Whole30. I first heard about it when my older sister told me she was completing the Whole30 challenge. As she described how good she felt after two weeks of eating clean (you can eat lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil) I became intrigued.
One of my doctor’s had encouraged me to try eating this way to help with the associated pains from Lupus. I hated the thought of giving up so many foods that I love. And a whole MONTH with no alcohol? Seriously?
But a visit for my annual eye exam was the straw that broke the camel’s back. As my doctor spoke with me, she told me she’d be scheduling me for another test, because she saw what could be the beginnings of Glaucoma in my right eye. (The results came back okay, no need to worry, but the fact that I was facing yet another potential health issue tipped the scales for me. I knew it was time to make some changes.)
So I decided to jump into the Whole30 program. I downloaded the accompanying book It Starts with Food and my mind was literally blown by the information provided in it about things found in our food and how they impact us. There are certain things I will never eat again, just because I feel like it’s similar to consuming poison.
I’m 24 days into the program, and like my sister said, it’s really not that hard. The most difficult aspect about the program is planning. I have to be prepared each day with what I’m going to eat. I don’t just have the luxury of throwing pasta and sauce on at the last moment. People, it is harder than it looks to get all those fruits and veggies in during one day! But I am motivated by the daily emails of encouragement, and actually really enjoying trying new recipes, cooking with herbs and spices… and what I’m making is not only good for me, it’s delicious!
As an added bonus, I haven’t had any stomach issues since I started. No pain, bloating, embarrassing “happenings” (unlike the dog who is about to stink me out of the room!) and I have more energy than ever. My mind is clear again.
I am a believer.
My first week in the program, as I was scanning what I had on hand, (which happened to be sweet potatoes and a pork roast) I thought of a family favorite and wondered if it could be Whole30 compliant. And it was. So I made it and enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, I did not take any pictures, but, just trust me when I say: SAVORY!
But it looks something like this:
Pork and Sweet Potato Stew – my mother’s recipe
- 1 2 1/2 – 3 lb pork loin cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 14 oz chicken broth (be sure to check that it is whole30. I use my own homemade stock)
- 10 oz juice (yes, juice is allowed!) apple-cran or apple or orange juice all work
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 1-2 tbsp of sage (I probably used closer to 3)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Brown the meat quickly in hot oil. Remove pork from pan.
- Place all other ingredients in a crock pot. Add the meat when cooked.
- Cook on low all day.
- (You can prep everything the night before to shorten the prep time in the morning.)
I hope you try it. If you do, let me know what you think!