Thursday, September 25, 2014

30 lessons from Whole 30 challenge (Part 2 of 3)

The list below includes observations and lessons I learned from my personal Whole 30 journey.  It is not meant as a guideline for anyone else's journey.  Please consult a doctor before embarking on such a restrictive diet. 
  1. Regular butter is better than ghee.
  2. Peanut butter is better than almond butter....but if you eat enough almond butter, you might learn to like it.
  3. BBQ sauce needs some form of sugar added to make it taste great.
  4. Guacamole is terrific with many things, but not as the filler in deviled eggs.
  5. Cilantro is a very undervalued herb - it makes almost anything better!
  6. Real mashed potatoes are better than mashed cauliflower, though mashed cauli-taters (50% potatoes, 50% cauliflower) are decent with coconut milk.  They’re actually tasty when you add butter and sour cream to them.
  7. Sweet potatoes are plenty sweet without adornment when you’re off added sugar.
  8. Finding interesting, compliant meals (that are worth eating) is next to impossible when dining out.
  9. I don’t like unsweetened coffee (even with coconut milk).
  10. Date paste is not as good as sugar or honey.
  11. Sugar is added to way too many processed foods.
  12. Soy is added to way too many processed foods.
  13. Bacon tastes better when cured with sugar.
  14. Aidell’s chicken apple sausage is delicious!
  15. Movies are better with popcorn!
  16. Not snacking (with healthy foods) is not a reasonable way to eat.
  17. Coconut milk works well as a replacement for dairy in some recipes that I would not have thought to use it in previously.
  18. Kiwi, pineapple and strawberries taste very much like candy when you’re on a no-added-sugar diet.  
  19. Eating enough vegetables is not as easy as you think it would be considering you’re avoiding normal starchy carbs like bread, rice, pasta, etc.
  20. Eating extremely clean definitely helps keep energy level swings in check.
  21. No matter how much you love eggs, if you consume enough of them, you can fall out of love with them.
  22. There are some great ways to flavor veggies and meats that I had not considered when on a “normal” diet.  
  23. Cheese is a food group in and of itself.
  24. Dairy adds a lot of great taste and texture to one’s diet.
  25. Buttery tasting macadamia nuts are great, but not nearly as great as popcorn.
  26. Shredded coconut chips (unsweetened) can be used as a filler ingredient in crab cakes, veggie fritters, meatloaf, etc.  
  27. Coconut Aminos is a great replacement for soy sauce!
  28. If you don’t eat starchy carbs during meals, you have to eat a LOT of veggies in order to get full enough to keep from snacking in between meals.
  30. Avoiding gluten is A WALK IN THE PARK compared to avoiding gluten, dairy, soy, added sugar, legumes, alcohol, grains and pseudo grains (like buckwheat and quinoa).      

My post-challenge thoughts will be in the third installment on this topic.  Look for that in the next few weeks.

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