Hi friends! How was everyone’s Monday?! Mine was a little rough – I had some major post-wedding blues and BFF withdrawal all at once. But it also weirdly felt nice to get back on a schedule because these past few weeks have been so chaotic!
Right now I’m chillin’ in bed with my cat, my coffee, and a little John Mayer Continuum playing because I saw on Facebook yesterday that it was the 10 year anniversary of this album! How crazy is that?! Do yourself a favor today and give it a little listen. Some serious classics on here. And I just love JM.
I am probably the worst blogger ever because I just honestly wasn’t able to take any pics last night for today’s post so PLZ forgive me. All my photos are from other peeps. BUT I have had so many questions the past few days from friends doing #SeptemberWhole30 that I wanted to share some of my essentials! (You can also look back on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 because I broke down exactly what I ate each day!)
But honestly even if you’re not on the Whole 30 these are great for any diet – they all contain minimal ingredients and no dairy, soy, gluten, sugar or sugar substitutes!
I LIVE for the veggies at TJ’s. And honestly the reason why Whole 30 feels so hard is because it requires preparation every. single. day. So Trader Joe’s was always my go-to for cheap, pre-packaged veggies to make my life a little easier.
Cauliflower Rice – We would just throw some cauliflower rice in the skillet with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper and serve it up like we would regular rice. It’s also fun to try out for a Whole 30-style fried rice with some veggies, green onion, cracked egg, sesame oil & coconut aminos (which is basically Whole 30 soy sauce).
Cubed Butternut Squash – These are such a yummy alternative to sweet potatoes (because you WILL get sick of sweet potatoes). I would roast them the same way – in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika.
Roasted Brussels – OMG thinking back I think I ate these daily. I would just heat these up in the skillet with some olive oil & garlic powder. I liked to get them super crispy. And if I was feeling wild I would slice up an onion to sauté along with them.
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage – I would slice open the sausage casing and crumble it in the skillet, combine it with tomato sauce and serve it over cauliflower when I was craving pasta.
Dried fruit – TJ’s has an amazing selection of dried fruit that doesn’t have any sugar in it, so this was always my go-to when I wanted to make my own trail mix. My favorite combo was dried strawberries, cashews, and raisins. The strawberries tasted like candy – SO good.
Honestly if I could have afforded to shop at Whole Foods every week, it probably would have made my life a lot easier because they carry so many brands that are Whole 30 approved. I would say a trip to WF’s is at least worth it so you can have some sauce in your life.
Tessemae’s sauces – I mean. I even eat these when I’m not on the diet just because they’re minimal ingredient and don’t have any sugar. If there’s anything I learned during this diet, it’s that there is literally sugar or soy in everything. My favorite of Tessemae’s is the barbecue (because who knew BBQ could be so good without sugar?!) and I would pour it over salmon and bake it in foil. But they also have pretty much any sauce available that you’re missing because of Whole 30 – including ketchup!
Paleo bacon – don’t even get me started, this is the best bacon ever. Hands down. On the weekends, I would make a HUGE breakfast of eggs, roasted potatoes, and this bacon and I felt so full and satisfied.
Rao’s Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce – even if you’re not on the diet please just get it. And eat it. Thanks bye.
Pre-Made Squash Noodles – serve the sauce above over these noodles and you will be in heaven, I promise. Plus they’re premade which just makes life easy. Perfect for a 5-minute dinner or a last-minute lunch when you don’t have time for a lot of meal prep.
Shawarma Sauce – The perfect marinade for some really freakin’ tasty chicken. (It’s the one on the far right – this is the only photo I could find!)
Olive Oil Cooking Spray – Because every other brand has soy. I swear.
Other Helpful Tips
- If you can’t find cooking spray without soy at your regular grocery, pour just a tiny bit of olive oil in your pan & brush the pan with a kitchen brush for a light coat.
- Some grocery stores will grill your meat at the meat counter while you shop. This would have saved me a TON of meal prep time if I knew this! Just ask for olive oil only and no marinade. You can add Tessemae sauce to it when you get home!
- The perfect combo of seasonings (at least in my opinion) are salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little paprika. This tastes so good on almost any veggie you can think of if you’re having a little trouble enjoying plain ole veggies.
So there you go! Some of my absolute faves to help you get through your Whole 30! Tell me though… have you tried any of these? Have you figured out some essentials of your own? Tell me everything! I will be back tomorrow with a fun new post! Until then… Xo.