Skip to Content

Whole30 Recipes

What is the Whole30?

Whole30 is a 30-day elimination eating plan. The point is to remove entire food groups and known causes of inflammation to see how your body reacts. It is NOT a weight-loss plan, although MANY people will lose weight. That's the icing on a very awesome cake.

My History with Whole30

After seeing some weight loss from eliminating gluten, I did what any person would do. I found gluten-free recipes and cooking methods for my favorite baking, pasta, and bread recipes.

It was during the holiday season and I enjoyed my favorite treats! Almost all of them had a ton of sugar. Sugar is my major downfall. I love Cokes, sweet tea (Southern girl, hello?), ice cream, and any kind of chocolate dessert.

But when I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t see my eyes. They were squished between cheeks, eyelids, and forehead fat. Sugar doesn’t contain gluten and I felt I “deserved’ it since I had to refrain from bread and gluten.

For some reason, something clicked within me in January 2013. I started the Whole30 plan, and yes it was hard. 

The publisher sent the book, It Starts with Food to do a blog review and I jumped in with both feet on a miserable Monday in January. I couldn’t believe the results after just 1 week. I felt so much better after the first few days of sugar withdrawal. The mental clarity was off the charts!

My Whole30 results: I lost 18 lbs in one month, and best of all, I could see my eyes again. I was running better, lifting more, and actually waking up with more energy. I continued the Whole30 for 2 more weeks.

6 weeks of Whole 30 (so…Whole 40-ish?) and I knew I was going to be very comfortable transitioning to full Paleo for 90% my meals. The other 10% involves dark chocolate, occasional wine, and eating at other tables besides my own. It involves bringing my own food my Momma’s house, but it will not include turning down a good roast with white potatoes and carrots. And her basket of Dove chocolate will not be safe from me.

 

The Rules of Whole30

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. This includes (but is not limited to) maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, and xylitol. If there is added sugar in the ingredient list, it’s out.

  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)

  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.

  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy: soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy lecithin.

  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.

  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label, it’s out for the Whole30.

  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.* Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is missing the point of the Whole30, and won’t lead to habit change. These are the same foods that got you into health-and-craving trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.

  • Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or breaking out the tape measure during the 30-day elimination period. (You may take photos and/or measurements on Days 0 and 31, however.)

 

Perfect Pork Carnitas

The first time I remember seeing the word “carnitas” was in Chipotle. In the process of taking in all the shiny steel surfaces that I failed to research carnitas so I ordered the familiar chicken burrito bowl. But later, I checked out carnitas and found out it is a fancy word for really REALLY good …

Read More about Perfect Pork Carnitas

Honey Ginger Salmon

When I was working on my post for a Fun, not Frazzled Fall, I mentioned nutrient-dense foods like salmon. I had that on my mind for a few days and finally went by the store to get a couple of filets for us. I have a few tried-and-true recipes that we both love with baked …

Read More about Honey Ginger Salmon

Meal Prep Sunday

Tomorrow is the big starting point of normalcy. I had teacher work day last week and lunch was provided for us. Tomorrow, we are back to normal working schedules and back to healthy eating after the holidays. Now that I have a house with 2 full-size ovens and a full size stove, my weekend meal …

Read More about Meal Prep Sunday
Chicken and Rainbow Chard with carrots is quick and Whole30 compliant.

Chicken and Chard Stir Fry

Tis the season for quick and healthy meals to help break up the endless menagerie of cookies and fruitcake. With the big day coming soon, there are still parties and celebrations and baking marathons coming up. A quick dinner of chicken and rainbow chard can be on the table in 30 minutes. Pre-cooking the chicken …

Read More about Chicken and Chard Stir Fry

Jalapeno Lime Chicken

It’s FINALLY time for college football and I am so ready for this change. Football brings in fall weather and moves us closer to the best part of the year for me: holidays. I love everything about fall in Alabama, including the first football weekend being hotter than blue blazes. While I love rich hearty …

Read More about Jalapeno Lime Chicken

Sausage and Peppers

I love recipes that could work for almost any occasion. Spring grilling? Summer holidays? Dressed down in a sandwich bun for a tailgate? Thrown on a plate of fancy rice and linen napkin? This recipe works for all of those. And, it’s super quick. When I make this, I look for the best and most …

Read More about Sausage and Peppers

Apple-Bacon Collard Greens

Apples are bacon are 2 of my favorite ingredients to cook with when the days get shorter and the leaves start falling. I love collard greens, but they can be a little bitter, depending on where they were grown. Using the sweet and smoky flavors of apples and bacon, I made a milder dish with …

Read More about Apple-Bacon Collard Greens

Chicken Cacciatore

One of my best ways to cook chicken thighs is to put in in the slow cooker. I’m always searching for new ideas to brighten up chicken and this recipe was a big hit. It has Italian flavors with a layer of heat that makes it interesting. Because I made this during an afternoon of …

Read More about Chicken Cacciatore

Grilled Chicken Salad

This one was super easy and very flavorful. This is why I grill a big batch of chicken thighs each weekend as part of my large batch meal prep. All I had to do was toast some almonds and add some roasted carrots. For dressing, I used lemon juice and red wine vinegar. I’m still …

Read More about Grilled Chicken Salad

Chicken Stir Fry

This is another one of those clean out the fridge and hope for the best meals. I had some vegetables just waiting for something magical and some chicken that needed to be cooked today.   Before I made dinner, I had some time and the energy to sweat a little. I didn’t really want to, …

Read More about Chicken Stir Fry