I’m not normally one to jump on any sort of diet train. No Atkins or South Beach or Paleo hoopla for me. I just aim for whole foods cooked at home 99% of the time. We tend towards a mostly vegetarian diet, but we aren’t actually vegetarians. Really, I just try to make eating healthy and homemade something that we do every day.
That being said, I’m doing the Whole30 right now. It’s my second time around (I made it through the 30 days the first time back in November). Losing weight after baby number four is proving to be more difficult than in the past. In fact, sweet baby Rory will be one year old this week and I am not yet back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So, I’m doing what needs to be done.
I like the Whole30 because it focuses on whole foods. It’s simple and there are a lot of things that I have learned while doing it that I will continue even after I complete my 30 days. After I made it through the Whole30 the first time, I found myself snacking less, eating less bread items, and definitely eating more vegetables. I still don’t ever see myself living grain free, but it was easier to stick to ancient grains and whole grains after completing the 30 day challenge. I did feel like it was just the nutritional reset that I needed, which is why I’m doing it once again.
The key to successfully completing the Whole30 challenge, in my opinion, is to have a meal plan before you set out. There are so many delicious recipes to keep you on track, but if you don’t plan ahead it’s way too easy to revert back to old habits and find yourself grabbing a bagel or sneaking a bite of pasta.
The new Whole30 cookbook is full of recipes as well as all the info about the program. The Whole30 might sound restricting – no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no preservatives – but this cookbook proves just how many delicious dishes and sauces can be made and enjoyed despite all the restrictions. I also really like the Hartwigs’ no nonsense approach. Sometimes, when I really start thinking about cheese for example, I need to remember this from the Whole30 challenge:
It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
And now, working on my second round of the 30 day challenge, it really is going well. I am losing the pregnancy weight, but more importantly, I feel good.
I recently served these Whole30 Stuffed Peppers to people who are not doing the Whole30 challenge and nobody complained. In fact, they asked for the recipe because they are just delicious. This isn’t diet food, it’s good food.
Have you tried the Whole30? I’d love to hear your experience and thoughts on it! I am one week into my second round. I still miss cheese, but eating these delicious stuffed peppers helps me to stay focused on what I’m trying to do here.
- 6 large bell peppers
- 2 teaspoons minced dried onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- juice of one small lemon
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Whole30 Chipotle Sauce (recipe link below)
- 1 avocado, diced for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dried spices together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and crumble the ground beef into the hot skillet. Cook and stir until beef is completely browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and discard any grease. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Stir in the sweet potato, lemon juice, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes soften.
- Stir in the cooked meat and the spice mixture. (Add a few tablespoons of water if it seems dry). Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the spinach and cilantro.
- Slice caps off peppers about ½ inch from the stem. Retain the cap. Scrape the veins and seeds. Stuff the cavity of each pepper to the top with filling and place the caps on top. Place peppers on a baking sheet or baking dish and cook for 20 minutes. Removed from oven and serve with Chipotle Sauce (link to sauce recipe below)
Serve these tasty stuffed peppers with the Whole30 approved Chipotle Sauce and garnish with diced avocados. Enjoy!