Whole30 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes

Whole30 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes
via Designlovefest

At the beginning of this year, I embarked on my second Whole30 journey. While my first attempt only lasted 22 days, this time I did the whole damn thing (*pats self on back*). If you don’t know what Whole30 is, you can read about it here. In short, it’s 30 days with no grains, sugar, dairy, alcohol, soy, or legumes. That cuts a lot out of most people’s diets, including my own.

In addition to giving up all of the above, I also gave up coffee for the month. I felt that it’s just not worth it to drink my coffee black, and wanted to give my body a break from the constant caffeine intake anyways.

People ask about my experience a lot, so I wanted to share some tips and insight for those wanting to try a Whole30 challenge! If you have any questions on things I haven’t covered, please comment below and I’ll do my best to answer!

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A Delicious and Easy Whole30 Salad Recipe

Easy Whole30 Salad -- Pear, Pomegranate, and Shrimp!

As many of you know, I’m currently in the middle of my second Whole30 journey (read about my first experience here). This time around has been much easier, and much more successful (i.e. I’ve been following all of the rules this time). What’s made it easier is that my friend Emily and I are doing the program together! It’s always good to have a buddy, and we’ve been making lunches for each other to make everything easier. I’m going to round up all the recipes we made during the month in a later post, but I wanted to share this delicious and easy Whole30 salad recipe from Emily first! Also, even if you’re not doing Whole30, it’s still good. Promise.

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Why You Should Host a New Year’s Brunch

How to set New Year's Resolutions -- and how to keep them.

Setting the stage for a New Year is a detailed process that takes dedication and hard work. Creating New Year’s Resolutions (and sticking to them) is quite difficult in my opinion, and while it’s always exciting to think of what’s to come in the next 365 days, it can also be daunting.

While I’m fully up to the challenge, I’ve found that bouncing ideas off of people who I love and respect helps a lot in holding me accountable and creating realistic goals in the first place. For these reasons, I put together this colorful New Year’s Day Brunch!

How to set New Year's Resolutions -- and how to keep them with a fun New Year's Day BRUNCH!

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How To Host a Friendsgiving Dinner

How To Friendsgiving

I live in such abundance. Without sounding too much like bragging, I have it all. I have family and friends that love me, a job that I love going to every day and that pays the bills, food in my fridge, a big soft bed, clothes for all seasons… I could go on and on. And for all of these reasons and more, I am thankful. If you’re reading this, something tells me you have reasons to be thankful, too. Enter Thanksgiving.

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What Jew Wanna Eat?

Jewish Dessert Recipe

It’s no secret that I’m a proud Member of the Tribe–and if this is news to you, mazel! Hands down, one of my favorite parts of being Jewish is the food associated with our culture. The holidays encompass so many delicious dishes that I associate with some of the most joyful moments of my upbringing; matzo ball soup at Passover, latkes and sufganiyot at Hannukah, challah on Shabbat, and bagels + schmear on any day ending in “y.”

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What I Learned From Whole30

What I Learned From Whole30

This past April, I did a the Whole30 challenge–except, caveat, I only did it for 20 days (Passover happened, and you KNOW I was not saying no to matzo ball soup). The premise of the Whole30 is pretty simple: no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no alcohol, no legumes… for 30 days.

Why I did it: Honestly, my whole office was doing it and I thought it would be a great way to jumpstart a new healthy eating program. Although I typically maintain a pretty healthy lifestyle, I had fallen off the bandwagon a bit and wasn’t happy with how I was feeling.

Although I only did 2/3 of the program, I learned a lot about my body, my eating habits, and my psychological relationship to food:

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Local Love – Brightwok Kitchen

New series alert! Since obviously my love of Chicago is overflowing, I thought I’d start highlighting some of my favorite local digs. First up? The brand spankin’ new Brightwok Kitchen in the Loop.

Brightwok Kitchen - Chicago, IL

Brightwok is Chicago’s newest, hippest, healthy eatery. I’d like to compare it to Chipotle, but with Asian-style food. They also have a great pre-planned menu with yummy options such as the Eat Right Stir Fry and the Live Bright Salad.

Brightwok Kitchen - Chicago, IL

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6 COOKIES I NEED IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW

So my roommate Tori is a self-proclaimed “cookie monster,” and living with her has made me crave cookies more than ever before. Exhibit A:

6 homemade cookies I need in my life right now

All of these cookie recipes are from Joy the Baker and Smitten Kitchen. I made numbers 4 and 6 this weekend, and they were both delicious!

1. I’m obsessed with anything ginger, especially ginger snaps. I can’t wait for fall when it’s appropriate to make these!
2. Did anyone else grow up on black and white cookies? Helloooo, Jewish deli special. I’d love to make these homemade versions from Smitten Kitchen!
3. Speaking of Jewish delicacies, if you’re never tried rugelach, you are seriously missing out. Though best straight out of Jerusalem, Smitten Kitchen came up with a pinwheel version that I will 100% be busting out sooner than later.
4. Delicious takes a new form in Joy the Baker’s brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Browning butter takes a bit of practice, but is SOOOO worth it for this recipe!
5. These snickerdoodle cookies look like I need to eat them. Now.
6. Okay, so I know this is a weird, weird sounding recipe. But I made these grapefruit white chocolate brown butter cookies this weekend and they were a HIT. Just give them a chance – I promise they’re worth it!