Too picky, too expensive, too much time


ChristinaG

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Tom, you definitely would find a demand for that cookbook! Because there are many times people don't want to cook for more than 15 minutes, but don't realize what simple combinations they could throw together. They need the confidence of a written recipe until they have more experience.

 

My husband basically makes himself the same three meals all the time and none of them take more than 10 minutes.

  1. Frozen peppers, spinach, other veggie blends sauteed with sliced Applegate Farms chicken apple sausage.
  2. Scrambled eggs with baby spinach and garlic.
  3. Leftover meat (chicken, ground lamb, whatever I cooked up and left in the fridge), roasted spaghetti squash from our weekend cookup, and marinara sauce (Rao's has a compliant one we love). 
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I'm not sure if the rules were less clear at that time about commercially prepared chips but they're quite clear now so go ahead and make your own or leave them off for a whole30 :)

 

 

Also, for further clarification, in this thread (http://forum.whole30.com/topic/9035-plantain-chips-that-have-only-palm-oil-and-sea-salt/), one of the administrators Robin said that "As long as you're eating them inside the template, I'm honestly okay with it. If you find yourself compelled to eat them outside of meal times, ditch them."--that was why I thought they were okay because I did research them (and everything else I ate :)) prior to purchasing them.

 

 

From a historical perspective, Robin's post was April 11, 2013. The "No commercially prepared chip rule" was added on July 17, 2014 here

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Robin's answer makes a lot more sense to me, honestly. Roasted salted nuts can also be used as a chip substitute. 

Of course eating a bag of plantain chips would be anti-Whole30. I don't see how sprinkling a few on a salad is any worse than sprinkling a few nuts on a salad.

 

Maybe the template is what should be the unbreakable rule. I feel like that would answer all the SWYPO questions. If it doesn't fit into a template meal, it's off your plate.

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It is not possible for the makers of the program to say 'No commercially prepared chips...unless you eat them on a salad... but then only a handful... and only if they're baked and not fried...' It's a hard and fast rule, just like vanilla falls under the 'no alcohol rule'.

It's only 30 days and leaving pre-packaged plantain chips off shouldn't be that difficult.  Not to mention that these are baked in seed oils which are meant to be limited to eating out on your Whole30.

 

We encourage people to limit their nut consumption because indeed they CAN be treated like a bag of chips and mowed through with little thought or intention.

 

The template is a recommendation for people to get the best out of their whole30 but the actual rules are what make a whole 30 so if you want to eat banana, almond butter and bacon for every meal of the day, that's technically a whole30...

 

Robin's answer makes a lot more sense to me, honestly. Roasted salted nuts can also be used as a chip substitute. 

Of course eating a bag of plantain chips would be anti-Whole30. I don't see how sprinkling a few on a salad is any worse than sprinkling a few nuts on a salad.

 

Maybe the template is what should be the unbreakable rule. I feel like that would answer all the SWYPO questions. If it doesn't fit into a template meal, it's off your plate.

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I've been grain free, sugar free, low carb for over 2 years and had been eating that way before ever doing a w30. I'm on day 23 of my second whole30. I mention this to let you know that, I think over time, you will find that you will accumulate a NEW repertoire of things you like to eat and cook. I have quick things that we have often, such as burgers, compliant italian sausage, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, roasted chicken thighs, and grilled chicken. Then I have things that take much more time and effort.  For those times, I like to make enough quantity that we have enough leftovers to eat it the next night. So spend an hour cooking on Monday and no cooking on Tuesday. Those times I'll make a roast chicken, pot roast, pork loin, chili, or double my taco meat recipe. Not every dinner has to be a big production! I have to remind my hubby of this when he asks for his favorites, which of course are the more time intensive meals.

 

For veggies, I love LOVE to roast them. First thing I do is turn on the oven, start prepping my veggies, season them, toss in some olive oil, throw them on a  sheet pan and pop it in the oven. Oven not heated up all the way yet, no problem, we're not making french macarons here.  Then I start on my meat. Or if the meat is going to take longer, I do it  the other way around.  Whatever takes the longest, goes first. So something is cooking while I prep the rest.  Most nights I spend probably half hour cooking. Not on a roast chicken, pot roast, pork loin night, but you get the idea. Also, while I have the oven heated up, I cut up some cabbage, season it, toss with olive oil, pop that in the oven. Now I have veggies for breakfast for a few days.  Throw some carrots in there too, with ghee and salt that's all that's needed! Yum! 

 

When I grill burgers, I might prep some chicken breasts and cook those while the grill is heated. Now I have lunch protein. This really didn't take me much more time because I'm already cooking anyway.

 

For breakfast this week, I wanted a break from eggs, and I love eggs. I made a breakfast meat loaf.  2 pounds ground meat, I did half turkey and half pork, some onion, some diced sweet potatoes ( you could sub something else like squash, apple, or mushrooms) seasonings. Formed into a loaf shape and baked until it was cooked. Hubby and I have been slicing off a bit each morning and heating it up for breakfast, plus veggies.  Tastes sort of like sausage.  Easy! I prepped that while dinner cooked and cooked it while we ate.

 

For clean up time, I clear things and put away leftovers while hubby does dishes. I also try to clean as I cook, but that's not always possible especially with a quick meal.

 

For less expensive groceries, consider trader joe's and costco, if you have those near you. I find I can get organic produce for the same price as conventional produce costs at other grocery stores, and at costco, the quantities are greater.

 

All this to say, it gets better! You just have to find your groove! Hope this helps.

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Robin's answer makes a lot more sense to me, honestly. Roasted salted nuts can also be used as a chip substitute. 

Of course eating a bag of plantain chips would be anti-Whole30. I don't see how sprinkling a few on a salad is any worse than sprinkling a few nuts on a salad.

 

Maybe the template is what should be the unbreakable rule. I feel like that would answer all the SWYPO questions. If it doesn't fit into a template meal, it's off your plate.

I totally agree with you, and I think the meal template is definitely a good guideline. The most confusing thing to me about whole30 is the SWYPO rules. To some it may seem like an easy rule to understand, but for me it's not and I feel like it's confusing and some of the answers I've seen just don't make sense. Since I don't make the whole30 rules, I just listen to what people say the rules are and keep quiet about the things I don't necessarily agree with :) (just being honest!)

 

However, like SugarcubeOD said-it would be wayyyy too complicated to have caveats to every rule, so while every hard and fast rule may not logically make sense to me, I can see why having strict rules makes the whole30 easier for people to understand in general and therefore helps people to be as successful as possible. And that's why I'll keep quiet about my opinions :D And, everyone's whole30 is unique with ups and downs-I doubt there are very many 100% perfect whole30's just because mistakes happen and it's a learning process (that's why I maybe want to do a second!)-so while I may not have followed the rules to the letter since I did eat packaged plantain chips, I learned so much on my whole30, I succeeded based on my goals, and I'm still super proud that I did it!

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Ok, first off, take a few deep breaths.  :) 

Second, ask yourself why you and your family chose to take on a Whole30 at this time.  It may help to make a list of all the benefits you hoped to attain and post that in a place where you can review it daily.

Next, consider checking out this article on smart shopping strategies.

 

You don't need to eat eggs, potatoes or sweet potatoes to do a Whole30.  I think I may have had salad once or twice on my Whole30s. If you don't like salad, don't eat it. You also don't need to cook every.single.meal. Get your 13 year old to participate in the prep.  Leverage compliant canned seafood or poultry. Make hearty soups, chilis or stews. Crock pots are a beautiful thing. Weekend batch cooking is another popular approach. For an example of the latter, check out Mel Joulwan's "hot plates" method here: http://meljoulwan.com/2013/07/27/whole30-week-1-food-plan/

Think about joining in on a group thread of other folks doing a Whole30 at the same time as you for some camaraderie and shared ideas. Here is a group that started on Feb 1st. 

Agree on the crockpot. 

I know it seems expensive, but I believe I'm saving money because I'm not going out to lunch every day and I'm not drinking $4 lattes anymore. 

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I am both time and money poor and have recently completed a w30, starting another round next week.

Hope I'm not repeating others but here are my top tips:

Slow cooker-chuck cheap cut of meat in first thing + veg +spices + bone broth (not too much). Dinner waiting for you when you get in, blend some of the veggies into the stock to make a gravy. This works for curry too (use coconut milk instead of broth)

Don't suffer veg you don't like! But equally try cooking in different ways or coming back to them in a few days/weeks time. W30 totally changed my tastes

-frozen prepared veg. Just as nutrient dense, cheap, quick. Slather in ghee and salt/mayo/other compliant dressing of choice

-speaking of dressings, make your own ghee and mayonnaise, cheap, easier than you would think and can transform the most mundane of meals

-think outside the box. Each meal is just that-a meal, doesn't matter what time it is, eat what you fancy

-the meal template is there for a reason, follow it. Yes it can be a struggle particularly eating within an hour of waking but you need to do it if you want to follow the w30. Within a couple of weeks you will NEED to eat first thing-you will be able to trust your hunger signals again! Good meal 1 ideas when not feeling hungry are umami rich things like beef, bacon (used as fat portion of meal), mushrooms, seafood. Or make nom nom paleo's Magic mushroom powder and season everything in it. In fact do that. Definitely.

-enjoy mealtimes. I can't stress this point enough. I got up 10 minutes earlier so that I could actually sit down and savour my food. Ok, I didn't savour it to start with I'll be honest, but that little bit of time actually sitting with my kids helped with my morning food aversion. Oh and don't drink coffee before eating-it acts as an appetite suppressant!

Hope some of that is helpful x

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I am both time and money poor and have recently completed a w30, starting another round next week.

Hope I'm not repeating others but here are my top tips:

Slow cooker-chuck cheap cut of meat in first thing + veg +spices + bone broth (not too much). Dinner waiting for you when you get in, blend some of the veggies into the stock to make a gravy. This works for curry too (use coconut milk instead of broth)

Don't suffer veg you don't like! But equally try cooking in different ways or coming back to them in a few days/weeks time. W30 totally changed my tastes

-frozen prepared veg. Just as nutrient dense, cheap, quick. Slather in ghee and salt/mayo/other compliant dressing of choice

-speaking of dressings, make your own ghee and mayonnaise, cheap, easier than you would think and can transform the most mundane of meals

-think outside the box. Each meal is just that-a meal, doesn't matter what time it is, eat what you fancy

-the meal template is there for a reason, follow it. Yes it can be a struggle particularly eating within an hour of waking but you need to do it if you want to follow the w30. Within a couple of weeks you will NEED to eat first thing-you will be able to trust your hunger signals again! Good meal 1 ideas when not feeling hungry are umami rich things like beef, bacon (used as fat portion of meal), mushrooms, seafood. Or make nom nom paleo's Magic mushroom powder and season everything in it. In fact do that. Definitely.

-enjoy mealtimes. I can't stress this point enough. I got up 10 minutes earlier so that I could actually sit down and savour my food. Ok, I didn't savour it to start with I'll be honest, but that little bit of time actually sitting with my kids helped with my morning food aversion. Oh and don't drink coffee before eating-it acts as an appetite suppressant!

Hope some of that is helpful x

Awesome tips, Laura!

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You know, the Instant Pot doesn't appeal to me at all. What I love about crockpots is that I can make dinner before I go to work and come back to a ready meal. I wouldn't want to come home and then start dinner and then wait an hour to eat.

Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer and a yogurt maker. There is scientific evidence that pressure cooking preserves more nutrition than other methods. I don't like over cooked vegetables that I get with slow cooking.

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This morning I got up, turned the oven on, made coffee, dumped a big bag of frozen broccoli on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spritzed it with olive oil, popped it in the oven and went for my shower. Then I while browned my pork and onions for a scrambled egg mix, broccoli was done. Scoped them into a container and dumped 2 bags of frozen Asian mix veg onto the same parchment paper. Spritzed and popped into the oven. Ate my leisurely breakfast and vegs were done. Dumped a bag of frozen cauliflower on the same parchment paper, spritzed with olive oil and into the oven. Threw a load of wash in, paid some bills and did a quick clean of the bathroom. Cauliflower done. Dumped a bag of frozen spinach in same parchment paper and read the newspaper. Done.

I now have over 15 cups of cooked vegs for less than $7.00. I also have leftover pork sausage mix. I spent hardly any time in the kitchen and have minimal cleanup. I will fill a 3 cup container with a mix of these vegs, add my protein, top with olive oil and whatever spices grab me. It'll taste different every day. The good smell of my lunch reheating inspires the envy of my co-workers. This meal actually holds me a solid 5 hours. Thank you Mel Joulwan for your hot plates!

3 hours into my day I ate a good breakfast, did laundry, did cleaning chores, read the paper, paid bills AND cooked all my lunches. Now it's time to go play.

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Don't forget that in addition to one pot meals there are many things that you can make several meals worth of to freeze in just slightly more time than it takes to make just one meal's worth (I'm not a fan of "batch cooking" for the week and having to eat the same ingredients over and over and over.)

 

Meatballs (in all of their wonderfully diverse incarnations,) are a great example of things it takes only slightly more time to make a ton of. Double or triple the recipe and instead of hand rolling them use a cookie scoop (use a half off coupon at Joann or Michaels and pick one up for 2 or 3 bucks.) to scoop them onto a parchment or foil covered cookie sheet and freeze them before bagging them. When you bag them do it by meal count- I know I eat 6 and he eats 8 per meal and I want leftovers for the next day's lunch without having to cook again so I bag 28 per bag and cook them straight from frozen. Don't forget to mark what they are (gyoza meatballs, bora bora fireballs, moroccan meatballs, etc.) Grabbing a bag and putting them in the oven or a skillet while making a couple of veggies is really fast since there is no prep. Even faster if you choose veggies you can cook in the oven at the same time since you already have it on (cut them small so they cook quickly.) Line everything well with foil and clean up is as simple as throwing the foil away. 

 

Stuffed peppers, stuffed chicken breasts, etc. Double batch tomato sauce and freeze half, take it out of the freezer when you get up in the morning so it's thawed enough to heat up that night. When you make pesto make extra and freeze in an ice cube tray- easy to pop out and make a skillet meal that gives leftover chicken and veggies a new flavor. When you chop onions, chop extra and freeze the extra (even if it's just one extra it's an onion you don't have to chop on a night you just don't feel like it.) Just because you're eating good, clean food doesn't mean it can't be convenient.

 

If you do that with enough items there is always a variety of things to choose from. On that night two or three weeks from now that you're super tired from a crazy busy day grab a bag of meatballs and have a really good dinner on the table fast and with little effort.

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