Whole 30 Thoughts From The Trenches

Grocery Shopping in color!

My mom and I had an interesting discussion about food this last week (she is prepping to do her first Whole 30 starting tomorrow.) She said to me “Oooh, because I’m doing the Whole 30 I’m going to treat myself to little cherry tomatoes just for snacking.” And I said “I know! After seeing my friend Elizabeth’s salad on twitter, it reminded me I need to pick up some radishes. I can’t wait to just have RADISHES WAITING FOR ME IN THE FRIDGE. YUM!”

The interesting part about both of these things is that it’s not like daily life precludes us from doing either, but something about narrowing our nutrition focus helps really clarify the Venn diagram of nutritious foods we really enjoy and foods we feel are genuinely pleasurable. It’s almost doesn’t make sense, but there is a way in which narrowing your choices actually creates a feeling of abundance that doesn’t happen in my normal life. Less is more: the food version. If you are feeling frustrated about food right now I challenge you to find your own cherry tomatoes or freshly scrubbed radishes ready to be eaten this week.

My goal with the Whole 30 (among other things) is to find some new, awesome habits (snacking on radishes) and healthy meals that I truly do enjoy specifically because my choices are limited, and to keep them in the rotation when I am back to having ALL OF THE OPTIONS. If I can just change one or two habits after this experience I will count that as great progress.

comfort zone

Some time in the first week, everyone who has decided to undertake this challenge has that moment where they realize “Holy shit, this is really hard.” And to that, I say: YOU ARE RIGHT! What you are doing right now is a really hard thing. If you are feeling a little unmotivated because of that, I want to remind you of this. The act of getting through something tough is going to produce additional benefits (hello, confidence) that reach beyond even the physical awesomeness that you will earn just by doing the Whole 30. So I guess what I’m saying is make sure you are giving yourself credit for both things these days.

And I also want to remind you that if it feels hard? YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT! Because I really think that is nice to hear.


The last thing I’ve been thinking is that sometimes when the going gets tough we are tempted to use that difficulty to rationalize quitting.

“The Whole 30 is not sustainable, I should probably stop.”

“I don’t want to be obsessed with food all the time, I am just going to quit this now and try to develop mostly better habits in balance.”

“Why am I thinking about every morsel of food that goes in my mouth, that will not make me happy in the long run so in the short run I should quit.”

I want to challenge you to use that difficulty to motivate you.
When you feel it is hard, validate that for yourself. But also, validate that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. And then, think about this:

*The Whole 30 *isn’t* sustainable, and it is not meant to be. That is why it is only 30 days. It’s NOT a Whole 365. But it is a finite commitment, and it is one that you have already invested some time into. Why not keep it up and see it through? If you have done it for 6 days, you know you can do it for 6 more. When you get to 12 days, know that you can do 12 more. This is not a life sentence, this is 30 days.

*Embarking on a Whole 30 *does* mean thinking about your food more than usual for a finite period of time. It is not programmed to make you obsessive. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light will be so much more illuminating if you give yourself 30 days of mindfulness about your food. But keep it in perspective that when something *is* about mindfulness, it’s going to be on your mind, right? So if you are thinking about food a lot more than usual, you are not being obsessive, you are on the right track. And you will only be doing it for 30 days.

Don’t let your inner-rationalizer undermine your success!


Remember that you are building an awareness of your body, and that this takes consistency and commitment.

Remember that this is hard, and it is okay to give yourself credit for doing hard things.

Remember that this is only 30 days and you won’t always feel this challenged.

Remember that you are almost done.

Remember that you can do it.


Any other advice you would like to add?

Everday Seasoning

How To Make Grill Seasoning Montreal Steak Seasoning

I know it is very hip to be in love with Thomas Keller or David Change right now (and I am not doubting their genius!) but you all, I am still representing my serious Food Network love for Rachael Ray. Hang on while I claim my seat at the unhip foodie table. Alright, now that we’re comfortable…You see the thing is, she taught me to experiment with my cooking and to not fear the kitchen. These are things that absolutely turned me on to cooking, so while I don’t love every single 30 Minute Meal she puts out, she will always have me as a member of her fan club. (Especially now that she makes 6 ingredient dog treats that are the only kind that Buster can eat with barfing! Yay!)

(Talking about dog barf in a recipe post. Pretty sure I’m doing this wrong.)

Anyway, one of the most awesome kitchen short cuts that she taught me was about using grill seasoning for things that you aren’t actually grilling. Mind: Blown, I KNOW! Grill seasoning is generally a pre-mixed group of herbs and spices that really kick up the flavor of any kind of meat and vegetables, and in my kitchen, as well as in grocery stores everywhere, you will often see it labeled as Everyday Seasoning or Montreal Steak Seasoning or perhaps some other branded name that basically means “Sprinkle me on meat and vegetables and I will make them taste good.” And it really is a useful addition to your spice arsenal. I especially love mixing it into burgers as a base seasoning, or rubbing it on chicken or fish when I am feeling no inspiration but don’t want to eat something bland.

The only problem comes when you pick up one of these pre-packaged bad boys and the end up being full of preservatives or weird ingredients or things you can’t pronounce. WOMP WOMP! You know what I’m talking about — it is the packaged taco seasoning effect. It’s always a bummer to realize that something that tastes so delicious but is full of so much crap. This becomes especially inconvenient if you are doing a Whole 30 or a really strict nutrition challenge, which is why I wanted to share a super simple recipe for making your own Everyday Seasoning that is completely FREE of garbage, and completely FULL of flavor.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Make Your Own Everday Seasoning
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of dehydrated onion flakes (optional, for texture)
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Rub on chicken or steak, sprinkle on veggies, or mix a TBS or two into your burger mixture for a wonderfully seasoned dinner.

Hope you mix up something delicious!

****For more seasoning inspiration check out What’s In My Spice Cabinet + 4 Delicious Blends You Should Try.

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