Another Whole30 Complete + How to do it on a budget

Hi, Friends!

It’s been awhile. Let’s catch up 🙂

I decided to do another Whole30 after feeling…sluggish. Just a classic case of the blehhs, and I wanted to get inflammatory markers under control to maintain remission. If you’re not familiar with the Whole30, I HIGHLY suggest you check out their website. They have TONS of free resources. I should probably mention now that I’m not endorsed by the Whole30 because I’m about to rave- just speaking as an inflammatory disease patient who has had tangible results from eliminating inflammatory foods through this program. 

Thankfully, Zack completed the Whole30 with me and it made life SO.MUCH.BETTAH. It’s easier to plan meals if you’re both on the same dietary wavelengths. Plus, I don’t lose my mind if he eats my Whole30 compliant Tessemae’s dressing if we’re sharing. WIN! WIN!

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Here’s one of my very favorite breakfasts from this past Whole30:

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Sweet potato hash from a cast-iron with peeled, sliced green apples, green onions, diced chicken, spinach, mushrooms, and walnuts sautéed in coconut oil. SEW GOOD.

And while I didn’t do the Whole30 to look better, that’s not a bad side effect:
Keepin’ it real life with my dirty mirror

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one month before –> one week before –> Day 30

What I learned from this round of Whole30:
– “Compliant” bacon AKA bacon without added sugar is VERY hard to find. But it is worth it. Do you know what bacon tastes like without added sugar? BACON. mind.blown.
– I ate WAY too much sugar in my day-to-day before Whole30. I’m looking at you, chai lattes. “I’ll just have one…today…and tomorrow…”
-‘The Whole30 Cookbook” was a useful purchase that helped us out in ruts of food boredom. The Whole30 Headmistress, Melissa Hartwig, published a new cookbook
while we were completing our Whole30 that has quick, fast recipes, but I haven’t tried it yet.

What we’ve changed after the Whole30:
-If you come eat at our house, you won’t have sugar anywhere in your entree. Ever. If you eat sugar, it’s gonna be in the form of homemade cookies or a pina colada, as God intended. Basically- if it’s something that should have sugar (e.g. dessert), then it will (but we will do our darnedest to use unprocessed sugar). If it’s a protein, fat, or carb- to hell with the sugar. Let food be food; it’s delicious as it is. Promise.
-Dairy has no place in our house. Zack makes these delicious “white wings” on the grill- and it’s some sort of magical combination of dove and bacon, cream cheese and jalapeños (hi, we’re Texans). UGH. They’re fantastic, and we may use them for rare, special entertainment purposes. But day-to-day, dairy rocks our world in the worst kind of way and we only have one bathroom, know what I’m sayin’? RIP, cheese. Side note: Dairy was one of the first identified triggers for my UC symptoms, so I need to steer clear regardless.

One question that I get asked often is, “How do you do the Whole30 on a budget?” Guys. This is actually really easy, and I’ll give you a few reasons why:
1. You’re not eating out as often.
2. You’re not adding the extra expense of alcohol or dessert
3. Real food does not have to be expensive. You can buy real food at walmart.
Fun fact: We are both broke grad students, and I have a low-paying job at a hospital. If we can do it, I’m confident that you can do it even better.

And now I’ll give you some quick and dirty tricks to make your Whole30 affordable:

1. Rotisserie chicken. They’re about $5, and if you get one marketed as “unseasoned” or “naked”, they normally don’t have sugar or non-compliant ingredients, but double-check the label. We used these bad boys for weekly salad toppings, and they normally lasted a whole work week.
2. Frozen. Veggies. Vegetables that are frozen can be more affordable for the quantity that you’re buying AND fresher than the veggies on display in the produce section. Shocking, I know, but they’re normally flash-frozen while they’re nice and ripe. Just make sure the only ingredients in the ingredient list is the vegetable you’re buying, without added preservatives or fancy sauces.
3. Go to the grocery store often. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if you’re buying fresh, real food it will go rancid quickly. Buy food to last three-four days, make another list, and then go again. On average we probably spend $35 at the grocery store for each trip, and that got us a whole ton of vegetables, fruits, and a nice-sized meat protein.
And most importantly
4. Plan. Plan out your meals, make an ingredient list, and do not deviate from that list. If Glade plug-in air fresheners aren’t on that list, don’t buy them. Don’t buy junk that you’re excited to eat after your Whole30- promise it will still be at the store at the end of your 30 days, unless it’s Easter chocolate, and that stuff is crappy anyway.

Let me know if you decide to try the Whole30! Or if you’re a Whole30 alumnus, feel free to comment with more helpful tricks 🙂

-Stacey

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