Category Archives: Whole30

Whole30 Meal Ideas

I survived my first Whole30.  It was hard, it was rewarding and I will so be doing it again.  I learned a lot about food and my body during those 30 days.  I broke my diet coke habit and my need for chocolate after almost every meal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on indulging from time-to-time.  I will keep it to small, infrequent indulgences.

I put together some meal ideas using some recipes I found or made.  I was pretty new to this whole clean eating thing.  So I thought I could pass along these recipes.  It’s hard to come up with easy dinner ideas when you work full-time.  It doesn’t help either when you have 100+ other things to do.

Whole30 meal ideas

Whole30 meal ideas

Avocado-lime salad dressing without added honey or sugar from merelynne.

Whole30 meal ideas

Grilled tilapia with homemade salsa from merelynne.

Italian Chicken Soup from Your World: Healthy and Natural.

Whole30 meal ideas

Taco chicken with homemade taco seasoning from merelynne.


Salmon cakes from Our Paleo Life.

Here’s to your #whole30!  May it be as great as my experience and just as hard to get through.

Whole30 Recipe – Crockpot Italian Chicken

The other day I was really struggling to think of something for dinner.  I had planned out our meals because of Whole30, but sometimes things don’t happen like you plan them.  So here I was standing in my kitchen at 7:45 in the morning knowing that I needed to leave in 5 minutes to get to work on time (yes it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work – it’s amazing!), I kept thinking that I desperately needed to cook the chicken that was thawed before it went bad.  I looked around and realized I didn’t have much to work with.

I finally just threw some ingredients into the crockpot, set it to low and left for the day.  I kept my fingers crossed all day that it would turn out good and not be wasted like my first attempt at fried chicken was.  That was a bad, bad dinner.

Not only did my Italian Chicken turn out – it was probably one of the best meals I cooked on Whole30.  J gave me his seal of approval with an empty plate.  So that must mean it was good.

whole30 recipe, crockpot recipe, whole30 approved, chicken recipe, clean eating

Here’s what you need for this whole30 recipe – crockpot Italian Chicken:

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boneless
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 white onion cut into chunks
1 cup organic baby carrots
2 Tbsp. Oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder

Put the onion and carrots on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Season both sides of the chicken with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Oregano.  Pour Chicken broth on top until the chicken breasts are covered with the liquid.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

You could serve this with some cauliflower rice or zoodles or eat all by itself.


Homemade Salsa {Whole30 Approved}

I love salsa.  The chunky kind that’s really juicy and not too spicy.  I love it with chips, but on Whole30 that’s a no-no.  So I’ve found other ways to get my salsa fix.  Carrots are great and even on top of a potato is another good way, but I have a new favorite way to eat salsa.  … on top of tilapia.  It’s sooo good.

It all started on a day I ran home to make lunch during my break from work.  I had less than an hour and was pretty hungry.  I started the tilapia in the oven, but knew that was not going to be enough.  I scoured the kitchen and found some veggies laying out.  Boom!  The idea hit me.  Salsa.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out.  I kind of thought that it would end up being so bad that I would have to throw it all away and then I’d be starving by the time I went back to work.

I was so wrong.

The homemade salsa was perfect on the tilapia.  Plus it being Whole30 compliant was the icing on the non-existent cake.

homemade salsa, whole30

Homemade Salsa:

1 tomato
1 red onion
1/2 white onion
lime juice
yellow bell pepper
orange bell pepper

dice the tomato, red onion, white onion, cilantro, and bell peppers until they are very finely chopped pieces.  Mix in the lime juice.  Let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to mingle.

Place on top of your tilapia, potato, carrot sticks, or whatever else you can think of.

What’s one of your favorite ways to eat salsa?

What I ate – Week 4 of Whole30

Here I am the last week of Whole30.

This week was so good.  I can really tell a difference in my body and the way I react to food.  I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’ve been perfect on my journey.  Because I haven’t.  But I can really tell when I eat something that’s not fully compliant.  I don’t feel good, my stomach aches a little and I just feel gross.  I haven’t allowed myself to feel guilty when I mess up, so that’s good.  I used to try to eat super clean and super healthy and then when I would slip up I’d get onto myself.  I’m not doing that this time around.

I do think I’ll do another Whole30 challenge again in a few months.  Maybe I can get J more on board with it and maybe we can find some more crockpot or make ahead recipes.  I am really tired of having to cook.  When I’m just eating clean I can usually find something that is semi-clean, semi-not clean at all to eat, but with Whole30 it’s all or nothing.

merelynne image

I have noticed a few changes while doing Whole30

1) my headaches have gone away – I was getting headaches about 1-2x a week.  So I’m pretty pumped about that.
2) this week I fit into a size smaller pant.  I know this challenge is focused on weight loss, but it’s still a good feeling to reach for that smaller size.  #thankyouwhole30andcrossfit
3) my mood swings have calmed like whoa.  I was pretty moody before the challenge.  When my blood sugar levels would drop the ice queen would come out.
4) I survived that time of the month without chocolate.  Hooray!

Day 22 (Jan. 23rd)

I can’t remember… no pictures, no idea of what I even did this day.  I’m pretty sure I brought leftovers from dinner to work for lunch.  I think it was chicken with veggies, but I could be way off.

Dinner is the same story – no idea.  Steak? Chicken?  I don’t know.

Day 23 (Jan. 24th)

breakfast: 2 pieces of bacon and a banana
lunch: grilled chicken and an apple
dinner: steak with sweet potato

Day 24 (Jan. 25th)

see Day 22 for reasoning.

Day 25 (Jan. 26th)

breakfast: apple
lunch: leftover steak
dinner: hamburger and potatoes

Day 26 (Jan. 27th)

breakfast: nothing – I’m such a failure when it comes to breakfast. I sleep too late and play around with my makeup too long. I should make it more of a priority.
lunch: salad with chicken
dinner: shrimp and chicken

Day 27 (Jan. 28th)

breakfast: banana and two pieces of bacon
lunch: fajita chicken with veggies, guacamole
dinner: leftovers

Day 28 (Jan. 29th).

breakfast: banana and water
lunch: fajita chicken with veggies, guacamole and lettuce
dinner: ….?

Day 29 (Jan. 30th)

breakfast: apple and water
lunch: browned hamburger and potato
dinner: grilled chicken kabobs with tomatoes, green peppers and onions

Day 30 (Jan. 31st)

breakfast: banana and water
lunch: chicken and potatoes
dinner: steak and broccoli

Alright so I failed writing down what I ate for the last week of Whole30.  I should have been keeping better notes.  Honest – next time I will.  It’s hard when you’re already exhausted from the day, you come home smelling of BO after an intense workout and you want is to scarf down something yummy before you shower then crash on the couch.  Next time I will be better prepared – not with meal plans (those were great BTW), but I need to be more realistic in my desire to cook.  It’s tax season, which means working 6 days a week close to 55+ hours a week.  Then I’m trying to workout 3-4x a week, which adds another 4 to 6 hours a week of not being home.  Oh and don’t forget I’m suppose to be studying for my next CFP exam.  It’s just too much.

Way too much.

If I could take a way anything from this challenge it would be the fact I need to slow down and plan more accordingly to my schedule.

What I ate – Week 3 of Whole30

Day 15 (Jan. 16th)

Breakfast: banana and water
Lunch: Kiwanis meeting so I had fajita steak and chicken with veggies, lettuce and guacamole
Dinner: chicken tacos (shell-less)

Day 16 (Jan. 17th)

Breakfast: nothing – so bad, I know!
Lunch: hamburger meat with veggies
Snack: banana
Dinner: fajita chicken, steak and shrimp with veggies

Day 17 (Jan. 18th)

Breakfast: 2 pieces of bacon, 1 egg and 1 egg white
Lunch: …can’t remember
Dinner: salad with chicken

Day 18 (Jan. 19th)

Breakfast: I slept in so I didn’t eat anything
Lunch: chicken, carrots, and other veggies
Dinner: Nothing – my lunch was later in the day and I wasn’t very hungry

Day 19 (Jan. 20th)

whole30 meal

breakfast: piece of bacon, banana and water
lunch: chicken dish
dinner: pot roast with carrots and potatoes.  It cooked all day in the slow cooker with beef broth, sliced onions, and seasonings.

Day 20 (Jan. 21st)


breakfast: leftover pot roast with carrots and potatoes.  I also added some pineapple – yummy!
lunch: leftover pot roast again.  I’m so tired of pot roast, but it was sooo good that I couldn’t let it go to waste.
dinner: chicken with potato

Day 21 (Jan. 22nd)


breakfast: 2 pieces of bacon and some yummy pineapple.  I love pineapple so much!  It’s my favorite fruit next to bananas.  I have to be careful because the more I eat of pineapple then the more my throat itches.  I know what you’re thinking, Meredith that means your allergic to pineapple.  I don’t believe it!  Or I guess I won’t believe it.  It’s too good to be allergic to it.  So I just eat in small doses.
lunch:  I had my Kiwanis meeting so I had fajita chicken and beef with veggies, lettuce and guacamole.
dinner:  Italian chicken cooked in the crockpot all day.  I roasted some asparagus with EVOO in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes.  So good!  I’ll have to share the recipe with you soon on the chicken – so easy!

I’ve learned that I am not a food blogger by any means.  I’m the worst at remembering take a picture of my food.  I’m usually too hungry to even think about anything other than shoving food in my mouth.  Plus I feel awkward when other people are around.  J is used to my weird blogger habits by this point, but even he’ll make a comment every once in awhile.

Whole30 Fourth Week Meal Plan

I’m down to the last 8 days of Whole30.  I’m feeling good, feeling healthier and excited to keep up eating clean after the challenge is over.  I know I won’t be perfect and I do see some grains in my future, but I’m going to try real hard to keep it to a minimum compared to how I was pre-Whole30.

I’ve noticed a huge difference in my output at Crossfit this past month.  I’ve PR’d (personal record) a few new lifts, which is super exciting.  I’ve jumped from 95 pound deadlift to 185 pound deadlift.  That’s huge!  I’m sure I’ve just reached more confidence in what I’m doing, but I know a lot of it is what I’m putting in my body.  I’m not tired or feel sick while I’m working out anymore.  It’s awesome.  It really does matter what you eat and how you preform.

Here’s week 4 of what I plan to eat on Whole30.  There is a lot of repeats from previous weeks, but I’m a creature of habit.

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

Most of these recipes are ones I’m making up or I have made it the previous weeks and you can find the recipes here from week 1, week 2, or week 3.

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 9

weight loss, weightloss

And we’re off with another installment of Weight Loss Wednesday.  I am proud to say that I’ve made some real strides this past month.  I really have to thank Whole30 for that because it kicked my butt into gear big time.  As I’m typing this – I can’t move my arms of my head very easily and every time I have to stand or sit I wince a little on the inside.  I’m that sore from Crossfit.  But that’s okay.  I like it!  It’s a good kind of sore.  You know the kind, right?  The sore that means you showed up, kicked butt and took names.  You’re proud of how sore you are because you earned it.  It’s been several days of soreness on top of each other and that means you’ve been committed over the past 7 days.


I’m pretty excited to weigh myself after the Whole30 challenge is over.  I don’t know if I’ve lost anything.  My pants still feel loose in my midsection and tighter on my thighs (thanks to squats and lunges!).  Honestly a 1 pound loss will be a victory for me.  It shows progress and that will help me stick to eating clean, more paleo foods, and working out 3-4 times a week.

I think I’m also going to stick with my meal plans on the blog for awhile too.  I don’t always eat exactly what I plan out, but it’s nice to hold myself accountable to eating better.


What I ate – Week 2 of Whole30

Two weeks are down.  I’m still tired of water, but no longer want a diet coke.  I don’t even think it’ll taste good at this point.  I just want something other than water.  I found a Tazo passion fruit tea and according to everyone online it is compliant.  So I’m going to pick some of that up this weekend to try.  Maybe that’ll get me through.  I even found someone who said to make it with sparkling water – hmmm…. maybe that’d be tasty.

Day 8 (Jan. 9)

breakfast: banana, water and tea with two little pups really wanting some of the banana
lunch: chicken salad
dinner: chicken and potato

Day 9 (Jan. 10)

breakfast: two eggs and half of a small tomato cooked with ghee and a banana
lunch: chicken
dinner: fried chicken cooked in almond flour and coconut oil, smashed potatoes from Pioneer Woman, and broccoli.  I didn’t get a picture – oops!

Day 10 (Jan. 11)

breakfast: didn’t eat anything – I wasn’t hungry and desperately needed to go grocery shopping so I just drank water
lunch: ground sausage – I still wasn’t hungry thanks to my numbing migraine
dinner: again, still didn’t feel good so I just left it.

Day 11 (Jan. 12)

whole30 what i ate

breakfast: sausage, 1 egg cooked with a dab of ghee, half of a white potato (I really need to add more veggies to my breakfast. I always remember the ingredients for lunch and dinner while I’m at the store, but can’t seem to get breakfast down)
lunch: cooked chicken that I seasoned, boiled carrots and the remaining half of the potato with ghee
dinner: I can’t remember – I really need to write these things down or always take pictures.  Probably something with chicken because that’s my go-to.

My lunch was so good!  I actually felt full and couldn’t finish the potato.  It was such a nice feeling!  I’m not going to lie – I haven’t felt hungry too much this Whole30, but I haven’t felt full either.  I’m not talking uncomfortable, sick-to-my-stomach full.  Just normal satisfied full.

Day 12 (Jan. 13)

whole30 what i ate

breakfast: steamed carrots and a sad looking banana (but someone on Instagram made a great point – better a sad banana then stopping for pastries.  So right!  So I am proud of my little banana)
lunch: fajita chicken
dinner: shrimp and slaw

Day 13 (Jan. 14)

whole30 meal ideas

breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white (for the less eggy taste), seasoned sausage, boiled carrots and another overdue banana
lunch: shrimp sauteed in EVOO and boiled carrots – all of it cooked in coconut aminos (I usually add brown rice to this dish, but since I can’t on Whole30 and didn’t have time to prep Cauliflower rice I went without.  It was actually pretty good.  Simple, but good.)
dinner: HUGE taco salad.  I sauteed onions and tomatoes in coconut oil then added poached chicken that I shredded and then let simmer in my taco seasoning blend.  A bed of red leaf lettuce was on bottom and homemade guacamole was on top.  Then I added some boiled carrots.

Today was a good day.  I was loving my carrots (obviously! ha!) and I felt satisfied after every meal.  I went to Crossfit after work (before dinner) so I grabbed a handful of unsalted cashews to give some extra power while working out.  I didn’t crash or feel weak at all and it was leg day.  Lots of squats, lots of lunges and some sit-ups added in for fun.

Day 14 (Jan. 15)

breakfast: I wasn’t too hungry when I woke up so I made something small – 1 egg and 1 egg white fried in coconut oil and boiled carrots on the side.  I didn’t eat all of it – just not hungry.  So the pups got a little paleo treat!
lunch: I have my Kiwanis meetings on Thursdays and we meet at a Mexican restaurant.  So I tried to be careful, but I’m sure I wasn’t in compliance.  I had fajita chicken with veggies, big bed of lettuce and guacamole on top.
dinner: this is what I get for not taking pictures or writing it down…. I can’t remember what I ate last Thursday.  Some sort of chicken dish probably.  It’s my go-to.

Whole30 Third Week Meal Plan

Today is Day 15, you know what that means?  I’m officially half-way through.  I’ve survived half of the Whole30.  It has been hard and I would be lying if I said I did everything perfect.  I tried a sip of diet coke and it was nasty.  So much for being a rebel!  I guess I’ve kicked that habit.

I shared my first week’s meal plan and my second week’s meal plan with you.  So I thought I should keep it going.  I also have been holding myself accountable by sharing what I actually ate the first week and the second week.  Because no matter how hard I plan, things never happen that way.  Like when I got sick and lost my appetite for a few days or when I went out of town longer than I thought.  It’s been hard, but so worth it.

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan

whole30 meal plan


I usually venture away from this plan, but this is what I buy for and plan for.  At least I know on the days I’m tired there is enough food to cook a dinner in the fridge.  Also, I like to look at it the night or two before so I can pull any meat out of the freezer and have it defrosting.  My favorite is when I can cook a bunch of chicken at one time and have enough for a few meals.  I LOVE the crockpot, it makes my life so much easier.  I have some yummy salsa chicken coming up next week already on my radar.

I’m pulling the meatball soup out of the cookbook I talked about last week.  I’m having to make some adjustments to it to make it compliant, but I’m sure it’ll still be tasty.

Whole30 Eating Out Tips

I really enjoy eating out.  J and I can get out of the house for a little bit, have a date night, and just be around people.  So when we go and I order food knowing that it’s not prepared correctly and knowing it’s not the best choice of meat then it makes it less fun.  Plus… I can’t stand to look at the bread the next table is eating or having to say no cheese on my salad.  Cheese is so tasty.

Maybe in bigger cities there are more options for places that actually have organic foods on the menu, but in my small town, we don’t have that luck.

I kept seeing people talk about Chipotle has compliant meals you can order to give yourself a break from cooking… that’d be nice, but there is one problem.  The closest Chipotle is 112 miles away in Memphis, TN.  The next closest is in St. Louis.  Bummer!

I’ve come up with a few tips that could really help someone like me when they’re first starting Whole30 on how to eat out.

Whole30 Eating Out Tips

Whole30 Eating Out Tips

1) Ask the server how it’s prepared.  Is it cooked in olive oil (good!) or another type of oil that isn’t Whole30 approved?  Did you know most steaks are cooked with butter in restaurants, which is not Whole30 compliant (unless it’s clarified butter and no restaurant near me is doing that)?  How is the chicken prepared – in a marinade made with soy sauce and sugar?

You are paying for a service – it’s okay to ask these questions.  If the server doesn’t know then ask all your questions and make them go find out.  It won’t hurt them to be a little more knowledgeable about their employer (not like ewww they don’t serve the right kind of oil, but so they can tell the next person without any hesitation).

2) Just say no to bread.  That’s the easiest thing to do, but if you’re like me then the people you’re eating with want the bread.  I’m not tempted by the bread basket being there as long as it’s not sitting directly in front of me.  But if you are then have the wait staff only bring enough pieces so everyone with you can take one then if they want more just have them ask for the another ONE, not a whole basket.

3) It’s okay to make modifications.  Ask for no cheese, no butter or the sauce on the side.  Most kitchens will be happy to make adjustments for you.

Remember YOU ARE PAYING.  So it’s okay to ask questions, make changes to the menu and know how you’re food is prepared.

Want to know something?  It’s okay to send back an order if it’s done wrong.  YOU ARE PAYING.  I feel like I’m screaming that at you, but it’s the truth.  If you have asked for no cheese or no sauce and it comes out covered, then send it back.  You can be nice about it, but still do it.