+Whole30 Challenge Days 3 & 4
June 3, 2017
Weekends have always been my downfall when it comes to sticking to healthy options. Typically, when I’m super busy during the workweek, sticking to a food plan is quite easy. It’s the time alone when I’m not doing anything that usually ends in bad choices. I was feeling rather positive though because I had just gone grocery shopping the day before, so I felt ready to go!
However, I was still at square one: what do I make for breakfast? The first meal of the day is very important and thus should be started off right. It doesn’t have to be a grand affair though. I’m always a person, especially during a workday that really benefits from having an on-the-go breakfast. Sadly, my usual morning Clif Bar is not complaint. So, I started to research in Whole30 forums what people did to make breakfast easy. Here’s what they all say: Food prep is key to make this program work. After not prepping myself with the right food and materials at the start of my journey, I can definitely see how food prep is a game changer. In essence, you need meals and snacks of all compliant ingredients ready to go. You can’t stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on your way into work anymore. You actually have to set aside the time to sit and plan what you want to eat.
So because I had no plans on this lovely, sunny Saturday, I decided to devote most of the day to meal prep. First though, I started off with two fried eggs with salt and pepper. I also finally felt ready to try my coffee black. I have a Keurig, but as we all know K-Cups are quite pricey especially for someone like myself who is on a budget. Truthfully, I prefer ice coffee (I mean it makes sense when you think about how hot FL is in summertime). In order to save myself the most money, I brew a pot of coffee for the week. Let it cool and then pour it into a container that sits in the fridge. I poured a tiny bit of the black iced coffee into a glass and to my surprise it tasted good! I then continued to happily drink my usual 3 cups.
Even though I was pretty sick of eating eggs by Day 3, I decided to hard-boil half a dozen eggs. A hard-boiled egg is quick, easy protein to eat on top of salad, as a snack or as a quick breakfast. And I’ll be honest; it’s a heck of a lot easier to clean up than the mess you make in a frying pan. Sticking to the topic of protein, I decided to prepare several chicken breasts with different seasonings for the week. On my grocery trip, I actually didn’t need to buy any chicken- I get it all from this giant 10 lb. bag in my freezer. When my mom was visiting in March, she dragged me to Costco to buy me freezer proteins in bulk, so I wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for protein every 2 weeks. One of these freezer items was a giant bag of Perdue chicken breasts and oh boy, that thing has lasted me forever (thanks Mom!). Here’s a quick tip to cooking multiple chicken breasts: Get yourself a baking sheet and a big piece of aluminum foil. Crunch the aluminum foil to make “walls” to separate your chicken breasts. That way your seasonings won’t mix with the others and it saves you so much time!
Now I present to you the topic of salad dressings! Here’s the big hint: there are very few commercially sold salad dressings that are compliant with Whole30. What does that mean for you? Unfortunately, you have to make your own. Again, if you can set aside a time to meal prep the task honestly isn’t as daunting as it seems. I decided to make two kinds of dressing on this day: a balsamic vinaigrette and Greek vinaigrette (both recipes can be found in the Whole30 guidebook). Truth be told, they were super quick and easy. I managed to not only make these two dressings, but also chop veggies and onions for the week while my chicken was cooking.
For dinner, I ate one of my cooked chicken breasts (with a lemon, garlic seasoning) alongside some roasted squash and red potatoes. I also added half of an avocado to mix with the chicken. A great first official meal!
June 4, 2017
Ah Sunday! The day of rest and you’re final hours of the weekend. Sundays here in Florida typically mean Jesus + Brunch. And that’s really all I did on this day. I am a member of my local church and I have the privilege to teach Sunday school to the elementary kids. On average, I teach about 3-4 kids a week (it’s a very small church with a membership rate high in the age 65+ caliber). Today’s service was actually in celebration of Pentecost, a day to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension (I totally had to research this, I didn’t know what it was; I’m learning!). So because it was a “special holiday” I had quite a few more kids in the classroom.
Normally after church, I head to the Panera Bread 1 mile down the road to get brunch. This was something that I knew I couldn’t do anymore on Whole30. Surprisingly there aren’t lots of compliant meals at a place that brands themselves as a “clean eating” restaurant. Instead, I decided to head to a town local place called The Bowl. They pride themselves on smoothie bowls and on-tap kombucha. If I could, I would eat there everyday; unfortunately Whole30 really prompts you not to eat too much smoothies. My favorite bowl flavor is the Key West Bowl. It’s a smoothie blend made with Açaí, pineapple, mango, banana and coconut milk. They then top it with granola, banana slices, strawberries, coconut shreds and honey. In order to still be able to enjoy my favorite while on Whole30, I just asked them to eliminate the granola and honey. It still was delicious!
I went home to enjoy my bowl and watch a marathon of the Hunger Games on TNT before it was time to meet up with my friend at her church for a worship night again in celebration of Pentecost. Bring on Monday!
Peace & Love,