Tag Archives: dining out

How to Have an Awesome Whole30 Weekend (One Week Left!)

I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but after a fun-filled, easily Whole30 compliant weekend I actually feel as though eating Whole30 is becoming second nature. Can I claim that it’s easy? Would that be going to far?

It’s officially Day 23 which means that Tim and I have exactly one week left of Whole30! I feel like I’m barely ready for it to be over. I’m in a groove! Eating is way simpler now, I feel amazing and I’ve pretty much embraced my new lifestyle. Okay, I guess I am ecstatic about the prospect of cheese on my burger and ice cream… lots of ice cream. Dairy reintroduction is day 31, can you tell?

After two very long, very boring weekends we’ve finally discovered the secret sauce to weekendh appiness during Whole30: staying busy + embracing the foods you can eat + rethinking your “normal weekend” = success! Here’s how we finally created a fulfilling Whole30 weekend.

Friday: Date Night Out

Pre Whole30: Usually this would mean dinner and drinks, followed by maybe a second/third cocktail at another location. Generally one of the two stops would be somewhere we haven’t tried before.

Whole30: Dinner and a movie time! Guardians of the Galaxy was a must-see for Tim so we snagged tickets to the theater at West End (thanks Grandma Ann for the giftcard!) and started thinking about a place for dinner. As luck would have it a brand new Whole30 compliant restaurant opened a few weeks ago! The fast-casual restaurant is called Agra Culture. We went to the 50th & France location which is across the street from Pig & Fiddle.

Holy buckets this place was AMAZING. The entire premise is healthy, clean-eating food & pressed juices. I really didn’t know what to expect… fast-casual, is this like Noodles & Co? Sort-of but not really. Yes, we stood in line to order at a register and then found out seats to wait for the food. But I’m sorry, Noodles (big fan), but this was some really great, high-quality food! I could hardly believe it.

Tim and I both got the Agra Plate- by far the easiest  options to make Whole30 compliant. You pick a protein, a sauce and a couple of sides. I seriously couldn’t believe what we ended up with! We each also got a fresh pressed juice 🙂

Elisa: Beet It - red beet, yellow beet, carrot, orange, ginger Tim: Greenie - spinach, ginger, apple, celery, parsley, water

Elisa: Beet It – red beet, yellow beet, carrot, orange, ginger
Tim: Greenie – spinach, ginger, apple, celery, parsley, water

Elisa: Salmon with romesco sauce, harissa yam wedges & spicy broccolini

Elisa: Salmon with romesco sauce, harissa yam wedges & spicy broccolini

Tim: Sesame crusted tuna with chimichurri sauce, potato summer hash & spicy broccolini

Tim: Sesame crusted tuna with chimichurri sauce, potato summer hash & spicy broccolini

Did you expect food that looked like that? Me either. My food definitely rivaled entrees at significantly fancier restaurants. Flavors were big and bold, and it was 100%, no guesswork Whole30 a-okay. They post their entire nutritional details on their website so you know exactly which items have soy, dairy, gluten, sugar, etc. I was so impressed. And yes – they do have beer/wine for those who aren’t currently Whole30-ing. We loved it so much that we are heading back tomorrow night!

As it turns out, going to a movie is a perfect Whole30 activity. If you go after dinner like we did it’s almost impossible to be tempted by the concession stand. And Guardians of the Galaxy was phenomenal! Highly recommend it – and I would check out this sweet article about the woman who basically made the movie happen. Some groundbreaking stuff for women in sci-fi.

Saturday: Summer Activities

I was a little nervous about attending the Premier League soccer match at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. I’m not the biggest soccer fan, and I can’t have snacks or beer due to Whole30? Boo. To my surprise and delight it was a perfect Whole30 activity. The weather was hot, so water was really all we needed. It was a very family-centered event, so I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t drinking a beer (sports + beer = bffs4l). And as it turns out, soccer is really fun when the teams are as amazing as Manchester City & Olympiakos. Win!

Afterwards it was time to attempt another bbq. This was one of our most difficult activities during week one but I’m excited to say that this one was a piece of cake! We brought all of our own food (just in case) but didn’t even need it! Our friends and family were so supportive of our program that we showed up and found a plethora of Whole30 approved food 🙂 Burgers, guacamole, delicious paleo deviled eggs, veggies and the most gorgeous fruit plate. We grabbed soda water w/ limes in place of a cocktail and boom! IThis was by far the easiest Whole30 social event we’ve attended! (Well, turning down the Dairy Queen ice cream cake wasn’t exactly easy.)

Sunday: Relax, Exercise & Cook at Home

What’s better than a relaxing and productive Sunday? We had some family time, grilled some great lunch and dinner and prepped for the week. Whole30 is always easiest when you’re at home, so I just love Sundays.

Since we’re 3/4 done, I think it’s time for a quick health check in:

  • Energy: Amazing. I feel like Superwoman. I’m generally stable throughout the day with no crashes.
  • Sleep: By far the most noticable change for me. I sleep like a rock and feel super rested in the morning.
  • Exercise: While I haven’t been exercising as much as I should, I find that I am performing so much better when I do. I’m even switching to heavier hand weights in my fitness classes!
  • Skin: This feels like a total wash to me. Most people report amazing skin changes but I’m not ready to claim that yet.
  • Weight: I have definitely, 100% lost a good amount of weight. I’ve stayed true to no scales but I’m guessing its over 5 pounds- and definitely all fat. I’m wearing clothes that made me too self conscious to even consider 3 weeks ago.
  • Mood: Pretty good! I do find myself happier more consistently than I did in the beginning of the program. And while I do still get annoyed when I’m hungry it’s less of a “hangry” situation like it used to be.
  • Teeth: Seriously, my oral health has improved. Flossing is easier and I can feel that my teeth have less plaque build up in between brushes. What a surprising but pleasant effect!
  • Overall: It’s hard to describe, but my body just feels CLEAN inside. I know that’s weird but I don’t know how else to put it. It’s like everything is working together in perfect harmony. Does that make any sense? I don’t know, but it feels incredible. This must be the “tiger blood” that Whole30 talks about!


Agra Culture: My new favorite restaurant in MN!

Whole30 Timeline: Learn about tiger blood here 🙂

Meet the Woman Who Made History with Guardians of the Galaxy: Nicole Perlman is one badass lady.


Days Four/Five (And Whole30 Eating at Chipotle)

PAUSE. Big announcement today: the Whole30 now allows ALL types of potatoes! This is huge! Details are on the Whole30 website. Okay, whew. Deep breaths.

I’m already getting bored of cataloging all my meals everyday, so from now on I’ll only highlight the ones that were especially good/share-worthy, unique, or somehow led to a critical learning.

Day four was a lot like day three with the exception that I didn’t want to kill everyone who crossed my path. Personally, I consider that a vast improvement. Overall it was a simple, “run of the mill” day. For Meal Three Tim grilled us up a flank steak along with some baby bok choy, green beans and pistachios. I started to feel a little fancy at this point- we never cook this well for ourselves on a random Wednesday. I’d never had bok choy before which is apparently one of the best vegetables you can eat due to it’s unique make up of compounds that are proven to reduce cancer risk. Great!

M3 7/16/14

Day 5 gets slightly more interesting because it’s the first time I’ve “dined out” since starting this whole thing.

I’ve read on many a Whole30 blog that Chipotle is a great option for dining out. Today I had a lunch-included work offsite, but the provided food was pizza. To keep myself from indulging in the very illegal, very temping pizza I decided to get myself an equally delicious, Whole30-approved lunch of my own from Chipotle.

Now, here’s the deal. A lot of these blogs are talking about how compliant Chipotle is based on the descriptions of the meat and veggies on the website. However, the majority of Chipotle’s ingredients aren’t actually compliant- surprise! IIf you go one level deeper on the  Chipotle website you can actually read the ingredient statement which details exactly what goes in to every meat, salsa, etc. Many blogs have Whole30ers ordering onions & peppers, steak, chicken, barbacoa… but these items are NOT Whole30 compliant because they are cooked with rice bran oil. Rice bran oil is obviously made from rice and bran, and rice/brand = grains and grains = NOPE. Boo 😦

Here’s what you CAN order at Chipotle during Whole30:

-Salad lettuce (no dressing!)
-Carnitas (I ordered double meat)
-Salsa- Tomatillo Green Chili
-Salsa- Tomatillo Red Chili
-Tomato salsa
….that’s all, folks.

Don't panic - that's a fresh yellow pepper that I cut up myself and threw on top.

Don’t panic – that’s a fresh yellow pepper that I cut up myself and threw on top.

If we’re being completely honest, part of me was a disappointed that I clicked into the detailed ingredient link. I LOVE the peppers/onions on my Chipotle and based on the regular website I would have been in ignorant bliss consuming them this afternoon. But I want to do this right to the very best of my ability. If I choose to eat out over the next 25 days there will be a situation where no matter how many times I check ingredients or ask questions, something unapproved could easily sneak in without my knowledge. There’s no reason to PURPOSELY feign ignorance. I would only be cheating on myself, which wouldn’t be very nice of me to me. Le sigh.

Energy Level: Relatively high and stable all day
Mood: Great! I am definitely becoming much more pleasant.
Physical Changes: This is starting to get interesting. I have been sleeping like a ROCK. This is unusual- I have never, even as a kid, been a good sleeper. I usually wake up at least a handful of times but this has not been the case since Tuesday night. Additionally, I feel less “puffy”. I’m fairly certain that I’ve lost a bit of water weight. It’s cool to see some physical effects taking place.


 Chipotle’s ingredient statement – Some of this may surprise you.

The Official Whole30 “Can I Have” Answers –  No, you cannot have rice bran oil, which is used in the majority of Chipotle’s food items.