What Whole30 Taught Me About Cooking

One of my favorite implications of Whole30 has been the way it’s forced me to make friends with my inner Bobby Flay (or whatever celeb chef you prefer. No judgement, unless you pick Paula Deen. Then I judge you.) Unless I’m going out for a pre-planned meal like date night or dinner with the fam, I’m cooking and preparing meals at home.

My grocery shopping and at-home food strategy has barely changed since Whole30. We essentially have the whole “but there’s no food, just ingredients to MAKE food” thing going on. We have meat, fruit, veggies, eggs and condiments like nut butters and salsas. There’s some Luna bars in the pantry chillin with the oils/vinegars and some nuts, now added by Paleo baking ingredients. But there’s hardly anything that can just be heated up in a flash. We have to get creative and work a little for it. At first this was overwhelming, but now I absolutely love it.

So what has this experience taught me about cooking?

Lesson One: Keep it simple

  • You can roast just about any vegetable with a little olive oil, balsamic and random spices.
  • Everything is better if you just throw it on the grill.
  • Salads aren’t boring if you do it right. Open the fridge, pull everything out, chop it up and put it on lettuce. Wasn’t that easy?
  • Need a side dish? Have some snap peas with Sunbutter. Throw some carrots in the oven. It doesn’t need to be an ordeal. These foods taste good all on their own.

Lesson Two: Give yourself a break

  • It’s okay to take shortcuts that make cleaning easier. Slow cooker liners, Ziploc steamer bags, etc. There’s no award for doing it all by hand.
  • If you’re really out of ideas, just steam it and put some sort of sauce on top.
  • Eggs are easy, fast and cheap. Eat as many as you want for any meal you want.

Lesson Three: Get creative and just try it, already

  • Any dish can be salvaged or elevated with one of the following ingredients: salt/pepper, olive oil, a fried egg or hot sauce. And sometimes, all of the above.
  • You don’t have to make a traditional food. Our society is obsessed with naming our foods; everything has to “be” something. Get that our of your mind right now. Forget lasagna, gumbo, tacos, etc. Just throw some food together without worrying about what it “is”. Here are some of the traditionally nonsensical things I’ve been eating:
    • Roasted brussel sprouts with spinach turkey sausage slices and avocado
    • Microwaved sweet potato with fried eggs
    • Ground beef sautéed with zucchini and onion
  • I was scared of trying new produce items because I didn’t know what to do with them. That is ridiculous, because Google and YouTube exist and they can help you cook anything.

Lesson Four: Treat Yo Self

treatyoself

  • You really do need a food processor. Or super buff large arm muscles.
  • Get a couple Paleo or Whole30/Whole9 cookbooks. If nothing else it will give you inspiration and the motivation to make healthy meals.
  • New cooking tools (spatulas, zesters, slicers, peelers) are an inexpensive way to up your game.
  • You can’t cook every meal every day without going insane. Find restaurants that are Whole30 or close enough. For me, this is Agra Culture and D Brian’s. I know I can get lunch if I’m in a jam without stressing out too much.

I love that I can open my fridge and come up with a creative meal that takes little effort without that meaning I’m heating up a frozen dinner. I like that a snack can just be a handful of nuts. I’m loving my new sense of adventure and how I actually enjoy making things from scratch. And I can confidently say that this would have never happened without Whole30.

How’s that for proof that Whole30 can change your life?

Reintroduction: Rules Are For Breaking (Oh Well!)

It’s been exactly seven days since Whole30 ended. Remember when we were going to reintroduce foods very carefully one-by-one on a specified schedule? Yeah… that didn’t really happen. I blame ice cream and birthday dinner at Barbette and friends brunch and the fact that I’m just plain out of willpower. 30 days is a long time to be so strict, and adding another 10 on for reintroduction was apparently more than we could truly handle.

So we didn’t stick to a schedule, but I still think we’ve been pretty good. Below is what reintroduction has looked like since my cookie-baking incident.

Gluten Free Grains

Cookie day was also the official gluten-free grain day. I ate a little bit of quinoa with lunch. It was fine., I guess? I kind of had to force it down. We planned to have some jasmine rice with our curry pot roast for dinner but neither of us really wanted any rice. Turns out we just aren’t into GF grains like I thought. Friday night we really wanted pizza, but weren’t sure we were ready for straight-up gluten pizza crust yet, so we got gluten free.

Can we please discuss GF pizza crust? What the hell IS that stuff? We ordered from Pizzeria Lola and all the reviews said they were known for having great GF pizza. If that’s the best there is… forget that. Go for the gluten my friends. Eat real pizza. GF crust has the texture, consistency and flavor of bad frozen pizza. No thanks, no way. I pretended to like it because PIZZA (duh!) and the melty cheese was delightful.

GF Grains Verdict: My body reacted fine to them both times but I’m just not really into it. I’ll likely have rice with my sushi, and when we go out for Asian/Thai/Chinese (but in reality I would prefer come cauli rice instead).

BEER & Wine (A Redux)

Friday night (GF pizza night) was also beer night! I wanted to test my reaction to beer as a gluten source stand alone. Mainly because I’ve had a huge fear this entire time that I would react poorly to beer. My first beer was a Surly Cynic (a top 5 beer for me), and later in the evening I had part of a Boom Island. Unlike my first experience with wine, I found the beer to be delicious right off the bat. It did take me forever to drink– 3ish hours total — and yes, I felt tipsy all the way through. I didn’t sleep the greatest, which I know is typical when alcohol is involved, and had a small hangover the next day. Other than that… no major reactions to the gluten! I tried another beer (Bell’s Two Hearted, another top 5 for me) last night and did great with that as well.

Out to dinner on Saturday I decided to give wine another chance. I started with a dry white, which I really enjoyed. With my steak I had a pinot noir, which was my favorite so far. Again, I was such a slow drinker… barely finishing my two glasses over a 3.5 hour dinner. And I definitely couldn’t have driven afterwards. Turns out I’m officially a cheap date. I also felt significantly crappy when I woke up the next day.

Beer/Wine Verdict: It’s a go in moderation. I’m certainly more susceptible to hangovers now and one or two drinks seems to be my current max. I’m fine with it as there’s rarely an occasion that actually merits more than two drinks (maybe a wedding or bachelorette party?). In which case I’ll make that decision in the moment based on how I feel. And with the knowledge that I’ll be paying for it significantly the next day.

Additional Reintroduction Thoughts

I still haven’t had straight-up gluten- or not in a significant amount. At dinner on Saturday night I had a couple bites of baguette (I mean we were at a french restaurant) and piece of breakfast quiche that had regular pie crust on Sunday. I do plan to have pizza or pasta or something, but I just haven’t really wanted it yet. I never thought I’d say that as gluten was a huge part of my life pre Whole30, but so far it’s been the reality. No legumes yet either, which I don’t miss in the least.

Dairy and I are getting pretty serious. It’s really the only non Whole30 category that is sneaking into my diet almost daily in moderate amounts. Some cheese in my eggs some mornings, or a latte every now and then. It isn’t a ton, but I seem to react well to it and really appreciate it. I’m trying not to eat it every day but I can say that I’m not going to be a strict no-dairy paleolite. Yes, I think I made that word up. What do you call someone who’s paleo, anyways?

Sugar is delightful but too much gives me a headache. Dairy agrees with me but I will get a rumbly tummy 2 hours on the dot after I have some. I still drink a TON of water. I’m gravitating towards Whole30/paleo foods even now that I don’t “have” to. I want veggies with every meal and I find myself appreciating/enjoying meat like I haven’t ever before. (Especially my grass fed steak at Barbette. HOLY CRAP that was good.) I’m still losing weight but I’m really not trying, it’s just happening. Coffee stays black unless it’s a delicious macchiato or some other purposeful indulgence. I’ve started to really want pasties and pie so at some point soon I need to stop a bakery and satisfy that urge. I’m obsessed with trying recipes from my paleo cookbooks.This day-by-day approach seems kind of reasonable and sustainable. I still grocery shop Whole30 with the exception of butter. Whole foods (not the store, but that too) are amazing.  I feel healthy and fit. I’m still in awe that we did this.

I know a few people out there are considering starting their own Whole30’s. I have to say that I fully recommend that you do. I’m working on compiling a list of Whole30 resources all in one post for those who have been asking. Look for it in the next few days– and let me know if you do decide to start this journey! I’m here to help.

Reintroduction: Phase 1.5 (The Trouble with Sugar)

Now I understand why Whole30 warns against Paleo treats and sugar. Holy cow is it a slippery, slippery slope. Once you reintroduce sugar, it’s incredibly hard not to let your Sugar Dragon fly free.

It started with ice cream. Just one little trip to Sebastian Joe’s on dairy reintroduction day. It was heavenly. Then, with no intention, we were back the next night… even thought it was technically a Whole30 day. We justified it that we’d eaten Whole30 for all our meals and we’d already reintroduced dairy so it was no big deal. And it was a beautiful summer night. and we wanted a date night. (Tim and I can justify just about anything.) The ice cream was delicious, if not as great as the first night.

I’ve been looking forward to trying some paleo baking since I got my new cookbooks a couple weeks ago, so I spent my lunch break today attempting Danielle Walker’s paleo chocolate chip cookies from Against All Grain. The non-Whole30 ingredients are: coconut sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Oh and dark chocolate chunks. I had Dove dark chocolate promises instead of 70%+ paleo dark chocolate. It’s more sugar, but what the hell… I really wanted to bake some cookies and wasn’t going to head to the store just for chocolate.

I was chopping up the Doves and daydreaming when I realized that I’d been doing the “one for the recipe, one for me” game with the chocolate pieces. I’d eaten at least 2 Dove’s worth of chunks without even really noticing. Whoa, mindless eating was back… and only a couple days after Whole30 (33+ days with NO mindless eating at all). I quickly added the chunks to the batter and put away the extras. When the cookies were in the oven I started to do some cleanup and turned to the dough bowl.

And here’s when I realized that I have a serious “food with no brakes” problem. I was curious about the dough (I was so much stickier than traditional chocolate chip cookie dough) and grabbed the spatula to have a taste. Five minutes later I looked down and had literally eaten all of the extra dough from the bowl with a spoon. (Full disclosure: it was AT LEAST three full cookies worth). What the HELL was I doing? I didn’t even really want it! I literally only intended to have one bite and use the rest for a second batch or toss it.

It is absolutely amazing to me that this could have happened. After 34 days of perfect eating all it took was ONE batch of (paleo compliant!) cookies for me to fall into an old routine. It makes sense to me now why Whole30 cautions against paleo treats and is so clear on their “sugar is sugar is sugar” and “a cookie is a cookie” stance. Sure, these ingredients on their own are far superior to ingredients in regular cookies. But according to my habits, cookie dough is cookie dough… and I fell into a horrible pre-Whole30 habit with no effort at all.

And yes, I paid for all of that sugar- and quickly. Less than 30 minutes after my dough binge I had a searing headache and generally felt “out of it”. Not to mention the guilt in shame of my overindulgence, and the disappointment I felt in reverting back to an old habit so intensely.

Sugar Verdict: Proceed with extreme caution, and only in scenarios where brakes are included (i.e. sharing one restaurant dessert with others). Baking, even paleo, should be reserved for special occasions only.

Resources

Whole30 Glossary: Learn more about the terminology, like “food with no brakes”.

Reintroduction: Phase 1 (Wine & Dairy)

We started our reintroduction phase a little early (dinner on Day 30) with some red wine. I have to say, I expected this to be a complete non-issue. I love wine, I love wine with dinner, and this seemed like an awesomely enjoyable plan.

I don’t remember exactly what wine we had- it was a red (cab maybe?) 2011 Trader Joe’s reserve wine. Full bodied and not at all sweet which is usually my preference. We each poured a glass, got really excited, took a sip and… what the hell? Why does this taste so strong and intense? Do I like it? I’m not sure that I like it. No, I’m sure I like it; it’s just been a while. Better have some more. It took me three hours to drink one glass of wine. And if you know me, this is not usually the case. Tim had two glasses in the same amount of time (he’s 6’4″, mind you) and admitted that he felt kind of drunk. We didn’t finish the bottle.

I went to sleep just fine but woke up at 2:30am with horrible nightmares and some stomach cramps. Tim told me he also slept poorly and had strange dreams. DAMN YOU, WHOLE30, FOR RUINING MY WINE TIME.

Wine Verdict: Jury’s out. I plan to try another glass when out to dinner on Saturday to reevaluate. I’ll try a lighter red or maybe a dry white to experiment. My pre-Whole30 self loved wine way too much for me to call it quits after one go.

Of all food groups, I’ve been most excited to reintroduce dairy. I mean please… we’re talking about CHEESE here.  I adore cheese like a good Midwesterner. I firmly believe you cannot have too much cheese. I’m sure it’s not recommended to follow up your wine night with dairy reintroduction right away in the morning but the cheese was calling my name and I just couldn’t resist.

cheese

We kicked it off with some herb chevre in our morning scrambled eggs. It was heaven. I’m still thinking about it. I realized that I’ve really missed that creamy sensation and texture in my food the past month. There’s really nothing like it, at least not that I’ve found. I also added some organic half and half to my coffee. It was flat-out disgusting. No one is more surprised by this than I am, really. Prior to Whole30 I’d probably had black coffee twice in my life (and never by choice). I LOVE fancy coffee drinks, creamers, etc. Apparently that’s no longer the case. This tasted… sour, maybe? I can’t describe it. I drank less than 1/3 of my mug before heading to Caribou for something black. I’m shocked  but at least I’ll spend less money on coffee drinks, right?

…I also had some mid-afternoon chocolate. Chocolate, my lover, I’m so glad we’ve rekindled our romance. Don’t panic – my chocolate was Paleo/Whole9 approved. Dark 72% cacao organic chocolate, to be exact. And I just had one square. And it was so delicious. Here’s a great article about how to look for compliant chocolate, if you’re wondering.

But the real star of the show was heading to Linden Hills after dinner for ice cream at Sabastian Joe’s! I have been on a countdown to ice cream since Whole30 started. I LOVE ice cream in the summer. It’s nostalgic and cute and wholesome and I just adore the entire concept. I had a cup of swiss almond chocolate and Tim enjoyed some chocolate praline pecan.

I am thrilled to say that, unlike coffee creamer, ice cream did not disappoint in the least. The first bite was AMAZING, and I wish I could say I was one of this people who found it “too sweet” or “not worth it” after two or three bites. Nope, not a chance in hell. All two scoops were gleefully eaten with no hint of remorse or slowing down. So apparently that whole “things become too sweet after Whole30” benefit did not extend to me. I’m not even upset.

And the best part? I appear to be tolerating dairy pretty well! About 90 minutes after the cream in the morning and 90 minutes after the ice cream at night my tummy got a little rumbley – as if I was hungry. There is no way I was hungry given what I’d eaten, so that seems like an interesting side effect. But so far, that’s it.

Dairy Verdict: Bring it on- in moderation. I don’t need to have dairy every day but I’ll likely be making it part of my regular diet. I enjoy dairy, my body agreed with it, and in my humble opinion dairy is the the weakest of the Whole9’s manifestos.

Tomorrow (probably) will be non-gluten grains like rice, corn, etc. Aka the boring ones. Woohoo.

It’s Day 30! (We Made It!)

Holy buckets, it’s DAY 30! I’ve been putting myself under a lot of completely unnecessary pressure to make this an all-encompassing, penultimate Whole30 blog post. And then I remembered that we have to do reintroduction anyways, so forget that.

Instead I’m going to follow the advice of the Whole30/Whole9 founders and make this post a celebration of my Whole30 and the wonderful things that have come from it. That’s right, a 100% positive post. Except with my expert levels of snark and sarcasm it will likely be a 90% positive post. I’m trying, really I am. Let’s go over the great things that have some of this process! And you know what’s cool? The list is LONG.

Physical Changes

  • Sleep. I’ve been saying this since week one. While not foolproof or 100% consistent, overall I am sleeping well and through the night. I wake up fairly easily in the morning and earlier than I did before. Did I morph into a complete morning person? No, but I’m closer!
  • Energy level. Like sleep, this isn’t 100% consistent but I am far more energetic throughout the day. I’m more productive, focused and feel less like being a bump on a log in front of the TV. Sure, I still do that (hello, Bachelor in Paradise is on) but it’s because I want to – not because I’m too drained to do anything else.
  • Anxiety. I’ve battled with panic attacks and anxiety since I was a teenager. Overall, my anxiety has been greatly reduced.
  • Back/neck pain. This usually goes with my anxiety; a very sore neck and upper back is how my stress manifests. This incredibly annoying pain has been virtually eradicated since Whole 30 week one.
  • Hair. This one is kind of strange. Multiple people (including my mom) have asked me if I’ve dyed my hair darker. I haven’t. It’s weird, but must be Whole30-related.
  • Nails. I usually have super brittle nails, but they’re looking pretty good now!
  • Headaches. Mine have completely subsided since the day of the pea incident. I also haven’t had any migraines– but since those tend to be tied to hormonal, stress and weather (strange, I know) factors I’m leery to chalk that up to Whole30 alone.
  • Weight loss. No – I don’t know how many pounds because I didn’t weigh myself before we started. Did I drop a dress/pant size and am I magically at my ideal weight with a 6-pack? Of course not. But my dresses/pants DO fit significantly better. I can feel the weight loss even when I’m just walking around because my body feels freer. I went back and forth about a million times trying to decide if I should post my before and after photos… but screw it. Here they are. (I didn’t start taking pics until day 5).
    Top row - Day 5, Bottom row - day 30

    Top row – Day 5, Bottom row – day 30

    Not bad, right? I know it isn’t incredibly impressive- there’s plenty of Whole30 before-and-afters that are insane transformations. I definitely ate too many starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, yum) for those kind of dramatic results. But I feel more comfortable with my own body and more confident. I can’t really ask for more.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Eating at the table. I love that we have started using our kitchen table as something other than a dumping ground. Tim and I eat as many meals as possible together at the kitchen table. Sure, it isn’t always the most exciting mealtime (we tend to have great conversations when we go out to eat) but it’s uninterrupted time together.
  • Improved kitchen skills. A huge part of Whole30 is cooking. There’s just no way to get around it with such strict guidelines. Our kitchen and some of our prep tools have never gotten so much use (I’m looking at you, food processor). It’s been awesome to improve my cooking skills – and FINALLY make a decent over easy egg.
  • Love of healthy foods. As I said in my last post, the breadth of fruits & veggies I now eat is so much larger than ever before. I was missing out on so many great things until I was essentially forced to try them. Now I look forward to veggies rather than reluctantly adding a few of the same to my plate.
  • Water. I drink SO much water now! I was never that big of a water drinker before. And even stranger… I crave super cold ice water, which I used to hate. Now I’m heading to the ice maker multiple times a day.
  • Athletic performance. While I do wish I’d worked out more during Whole30, when I did make it to class I was killing it. Seriously! I seem to have all the energy in the world and find myself reaching for heavier weights. In general, I just like being active more.
  • Appreciation & awareness. Eating well is time-consuming and expensive. I feel very fortunate to be in a situation where I am able to make healthy decisions and can afford to do so. It’s an incredible injustice that healthy eating is not possible for many due to finances and access.

Overall, I feel pretty great! Would I recommend Whole30? Absolutely. Did it completely transform my life? No. But could it still? For sure. How will my habits change now that I have more freedom? Am I REALLY free from mindless eating? Will I make good choices? TBD. There’s no time to think about that right now, because tonight I get to have some wine! More to follow over the next week on reintroduction and life post Whole30.

 

Reintroduction (What Happens on Day 31?)

Overall, it’s been incredible all of the Whole30 support Tim and I have both gotten throughout this process. From questions, to nice notes, comments and even people providing Whole30 snacks at events – it’s been awesome to be cheered to the finish line. But as today marks day 27 I keep getting the question “What are you going to eat on day 31? All the foods you missed? Can we go get cupcakes?” To that I say… I WISH.

Reintroduction is the next phase of Whole30 and will likely take an additional week-and-a-half after the original 30 days are up. While it’s tempting for me to load up day 31 with pizza, pasta, ice cream and beer, if I did so I would have completely wasted the past 30 days. Whole30 was an elimination diet science experiment- much like when a doctor helps a patient determine a food allergy. We’ve removed the offending substances for a period of time and now it’s time to test how our bodies reacts to the same foods with a clean slate.

Whole30 reintroduction comes by way of foods in specific categories. On day 31 we will reintroduce small bits of one category (we’re thinking dairy) while continuing to eat Whole30 otherwise. Then for two days afterwards we will go back to 100% Whole30 and see how that category affects our digestion, mood, sleep, etc. Here is (tentatively) how we plan to reintroduce:

Day 30 (dinner): Glass of wine. We want to celebrate!

Day 31: Dairy reintroduction. This will likely mean cream in my coffee, some cheese with lunch or dinner, and ice cream in the evening.

Days 32 & 33: Back to Whole30. See how dairy works in our systems.

Day 34: Gluten reintroduction. A piece of toast with breakfast, maybe we’ll go out for (cheese-less) pizza for dinner. A beer for sure.

Days 35 & 36: Back to Whole30. See how gluten affects us.

Day 37: Non-gluten grain reintroduction. I’m thinking tacos with corn tortillas, some quinoa or white rice. Perhaps a cocktail this night.

Days 38 & 39: Back to Whole30. Evaluate grains.

Day 40: Legume reintroduction. I’ll have some peanut butter and maybe some black beans. I’m not really looking forward to this day as I had a bad experience with the peas on day 15. I

Days 41 & 42: Back to Whole30. I’m interested to see if it’s a pea day repeat for me with a headache, bloating and anxiety.

Days 42 & beyond: Decide which foods we are willing to bring back into our diet, and essentially develop a sustainable diet from now until forever. Okay,  maybe it’s not that dramatic, but now it’s free reign and we will be responsible for making our own decisions when it comes to health, food, and what our bodies can tolerate.

Sugar, some oils/fat sources and alcohol don’t have their own specific reintroduction days, so we’ll kind of add those as we see fit. Ideally, processed foods wouldn’t make their way back into our diet at all.

I’m not quite ready to commit to or even hypothesize regarding our “forever” diets. Will we be Paleo? Maybe. Will we just become good “clean” eaters? Very possibly. Will we return to our pre Whole-30 habits? I really hope not. It will completely depend on the reintroduction phase and how our bodies (and even taste buds) have changed during this experiment.

 Resources

Finishing Whole30: Tips on reintroduction, “off-roading” and making a plan for the future

That Time I Bought 1/8 Cow (Who Am I?)

Seriously, Whole30 is making me somewhat unrecognizable (for the better, I think). Prior to this experience I will admit that I had little respect for my food. Okay, that isn’t exactly fair. I’ve always LOVED food and had a respect for how incredibly delicious is it. But I never had true respect and appreciation for where my food comes from, how it’s treated, how it gets to me and how my choices impact the entire food ecosystem. I mean, that’s a lot to think about when you’re hangry and/or just trying to get out of the grocery store for under $200.

When we decided to do Whole30 I knew I was going to have to shake things up because my usual food routines just weren’t going to cut it anymore. Here’s some of the crazy-ish stuff I’ve done since starting Whole30:

  1. Weekly CSA Produce Box: Did you know that CSA stands for Community Sourced Agriculture? You probably did. I definitely didn’t. One fantastic and under-utilized perk at work for me is access to a weekly CSA for fruits and veggies through Hay River Farms. The produce is organic and usually local. Enlightened by my fantastic co-workers, I decided to give it a try to help me stay on top of my produce game for Whole30 and reduce my trips to the grocery store. I was totally surprised when I opened my seemingly basic brown box at work!xsa1

The CSA box is not only fresh and delicious and organic, but its also helped me being way more adventurous with my food. When you pay $37 for produce you’re not going to waste it, even if you don’t know what it is. A sample of what we’ve gotten in CSA (bolded items are new to me): Avocados, strawberries, figs, kale, baby bok choy, cherries, tomatoes, green top carrots, purple chives, plouts, apriums, green zucchini, fennel, spanish onions and nectarines. I have to admit that we let a few things go bad out of fear/ignorance in our first box (fennel and whatever those purple onion things are above) but overall it has been an amazing experience. How cool that it’s all organic? Or that much of it’s coming from farmers in my own state? I’m just obsessed with the idea.

2. Purchasing 1/8 of a cow through a beef CSA: I seriously laugh just thinking about this. When some good friends told us a few years ago that they had 1/2 cow I just about lost my mind. I can’t help but picture someone neatly sawing a cartoon cow in half and one person taking the front and one taking the rear. Seriously, what the hell?

And then I realized that grass-fed beef is really expensive at the grocery store. And the more I started thinking about the quality of the meat I eat, the more sense it made to do this thing. So after some recommendations and a lot of research, we ordered 1/8 of a cow from Grass Fed Cattle Co. If you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s the box of beef I picked up yesterday (this is half our order, so technically 1/16 of a cow):

BeefBox

 

So far, I would say that I’m obsessed with Grass Fed Cattle Co. I mean, look at the thank you note and the info about our farmer (Farmer Dan)! And they have been a joy to work with. I see more cows in our future.

grassfedcothankyou

BeefBoxFarmerDan

3. Ordering Paleo cookbooks from Amazon: I’ve pretty much abandoned any sort of physical recipe or cookbook since Pinterest came along. However, the ringing endorsements from both of these books (and my love of Juli Bauer and her PaleOMG blog – seriously, she might be my spirit animal) made me actually order the physical copies. I spent hours going through them, page by seriously gorgeous page, and making the recipes that I must try ASAP when Whole30 is over. I marked almost every single recipe. I’m hoping to post recipe reviews when I start cooking. This is going to be crazy-fun! (sorry for the bad pic, links below)

Cookbooks

The next question is: how will I change AFTER Whole30? At this point, I can’t really imagine going back to life as usual before Whole30. So, am I permanently Whole30? No, I don’t think  I could handle that. Am I paleo? Maybe. Am I hybrid of it all? I’m really not sure. I think that reintroduction will be incredibly telling, which starts next Monday.

Hot Links

CSA Finder (MN): Want to be a part of a CSA? Here’s a great resource to find one that fits your needs.

Grass Fed Beef Co: Our beef CSA provider. Highly recommend.

PaleOMG: One of my favorite Paleo blogs, and author of one of the cookbooks I bought.

The Paleo Kitchen: A brand new cookbook by Juli Bauer (PaleOMG) & George Bryant. Every recipe looks amazing and completely realistic. Can’t wait to try it!

Against All Grain: A fairly legendary Paleo cookbook by Danielle Walker- supposedly she has the best recipes for non-grain food that is traditionally grain based (i.e. bread). Recipes look a little more time consuming, but I’m adamant about tackling a few.