I have proudly completed what I have called the #Mostly30, which is very similar to the Whole30. The difference? Not much. I cheated a couple times (like real cheats) and I ate bacon with that had trace sugar and had some store bought sriracha. Those of you who are familiar with the Whole30 know that the program requires 100% adherence and if you make any mistakes, then you are to start over.
I appreciate the Whole30. I feel great eating this way, which is essentially zero added sugar (including natural sugars like honey and maple syrup), grains, legumes, dairy, soy, corn, nitrates, additives, and more in the fine print. In this program you learn to #slaythesugardragon, which trains your body to stop wanting dessert after meals and during craving times.
My nutrition style though, is simply not this intense. I love eating grain-free paleo style and I love finding new approaches to my food that decrease cravings and increases nutrition. I do highly recommend the Whole30 to my clients, friends, and family. I love how the instructions in this program, which can easily be found on-line and in the Whole30 Book, aggressively encourage you to stop resisting and just do it. In the instructions lines like, “This is not hard. Cancer is hard. Child birth is hard. Stop complaining,” are common. I like this get over-your-excuses-already approach. On the other hand, I do not advocate feeling like a failure if you have a slip. I would never want to throw in the towel just because my bacon had sugar in it or I had a one meal blip. In fact, I love the Whole3o so much, I advocate doing #mostly30 doing it ALL.THE.TIME. or MOST of the time.
I did want to share with you some of my favorite foods that helped me stay on track. Having prepared food made all the difference.
1. Brussels Sprouts and Cashews
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 to 2/3 cups raw cashews
Enough olive or coconut oil to lightly coat brussels
You can do this dish in a pan or bake it. Either way, start with only the brussels sprouts and either sauté on medium until the sprouts are golden, or roast at 385 degrees for about 20 minutes. Before the sprouts caramelize and get crispy, toss on the cashews and continue sautéing or roasting until the nuts are lightly toasted. This dish is perfect as a side with dinner, or as a whole meal on the run.
2. Chia Mango Pudding
1 or 2 mangoes, cut up
1/2 cup chia seeds
3 cups non-dairy milk
Toss chia seeds and milk in a jar and shake. Shake again 5 minutes later and then again 5 minutes later. (Chia seeds will clump otherwise.) Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or more. Add mangos and enjoy! This recipe makes about 4 servings. If you want it to stay with you longer, add hemp seeds and some nut butter too, or top with unsweetened coconut. Yum!
3. Sweet Potato “toast”
Sweet potatoes sliced either horizontally for vertically.
Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake in oven on 325 degrees. Turn over after about 45 minutes. Bake for another 45 or longer. In my opinion these toasts are best tasting when they are cooked until they almost burn, so that they are chewy and crispy, kinda like a good french bread. These little toasts are a lifesaver for making little sandwiches and eating with a spread on the go. Dust with sea salt. Yum!
4. “toasts” with toppings and Homemade Mayo Sauce
bacon, lettuce, tomato, nitrate free meats, egg salad, sunflower seed pate, sprouts, cucumbers, and so easy homemade mayo:
1 egg room temperature
juice of 1/2 lemon
about 1/2 cup olive oil
Blend (using a food processor or blender) together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons oil until it emulsifies. Continue to slowly add olive oil while blender is on until you get a nice thick mayonnaise. Add lemon juice and you can also add a little mustard powder or dijon. From here you can add lots of flavorings to your mayo, like garlic, herbs, or spices.
This homemade mayo is a perfect base for lots of dressings too, which will satisfy your dairy-free creamy cravings. I like to make caesar dressing with a few tablespoons of this mayo, plus more garlic and fresh lemon, and about a 1/4 cup coconut milk. YUM!