Oh, I am feeling so trendy this week! DH and I have decided to embark on a Whole30 Challenge, an eating movement made popular by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (among others), who encourage participants to eat a diet which closely resembles that of our long-ago ancestors. Often called Paleo, or Primal, or Caveman, this diet eliminates processed foods, refined sugars, dairy, wheat, legumes, and unhealthy oils. Instead, followers focus on high-quality lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
As with many trendy hip things, there are loads of websites and people talking about all the details. There are different factions and levels of involvement, and different results. Our youngest child asked why we would do a challenge like this; giving up ice cream is a big deal in her life. I told her that every once in a while, challenging yourself to break out of your normal food routine is a good thing. DH and I like challenges, we are sort of competitive that way. And I am finding that when I reduce the amount of sugar in my diet, my emotions are more on an even keel and I sleep better. Wheat has probably been a problem for a while, but I have never faced up to the fact that I don’t always feel awesome after consuming a plate of pasta or a couple slices of pizza. Dairy is going to be the hardest, since there is not one thing in that family of foods I don’t love. By eliminating these foods for a month, I will be curious to see if there are noticeable changes that are worth the effort.
Fortunately, our veggie box from Mariquita Farms supports this kind of eating, and I feel as though I have a leg up on the competition. Our fruit box from Frog Hollow Farms, a trip to the Farmer’s Market this morning, and recent purchases of grass-fed beef from Markegard Farms and lamb from Sierra Farms, has me looking forward to the challenge.
In our box from Mariquita, we received Cherry Tomatoes, Red Beets, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Yellow Potatoes. The yellow potatoes will be put aside until after the challenge, or fed to the children. I already roasted the beets and eggplant, and will serve the beets as a salad and make a Baba Ganoush with the eggplant. And the Early Girl tomatoes were made into tomato sauce and tucked in the freezer for later.
Here is my menu plan for the week of September 9:
Sunday: Dinner with friends, bringing a salad with lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and maybe a little smattering of roasted beets
Monday (first day of Whole 30): Beef Chili (no beans), steamed summer squash, salad with cucumbers and beets, grapes (probably while we play cards after dinner)
Tuesday: Grilled lamb chops, grilled green beans and padron peppers, chard souffle, fresh peaches and pluots
Wednesday: Eat out after soccer (eating out is tricky, but I did see this great salad from Jeffrey’s with steak that might do the trick!)
Thursday: Roasted salmon, kale chips, salad, applesauce from a stash of apples my neighbor brought over
Friday: Back-to-School party night (this will be challenging, might have to snack beforehand and focus on things wrapped in bacon)
Saturday: Another Back-to-School party!
What is on your menu plan this week? Wanna join me for the Whole30?