What I Bought: Costco on the Whole30

If you've been with me on my blogging journey for awhile, you've seen many grocery haul posts.  
 Well, I decided to do this one slightly different-- and I'm hoping the extra effort will make it just a bit more helpful to you guys.

I made a super exciting Friday Night Out trip to Costco the other night, and this is what I came home with.  Dathan & I were heading into week two of our Whole30, so I avoided the areas of Costco I knew I shouldn't be in, and stocked up on some super-clean items.

While I did manage to get out in under 30 minutes, don't worry~  I still took the time to double check the ingredients (although many of these don't have more than one!) to make sure they were Whole30 compliant.

& Now, for the twist:  I decided to include a list of meal ideas at the end, using the items I bought on this trip & just a few more ingredients you might already have on hand.  They are all Whole30 compliant, and easy to make!

Tips & How-To: Preparing for Your Whole30!

In my mind, success on the Whole30 comes down to two things:  Mental strength & Preparation. 

Are you really hungry, or just craving a snack?  Do you get the 5 minutes of extra sleep, or get your snacks ready for the next day?  It all comes down to being self-aware & making good choices.  

So, for Week One of Whole30, I wanted to make sure that I started off on the right foot by being prepared.  

I took some pictures & jotted down a few notes over my weekend-before-Whole30, and am here to share it with you all!  

I hope this is helpful, and that it makes the Whole30 seem a little less intimidating.  You just have to get a little organized, and let your mental strength take over from there!  :)

Here are the steps I took on Sunday, before our Whole30 started the next day:

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

I love applesauce all year round... but especially in the fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the smells, the crisp weather, & the warm, hearty food.

This is my recipe for super easy at-home applesauce. Perfect for using up some of your less pretty apples (bruises don't matter once they're baked). Great for entertaining, as your house will smell amazing & your guests will have a sweet, healthy dessert.

I came up with this recipe after searching all around for a cinnamon apple side-dish to serve with the pork chops I was making for my boyfriend's "surprise dinner". Every site I found seemed to recommend canned pie filling & strange additives.... I decided to pass on that & make my own.

Apples are delicious on their own, so they don't need much help to create a great applesauce. Use whatever apples are your favorite, and feel free to mix & match to switch up the flavors. I go for Pink Lady apples, since they are a favorite of mine (& boyfriend's) for their sweet-yet-slightly-tart taste.

This is amazing served warm for dessert (would be perfect with vanilla ice cream!) & just as good as a cold snack. Mix in some almond butter for some healthy fats & a little crunch! I hope you enjoy one of my most favorite recipes, & happy Fall!

Whole30 Eats: Guide to Starbucks

After posting my Whole30 Guide to Chipotle, I felt addicted inspired to continue with the food researching, because... it's fun!  & Actually a little disturbing, since there are several ENTIRE restaurants that are non-compliant on a Whole30... like even a chicken breast and romaine is off limits because there are so many additives.  Scary!

Anyway, I decided to dig through the Starbucks menu & come up with another list of "YES" & "NO" items for your Whole30.  Everyone has a Starbucks, and I thought it would be nice to know what you can grab if you're on the road or out to coffee with a friend while doing your Whole30.

Now, a few specifics...

Keep in mind that the juices listed as "YES" items below are technically compliant, but not necessarily "recommended" as a staple on your Whole30.  Use with caution.  :)

Also, there's a lot of talk on Whole30 forums & Instagram about whether or not the passion tea is compliant... I recommend going straight to the Teavana website (who makes the passion tea currently used by Starbucks), linked below, and checking the ingredients for yourself.  :)

& Again, I'm leaving out the obvious "NO" items such as cake pops, breakfast sandwiches, bistro boxes, baked goods, etc.  The list below is for the not-so-obvious items that you may have wondered about.

Hope this is helpful!  & Please leave requests for more Whole30 Eats posts below (restaurant guides, recipes, tips, etc.)

Sweet Potato Crusted Egg & Chorizo Bake

I set out this afternoon with plans of making another egg muffin recipe to carry us through breakfast the next few days.

Dathan picked up some Paleo/Whole30 approved Fra'Mani Chorizo Sausage (my fav...) from Whole Foods that I couldn't wait to use, and I figured I would contrast the flavors with some sweet potato for the perfect breakfast muffin on-the-go.

However, I soon realized that we didn't have the 10-12 eggs I thought we did... just seven.  So, I practiced "being flexible" just like I teach my speech kiddos to do... and made a casserole instead.  :)

Flexiblity= unexpected changes= delicious new recipes.

I loved how this turned out so much, that I knew I had to snap a few pictures & share it with you all!

It's Whole30 approved, easy peasy to make, and tastes 100x better than it looks (& it looks beautiful if you ask me...)

Perfect for brunch with friends, heat-and-go breakfast during the week, or serving a big family.  Enjoy!

Whole30 Eats: Guide to Chipotle

*updated as of 05/01/2017*

I am currently preparing for "round 3" of Whole30.

Does this make me crazy?  .... maybe.  Or maybe just "enthusiastic"?  Well... one or the other!  :)  Either way, expect a flood of Whole30 themed/inspired blog posts in the near future.  To start, I'm sharing with you post #1 in my "Whole30 Restaurant Guides" series.  

First up:  Chipotle.

from http://www.chipotle.com/ (& not Whole30 approved)

Chipotle has been a savior during my previous two rounds of Whole30, but I'm not sure that I avoided all of the right things.  So, I've taken the guesswork out for you guys, and spent a few minutes scouring the Chipotle website for specific ingredients lists & whether they measure up to Whole30 standards.
also from http://www.chipotle.com/ (still not Whole30 approved)

Now, keep in mind, if you're just aiming to "eat Paleo" on an everyday basis, or are avoiding gluten, soy, etc.~  Chipotle doesn't have to be so limiting.  But for Whole30 purposes, we must get serious.

I've left out the obvious (cheese, corn, beans, rice, tortillas, etc.) & broken down the rest of their more Paleo-friendly ingredients list with those that are approved (“YES”) & not approved (“NO”— with the deal-breaking ingredient).

So, if you're Whole30-ing, pick your fav's from the "YES" list, and pile 'em up however you like!  

Hope this is helpful!  & Let me know what restaurant you'd like to see next.  :)

from my Instagram @justJessieB (almost Whole30)
  • Carnitas
  • *new* Chorizo
  • Guacamole
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Salsa, Tomato (mild)
  • Salsa, Tomatillo-Green Chili (medium)
  • Salsa, Tomtaillo-Red Chili (hot)

  • Barbacoa (rice bran oil)
  • Chicken (rice bran oil)
  • Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette (rice bran oil, honey)
  • Fajita Vegetables (rice bran oil)
  • Steak (rice bran oil)

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Simplified Seafood Stew (Cioppino)

Some of my very favorite recipes are the ones you can throw together in less than 30 minutes, when you thought you had nothing in the fridge.

In this Italian-style cioppino-inspired stew, I use a frozen seafood blend and canned tomatoes to keep things really easy.  Add some spices and fresh herbs (if you've got them), with a little onion & garlic, and you've got a soup-er simple dinner that looks & tastes gourmet!

I love the versatility of this dish~ especially for families who aren't all on the same page when it comes to dietary requirements.  As is, this recipe is Whole 30 compliant.  That means free of grains, soy, dairy, alcohol, and any other non-compliant additives.  

If you want to change it up for other family members, here are a few ideas:  add white wine in step 2, serve over rice or orzo pasta, slice some crusty bread for dipping, add chorizo or Italian sausage...  I could go on!

This recipe makes enough for 4 hearty servings, so double it if you're feeding a crowd.  Hope you love it!

Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer {dairy-free & paleo-friendly}

I was looking for a way to change up my coffee game, and wanted something seasonal.  Rather than going the typical pumpkin spice route, I decided to try something new:  Salted Caramel!

My inspiration for this recipe came from RachhLoves over on YouTube.  She posted a "Pinterest Hacks Tested" video all about Fall DIY ideas-- and the Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer from "Alaska from Scratch" got a thumbs-up.

I loved the idea of a cleaner version of this Starbucks-famous flavor combo in my coffee, but wanted to take it a step further by making it dairy-free and paleo-friendly.

The result was nothing short of delicious~ & I can't wait to use it in my coffee all week long!  

Even Dathan enjoyed this one, since the sea salt keeps it from being too sweet.  But, you can feel free to change up the sugar/salt ratio to make your own taste buds happy!