WHOLE30 Follow-up Part II – Today’s entry is a continuation of my WHOLE30 follow-up series. In case you missed my first WHOLE30 Post Script, be sure to check it out here. In that post, I discussed the positives and negatives of the program. As I mentioned, for both Hubs and me, the pros far outweighed the cons. I continue to eat a primarily WHOLE30 diet, and we plan on doing another round at some point in the relatively near future. So today I will discuss the foods, tools and resources I recommend to help you successfully complete and enjoy your very own WHOLE30.
1. Tessemae’s All Natural Dressings – As I wrote about in my Mayo Fiasco post, making your own salad dressings is admirable but not always a successful venture (at least not in my experience). Tessemae’s offers a number of WHOLE30-approved flavors and is available at several major market chains and online. Don’t fight it. Just buy it!
2. Wholly Guacamole – life-saving! You’ll use it as a salad dressing, snack, and go-to condiment.
(Save $1 on any WG product with this coupon)
3. Gwaltney’s No Sugar Added Bacon – bacon should really be viewed as a condiment rather than as a protein source. But should you decide to consume bacon during the WHOLE30 (I didn’t, but Hubs did), make sure you select a brand that contains no added sugars. This product not only has no added sugar, it’s also reduced fat (which is great because the bad stuff is usually stored in the fat of the meat) and cooks up nicely. The brand is readily available at Wal-Mart Supercenters.
4. Aidell’s Fully Cooked Chicken Sausages. The Organic Chicken & Apple sausages quickly became a fav at our house! And they’re indispensable for those nights when you’re in desperate need of a dinner entree (see my Day #15 post).
5. Carrington’s Coconut Oils (solid and liquid varieties)
6. Butterball Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast – As the Hartwig’s discuss in It Starts with Food, organic, grass-fed meats are always preferable. But we weren’t always able to afford those. So, the next best option is to select the leanest cuts of meat available (in order to avoid contaminants stored in the fat). Enter extra lean ground turkey, turkey tenderloins without marinades, etc. I used Butterball ground turkey breast in several WHOLE30 recipes including Turkey Cabbage Skillet and Paleo Thanksgiving Meatballs.
N.B. – Jennie-O makes a great line of fresh lean turkey products we recommend as well. But the Jennie-O turkey bacon contains added sugar so be sure to check labels before purchasing!
7. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce
8. Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenderloins (e.g. Tyson)
9. Nonstick Coconut Oil Spray (I used Pam)
10. Sweet potatoes – Keep a steady supply on hand. I used these in various ways as a side dish whenever we needed a bit more carbs. They’re indispensable!
11. Baby red potatoes and frozen, ready-to-use shredded potatoes – similar to above, they little guys saved me on more than one occasion when I had no idea what to serve with dinner. They’re ready quickly and amenable to a multitude of different preparations.
12. Frozen Steam-in-the-Bag Vegetables – Green Giant and PictSweet brands worked well for us because they’re readily available in our area. Check your local grocers’ frozen food sections for options available near you. Just remember corn is not a vegetable (it’s a grain), and peas (sweat peas, baby peas, black-eyed peas etc.) are legumes and not approved during the WHOLE30. Stick with green veggies like broccoli, spinach, green beans, brussels sprouts, cauliflower (not green but you catch my drift), and you’ll be fine. Oh and skip the bags that say “sauced” or “in sauce.” Those are guaranteed to have unapproved ingredients in them!
13. As many fresh fruits & veggies as you have room to store
14. A variety of nuts and seeds – you don’t want to go overboard with nuts, but they make a great salad topper and are a handy snack in a pinch. Just remember to keep it to 1 handful, not 6!
15. Eggs, lots and lots, and LOTS of eggs. As per the all-important oft-referenced official WHOLE30 timeline, you will eat so many eggs, so frequently and in so many iterations that you’ll likely be tired of them by day 10 or 11. But, trust me, you’ll keep on eating eggs throughout all 30 days so keep your supplies up.
• Nutribullet or Vitamix – having a sturdy and powerful blender on-hand proved invaluable for us!
• Large, nonstick frying pan – I used one nearly every night during dinner prep
• Parchment paper and/or aluminum foil
Helpful but Nonessential:
• Digestive Enzymes – I mentioned using digestive enzymes in my first WHOLE30 Postscript. For me, these were essential due to my compromised digestive capacity and in order to transition to a meat-based diet with higher protein and fat content than I’d previously consumed. Also, as I mentioned, I was hit with several hefty doses of antibiotics during labor which totally disrupted the balance of my intestinal flora. That’s a fancy/polite way of saying – I got gassy after every meal. My stomach seemed to be always distended, and I could relieve the bloat no matter what I tried. Some of the tummy swelling was related to diastase recti (which I discuss at length in this post and which is dramatically improved as I continue with my MUTU exercises). But a lot of the bloat was due to poor digestion, and enzymes have really helped. I’ve tried several brands and have found the best results (for me) with Enzymedica Digest Gold Capsules. In the USA, these may be purchased at Vitamin Shoppe stores (and Vitamin Shoppe online). And they are available from iHerb as well as Amazon.com.
• Food Processor – for most things, a high-powered blender worked just as well if not better
• Nonstick electric skillet
• Hand mixer or emersion blender (AKA “boat motor”)
• Popsicle molds for making healthy no-sugar-added juice pops as posted here
• Toaster oven
• Outdoor gas or charcoal grill, though a large Foreman (tabletop) grill could also work
*** A partner – This may be the most important “thing” to have in your corner in order to improve your chances of successfully completing a WHOLE30. I would never have made it through all 30 days without the support and accountability my husband provided. Need proof, check out how quickly he caught me cheating. Likewise, we both needed the support of my mother (who lives with us but did not participate in WHOLE30 with us). My mother agreed not to bring cookies, candy and fast food into the house for the entirety of the 30 days. This was really helpful because there were days when I’m not completely certain I could have withstood the temptation. So, it’s important that you have the support of your family, spouse or roommate(s) even if he/she/they are not actively doing WHOLE30 with you.
Stay tuned for my third and final WHOLE30 postscript entry discussing reintroduction; how we are adapting to the post-WHOLE30 eating – the challenges that you may encounter re-entering the world of cakes, cookies and fast food as well as how to deal with the dangerous “now I can eat anything I want” mentality. Until then, I wish you health, joy and peace!
Verse of the Day:
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:19 (HCSB)
Read more here.
Resources of the Day:
1. Handy Dandy (Printable) WHOLE30 Shopping List
2. Non-scale Victory Checklist – find out all the positive results you could achieve during your WHOLE30 program
3. The Official WHOLE30 Timeline – Frequently referenced by me throughout this process. You may as well find out what you’re in for, right?