How the Whole 30 helps my Meal Planning and Eating

For the last few years, my partner and I have chosen to eat Paleo style – well, for the most part.  He is a Type 1 diabetic and there are instances where he has to have toast and peanut butter “my bloods are low babe” or like yesterday, a raspberry cronut “low blood sugars”.

Our Paleo lifestyle started with a Whole 30.  A Whole 30 is a reset of 30 days where you are very strict on the foods you eat and the drinks that you consume.  No alcohol, sugar, dairy, legumes and grains.  But the best part is what you do eat … real food.  The less ingredients the better, in fact the best is when you buy fresh meat and vegetables and make it all yourself.  The benefit of the Whole 30 is that it will not only change your tastes but the way you think about and look at food, our cravings and your habits.  It also clears your skin, helps you sleep better and you’ll get to experience the feeling we call ‘Tiger Blood’.  I can’t recommend it enough.

We learned of the Whole 30 through my friend Leah – of Naturally Leah – who has now started Pick + Paleo, a guide to all things Paleo in New Zealand.  I have to give her a shout out as it was her adventures in food and fitness and a healthy lifestyle that gave us a massive kick.  We’ve taken what we learned and made it part of our everyday.

And as the blog title says, its helped me no end jump straight into great eating habits since my gastric bypass.  Here’s how …

 Shopping

grocery shopping

I shop the edges of the supermarket.  Thats where all the fresh foods are – vegetables, fruits for him, seafood, meat and the deli.
Paleo and Whole 30 say I can’t have cheese but as it offers additional protein which is important to me, I’m overruling them.  We’ve made a few other changes that suit us and what our bodies need however we keep out sugars and as much processed foods as possible.
We’ll duck into the middle for items like mustard powder and tomato paste but anything I buy in a bottle, can or packet needs to have 5-10grams of sugar/fat per 100grams and as few ingredients as possible.  I’ll have you know I can read and understand food labels like a boss!!!

Meal Preparation

allergictosugar_chocolatechili

Preparation is sooooo important for me.  If I’m not organised, I refuse to be held accountable for what I put in my mouth.  Ahhh, if only it worked that way.  During our first Whole 30, we would spend 2-3 hours on a Sunday baking chicken, slicing vegetables and preparing condiments.
These days its much easier and I know that what we buy can be whipped into something relatively quickly.  I still enjoy making up aioli and ketchup and if I know we have a killer few days ahead I will throw something in the slow cooker so thats dinner (and his lunch) sorted.

Kitchen Adventures

allergictosugar_BBQvegekebabs

I’d always loved cooking and now, well now I LOVE COOKING!  Its just a shame our current kitchen is absolutely pants.  Oh well.
I’ve learned a lot about flavour and combinations and my spice cupboard has taken on a life of its own.  I can’t even count the number of implements that I have bought and really enjoy using.  I’ve bought a whole shelf of cookbooks and have developed a bit of a fangirl crush on Chelsea Winter – partly because she makes it easy for me to substitute out the things I can’t have in her recipes for things I’ve found I can.

I want my food to be fuel – but to be lovely to look at and even better to eat.  Whilst I am working on moving away from a food addiction, and the emotional response that I’ve had to it for most of my life, I don’t think I will ever not want to make a meal that tastes good.  I can’t just put something in my mouth because I have to.  And so for that reason, this year I’m working on bettering my food styling and for photography.

The Gastric Bypass Eating Plan and the Whole 30 are so similar

My previous post looked at what I can have and what I should be avoiding almost two months post gastric bypass.  It is still restrictive but whats wrong with great meat, wonderful fresh seasonal vegetables and some farm fresh, organic dairy?  Absolutely bloody nothing.
There are so many places to find meal inspiration – choosing what to make first seems to be the hardest part!

Yes it is tough watching people enjoying a delicious pastry or smelling popcorn at the movies – but thats my issue to work through.
Eating out and making choices where I can’t be 100% sure of what has gone into the recipe is getting easier as well.  And I am constantly pleasantly surprised at the restaurants and cafes that will change their meals if I ask them to.

I can’t rave enough about the Whole 30 – have you done one or considered it?

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