Are you doing a Whole30 this January? Me too!! Let’s be buddies. Join me all month for easy, seasonal, approachable Whole30 recipes, the occasional tip and trick for surviving the challenge, and recipe rounds-ups from my fave foodies around the web. Let’s do this!
Happy New Year friends! It’s been quiet around here while I took a big, fat break over the holiday season. It was fabulous…but also literally, big and fat. As in, I became a little bigger and fatter while I indulged in all of the holiday sweets and sips that seem to be well-stocked around every corner throughout December. Le sigh. (Truthfully, I don’t regret a single bite).
If, like me, you’re in the mood for a reset, I hope you might join me in a January Whole30! While I’m not a fan of longterm fad diets, or super restrictive diets, I do find shorter “resets” like the Whole30 beneficial, educational, and even fun. I’ve done two Whole30’s since I discovered the program a couple of years ago, and each time I ended the challenge feeling lighter, brighter, and rejuvenated, and much more in tune with the foods that make me feel rad (hello veggies) and the foods that make me feel sad (buh-bye pasta). The Whole30 plan centers around real, whole foods (no pre-made shakes or protein powders, thanks), doesn’t require counting calories or limiting portion sizes (can I get a hallelujah?), and even encourages you to avoid the scale the entire challenge (whee!).
If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 plan, then this link is a terrific place to start. In a nutshell, it’s a short term (30 day) challenge that eliminates sugar (including natural sugars like honey and maple syrup), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, additives, and junk foods/treats (even ones that might technically be “compliant”). After the 30 days, you slowly (every few days) reintroduce the eliminated foods and see if they make you feel better, worse, or the same.
Look, I know that sounds like a lot of stuff to avoid for 30 days. But I promise it’s doable, and even delicious. Here’s what you can eat:
- All of the vegetables, even potatoes. Even white potatoes. YAZ.
- Fruits…within limits. Eat fruits as a normal, balanced part of your diet, keeping in mind that you’re trying not to eat a crapton of sugar.
- All of the unprocessed meat and seafood your foodie heart desires. This includes chicken, steak, pork, salmon, and even bacon (as long as it’s sugar-free).
- Eggs! So many eggs. I hope you like eggs.
- Nuts and seeds, except peanuts (they’re a legume).
- Delicious fats and oils, like avocado, olive, and coconut oil. Plus ghee, which is basically clarified butter and the tastiest on sautéed or roasted veggies.
- Coffee, tea, unsweetened seltzer, and small amounts of no-sugar-added juice. When I’m on a Whole30, I add almond milk to my coffee. It’s not exactly cream, but it gets the job done. As an occasionally treat, I’ll add about a quarter cup of juice to some seltzer. It’s like a fake, works-if-you-squint mimosa.
If you’re intrigued, I encourage you to spend some time on the Whole30 site, and then take a peek at this guide to preparing for a Whole 30 over at the 40 aprons blog. Cheryl does a bang-up job of laying out all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to succeed.
As for this here corner of the internet, I’ll be featuring easy, seasonal, and approachable Whole30 compliant recipes all month from both me and my foodie friends ’round the web. Ready to get started? Let’s dive into some of my favorite seasonal Whole30 compliant recipes that I’ll definitely be reaching for over the next 30 days.
Breakfast can be tough on a Whole30, especially in those first few days when, honestly, you’ll be dragging a little (I swear it gets better after Day 5). One of the keys to success will be easy, delicious breakfasts that you can whip up in no time. This ground turkey hash is without a doubt my favorite Whole30 breakfast prep recipe. I make it on Sunday and eat it all week. During the winter months, I like to swap out the squash and peppers for butternut squash and sautéed spinach.
I love this recipe because it feels sweet and indulgent, but it’s totally sugar free!
See what I said up there about having prepped stuff on hand for breakfast? That applies for dinner (and lunch) too. Start of your month with a batch of easy, adaptable braised pulled pork and you’ll eat like a king (or queen, or whatever) all month. Keep ¼ of it in the fridge for that first week, and freeze the rest to pull out all month. Toss it into salads, throw some into a lettuce wrap with avocado and Whole30 BBQ sauce, or us it as a base for an easy hash.
Who doesn’t want to tuck into a bowl of super comforting chili, especially during this insane cold front we’re all experiencing? This recipe uses fresh roasted poblano chilies as its base, and the resulting flavor is both bright and complex. This is also a great freezer meal.
A Whole30 doesn’t necessarily have to be super meat heavy, as evidenced by this light, but deeply satisfying, vegan cauliflower salad.
I LOVE chicken shawarma, and this salad version is Whole30 compliant and wholly delicious. It feels like comfort food. Tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t exactly seasonal this time of year, though. I usually suck it up and buy some cukes from the grocery store, but swap out the fresh tomatoes for sundried. I consistently get awesome greenhouse salad greens from our Winter CSA, which keeps this recipe feeling fresh and vibrant.
Seasonal winter produce can be tough, especially on a Whole30 when you really need to bulk up your vegetable consumption to feel energized. Enter this roasted fennel salad – fresh, seasonal, and packed with nutrition and flavor. For the sake of transparency, this recipe as-is is 99% Whole30, but the dressing has a touch of honey. You’ll need to lose that to stay compliant, but the dressing remains delish.
More food in a bowl! Soups are my sanity savers during a Whole30 – they’re easy, plentiful, freeze well, and reheat like a dream.