This January, along with many other paleos, I will be treating/challenging myself to 30 days of eating healthily without compromise. I’m following the guidelines of the Whole30 Program which means no sneaky chocolate cheats, no sugar (not even the “good” ones like honey and maple syrup), no hard cider or wine, no compromises of any kind. A month just to feed and listen to my body without chaotic chemical interferences.
If you want to learn more, the paleo blogosphere is buzzing with excitement over what has become an annual tradition for the paleo community and a great way to start the new year. I recommend following NomNomPaleo and The Domestic Man (and, if you facebook, they post often which is a nice little treat in your feed in between pictures of weddings, dogs, and pregnancy announcements) reading this great article from The Clothes Make the Girl, and keeping up with Mark’s Daily Apple.
In order to keep myself accountable, I’ve asked my gentleman and my best friend to help keep me on track, announced my Whole30 intentions on facebook, and I plan to post here almost daily in January. I’m also keeping a food journal, which I probably should have been doing anyway. I spend a lot of time on my computer so I’m keeping it open in the background so I can just plug in my eats as I go.
As the person in our house who makes most of the meals, I’ve found that one way to stay on track has been to create a GoogleDrive list of all the main dishes and sides that I know how to make. When I find recipes or think of experimental dishes I add them to the list with asterisks and notes and then, when planning our meals for the week/when I am at a loss for what to make/we’ve fallen into a hopeless dinner rut, I consult The List. I’ve shared it with Dave and will have him consult The List when I ask what he would like for dinner (my least favorite response to any question is: “I dunno”).
We’re also finding creative uses for leftovers, my favorite being to put them all out on the table at once and have a mini buffet. Regardless of the time of day, all foods–fruits, veggies, meats, breakfasty foods–find their way onto the same plate and it feels a little decadent.
I’ve also been thinking about what I’ll do once I go back to work–I have been looking for a new job since I finished school and we moved to Florida, and once I re-enter the workforce I won’t have the luxury (or responsibility) of cooking elaborate meals. It is both sad and a relief but I’m trying to strategize how to minimize the impact when the time comes. We’ve been trying to avoid buying the items on our wedding registry so we can save some money and have something to look forward to, but I think we might need to pick up a slow cooker and another set of glass food storage so I can prep, cook, and freeze in larger quantities.
As for the present: tonight I’m working on a chicken and veggie soup made from leftover chicken bones from last night’s dinner. The stock needs to simmer a little longer and then I’ll add some onions, carrots, celery, and parsnips. I might try to rice some cauliflower and keep it stored separately in the fridge, adding it to bowls as we eat the soup so it stays firm. It probably won’t be ready until tomorrow so we’ve got some cod on deck, ready to pan-sear and serve with half a head of shredded cabbage and whatever else is floating around in the fridge.
Good luck to everyone with their plans for the new year! And if you’re looking for some inspiration before stocking your own fridge, check out the Whole9 shopping list and this list of supplemental foods from Mark’s Daily Apple.