With the New Year right around the corner it is a time of reflection. We often take stock of the past year and evaluate what has worked for us and what hasn’t. As a result people often vow to make changes and let the fresh year work as a trigger for these changes, hence we create New Year’s Resolutions.
While I believe there are many positive aspects to these resolutions, we often bite off more than we can chew, or in terms of losing weight and changing habits, perhaps we bite off less than what will actually satisfy us. It is important as we work towards our goals for the new year that we make sure they are SMART goals. Yes, the old acronym we learned in grade school – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. It is also helpful to create macro and micro goals. The micro goals are smaller goals that work towards your larger goal. For example, your macro (or larger) goal may be to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle, but your micro goal – or goal of the day may simply be to put gym clothes on first thing in the morning. Conquering smaller goals that establish healthy patterns and habits can be more efficient, achievable, and maintainable. These then build upon future goals. I like to look at what my year end goal is and then reverse engineer my steps. If we are truly resolving to make changes in our lives then we need to make sure we are setting ourselves up for success. Unfortunately, most people have given up their resolutions by Groundhog’s Day, where they revert to doing the same old behaviors again and again.
One of the behaviors I changed within 2018 was my eating habits. I took on the Whole30 Challenge and completed it in three sequential rounds. Doing 30 days at a time was a SMART goal and I was able to achieve it and then follow up with secondary and tertiary rounds. I am now in a maintenance phase and it has simply become my new way of living.
I’ve already had several individuals reach out to me to let me know that they are going to be starting their own Whole30 challenge in the new year, so I figured I’d help out by posting some of my favorite, quick & easy, go-to meals. I’m always here for encouragement and support – so don’t hesitate to reach out or to comment. The more community you build, the easier it is to follow through. You have people that support you and are rooting for you – just make sure you are looking for them!
Alright, here are some of my top ten favorite Whole30 meals:
1. Coconut Curry Shrimp with Zucchini Ribbons and Peppers
Wash zucchini and bell pepper. Use spiralizer (with ribbon attachment) to spiralize the zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can either use a general peeler or just thinly slice with a regular knife. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (or coconut oil) in the frying pan and heat on medium. Add zucchini to pan once warm. Cut bell pepper in half and removed seeds, stem, and interior flesh. Slice thin strips of bell pepper and add them into the pan with the zucchini. Cook on medium for 6 minutes, then add one cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of curry, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 2-3 shakes of Adobe Salt (without pepper). Mix all together and then add a handful of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink. Put into a bowl and top with shaved coconut and a handful of pepitas. Dig in!
2. Italian Style Potato with Egg
Wash, dry, and place 3 baby potatoes (or a small regular potato) in the microwave for 3 minutes. I do not pierce the skins – I just put them on a microwavable plate or paper towel. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in the frying pan and crack two eggs into pan once heated. Add salt to taste and cook eggs thoroughly, flipping as needed. I usually leak my egg while cooking that way it incorporates into the white a bit without making them scrambled. Once cooked chop up the egg. Place cooked potatoes into a bowl and smash. I sometimes use a knife to help out in this process. Add a cup of Whole30 compliant pasta sauce. I use Rao’s or Victoria’s basic marinara. Add in chopped egg, and top with 1/4th a cup of hemp seed (for extra texture and nutrients), and 1/4th cup of sliced natural black olives. Enjoy!
3. Baked Potato with Sunny Side Up Eggs and Roasted Onions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash baked potato. Add a little olive oil to the exterior skin and one crank of the Himalayan Pink Salt. Wrap it in foil and throw it in the oven for 45 minutes. Finely dice an onion. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and throw onion on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan and let pan warm. Crack two eggs into pan and let them cook, flipping once. I like my eggs to be slightly runny so that it gives moisture to the baked potato, but you can fully cook if you prefer. Once the potatoes is finished cut into half. Add the two eggs on top and pierce the yokes. Then add the roasted onions on top and enjoy!
4. Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Peppers with Guacamole
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Wash sweet potato and bell pepper. Slice sweet potato long ways into thin wedges, first cutting into half or thirds, and then cutting into 4-6 strips (depending on size of potato). Cut onion in half and then into sixths and leave layers in tact. Cut the bell pepper around the stem, pulling out the stem and seeds. Rinse to make sure all seeds are out. Leave pepper whole and turn on its side and slice in small strips creating rings. Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil on your hands and massage into the potatoes and onions. Put bell peppers onto one side of the baking sheet and the potatoes and onions on the other. Season the potatoes and onions with either Himalayan Pink Salt or Adobo Salt (without Pepper). Cook for about 35 minutes, checking periodically. While veggies bake, slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out avocado into a bowl and add two shakes of the Adobo Salt (without pepper). Mash up. Once veggies are done, plate veggies and add a side of the guacamole. Enjoy! Also, really good with a sunny side up egg – or if you eat meat, feel free to add meat to the dish!
5. Roasted Potato Medallions & Baby Carrots with Sunny Side Up Eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash baked potato. Slice the potato into thin slices creating small medallion looking slices. Place on baking sheet. Add about a cup of washed baby carrots to baking sheet. Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil into your hands and massage into the vegetables. Add two to three crank of the Himalayan Pink Salt. Roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan and let pan warm. Crack two eggs into pan and let them cook, flipping once. Once veggies are done add them to plate and top with the two eggs, piercing the yolk and letting the warm liquid flow over the veggies.
6. Salmon with Roasted Balsamic Green Beans & Brussel Sprouts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean Brussel sprouts and green beans. Slice Brussel sprouts in half. Put in bowl and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and one tablespoon of coconut aminos. Place on baking sheet. Throw washed green beans into bowl with leftover oil, vinegar, and aminos. Toss around and then add to baking sheet. Throw in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Lightly cover the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil and place salmon on baking sheet skin side down. Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil into palm of your hands and massage it into the top of the salmon. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Cut one lemon in half. Slice one half into quarters and the other half into round slices. Squeeze the two quarters onto the salmon and then place the round slices on top of the salmon. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. Ideally you will put the salmon in once the vegetables have cooked for about 20 minutes so that all the food will come out hot together. Plate and serve!
7. Sautéed Shrimp with Zucchini Ribbons and Mushrooms
Clean one zucchini. Use spiralizer to create thin ribbons of zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can simply use a mandolin, a handheld peeler, or just slice up the zucchini thinly with a basic knife. Slice up mushrooms into thin slices. Add half a tablespoon of olive oil on the frying pan and throw veggies on once warm. Sauté veggies for about 5 minutes and then add a cup of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp. Add two cranks of black pepper and two cranks of Himalayan Pink Salt. Gently stir veggies and shrimp to make sure all get cooked. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pull of stove and pour into bowl or plate and serve!
8. Shrimp Stuffed Peppers
Clean one large bell pepper. Cut in half and removed seeds, stem, and interior flesh. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Empty avocado into a bowl and add two shakes of Adobo Salt (without pepper) and mash up. Fill bell pepper halves with guacamole. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil into the frying pan. Once heated add a handful of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp. Add 1-2 light shakes of the Adobo Salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp turn pink. Remove from pan and place on top of the guacamole! Eat up!
9. Roasted Veggies with Fresh Rosemary
Preheat oven to 425. Wash eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Dice up eggplant and onion into very small cubes. Place diced vegetables in a bowl and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix together with your hands, massaging it into the vegetables. Add two cranks of the Himalayan Pink Salt. Spread veggies out onto baking sheet. Throw a handful of cherry tomatoes on top. Roast vegetables for about 30 minutes. Finely chop one sprig of fresh rosemary. When veggies are done, throw them in a bowl and add rosemary. Mix up and serve. Feel free to add a protein to this by adding egg, meat, fish, or nuts & seeds.
10. Smoked Salmon with Cashew Cream on Sweet Potato Toast
When you purchase smoked salmon, make sure to look at the ingredients – a lot of companies add sugar, so make sure to get one that doesn’t! Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Wash sweet potato. Cut the ends off and then stand it up tall. Cut downward into thin sheets (about 1/4 of an inch thick) to make slices of “toast”. If you are preparing ahead of time, soak a cup of cashews in a cup of water overnight, if you are making this meal in the moment, then you can simply microwave a cup of cashew in a cup of water for three minutes to soften. Drain cashews and blend in blender with 1 tablespoon of herbs de provence, and two cranks of Himalayan Pink Salt. Blend until creamy. When the sweet potatoes are done cooking let them cool for about 10-15 minutes, or throw them in the fridge to speed up cooling time. Once cool, spread the cashew cream on top and add a slice of the smoked salmon. Enjoy!
I hope these recipes are helpful! I’m always here for tips, tricks, advice, and encouragement!
Wishing you and yours the happiest New Year full of love, laughter, and lots of adventure. I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2019, so feel free to leave them in the comments. You’ve got this – just make sure you are set up for success – preparation is key!