Heading to the gym probably seems like the most difficult part in fitness. But the reality is that it’s so much easier to make a habit of working out than changing your diet. You may be lifting weights or upping your cardio game, but if you don’t eat right, you’re not going to see positive changes or long-lasting results.
To help you get started with your get-healthy nutrition plan, we’re sharing three meal recipes approved by the Whole30 Diet.
WHAT IS THE WHOLE30 DIET?
Photo via Shutterstock
The Whole30 Diet is a program crafted by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig in 2009. It’s designed to reduce unhealthy cravings and habits, restore healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system—all in just thirty days. Among the other diet programs out there, the Whole30 Diet is a good short-term program to start with because it aims to reset what your body is used to consuming.
If you eat a lot of refined sugar, processed foods, junk food and the like, then this is ideal for you. Thirty days is a good period to cleanse your bad nutritional habits and reprogram your body into wanting the good and healthy stuff.
If you ever wonder how models, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts always stick to healthy food, following this program might help you understand. As we said before, when you start eating clean, you’ll want to keep eating clean!
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT ON THE WHOLE30 DIET
1. ADDED SUGAR, real or artificial—this includes natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup;
2. ALCOHOL, not even for cooking;
3. GRAINS. Say goodbye to rice, oats, corn, even quinoa, starch, and wheat;
4. LEGUMES. All kinds of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts (or peanut butter). Also soy, soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, even lecithin;
5. DAIRY. Milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
6. CARRAGEENAN, MSG, SULFITES. If they appear in the ingredients list of processed food or beverage, ditch it;
7. BAKED GOODS, JUNK FOOD. Treats with “approved” ingredients. Pancakes, waffles, bread, biscuits, chips—you get the gist!
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EAT ON THE WHOLE30 DIET
Photo via Shutterstock
3. UNPROCESSED MEATS. Check labels and avoid the added preservatives and sugar;
4. SEAFOOD. Fish is a go! We’re allowed our tuyo, milkfish, and shrimp;
5. EGGS. Thankfully, we’re allowed to eat this breakfast staple;
6. NUTS & SEEDS. Almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts are great snacks, and chia seeds and flax seeds make great protein sources;
7. OILS (olive, coconut) & GHEE (clarified butter);
8. COFFEE. Yes, you can drink coffee. Consider green coffee if you can—they’re great for digestion and metabolism;
9. VINEGAR. White, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, even rice is allowed;
10. COCONUT AMINOS. A substitute for soy sauce.
11. SALT. Regular table salt is okay, but it’s also recommended that you try healthier salts, like Himalayan, if you can!
Ideally, you should be following this list down to a T, but if skipping out on certain foods (e.g. legumes, grains, soy) is not psychologically healthy for you, then you may adjust accordingly. Still, it’s just a diet for thirty days—so if you can, give it an earnest try!
3 WHOLE30 CHICKEN RECIPES YOU CAN START WITH TODAY
Why chicken? Well, chicken is rich in protein (great for muscle building and making you feel full longer) and selenium (great for improving your immunity system and boosting your metabolism). It’s also not that expensive and it’s super easy to cook. Look, these three easy recipes prove it!
RECIPE #1: CAJUN CHICKEN WITH ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
Inspired by this recipe. Great dinner option. Photo via Shutterstock
PREP TIME: 10 min. | COOK TIME: 30 min.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 500g chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- Cajun seasoning
ROASTED SWEET POTATO
- 1 large sweet potato, diced
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tbsp. paprika
- Cauliflower rice
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Put chickens in a bowl with the tbsp. of olive oil and Cajun seasoning. Mix together and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.
3. Mix roasted sweet potato ingredients in a bowl, then place in one of the trays, spreading it in one layer. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes or until fully cooked.
4. Once the sweet potato has been in the oven for about 15 min., take the chicken out from the fridge and place it in the second baking tray. Transfer it to the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
TIP: You can also add broccoli to this dish. Drizzle it with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and cook it alongside the chicken.
RECIPE #2: CHOPPED SESAME CHICKEN SALAD
Inspired by this recipe. Great lunch option. Photo via Shutterstock
PREP TIME: 15 min. | COOK TIME: 15 min.
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos or protein aminos
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil, toasted
- 3 tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 diced green onions
- ½ large green cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ large red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 orange, sliced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped and loosely packed
- 1 tbsp. of sesame seeds
1. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add about 3-4 tbsp. of the dressing to the chicken in a separate bowl or plastic bag. Marinate it for 30 min.
3. Add chicken with the dressing into a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked.
4. Cool chicken for about 2-3 minutes before chopping.
5. Combine all other salad ingredients in a large bowl.
6. When chicken is cool, add to the salad and stir in the dressing.
TIP: Sesame chicken is also great with shirataki noodles.
RECIPE #3: CHINESE 5 SPICE CHICKEN
Inspired by this recipe. Great for lunch or dinner. Photo via Shutterstock
PREP TIME: 5-10 min. | COOK TIME: 5-10 min.
- 500g chicken, chopped
- 2 tbsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce or fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. Chinese 5 Spice
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos or protein aminos
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- ¼ fresh ginger, chopped
1. Add all ingredients except the chicken into a food processor or blender.
2. Puree until you have a smooth paste/marinade.
3. Smear sauce all over the chicken.
4. Cook chicken as desired. (Grill it, pan-fry, whatever your stomach desires.)
5. If you have leftover sauce, bring it to a boil and serve over the chicken.
TIP: Cook and serve with carrots and cauliflower rice!
Which one do you think you’ll try? Any of these is going to be better for you than your fast food one-piece chicken meal—we guarantee it!
To discover more about healthy living, visit our Wellness Tab.
For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram (@beautymnl).
Tweet us on Twitter (@beauty_MNL).
Watch us on YouTube.
The BeautyMNL App is also available for iOS and Android! For Apple devices, download it on mobile here. For Android devices, download it on mobile here. Stay tuned for updates and app-exclusive promos!