October 17, 2012

Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation

I launched myself over the sugar hill without falling face first in it, but I definitely scraped up my knees along the way. It’s not over for me, not by a long shot. But I’m on Day 24 of my Whole30. Twenty-four days without sugar. That, my friends, is a big deal. 

That sugar demon (what do we call this thing? Dragon, demon, monster?) revisited though. Just when I least expected it. For now, let’s explore another aspect of the Whole30 – preparation.

Whole45 Diary (Yep, going for 45. More on that later)

Day 17 
I love going to the farmers market. I can take 20 bucks and load up on fruits and vegetables. On this day, it was just vegetables. For less than $20, I found bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, a large bag of mustard and turnip greens, and a cookie. Oh, that cookie. Not something you want to buy during your Whole30. But on this particular trip, my young nephew was with me. He came for the view of gigantic pumpkins and the lure of the treats. I felt bad about the cookie on the way back to the house, so stopped for some bacon. Yes, (sugar-free) bacon. Everyone needs a little bacon now and then. I made some eggs and bacon and pulled a few homemade pancakes out of the freezer (for him, not me), plated it with a few strawberries and we ate picnic-style in the living room (Oops, his mom may not have known that...sorry.)

Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation

Yes, I am the aunt that will buy your kid a cookie at the farmers market if he wants one. Now, I will not choose treats that I know are not parent approved. I knew my nephew could have an occasional cookie. I told myself it was not from a box so it was better. I did try to convince him later to get a kiwi from the grocery store. After his refusal, I bought him some Goldfish crackers, the colored ones. I’m certainly not advocating that you bring your kid or nephew to the market or grocery store so you can eat vicariously through them. Sugar and processed foods are everywhere. Everywhere. How do they expect us to say no or pass by without grabbing that sugar-induced happiness in a box? As I watched my nephew eat half of his cookie (saving the other for his little brother), then later as he went Cookie monster-style on the Goldfish crackers, I vowed that next time I would be prepared. I would bring food with me, even for him. I’ll take Whole30 approved foods that I know he will eat like seaweed snacks or boiled eggs. I'll bring fruit he likes instead of the bland almonds I munched on as he threw brightly colored fish-shaped crackers in his mouth. 

Preparation is key if you are trying to eat more real food, especially on the Whole30 program. Who wants to slave over the stove creating a nutritious and hopefully delicious meal every night? Certainly not me. I actually enjoy cooking and creating meals, but until I have my dream kitchen and plenty of money and the time to cook every night, I will stick with simplicity. I will make things ahead of time. I have to keep telling myself that, because I’m not good at it. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, even when it comes to food.

But not anymore. Carve out a few hours of a day or immediately after grocery shopping, even when you don’t even feel like putting your groceries away. I know, I know…there’s no time, little Amy has gymnastics, big Joey has soccer (I don't know who these kids are. I made them up), and you have a report due yesterday. Life is busy and there are many days where I would rather run through the closest drive thru and grab a quick meal. Or just not eat. But, food is more than that. The food you put in your body is not just to satisfy cravings and you get very little out of shoving those highly processed foods down in zero to sixty. Food is for nourishment. As we know, the Whole30 founders say that food "...makes you more healthy or less healthy." Think about that when you eat.

So, let’s prepare (and you don't have to be doing the Whole30 for this)!

1. Boil some eggs. I only boiled 6, but if you or your family will eat these often, go ahead and boil a carton or more.

Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation

Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
2. Cut up veggies for the week – carrots, celery, red peppers, or whatever else you like to munch on.
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
3. Blanched kale and other vegetables. Freeze as necessary (I like to keep frozen kale, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini on hand for quick stir-fried veggies and such).
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
4. Sauté veggies for eggs. This is what I like to do. When I don't feel like leftovers or making another Whole30 breakfast, my go-to is eggs. When I cook my veggies, I make enough for 3-4 days. I use coconut oil and a combination of kale, onion, garlic, and bell peppers and sometimes I mix it up with eggplant or another vegetable. Besides salt and pepper, I always add turmeric. Go ahead and throw sausage or other ground meat in there if you want. To eat, I put the precooked veggies in my pan, heat slightly, and add a few eggs, either scrambling them or covering pan for sunny side up. Takes about 5 minutes.
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
5. Make a bone broth. I threw in leftover onion, carrot, celery, etc in a slow cooker with some reserved chicken bones (leave the bones out for a vegetable broth). This was the first time I made it with bones and I don't think I will ever stop. Now if I could just find some better chicken around here. Broths are easy to make, the slow cooker does all the work, but if you need a recipe, a good one is here. Feel free to be creative though. I like to add a little seaweed to mine. Plus turmeric, of course. I freeze half or more depending on my plans for the week.
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
6. Prep or cook some meat ahead of time. I decided to throw together sausages (ground meat and spices) and freeze them, I cooked up ground beef with onion and garlic and I threw chicken in the oven with Indian spices (I will share the two ways I make this tandoori-style chicken later).
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation
Whole30 Days 16 - 20: Preparation

Make a list. Get out everything you need. Wash and prep and knock it out. I promise it doesn't take as long as it seems. Reuse pans and dishes if possible (unless raw meat is involved). Clean up then come on over to my place and clean up for me. I'll pay you with chicken. Or boiled eggs.

I began eating real and unprocessed foods about a year ago and if any of you are putting off the transition, then make a goal and prepare. Make a list or menu plan. It doesn't have to be as long or involved as mine. Start by just cutting up vegetables as you bring them home. Save your time and your sanity for when you need it. Like when you're stuck in traffic. If anyone reading wants to join the Whole30 craziness, plan and prep now! Don't wait until the halfway point like I did. 

Next post, we will see just how successful preparing food was, especially during unpredictable times.

1 comment:

  1. 3 Studies PROVE How Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    This means that you literally burn fat by eating coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from large medicinal journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!


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