How Whole30 was so Different the Second Time
About exactly one year ago I embarked on my first Whole30 challenge; overwhelmed, intimidated, curious, and weirdly excited. What initially began as a way to hopefully get some answers to some gastrointestinal issues, turned into a much more insightful experience. I learned a lot about myself and my eating habits, specifically that I had a full-blown granola addiction and that I was consuming more sugar than I liked to admit. As outlined in the piece I wrote for Mindbodygreen, I learned that meal prep is an absolute must, you may not need alcohol as much as you think you do, you must listen to your body, and some other important lessons. Fast forward to a year later and I was ready to tackle the Whole30 challenge for the second time around, expecting it to be not too different than the first run. However, now after completing this second go, I am surprised to look back and assess how different these two sets of thirty days were for me. What was so drastically different? Continue reading “My Thoughts on Doing Whole30 the Second Time Around”
If you follow me on Instagram (which I hope all of you do!!), then you know that whenever I am in Florida it is an absolute must that I have my favorite meal: sweet potato crusted salmon from the Food Shack. I don’t know why I never thought of doing something so brilliant, but ever since I had it a few years ago I can never get it off my mind. Finally, after 3 years of claiming I would do so, I have officially created a recipe in my kitchen for my own version and I can safely say it is BOMB. With a few extra steps, you too can be enjoying this incredibly crunchy exterior yet perfectly cooked salmon.
The surprisingly healthy dessert
Sweet, spicy, and salty!? I don’t know if a better trifecta exists. Oh wait, and there is chocolate involved? Now we are freaking talking. This is one of my favorite desserts to serve at a dinner party because not only is it insanely quick and easy to make, but it also is shockingly healthy. Gluten free, dairy free, filled with healthy and beneficial ingredients (hello collagen and avocado), and sweetened simply by honey and cacao powder.
A list of Whole 30 approved dishes around NYC
For all of those reading this partaking in Whole30 – way to go! Whether you are on your first day or last, congratulations. It is an accomplishment just to commit to beginning this venture! As I discussed in length over on Mindbodygreen, the number one mistake people make on Whole30 is not being prepared. It can be an incredibly overwhelming and daunting experience and always being prepared is essential to successfully finishing the thirty days. This concept of preparation includes meal prepping and batch cooking, always having snacks on hand, and calling restaurants beforehand to discuss menu ingredients and ordering options. To focus on the latter, I have created a list of restaurants where I have been able to enjoy Whole30 approved meals. This by no means that these are the only restaurants in NYC where you can do this, or that every item on their menu is approved, but hopefully it can be a resource for anyone on Whole30 who is looking to dine out. Let’s face it, cooking all your meals for thirty straight days is basically impossible and every once and awhile it’s nice to put on pants and eat dinner somewhere other than your couch. I will be continuously adding to this list, but for now here are some of my finds.
If you have any restaurants you are looking to try while on Whole30 but unsure what you’d be able to order, please send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment on this post and I will report back with approved dishes!
Continue reading Continue reading “Dining Out on Whole30”
When it comes to snacking on Whole30, there are mixed opinions. Some believe the whole purpose of Whole30 is to break some of the unnecessary eating habits you have. However, if I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. This does not mean I’m snacking throughout the day, but by no means am I going to starve myself for a food plan (refuse to call it a diet) that I’ve decided to follow. That said, it is extremely difficult to find compliant Whole30 snacks other than fruits and vegetables. So as part of my Sunday meal prep, you better believe I’m also making some grab and go foods for the moments in between meals.
Gluten and Dairy Free Overnight Oats
There are two types of people: you are either one who eats breakfast or does not. Me? I have never in my entire life fallen into that latter category. Not only have I never gone a day without breakfast (truly), but I am also mind blown that there are people in this world who voluntarily skip this meal. What gives!? Maybe I am biased because I would be ready to eat my arm if I went sans food until lunch, but I truly believe that breakfast should be a staple of everyone’s morning. I get it, we’re all busy. We live in some odd world where “being busy” is something we weirdly brag about; “oh my gosh, I was so busy today I totally forgot to eat breakfast”. If you’re someone who’s uttered these words, I’m here to help. Firstly, I am truly curious, how do you forget about a meal!? Secondly, let’s talk meal prep. I believe that some of us are honestly too busy to make breakfast every morning, and that is a totally valid point. However, that by no means gives you an excuse to totally skip the most important meal of your day. My solution? Find a breakfast you enjoy, prep multiple servings of it on a Sunday or weeknight, and pop them in the fridge for the mornings to follow. This doesn’t mean that you’re scarfing down a bar while simultaneously trying to zip up your dress and wondering to yourself five minutes later, “did I eat that bar I just pulled out of the drawer or have I lost my mind?” I’ve been there; eaten something too quickly while distracted doing something else only to later question whether I really ate it or not. Instead, take some time – I’m talking 10 minutes – and enjoy your breakfast. Everyone’s mornings are busy but I strongly believe you can carve out this small amount of time to start your day off on the right track. Now, back to the food. When I prep my breakfasts, I have a few mandatory criteria the meal must meet: I must be excited to eat it in the morning, it must be filling and healthy, it must not take too long to prep (because, heck, we’re even busy on Sundays), and it most likely must include some of my favorite breakfast staples – banana and almond butter. Regarding the last point, what ingredient makes banana and almond butter the true holy trinity? Chocolate, duh. And since I’m not about to douse Hershey’s syrup all over my breakfast, in comes Aloha chocolate protein powder. The perfect ingredient to add in some extra protein to make this breakfast even more filling and to take that flavor profile up a notch. This gluten and dairy free chocolate banana almond butter overnight oat recipe is truly a weekly staple in my kitchen and I thoroughly believe it will be one in yours too!
A weeknight Whole30 staple
Let me start right off the bat by saying in no way, whatsoever, is this meal replacing a delicious bowl of gluten and cheese filled spaghetti and meat sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant. Also, before the naysayers come at me about how quickly this meat sauce is made, this is not your grandmother’s Sunday sauce; this is a quick meat marinara sauce that does not take much time but still tastes delicious. Now that we’re on the same page, let me show you how to make a delicious and fast Whole30 approved dinner that you can surprisingly pull together with some potential staples lying around your kitchen (or am I the only one who regularly has zucchini and sweet potatoes on hand and ground beef in my freezer?).
As a West Village resident for the past (almost) five years, I feel very passionately about the “West Side” in the constant village debate. Since moving to NYC my group of friends always have a constant back and forth about where we should do anything, and, as the sole resident of the West side, I lose this battle majority of the time. While for awhile I was a little bitter towards the East side (purely #fomo), my love and appreciation has grown immensely. With a great bar and/or restaurant lining every single block, there is an abundance of places to choose from. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the options, my friend Marybeth from @mb_withasideofpb is here to help and make sure you hit all the local favorite spots. Check out her East Village guide below!
The perfect meal to batch cook
When people think of Whole30 they think of lame, boring, sad salads. I get it, I thought the same thing as first. Little do these said negative people know that eating Whole30 compliant meals can actually be pretty freaking delicious. Not only delicious, but easy. This meal is so simple, includes a wide variety of ingredients that are easily interchangeable, and is the perfect meal for a batch cooking session. Cook a huge skillet of this stir-fry on a Sunday night and I promise, your hungry Whole30-doing self will thank you every day afterwards. Whether enjoying at work, while your coworkers eye you with envy mid bite of their sad salad mentioned above, or at night, sans that glass of wine that you crave so badly (sorry, I can’t help you there), it will hit the spot.
The too good to be true healthy dessert
Health kicks or diets can get crazy. A lot of us have been there: you decide to gung-ho cut out a ton of food groups, maybe specifically sugar or dessert, and then realize it is all you can think about. As someone with a serious sweet tooth but also a secret side love affair for all things salty, I combined the two with my new obsession over tahini and made the perfect healthy-fied dessert. No-bake raw coconut cashew tahini bars. Pop these babies in your freezer and have on hand for when you just need that extra something.