I’ve lost track of the times someone’s announce to me: “I could never eat Paleo ‘cause that’s just waaay too much meat.” And I cheerily chirp back, “Great! More for me!”
But in all seriousness, I don’t eat nearly as much meat as people imagine. Sure, I went through a bacon-bingeing phase early on — didn’t we all? — but my everyday meals look pretty much like what you see in the Whole9’s Meal Planning Template. Each meal starts with a palm-sized portions of healthy protein, and then I fill the rest of my plate with vegetables. I’ll even wager that I eat more vegetables than some vegetarians, because let’s face it: some of ‘em are just subsisting on hyper-processed faux food. (Quorn™ and Tofurky® don’t count as vegetables in my book.)
If you think veggies are boring, just pick up a cabbage. It may look like a humble vegetable, but there’s a myriad of ways to prepare it.
Plus, the heads are so damn cute. The French adore cabbage so much that a common term of endearment for kiddos is mon petit chou chou or “my little cabbage.”
Then again, we Americans came up with Cabbage Patch Kids, ugly cankled babies that were birthed out of fresh cabbage heads. No wonder so many of us didn’t eat our veggies while growing up in the 1980s. I’m proud to say I never owned one of those monstrosities (unlike someone I know), and happily munch on cabbages with relish.
Wanna see how you can slice and dice a cabbage into something spectacular?
Today’s Whole30®-friendly recipe is brand-new to the blog: Asian Meatballs!
This East-West fusion-inspired take on classic Sunday meatballs is a hit with our entire family. These savory balls of meat and minced vegetables are a cinch to prepare, and each bite is bursting with umami from the mushrooms, fish sauce, and tomato paste. (What can I say? This mommy knows umami.)
Make a double batch, and you’ll have a fantastically versatile emergency protein that you can use throughout the week to accompany big salads, zoodles, or simple cauliflower “rice.” Or just pop a few meatballs into a container and bring ‘em to work as a handy snack.
Those of you iPad® owners who have downloaded the latest version of the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook app may recognize these Asian Meatballs as one of the brand new recipes that came with the update. (If you’re digging the app, can I trouble you to go review and rate the app over at the App Store?)
Ready for the recipe?
We’re starting Day 4 with a simple but satisfying dish of Sweet Potato Hash topped with fried eggs.
Why’d I pick this recipe? ‘Cause it drives me a little nuts when folks insist that without grains, dairy, and sugar, “there’s literally nothing else to eat for breakfast.”
Really? Nothing? Not one thing?
Sure, going Paleo means chucking your toast and cereal. You’ll have to bid adieu to your cream-cheese-stuffed bagels, breakfast burritos, Barbie-themed Pop Tarts, syrup-drenched Star Trek Eggos, and pancakes-in-a-can. And no more Cinnabon-flavored instant Cream of Wheat, either. (Rest assured: They were never part of a “balanced breakfast” anyway.)
Instead, weirdos like us are stuck eating things like meat and vegetables. In the MORNING. Terrifying, right?
In all seriousness, I know that if you’re new to this way of eating, it can seem a little daunting when you suddenly realize that you’re on a Whole30, and your usual bowl of Special K and skim milk is off-limits. But there are a bazillion things we can eat for our first meal of the day, from steak and eggs to a hearty frittata.
Not a fan of eggs? Well, last night’s leftovers are just as delicious in the morning. I’ve been known to chow on Korean shortribs and roasted kabocha squash before taking the kids to school. And in the winter, I love waking up to a steaming hot mug of bone broth.
Perhaps the shift from Cap’n Crunch to meat and vegetables is too sudden a change? Then Sweet Potato Hash may be just the thing to get you going in the morning.
I just completed my second Whole30! I’m happy I did it and glad it’s over. Doing a Whole30 isn’t that much of a change from my usual diet because I have to eat clean 95% of the time to fuel my busy life. However, I recognized that I was getting kind of sloppy during the holidays and decided to commit to a month of super-mindful eating.
It was much easier completing this Whole30 than finishing the first one. When I did my initial Whole30 a year ago, I was a brand-new cave girl and perpetually petrified that I’d fall face first into a bread bowl and never crawl out. This time around, I was much more confident: Over the past year, meal-planning has become like second nature, and I no longer have any hardcore cravings to kick. Plus, I’m really glad I was allowed to cook with ghee this time around.
In a nutshell, at the end of this 30-day challenge, my jeans fit better and my sugar cravings (a.k.a. dark chocolate habit) were tamped down. I’m looking forward to reintroducing grass fed butter and bacon back into my eats, and munching on dark chocolate and macadamia nuts in moderation.
For those of you too lazy to click through my archives, here’s a recap of my eats for all 30 days:
Will I do it again? Probably — but not until next year!
Looking for more Whole30-approved recipes, a 30-day meal plan, Paleo 101 primer, and ideas on how to stock your kitchen and pantry? Check out my Whole30-approved iPad app!