Indigo30 DAY 23: Favorite Finds A-Z, Vol. 2

I’d bet that a second alphabetical list of cool must-have/try stuff would just make your Day 23, wouldn’t it?

Let’s see if I can do it again!

image.png

Favorite Answer – “YES, THAT’S COMPLIANT.”

Favorite Brooke Blog – The Poo Post. Yep. Still the winner by a shit-ton.

Favorite Cookbook – Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. I love this gal. She is funny, witty and her recipes and blogs are some of the best, often touted by Whole30 themselves. She has a few books out and is often featured in Paleo Magazine.

Favorite Dry Shampoo – Moroccan Oil and Evo’s Water Killer

Favorite Egg Recipe – Green Chile Beef Egg Cups by the Defined Dish

Favorite Food Processor – KitchenAid Mini 3.5 Cup Processor. It’s small and sweet and easy to use, better than the big one, which always feels like such a production! Plus mine is BLUE.

Favorite Grain-Free Dog Food – Blue Buffalo. My mutts are sooooo sensitive … they itch and scratch until the cows come home. If I go off-program with them (haha) even for one day, they are scratching themselves silly.image

Favorite Hack – Using rubber pet food container lids on canned items like coconut milk or olives.

Favorite Interview – Simon Sinek discussing the Millennial generation. You’ll never view our kids, their futures, our parenting and our futures, regardless if you are a parent — the same again — after you watch this. Simon is my hero. (Is he single?)

Favorite Japanese (compliant) Foods – Sashimi, shiitake mushrooms and green tea. Delish!

Favorite Knife Set – Cangshan Knives, available at Costco. A sharp, good quality knife is essential for your kitchen. A dull knife can be dangerous because it requires more force to use, so it is more prone to slipping and cutting where it’s not supposed to — like on your hand. The ideal kitchen knife will have a sharp blade that holds its edge well, good balance, a comfortable handle and durable construction. If you can’t get new ones, take yours to a sharpener — for around $40, you will feel like you have a brand new set. (Try Fort Worth Shaver & Appliance on Montgomery, that’s where I’ve always taken mine.  And, periodically Central Market does knife sharpening as well.)

Favorite Lipbalm (for right now) – Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint. Listen, I have about 5,000 other favorite lip balms, but Fresh Sugar’s Lip Caramel might be just a little too glossy and a little too caramel-y for some of y’all.

Favorite Mayo – Homemade. All day. Recipe in the W30 book. Cinch. But if you can’t whip some of your own up, Trader Joe’s has one that is sugar-free. Why, I ask you, why does anyone think mayonnaise needs sugar!!!!! (Imagine me losing it a little just then.)

Favorite Nut Butter – Mine is still Rx Vanilla Almond, but Kila loves NuttZo, which has cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and celtic sea salt! Wow! Now that’s a blend!

Favorite Oprah’s Favorite – Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer. Since Oprah knows all the things, I trust her when it comes to, well, all the things. Instead of deep-frying, opt for this Cuisinart air fryer that lets you get the crispy fried-food flavor without the added unhealthiness. PS: It’s important for you to know that O is a spokesperson for “WW,” or, “Wellness that Works,” formerly known as “Weight Watchers.” Thank you Alexa, for making sure I am properly informed of all the important news. (Alexa is also one of Oprah’s Favs. You’re welcome.) image.png

Favorite Pressed Spice –  Tumeric. I love to get turmeric shots at Juice Junkies, and combine one part (one shot) with 3 parts tart cherry juice. Tumeric is super amaze for reducing inflammation in the body. However, I hear the magic powers of Moringa are hot on turmeric’s heels!

Favorite Question – “Wine is technically a grape, so… I can have it, right?”

Favorite Root Veggie – Red and yellow beets. Roasted with evoo and mint.

Favorite Skin Product – Almond oil in the shower right before you get out. Coconut good too, Jojoba better, but it’s pricier. No lotion needed, skin smooth as silk.

Favorite Timesaving Tip – www.realplans.com – are you using this? WHY NOT IT’S THE BOMB.

Favorite Underarm Deodorant – Native. The best! Best texture, best quality, best effectiveness, best scents! Available at Indigo.

Favorite Vitamin – I prefer to take liquid vitamins from Tespo – I am much more apt to take them and absolutely apt to not feel nauseous when I do. Buy the cute little dispenser imageand get your custom vitamins sent by auto-ship. They will make up for the thousands of expired vitamins sitting in your cabinet.

Favorite Water Bottle – The Whole30 bottle, of course! Available on Amazon, of course!

Favorite Xylitol Substitute – Mint leaves. C’mon, you have to give me points for coming up with an x-word this time.

Favorite Yam Preparation – 5-6 minutes in the microwave! No joke! Super easy. No need for all that cooking drYAMa.

Favorite Zoup – ZUPA bottled soup. Whole30 approved and sent straight to your door!

There. I did it. Now YOU DO IT.

image.png

Keep going!

B

Indigo30 DAY 17: I30 Favorite Finds, A-Z, Vol. 1

The prep, the launch, the new routines. The tough days, the rough days, the smooth and effortless days. The dreams, the conversations, the ideas, the frustrations. Everything about this program swings the pendulum, with the ultimate goal on Day 31 for the scale to balance itself right in the middle. For many days now, I’ve fire-hosed you with information that for some, was thought provoking to say the least, but probably life altering in some cases. So let the pedals of enlightenment stop spinning for a few miles so we can coast amidst some lighter topics.

I used to have an Instagram page with my BFF called “Favorite Finds.” We had so much fun with that thing, basically just posting up anything we loved from mascara to travel gear to smoothies to sunscreen. So today, I thought I’d give you I30 Favorite Finds Vol. 1. Which of course means there will likely be subsequent follow ups! It feels a little like opening Pandora’s Box for me, because even the thought of listing a few things fills me with overwhelm because THERE IS SO MUCH TO SHARE AND HOW WILL I EVER SHARE IT ALL … (gnash). But, here goes!

Favorite APPLE

Honeycrisp! Always the Honeycrisp. Slice thick and smear with almond butter and date paste. Of course alone is thoroughly enjoyable. The king of all apples.

Favorite BLEND AT LOCAL JUICE BARS
  • Juice Junkies – Good Vibes, no sugar/add maca & the White Rabbit, no sugar/extra almond butter
  • Clean Juice – The Chocolate One, hemp protein, sub out maple syrup for date paste
  • Boulevard of Greens – Beale Street, sub out peanut butter for almond butter
  • Central Market – Superchargedimage
Favorite COCOA POWDER
Guittard’s Cocoa Rouge
and…
Dreamy Avocado Dressing (from It Starts With Food)
1/2 large avocado
1 T. lime juice
1/4 C. homemade mayo (see recipe in the Whole30 book
1 T. fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
2 T. water
Salt & Pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree to desired consistency, adding additional water 1 T. at a time, if necessary. Allow flavors to meld for 30 minutes before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Favorite DRESSING
Thai-Inspired Chili Coconut Milk Dressing (www.yummly.com)
1/2 C. coconut milk
1/4 C. cilantro (chopped, coriander leaves)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 chile (seeded and chopped)
(I know, I have two D’s. Couldn’t resist.)
Favorite EPSOM SALT
Sprout’s Brand – “Muscle Soak”
Favorite FAST FOOD
Zoe’s Kitchen Cauliflower Bowl with Harissa Salmon (no tzatziki or bread)
Snappy Salads Create Your Own Bowl
image
Favorite GADGET
Pampered Chef Food Chopper. Best, most-used gadget I have ever had in my whole cooking life. I got it as a wedding gift IN 1997 for crying out loud. Use it once a week at least. BEST EVER.
Favorite HERBS
Basil and Peppermint. In all the things. All the time. Maybe not together, but otherwise, everywhere.
Favorite INSTAGRAMMERS
nomnompaleo
wholesmiths
pinchofyum
wholekitchensink
nocrumbsleft
tessamaes
mysweetroots
healthylittlepeach
dailypaleomag
mypaleokitchen
whole30recipes
Favorite JUICE
Central Market’s fresh pressed Apple, Lemon & Ginger.
Kimberly Snyder’s GLOWING GREEN SMOOTHIE (especially good when diluted with Central Market’s fresh pressed Apple, Lemon & Ginger!)
PS: I love her.
Favorite KALE SALAD
Del Frisco’s Grille – Brussels Sprouts & Kale, add salmon, no cheese, sub evoo for dressing
Pacific Table – Little Kale Salad, sub evoo for dressing
Favorite LULULEMON GEAR
Midrise Wunder Under Crop
Cool Racerback
Love Tee, Tanks, anything Love fabric
Scuba Hoodie
Studio Pant
Double Up Pouch
Favorite MARINARA SAUCE
Rao’s Marinara. A tad on the spendy side but SO WORTH IT.
Favorite NON-YOGA EXERCISE
Pilates with Jayme McCoy at Body By Pilates
Favorite OUTDOOR YOGA VENUE
The Trailhead at Clearfork, every Saturday morning at 9am!
Favorite PESTO RECIPE
Whole30 recipe (Whole30 Book, adapted a tad by yours truly)
1/4 C. walnuts
1/4 C. pinenuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 C. packed fresh basil leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 C. evoo
Salt & Pepper
Heat in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add walnuts and pine nuts in a single layer and stir or shake frequently until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Combine the nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the basil and spinach and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add lemon juice. While mixing at a low speed, add the evoo in a slow stream until all the ingredients are fully blended. Add salt and pepper and pulse a few times to combine. Store in fridge up to 2-3 days, or freeze in ice cube trays.
Favorite QUESO
HG queso (made with cashews) at HG Supply – sub fresh veggies for chips. I also hear Siete has a great packaged Cashew Queso new on the shelves!
Favorite RESTAURANTS FOR W30
Righteous Foods (local)
Zoe’s Kitchen (national)
Pacific Table (local)
Press Cafe (local)
Snappy Salads (national)
Pret a Manger (international)
Favorite SNACK
Chomps Meat Sticks
Handful of Olives (Trader Joes)
Dried Mangoes (Central Market)
Rx Vanilla Almond Butter
Tajin Almonds
Matt’s Munchies
Sliced English Cucumbers
Berries with melted Coconut Manna
Chia Pudding
Blanched Sugar Snap Peas
Favorite TEA
Teavana if you want fancy.
Pure Leaf Herbal Mint. Best flavor, organza bag, best price.
David’s Deep Blue Spirulina Tea — okay I haven’t tried but I’M DYING TO!
Favorite UTENSIL
Handheld Lemon Squeezer – I use this thing almost every day. You must have.
Favorite VANILLA
Wilderness Poets Pure Vanilla Powder — so great in chia puddings, coffee, over sweet potatoes or baked peaches/apples.
image
Favorite WHOLE30 RECIPE
Grilled Coconut-Curry Chicken (Whole30 Book pgs. 230-231) – This is my #2 FAVORITE W30 RECIPE OF ALL TIME. Pair with cauliflower rice and a green salad with the Thai-Inspired fav dressing above!
Favorite X
Sorry guys, I got nothin.
Favorite YOGA MAT
Lululemon’s “The Mat.” It has great grip and it’s well-padded. The bad news: if you use it regularly, it will wear out in about a year or at least start smelling real bad. Opponents of the Mat love the Manduka Pro or Prolite, which has moderate grip (I slip all over it) but it will last a lifetime, literally. Those mats never wear out and they don’t retain sweat or stink.
Favorite ZUCCHINI RECIPE
Paleo Pizza Noodles — This is my #1 FAVORITE W30 RECIPE OF ALL TIME. Replace the pepperoni with Applegate Farms Prosciutto.

image

Okay, my friends. A part of my soul is now yours. Enjoy the new fav finds!

Happy Day 17!

Keep Going,

B

Indigo30 DAY 14: I30 on a budget

Here is a bummer fact of life: a healthy lifestyle is not cheap. In any way. It’s not cheap monetarily, it’s not cheap physically, emotionally, mentally or logistically. It’s expensive all the way around. It requires a lot of attention, time, discipline and resources. This massive investment might be why many give up early.

However, just like with anything, there are creative ways to make it work. One thing I believe wholeheartedly is this: if you really want something badly enough, you figure out how to make it work. Think of anything in your life that you wanted more than ever … I bet you moved mountains in ways you didn’t think you could to make it happen.

In today’s blog, I’m going to give you some great ideas on how to keep going while not having to spend so much time and money. Now the effort part? The emotional and mental investment? Sorry, guys. On that you have to be all in. If you still have one foot in the junk image.pngfood pantry, then you know deep down your results will be those of having one foot in the junk food pantry. And maybe that’s enough for you right now, and that’s okay. The point here is: be present with it. Don’t deny it or fake it or make up reasons about it. Just be straight. There is an enormous amount of freedom in being responsible for your own decisions and actions. Spinning so many excuse plates is a lot of work.

So to start, here are some great money-saving tips for our program that you might not know about. I would love to hear from you as well on some savings and strategies you’ve discovered so far.

  • Plan your meals, make your list. Sorry to tell you this for the 10,000th time. But, not only does it save you time at the grocery store, but IF you stick to your list, you will not spend as much money. Use your meal planner (make copies of your blank ones!) and before you walk in the doors of the store, say, “Self, you are only going to buy the stuff that is on this list. You do not need one more bath bomb.”
  • You can get great stuff at everyday grocers. As lovely and alluring as Central Market and Whole Foods are, everyone knows they are expensive. Yes, the quality is unsurpassed, and, you can get great stuff at all grocers. Don’t count out discount retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club, both of which have a good amount of Whole30-compliant selections. Even some Wal-Mart locations carry organic eggs in the dairy section and wild-caught fish in the freezer section at great prices. Remember, purchasing grass-fed and organic items aren’t part of the Whole30 rules, so just do the best you can within your resources.
  • Be willing to spend extra time initially at the store, scouting things out and reading labels. If you live in a small town, check to see if there’s a local natural foods store, farmer’s market, or co-op you may not have noticed before. Sprouts is always reasonably priced. And to no surprise, Trader Joe’s is truly the winner when it comes to affordable good food and products; hands down this is your go-to grocer for honest products, great customer service and low prices.
  • Ordering certain items (like coconut aminos, ghee, or almond flour) on Amazon is a great strategy that can save time and money, especially if you have Amazon Prime. Barefoot Provisions is another online shop that carries a huge number of Whole30-approved products. Finally, keep your eye on the Whole30 Approved Instagram feed or subscribe to Wholesome to hear about special offers and discount codes from Whole30-approved partners, many of whom sell their products on Amazon. Other online retailers like Thrive Market and specialty sites like Butcher Box, Primal Kitchen, Rx Bar, etc.  — often have discounts if you are diligent enough to follow their pages and almost always have first-time buyer discounts (as I am writing this blog and checking each site, ALL of them have first time buyer discounts!) plus free shipping.
  • Being excited and eager can sometimes make for over-shopping. Be realistic about the time you have to prep and cook, and plan your meal choices accordingly. For example, realistically, I only have time to cook two to three nights per week.  What works for me is to grocery shop on Tuesday (weekends aren’t good for me since I typically work all weekend) and meal prep a little bit in the afternoon while my kids are either doing homework or decompressing from their days playing outside. On those nights I test out one new recipe, usually a small one that takes just 20-30m at the most. I know most people, however, like to shop on Sunday and do a big meal prep that day too. So that’s a good time to cook up most of your proteins, hard boil eggs, and chop veggies for the week. When things are prepped, its easy to throw together delicious meals at home or on the go, and I can be sure I’m using all of my fresh produce for the week with no waste. I love Melissa Joulwan’s “weekly cookup” in Well Fed. Start there if you need help batch-prep inspiration.
  • Spending trade-offs. Keep in mind that for 30 days, your food and grocery dollars will be spent differently. You’ll be focusing on purchasing the most nutrient-dense foods. You will be removing and/or not purchasing things that aren’t a value for your body, nutrition-wise. For example, you won’t be buying cereal or granola for breakfast, but you may decide to purchase a $6 carton of pastured, organic eggs instead. Nutrient-wise, the eggs are a much better bargain for your budget!
  • For most families, once you take the pre-packaged convenience foods, junk foods, carry-out, and alcohol, you will find money in your grocery budget that you didn’t know was there. You may also find you’re no longer buying your sweetened coffee or tea drinks, smoothies or shakes, or juice beverages, saving money there, too.
  • Remember to keep it simple, and keep your focus on doing the most with the foods that you can afford.
  • Tips from our local nutritionist, Indigo yoga teacher, chef and BAMF, Morgan Jackson: Meal planning is so important. I write out every ingredient that is necessary for the meals I am preparing even if I know I have them. Then I go back through and cross out that ingredient. That way I can look back at it when I’m actually cooking and see what ingredients I need but I also know to not purchase it at the store.
  • Proteins are what tend to drive up your grocery bill. So on the weeks that I am not protein heavy in my meal preparation, I go ahead and purchase things like chicken breast or thighs, steaks, etc. and freeze them because I know that my bill will be lower since I’m not cooking a lot of meats. Then you don’t have to get all your meats at once which could make your bill much higher.
  • Set a budget for yourself, like $150. Then make your list go to the store get what you need and see what exactly you spend. You can shift your budget plus or minus that much. I have been shopping every Monday getting meals to cook every night for dinner as well as lunches and breakfast for my kids and I’m only spending around $160 a week. That’s it. To feed a family of five!
  • image.pngDo not go to the grocery store hungry! I will literally eat an apple or a stick of Chomps before I go shopping because if I’m hungry I will buy everything I don’t need because everything looks good!
  • On the weeks where I have all the proteins I need and know that I may be eating out once or twice, I go ahead and buy all the staples that I have run out of. Staples like spices, pantry items, etc. That way my bill will not be significantly higher because I’m not purchasing anything extra that week.
  • If your recipe calls for one zucchini, just buy one zucchini. You don’t need to buy 10 zucchinis, or even 2 if your recipe calls for just one.
  • Also, though it does save time, try to not purchase pre-sliced items. You can buy a package of pre-sliced pineapple for $4.99, or you can buy an entire pineapple for $1.99 and just cut it up yourself. When items are pre-sliced like that, it drives your bill up exponentially. This even goes for things like whole chickens. A pack of chicken breast can run $10-$14, or you can just buy the entire chicken for five bucks and took it all at once. Then you can de-bone the chicken and use the bones and remaining meet for broth. So much cheaper. Lastly, don’t fall into the trap of the by “4 for $5” game that grocery stores play. A lot of times I see a yogurt on sale 10 for $10. And I think wow what a deal I can get 10 cartons of yogurt for $10. But will I eat 10 cartons of yogurt that week? No! I could have bought three cartons of yogurt for $3.80 and not wasted instead of spending the $10.
  • Go to yoga. You didn’t think I’d bring this up in a budgeting convo, did you? Well, here’s the thing. When we are experiencing stress or worry, we sometimes shop. Yes. It happens. And not just for overpriced handbags or a new pair of jeans. For groceries too. But if you go to yoga, you almost inevitably lower your cortisol (and thus stress) and then when you hit the store, you are more focused and dedicated to your goal of not spending as much and get in and out without being guided by emotions.
  • Ways to budget your yoga: If you are a new student to Indigo Yoga, you can come to the first Wednesday of each month entirely free. Then you can get a Limitless Membership for $88, and get your second month for free, all classes, all locations. AN EVEN BETTER DEAL is to get the Limitless Platinum Membership, where you get water, mat, YogiToes and mat storage all free for just an extra $20. If you get a $2 water and a $2 rental each time you come, on top of a $20 drop in, and you plan to come 2-3 times a week? Dude, you are putting money in my pocket unnecessarily, and a true ladder climbing capitalist would be like YES! KEEP DOING THAT! But that is just silly and not smart and I don’t want you to do that. I want your stress levels low so you keep coming forever. Also with the Platinum — this is the best part — you get one monthly buddy pass for your friends! Another $20 value. ALL of you guys should be on platinum. It’s a massively better savings. Other great tips:
    • Take good care of your yoga mat. Wipe it down after every practice, and let it dry properly. Do not roll it up wet. Not only will it break down faster but it will mildew and stink.
    • Wash your yoga clothes separately from your other clothes with a proper sports laundry detergent, like WIN — you may spend just a bit more on the detergent, but it will for sure extend the life of your yoga gear AND help fight the yoga image.pngfabric stench!! And of course – hang your wet clothes to dry just as soon as you can. It only takes one time for your gear to sit in a bag wet for a day in the car to set that stank in for good. PS: friends don’t let friends wear smelly yoga clothes.
    • Bring your own bottle. Duh! Saves money and saves the earth.
    • Take advantage of our community classes at the Trailhead and Panther Pavillion that are free to the public and a great way to get out of your normal routines and enjoy the outdoors!

image.png

I hope today’s tips help you tighten the belt in more ways than one. Enjoy your new skills, and …

Keep Going!

B

Indigo30 DAY 13: Time for adventures!

Welcome to Day 13, you are nearing the half-way mark! You should be very proud. Half way is a great milestone. But just like doing a yoga pose or even a long sequence of poses, there’s this little triumphant squeal of glee — Yay! We completed one side! — and then the overwhelming realization of — Omg, we’ve only completed one side …

So your work right now is to “stay in the river,” as many a guru has probably said over the years. Don’t swim faster and yet, don’t just tread. You still have a ways to go. Just stay in the flow, keep a steady pace, and let the natural rhythms move you forward. You are already seeing NSVs and progress — you have shared them proudly with your friends and peers. So imagine what’s coming if you stay the course! Adventure!

Food is the way to your friends’ hearts.

One of the funnest things you can do during your Indigo30 is get to know your comrades with a meal swap. You really cannot believe how much you will love this and learn from it. You are probably ready for some new dishes, or you are starting to tire from leftovers, or you just want a day off from cooking. Well, Indigo30 Superstar, it’s time to branch out and spice it up! I promise you will not regret this. It’s kind of like the old fashioned chain letter!

It’s pretty easy to do and you can do it with one pal or a whole group — or maybe a couple of groups. Then, coordinate your meal swap. The meal swap is better with a few people – 7 is ideal. Once you pick a time and a location, each of you can make a dish that has 7 image.pngservings or a big batch. When you get to your potluck, swap it all out and BOOM – you have one new meal a day for the next 7 days! (or you can freeze and save for even later!) Share your bounty, because your chili may be super fab today, but it’s not as good when you’ve eaten that gigantic crockpot full 5 meals in a row.

Is swapping with your pals not very convenient for your schedule? Set up a roaming brunch, lunch, or dinner party once a week. Each of you commits to hosting the others for one meal, sharing in the cooking (and, hopefully, the clean-up). It’s a great way to socialize over healthy food, share kitchen tips and tricks, and pick up some sweet lunchtime leftovers for the next day.

Try a new spot. 

image.pngDo you go to the same spot in the yoga room every day? Yeah, we know who you are. And we know what kind of temper tantrum you internally have when someone is in your spot. Yogis, yogis, yogis. I want you to use your new tools of mindfulness right this minute, and get present to what is actually happening when you walk into the room and someone is in your spot. Okay — all that is actually happening is some completely oblivious person who has absolutely no idea that you have this attachment to the outcome of your practice being based on where in the room your mat is, just put their mat down there. That’s it. Or, they are wrestling with their own attachment issues and just got there before you did. Now, pause, step back for a moment, and consider how completely, utterly absurd it is to get upset about a spot for your mat in the yoga room. (Got it? Are you smiling/laughing?) Then I want you to consider that there may just be a new experience waiting for you in a different spot … perhaps there is a cooler breeze up in the front. Or perhaps hiding in the back won’t work so well this time because the teacher decides to do the entire class facing the back. Or perhaps a new student (maybe even the one who stole your spot) looks over at you and says, “Hi, I’m new. I’m really nervous. How long have you been coming?” And you realize that your purpose, instead of getting your way, was to befriend someone who is scared and worried about being new and different. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a good enough reason not to be attached to your spot.

Some of you are like, “I really have no idea what she is talking about right now, I could care less where my mat is. Half the time I’m rolling in late anyway so I don’t even pay attention.” — To you, I challenge you to arrive early and go to the same spot each day and play with consistent routine. Stretch yourself by sharpening consistency. Bust through old patterns. Break through into new spaces, the same one every day for the next 15 days.

You now how to make both of these things a new, exciting pattern? Grab a friend, or your small group, and go together. This will keep things fresh and will keep you accountable.

Spicing it up with actual spices

I planted an herb garden a year ago and after all of this rain, it’s going completely bonkers. imageI have more herbs than I could ever use even if I cooked all day every day all week. They are fun to cut and give as gifts, and even if I don’t cook with it, just having the smell of basil wafting in my kitchen brings smiles.

If your cooking is feeling a little bland, take a spin around the world with some new spices. Chances are, if you are willing to step out of your ho-hum cooking box for a minute, you will discover flavors you didn’t even know existed! Just changing just one spice can turn an Indian curry into a savory Spanish stew. The right spices can make or break a dish, turning everyday ingredients into authentic ethnic cuisine.

But be careful with seasonings (mixtures and blends). They can be tricky and sneak the sneaky sugars in right under your spice sniffer. Check out the ingredients in this taco seasoning commonly found at chain grocers:

Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citirc Acid, Autolyzed Yest Extract, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color (sulfites).

“Taco seasoning” sounds innocent enough, but this spice blend is anything but innocent (or healthy). I’m sure you are looking at the list now and know exactly why these ingredients are not okay by Whole30 standards, but are they really okay by any standards? image.png

Sometimes, spices and seasonings intimidate people with their fancy-sounding names like Za’atar, Dukka, or Tabil. Melissa Joulwan (author of Well Fed), is a spice-a-holic and has an awesome list of spices and how to use them in this GREAT article.

Spice Hound is another great resource to help you identify Whole30-approved spices to fill your cabinet. A full 100% of their salts and spices meet Whole30 criteria, and 20 of their spice blends are also Whole30-approved.

Here is a complete list of all approved Spice Hound blends:

Adobo Seasoning Cajun Rub Chili Powder Blend
Chinese 5-Spice Powder Curry Powder Dukka
Fines Herbes Four Peppercorn Blend Garam Masala
Garlic Sea Salt Herbes de Provence Italian Seasoning
La Kama Panch Phora Poultry
Pumpkin Pie Spice Seasoning Sea Salt Tabil
Turkey Brine Za’atar

Though they last a long time, spices can be expensive. If your cabinet is empty, commit to buying one or two new spices a week, until you’ve collected enough to transport you to any foreign country (and cuisine) in just a few moments!

You’re considering a potluck with your new I30 buds, a different spot for your mat against all better judgement, and are about to buy Garam Masala. Now let’s try … some totally new foods! Here are some beginner and advanced “foodie” options that will keep your Whole30 from boring and snoring.

Beginner/Intermediate:

  • Ghee: Like butter, only better! A personal favorite is Bulletproof Grass-fed Ghee, but there are many great brands.
  • Coconut butter: My most favorite I30 find this go-round! Delicious by the spoonful straight out of the jar. (I could stop there, because I have done a lot of this lately) or as a slightly melted topping for sweet potato, apples, or berries. You guys, I nearly DIED when I took my first bite. Look for Nutiva Coconut Manna in the nut butters section. Tip: when you get it, it will likely be solidified in the jar. You have to dig it up and even out (I dug it all out of the jar, mixed it up good and put it back into two) because the oil will separate from the pureed coconut meat. I promise you, it is worth every second of effort! And as a reward, peruse the Nutiva recipe page — you will have loads of post-I30 treat ideas ready to roll with this magic manna from the heavens.
  • Jicama: A sweet, crunchy root that looks like a big, round potato. Peel, chop into sticks and top with lime juice and chili powder, dip in salsa or guac, or just eat plain as they come. Central Market has jicama tortillas and rolls, which are delicious with tuna fish mixed with W30 mayo rolled in!
  • Coconut Aminos: Soy sauce is off limits for your Whole30 (I’d like to see you bid farewell to this gut buster forever, but for now…) I will tell you, coconut aminos taste the same. They’re a healthy Whole30-friendly replacement for soy sauce in recipes, and perfect for dunking sashimi. Find them in the soy sauce aisle of your local health food market—or order from Amazon. Speaking of sashimi…. gosh that sounds good! Have you thought to add it into your restaurant options? Bring your coco aminos when you go! You can buy them in single serve packets!image
  • Sauerkraut: Raw and fermented, sauerkraut contains tons of healthy bacteria to keep your digestion happy with all of its natural probiotics. Purchase it at any of our local grocers or let Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaire Stephanie McCormack teach you how to make your own in this fun video. Sauerkraut has made a serious comeback!

Advanced Adventurer (Vegans and Vegetarians, kindly skip to the end…)

 

Okay my friends, my word count is way out of range, so in closing as always, KEEP GOING, and in the words of a wise little bear..

image.png

B

Indigo30 DAY 10: Time savers, and by request — W30 hacks

Between reading labels, prepping food, researching recipes, shopping, planning when to go to yoga, chatting with your Indigo30 pals, scrolling Instagram pages and website and checking in on the Indigo30 page … and finally EATING (followed by lots of dishes and lots of smelly yoga laundry), you probably feel like this thing has consumed your life. Oh the days of unconsciousness… they were so carefree!

On top of it all, you are only one-third of the way through your program. (Gulp). But that should tell you something — that by the time you are nearing the end, you will have this thing down like clockwork, not having to think so hard and work so hard. Do you remember what the habit circle said? It said that by the time the habit is formed, the brain basically takes a break from that task, because knows that it’s ingrained, so it moves on to other things that need its focused attention. The result? You just do the things without too much deliberation or negotiation.

Also, because you are only a third of the way in, I also still have tons and tons of time-saving, super cool tips and info to share! Don’t feel overwhelmed; I will dole them out little by little. You ready?!

Post your menu. If you have a whiteboard or a blackboard or even a big piece of poster board — posting big and bold in or around your kitchen can help you stay on track. Post more than just the menu too! Whole30 recommends making three lists and a few other things:

  1. List #1: The first list should include 3-5 “go-to” dishes you love to eat — easy meals that require little prep and not much brain power. Take a picture of this list and keep it on your device so you can easily shop for a quick, delicious, healthy meal.653c17e5dece2106f2387c3aec942b2d.jpg
  2. List #2: The second list should include the foods you have ready to eat in the fridge (this is so genius): leftovers, cooked and raw vegetables, defrosting meat, sauces and salad dressings. This list serves as inspiration when it’s time to make lunch or dinner.
  3. List #3: The third list is for things you’ve run out of (or are almost out of), so you know to stock up the next time you visit the store. It’s easy to remember what you need for the meal, but dish soap will assuredly be an afterthought when you’re over the moon about finding the coconut butter.
  4. Your yoga schedule: write it up there. Better yet? Make buddy dates with your pals and write their names next to the classes you plan to attend.
  5. Motivation: whatever it looks like for you — inspiration, a compliment someone gave you, a goal you have set — something to remind you that you can do this.

Fast food Indigo30 style. With the daily blog, the Tuesday Posting Parties, and all of your friends chiming in, surely you have adopted a few new tricks to prep and eat quickly if needed. Here are a few more:

  • The Art of Freezing. Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed and The Clothes Make the Girl, says, “When I just can’t bear to pack one more work lunch (and I’m feeling really lazy), I don’t even bother to cook my food. Just put two servings of frozen vegetables in a microwaveable container, then drizzle with olive oil and a good shake of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add a microwaveable protein (grilled chicken, frozen cooked shrimp), cram on the lid and shove the container in your bag. At lunchtime, microwave the whole shebang for three minutes and voila! Instant lunch with no real cooking time.” (I love how dramatic she is.)
  • Speedy Spinach. Whole30 has one idea about Speedy Spinach, and it’s remarkably similar to my beloved Pret a Manger protein pots and veggie pots I get in the U.K. on teaching trips that I always try to recreate when I come back home. They’re so simple it’s silly. Put some spinach leaves in the bottom of a container. Add an egg. That’s it. Drizzle with evoo and salt when you are ready to eat. It is astonishingly delicious for as basic as it is and it’s a million times better than just an egg. The other one I love, the veggie pot, has spinach, hummus, radishes, carrot chips and sprouts, but that’s for post I30. Whole30 has a good spin on it too: spinach in the bottom, when ready add hot food containing meat and veggies over the top — the residual heat will lightly wilt the spinach leaves, creating a super-yum, hearty lil’ bowl of goodness.

HACK: Vital Farms pre-boiled eggs come 4 to a box but individually packaged with 2 eggs, salt and pepper. Eggs aren’t hard to boil, but you do have to peel and stuff… and sometimes, there just ain’t time. And you can count on happy chickens laying quality eggs with Vital Farms. 

  • Veggies on hand. Carrots, celery, snap peas, zucchini, sunburst tomatoes, thick cut mushrooms, watermelon radishes — all great in snack-size ziplocks and ready to roll when you are. Another favorite of mine is to steam a good amount of baby Yukon gold potatoes. So easy to heat up and so divine with evoo drizzled and kosher salt sprinkled. Extra good paired with some asparagus and a boiled egg (and more evoo). I learned of that little trio in Italy. My dear friend made it for me for lunch one day and I’ve been hooked ever since. Molto bene!
  • Chop till you drop. If you are chopping up vegetables, don’t be afraid to chop more to use as on-the-go snacks, recipe adds and quick-dish readiness. The worst that can happen is the leftovers hit the compost (you have one, riiiight???) or your pet rabbit gets treats.
  • The brown paper bag trick. A brown paper lunch bag will ripen fruit and veggies faster than leaving them out. Bananas, peaches, pears and avocados will all fast track in the bag (fast track is about 24 hours to ripen.)
  • Les Onigons et Le Mirepoix. Whole30 suggests teaching yourself how to chop an 90741-mirepoix.jpgonion like a pro with a video… that’s cool. And for about 50 cents more you can buy all that stuff pre-chopped. Fifty cents is worth my hands not smelling and my eyes not watering. It’s also worth the 5-10 minutes it would take me to chop. If you don’t know what Mirepoix is, it’s AWESOME — it’s a chopped up blend of white onion, carrot and celery — the basic staples of bone broth, soups, stirfrys, you name it! Trader Joe’s of course.
  • Speaking of bone broth … For the love of God, get over your Instapot-phobia and just use the damn thing! IT’S NOT THAT HARD. REPEAT: IT’S NOT THAT HARD. It goes like this: put the stuff in the Instapot, put the lid on, hit the button. I’m not trying to be a smart ass. That’s actually what you do. Bone broth is my most common creation — I’ve tried a few other things but honestly my go-to that I use it for the most is bone broth. It’s PACKED with nutrients and minerals. It’s also rich in amino acids not found in meat, and chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain. As if that’s not enough, since everyone is jumping on the collagen train right now, you will be delighted to know that the soup bones that are used in bone broth include collagen, which is a protein. BB aids in healing leaky gut and regulating digestion, muscle repair and growth, it helps balance your nervous system and strengthens your immunity. You use it all the time in soups and recipes. It’s delicious by itself when you feel crummy. Should I keep going? Go to the grocery store, ask the meat department for some bone broth bones, get the Mirepoix, add all the herbs and water and throw it all in the pot and hit the button. Two hours later, you will be the proud producer of about 6-8 mason jars full of this magic healing elixir.

HACK: Buy your Instapot at Bed Bath & Beyond – www.retailmenot.com will always have a 20% coupon you can use. Otherwise, just ask them for a discount and they will find you something! Plus they have easy returns. 

HACK: Pour bone broth into ice-cube trays and freeze. Anytime you need to fry something up or sauté a pan of wonderfulness, just toss in a cube or two! 

  • My favorite thing of all – Daily Harvest cups! Oh my, nothing makes my heart sing like a Daily Harvest cup. They come shipped to your door in a box lined with protected dry ice. They are flavorful and FAST. Smoothies, bowls
    product-shot@2x.jpeg.png

    Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

    and soups are compliant (they have other things like lattes, sundaes, overnight oats and chia cups but those are for post I30). Dump some of your homemade bone broth if you want a clear soup, or bone broth and coconut milk for something heartier. Add protein (I love to add shredded chicken or pan-seared scallops) Straight from D-H, here is the list of compliant cups:

All of our cups are gluten-free and vegan, and the following cups are also Whole30 compliant being grain-free, legume-free, and free of any added sweeteners:

Acai + Cherry Smoothie
Apple + Greens Smoothie
Banana + Greens Smoothie
Blueberry + Hemp Smoothie
Cacao + Avocado Smoothie
Carrot + Chia Smoothie
Chai + Coconut Smoothie
Chocolate + Blueberry Smoothie
Cold Brew + Almond Smoothie
Dragonfruit + Lychee Smoothie
Mango + Greens Smoothie
Mango + Papaya Smoothie
Mint + Cacao Smoothie
Pineapple + Matcha Smoothie
Watermelon + Cucumber Smoothie

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower + Leek Stew
Coconut + Carrot Soup

Chocolate + Hazelnut Sundae

HACK: Use this code to get a free cup with purchase: https://daily-harvest.com/r/RE-D4D7S7K

  • Lightning Fast Foods. Frozen vegetables as mentioned, pre-packaged vegetables (Central Market, Whole Foods and Tom Thumb have exceptional PPV sections), pre-made salsa, guacamole, canned pumpkin, canned squash, canned butternut squash and packaged broth — all awesome. So many wonderful, organic, sugar-free and preservative free options. Just read those labels!

________

So I know I have equipped you with a ton of ideas for saving time, but promise me that you will use these tips wisely, not to cut corners or rush through your meals. My hope is that they allow you to spend more time doing the things you love and less time in prep and planning mode. Coming soon: “Weekend Take-Your-Time Recipes” that will take lovely, sweet, drawn out time, that you will, once you eat the deliciousness, understand why the process is SO WORTH IT! Yay!

Have a great day 10! More tips and hacks to come!

th.jpeg

B