Whole30 is something I never really thought I would partake in. If I'm being completely honest, I used to think it was just a trend (and it is very trendy), but when my doctor recommended I do a Whole30, I agreed. I honestly went in with minimal expectations and was pretty low key about it all. After all, I eat about 75% Whole30-ish on any given day, could the 25% "ish" really make that much of a difference? Well, it turns out it can and I'm pretty excited to share my top 5 revelations from my Whole30 experience!
Before I share these personal revelations, I want to mention that I didn't weigh/measure myself before, during or after Whole30. There was zero part of this that had anything to do with body size/appearance and I honestly couldn't tell you what changes, if any, took place. I'm 10 months postpartum and still navigating the journey of what my body was like then vs now, and I'm at peace with the process.
Revelation #1. I had way more added sugars in my diet than I realized. I'm not sure if I was in denial or just completely oblivious or maybe a little of both, but between coffee creamer, nut/seed butters and granola bars, it was adding up big time! To my point earlier, most of what I eat is "healthy-ish". My coffee creamer is almond milk based, my granola bars are gluten-free, have real ingredients you can see/pronounce, etc. etc., but I was completely overlooking the sugars. I'm not saying you need a sugar-free diet (that's crazy), but I am saying it can add up over the course of a day and I truly realize that now.
Revelation #2. I was rarely meal prepping before Whole30. I can't believe it took me a Whole30 to realize this but I was rarely planning our meals and sticking to that plan. I would have loose idea and then often resort to old faithfuls like breakfast for dinner, gluten-free spaghetti and meat sauce, salad with protein on top, etc. None of these meals are bad but we were honestly in a little bit of a meal rut and not actually using all the produce I was getting for the week. Which leads me to the next thing I learned!
Revelation #3. I hate to admit it, but I was wasting a lot of food. Like a lot. As a busy stay at home/working at home mama and with a hubby who often works nights, there's not a ton of motivation to cook a meal every night. Once Joy goes down, I'm beat and often would resort to a bowl of cereal, breakfast for dinner or sometimes just heavy snacks. All the produce I purchased with good intentions were living a lonely life in the fridge and often times didn't get used, which is just awful! Yes, Whole30 is strict and some take issue with its strictness but for me it forced me to meal plan and stick to that plan. I'm forever grateful for this realization and even post Whole30 I'm meal planning and prepping like a boss (below is one of my favorite simple Whole30 approved recipes- Herb Crusted Sockeye Salmon)!
Revelation #4. I have a mad passion for pecan butter. Seriously, y'all. Honest to goodness no other ingredient pecan butter was slathered on sweet potatoes, bananas, a spoon and medjool dates. If I took nothing else away from my Whole30 other than a pecan butter discovery it would have been worth it. Georgia Grinders is my favorite in case you're wondering! And right now, you can save 20% by using code KISS when ordering directly from the Georgia Grinders site!
Revelation #5. There is so much power in listening to your body. I have a very clinical background and multiple nutrition degrees. I value evidenced based nutrition, but I also think there's high value in listening to what actually works for your body. About 2 1/2 years ago I went on an elimination diet in hopes of resolving GERD (spoiler alert- it worked) and I was super skeptical at the time that gluten or dairy could be the culprit. To make a very long story short, I don't do well with either. I've had every test under the sun to show I don't have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten but I feel completely wrecked after any accidental exposure (I say accidental because I haven't intentionally eaten gluten in 2 1/2 years). Going on a Whole30 allowed me to really pay attention to how I felt on a diet slightly different from my norm and also see how I feel after when I reintroduce certain foods back in.
I'm so thankful for this experience and if you're read this far- thank you! I'd love to know what your biggest takeaways were from your Whole30 or any questions you have about trying one yourself!
I couldn’t be more excited for the New Year! Although KISS in the Kitchen will always be a food and nutrition blog, I’m excited to expand it a bit to include more components of healthy living. I’m also excited that these days there is more and more focus on non-diet philosophies and other important factors that contribute to our health. I would argue our physical, spiritual and mental well-being are just as important (and sometimes more) than the food we put in our bodies. I can eat “healthy” food all day long, but if I’m underslept, overworked, not moving my body and being over-exposured to toxins/chemicals through my environment, that food can’t possible compensate for all those other negative lifestyle factors. That’s actually good news though- it means there are more ways to work on being healthful than just food and I’m excited to share my favorite ways to boost your health that aren’t food or exercise related!
1.) Ditch the plastic. Use less plastic and store your food in less plastic. There's a few ways to do this, but I'm finding the easiest way to transition is by slowly replacing your plastic storage containers with glass ones. There are also silicone storage bags that are great for keeping snacks fresh!
2.) Choose safer skincare/beauty products. This has become a huge passion project for me. After having Joy, I began doing more research into what is actually in my skincare and makeup and needless to say, I no longer felt comfortable using those products- especially with her licking on me! Once you know better, you do better. I started with simple switches like a natural deodorant and natural chapstick. Primally Pure is my favorite brand for both of those things, as well as body butter and dry shampoo. If you're interested in trying out any of their products, you can use the code "KISS" at checkout for 10% off your first order!
I'm also in the process to converting all my skincare and makeup to Beautycounter. Beautycounter bans more than 1500 ingredients from their products and is truly on a mission to get safer skincare in the hands of everyone. I couldn't be more excited to be a party of a company that is making a difference in the skincare and beauty industry and has such honorable practices. Plus, their safer skincare and makeup performs really well. If safer beauty is an interest or passion for you, shoot me an email- I'd love to chat with you more!
3. Put the phone down. I understand how hard this one can be. I'm sure some of you reading this are thinking you can tackle less plastic and safer beauty, but less screentime is going to be a bit too hard. It's hard, but oh so worth it. For the sake of being present, resting your mind and having meaningful connections, reduce the time you spend on your phone. Start by not having it at the dinner table or in the bed at night or utilize the screentime limit feature you can now find on your Iphone!
4. Read more. When's the last time you cracked open a book or magazine? Personally, I have magazines piling up on my coffee table and several books on a shelf that I purchased pre-baby and just haven't had a chance to read. Whether you're reading something educational, Your Bible or a fiction book, consider committing to daily or at least weekly reading this year!
5. Focus on your breath. We tend to rush around so much and pay very little attention to our breathing. Focusing on our breath or doing deep breathing exercises is an excellent way to reduce stress. Whether you actually stop to complete some deep breathing exercises or you just pause to pay attention to your breath, both are beneficial. When feeling stressed, an excellent first response is to take a deep breath.
I'm wishing y'all a blessed and prosperous New Year that is full of health! I'm looking forward to sharing more simple, healthy and delicious recipes with y'all in 2019! <3 Shannon
Thank you to everyone who is following along in this series! Although I do it every year, I still love the timing of the different fruits- especially how kindness and goodness fall right before Christmas. The recipes for kindness are exactly what you might be thinking- different recipes that are great for gifting. These are literally the perfect last minute gift since you don't have to worry about online shipping deadlines ;). Goodness recipes are your ultimate comfort food recipes. Of course, comfort food means something different to everyone, but my dietitian friends have contributed their favorites and I'm sure you'll find one or two or five that you'll love!
"Oh how abundant is your GOODNESS which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you..." -Psalms 31:19
Stay tuned for the 4th and final post after Christmas that will feature the final fruits, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Wishing you the merriest and most blessed Christmas! <3 Shannon
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.