Earlier this month, I attempted the Whole30 food challenge to refocus on eating whole unprocessed food and stop relying on protein powders and bars.
Full disclosure: I cheated several times throughout the challenge and had little motivation to adhere strictly to the diet. Read more about that here.
4 weeks later I am eating paleo and doing my best to limit my non-paleo protein bar, protein powder, and dark chocolate intake.
Curious about the Whole30 challenge and what you can and cannot eat during this 30 day food challenge? Read my previous post on Whole30 here.
Truthfully, I feel so much better eating this way.
My energy is better, my digestion has significantly improved, my workouts feel stronger, and my running feels easier. I do have the occasional craving for Quest Bars, scones, and chocolate, but I have no desire to eat peanut butter, oatmeal, hummus, or lentil stew. My former vegetarian and vegan self is shocked!
When I started the Whole30 challenge, I was worried that the weekly meal prep involved would be very time-consuming. It certainly can be if you want to make a variety of complicated meals, homemade nut butter and milk, and spend a lot of money on fancy ingredients. I lasted this way for the first week and then my desire to spend hours in the kitchen waned.
Because Whole30 forces you to eat whole unprocessed food, much of the food you eat doesn’t require any preparation. I soon learned that and now my weekly meal prep is minimal, albeit a little boring. I will share my meal prep process and essential Whole30 ingredients in a future post.
Here are some of my favourite paleo and Whole30 recipes that I have discovered during this eating challenge and diet change.
Eggless Whole30 breakfast recipes; banana chia pudding; breakfast pizza quiche; easy homemade breakfast sausage; breakfast pumpkin custard; caramelized sweet potato apple hash
- Big salad of mixed greens, organic spinach, arugula, or baby kale with a variety of proteins, vegetables, toppings, and dressings:
- Tuna mashed with avocado or tahini and mustard
- Homemade babaganoush
- Roasted peppers and broccoli
- Cilantro lime chicken thighs
- Chicken cooked in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa
- Homemade pesto
- Homemade guacamole and salsa
- Hard-boiled eggs mashed with avocado or tahini and mustard
- Homemade beef, turkey, or chicken burgers
- Roasted sweet potato, zucchini, or squash
- Beets and broccoli finely chopped in the food processor
- Zucchini, carrot, and sweet potato cut using the spiralizer
- Coleslaw mix (faster than chopping or shredding the vegetables yourself)
- Dash of coconut aminos, lemon or lime juice, apple cider vinegar, or hot sauce for extra flavour
Beautifying crunchy detox salad; cilantro pesto chicken wraps; turkey avocado wraps; taco salad in a jar
Cauliflower chicken chowder; “cheesy” spaghetti squash pizza bake; paleo nachos; pine nut Italian meatloaf; 4-ingredient crockpot pineapple cashew chicken; coconut curry meatballs with sweet potato noodles
Pre and Post Workout
- Chia or hemp seed pudding: 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 cup coconut milk, shredded coconut or nut butter, cacao powder. Optional: mix in pureed sweet potato or squash; add cinnamon, allspice, and ginger; or replace chia seeds with hemp seeds.
- Hard-boiled eggs mashed with avocado or tahini
- Handful of raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts)
- Fruit with nut or coconut butter (bananas and apples; sunflower seed, almond, and cashew butter)
Paleo avocado “toast” on sweet potato; no-bake salted chocolate fudge protein bars; crockpot butternut squash; banana almond chia pudding; simple and clean granola bars
- Raw vegetables with 1-2 tbsp nut or seed butter (tahini is a favourite)
- Handful of raw nuts, seeds, or trail mix
- Bean-free hummus or homemade guacamole or avocado with raw vegetables
- Larabar or Nakd Bar
- Leftovers from lunch or dinner
What is the best recipe you have made lately?