If you haven't heard yet, Trevor and I jumped on the Whole30 bandwagon! Something I told myself I could/would never do, we are both doing. Let me be very clear: I am not forcing my husband to do the diet, I never asked him to and I tell him everyday he can eat what he wants. I do feel very lucky that he is being so supportive and willing to do it with me. However, I don't think forcing someone into Whole30 is ever a good idea. Let me be clear on something else too: Whole30 isn't supposed to be a Whole365 (days), just 30 days. You don't starve yourself or limit yourself to calories, you don't step on a scale, measure yourself, or do it just for the weight loss. For me, I'm doing it for some personal reasons that I'll probably share at the end of Whole30 once I'm ready to, but I think the weight loss is an awesome bonus! Just wanted to share some disclaimers since I got a little negative pushback about starting the diet. Believe me, I was a hater before I read the book and jumped into it.
We are only on Day 3 or as my husband says "We are 10% done today!" such an optimist, that boy! It has been so hard. The book It Starts With Food says it's not hard, but it is from the perspective of a Wendy's-loving, dessert-everyday-er type person. I don't want to complain, but lemme tell ya--I have never wanted cheetoes and caramel popcorn so bad in my life haha (weird cravings I know, but everything looks good). Some hours of the day the food is just a means to an end, trying to satiate our grumbling tummies with nuts, fruits, and veggies even though all we want is a giant sandwich. The cravings haven't subsided yet, but I have faith they will. I'm excited for week two to roll around so we aren't so sleepy…they say week one is when you'll be extra exhausted. Both our minds are set on what we can't have right now, but I'm trying hard to look at the pros.
Pro: you can eat as much as you want! Pro: You still get to have meat and potatoes, yum. Pro: it's only 30 days. Pro: I feel empowered when I do it (literally this thought has crossed my mind several times since we started "Allie, your body has clean, whole food in it and nothing processed!! holla!" Pro: In the end it's just food, it's not everything. Pro: There are tons of great Whole30 bloggers and cooks out there that make things a little easier. The list goes on.. but I will say Trevor and I both had some foodie dreams last night, mine was me binge eating on a pulled pork bbq sandwich and Trevor dreamt he was eating Papa J's Pizza! We are pathetic, I know.
Anyway, my few words of wisdom for those wanting to do it: only do it if you're 100% committed. Someone told me "you should still go out to eat and enjoy yourself when you can" This would be nice, but if I "cheated" it wouldn't be Whole30 anymore--it would be clean eating because there is zero wiggle room in Whole30. I want to do Whole30 right now, not clean eating or the 80/20 rule. You do it or you don't. If you screw up, you start over from Day 1 (womp, womp). This is the very reason I didn't do it before my wedding. My second word of advice: COOK FOOD YOU LIKE! A huge downfall of changing your diet is trying to make yourself eat healthy food just because it's healthy. Guess what? I don't like grilled zucchini so I'm not gonna cook it just because it's on the list of "can-haves". So there you have it, my opinions on the Whole30 program. Now let's get to the food.
Whole30 Zupa Tuscano:
(I made my own Italian sausage since most add sugars and processed ingredients)
1 to 1.5 lbs of ground pork (gass-fed/organic preferred but not required)
2 TBS of Italian seasoning (you can also make your own here)
1 TBS of sea salt
1 TBS of dried fennel
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of Kale torn off the stems (you can use less, but I like to load up on this stuff)
2-3 White potatoes, cubed
3 teaspoons of minced garlic
2 cups of organic chicken broth (this one needs to be organic, so there isn't sugar or processed ingredients added. I get mine from sprouts or Costco, or you can make your own)
4 cups of water
1 can of coconut cream (optional, but I like this soup creamy)
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (I normally add more to make it spicier)
Rub the salt, fennel, and Italian seasoning into the ground pork. Brown the meat and drain the grease from the pan. In a large pot add the chicken broth, water, onions, garlic, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes cook on medium-high for about 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, but not too soft. Add the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes on high. Next add in the kale and boil for 15 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes and coconut cream and any additionally s&p to taste. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. I like mine very well seasoned so I add in about one more half tablespoon of sea salt and some pepper.