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The Blog

Meeting Melissa Hartwig (Day 23)

allie jensen

On Thursday night I was privileged to meet the co-founder of Whole30 & author of It Starts With Food at a fun event 20 minutes away from my home. I will definitely miss Utah for this aspect--so many fun classes, parties, etc within miles of meThe event was hosted in Orem at a beautiful home furnishings shop. Two of my favorite Instagram bloggers (@Amazon_Ashley & @Rachel_Rebuilt) were there and made an amazing spread of ALL Whole30 foods. I was in Heaven because I got to taste Ashley's cooking! She was just featured on @Whole30recipes this past week and is famous for her sweet potato buns recipe. I didn't even know there would be food available and since I only had time to prep dinner, but not eat, I was so excited. The food was to die for and I felt so lucky being at a social event where every crumb on the table was compliant. It's the little things.

I wanted to write this post for two reasons: 1. Shed some more light on what the heck this Whole30 diet is since I have been getting several questions and 2.) Share some more of our grub lately--meals and snacks. You can scroll to the bottom if you just want to get to the food/recipes. I'm going to save our detailed Whole30 success story when we are finished, so no Whole30 wins for today! :) 

 

What is Whole30 & Words of Wisdom from Melissa Hartwig: 

In the words of Melissa Hartwig "Whole30 is a 30 day program designed to reset your relationship with food. It's a learning tool...It is designed for you because your perfect diet isn't the same as someone else's perfect diet." Melissa says she doesn't mind people potraying it as a weightloss program because she just wants people to hear about the program anyway they can, however Whole30 is so much more than weightloss, although you probably will lose weight!

Whole30 is 30 days of eating whole foods--no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, sweetners of any kind (includes honey and stevia..and unfortunately chewing gum), no processed foods, vegetable oils, alcohol, and no cheats! AKA you can't recreate junk food like paleo bread and muffins, even if the ingredients are compliant because that does nothing for your relationship with food. After Whole30 you reintroduce a few of these off-limits ingredients back into your diet and see how it effects you. She suggests eating some grains, wait a few days and see how you feel. Then try dairy, sugar, etc. There is science behind why all these items are no good for you (in the book!) but you get to make the decision on how you want to feel and how certain foods effect you. 

"People often say to me 'But Melissa, it's my Birthday!! I deserve cake on my Birthday.' And I use this analogy--if you were allergic to cats and had 10 cats and only got rid of one cat you might feel a tiny bit better. You might have less fur on your clothes, but you have to get rid of ALL 10 CATS to get the full results---EVEN BIRTHDAY CATS!" I loved this analogy. Birthday kitties.

In response to someone saying Whole30 is expensive: "It's your food. It's your food. And it's your health...try putting your dollars towards quality cuts of meat and skimping in other areas like nuts and fruits if you can't afford organic." Those words keep ringing in my head it's your food. It's your food!! It effects EVERY single system in your body. You are what you eat!

One of my favorite things she says in her book is that we often feel like we deserve food. I worked out today so I deserve a sleeve of thin mints! She says. But you can't outrun/outwork/outexercise your eating habits. You can't! People may look fit on the outside, but Melissa calls that "Skinny Fat". Unhealthy insides, and a great body on the outside. Yikes! I wanted to unread that section after I read it for the first time, haha. 

Finally on my last Whole30 post I talked about how it's awkward in social settings to be that person special ordering. The question was asked what do you do on a business lunch or social outing. Melissa suggests to pick the restaurant if you have the chance and to research the menu before you go. When you arrive don't make a big deal about it. Don't apologize, and don't draw attention to yourself. If someone asks why you aren't eating bread while seated at the table, it is not the time to discuss why you aren't eating bread when everyone else is. Just say you arent eating it right now, and you'll chat later with them about it when you're back at the office or wherever. 

 

Grub Lately: 

These babies are WHOLE30 APPROVED! We didn't introduce them into our diet until week 3 because you are supposed to eat them with caution--they shouldn't serve as a dessert, just a quick fix when you're in a bind and can't get your hands on a whole30 meal right away

These babies are WHOLE30 APPROVED! We didn't introduce them into our diet until week 3 because you are supposed to eat them with caution--they shouldn't serve as a dessert, just a quick fix when you're in a bind and can't get your hands on a whole30 meal right away

Nutty Cinnamon Apples:

2 tbs of coconut oil

2 teaspoons of cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)

2 gala apples, sliced,

handful of pecans (or nuts of your choice)

1 banana

1. Heat oil over medium heat until melted. Add nuts and apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook apples and nuts on medium high heat flipping the apples every 3-4 minutes so each side becomes golden and crisp. Add chunks of banana and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. 

Larabars I found that are Whole30 compliant. Again, we don't eat these very often but they are a nice fallback. 

Larabars I found that are Whole30 compliant. Again, we don't eat these very often but they are a nice fallback. 

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The house smelled divine while cooking this. I was just wanting something Fall-esque so I whipped this up. If i wasn't on Whole30 I would add some honey, but the bananas balanced out the apples pretty well. 

The house smelled divine while cooking this. I was just wanting something Fall-esque so I whipped this up. If i wasn't on Whole30 I would add some honey, but the bananas balanced out the apples pretty well. 

Lemon Basil Baked Chicken

 {the meal I came up with 45 minutes before I had to leave for the Whole30 class--glad it turned out and was husband approved!}

2 large chicken breasts (I bought a meat tenderizer and planned to flatten the chicken ended up not having time)

3 TBS Avocado Oil*

1-2 TBS  Balsamic Vineagar (depending on how strong you like the flavor)

2 tsp yellow or compliant spicy mustard (99 cents at Trader Joes!)

Zest from one lemon

2 tsp of minced garlic

1 TBS fresh basil

1/2 TBS dried rosemary

1 TBS rock salt (or sea salt)

Pepper to  taste

1/2 of an onion, any color & chopped 

1 cubed sweet potato

1 1/2 C of chopped carrots or baby carrots

*I recently found out that while you can technically cook with EVOO and other variations of olive oil, its smoke point isn't as high as avocado oil. Thus, you start creating unwanted fats when you heat the olive oil past its smoke point. So, save your EVOO for salad dressings and other cool/room temp recipes!

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Lay the chopped onion, carrots, sweet potato, and sliced lemon on the baking sheet with the chicken on top. Use about 3/4 of the oil mixture to coat both sides of the chicken while massaging it into the meat. Drizzle the remaining mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle the dried rosemary on the chicken and vegetables. Shred the basil and lay it on top of the chicken breasts. Feel free to give the vegetables and chicken another few shakes of sea salt and pepper. I always do! Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are thoroughly cooked. 

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Raspberry Coconut Pineapple refresher:

I searched all over Utah once I found out La Croix sold a coconut flavor. I never found the 12 pack, but I stumbled upon this liter at Sprouts last week.

8 oz of La Croix Coconut flavored mineral water

3 oz (about 1/3 can) of Trader Joes 100% pineapple juice

4-5 frozen raspberries

2 fresh basil leaves to garnish (I ended up chopping mine and stirring them into the drink)

I wasn't ever a soda addict before, so I didn't feel guilty for this one. Someone asked Hartwig if LaCroix was a cheat and she said "Does it remind you of drinking Diet Coke, Mtn. Dew, DP etc? Or is it just the bubbles?" Since the answer was "just the bubbles" she said you're good. 

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All blended together

All blended together

The pumpkin puree dip was amazing! I have some chilling in my fridge right now.

The pumpkin puree dip was amazing! I have some chilling in my fridge right now.

I also have the pico and crinkle carrot chips in my fridge too!

I also have the pico and crinkle carrot chips in my fridge too!

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Can you spot me? I sat front and center and got to ask the first question during Q&A!

Can you spot me? I sat front and center and got to ask the first question during Q&A!