This week the hubs and I embarked on the Whole30 challenge. The Whole30 is a 30 day program where you focus on eating real foods, while eliminating potentially problematic foods to see how your body does without them. You focus on eating meats, vegetables, fruits and fats, while excluding dairy, gluten, all grains, soy, legumes, sugar and alcohol. Pretty much paleo but amp up to a whole ‘nother level!
Why take on the Whole30 challenge?
My husband Jacob had the initial desire to do it. He felt he needed some help with his food choices — something to really shock his system that would help him work on enjoying real foods (vegetables mainly) a lot more. I love being creative in the kitchen and can always figure out something to eat with what we have in the house, but I know for him he would simply resort to some kind of dairy or snacky food instead of thinking about balancing his food choices and making the best choices for his body and energy levels.
And why did I decide to take on the whole30 challenge? Well I’m just such a great wife (HA!) and I said I’d do it to support him! I wasn’t looking forward to not having half and half in my coffee, but since I found nutpods I’ve been so content! Perfectly creamy and unsweetened just like I like my coffee.
Today we are 4 days in and I’m feeling pretty dang good. Maybe a little tired, but that could also have to do with needing a bit more sleep (Nova just turned one and still isn’t sleeping through the night……). I did a very thorough meal plan (using the Whole30 book – the foods have been delish!) over the weekend, grocery shopped and then spent time on Saturday and Sunday prepping sauces, veggies, meats and breakfast to-go for Jacob to simplify the week.
The importance of carbohydrates
Going into the Whole30 I knew I wanted to be careful that it didn’t turn into a low-carb diet. Since I’m still nursing and teaching 6-7 group fitness classes a week, I wanted to ensure that I felt energized enough for the workouts, my milk supply didn’t diminish and that I didn’t lose weight, since that’s not a goal of mine. I’m looking forward to see if the bloating I occasionally notice decreases, and if my energy skyrockets.
Vegetables and fruits are where we are finding our carbohydrates from: mainly potatoes (white, gold, red, sweet, yams), root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets), squashes (butternut, acorn, delicata) plantains and bananas. I feel like potatoes every night can get pretty boring pretty quickly, so I’ve been really creative with my list and figured if I’m planning it out for us, I may as well share the list with you all! These starchy sides aren’t just for the Whole30 – they’re wonderful for everyone and are definitely foods I include in my normal real food diet.
Want to read more about what I typically eat? Check out this post: no diets, just eat real food
Starchy vegetable side dish recipes
I hope you find a recipe or two to include in your meal rotation. I’ve broken them into 5 categories, so if you’re really looking for a potato dish or something with carrots, just check out the section and try one out!
Potatoes (white, gold, red)
- crispy spiralized fries (a favorite of ours!)
- oven roasted potatoes
- thinly sliced potatoes with rosemary
- classic potato salad
- garlic hasselback potatoes
- perfectly baked potatoes
- mashed potatoes
- paleo sweet potato casserole
- sweet potato fries
- spiralized sweet potato fries
- sweet potato hash with cumin and red onion
- caramelized sweet potato apple hash
- mashed sweet potatoes
- sweet potato cauliflower soup
- sauted carrots and shallots with thyme
- roasted carrots with thyme
- carrot parsnip soup
- pureed parsnip
- almond butter parsnip fries
- baked parsnip chips
- beet, carrot and apple salad
- coconut oil roasted beets
- beet hummus
- roasted butternut squash with balsamic and rosemary
- roasted butternut squash with smoked paprika and turmuric
- butternut squash apple soup (skip the croutons for W30)
- curried acorn squash soup
- roasted acorn squash with rosemary
Now my question for you – what is YOUR favorite starchy vegetable side dish recipe? Have you done the Whole30 challenge before? Happy eating!