Holy30!

Over the last few months (read: years) I have, let’s just say, overindulged myself. A lot. Like 2 burritos a day washed down with (at least) a bottle of vino a lot. Turning 30 last week and just feeling, well, downright disgusting spurred me to attempt my second elimination diet. Enter Whole30.

Last year, in a quest to uncover why when eating, my stomach has a tendency to protrude enough to appear 6+ months pregnant, I attempted the low FODMAP diet. Sure, I felt lighter and less hungover, but I only lost 1 pound. And I didn’t figure out the weird stomach swelling phenomenon. And doing it alone was a pretty miserable experience.

Now I’m back to tackle a crazy month of restrictions but I’m taking on Whole30 with a buddy who shall henceforth be known as Olive.

The primary struggle I had with the low FODMAP diet was no onion, garlic or vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Giving those up was harder than wine and cheese. Shocking, I know.

Thankfully with Whole30 almost all fruits and vegetables are permitted. The goal is to cut out all the crap – nothing processed, no dairy, no grains, no gluten, no sugar, and (sadly) no booze. It’s not about losing a bunch of weight but about resetting your system. So here goes!

Having a Whole30 buddy helps because you get to enjoy more variety in your meals. Last year I’d make a batch of turkey chili and be eating it for 5 days. Yawn. Now that I’m feeding two people (one of whom is a large man) I get to have some more fun with the recipes.

Day One of Whole30 looked like this…

BREAKFAST: Veggie & Sausage Egg Bake


INGREDIENTS

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 1 bell pepper, diced

– Half a red onion, diced

– 10 medium mushrooms, sliced

– 5 handfuls of fresh spinach

– 2 sugar & gluten free spicy Italian sausages

– 10 free range eggs

– Salt & pepper

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook up all the ingredients minus the eggs.
  • Spread over the base of a large (and deep) baking dish.
  • Pour over the eggs.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is brown and the egg is firm to touch.
  • Slice into squares and save for breakfast.

LUNCH: Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potato and Sautéed Kale


INGREDIENTS

– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 4 organic chicken breasts

– 4 cloves of garlic, crushed

– Juice of one lemon

– 2 tsp paprika

– 5 handfuls of chopped kale

– Half a red onion, diced

– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 2 sweet potatoes, mashed

– Salt & pepper

METHOD

  • Place your sweet potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Exact length of time needed to cook will vary depending on size of potatoes. Just make sure they are soft before you cut them open and scoop out the insides.
  • Fry up your garlic in olive oil over a medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add chicken and cook until golden.
  • Add lemon juice, paprika, salt & pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a wok, sauté your red onion and kale in 1 tbsp of oil with salt & pepper. Once softened add balsamic vinegar and cook until liquid has reduced.
  • Throw on a plate – devour!

DINNER: Turkey Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers with Spinach Salad 


INGREDIENTS

– 2 bell peppers cut in half long ways

– 1 small red onion, diced

– 2 cloves garlic, crushed

– 1 can tomato sauce

– 1 tbsp tomato paste

– ½ pound ground turkey

– 1 tbsp cumin

– 1 tbsp paprika

– 1 tbsp chili powder

– 1 tbsp Italian seasoning

– 3 handfuls spinach

– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tsp Dijon mustard

– Salt & pepper

METHOD
Place your halved peppers face down on a baking tray and put in the oven at 350 degrees while you make the chili.

Fry the onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft. Add the turkey and seasonings. Stir in the tomato and paste, let simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes.

Take your peppers out of the oven, turn face up and spoon chili into them. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Shake balsamic vinegar, oil and Dijon mustard in a mason jar. Put your leaves in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.

SNACK/DESSERT: Coconut Cacao Chia Pudding with Macerated Strawberries 


INGREDIENTS

– 1 can coconut milk

– 2 tbsp chia seeds

– 2 tbsp cacao powder

– 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 tsp vanilla paste

– 3 dates, finely chopped

– Strawberries, sliced

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– ½ tsp black pepper

METHOD

Mix the top 6 ingredients in a bowl – divide among mason jars. Place in the fridge overnight.

Drizzle strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Place in a container and add to the fridge with your setting pudding until you’re ready to eat!

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