Let's first start with what is Whole 30? Whole 30 is an eating plan that requires you to eliminate the most commonly problemeatic foods in one of four areas—cravings, metabolism, digestion, and immune system. This includes all soy, dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, and added sugars. You are essentially eating "whole" foods (meat, nuts, fruits, vegetables) for 30 days straight. And let me tell you it is no joke, but the impact is astonishing. Here is some additional information on Whole 30.
Once a year around about April I attempt Whole 30. I usually make it through about two weeks of dedicated healthy-eating before I can no longer decline a glass of wine. However, 2020 has been a unique year in that the Stay Home Stay Healthy order is in place for the whole month of April. With no where to go and no events to tempt me to consume adult beverages, this may be the first year I make it through the entire 30 days!
My main motivation behind whole 30 (or should I say Whole 14ish) it to get my healthy eating back on track since during the winter months (busy season—CPA here) I tend to eat whatever is put in front of me which includes plenty of takeout, burgers, and burritos. I find Whole 30 forces me to try new foods and I end up discovering that vegetables can be delicious! Forcing myself to eat healthy for this time period is like a jumpstart to get me back on track to relatively healthy eating habits. It also doesn’t hurt with swimsuit season around the corner. This is my 4th year of April Whole 14ish and over that time I have discovered some truly amazing recipes I thought I would share.
Here are my tried and true top 10 Whole 30 recipes, in order, with notes as to how I altered it, if applicable:
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana. I substitute ground Italian chicken for the sausage. I'm trying to each less red meat.
- Taco Salad with Avocado Ranch. We used Costco taco seasoning because its our favorite. I don't always trust taco seasoning recipes
- Buffalo Wings . We made homemade ranch to go with this too!
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken. This is great with zoodles!
- No Bean Turkey Chili
- Authentic Carne Asada
- Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken . The pineapple really makes this dish. I highly recommend using fresh pineapple.
- Healthy Sweet Potato Chicken Pad Thai Recipe. Every time I make this I think its not going to turn out but it always does!
- Copycat Panera Napa Almond Chicken Salad. This recipe technically isn't whole 30 as it calls for honey and sour cream but I omitted those ingredients.
- Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs. This recipe calls for red curry paste but I always substitute with the Mae Ploy Yellow Curry Paste
If you have a favorite Whole 30 recipe please share! I am always looking for more!