Favorite New Things - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Doing Whole30 exposed me to a whole bunch of new foods, recipes, spices, liquids, powders, etc.! It was like tapping into a world I never knew existed. Here's a list of my favorite new things I tried and loved during my Whole30 experience. These are all things I have continued to use after I completed my round of Whole30.

  1. Nutpods - This is the coffee creamer solution for Whole30. They are why I was able to 100% commit to this program.
  2. Ghee - It's like butter, but better. I didn't even know a such thing could exist - a butter that tastes better than regular butter. But it does. And I LOVE using it to cook with. Different brands of ghee have slightly different textures. I really like the Organic Valley brand, and Trader Joe's brand.
  3. Sesame Tahini - When I tried it on its own it tasted like a really thick sesame paste - no bueno. But when I used it as the main ingredient to create a lemony garlic tahini sauce - it was outstanding. This is a great alternative to hummus. 
  4. Coconut Milk and Cream - This is one of those things I always saw at the store, but never knew what people used it for. It's now a staple in my pantry, and I've used it mixed into sweet potatoes, as the base of red curry, in pumpkin custards... it's such a versatile ingredient. I love the Thai Kitchen brand so much that I'm scared to try another brand! 
  5. Dates - Dates became my quick go-to if I felt like I was crashing from low blood sugar. I usually only needed one or two. I've also used them in recipes to sweeten a sauce. They're quite handy! I absolutely LOVE Thrive's brand.
  6. Larabars - When I needed something more than dates, I'd eat a compliant (not all of the flavors are) Lara Bar. The bars were sweet in taste, as they all had dates as a main ingredient. But they are pretty small - like 3 bites.
  7. RX Bars - And when I needed something more than a Lara Bar, I'd eat a compliant (not all of the flavors are) RX bar. These bars are dense, and reallllllly chewy. I liked the Mixed Berry flavor the best. I also liked that they had a good amount of protein in each bar too. But these I eat for a purpose versus enjoyment. 
  8. Thrive Market - Ok, so this is not a consumable per say, but it needs to be on this list! It's an online store that offers (major) discounted prices on healthy and clean foods. They often run deals (right now they have one where you get 20% off your first three orders, plus their standard free shipping for orders $49 and higher). You pay an annual membership fee of $59.95, but you'll easily save more than that if you purchase these types of foods.

Recipe Rundown:

Jamaican Jerk Raspberry Chicken with Plantains - I loved the chicken, but wasn't crazy about the fried plantains. This has everything to do with the fact that when I typically order fried plantains, they are covered in cinnamon and honey and butter.

Spicy Cacao Orange Almonds - These were a tasty snack! 

Sesame Chicken - This is definitely one of my new favorites!!! The sauce is unreal. 

Chipotle - THEY HAVE A COMPLIANT OPTION!!!! I wish I had discovered this sooner! Pork carnitas over lettuce with green salsa and guacamole. I thought it was going to be "meh" because it was substantially less extravagant than what I used to get (pre-Whole30), but it was actually delicious. To the point where it is going to be my go-to from now on. YUM!!!

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 25-29 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

I'm at the last stretch of Whole30, and I can't believe it is almost over! Overall, this program has been much easier to implement than I ever could have imagined. Below are my thoughts on the process of doing Whole30... I have a separate post coming to discuss results.

The hardest parts:

  • Traveling for work - I had to really plan and pack a tonnnnn of compliant food. But by doing so, I successfully avoided eating noncompliant food. However, I was glad the trip was a short 3 days. Had it been longer, I'm not sure if it would have been feasible. 
  • Going out to eat - This was tough. We barely went out to eat because most restaurants didn't have compliant options. The few times we went out, I hated having to spend money (or have Brett spend money) on something bland/compliant. On the plus side, I'm sure we have not spent nearly as much as we typically do wining and dining out.
  • Time - You spend a lot of time dealing with food. Reading labels, researching recipes, meal planning, grocery store trips, cooking, and Lord have mercy - the dishes - SO many dishes! But this does get easier as time goes on because you naturally learn which recipes are going to be a bigger time investment.

The best parts:

  • I feel way more competent in selecting the food I buy. I read every label!
  • The food. It is SO.STINKIN.GOOD! I tell people that even if they aren't doing Whole30 to buy a Whole30 cookbook just for the sake of having awesome recipes. I have sincerely loved nearly everything I've made. 
  • I've learned to appreciate and enjoy cooking. This is the first time I've really been adventurous in the kitchen, and I've really gotten into it. 
  • Picking recipes. Even though it takes a little time, I love meal planning. I think it is fun to select the yummy foods I'm going to make. Brett and I tag-team grocery shopping, and I actually enjoy this process more than I thought I would. I typically plan 5 days at a time. This is largely due to the fact we have a smaller fridge/freezer, so space is limited. 
Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Recipe Rundown:

Asian Sesame Meatballs Over Zoodles - This one was ok. I think I would have really liked this one more with less zoodles. 

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Um, yes x1000. The scallops with the sauce... so flavorful!

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Thighs - This was a giant hell yes kind of recipe! It has a little kick to it, but the cherries are seriously like these flavor bombs that are so scrumptious.

Spicy Pineapple Steak and Chicken Kebab - I think we just love all things kebab'd... another winner!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.