Renew Your New Year's Diet with the Whole30 + 7 Dinner Recipes

With the New Year in full swing and many people feeling the full weight of their diet resolutions, the time has come to reconsider why you elected to subject yourself to a healthy start to the year. This especially applies to you if you've chosen to take on the Whole30 diet.

Even though the Whole30 does not market itself as a weight-loss program, many people choose to go on it because of its ability to quickly and effectively slim you down.

However, you must not forget this diet's true aim of simply resetting the body. Everyone knows that in the beginning this program can be difficult to follow, but there are many, many supporters who boast life-changing results and report to be ready to tackle this challenge again.

What is the Whole30?

In case you are not one of the hardcore fans of the Whole30 yet, let me introduce you to this program. The Whole30 is a 30-day nutritional reset. Think of it as a very strict version of the Paleo diet.

Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats (think avocado) are allowed on the meal plan. Thinks like grains, legumes, alcohol, dairy, sugar, and processed foods need to, however, stay out of your kitchen.

Hello, Whole30-ers! Mel here from @meljoulwan & the Well Fed cookbooks. This is my version of Cuban picadillo from 'Well Fed Weeknights': ground beef flavored w/ cumin, raisins & green olives. The meat is often used as stuffing in fritters, so I added cubed plantains for a chewy bite of starch. * PICADILLO W/ PLANTAINS | SERVES 2-4 * For the plantains: 2 large green plantains 2 teaspoons salt * For the picadillo: 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 medium onion 3 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves (I used allspice instead) 1 bay leaf 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/3 cup raisins 1/3 cup small pimiento-stuffed green olives garnish: lime wedges, cilantro, sliced scallions * Boil the plantains. Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces and place them in a saucepan. Add the salt and enough water to cover the plantains by about two inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until very tender, about 10–12 minutes. Meanwhile... * Start the picadillo. Warm the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, 2 minutes. While it heats, dice the onion, add it to the pan, and cook until softened, 7–10 minutes. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and place in a small bowl with cumin, salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf. Add the spice mixture to the pan and cook 30 seconds. * Crumble the ground beef into the pan and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook 5 minutes. Push the meat to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste; fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add water, vinegar, and raisins; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 3–4 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened. * Bring it home. Drain the plantains and add them to the meat, along with the olives. Stir to combine and cook for 1–2 minutes. * To serve, divide the picadillo among individual bowls and top with the garnishes. * #whole30 #wellfed

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At the same time that you are changing your eating patterns, you also need to change your self-image patterns. During this program you are not allowed to weigh yourself. That means 30 days without stepping on a scale. Why?

Well, since the objective of the Whole30 is not weight loss, you don't want to encourage yourself to measure your success by a number on a scale. Instead, you want to learn to listen to your body, break your emotional ties with food, and regain control over your eating.


To begin, pick up a copy of The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom to keep you on track and to answer any questions you have along the way.

Don't Get Discouraged

Yes, this can be seen as a Spartan approach to food, but should you be up for tackling this challenge, the results will be incredibly rewarding. As you learn the value of natural food, you will become more attuned to its taste and beauty. Similarly, this challenge will help you become familiar with your body in ways you never imagined. You might even find yourself surprised which foods trigger or inflame certain emotions.

No matter what, you need to remember why you began this journey. A new year is about a new you, inside and out. Take the time to acknowledge the feelings that flow through you while you tackle this diet day by day.

Everything you feel is valid, both the highs and the lows. Just remember, taking control of the small things (like your diet) can empower you to take on formerly seemingly impossible tasks and change your entire outlook on life.

Are you curious what eating on the Whole30 is like but aren't ready to commit for a month? Try instead exchanging a week's worth of dinner meals for Whole30 accepted dishes.

I guarantee you'll find the food delicious. You may even find yourself emboldened to take on this eating challenge for a month.

1. Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

turkish stuffed whole30 eggplant
The Domestic Man

Eggplants filled with spiced beef and baked to tender perfection. It sounds just like a normal weeknight meal, but it's so much better for your body.

Get the recipe here.

2. Zucchini Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese is a classic staple in most households. This version simply substitutes zoodles for traditional pasta. Yep, that's basically it.

You'll be surprised how much more you can enjoy the spiced sauce though when it's accompanied by vegetables.

Get the recipe here.

3. Massaged Kale Salad With Cherries, Pistachios & Grilled Flank Steak

So... Let's Hang Out

In this salad each color has a flavor. The juicy smoky-ness of steak. The tart sweetness of cherries. And the soft buttery-ness of avocado all find a way to stand out and yet balance one another.

I guarantee you'll finish half the bowl before you even sit down at he table. Get the recipe here.

4. Potato Soup

whole30 potato soup
Emily Eats Real Food

Potato soup with bacon is the ultimate comfort food. And guess what? It is perfectly acceptable on the Whole30 diet.

Get the recipe here.

5. Egg in a Nest

Pulled pork mixed with cabbage, cilantro, and an egg. It's like a barbacoa breakfast landed on your plate. You'll find that you won't even miss the tortilla.

Get the recipe here.

6. Crispy Chicken Skillet With Artichokes, Beets, Lemon & Olives

So... Let's Hang Out

Wintertime vegetables complement crispy chicken to make a hearty winter meal that will fill you up even on your hungriest days.

Get the recipe here.

7. Warm Brussels Sprout Salad With Roots, Radishes & Toasted Coconut

whole30 salad
So...Let's Hang Out

This salad should be appropriate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's warm and toasty flavors pair elegantly with crunchy Brussel sprouts to satisfy both your cravings for texture and flavor.

Get the recipe here.

Read More: The 10 Best Diets Overall + Cost and Success Rate of Each

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