There are some weekends that stand out from the rest, and this weekend was one of them. Fall is in full swing in Charlottesville, and things in MADville are getting crazier by the day. A full social, sweat, and food recap of the weekend is in order, but I need to take a day or two to get myself in order and honestly just recover from what feels like a week of constantly being on the go.
While this week is another over-full week of work and life (in a good way), the most exciting for me is a client-driven restart on the food front. Some of our clients signed themselves up for the Whole 30 challenge from Whole 9 and are starting tomorrow. Hearing this was awesome not just because I have a group to motivate and recipe share with me, but also because it’s such a huge part of the lifestyle and health change we continue to love seeing slowly take over this community.
Since I was out for most of the weekend and didn’t have a kitchen at my disposal to prep meals, I’m a little behind, but I’ve committed to getting my life together tomorrow to walk (or eat, really) side by side with this group as they start this 30 day push. That being said, here are a few of my favorite / must-have ingredients, recipes, and just generally amazing food to lead off week 1.
STANDARD Grocery List:
– Chicken (skinless, boneless, thighs or breasts)
– ground beef (or turkey / chicken)
– applegate farms chicken sausage
– yellow & purple onion
– zucchini / yellow squash
– red/orange/yellow bell peppers
– cauliflower (2 heads – I ❤ it)
– spaghetti squash
– avocados (MANY)
– (local) Keswick Gourmet Marinara Sauce (the only one WF sells that does not have added sugars…and it’s local, so that’s a bonus)
– broccoli slaw (only at Trader Joe’s)
– green apples (usually 6, but if i’m making the streusel recipe about a dozen+)
– lemons / limes
– almond butter
– coconut oil (for cooking)
– olive oil (for salads only)
– coconut milk (light)
– eggs (I buy 2-3 dozen at a time….but I’m also usually feeding Dar)
– plantain chips (only at Trader Joes — NOT to be confused with banana chips)
– almonds (whole and slivered)
– sunflower seeds
– fresh ground almond butter (if it’s not ground fresh, check the ingredients to ensure it’s just almonds and doesn’t have added sugar or chemicals)
This isn’t totally exhaustive, but for the most part every recipe that I make that is an ‘everyday’ recipe includes these ingredients. Every once in a while I’ll really branch out, but only if I’m making a new/special recipe. These staple items will still be stocked in the fridge. The MOST important part of staying sane during the first week or two as you quit sugar and adapt back to real food is to HAVE food available. This is not a starvation diet — you NEED to eat, so make sure you have good clean food available and prepped to keep your energy up and balanced.
The easiest thing to do is to make a big dinner on Sunday night (or any night really) with several sides and spend some extra time chopping things up (like zucchini or celery, etc) to have ready for cooking or snacks. I’ll usually roast a spaghetti squash or two on Sunday while I have time so it’s ready in the fridge for quick meal assembly since my week nights (and days) are usually much tighter on time.
Here are a few favorite meals that can all be made with the food on the grocery list above, and save amazingly well (read: amazing leftovers and quick grab-and-go options).
- [Breakfast} Apple Streusel ‘Muffins’) which do require some time to make in advance, but are easily kept in the fridge or frozen
- [Lunch / Dinner] Thai Chicken Stir-Fry is probably my favorite rainy-day or winter meal, but it’s still awesome in the summer with cauliflower rice OR over spaghetti squash. There are no exact measurements, but the feedback we’ve come up with is that adding a little more coconut milk for a thinner sauce is better than a really thick one.
- [Lunch / Dinner] Spaghetti Squash Bolognese. It keeps AMAZINGLY well as leftovers, so this is a great one to make in excess and pack up for lunches during the week.
So, to our Whole 30 first-timers getting ready to give up all of their ‘favorite foods’ tomorrow…. congratulations, you’re about to know what it feels like to be fueled with the best stuff on earth – REAL food. It will change your life.
For other general ideas, search salads, vitamix (for smoothies) or dinner, or check out the eats or fuel categories on the blog.