In November 2014 after consuming entirely too many calories and adult beverages for 2 people in a one month time span (and quite frankly feeling sick about it ) not to mention a huge lack of working out due to long work schedules and other nameless excuses, Jeremy and I decided we would start the ever popular but also effective Whole30 Food Program and get our butts back into the GYM!
Not a Resolution but a different way of being!
We wanted to start the New Year off healthy, get back in the swing of working out full time and we wanted to be devoted to changing our eating habits and lives for the better. (Side note: I had made a promise to myself on the very last day of vacation this previous summer that I would be in a bikini next season for the first time since having kids (summer of 2010)…. I have a lot of work to do and this seemed like the right place to begin).
I did some initial research and realized that hey, this really wasn’t going to be THAT difficult. Besides not being able to have a glass of wine while cooking dinner, during dinner and several after dinner a few times a week…. we could totally do this right?!?!
All joking aside – the Whole30 Food Plan is essentially not too far off how we grocery shop and cook normally – when we put the effort in, which is realistically 85-90% of the time. What really gets us is the weekends, the random “crap” we snack on, being lazy with boxed/processed side dishes and foods, eating out and take out, and adult beverages.
I personally have NEVER had any desire to do a detox or diet of any kind…. I have always been of the mindset that eliminating certain parts of your diet is unhealthy and not for me. AT all. I was an avid athlete my entire life and saw the effects of different foods on the body and how they are are needed for balanced nutrition. It was something I held on to.
Friends have done these programs as well as other popular options, and I have watched them and never had any desire to join in. Ever. EVEN when it worked!! I am not sure what changed in November but I was on-board – completely ready to go and Jeremy was too!!
We finished 2014 out with our normal day to day – cooking dinner, and bringing breakfast and lunch to work pretty much everyday but as Holiday’s go – there were lots of lunches bought out (which definitely didn’t help our overweight cause) and many weekends where take-out became the go-to.
I got more excited as this all kept happening and it fueled my fire to do this whole thing and get healthy come January.
We set a date: January 5, 2015 to begin which fortunately fell in line with a LARGE amount of our friends and family who were also doing the same thing! Having a big support group is another amazing perk.
Around the middle of December I began planning out our first week of meals. I printed out the download pages of the Whole30 website and got myself organized. The Shopping Lists and tips & tricks were a huge help when making my own lists and creating a meal plan for the week became super easy. Recipes were easy to come across and I found that with slight variations, many of the things we already made on a constant basis would work for the the Whole30.
I am a weirdo and meal plan during the work week for the following week – Friday to Friday (I am sure most people plan Sunday to Sunday right? Or at least Saturday to Saturday and do your shopping on the weekend?). I work from home on Fridays so I do my shopping on Fridays as well as its easy to get out of the house right after work and before I have to pick the kids up from school. (Everyone knows taking 2 toddles to the grocery store alone = ZERO fun). However for this instance, I planned Sunday-Friday for our first week as I knew Jeremy and I would be shopping together as we had a long week at home after the New Year. I also knew we would want to get our “last meals” in that last weekend!!
(Side note: Yes I know the Coconut Milk pictured here has added sugar, we wanted to ease in (although this tastes just as bad) – we also have canned Coconut milk with no additives).
Most of the time I plan dinners which can double as lunch for the next day so we don’t have to worry about two separate meals but occasionally we’ll make something specifically for lunch. This week – everything worked out to take leftovers which was a plus for the first week!
Our first week went as follows:
Sunday – Chicken Meatballs with Homemade Marinara Sauce (Recipe Below)
Monday – Salads with Grilled Chicken and Homemade Balsamic Dressing
Tuesday – Spaghetti Squash with Sauce (Same that was made on Sunday but I added Ground Turkey meat)
Wednesday – Pulled Pork over Zucchini pasta (Kim and Brian brought this for our weekly dinner date)
Thursday – Steaks with Zucchini and Squash “pasta” and Side Salads.
We prepped hard boiled eggs to take for breakfast at work with bacon as a side. We sliced peppers and celery, and bagged fruit and pistachios for snacks.
We weighed ourselves and took measurements and pictures. (Maybe I will post the before and after in February depending on how well we do – maybe not!)
We had our last meal – Potbelly, and drank our last drinks – A Coke-Zero for me and Rum and Coke for Jer.
We were ready!
Day 1) Daycare Provider has the flu so Mama is home.
Breakfast = change of plans. I kept the eggs and bacon we had prepped in the fridge and whipped up some scrambled eggs with diced peppers, onions and cilantro and added my bacon and I was golden.
I ate the same lunch (left-over Chicken Meatballs with Sauce) that we had planned along with some snacks (a banana and half a handful of Pistachios) and felt great. I was able to leisurely prep the fixings for the Salads for dinner and lunch the next day. (And when I say leisurely – I mean not within 20 minutes of walking through the door from work while also feeding the kids and trying to spend some time with them while knowing that bath and bed are right around the corner).
The salads turned out AWESOME – we did Romaine Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Cucumber and Homemade Balsamic Dressing…. I sauteed up chicken breast with spices to taste and fresh lemon juice and we were ready… Simple, easy, refreshing and DELISH!!
The gym is also a huge aspect of this Whole30 Program for us as well. I got a Polar Heart Rate Monitor for Christmas and I plan to put this baby to use as much as I can. I used it for the first time on the first day of the Whole30 and LOVED it. What a great way to push myself even harder!!
As for now we’re on the second day and while Jeremy seems to think his insides are eating themselves – they are not – we’re realistically eating the same amount of food that we normally would…. We’re doing pretty good!!!
I plan to post updates, and recipes in the next coming weeks and we’re really hoping to see some good results from this program!!
For now I will leave you with the recipe for the FAMOUS Spicy Chicken Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (one of our favorites – stolen from my SIL Katie!!)
Spicy Chicken Meatballs and Homemade Sauce
For the Meatballs:
2lbs Ground Chicken (we used Organic this time around and hope to continue doing so in the future)
Fresh Garlic (Minced)
Diced Fresh Cilantro
Diced Jalapeno Pepper (I used 1.5 medium sized total for the meatballs and the sauce)
Diced Fresh Parsley
Normally I would use Bread or Panko crumbs but this week I did not….(I was afraid the meat wouldn’t stick but I think with all the spices it did nicely).
Dried Spices to taste: Crushed Mint, Oregano and Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Form into meatballs and place in cupcake tin (don’t ask why I do this – but they cook perfectly this way). Bake for 20-25 minutes (until cooked through) on 350 degree ferinheight.
For the Sauce:
I change this up a bit here and there to cater to our specific taste but this last go around was the best yet!
1 16oz can Organic Diced Tomato
1 16oz can Organic Crushed Tomato
Organic Tomato Paste (about 1/2 a cup).
Organic Tomato Sauce (maybe a little more than 1/2 a cup).
Diced Green Pepper
Diced Portabella Mushroom
Freshly Diced Parsley
Diced Jalapeno Pepper
1 Small Diced Yellow Onion
I used Organic canned tomatoes as I am no farmer and do not have time to can my own (haha joke)…. and you can normally find these with little to no sugar additives at your grocery store.
Saute the Onions and Garlic in a pot on Medium Heat until soft. Add the Green Peppers and Mushrooms and cook 5-7 minutes. Pour in the cans of tomatoes (I usually just dump everything in at once) as well as the Tomato Paste and Sauce.
Add spices and fresh herbs. Bring to a slight boil.
Simmer on medium/medium low for 30 minutes.
Pour over meatballs and ENJOY!