Couple’s Whole 30

It took a while, but I finally convinced Lynn to join me for a month of Whole 30. After the December holidays, travel, and New Year festivities, she was ready for some rebooting for herself. We both needed some food changes, an alcohol break, and some way to up our energy levels. I know from experience what Whole 30 did for me.

I told her I would be responsible for everything with respect to food, that she wouldn’t go hungry, and she would actually like everything I made (all of that is hopeful of course!). She did put me onto a great site, 40 Aprons, which has a whole month of meal planning and menus. So far what I have seen and used from there has been tremendously helpful. I also have pulled recipes from other places like Nom Nom Paleo and Half-baked Harvest, modified to fit as needed. And of course, there is the basic steak with baked potato and salad, which works anytime.

Since our total income has gone down, I am mindful of holding expenses for the food down, without compromising the program. The fact that most processed foods are going up in price right now makes living on the outer ring of the grocery store easier. But mostly it comes down to planning, and to realizing that buying processing bulk meat is way less expensive than already processed meat such as hamburger or ground pork.

Last week I went to Costco and purchased 4 whole chickens at .99/lb., a pork belly for less than $4 a pound, and two large boneless pork shoulders for less that $2 a pound. The pork belly will provide three 3-4 pound sides of bacon, and the pork shoulders for all sorts of applications, including ground pork. I am curing and smoking the bacon without artificial nitrites. The Cuisinart is fantastic for grinding either pork or beef (or turkey if I wanted).

The real issue for me is making sure I have the food bought, the recipes planned, and the time set aside to get dinners ready and the several other multi serving meals I need to make for breakfasts and lunches. It is much easier to modify for myself than the full planning and prep for both of us. Fortunately we do have a kitchen well stocked with essential prep tools, spices, vinegars, etc. Ghee is easy enough to make and goes great on those baked potatoes.

Personally, I am beginning this iteration in a much better place than last year: better shape, 11 pounds lighter, a year off of junk food, and generally off of sugary stuff. Bread, pasta, dairy, legumes, and alcohol are the primary things I’ll be deleting from my diet. But I know the results are worth it and this time I have a great companion in my wife.

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