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Whole 30 Week 3: Meals and Feels

Whole 30 Week 3: Meals and Feels
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Hola Mi Gente,

I would tell you I can’t believe we’re on our last week of Whole 30, but that would be a lie! I’ve been super aware of it because my life has been lived in the kitchen this round of Whole 30. Mostly of my own choosing though, as I’ve tried to dedicate a lot of time to sharing information on my instagram, and sharing recipes here on the blog (golden bbq chicken, roasted garlic aioli, sweet potato breakfast cups). By my estimate, I’ve spent about 130-150 hours in the kitchen this round–and granted, A LOT of that time is spent putting together pictures, staging, cleaning up colossal messes, and tweaking different recipes (reminder: not everything I make is a success the first time around!). So, don’t let that number discourage you! Most of Whole 30 can be prepped for with a few hours on a Sunday evening, if you’re not inviting instagram and a blog audience along for the ride 😂

That having been said, I HAVE felt this round go by smoothly because of the prep work. There have been few times throughout the last 22 days when I have felt frustrated or unhappy with what I’m eating, because we’ve had a good game-plan to tackle our meals. Like I told you last week, the 3rd week is when I shine! That was exactly the case this round, too! Last week I had SO much mental clarity and energy that I was SUPER productive. To be honest, it was definitely my most productive week of the year so far, and I felt so encouraged by it.

Cravings-wise, I’ve been doing a lot better, too. By making sure we have both easy + substantial meals (or meal-potentials) at all times, I’ve been able to curb my cravings for non-compliant foods (read: pasta, rice, and beans). Ironically, one of the things I miss the most ISN’T pasta, but wine! I can’t tell you how many times in the last 22 days we’ve watched a movie or TV show where a character has casually sipped on a glass of wine, and sent me into a ruckus of whining about how badly I want red wine. Which is interesting because we generally don’t drink that much. I mean, come on, y’all, I’m 4’11”–there is an absolute necessity for me to be a one-and-done kind of girl. But I think the pairing aspect of it, and the social environment of drinking a glass of wine is appealing to me. We’ll see what happens in a week when we can have it–my prediction is that my tolerance will be reduced to two-sips 😂

Moving on…

I tried really intentionally to focus more on lunch/dinner meals this week, because by now you all know what my main breakfast game is (meat protein  + egg + something green + avocado + fruit). So without further delay, a sampling of some of our meals this week:

Okay, okay–I have to share a few breakfasts, because I’ve been REALLY loving citrus season this winter! Blood oranges and grapefruit have been my go-to for breakfasts. I’ve found that citrus pairs REALLY beautifully with rosemary salt !

 

This is another one of my staple breakfasts both on and off Whole-30–whatever my make-ahead meat is (in this case, Ben’s Favorite Roast) + cabbage, potatoes and an egg. In this case, this beautiful, poached egg–I’ll be adding my recipe for no-fuss 4 minute poached eggs in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

 

These sweet potato breakfast cups were the result of one of my MANY cooking dreams (yes like the kind where you’re sleeping), and were one of my meal-prep success stories for the days Ben is in the office. He likened the sweet potato to pastry dough–so yeah, you’re going to wanna make these!

 

This Shepherd’s Pie was the perfect dish for the night we share a meal with our friends who are also doing Whole 30–not to mention, there was so much of it, we had enough leftovers for everyone to take into work the next day! This meal happened to be on a day I was particularly busy, so I made sure to pre-chop my vegetables in case Ben beat me home (spoiler alert: he did), so he could get started with the cooking and have one less hoop to jump through. This is definitely a favorite trick of mine that cuts down on cooking work on particularly busy days!

 

Like most weeks, I made up a batch of Bone Broth to use in soups and sauces throughout the week. I shared a few of my broth secrets over on Instagram as well. The awesome thing about my bone broth nowadays, is that I make it in my Instant Pot, which gets the job done in 4 hours instead of 24-48–that means I can make bone broth and use it in the same day, like I did on this particular day. The stew pictured below used this broth and it was divine! I barely had to season it, because the flavor of the broth was so rich.

 

This stew follows most of my Winter Beef Stew recipe, with the exception of taking out the non-compliant ingredient (peas) and replacing it with green beans.

 

Okay, I value humility as a trait I want to cultivate in myself, BUT this beef and broccoli was literally incredible, y’all! It had the beautiful, glazed consistency of take-out beef and broccoli. It was so satisfying on its own that I didn’t even miss the rice! You can find the recipe for this on Instagram.

 

In case you were wondering, NO, I absolutely do not plate and style every meal I eat. This is an example of that. An impromptu meal, this was a favorite this week! I sautéed some tomatoes, onion, red potatoes, and chicken thigh nuggets together in some Goya Foods Adobo Seasoning (yes it’s compliant–I checked), added some chili powder, and enjoyed on some cabbage. It took about 15 minutes to make, and I was SO happy with the result.

 

Another all-star this week were these grilled chicken thighs over cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, with grilled pineapple. I can’t stress enough how wonderful having a grill pan is. It minimizes the mess, and doesn’t depend on the weather (or having propane!). I marinated the chicken in coconut aminos, the juice from one orange, coriander, cumin, and a sprinkling of salt for about 15 minutes before grilling, and it ended up being SO juicy. The mildly sweet flavor from the orange gave it a sort of teriyaki chicken vibe.

 

I should preface this with saying I am NOT a huge hamburger fan. I know it’s controversial, but that’s just who I am, okay. That having been said, this hamburger (with finely chopped parsley, red onion, and garlic) this week was AMAZING. Covered in some Roasted Garlic Aioli + Marinated Onions it was perfectly juicy and delicious! I also really like eating non-bread burgers on cabbage, because I find the crunch of the leaf extra satisfying AND it’s a pretty solid leaf, so there is less breakage.

 

They don’t say ‘Save-the-Best-for-Last for no reason, y’all! As you all know, we try to make our Friday meal a little fancy around here. It’s a time for Ben and I to reconnect and splurge on ourselves after the work week (although the week never really ends for entrepreneurs). Our chimichurri steak was INSANELY good. I shared the recipe and some steak tips and tricks over on Instagram, but you can always find the chimichurri recipe here. ALSO, keep an eye out for these fries this week–They have 6 ingredients, and are literally little bites of heaven.

 


 

And that’s all from me this week! If you’re winding down on your January Whole 30 experience (we have a few days to go because we started late) OR are deciding whether a February Whole 30 is for you, you can check out last round’s debrief to see what we loved about it, and found helpful throughout it. As always, thanks for feasting with me!

Love, love, love,

 

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Mary-Beth is a creative, food-obsessed, Georgia transplant living in the PNW. She is proudly and fiercely Latina. You can usually find her wandering her house in pajamas staging the next social justice revolution in her head, or eating her way through Portland with her favorite people. Her life is a constant juggling of chasing joy, learning about rest/work balance, pursuing justice, and loving her crew deeply. Also tacos. Her life is full of really good tacos.



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