Prepping for the Week + The Whole 30 Challenge

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.

fuel sweat grow: Whole 30 Grocery list

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
– mushrooms
– cauliflower (2 heads – I ❤ it)
– celery
– carrots
– spaghetti squash
– avocados (MANY)
– asparagus
– (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)
– kale
– romaine
– cucumbers
– broccoli slaw (only at Trader Joe’s)
– blueberries
– green apples (usually 6, but if i’m making the streusel recipe about a dozen+)
– bananas
– strawberries
– 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.
fuel sweat grow: grocery list and meal prep
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).
  • [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.

 

A Little of This, A Little of That

So, on monday I made a rookie mistake.  I planned and cooked one of my favorite meals, and even brought out the good camera to capture the whole thing.  What I failed to do was make sure the memory card was actually in the camera.  So, sorry folks, no pictures.

That being said, here’s what was on the menu (and the grill):

  • 2lbs of whole food’s skirt steak (a great option when they’re out of flank.  and flat iron.)
  • grilled asparagus, and zucchini
  • romaine based salad with avocado, cucumber, walnuts, and tomato

The food was delicious, and the presentation was majestic, sorry you can’t see what it looked like.  What I can show you is the hasty leftover salad that I put together on Tuesday afternoon during my ‘working lunch.’

leftovers

Don’t let the lack of frills fool you, in the moment it tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten.

leftover lunch

It has been a more than beautiful week this week, so in the spirit of enjoying that I took some work outside with me after lunch to get a little extra vitamin D, and to (hopefully) also bring a stop to Bug’s incessant requests to go in and out  of the house.  It worked surprisingly well and once I was stationed outside she decided that her only option was to stay outside and be quietly miserable.  bug outside

I did the 7am bootcamp yesterday with the group while Dar coached which was awesome.

30:30 (4 rounds)

  • Box Jumps / rest
  • Push ups / Plank
  • Kettlebell swings / squat hold
  • star jumps
  • Breakdancers

So, to better explain the bullet points, the workout was 4 rounds of 1 minute rounds split into 30 second segments.  For box jumps it was 30 seconds on, then 30 seconds off (rest!), but for the push ups and KB swings, they both had active rests with planks and squat holds, respectively.

In the most surprising turn of events, one of my group partners, Uday, turned to me after round 1 and said ‘lets do 45/15 on the full rest sections.  Now, I’m not sure if he was having a particularly good morning, or just trying to compete with his wife (the amazing Anita of Maliha Creations ) that did the same workout in the 6am bootcamp, but we made the switch and I definitely felt it immediately.  The only other change I made was holding a 12kg kettlebell for a goblet squat hold.

I managed to get my act back together at dinner, so here are a few food scenes from what was an awesome rainy day meal.

Roasted cauliflower on the grill, seasoned with salt.

roasted cauliflower

The ‘main course’ and future lunches was a mix of onions, ground beef (local!), zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and red peppers.  It was all just seasoned lightly with sea salt, but had an amazing flavor thanks to the beef.

beef. it's what's for dinner.

On the (other) side was a sweet little tomato and avocado salad, seasoned with salt, balsamic, and a tiny bit of olive oil.

tomato avocado

This meal had a 20 minute turnaround, and provided leftovers for the next two days.  I’m huge on having leftovers on hand to grab and go, or quickly eat sometime between breakfast and an afternoon snack (some might call that meal lunch…).  It really helps to put it in serving sized containers so it’s easy to organize and take with you.

I spent most of this week working on stuff for Fight Gone MAD, from social media, to retail ordering, and a million details in between.  We’re getting closer and closer to announcing both of the actual locations, and I could not be more excited.  I love the spaces we found, our builder is a rock star, and the designs all look amazing.

work

Anyone ready for the grand opening party?  I am.  Seriously, that’s one of the things on my to-do list, probably one of the least important, and I have a million little notes on what it’s going to look like.  I did a little professional reflection this week, and on my personal blog, and am just so excited for everything that we’ve got going on right now, and that I’ve got going on, despite the million directions I feel like I’m constantly going in.  This is the good stuff – it’s the beginning – and the beginning of something awesome.