I’m excited to share a new series coming to My Mini Adventurer! This spring we will be exploring the ups and downs of Whole 30 through the lens of my sister and her experience with the Whole 30 program as a pescatarian. This week we’ll start with her “pre” thoughts and an easy Whole 30 recipe she made to practice! Then, in March she will update us with even more pescatarian friendly Whole 30 recipes, as well as all her thoughts on the program.
Guest Post: I’m doing the Whole30 As A Pescatarian
Last year I’d heard a ton of people talking and instagramming about the Whole30 diet, but I wasn’t really sure what it was until talking to my friend in December. She’s done the Whole30 twice. She explained that it’s not so much a diet, but a 30 day challenge around food that helps foster habit changes in the way we interact with food. But this wasn’t really what sold me on deciding to give it a try. It was how much she said it helped her… with everything! She lost a few pounds on it, but the real differences included: a major uptick in energy levels, felt more in control of herself and her emotions, experienced stress in a calmer way, and just felt overall good. That had major allure for me. I mean, who doesn’t want to just feel overall good?
If you’ve never heard of the Whole30, read about the program on their website.
I knew I couldn’t succeed without my husband doing it with me, so I convinced him to give it a try and now we are preparing ourselves to do the challenge in March. The only hang up we’ve had is finding sufficient amounts of varied recipes for pescatarians. My husband is pescatarian, so I basically am by default. Unable to find much specifically aimed at pescatarians, I decided to team up with Rachel and give the world 30 days of pescatarian whole30 recipes! Since I expect the actual Whole30 to be time consuming and unpredictable, especially at the beginning as we adjust, the plan is to give a mid-challenge update and then provide an “after” post that includes the recipes once I’m finished with the challenge in April. So stay tuned!
What Am I Hoping to Get Out of the Whole30?
- We eat a lot of processed soy products… tofu, tofu crumbles, soy “chicken” nuggets, veggie burgers, veggie sausages. In fact, the majority of processed food we eat IS soy products. Since no soy is allowed on the whole30, so I’m hoping this will help us eat way less processed foods going forward.
- Pasta Pasta Pasta! I swear I’m secretly Italian or something, because I loooooove pasta. We have pasta at least two times a week, usually three. It’s the default and always in the pantry. No grains on the whole30, so no pasta. Hoping this will help create a habit of less pasta carbs going forward.
- One of my goals this year is to drink less. I know that’s a bit nebulous, but cutting out alcohol for 30 days should help my body reset its cravings for a beer. I hope 🙂
- I’d love to give my muffin top a little kickstart in going away. I know I’ll need to be exercising for that to happen in full, but I’m hoping this will help it go down a little bit.
- Infuse me and my husband with new recipe ideas and more creative cooking skills. (Did I mention we eat a lot of pasta?)
- I find myself often skipping breakfast, which throws me off most of the day, and whole30 requires 3 full meals each day. I’m hoping I will stop skipping breakfast now, for good.
- Working from home, I sometimes am “too busy for a full lunch” and will just eat various items that amount to a lunch from noon until 5pm. It throws off dinner and it’s not really filling. Hopefully whole30 will commit me to a full, intentional lunch every day.
My Biggest Concerns Before Starting
- Zoodles: Zoodle is the term for zucchini cut in the form of spaghetti noodles. But will I actually like them? Ordering the spiralizer Rachel recommended to optimize my zoodle experience, but I’m still worried.
- Sweet Potatoes: I kind of like sweet potatoes, but a LOT of recipes call for them. Am I going to be totally sick of them by the end of this?
- Fish overload: I love me some fish, but sometimes it’s like too much fish. I’m worried that may happen…
- Eggs overload: Same thing as the fish. But worse because eggs will be in Every. Single. Meal. so we can hit our protein intake needs without legumes, soy, and dairy.
- Cauliflower Rice: Rice texture and color, but not rice… sounds weird. The good news of preparation is that I’ve already made this and it was DELICIOUS! Check out the shrimp fried “rice” recipe below that we made last week to practice…
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (or about half of a 16oz bag of baby carrots)
- 1/2 pound of green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or any whole30 approved cooking oil)
- 1/2 pound of shrimp (I buy 8-10 fresh shrimp usually). Frozen is fine if fresh isn't a good option for you.
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- Cauliflower rice (recipe below)
- Coconut aminos, to taste (this is the substitute for soy sauce and was available in my normal grocery store by the soy sauce)
- 1 scallion, diced (optional garnish)
- Heat coconut oil in large pan or wok; add carrot and green beans on medium-low heat and sauté until softened but still giving a little crunch (about 15-20 minutes depending on your range).
- Peel, de-vein and chop shrimp into bite size pieces while veggies cook.
- Add shrimp to pan, adding a little more oil if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper while frying shrimp. Usually I put the heat up to almost medium at this stage.
- Lower heat to medium-low if you turned it up. Crack eggs into pan and scramble with spatula (if that seems too risky, just pre-scramble in a bowl and add) until enough cooked to combine with veggies and shrimp.
- Add cauliflower rice to pan, about 2 1/2 cups worth. Mix rice in with other ingredients.
- Pour on coconut aminos to taste, continuing to mix everything together until the coconut aminos are evenly saturated throughout.
- Serve on a plate and garnish with the fresh scallions if desired.
To make the cauliflower rice:
1 medium head of cauliflower, rinsed (frozen doesn't work as well, gets too mushy)
1 Tbsp coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, diced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1. Remove core from cauliflower and chop into rough florets, letting dry completely.
2. A few at a time, add florets to food processor, chopping on Low setting until the texture is similar to cous cous. Don't over-process or it will get mushy. It goes quickly! Put the processed florets into a medium mixing bowl. Once all cauliflower is processed, set aside bowl.
3. Heat oil to medium in large pan and sauté garlic and scallions until they're soft.
4. Add cauliflower "rice" to pan a little at a time so you can combine it evenly with the oil, garlic, and scallions. Raise heat to medium high, cover, and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Cauliflower should be slightly crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside...If you really can't tell, chances are that you're doing it right.
5. Season with pepper to taste.
6. Remove from heat and add to a medium bowl.
7. Stir in in lime juice and cilantro.