The is a sponsored post in partnership with Ball® Home Canning. All opinions expressed are my own.
If you are interested in getting healthier in 2020 and beyond, maybe it’s time to look into the Whole30® meal plan, and all the awesome whole 30 approved foods that go along with it! One of the best ways to get organized is to have a solid like of whole30 recipes and a number of canning jars, like Ball® jars!
Whole30 Approved Foods
If you are looking to make a Whole30® food list with only Whole30® approved foods, then look no further! It’s actually pretty easy to understand. It’s getting back to the basics. We know them and we love them. It’s just more about cutting out all the extra stuff. Eat meat, seafood, and eggs; vegetables and fruit; natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with a simple or recognizable list of ingredients, or no ingredients at all because they’re whole and unprocessed. The Whole30® meal plan is all about getting back to the natural ways of doing things.
Your only job during the Whole30® is to focus on making good food choices for 30 straight days. It’s simple in that way. There’s no weighing in, check-ins, social foods, or calorie counting. Just commit to only eating Whole30® approved foods exactly as I’ll lay out below, 100% for the full 30 days. It’s all about resetting your body and getting the full and highest benefits of the program.
Foods to Avoid
Ok, so this is the part that’s probably a little bit shocking for most people. In our overly processed food world that’s all about convenience and shelf-life, there are quite a bit of common, everyday foods you have to avoid under the Whole30® meal plan. When you write up that Whole30® food list, keep in mind that you cannot consume added sugar, real or artificial (e.g., maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, and xylitol). You cannot have grains (but you can have potatoes) or legumes (e.g., beans, peas, nut butters, soy, and more) either. You should also avoid carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites as well as baked goods and junk foods in general. Finally you have to avoid alcohol and dairy of all kinds.
Take note, there are some exceptions to this like ghee, fruit juice, salt, vinegars, coconut aminos and certain “pod” legumes (e.g., green beans, snap peas, and snow peas).
Getting Into It and Over The Hump
The main party of the Whole30® plan is to simply get into the right mindset and get over the hump of not eating poorly. I’m telling you, eating “clean” with Whole30® just feels good. After you get over the hump, you will actually find yourself craving good foods. You will check that Whole30® food list and want it all! You will not want all the chips and sugary snacks you once lived for. You will not be looking for bread at every meal, but something entirely different. You will start to feel differently and look at food in an entirely new way.
I was already eating much better and doing intermittent fasting since early 2019. I was already in a healthy mindset, but eating protein-rich yogurt and nut butters were a big part of my diet. To me, getting over everything other than dairy not a problem at all. Heck, I give up alcohol every year for 40 days at Lent time. But giving up dairy was really tough for me. Bread, nah. Beans, nope. Milk, yogurt, and cheese…really difficult. And the most difficult time for me was the first 5 days. I really had to buckle down and fight the urge to eat of all of the dairy. I’m telling you, it was not easy. But I did it, and I got through it, and each day after got a little bit easier. It really did get easier, you just have to make sure you allow yourself to get to that point in time where the foods you really crave aren’t quite as important as they once were. Just keep thinking, it’s not a big deal, it’s only 30 days, and it’s for my health. You can do it, it’s not as hard as you think it will be.
The key to making the Whole30® meal plan work is making sure you pack your day with enough good meals to not think about what you can’t have. Guess what! There are so many amazing Whole30® recipes online, packed with all of the Whole30® approved foods you are seeking. These are really tasty and packed with flavor and goodness. It’s simple once you really think about it. Think veggies and think meat. That’s the base and that’s the key to it all. I love creating Whole30® salads. I also think that using Ball® canning jars to help organize it all makes complete sense.
Greek-American Whole30® Cold Chicken Salad Jar
Of the almost infinite salads you can create when you are jamming the Whole30® life, my absolute go-to recipe is what I call my Greek-American Whole30® Cold Chicken Salad Jar. It’s a riff on the classic Greek salad, but with some additions and some Whole30® compliant substitutions (like no feta people).
- boneless skinless chicken
- garlic crushed
- juice from a lemon
- oregano finely chopped
- cilantro finely chopped
- rosemary finely chopped (not pictured)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- lettuce of your choice – I prefer a mixed leaf
- cherry tomatoes
- cucumber sliced
- olives of your choice – I prefer Kalamata
- red/orange/yellow pepper sliced
- red onion sliced
- sugar snap peas in pods
- cauliflower and broccoli
- white potato of your choice
- optional topping: hummus (not pictured)
- Place the chicken in a ziploc bag along with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon. Place the bag in the fridge and allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours. Heat a grill to medium heat and cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side until they are completely cooked through and browned to liking. Let cool, it is recommended to not place hot chicken in jar.
- Heat olive oil and crushed clove garlic in a large skillet on medium heat. After 2 minutes add in the potatoes, chopped herbs and salt and pepper and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Again, it is not recommended to place hot ingredients in jar.
- Chop all vegetables and herbs to desired size and coarseness. Set aside until chicken and potatoes are cool.
- To assemble the salad in the jar, see the “Canning Jars” section just below for recommendations and instructions. When you are ready to eat, you can simply “dump” the jar salad into a plate or bowl. Top with cilantro, oregano, and hummus if desired.
I have a pro tip from the good folks at Ball® and Whole30® if you looking to prep a week’s worth of salads in a Ball® jar that won’t get soggy or wilt. Keep it simple and layer the ingredients in your jar. This should reduce the sogginess and give you a better chance of using those awesome jars to their fullest capacity!!
Layer One, pour in your favorite Whole30® Approved dressing (store bought or homemade), and put it at the very bottom of your jar. Layer Two, pack in the diced vegetables, fruit, nuts or avocado. Layer Three should be all about the protein!! Be sure to let it cool completely before you add it to your jar since you don’t want to steam everything else inside that Ball® jar! Finally, layer Four should pack in as many greens as you can fit on top. Pack it all in, then screw on the lid. Done and you can store all of that goodness in the fridge for up to 5 days. That’s awesome and makes for planning out the week so much easier!!
When you’re ready to eat, tip the jar upside-down and allow the salad to fall into a bowl or a plate, where it will be perfectly layered with the dressing on the top. Or, if you’re on the go, you can eat it straight out of the
Ball® jar; just give the salad a good shake to distribute the dressing, open and eat straight from the jar.
Ball® Jars at Walmart
As I’ve mentioned, using Ball® mason jars has been an awesome way for me to plan out and store multiple meals. Ball® branded glass jars have been around since 1884, creating great products on the way to becoming known worldwide as a trusted leader in home canning. Over 135 years of research, testing and advancing the art of fresh preserving go into every product, from the line of iconic mason jars to new innovations like the FreshTECH™ Harvest Pro Sauce Maker and a line of fun and creative mason jar accessories.
Be sure to take advantage of an awesome ibotta offer…Earn $1 when you buy 4pk or 12pk Ball/Kerr jars!!
I headed over to my local Walmart and picked up a number of awesome Ball® jars to help me get through the 30 days. I loved using Ball® Wide Mouth Jars and Ball® 4oz Jars with that awesome Ball® Leak-Proof Storage Lid!! These are quality products that do the job well and seemingly last forever. This was a key to my Whole30® success and I think it will be a great help to you as well.
It’s only 30 days! If I can do it, you can do it. I feel so much better and I think I have a much better understanding of what my body needs and doesn’t. The benefits of sticking with the plan is mostly about accurately testing how your body responds in the absence of these potentially problematic foods, you have to completely eliminate them. Just commit to the plan and do your best to stick with it, without any cheating. Not one bite of pizza or ice cream is allowed! It’s tough, but there are tougher things in the world. Be honest, be realistic, and be committed. It’s not a lifetime way of eating if you don’t want it to be, but it should be for those 30 short days.
Here’s something important to note that’s very different from just about any other “diet” or weight loss program. The Whole30® meal plan is not about the scale or body measurements. Whole30® is about so much more than weight loss. It’s about your body composition and the other health benefits associated with the plan. So no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or breaking out the tape measure. Just follow the plan and see the results.
Spin To Win
I encourage you to get started on your Whole30 journey today! A great way to get it going is to spin to win some amazing Ball/Whole30 prizes by following this link!! Remember, be sure to take advantage of an awesome ibotta offer…Earn $1 when you buy 4pk or 12pk Ball/Kerr jars!!
The is a sponsored post in partnership with Ball® Home Canning. All opinions expressed are my own.