instead of chickpeas, and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.)

Cabbage Rolls

Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon

Bacon Chorizo Chipotle Smothered Meatloaf (I always skip the almond flour here and have no problem, but it IS approved to use on Whole30 for this recipe if you wish to use it.)

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Roasted Nectarine Salsa on Wild Salmon

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I am really enjoying the abundance of ripe, fresh fruit this summer and the abundance of fresh wild sockeye from our CSA. I combined my love for nectarines and salmon tonight and came up with this meal that we devoured in minutes! We enjoyed this with a side of roasted beets and mixed baby potatoes.

Ingredients:

1 large tomato

1/2 red onion

1 nectarine

1 jalapeño, seeded

1 small sweet Italian pepper

1 lb wild salmon fillet

1 avocado

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions:

1) Wash and dice your first 5 ingredients into small, uniform pieces.

2) Toss them in melted coconut oil and spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3) Place your baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and set your broiler to high.

4) Broil for 5-10 minutes or until salsa just begins to blacken. Remove and let cool.

5) Place your salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the top rack of your oven and broil on high for 10-15 mins until salmon is cooked through.

7) While the salmon is broiling, dice your avocado and gently mix it into your salsa. Add the chopped basil and toss gently to combine.

8) When salmon is cooked through, remove and place it on your plate. Top with your salsa and enjoy!

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Whole 30 – Week 2 – Meal Plan

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Hey there! Wow, this no caffeine thing has been ROUGH. For the first 3 days I had a non stop pounding headache, was exhausted during the day, and awake in the middle of the night. By day 4 I was feeling way better though, and I’m excited to see how things improve even more over the next few weeks.

Here’s my meal plan for this week. A few breakfasts that I will double, and leftovers for lunch every day. 

Breakfast:

Yams and Eggs (There isn’t much to this “recipe” but it’s one of my favourites. I chop the yams into cubes and fry them in coconut oil and steak spice until cooked through. I remove them from the pan and cover them to keep them hot. Then I quickly fry 2 eggs and put them on top of the yams. You could partially boil the yams at the beginning of the week to make them quick and easy to fry up in the morning.)

Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Potatoes with Kale and Bacon

Crustless Quiche

Dinner:

Mexican Meatza

Chocolate Chili on spaghetti squash

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque (skip the corn)

Sweet Pineapple Ginger Meatballs 

Lemon Garlic Chicken on Zoodles and Kale

Italian Sausage and Zoodles

Moroccan Spiced Salmon

I suggest tripling the Chocolate Chili and Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque and freezing them for Whole30 emergencies. Those are two of my favourite recipes…you won’t be sorry!

Enjoy!

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End of the Week Breakfast Skillet

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breakfastskillet

 

Every Tuesday we get a big box of produce delivered through our CSA program. It’s enough to completely fill our fridge and then some, so every Monday I clear out whatever is left from the previous week and fry it up for breakfast. This is a quick and simple meal that is ever changing, and really doesn’t require a recipe. Here are a few steps for any newbies in the kitchen, but those of you who already have been cooking for awhile, just go for it and see what delicious combinations you come up with!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 sweet onion, peeled and diced

1 apple, washed and diced

Any vegetables you have left in your fridge, washed and chopped to uniform size

Some form of protein (a meal is not a meal without protein the size of your palm!). For example: two fried eggs, nitrate free/sugar free farmer’s sausage, chorizo sausage, etc. Experiment with whatever you have in your fridge.

Directions

1) Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and melt coconut oil in it.

2) Fry your onion and whatever meat you have chosen until cooked through.

3) Add in your vegetables, starting with the hardest vegetables (yam or potato), and then adding the softer ones a few minutes later so they don’t get soggy. 

4) Combine and fry until cooked through. Simple and delicious!

Some of my favourite combinations are: 

Chorizo, yam, leek, apple, bell peppers, and kale.

Farmer’s sausage, potato, apple, bell peppers, swiss chard, and sauerkraut.

Ground pork, zucchini, peppers, fennel, and apple.

Pictured: Farmer’s sausage, red potato, swiss chard and apple.

I would love to hear what delicious comments you come up with or suggest! Leave a comment and share your insight. 

 

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Basil Kale Pesto

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pestoI received a lovely bunch of fresh basil in my CSA delivery this week, so I figured now is the time to attempt my first homemade pesto sauce. I played around with it a bit today and came up with this combination that I absolutely loved.

Ingredients

3 cups fresh basil leaves

2 cups of kale, chopped and stems removed

5 cloves of garlic, oven roasted

1/2 cup of walnuts, oven roasted

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice from half a lemon

Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

1) Peel and smash your garlic cloves. Place them on a cookie sheet and roast them under the oven broiler until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

2) Spread your walnuts on a cookie sheet and do the same as you did with the garlic.

3) Throw all your ingredients into a food processor or Vitamix and blend until you reach desired consistency. Some like it chunky while others prefer a very smooth pesto.

We enjoyed this with scallops and red peppers over spaghetti squash for dinner. Delicious!

pestodinner

 

 

 

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Salmon and Lemon Pepper Zoodles

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This summer we’ve been enjoying so much wild salmon from the Community Supported Fishery that we are a part of. I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of different recipes (basically trying to find which one Charley will eat with the least amount of whining) and have found that this one that I have just barely adjusted from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo is simple, delicious, and great for repurposing leftovers the next day. I have a hunch that Charley might actually like it, although she would never admit it.

I happily eat leftovers every day as a way to save time in the kitchen. When you cook absolutely everything from scratch, leftovers are a necessity. With that in mind, i reheated this salmon from last night’s dinner and added some simple zucchini noodles and red pepper, and it only took about 15 minutes of my time. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the salmon:

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 lb wild salmon

1-2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

Pinch of salt and pepper

For the zoodles:

1 large zucchini, spiralled into zoodles

5 baby bell peppers, chopped

2 tbsp Tessemae’s Lemon Chesapeake sauce

Directions

For the salmon:

1) Preheat your oven on the low broiler setting.

2) Place some tin foil on a baking sheet and grease with coconut oil.

3) Place the salmon skin side down on your baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4) Sprinkle the chopped rosemary on the salmon, and top the salmon with the lemon slices.

5) Broil on low for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.

For the zoodles:

1) Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of Tessemae’s Lemon Pepper sauce.

2) Fry your peppers for a few minutes until they begin to soften.

3) Add your zoodles and combine with the peppers. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until they are softened to your liking.

4) Remove and place in a bowl or on a plate. Top with your leftover salmon.

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Tessemae’s sauces are Whole30 approved and a great addition to your kitchen. They make dishes like this super quick and easy! You can order them online or find them at Whole Foods.

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Potatoes with Kale and Bacon

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POTATOES. KALE. BACON. These are few of my favorite things, especially all served together. I’ve stayed away from white and red potatoes for years but have recently had some fun reintroducing them into my diet after the big Whole30 announcement saying they are now approved.

In regard to the bacon, please don’t make this dish unless you are using sugar free, nitrate free bacon. My conscience can’t let me get away without saying that in this post. Clean bacon can be difficult to find, so do your homework. Find a good butcher and quiz him on how he makes his bacon. If you can’t find it locally, check out US Wellness Meats.

This dish, paired with a few eggs, works well as a pre/post workout meal or a hearty breakfast.

Ingredients

3 cups potatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces

3 strips of sugar free and nitrate free bacon

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped, stems removed

Directions

1) Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and fry in the pan until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, to be added back in later.

2) Remove some of bacon grease from the pan, but leave about 1-2 tbsp in the pan.

3) Add the chopped potatoes to the pan and fry in the bacon grease. Turn the heat down and a little and fry until the potatoes are almost completely cooked through.

4) Turn up the heat again and add in the chopped kale. Give it a good stir and add in the cooked bacon pieces. Fry until the kale becomes slightly crispy in the pan and the potatoes are cooked through.

Serve up and dig in!

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Energy Balls

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I try not to snack unless I really need to. Over the past year I’ve been experimenting with my meal sizes in an effort to figure out just how much food I need at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to avoid getting hungry in between. That being said, sometimes there is no avoiding it. When dinner gets delayed by cranky kids or extra long outings, I like to have something available to quickly grab and tide me over until my next meal. That’s what these energy balls are for. I can also grab a couple on the way to a work out, or take them with me on a hike. There are so many different variations of these that you can make, and I’ve included a few of our favourites. Charley loves making these and I’m happy to have something to offer her instead of a store bought granola bar! Bonus: these are Whole30 approved! Here’s what we created today.

Ingredients

12 dates, pitted and chopped

10 figs, chopped

1 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

2 tbsp raw cacao nibs

1 cup freeze dried strawberries and bananas

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Raw Cacao Nibs

Raw Cacao Nibs

Directions

1) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except for the coconut.

2) Working in batches (approximately 2 cups at a time), blend in a Vitamix (or similar food processor) on low speed until the mixture starts to stick together. Scrape the sides and blend for a few more seconds until it becomes it mouldable.

3) Scrape the sticky mixture out (I use a knife to work around the blade. It’s a sticky mess!) into a separate bowl and repeat with the remaining mixture until all of the mixture is combined. You may need to add a tablespoon of water, depending on how moist your dates and figs are.

4) Scrub your hands and remove any jewellery. Leave your hands wet and roll the sticky mixture into balls, approximately 1 inch in size. Press them pretty tightly to ensure they stay together. Keeping your hands wet will allow you to roll them easily without everything sticking to your fingers.

5) Roll the energy balls in the shredded coconut. You should have approximately 15 energy balls, depending on the size. Enjoy!

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Variations

Replace the hazelnuts and almonds with cashews or macadamia nuts.

Use fresh fruit. This makes the process messier but is absolutely delicious! One of my favourite combinations is fresh chopped cherries and 1 tbsp fresh lime juice.

Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves. Add 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice.

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Lemon Pepper Spaghetti Squash with Scallops and Kale

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I absolutely love scallops! They are a quick and easy source of protein and completely versatile when it comes to flavour. This is one of my favourite lunches to eat post workout.

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and threaded into ‘noodles’

8-10 scallops, ocean wise

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped, stems removed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/8 cup of Tessemae’s Lemon Pepper sauce, approximately

Directions

1) Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat.

2) Pour into the pan about half of the Tessemae’s Lemon Pepper sauce

3) Place your scallops in the pan, leaving lots of wiggle room between them. Leave them to cook for 3-5 minutes.

4) Flip over your scallops and allow them to cook for another few minutes.

5) Add your red pepper and stir to combine with the scallops. Let cook for a minute.

6) Add your kale and the rest of your Tessemae’s sauce. Mix everything and fry until kale is softened and scallops are completely cooked through.

7) Remove from pan and serve over spaghetti squash noodles. Enjoy!

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How Whole30 Changed My Life

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Have you heard of the Whole30 craze yet? It has gained a lot of popularity since I first discovered it a few years ago. I discovered Whole30 about 4 years after ‘recovering’ from an eating disorder. I had finished my therapy and was now trying to figure out how to live a balanced life. Even though I was finally eating three meals a day, my relationship with food was still so damaged. I found that if I tried to focus on getting in shape again and being healthy, it would trigger old habits too quickly and I would start to obsess and quickly become miserable again. If I went the other way and didn’t try at all, then I felt sluggish and heavy and guilty. I was using an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication to dull the guilt and anxiety surrounding food, but I knew I couldn’t do that forever. I hated my postpartum body but was too scared to try and fix it. I feared becoming ‘sick’ again, and I had sworn to myself I would never do that to my husband and daughter.

About a year and a half after my daughter was born, a friend of mine posted a food photo on Instagram with the hashtag #whole30. I asked her what it was, and got the run down: No grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, or alcohol for 30 days. This intrigued me! I jumped in without doing much research and not fully understanding the concept. I admit that I desperately wanted to lose a bit of weight and this seemed like a great way to do it. (Now, years later, I understand that the program is NOT meant for losing weight, although most people do lose weight on it).

Seven days into the program, I couldn’t believe how different I felt. My body was settling into a natural and comfortable weight. Energy was coursing through me for the first time since before puberty. I was able to eat and not feel guilty after. I was having fun experimenting with new foods and new ways to cook. My clothes were fitting differently and I had an overall feeling of lightness. I often joke that I even became more fertile than usual as I discovered that I had become pregnant with our son during the thirty days, completely by surprise.

By the end of the thirty days I felt fantastic. I was so happy with the results. I was convinced that everyone I knew needed to try the program! Unfortunately a few weeks later I became extremely ill while pregnant and could not stand the sight or smell of any protein and very few vegetables. For the rest of my pregnancy I survived on toast, apple juice, goldfish crackers and the occasional carrot. I undid all the good things accomplished during my first Whole30 challenge, but this time I knew how to fix it. I knew that as soon as my pregnancy was finished, I could do another round of Whole30 and get back on track.

Six weeks after my son was born, I did my second round. This time I researched a lot and read It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the creators of Whole30. I learned the reasons behind it, how to properly reintroduce food after the thirty days, and how to live a balanced life after. I incorporated all kinds of exercise. Again the results were so fantastic and came quicker during the second round.

The best thing of all: I learned to stop seeing food as the enemy.  I learned that the number on the scale is meaningless. I learned that I don’t have to waste my time counting calories. I learned that strength is beautiful. I learned that it’s important for my children to see me eat and enjoy food and use food to give me energy. I learned to see food as fuel for my body.

I can’t even begin to explain the freedom I have experienced. Freedom from medication, freedom from guilt, freedom from self-hatred. I used to fall asleep at night in tears, hating myself and hoping that the next day I would be able to eat less and less and less until there was nothing left of me. Now, I fall asleep knowing that I’ve done my best for that day to show my children that food is wonderful, food is energy, food is strength. 

So, now what? Almost a year and a half after my second round of Whole30, this is how I live: All the food that I eat in my home is Whole30 approved. Because I am a stay at home mom, this makes up about 90% of my meals each week. When I go out for dinner with friends, holidays, or special occasions, I enjoy myself and eat whatever I feel like eating, knowing that I will most likely not feel my best the next day. I understand that when I do this, I am not choosing the best fuel for my body. But because I do not do this often, I am completely okay with those choices. There is no more guilt associated with poor food choices. I am not ‘cheating’ on some kind of diet; I am making conscious decisions. This kind of balance works for me. My body feels better than ever. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I am a good example for my children. I feel healed.

If you feel guilty about your food choices, if your body feels exhausted, or if you just want to clean out your system, I really encourage you to check it out. Click here to check out the official program.

If you decide to try out the program or if you have any questions, I would love to be a resource for you. Almost all of my recipes filed under ‘Cooking with Joanna’ are Whole30 approved, and I think you’ll find my Ten Tips for a successful Whole30 very helpful. I am happy to answer any questions you might have and would love to offer encouragement! Follow me on Instagram at @wellnesswithjoanna also, as I am constantly collecting and sharing Whole30 approved recipes from other recipe bloggers. Happy Whole30-ing!

And PS – so much thanks to that friend for sharing her Whole30 experience on Instagram. You know who you are.