Where’s the Food?! (Part 1)

I had a very important Whole30 epiphany this morning as I woke up thinking about melty contraband cheese:  there are essentially two ways to look at Whole30 eating.

Option 1: I can’t eat ANYTHING. Where is the damn food?!
Option 2: Look at all this brand-new-to-me food! I get to try eating all this weird stuff!

Survival depends on choosing option two.

Some of these foods have just entered my universe with the start of the program. Others are items I frankly thought would be boring or gross… but by necessity (and curiosity) I’m now frequently finding them on my plate. Here’s a roundup of some Week One discoveries:

Most surprising(and most versatile): Ghee

My initial thoughts were “Wtf is GHEE? How do I even pronounce that? Why is this butter shelf-stable? This looks disgusting.” In reality… ghee is great! It’s pretty much like butter with all of the dairy remnants (not an official description) taken out. Another term is clarified butter, but I have to admit I haven’t bothered figuring out the difference.


How I’m using it: Sauteing, mainly. Ghee is  ideal for when you want that butter flavor. My favorite use so far was my Day 3/Meal 3 sauteed shrimp as a garlic butter sauce. A few tablespoons of ghee + 3 gloves garlic + juice of one lemon = me licking my plate. I’m planning going to put that shit on everything.

Where to Find It: By the Indian/Asian foods. I couldn’t find it at Super Target, so I went to Lakewinds and picked some up there. Most coops should have it. Also available on Amazon.

 The little nut that could: Macadamias

I would tell you my previous thoughts on macadamias, but I never had any. I literally forgot they existed. Couldn’t have picked them out of a nut lineup. But they are one of the few “best” eating fats and holy crap are they delicious!


How I’m using it: Great on salads but even better all on their own. These little guys are deceptively amazing.

Where to find it: I got these at Super Target and was thrilled to see they didn’t include any added oils, sugar etc. I hear Trader Joe’s is the place to go for larger bags at a decent price.

Most borderline-acceptable item: La Croix

From what I’ve seen, this item is a hot topic for debate on whether or not it’s Whole30 compliant. Whole30 has a whole “sex with your pants on” (SWYPO) food metaphor and many people think La Croix fits into that bucket. I say a big ol’ SCREW IT. I gave up pop almost two years ago – I’m not using LC as a diet coke habit stand-in. The ingredient list check out so it’s staying.


How I’m using it: To keep my sanity when I just can’t drink another glass of plain water. I also plan to use as an alcohol stand-in at a birthday party this weekend. So far I’ve only tried coconut but plan to get a few others this week to keep it interesting.

Where to find it: Again, mine’s from Super Target but you can get this anywhere.

Best long-term potential: Almond Butter

I’m tardy to the almond butter party. I was too busy getting my peanut butter groove on. I have always loved peanut butter. My family loves peanut butter. Crunchy peanut but makes me think of my dad, without fair. He taught my sister and me that there’s nothing better than being the first to dig into a jar of peanut butter; that smooth surface reserved just for you. One of his favorite breakfast foods is perfectly brown toast with peanut butter dunked in a tall glass of milk, and drinking the milk with all the little floaty bread bits (don’t pretend you don’t like it). So clearly, I’m emotionally invested in peanut butter so I never gave almond butter a shot. Until Whole30.

Almond butter is so similar to peanut butter! I was shocked. The taste is very close, but it isn’t quite as thick.

almondbutterHow I’m using it: Primarily as a dip for sliced veggies. I’ve also been known to eat a spoonful straight up.

Where to get it: I’ve only tried the Target Simply Balanced brand. I like it a lot but plan to try another brand when I run out for comparison.

A huge benefit of this program has been the exposure to foods that sit outside my comfort zone. I have a few others in the pantry that I’ll experiment with and discuss next week!

Helpful Links

SWYPO Theory – from Whole30. Explains when and how to make Whole30-compliant versions of your favorite foods.


Somewhat-Necessary Disclaimer: Yes, I work for Target. No, that has nothing to do with my food choices or my decision to write about Target products. My blog is in no way affiliated with my employer. But I do like to use my employee discount, RedCard & Cartwheel so that Whole30 doesn’t make me go broke.



4 thoughts on “Where’s the Food?! (Part 1)

  1. Amanda

    I lift my can of seltzer in salute to you! Also, make your own mayo with an immersion blender, you won’t regret it. It seems kind of scary, but it’s not, it’s delicious. Then you’ll have a whole new realm of veggie dips available to you, not to mention rocking tuna or chicken salad.


    1. Elisa Post author

      Thanks, Amanda! That mayo sounds like a life saver… and I’ve been meaning to use my immersion blender 🙂


  2. Aneessa

    I am so happy you’re doing this so we can geek out together! Try ghee mixed with Franks (I know, stay awas from processes foods- but this is only vinegar and cayenne, so we made the expectation) and drizzled over chicken. (You could also “bread” the chicken in almond meal and shredded coconut and then drizzle…buffalo chicken bites! Great to bring to parties)

    Also, almond butter with blueberries or strawberries is basically like a PB and J


    1. Elisa Post author

      Aneessa that sounds amazing- I’m definitely trying the buffalo chicken 🙂 Thanks for the support, friend!



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