Planning Meals :: Whole30 Edition

Planning Whole30 Meals | EverydaySmallThings.comNothing is worse than deciding to start a new healthy eating plan, and then 5:30 pm rolls around and you start looking through your pantry thinking “What am I going to cook for dinner!?”  Pizza delivery never sounded so good.

Planning ahead can be the best tool you utilize to be successful and budget friendly during Whole30.  

This is how I approach meal planning.

On Sunday afternoons, I sit down with my Whole 30 Meal Planning Printables.  You can download them here:

I begin looking through my favorite Whole30 Resources.  I not only have to feed my family of 4, I also have a home daycare in which I have to buy and prepare food for.  So this is my thought process I typically go through…

  • I begin with a meat or main dish (i.e. soup)
  • Choose vegetables that will compliment the meat or dish prepared (quick tip: frozen veggies are much more budget friendly)
  • Add fruit on occasion
  • Snacks aren’t really allowed on Whole30, but I always find it good to have bananas or nuts around for those moments I just need something.  Also, I allow my kids to have a snack or two during the day.

Whole30 is a complete mind shift.  As you are planning out your meals, I would not suggest recreating your favorite recipes.  It will not be the same and you will be disappointed.  Try new recipes!  Try new flavors!  It’s amazing how much more flavor food has when you create it yourself and season it on your own. (So taste your food as you cook it!)

As you begin to shop, read labels.  READ LABELS!  Did I mention reading labels?  You will be amazed at what products have sugar in them.  I have had the hardest time finding tomato sauce made without sugar and haven’t quite mastered making my own.

Shopping for Whole30 can certainly be an overwhelming experience.  But if you walk in prepared with a list of ingredients, you don’t have to think too much in the store.  My first shopping trip, I was prepared with a list but I was still the lady in the aisle crying over this change and questioning my sanity and how I was going to feed my family (I can be a little dramatic).  But it soon became second hand.

Change is hard.  Few people embrace it with excitement.  But if you go in prepared or at least with tools under your belt, change can be navigated more easily.

So what are you planning for dinner?  Have you ever planned ahead what your family will eat?

 

“Where Do I Find Recipes?” Roundup

Where do I find Recipes? Roundup | EverydaySmallThings.omMeal Planning is key for a successful Whole30 (let’s be honest… my life in general).  Not doing Whole30 or eat Paleo regularly?  You can still use these websites as springboards.  Can you tolerate rice?  Add rice!  Can’t part from dairy?  Add cheese!  (Side note, cheese is the one thing I did not want to give up and thought for sure I would go back to after our first Whole30.  I was surprised to find I don’t miss it at all!)

Here are some of my favorite links for Whole30/Paleo Recipe Websites:

Nom Nom Paleo
Once A Month Meals – Whole30 Roundup
The Clothes Make the Girl
Against All Grain

You can find more on my Paleo Recipe Websites board on Pinterest:

You can find more on my board Paleo Recipe Websites on Pinterest.

Clean Eating?  My absolute favorite website is thegraciouspantry.com.

Have any other favorite recipe websites?  Comment below!

Tried and True Whole30 Recipes

Tried & True Whole30 Recipes | EverydaySmallThings.comSo, you’ve decided to do a Whole30…what now? One of the hardest parts of Whole30 is getting into a new mindset of food and preparation.  It can be overwhelming looking at new ingredients and recipes.  And let’s be honest, I’ve never done as many dishes as I do on Whole30.  Which recipes are truly worth the effort and time?  Here is a round up of the McClane Family Favorites:

Bacon Burgers – Nom Nom Paleo

 

Breakfast Sausage – Healthy Living How To

 

Sweet Potato Chili – Tastes of Lizzy T *Note: We only used 1 Tb of Chili Powder

 

Paleo Meatloaf with Mushrooms – Paleo Leap

 

Low Carb Chicken Chili – He and She Eat Clean – ***Note: omit brown sugar for Whole30

 

Sweet and Savory Pot Roast – The Clothes Makes the Girl

 

Orange Chicken – Health-Bent

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice – Family Fresh Meals

You can also check out more Whole30 Recipes we’ve tried on my Pinterest board.  

 

Follow Anne McClane’s board Whole30 Compliant Recipes on Pinterest.

How about you?  What are your favorite Whole30 recipes? Comment below!

Whole30 Health Journey

Our Whole30 Journey | EverydaySmallThings.comFor those who personally know us, it’s no surprise when I share that we have been on a health journey this past year that began with a Whole30 challenge in March 2014.  For those unfamiliar, for 30 days we removed all processed foods, sugars, dairy, grains and legumes.  Basically, we ate meat, vegetables, some fruit and spices (no, sugar is not a spice).  For 30 days.  I’ve never washed so many dishes!  We actually ended up going something like 67 days before adding anything in.  This picture was before and after our first Whole30.  We were both 10 pounds lighter and felt so much better!

Before | After Whole30
Before | After Whole30

Desperate Times Call for Drastic Measures
That’s how that saying goes, right?  No?  Well, it’s exactly what happened for us.  I have struggled with weight issues since I was a freshman in high school…actually, let’s be honest, it was food issues.  Food has been an emotional bandaid I’ve used for a long time.

So why Whole30?  Fall 2013, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is the latest in a long line of women in my family who’ve had cancer.  In all probability, from where I sit, it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ I have to personally fight this battle.  In all of our research, we started seeing how much food plays a role in cancers and other health issues (here’s just one of the fascinating articles).  So I began thinking of changing up some of my habits.  Then, last January, Matt said to me “I just feel like I need to do something drastic.”  Matt had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during our first year of marriage, so it has felt like we’ve been on a healthy roller coaster for the last 7 years.

I happened to see a friend post about Whole30 and my curiosity was piqued.  So,  I started researching it and read the book, “It Starts With Food.” (affiliate link)  This book is fascinating and really shares the science behind what food does to our bodies.  It was all I needed to be hooked!  So I approached Matt about it and I was honestly surprised when he agreed.  So there was no turning back now.  Ha!

I dug in and started researching Whole30 recipes and began planning out our first week.  It didn’t seem too difficult on paper.  But in full disclosure, the actual shopping sent me into shock.  I was the woman crying in the aisle, questioning my sanity and how I was going to feed my family for the next 30 days.  Do you have any idea how many things have sugar in it?!  If you don’t, start looking at your labels.  Seriously.  Eye opening!  And depressing if you’re me on your first Whole30 shopping trip.

I experienced quite the sticker shock when I checked out.  Whole foods are not cheaper, especially if you don’t know standard pricing or which produce products are budget friendly.  I definitely spend more in a month at the grocery store.  However, we don’t drink Starbucks anymore (and that was a daily addiction) and we eat out far less.  So it’s probably a wash when it’s all said and done.

Those 30 days were difficult!  I experienced flu like symptoms on days 16 and 17.  16 and 17!  Talk about dismay!  I was more than halfway through and STILL feeling horrible.  But by day 18 and 19 I felt awesome!  I was sleeping so well, I began weaning off my sleep meds.

Whole30 Before & After | EverydaySmallThings.comOverall, we made it 67 days and these were some of the awesome (mostly non-scale) benefits I experienced:

  • Lost 10 lbs in first 30 days (as of today I’ve lost 30)
  • Psoriasis / dandruff – gone!
  • Awesome sleep / Lowered sleep meds
  • Digestive Issues – gone!
  • Mood swings stabilized
  • Toe infection (that I’ve had off and on since jr high) – gone!
  • Migraines – gone!

We began reintroducing foods and my body really did not handle anything very well, especially dairy!  I began to notice that chocolate gave me anxiety attacks.  Bread makes my psoriasis return.  And dairy upsets my stomach.  Honestly, I don’t miss dairy at all.  I didn’t miss bread until I started making homemade loaves last month for my daycare kids and ate a bite…then a few slices.  Man is it good!

Ultimately, I appreciate the knowledge more than anything.  I make a conscious choice to eat something, knowing what the consequences will be.  We make much more informed eating decisions now and have chosen to stick as close to Paleo (meats, veggies, fruits, honey and maple syrup) as we can.  There are times (like the last month) that we don’t do a great job, but we definitely feel the effects and know exactly why we don’t feel well.

All in all, I am very grateful for our Whole30 journey!

Fresh Start

public-domain-images-free-high-resolution-quality-photos-unsplash-0138I’ve decided to give the blog new life…a fresh start.  Which may or may not be influenced by the fact that I didn’t renew my website hosting in time and lost all of my old posts.  (*tears*)

But this has given me an opportunity to think through if I want to keep this up.  What’s the purpose?

I’ve thought a lot about honing into my passions, which has changed over the years.  Motherhood, DIY Projects, Faith and Health are some of the forefront topics I’ll be blogging about.  Thank you for joining me and I hope we can learn from one another as we journey together!

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