In the last two years, my family and I have done two Whole30 programs and we have learned so much about nutrition and our bodies.
If you aren’t familiar with Whole30, it is basically an experiment to learn which foods provide the best fuel for your specific body by removing common “problem” foods for 30 days. If you haven’t done the Whole30, I would definitely recommend looking into the program and giving it a try. Whether or not you are currently having any physical symptoms, nutrition plays such a huge part in our physical and even our mental health.
Although Whole30 is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, the food really is so delicious. We definitely had a few recipes that were flops, but overall we enjoyed a lot of great meals. If you are going to embark on Whole30, I highly recommend a solid meal plan to help you succeed. I also recommend including the following five recipes in your rotation. These were our very favorite recipes and ones that we still make today because they are that good:
1. Bacon burgers: These are the best burgers I have ever had and that’s saying a lot because they don’t even have cheese! I mean, can you really go wrong with bacon? I’ve had bacon plenty of times on top of my burger, but having bacon mixed in with each and every bite just produces the most flavorful, juicy burgers. Make sure that you get Whole30-approved bacon because unfortunately most store-bought bacon includes added sugar. You better believe I make a special grocery trip just to pick up Paleo bacon to make these burgers though!
2. Walnut Crusted Pork Tenderloin: Pork is such a tricky meat for me. I have a hard time coming up with recipes that I love, but this is definitely one of them! It is super flavorful and never dry. I do cut the suggested spices in half unless I am making two tenderloins because I feel like it can be a little overpowering. I always top it with some homemade balsamic dressing and place it on a bed of arugula.
3. Harvest Grilled Chicken Salad: This is not only a delicious recipe, but it is so quick and easy to whip up, which isn’t always the case with Whole30. The raspberry dressing is great, but I have used strawberries too and loved it just as much. We also sub raisins for the cranberries because I can never find Whole30-approved cranberries.
4. Grilled Steak Salad: I know you are probably rolling your eyes over another salad, but this one is so good! I am not kidding when I say everyone in my house, including the toddlers, cleans their plates every time!
5. Homemade Mayo: This is pretty much the holy grail of Whole30. I will never buy mayonnaise again. You guys – we practically lick this stuff straight out of the bowl. This will make any recipe taste better, even the flops! We always add some garlic to ours, but there are even more fun variations you can try. It is so important that you follow the instructions exactly or it won’t turn out! The ingredients have to be room temperature or you will have a liquid mess. You have to use plain olive oil, not extra virgin, or the taste is off. And finally, the slower you drizzle in the olive oil, the better! It may take a few tries to get it just right, but believe me it is worth it!
I want to include just a few more bonus tips to help you succeed on this journey:
-At the beginning of each week, hard boil some eggs to have on hand when hunger strikes!
-Chicken salad is another great thing to have on hand. Just buy a Whole30-approved rotisserie chicken and add in some homemade mayo and veggies.
-Make a meal plan for an entire week at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed after a long day mid-week.
-Stock up on a few snacks for the first week of the program. I know you aren’t really supposed to snack on Whole30, but I was still nursing my daughter and my body needed a little extra help adjusting to the changes. We love Lara Bars and apples with almond butter in a pinch.
Good luck and please let us know if you have any questions!