Well we survived the first week! Actually, it wasn't too bad at all. I knew when we started all this that I was going to be keeping it pretty simply. Mostly I went through my list of our regular family favorite recipes and found ones that were already gluten free/dairy free for the kids and easily adaptable for Whole30 for me.
Breakfast: We normally eat either eggs and toast or oatmeal on weekdays served with fruit. I'm replacing the toast with hashbrowns or spiralized sweet potatoes and I let kids have rice krispies or cheerios with coconut milk instead of potatoes some days - after they've eaten their eggs. Dry cereal is a pretty rare treat around here so they like this option a lot! If they have oatmeal, I still have eggs.
On the weekends we often to pancakes or french toast or something fancier and I knew the kids would be sad without that so one day I made banana/egg pancakes (mush 1 banana per person, mix in 2 eggs per banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon, cook like a regular pancake). The kids loved these! I also did some leftover sausage sauteed with spinach with an egg on top one day for myself. But we're used to fairly routine breakfasts so this meal is easy. I'll probably be bringing in more sausage and bacon to excite them a bit more as well.
This is our hard area as we are typically eating PB&J sandwiches 90% of the time. I bought these containers and have done a lot of bento box style lunches with rolled up turkey, pickles/olives (I didn't realize Lucy loved olives. Nobody else does but she devours them!), apple slices with peanut butter(kids)/cashew butter (me) as a dip, hardboiled/deviled eggs, carrot sticks, fermented dilly green beans and sometimes trail mix with nuts and sunflower seeds. This worked well for the three days we had picnic lunches and camped. I normally had a big salad with many of the same ingredients, topped with a basic vinaigrette.
We also did some leftovers and tuna salad on apple slices (kids) and as a salad (me). I'm going to be looking for a few more interesting recipes to try for the kids.
Dinner: I made my whole month's menu of dinners before we started this with almost all tried and true recipes which takes a lot of the stress out of this whole thing but because its mostly meat and fresh veggies and not pantry goods, I can easily switch out recipes later on in the month if we need to mix it up a bit and add in new recipes.
Roast chicken with roast veggies and potatoes and salad - no change!
Leftover chicken as chicken noodle soup - replace noodles with zoodles (spiralized zuchini). I was planning on taking mine out and adding zoodles just to mine and brown rice noodles into the rest but the kids wanted to try the zoodles. They didn't actually eat much of them thought so next time I think I'll add brown rice noodles to theirs anyway. Served with salad/veggies
Lemon pepper Salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli - no change! This is one of my kids favorites, especially Lucy.
Korean Beef Bowls - I used this recipe which is only slightly different from my regular recipe as that one has molasses but its similar and kids didn't notice. I made cauliflower rice for me and brown rice for everyone else and stir fried several veggies separated with a bit of sesame oil added for flavor (julianned carrots, brocolli, zuchini, spinach) plus kimchi all out in little bowls on the table so they could pick what they wanted - after they tried a tiny bit of each one. I normally do this as wraps with them filling lettuce but did it in bowls mixed together this time and kids ended up eating a lot more. This one was a bit hit!
Camping - Whole30 Approved Chicken Apple sausage for me, all beef hotdogs for kids, lots of fruit (grapes, strawberries, apples) and potato chips. The potato chips didn't have any non-Whole30 ingredients but kinda break the spirit of the thing for most people. As I'm doing it for more elimination reasons, rarely have potato chips and had very little time to plan these meals for camping, I don't care if that makes me a Whole30 cheat.
Super Nachos - Tortilla chips topped with seasoned ground beef, salsa, tomatoes, corn, lettuce and guacamole. I had mine as a salad without corn or tortilla chips. I don't normally put salad dressing on our nachos but without cheese and sour cream I thought we might miss it so I went through the trouble of making a creamy avocado cilantro dressing only to have the kids reject it in favor of straight guacamole. Whatever kids, it was good!
Thai Coconut Fish Sticks - This was the big hit of the week. The recipe is from this cookbook I reviewed a while back and my kids love fish but for some reason I got scared off by the red curry included even though my kids like curry and I already had red curry paste in my fridge. I don't know why but the curry flavor is mild but yummy. They ate these up! I served with roasted potatoes and veggies. And it wasn't nearly as involved or complicated as I thought it would be. We will definitely be making these again.
Pasta with Meat added to sauce and brocolli - Aldi organic spaghetti sauce is Whole30 and budget approved and we normally do brown rice pasta so other than leaving off parmesean cheese, no change for kids. I had mine with zoodles instead of pasta. I don't normally like zuchinni but am finding I like the zoodles because they don't have the same squishy/slimy texture zuchini can in other meals.
Snacks: Another hard area for kids especially. We eat lunch early (~11am) and they have a larger snack around 2pm after quiet time. I've done canned fruit with nuts on the side or apple/pb if they didn't have that for lunch but I need to come up with some other ideas. I normally have a snack as soon as they go down for quiet time - a cup of tea and some chocolate with my bible study time. I was super worried about not having my chocolate but luckily I'm used to my tea without any milk or sweetner so that can continue as normal. I've replaced my chocolate with a small handful of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are not chocolate, let me tell you! But at least I have something to put in my mouth as I read so I'm not sitting there thinking about chocolate.
The other issue we had was donut time at church so I made rice krispie treats with coconut oil and Aldi brand rice krispies (which are gluten free, regular ones are not I believe) and took them along in baggies for the kids. I, of course, abstained. They didn't complain although Lucy did mention later on that they weren't quite as good as donuts.
We'll be having a lot of the same meals this month so the rest of my recaps probably won't be so long. I'll just highlight any favorite recipes we stumble upon and talk about how I'm doing. And how am I doing? Pretty good! The Whole30 website has a timeline of general responses and the only one that really applied with day 6 and 7, I was really tired. It could be the diet - or it could have been carry over from camping on day 5 when I shared a sleeping bag with Norah after midnight and didn't really get any sleep after that point. Hard to tell ;-) I'm actually really surprised how easy this has been for me. No crazy cravings which was my worry because sweets are my downfall. I did bring homemade lara balls along on our camp trip but I haven't really needed those the last few days either. It's more work, especially at lunch time and I need to make sure I eat enough at my meals because its a lot harder to fill up at snack time without cheese or milk at my disposal but otherwise, no real issues with my body. Now I just got to keep it up for 3 more weeks!