So it’s been over a month… how has my post Whole30 been going? Pretty good actually. Even with the occasional weekend indulgence (alcohol, delivery Thai food…) I’ve been sticking to making my own food and most of that falls easily into the Whole30 plan. Sometimes it can be a hassle and sometimes I don’t want to wait for 2 sweet potatoes to finish roasting before going to sleep but overall I feel better when I stick to these foods and it’s worth the extra 30 minutes in the kitchen. I went to Vermont to ski last weekend and even though it took some extra planning/shopping/packing/coolers to bring all my own food I easily made it through the weekend. Here is a plate from our leftover breakfast on Sunday for a sampling of some possible ski weekend snacks.
A few things I have enthusiastically added back-
Honey. I’m fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your outlook) not to have much of a sweet tooth. Cutting sugar was never a huge challenge to me EXCEPT for glazes/marinades. One of my favorite salmon recipes is a honey, lime, red pepper flakes and grated ginger glaze on salmon under the broiler. Needless to say, I made this as soon as I finished my 30 days. I also use honey as a binding agent with granola/granola bars. Even though I fully support adding honey back into my diet, I generally stick to raw, unprocessed honey. I could write a whole post about why raw honey is healthier than the stuff in the plastic bear but the best argument is it just tastes better. Try it.
Dairy. So I’m a lactose intolerant person who loves dairy. Life is always funny that way. Trying to see the bright side of every challenge, I’ve come to realize that the small amount of dairy tolerated by my stomach is probably the right amount for me to eat in general. Since I’m not yet a huge fan of fermented foods and I want to keep my gut bacteria happy, I eat plain greek yogurt (compare the amount of sugar between ‘plain’ and ‘strawberry’ and you’ll see why I always go plain) with cut up strawberries and sliced almonds for breakfast once in a while. I eat some high quality cheese on occasion because it’s just so damn good, and I use non clarified butter once in a while when it makes a difference (eggz). That being said, I still make and use clarified butter or rendered fat for most of my cooking and stick with coconut milk for most things.
Chocolate. I LOVE DARK CHOCOLATE. I just mentioned my lack of sweet tooth and this may be where it is most notable. When I say dark I mean daaaaark. Like 85+% cacao dark. For those of you not used to it, high % dark chocolate might taste a little bitter. Starting around 70% and slowly working your way up will help you appreciate the taste of the cacao beans when they aren’t masked by a majority of milk and sugar, and boy are they delicious! Are there health benefits to eating chocolate? Oh yeah… antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. Are most of these negated with all the sugar and emulsifiers they throw into a hershy’s bar? You bet.
Dinner parties. Ok so not technically an ingredient, but this was something that slowed during my Whole30. When faced with a restricted diet it can be tough to think of a fancy meal that will please guests and fit into all the rules. We definitely cut down a bit on big dinners during our Whole30 month and I’ve noticed I’ve fallen back into old non-Whole30 habits when faced with cooking for other people. This does not have to be the case! To help you (and myself) here is dinner I made for a few friends the other day.
Chipotle Short Ribs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Butter.
Beef Short Ribs in Chipotle and Green Chili Sauce courtesy of Epicurious.com and found here
Mashed White Sweet Potatoes
2-3 large white sweet potatoes
6 tbs clarified butter*
3 tbs coconut milk*
1/2 cup water, or more to fully cover bottom of pan to keep potatoes from burning.
salt and pepper to taste.
Peel and cut up sweet potatoes into 1/4″ cubes. Add all ingredients to pot and cook over medium, stirring occasionally until potatoes are very soft and mash easily with a fork. Mash or beat to your desired ‘lumpiness’ and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy.
**amount of butter and coconut is variable. For rich, creamy potatoes you can always add more once cooked and beat until a puree. These potatoes are also delicious without the add ins and can be mashed without the butter or coconut.
Totally Whole30. Totally delicious. Totally worthy of a special occasion or dinner party.