For the past few months, my husband and I have been completely immersed in Keto Culture. We have been staying away from sugar (most of the time), working out regularly, and seeing positive results. But then I decided the other day to read the Whole 30 book, and realized that even our attempts at eating keto weren’t really addressing the true problem: we were still eating processed foods. On paper, the foods are keto-friendly, but who would have thought that a rotisserie chicken from Costco contained polysaccharides like Carageenan? So yesterday was our first day of Whole 30, and I read the book cover-to-cover again so that I could completely understand what I was getting myself into.
The Whole 30 is a month-long program touted as food freedom, or ridding your body of the excess artificial filth that is in everything we eat. We were eating keto-friendly ingredients, like fresh cheese, pickles, bacon, fresh deli sliced meats, and vegetables. When I actually read through the ingredients, I was shocked. WHY does bacon contain dextrose? Why? It’s smoked, it doesn’t need to be sweet. But it is laden with nitrates and sugar and sulfates. It’s disgusting. So as much as I have been trying to revolutionize my own food life, I have been continuing to destroy it. So on day 1, I made a cup of coffee with unsweetened coconut milk and read the book. Here’s what my first day looked like:
The main premise behind Whole 30 is removing dairy, carbohydrates, grains, sugar, soy, and anything artificial from your diet, and replacing it with WHOLE foods, like organic fruits and vegetables, farm-fresh eggs and meat, nuts, and whole fat from coconut milk, coconut oil, and ghee (clarified butter). It’s a simplified version of Keto, without the dairy that creates an allergy for most people anyways. We have replaced the unnatural carbohydrates found in grains and corn and replaced it with only natural sugar from fruit. I ate organic raspberries and a peach, instead of my usual bacon or sausage that we would eat for breakfast on keto. I’m not saying that the keto diet is a bad diet, but I am going to be more proactive about reading labels in the future for what I am putting in my body. Plus, on Whole 30, you can eat POTATOES. Win.
Snack: toasted coconut cashewsNuts can be a bit tricky on Whole 30, because most nuts you find in the store are roasted in peanut oil. Buy organic raw nuts and roast them yourself to avoid this issue.
I combined raw cashews, unprocessed shredded coconut, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Coconut oil is a very healthy fat that aids in weight loss by increasing metabolism.
Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until the coconut is toasted. It will also make your house smell amazing.
It’s the perfect snack, especially since on day 1 I wasn’t very hungry for lunch anyways. It will give you the energy to get through the rest of the day without any refined sugar to weigh you down.
I combined the cashews with this dried fruit blend that is made without added sugar. It has dried cranberries, cherries, and bluberries, with raw sunflower seeds mixed in.
I just kept a bowl of it on the counter to snack on whenever I felt hungry. It helped get rid of that unnecessary need to snack on everything throughout the day.
2 cups raw cashews
2 cups raw unsweetened coconut (flake or shredded)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1. Melt coconut oil in microwave and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine cashews, coconut, and oil in a large bowl
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until coconut is toasted – toss every five minutes to avoid cashews from burning
Dinner: Roasted chicken with caramelized onions and red potatoes
This dish couldn’t be easier to prepare and it was incredibly delicious. All the ingredients are extremely budget friendly as well.
Caramelized onions provide the sweet, acidic note that cuts through the rich potatoes on this dish. I used ghee (clarified butter) to caramelize the onions, and waited until halfway through to add salt so that the onions did not lose their caramelization. It takes about 30 minutes for onions to caramelize, but it is worth the wait. Halfway through, the onions will be translucent and slightly browned on the edges. Add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the onions and continue to let them sit and caramelize.
After about 30 minutes, the sugars in the onions will have completely caramelized and almost turned into jam. Let them sit and the onion mixture will thicken and create a velvety texture to go on top of the roasted chicken.
I cooked extra chicken for my husband to take to work with him, because it seems nearly impossible to find a precooked chicken (even fresh deli sliced meat) that does not contain some sort of artficial crap in them. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and roasted it for 15 minutes in the oven with the red potatoes.
Thank goodness Whole 30 allows potatoes, because nothing compares to a delicious roasted potato. Dicing them into small pieces will allow them to cook faster in the oven and become crispy. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chipotle powder, but you could season them with any seasoning blend that does not contain sugar. All in all, one of the easiest dishes I have made and also one of the most delicious. Day 1 was a good start!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 red potatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
Ghee (clarified butter) – to taste
Apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Dice potatoes into small pieces, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chipotle powder
3. Put on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes
4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
5. Brown chicken in a pan with ghee (to taste) and put into oven with potatoes
6. Dice onion into small pieces and brown with coconut oil for 30 minutes, on medium heat
7. After 15 minutes, add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to onions and season with salt
8. Allow potatoes and chicken to cool while onions continue cooking
9. Plate potatoes on bottom of plate, chicken on top of the potatoes, and caramelized onions on top of the chicken. Enjoy!