Back again this week with a few more Whole30 tips and tidbits. By now most of us are half way through our January Whole30, which, speaking of, can you believe it?! As the Whole30 timeline suggests, you've passed the hardest days and are likely starting to feel a little more energy which is awesome but those cravings or dreams about cravings might be kicking in. Have you felt them?! Don't tell me I'm the only one dreaming of people with donuts for heads. Kidding, but it's really not too far out of the realm of possibilities. It's been two weeks since you've had those kinds of foods (donuts, pizza, wine, chips, cheese, the list goes on) so you might find yourself thinking a lot about them, day or night. Work through it because you have got this. I'll talk about it later in the post but remember your WHY. You will get through these cravings and just on the other side is the tiger blood that you might have heard rumblings about. It's coming and it is so good! Keep doing what you're doing, stay positive, and remember your why. Know that you are doing something incredible for your mind and body as well as building such a healthy relationship with food over the course of these thirty days that will help you for days and days to come.

Before talking tips and tidbits, let me share links to some of the recipes that I've cooked up this week. If you follow my Instagram you've probably seen the photos but links to reference is always helpful. The top three recipes are all from Paleo Running Momma. She's one of my favorite Whole30 and Paleo bloggers. I absolutely love her stuff! Let me also just tell you that the buffalo chicken dip is amazing in a bowl of regular tomato chili. Amazing.

Let's get into some tips and advice...

Last week I told you drink lots of water, so let's build off that. Water 24/7 can get boring so it's a good idea to have other alternative, compliant drinking options to keep you hydrated. I always start my day with a couple of cups of decaf coffee, just black and I enjoy ending my day with a cup of hot tea or a glass or two of kombucha (served up in a wine glass to make it fancy!). Between my coffee and kombucha, I always keep a water bottle next to me wherever I am in the house to make it super convenient and easy to drink my H20. In addition to plain ole water though I'll add in some sparkling water with lunch or dinner to mix things up. My favorite brands and flavors of sparkling are Bubly Cherry (not pictured), Perrier Orange, LaCroix Key Lime and Seven Lime Mint Mojito. Yes, mojito! It tastes pretty much as you'd expect and there is no alchohol whatsoever!

We also talked about accountability being key to a successful Whole30. You take can this a couple of steps further. My mom, aunt and friend are sharing meals with each other which I think is a fantastic idea. They'll make enough to give extra to each other so they are getting a variety of delicious Whole30 recipes. If you have friends nearby doing a round the same time as you, this is a great way to try a host of different dishes and on the occasion you're getting the meal delivered to you, it's one less meal you have to cook, #win. Besides sharing recipes, another fun idea with your accountability buddies is to host a Whole30 dinner party. We are hosting one this weekend with a couple of neighbors who are also doing Whole30 and I'm super excited. We'll all provide a compliant dish and enjoy a bountiful Whole30 feast. A dinner party where everything to eat and drink is Whole30 while you are on Whole30 sounds pretty fab!

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Leftovers are LIFE! If you told me how amazing leftovers were three or four years ago I would have laughed at you and responded "ugh, gross I hate leftovers". My relationship with leftovers has done a complete 180. A lot of my fridge right now consists of leftovers from everything cooked up in the last few days. I'm still eating that Shepherds pie as well as extra mashed potatoes made from the recipe, have a couple good-sized bowls of chili remaining, and leftover chicken dip that I'll reheat in a sweet potato for dinner one night this week. I'm also a bit of a micro-manager when it comes to 'seconds' at the dinner table. Seconds are always allowed so long as there is still enough to get at least one more meal out of the dish. I pretty much always meal plan with the idea that one recipe equals two or more meals.

Remember your WHY. Every what needs a why, so when times get tough on your Whole30 (which they inevitably will, you are human afterall), remember why you choose to go down this journey in the first place. Do you want to achieve a better relationship with food? Are you hoping to get better sleep? Do you need to reclaim mental clarity through ridding your body of extra sugar and alcohol (that's me!)? Though not your number one goal (or why), but maybe you are hoping the program will help shed a few pounds. Whatever it is, when those feelings of throwing in the towel start to creep in, think about your why. Know that you are worth it and are doing something so great for your overall health. Even those of us on our fourth round need to remember our why as well. No one is immune to this one. I had a headache yesterday and wasn't feeling 100%. I know that I'm most likely to have 'non compliant' cravings and feel like caving when I'm not feeling my best. This is when all I want is to breakdown and eat a handful of Goldfish crackers and I don't even really enjoy Goldfish crackers. When this happens, I remember why I'm doing this program and then turn my attention to something else. When I wasn't feeling great, I took a nap which helped a ton. But if it was solely cravings that made me want to quit, I would take a walk/exercise/play a game with the kids/read/anything else to distract myself from the cravings. The other smart thing to do is simply drink water. Often when we think we are hungry, we're really just thirsty. Drink a big glass of water and you might find your cravings diminish.

We'll talk a little more about reintroduction and food freedom as the end of the month draws near, but for now I'll tell you this. Take the time to do the complete reintroduction process. It's a good idea to even begin reading up on the reintroduction process in the next few days to get a good handle on how it works. Essentially, don't just start eating how you ate pre-Whole30 when you're Whole30 is over. When day 31 hits you might be tempted to grab the first non-compliant item you can and go to town. Don't. If you have pizza and wine on day 31 and end up with belly bloat, a bad nightsleep and/or a stomachache, you'll never know if it was the pizza crust, the cheese or the glass of wine that triggered those after-effects. Read up on the two different reintro methods and choose which best fits your lifestyle but definitely do one of the two. It makes the entire program worthwhile to really understand how food interacts with your mental and physical being and the reintroduction is key to this.

Above all, be kind to yourself. If your breakfast is missing veggies one day, don't sweat it, just make it up over lunch and dinner. If you're hungry, eat. Grab a mini meal or a small snack if you are in between meals. You're learning and I'm guessing that you already feel like you're getting smarter about how much to eat in each of your meals to avoid midday hunger strikes. You might feel as if you haven't lost any bloat, sleep is still the same and/or nothings changed. Trust that its working. Depending on how you ate pre-Whole30, your body is going through tremedous change. Give it time. Know that it is working and you are doing something so good. It may take awhile for your body to let you know just how good it is feeling, but in time, it will.

You are half way to the finish line which today might not feel like much but it is a huge accomplishment and something to be quite proud of. You've got over two weeks of Whole30 under your belt and just over two weeks to go. That's really amazing and you can totally do this! I'm proud of you for taking this step to improve your mental and physical health and build a better, healthier relationship with food.  

Happy Whole30ing friends!