It's no secret to my friends and family that I cook mostly paleo. While we definitely enjoy a few non-paleo favorites, Matty and I generally feel best when we are eating whole, unprocessed foods and meals that are rich in vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. It's all the rage these days.
A few years ago I discovered a book called It Starts With Food, and I hope I don't sound too dramatic when I tell you that it changed my life. The book recommends following a strict paleo protocol for 30 days to see how your body really responds to the things that you eat. For me, I noticed significant changes (for the better) in my energy levels, sleeping habits, skin tone, back pains - and while I wouldn't call it a diet, I lost 13 pounds. All because I was eating the foods that my body needed.
I've been asking Matty to do it with me for awhile now, and a few weeks ago determination finally set in. We are beginning our third week and going strong! It's been nice to make meal plans and prepare food for the week. We always cooked quite a bit, but our recent schedules made picking up dinner on the way home a necessity some days.
Matty is thoroughly enjoying the meals, and I thought I'd share some of our favorites here. Read up about Whole 30 or give these recipes a try if you're curious! I promise - you won't miss a thing.
For a Special Meal: Pad Thai
We used to pick up burgers from our favorite local spot (#PTerrysforever - scroll down) on Friday nights, but now I cook up the week's nicest meal to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. Words that Matty actually said while eating this:
"I love this so much that I get equally excited and sad when I take a bite. I can't wait to taste it again but I'm sad that it's going to be gone forever."
He was bummed that I gave him eggs for breakfast the next day instead of leftovers.
For a Weeknight Meal (and Leftovers for Lunch): Shepherd's Pie
I love with the simple meals surprise you. Cook this one with grass-fed beef and whatever vegetables you have handy! I used onions, peppers, zucchini, and onions.
For a Hearty Breakfast: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Matty raved over these so much that he added them to the list of our "if we ever open a cafe" menu items. I diced up some of our favorite beef sausage instead of bacon and added kale.
Tip: Bake your sweet potatoes (the first time) the night before.
For an Italian Craving: Zesty Chicken Bites
I used this recipe as a modest template. We were out of almond flour, so I mixed together flax seed meal and crushed pecans (a few turns in the blender) for the coating. I also used chicken fingers instead of small pieces. We poured Whole 30 compliant (no sugar) pasta sauce over the chicken and ta-da! Chicken Parmesan - and we didn't even miss the cheese! It would be delicious served over spaghetti squash.
For a Side of Veggies That Will Last all Week: Kale Brussels Sprout Salad
The "Never Fail Kale" salad is an old favorite. Make sure your cranberries don't have added sugar, or just nix them to make it Whole 30 compliant.
We still have two weeks left to fill with recipes, so I'm on the hunt for new favorites. Share yours with me in the comments - or let me know what you're going to try this week!