Want to know how I have set myself up for delicious success? First, here's a little visual of how I like my plate to look:
- Breakfasts/lunch: eggs (although I only have three of the dozen I brought with me left. One of my little helpers dropped the carton on the floor as we were unpacking earlier. Cleaning up broken eggs from a rustic hardwood floor is. not. fun); kale and pepper frittata; yummy banana blueberry muffins; bacon; smokey Tex-Mex turkey and sweet potato; apple, fennel and sage breakfast sausage patties; lots of freshly picked wild blueberries; coconut milk (that can be whipped as a fruit topping - or for frothing my coffee :-)
- Proteins: lemon and herb grilled chicken; garlicky pork souvlaki; rib steaks rubbed with an awesome homemade riff on Montreal steak spice; bolognese sauce; sesame, ginger and garlic marinated chicken thighs (using wheat free tamari - not Whole30 compliant, but ok with Mark Sisson's framework - and this is my Whole30. See more below.)
- Vegetables: the regular crudités (cucumber, peppers); curried apple and raisin broccoli slaw (made with homemade mayo); chopped tomato and basil salad with pine nuts; zucchini and yellow squash noodles, prepared this way - can you say awesome!!); avocados to chop and top Tex-Mex turkey and make guacamole; Odessa beets* (which we called purple monster salad tonight - kids tried it, one ate all of it - win!); marinated mushrooms. The last two recipes are first timers for me and come from the revered and classic vegetarian volume that I have owned for fifteen years, The Moosewood Cookbook. The two salads are incredibly flavourful, easy and completely Whole30 compliant. It's funny, although many think of the whole Paleo or Primal thing as having less variety, I have found removing grains from my plate has opened up a whole new place for twice as many vegetables.
- Snacks: aforementioned banana blueberry muffins; almond stuffed bacon wrapped dates; almonds; various fruits; raisins (for the kids, but I will likely enjoy a box); herbal tea (which I forgot, but I'll be getting some tomorrow)
|I tend to be a little heavier on the veg.|
Check out the Fitbomb site and spousal site NomNomPaleo for great recipes.
So, one of the menu items I mention above is sesame, ginger and garlic marinated chicken thighs, based on Paleo superstar Sarah Fragoso's recipe. The original recipe calls for coconut aminos, a beloved ingredient in the Paleo community, used as a replacement for soy sauce. In fact, it's an ingredient in many of the recipes in Well Fed, a fantastic Paleo cookbook filled with awesome flavours to ensure you never get bored. But you know what? Coconut aminos are absolutely not available in my neck of the woods. At all. Believe me, I even have one of our health food stores trying to make a connection with the Canadian distributor for the last six months and she can get zip.
My last Whole30 I went without - and that without is a lot for me. I love savoury nut sauces with chicken satay and crudités, I enjoy the bright flavours of a quick stir fry with a splash of salty soy as part of the Asian flavour profile. And for whatever reason, my kids love it too - it's a sure fire way to have less struggle at the dinner table. Don't get me wrong, we may have it once every three weeks - it's not frequently part of the menu - but any Asian influenced dish needs that hit. I have known all along that Mark Sisson is completely ok with wheat free tamari, as you can see it's on his Primal Blueprint shopping list. So as I looked in desperation late last night at a huge tray of chicken thighs from Costco that had to be prepared stat, I reflected on this plus what a friend of mine has written about, and the recipe I had recently seen from Sarah Fragoso and thought, why not.
My reasoning is that I went completely without in my previous Whole30 and, upon reintroduction of it as a seasoning, suffered no ill effects. Last night's recipe I used about three tbsp. per ten thighs and I'll probably eat three of them. I am ok with that. This will likely be soy's only appearance on my Whole30 this time around - and it was wheat free tamari - and similar to the thought process of Jaclyn (you really should check out her awesome Whole30 blog journal), this is, after all, my Whole30. I am feeling great and I am being more adventurous with my vegetables this time around, so the variety (and nutrient punch as a result) has really improved.
So tell me what you think... Am I over thinking this? Have I blown this Whole30? Should I just not eat the thighs?
*If you try the Odessa beets, I omitted the pineapple and added a couple of tablespoons of oil - you know I need my fats!