Tag Archives: whole30

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken by Beyoutifully Delicious

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please welcome Candace from Beyoutifully Delicious to the blog again. A couple weeks ago, I featured her PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw, and it’s gotten rave reviews. Candace is all about good food with big flavor, and this recipe will not disappoint. Without further adieu, take it away Candace!

Last Easter I came up with a fresh strawberry dressing that gave a subtle sweetness to a spring green salad. For the protein to compliment the slaw, I updated it as a marinade with some heat. There’s nothing like salty, sweet AND spicy. Now we’re talking game-changer.

I love this marinade on mahi-mahi, it’s a flakey fish that has a really clean taste to it. None of that “fishy” business that tends to draw people away from ocean proteins. If seafood is not your thing, this is perfect for chicken too.

You can easily flavor swap blackberry or apricot for the strawberry as they work well with chili peppers. I would use fresh apricots rather than dried just because I want to keep my sugar in check. It’s very easy for that to get crazy if I’m not intentional about food preparation.

Ingredients for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

This is enough for two (6 ounce or 340 grams) filets of mahi-mahi or chicken breasts.

  • 1-1/4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberries, crushed into a powder (sub: 1 Tbsp apple juice)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried Thai chilis or 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients except coconut oil and blend on high.
  2. Turn down the speed a little and slowly drizzle in coconut oil.
  3. Marinate the meat or fish for at least 2 hours and grill it until it’s no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Discard the leftover marinade. Or, bring the leftover marinade to a boil and cook it for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria.

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Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comment box below!

PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw by Beyoutifully Delicious

PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please give a super warm welcome to my guest blogger Candace, better known around the Web as the creative mind behind Beyoutifully Delicious. She’s incredibly sweet and wickedly innovative in the kitchen, and I know you’re going to love her Paleo recipes. In fact, look out for part two of this recipe (a Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken) that’ll be posting next week! Without further adieu, take it away Candace!

Coleslaw was never really my thing. Anytime I had it, it was mushy, drippy and tasted like that Miracle Whip crap. Bleh!

The greatest thing about cooking is you can always make something your own and give it your personal signature. I love peanut dressing and Pad Thai but I have really given up the peanut madness since turning my food over to the “Paleo Way.” I think I was having issues with it anyhow.

I love the texture of Napa cabbage so I make this star of the show, complimented by grated beets which are perfect for sweeping out those pesky phytoestrogens, carrots and fresh pineapple. No canned fruit in syrup here! This combination makes the perfect second post-workout meal where I start tapering off my carbs, upping my fat along with another big hunk o’ protein. It’s satisfying without leaving me weighted down.

Ingredients for PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw:

For the slaw

  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup grated beets
  • 3 cups shredded Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup fresh chopped pineapple
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed raw cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, torn

For the dressing

Directions for the PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw:

  1. Make sure you dry the veggies with paper towels or kitchen towels if they’re really damp. The pineapple will add moisture so you don’t need any extra.
  2. Add veggies and pineapple to a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing: In a blender add the water, then add the remainder of ingredients. Blend on high until you have a smooth, creamy dressing.
  4. Use half of the dressing and toss the salad together, mixing well until everything is coated.
  5. Garnish with the cashews, green onions and cilantro.

Connect with Candace and Beyoutifully Delicious here: blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

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PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Candace? Leave them in the comments below!

Paleo Zucchini Frittata Guest Post

Paleo Zucchini Frittata is one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts, perfect for busy folks and athletes. You can make up a batch ahead of time, slice it when it cools and take it with you for post-workout or just along for the ride to work.

Paleo Zucchini Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

I created this recipe specifically for Breaking Muscle, sohead on over there to check out the ingredients and how to get one of these beauties baking in your oven today!

Click here for the recipe → Paleo Zucchini Frittata!

Whole30 Wrap “Party”

Whole30 Wrap Party | stupideasypaleo.com

 You finished! It’s a Whole30 Wrap Party!

High five…fist bump…handshake.

Whatever congratulatory gesture you can think of, I’m going to dole it out because YOU FINISHED YOUR WHOLE30! (Either that or you’re about to finish soon, so revisit this post when you’re through.)

No doubt, you learned something about yourself through this process since it’s a learning tool upon which to make some informed decisions about what your eating might look like going forward into this thing we call life. And yes, you must go forward. You see, it can be tempting to want to stay Whole30 for a long time because it makes the decision-making around food easier. It’s almost like making food choices a little less sexy because you can just default to Whole30 guidelines to do it for you. (Other people, however, have noooo problem jumping back into crappy old eating patterns.)

What’s the best strategy? It’s impossible for me to tell you because, simply put, I’m not you, but I think you’d agree the answer lies somewhere in between these polar opposites. Living by Whole30 rules for the rest of your life sounds pretty unrealistic, as does throwing away everything you’ve learned about yourself and eating processed, nutrient-poor foods for every meal. As Dallas & Melissa put it:

“You can’t – and shouldn’t – live within the strict parameters of the Whole30 forever. Yep, at some point… you’ve gotta take the training wheels off the bike.” 

Click here to read more about how to Ride Your Own Bike.

What about reintroducing foods you may want to start eating again? First, if you don’t want to add a food back into your diet, there’s nothing saying you have to. If you feel great without gluten or dandy without dairy, you are free to avoid it as you see fit. But. (And there’s always a but.)

Don’t do that thing where you get so excited about Day 31 that you go on an epic binge of all the foods you’ve wanted to eat for the past month. You know…that thing of where a slice of pizza becomes *a* pizza with some soda and a piece of chocolate cake and then some ice cream. If you end up with a sore gut, you won’t necessarily know which food caused your tummy to play Twister. Click to read more about how to reintroduce foods after your Whole30.

And yes, you may now step on the scale if you want. Or don’t. (Click to read more about the scale and why I think you should ditch it for good.)

Time to Celebrate

As much as I’d like to throw you an actual party, it’d be hard to cram everyone in the same room, so here’s how we’ll celebrate your successes:

#1 Wave your flag!

Click to save this awesome banner and put it on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram! Be proud. You’ve earned the right to brag a little! To pin, click here. Or to save, right click and choose “Save Image As”.

Whole30 Wrap Party | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Share your story!

In the comments below, tell us how it went—the good, the bad and even the ugly. What did you learn about yourself? For example, maybe you didn’t realize how much dairy was affecting the clarity of your skin or how hangry you always got at 3 p.m. What did you lose? Body fat, that nagging knee pain or points off your blood pressure, for example. What did you gain? Maybe it was self-confidence or an appreciation of the natural sweetness in foods.

#3 Start a ripple!

As tempting as it may feel right now to start mailing your loved ones their own copies of It Starts With Food—I did that with my mom…it didn’t go so well!—or doing a drive-by and posting Whole30 stuff to their Facebook walls, sometimes your good intentions may backfire. (Loved ones are the hardest to convince to do _________ better.) What you can do is be supportive of someone who comes to you asking for advice or help; start your own blog chronicling your Whole30 story; or buy a loaner copy of the book so when folks do come asking, you can lend a text out.

#4 A sweet giveaway!

I’ll be choosing one lucky reader at random to receive a free copy of my eBook, The Paleo Athlete (a $24.99 value)! You must leave a comment for #2 above (Share your story!), and I’ll select a winner by 11:59 p.m. PST on Monday, February 3, 2014.

Congrats to Bridget! She was selected at random to win a copy of my eBook. Thanks, everyone, for sharing and keep your stories coming in!

Let’s get this party started! Remember to comment below.

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Whole30 Wrap Party | stupideasypaleo.com

How To Instantly Love Yourself More

How To Instantly Love Yourself More | stupideasypaleo.com

How To Instantly Love Yourself More In 3 Simple Steps

1) Walk into your bathroom.

2) Bend down and pick up your scale.

3) Proceed to the nearest trash bin, and chuck it in.

I’m not joking.

Throwing my bathroom scale away was one of the single best things I’ve ever done for my health and my self-esteem, and it’s my honest belief that you should do the same.

How It Started

Growing up, I’d always been some variation of chubby, chunky or “big-boned”—quite possibly the worst euphemism ever invented. Naturally, when I was about 14, I decided I should be 125 pounds for the rest of my life. Totally reasonable. (Not.) And so began 15 years or so of obsession about my weight. I look back at pictures of myself then and there were plenty that show a normal-sized me, but I only remember fixating on the fact that the scale didn’t read 125. Ever. Sickening as it may sound, I let the scale dictate how I felt about myself for a long time.

Then, I found Paleo four years ago, and while I was eating healthier than I ever had, I continued to fixate on the scale. My daily routine was down pat: Wake up, don’t drink anything, use the bathroom (#1 and #2), and only then was it okay to weigh myself. You can only imagine how dismayed I was when my weight actually started going up.

The Tipping Point

And then, I had enough. I realized I felt healthier than I had in years even though I weighed more.

My energy was stable all day long. My moods were nowhere near as volatile. My skin cleared up. I was stronger than ever. I enjoyed eating such nutritious food and for the first time in my life, wasn’t focused on calories. And, I was performing well as an athlete.

What the hell was I so bothered about? So what if I weighed more? I got so fed up with how much time and mental energy I’d wasted on chasing some arbitrary number on the scale, and I was ignoring all the signs of how much healthier I actually was. Would I actually be happier if I got down to that number I set for myself when I was 14? Could I get there and still be as healthy? I decided the answer to both was “no.”

So in 2011, I threw my bathroom scale away. Forever.

And Then, I Gained

When I tossed out my scale, I continued to gain.

I gained a love of self that I’d never had before because for the first time, I wasn’t using my weight to measure my self-worth.

I gained more mental energy to devote to the things that really mattered, like helping other people and being a better friend.

I gained confidence in myself, that I had more to celebrate about my life than achieving a number on a scale. (Because, even if I got to 125, would I be happier or healthier?!)

But, Isn’t Weight an Important Indicator of Health?

Yes and no.

Carrying an excess of body fat and not having much lean muscle mass—generally termed poor body composition—is obviously not ideal for health. Chances are, if you’re reading this and you’re at an unhealthy weight, you’re acutely aware of it, even if you haven’t set foot on a scale. How your clothes fit, how you look in the mirror, blood markers of disease and how you feel both physically and mentally are all very powerful indicators of health other than bodyweight.

Said another way, it’s possible to be thin and unhealthy, so bodyweight isn’t the only way to tell if something’s gone wrong.

Perhaps the “ideal” weight you’re pursuing was given to you by someone else—such as a doctor, from a BMI chart or even chosen by you at a time in your life when you weren’t actually ideally healthy. (I wasn’t done with puberty yet when I chose 125 pounds so of course I was going to get bigger and heavier. It sounds so irrational now, looking back.) How productive is it to fixate on weight then, ignoring the other signs?

When I went Paleo, ate more nutritious food and started weight training, I lost fat while increasing muscle mass. Simply put, I got heavier even though I was a bit leaner. Bodyweight can be a deceiving thing.

My Challenge To You

If weighing yourself makes you apprehensive, causes you stress or enables you to fixate or obsess, that psychological stress is subtracting from your health.

Take a long, hard look at whether weighing yourself is adding to or detracting from your quality of life. Your worth as a person is not quantifiable by numbers on a scale: It can’t measure your kindness or how much you enrich the lives of others. It can’t tell how funny, intelligent or talented you are. It can’t tell you how good a person you are. It can’t show how much you are loved.

All the scale dispays is how much your mass is affected by the force we call gravity. End of story.

My challenge to you is to get rid of your scale completely, right now. Focus on other ways to measure your health. (Here’s a fantastic list of what to look for from Whole9.) Be kinder and more accepting of yourself and your unique gifts, because you’re pretty freaking awesome, imperfections and all.

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How To Instantly Love Yourself More | stupideasypaleo.com

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Have you ditched your scale? What happened as a result? Leave a comment below!

Whole30 Week 4 Check-In

Whole30 Week 4 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s time for your Whole30 Week 4 Check-In!

Take a second and put your hand up in the air…virtual high five coming your way from me. You’re now in Week 4 of your Whole30, and the home stretch is near! Twenty-one days of clean-eating and introspection. (You’re remembering to think about what you’re learning about yourself, right?!)

Hang in there and keep doing the good work you’ve been doing, and don’t give into that tiny voice that may be whispering, “Ah, you’ve already done most of it. You could totally quit now!”

Why You Should Squash That Voice

In my mind, giving up on Day 22 because you feel great doesn’t mean you’re a failure…it means you haven’t given yourself maximum opportunity to LEARN NEW HABITS. If you’re sleeping better, have more mental clarity and are a happier person, fantastic. But the better food choices that got you there—particularly if it’s a 180° departure from your past behavior—really need time to sink in. Practicing good habits is key, and even a week longer will make a big difference.

And What About The Scale?…

Hopefully, this whole time, you haven’t been weighing yourself—there are so many other ways to measure how your health has improved. But, from personal experience, I can understand if you’re anxious to jump on and see if the number has budged. Why is the scale so tempting? It’s a number, easy to quantify. But for some of us, our entire self-worth hangs on that three digit number. (That’s one of the reasons I tossed my scale out for good.)

No matter what happens weight-wise, don’t lose sight of all the OTHER good things that have happened in these 30 days. And just so you can start preparing for what to do on Day 31, here is a link from Whole30 on reintroduction. You definitely don’t want to spend your Day 31 in a world of hurt and really lose the chance to learn which foods many not play nice with your insides.

Need some inspiration to finish Week 4 super-strong?

Here are some awesome resources just for that:

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Whole30 Week 4 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

How did Week 3 end up? What’s challenging you as you move into Week 4?

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

I cannot get enough of the flavors in this Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing!

When I came back from Scotland, all I was craving was super fresh veggies and this salad fits the bill. It’s inspired by one I had at Tender Greens but now that I made my own version I can have it any time without driving to the restaurant—plus, it’s nicer on my wallet and Whole30-friendly. The key to making this super-special is to use the freshest veggies you can find; it makes a huge difference. All quantities are approximate, and if you don’t like an ingredient, certainly leave it out or substitute it for something else. Top it with your protein of choice—grilled steak, pan-fried lemon chicken or shrimp would all be outstanding—for a complete meal.

Ingredients for the Thai Salad

  • 1 head red or green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup green papaya, julienned (I use this peeler to make it happen)
  • 3 tangerines, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh thai basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cashews

Directions for the Thai Salad

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Hint: I kept the mint and basil leaves whole, but you could always chop them.

Ingredients for the Cilantro Lime Dressing

Directions for the Cilantro Lime Dressing

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the cilantro leaves are finely chopped and everything is combined.
  2. Use right away or store for 1–2 days, tightly covered in the fridge. Give it a shake before using.

Change It Up

  • This easily doubles or triples to feed a large group.
  • Add a couple pinches of ground ginger to the salad dressing.
  • Check your local Asian food market for green papaya. It’s not sweet like it’s orange-fleshed counterpart.

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Thai Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whole30 Week 3 Check-In

Whole30 Week 3 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s time for your Whole30 Week 3 Check-In!

Now that you’ve got some experience under your belt, it’s time to chat about what the upcoming week is likely to bring. (Of course, you truly are a unique snowflake, so individual experiences may vary.)

By this point, you should over everyone’s favorite, the Carb Flu, and on to some of the more pleasant effects of this nutritional reset: more energy, better sleep, a better relationship with food and perhaps even some changes in body composition. It’s been my experience that the beginning of Week 3 tends to come in gently and, in some cases, ends on a much unexpected note.

You see, it’s not unheard of for folks to fall off the rails, particularly at the end of Week 3. And for some reason, Day 18 seems to be a really common number. What the heck is going on? Why would you make it past the halfway point and then give in?

Cravings.

For some reason, they tend to start acting up during this week, remnants of bad habits past which try to convince you that you’d be so much better off with just a smidge of that cake or just one glass of wine. The solution? Tell your brain to shut up. Seriously. Whole9 often says if you’re not hungry enough to eat steamed fish and broccoli, you aren’t really hungry…you’re experiencing a craving. Most cravings pass within just a few minutes, so find a way to distract yourself until it passes.

And then, there’s sabotage via boredom.

My own theory on why this happens goes sort of like this:

Week 1: “Look at this huge challenge ahead of me! It’s game on, self!” Everything is new, and you’re on the lookout for any food saboteurs, ready to squash them in a moment.

Week 2: “Heck yeah! I’m finally feeling better. This is AWESOME.” You start to enjoy the benefits of kicking crappy food and eating habits to the curb. You’re thinking, “I’m going to ride this wave to Day 30.”

Week 3: “Scrambled eggs for breakfast and grilled chicken for lunch? Again?” If you’re not careful, your wave riding can turn into a wipe out. Boredom and complacency, in combination with cravings, can ruin your clean streak if you’re caught unaware.

There’s also a tendency to think, “I feel better so I can just stop and keep feeling good even if I go back to old ways.” In many cases, you may not start to feel all the positive effects until you’re IN Week 3 so don’t give up. Why? If your gut really needs some intense healing, it may take longer.

What to do?

Don’t get caught by boredom. Mix it up and make some new recipes (suggestions for that below). Buy some new ingredients that you’ve never used or try going out to eat. (I suggest you check out the menu at home and have a plan for making some modifications to your order.) With a little awareness, you can sail smoothly into Week 4.

Here are some awesome resources in case you need some inspiration:

And, for even MORE goodness, click on the images below to print or download these super-duper helpful guides from Whole30!

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Whole30 Week 3 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

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How did your Week 2 go? How will you slay boredom in the week to come? Leave a comment below!

Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style

Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo meatballs, Asian-style! These are super easy, have just five ingredients and are Whole30-friendly. Feel free to dress these up with your favorite dipping sauce or serve alongside a salad—like my Green Papaya Salad—for a complete meal. To feed a really hungry crowd or for leftovers throughout the week, double or triple the batch.

Ingredients for Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style

Directions for Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style

  1. Combine the pork, green onions, coconut aminos, sesame oil and fish sauce in a medium bowl. Mix until everything is combined but not over-mixed because that will make the meat tough.
  2. Rolls the meat into balls. I used roughly a heaping Tablespoon of meat per ball. Before cooking all the meat, I like to heat a tiny amount and check for flavor. If it needs more salt, add sea salt to suit your tastes before you proceed.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them. Brown on all sides. Repeat with the remainder of the batch. Hint: If your balls are bigger (no jokes please!), you may want to quickly brown the outsides, then place them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 350°F (175°C) oven for approximately 10 minutes to cook the insides through.
  4. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

Change It Up

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Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whole30 Week 2 Check-In

Whole30 Week 2 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

Time for your Whole30 Week 2 Check-In!

You’re about to embark on the second week of the Whole30, and my sincerest hope is that you’re doing well. Likely, you’re over some of the Week 1 jitters and nerves and you’re getting a bit more comfy wrapping your brain around this whole thing. You may be hitting a groove with meal preparation and just overall be feeling more settled.

Things may not be all roses, though.

It’s possible you’re still experiencing a case of Carb Flu: The foggy, fatigued, light-headed, irritable feeling that comes along with cleaning up your diet. It’s completely normal. Why? If you’ve been eating a crappy diet before—likely one with a large quantity of processed carbs—your body has relied on that cheap, easy sugar for energy. (Mid-afternoon energy slumps in your pre-Whole30 are a big indicator of that.) Now, though, you’re challenging your body to rely on your fat stores for fuel and that is not something your body goes along with willingly at first.

There is hope!

Trust that—if you’re sticking to the plan—it should pass within day 7-10. (Of course, some of you may be different. Perhaps you had no real symptoms or it lasted a shorter amount of time.) What to do?

  • Treat yourself extra-nicely. Make some extra time for R & R.
  • Don’t have any lofty expectations for your workouts.
  • Eat *all* the food you should be. Quite often, trying to cut back on food can make it worse.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Make sure you’re sleeping enough.

Once it passes—and it will—the good stuff will happen: energy on an even keel, mental clarity, stability in your mood, better sleep. Just stick with it!

Here are some awesome resources in case you need some inspiration:

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Whole30 Week 2 Check-In | stupideasypaleo.com

How did Whole30 Week 1 end up for you? Let us know below!

Advice for Day One of Your Whole30

Advice for Whole30 Day 1 | stupideasypaleo.comHappy Whole30 Day 1! Today we start a month of eating cleaner, sleeping like a champ and maybe (hopefully) reducing a bit of the stress in our lives. You didn’t think Whole30 was just about what you put in your pie hole, did you?! More on that in an upcoming post, but let’s just say this: if you’re eating cleaner but sleeping 5 hours a night and stressed to the point that you’re miserable, you still may not feel great at the end of January.

I wanted to check in with you today and share some thoughts on what it’s normal to feel like as you embark on your Whole30. The short answer: there is no norm. We all experience the Whole30 from our own unique perspectives. Here are some possibilities.

It’s quite likely you may be feeling some interesting emotions today: apprehension, excitement, dread or resolve. Or maybe a mixture of those. Or maybe one I didn’t list. Or maybe nothing—though ambivalence to this sort of program seems rare. When you make the commitment to doing something better FOR YOU, it can be a big thing, but make no mistake, we all respond to these situations differently.

For some of you, this may be your first Whole30—or heck, even your first attempt at cleaning up your diet. For others—myself included—you’ve done several, and somehow it’s just not as intimidating. Some of you are relatively healthy while others are quite sick, trying to gain some control over metabolic disorders, autoimmune conditions or food addictions. Serious stuff, right? Perhaps your family supports you or is even doing it with you, or maybe you’re the Lone Ranger in your household. Maybe you’re even getting flack from friends or loved ones. (That’s the worst. Really? Giving me crap because I want to eat better?! << You may have had that thought already.)

These things you may be feeling…they’re not the easiest to deal with. They take courage. But out of courage and challenge come the most meaningful rewards. Low-hanging fruit is just never as sweet.

So what to do if you find yourself faced with a whirling dervish of emotions, particularly during this first few days? Identify, experience, and then let them go. And then, change your thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m giving up so many of my favorite foods,” replace it with, “When I let go of old ways, I make way for new (BETTER) possibilities.” Maybe you’ll feel better physically, sleep better, be more calm and less stressed! Remember, you’re making space for learning about yourself in these 30 days if you remain courageous and steel your resolve.

So, here’s to Day 1…I raise my glass of sparkling water with lime and an olive (a la Melissa Joulwan) to you and your success.

Now, some logistics:

In addition to new recipes, I’ll be posting from time to time throughout the month about the Whole30 experience. I welcome your comments below, so don’t be shy. Keep checking the blog often (if you want new posts automatically sent to your inbox so you don’t miss anything, you can sign up for those here. It’s free.)

If you’re fuh-reaking out about what to cook this week, click here to check out this ace Week 1 Food Plan and Week 2 Food Plan that Melissa Joulwan’s made just for you! Also, Rach from Meatified has collected 30 Days of Whole30 Dinners here. And in case you need more good eats, Mel J. has pulled together 30 MORE recipes from top bloggers like Nom Nom Paleo, The Domestic Man, Paleo Parents and little ol’ me!

For meal inspiration that’s easily viewable, check out my Whole30 Pinterest board or follow me on Instagram. To follow along on Facebook, click here.

And finally, I’m wishing you an outstanding New Year from the waiting area at Heathrow Airport in London. Headed back to the States after four months away. All I can say is “snacks on a plane!” I’m ready for Whole30, too!

Advice for Whole30 Day 1 | stupideasypaleo.com

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Advice for Whole30 Day 1 | stupideasypaleo.com

What are you feeling as you start your Whole30? Share it with us below!

The New Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30®

Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges | stupideasypaleo.comJoin me for another Stupid Easy Paleo edition of the Whole30®, starting January 1, 2014! Plus, get my brand spankin’ new FREE guide by clicking here: Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges. It’s 14 pages of awesome information and tips to help you plan your next Whole30 or clean-eating challenge.

The New Year is almost upon us, and if you’re ready to push the nutrition reset button, I’m doing it as well. I’d love for you to join me on the blog as I post up Whole30-friendly recipes and share some of my best tips and advice for you—because knowing others are out there doing it with you makes it so much easier. Instead of rehashing the post I did in the summer (click here for the link: The Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30) I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions for you! P.S. If you want to join in and are new to Whole30, I highly recommend reading It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig before you start. It’ll give you the foundation you need to move forward with context and confidence. (Where to get it: It Starts with Food in print or It Starts with Food for Kindle.)

Whole30 Question #1: What the heck is it?

Put simply, it’s a 30-day squeaky clean nutritional reset. That’s the best way I can describe it. The program was founded by Dallas and Melissa from Whole9 and is, in my words, a learning tool. Some people use it for the first time to discover any food sensitivities they may have; others use it as a way to clean up their diet if they’ve—ahem—gotten a bit far from the type of eating that makes them feel the best.

Basically, eliminate grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar and alcohol for 30 days. After that, reintroduce any foods you want, just in a systematic way. (On day 31, don’t eat an entire pizza with a few beers…you won’t know if your gut gurgling is from the crust, the cheese or the gluten in the beer.)

But more than just cutting out certain foods, it’s a learning tool, a way to look more introspectively at how what you eat really affects you—physically, mentally and emotionally.

Whole30 Question #2: What do I have to do to join?

Throughout the 30 days, I’ll be posting only Whole30-friendly recipes on the blog…nothing with any off plan ingredients. That way, you know you can always come here to find healthy inspiration. Leave a comment below telling us (me and all the other readers) that you’re on board because we’re all in this together for support. Don’t be shy about any questions that pop up along the way! Leave them here or on my Facebook page. And, it’s 100% free to follow along!

Whole30 Question #3: What makes you qualified to do this? Are you officially affiliated with Whole30?

A lot and yes. I did my first Whole30 in June of 2011, and it was without a doubt, the key to me stuffing my sugar addiction (you can read about that here). I won’t say that within 30 days I was “cured”, but what it did give me was the knowledge that I could break free of the endless cycle of wanting sugar all the time. I learned that it was possible to stop being so sugar addicted. It’s always been a work in progress since then, but life would be much different for me had I not done it.

This will be my fifth Whole30—I’ve ended up doing one about every six months just as a tune up—and I’ve been a Whole9 Envoy helping spread the word about this phenomenal program for the past two years. (I met Dallas and Melissa in 2011 at a Whole30 seminar in Oregon and got up the moxy to say if they ever needed help with anything, I was their girl. The rest is history.) We’ve worked together online quite a bit in the past.

More recently, we formed a partnership to pilot a new nutrition workshop called The Whole Athlete focusing on health and performance. We’ll be coming to cities across the US in early 2014. Currently on the schedule: Philly on January 4, Kansas City (KS) on January 11 and Monrovia (CA) on January 18. Click here to register or to find out more: Whole Athlete Seminar Dates.

And don’t worry, I told them about doing another Whole30 here on the blog. They said it was cool with them.

Whole30 Question #4: Do you have any resources to help get me started?

1: Get a copy of It Starts with Food. It’s really easy to read, and it’ll set clear guidelines for you. (Plus it has a ton of tasty recipes from Mel Joulwan of Well Fed and Well Fed 2.) No time or dinero to get one? You can read about the program on the Whole9 website here. Not sure if you should get the book? Check out my review here: 5 Reasons to Read It Starts with Food.

2: I’ve tagged every recipe from the blog that’s Whole30-friendly (over 100 to date) for easy searching. You can find the complete list by clicking here: Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30 Recipes List. The other easy way to find it is by going to the homepage menu and clicking Resources > Whole30. Easy peasy.

3: My Whole30 Pinterest board. Love to pin? You can find all my Whole30 recipe pins (plus other photos and videos) by clicking here: Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30 Pinterest Board.

4: My Whole30 video tips! You can find them on the Stupid Easy Paleo YouTube channel or by clicking the blog posts here: 5 Tips for a Successful Whole30 and 5 More Tips for a Successful Whole30.

5: Other awesome bloggers who’ve written about Whole30: Nom Nom Paleo and The Clothes Make the Girl just to name a couple rockstars! Click on their blog names for kickass Whole30 posts, including recipes. Mel’s got another newly updated post here: 30 Reasons to Whole30 with lots of good stuff AND her Week 1 Meal Plan with yummies like her famous Chocolate Chili and Sunshine Sauce!

6: My Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges (click here to get it for free)

7: The Whole30 forum. A free forum dedicated to all topics Whole30-related. Click here to join.

8: Squeaky Clean Paleo by Karen Sorenson. A cookbook with 100+ really clean recipes…on sale right now! (Save 27%). Click here to find out more.

Whole30 Question #5: What if I can’t start on January 1?

No biggie, just start when you can!

Whole30 Question #6: What if I don’t think I can do all 30 days?

Make up your mind. Right now. Do this for you. If you need a kick in the pants to cool it from how lax your food’s gotten lately, this’ll do it. If you’re just starting out and are ready to see how food affects you—for better or worse—this’ll do it to. There will always be a [insert special event here] that keeps you from getting on board. Don’t let that same excuse keep stopping you.

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Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges | stupideasypaleo.com

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Are you going to participate? Leave a comment below telling us why you want to do a Whole30! Let’s do this!

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche | stupideasypaleo.comThis Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche is incredibly easy to make and uses up leftover meat you may have in your fridge. What makes this Paleo? First, it’s crustless. You *could* make a gluten-free crust but that takes time, and I wanted this to be as quick as possible. Second, unlike regular quiche, this has no dairy (no milk, cream or cheese). Rest assured, it’s still ultra-tasty!

Wondering what makes a quiche different from a frittata? Technically it’s the amount of liquid you add: A frittata has very little while a quiche has more, resulting in a more custard-like texture to the eggs. I did cut the amount of liquid down to 1 cup so if you’re a quiche purist, go easy on me! You can change up this Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche in a variety of ways…check the bottom of the post for some suggestions! Bon appetit!

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

Directions for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

  1. If using dried mushrooms, soften them by covering them with boiling water in a heat-proof bowl for about 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190ºC). Grease a casserole dish or glass baking dish with coconut oil. I used a 10″ round casserole. If you use a smaller one, you may have to bump up the baking time a few minutes since the quiche will be thicker.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, render and brown the bacon. Add the leftover chicken, mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook for a few minutes, making sure there is no moisture left from the mushrooms (if not, your quiche will be soggy…no bueno). Dump this mixture into the greased casserole dish, and set aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the coconut milk, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly.

Change it Up:

  • Instead of dried mushrooms, use about 2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind. Be sure to fry them down before you use them so they don’t add a lot of moisture to the quiche.
  • Don’t have any chicken? Use any leftover meat you’d like or just go meatless. If you don’t add meat, I recommend adding a veggie in its place.
  • Don’t like coconut milk? Use another nut milk of choice (homemade almond milk is great…I would make it extra thick by cutting the water down to 3 cups instead of 4).
  • Double the ingredients and make a mega-sized quiche for the week ahead.

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Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.comThese Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs have become one of my favorite dinners during the week  because it’s so simple. I’m really excited to share this one with you because it’s one of the brand-spanking-new-shiny-out-of-the-box recipes from my upcoming ebook, The Paleo Athlete.

To get the skin really crispy, make sure it’s really dry before you put the chicken in the oven. If you’re lucky enough to have a convection oven, you’ll want to use that setting. Can’t find bone-in chicken thighs? You can use boneless, but cut the baking time down by about 5 minutes.

Make this a complete meal by throwing on some veggies as a side dish, and you’re good to go. I like the skin-on thighs because they stay moist in the oven. If you can only find skinless, you can wrap the thighs in bacon before you bake them…winning. As an extra bonus, I save the chicken bones to make stock in the crock pot.

Ingredients for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

Directions for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet and dry the skin well with a paper towel. Flip the thighs over so the skin side is down.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with half of the seasonings – garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt. Flip over and season the other side.
  5. Bake about 25-30 minutes (in a convection oven) or 35-40 minutes (in a regular oven) until the thighs are cooked through completely.

Change it Up:

  • Use curry powder or your favorite spices instead of those listed.
  • For skinless thighs, sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, then wrap in thinly sliced bacon (recipe is here).
  • For double crispy goodness, these can be reheated by: adding a spoonful of your fat of choice to a cast iron skillet and crisping both sides until golden over medium heat.

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Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs…part curious oddity, part absolutely tantalizing mash up of burger and egg. My scotch egg inspiration is none other than Mel from The Clothes Make the Girl. You may know her as the fantabulous creator of cookbook Well Fed 2. Her Scotch Eggs recipe in Well Fed (the original) were nothing short of mind-blowing, and I’ve loved them ever since.

This is one of the 30 recipes featured in my upcoming ebook, The Paleo Athlete, coming in January! Click here to check out a preview chapter.

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

What’s a Scotch egg? Take seasoned ground meat, envelope a perfectly boiled egg inside and you get the protein-packed snack you see here. Traditionally, Scotch eggs are breaded (yuck…gluten!) so all we do is leave that part off. Easy peasy. There are as many conceivable combinations for seasonings and meat as you can imagine, but I was looking for a way to use my Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix with cinnamon, ginger and other warm spices. My mind wandered from pork to breakfast to breakfast sausage (and I remembered Popular Paleo made a breakfast-y Scotch egg recipe) and out popped these (ha…no pun intended). Another plus? They’re great as a pre-workout snack!

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Ingredients for Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs (makes 6):

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pound (500 grams) lean ground pork
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade gingerbread spice mix (click for recipe)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Directions for Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs:

  1. Boil 6 eggs. To prevent the yolks from getting grey, I cover the eggs with water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat off. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the hot water and cover with cold water for a few minutes. Peel and set aside. (You can boil the eggs ahead of time to save this step). Don’t use very fresh eggs…they’ll be harder to peel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, gingerbread spice mix, salt, pepper and honey (optional). Mix until combined but don’t over mix…that’ll make the meat tough. Now it’s time to assemble the scotch eggs.
  4. For each scotch egg: Fill a 1/3 cup measure with the seasoned ground pork and turn the lump into your hand. Flatten the pork into a wide circle (like you’re making a burger).Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs
  5. Put the egg in the center.Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs
  6. Carefully fold the meat circle up, gradually flattening as you go, until the egg is shrouded in meaty goodness.Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs
  7. Make sure there are no cracks and that the meaty suit of armor is uniform.Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs
  8. Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Eat hot or cold.

Change It Up:

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Have you ever tried Scotch eggs? Do you have a favorite flavor combo?

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

The Whole Athlete Seminar: Where Health Meets Performance

Whole Athlete Seminar

BIg news coming your way…I’ll be hitting the road in early 2014 with Dallas Hartwig of Whole9 to present a new seminar: The Whole Athlete: Where Health Meets Performance. We’re super passionate about helping competitive athletes and weekend warriors alike to perform at their best while staying healthy and enjoying quality of life.

Whole9′s regular nutrition seminars always cover information that anyone can apply to sport (like reducing systemic inflammation and how to approach post-workout nutrition), this seminar will be unique. We’re going to be specific about how to help you maximize performance.

Whole Athlete Seminar

The Whole Athlete: Where Health Meets Performance

While Dallas and I could fill up countless hours with content, we’re going to do our best to put it into one full-day seminar, covering:

  • Why athletes need to address nutrition first and foremost
  • Paleo nutrition for sports, during training and on competition day
  • Nutrition “hacks” – which to use (and when) and which to ignore
  • How to optimize lifestyle factors to make you healthier and better at your sport
  • Goal setting – determining what really matters to you, and creating the right plan to make it happen
  • Balancing nutrition, sleep, training, and recovery so that your hard training actually pays off
  • Dealing with injury – physically and psychologically
  • How to know whether you need more or less training to keep progressing
  • Detailed sleep recommendations – how to improve your sleep to improve your performance

Whole Athlete Seminar

The Whole Athlete Event Calendar

The first scheduled Whole Athlete event is a special one, held in partnership with one of the country’s top strength and conditioning facilities. At the request of Mike Rutherford (Coach Rut) of Max Effort Black Box (MEBB), Dallas and I will be presenting our Whole Athlete seminar in Kansas City, KS on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Register here (and register early) for the Kansas City event.

Dallas and I are currently reviewing incoming seminar requests, and plan to schedule additional dates and locations for early 2014. If you are interested in hosting your own Whole Athlete event (or you think your gym should), email Whole9 at workshops@whole9life.com.

Whole Athlete Seminar

Dallas received a BS in Anatomy & Physiology from Andrews University in 2000, and an MS in Physical Therapy in 2001. He became a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist in 2003, and has since accumulated many health and exercise-related certifications, including RKC-certified kettlebell instructor, and Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

He co-owned a strength and conditioning facility with his wife Melissa until founding Whole9 with her in 2009. They have since turned Whole9 one of the world’s premier Paleo-focused communities, and their site and original Whole30® program have grown to serve nearly a million visitors a month. In 2012, he co-authored the New York Times bestselling book It Starts With Food and founded his functional medicine practice, mentoring under one of the most respected practitioners in the country, Dr. Daniel Kalish.

In his free time, Dallas snowboards and mountain bikes, travels both for fun and for Whole9 nutrition seminars, and is always in some stage or another of growing a (mostly) respectable beard.

Whole Athlete Seminar

I’ve been a friend of Whole9 for several years. In 2011, I was appointed one of the first Whole9 Envoys. Later that year, I founded Stupid Easy Paleo.

Twelve years of science teaching experience, an extensive science background (Bachelor’s in Biology in 2002 and Master’s in Education in 2007), a certificate in holistic nutrition, and an unabashed love of tasty Paleo food combine to fuel my passion for Stupid Easy Paleo. I went Paleo in early 2010, and it didn’t take long until I decided I was never turning back.

Eating clean, nutrient-dense foods has fueled me both in life and as a competitive CrossFitter, mountain bike racer, and runner. I launched Stupid Easy Paleo as a way to help spread the word about how to make simple, tasty recipes to help people in their quests to just eat real food.

Are you interested in maximizing your athletic performance for sport? What questions or topics would you like to see us tackle?