Filed In: Lifestyle

5 Things I Wish I Knew For My First Round of Whole30.

We all know that I have been a huge Whole30 advocate for awhile now and most likely, the majority of you reading my blog are, too. Great! However, I recently realized that those things that are now second nature to you and me…well, some people have no clue what we are talking about. Within the fabulous Whole30 community, so many of our catch phrases, products, and daily habits that we do is only understood by those that have completed a Whole30. We throw out the words “nutpods”, “SWYPO”, “tigerblood”, and “homemade mayo” like everyone gets it…they so don’t. But, hey! If you’re reading this and don’t know what those terms mean, I am here for you! I have compiled 5 of my favorite tips for getting started and getting familiar with everything Whole30. These are some of the things I wish I would have known my first round to make it easier and more enjoyable:

  1. “GOOGLE IT”. Ah, the old phrase comes in handy once again and it is as reliable as ever during your Whole30 Challenge. Seriously, if you are questioning something, ANYTHING regarding Whole30… just google it. 95% of the time, you’ll find your answer. Don’t know if that brand of hot sauce is compliant, try googling “is tabasco buffalo sauce whole30 approved”. Worried about how to dine out during your challenge, try googling “Whole30, dining out”. Hum… there is Guar gum in this salsa…WTF is Guar Gum? Is that compliant? Yes, you guessed it.. google “Is Guar Gum Whole30 Approved?” 
  2. EATING OUT. Okay, so eating out is one of those things everyone freaks out about when starting their first round of Whole30. Relax. Let’s talk about it for a minute. Before you start your challenge, you need to read this article from the website, it has all of the things you need to know and all the best tips for dining out. I also want to give you my own words of wisdom and how I manage to navigate restaurant menus. First off, you can almost always find something compliant at a restaurant. At good quality restaurants it won’t bother you so much because they have fresh produce and good protein.. and you’ll leave satisfied; however, you might get dragged into some funky restaurant with friends, it happens. If that is the case, you might leave feeling like you ate 2 week old lettuce and a dry chicken breast. Those aren’t my favorite moments but it’s not the end of the world. Just try your best to avoid those situations and if you do get stuck in them, make the most of it. Here are my go-to tips for dining out:
    1. Two words, Bun-less Burger. If there is a burger on the menu, get it bun-less with extra lettuce, tomatoes and onions. I always ask for a side of fresh jalapenos and some lemons to top it off for extra flavor since the condiments are typically not compliant. Oh, and don’t forget the side of avocado!
    2. Pick a salad. Tell them to take out the non-compliant stuff, which usually involves a cheese or crouton of some sort. Ask for no dressing and instead, ask for a side of olive oil and lots of lemon wedges. Top it off with your choice of protein and ask for them to cook it in olive oil and not butter. 
    3. See if they have a roasted/grilled chicken, a grilled steak, or grilled fish on the menu.  Get it with a side of veggies. Politely ask if they can steam or saute the veggies in olive oil, (most are cooked or fried in butter/vegetable oil.)
  3. Homemade Mayo: If you are reading this and thinking “ew, I don’t like mayonnaise” then shut up and listen! Just kidding. But really, this is IMPORTANT. I still cannot believe that I went my first whole30 without making my own mayo. What a waste! Homemade mayo is not only way better than store bought mayo, it is also a key ingredient that goes into so many compliant recipes that make your Whole30 way more enjoyable and successful. “Like what?” you say. Here’s what:
    1. Use it in Tuna or Chicken Salads for delicious, easy grab and go lunches. (Try my Curried Tuna Salad or this Pesto Chicken Salad).
    2. Use it to make salad dressings (You can make Ranch and Caesar by using Mayo as a base).
    3. Change up the flavor of the mayo to make an Aioli to use as a dipping sauce for roasted sweet potato fries, veggies, and for steamed artichokes! You can also drizzle aioli sauces over lettuce cup beef tacos for an extra umph!
    4. Make a tarter sauce to elevate your everyday fish!
  4. COFFEE. One of the biggest complaints for first time Whole30ers (myself included) is “I just can’t do this whole black coffee business”. Yes, its a huge change for us and nobody wants their coffee routine messed with. I will say that this was the hardest thing for me and I still to this day do not put dairy in my coffee because I realized it was upsetting my stomach. That is not the way I want to kick off my day! If I can do it, so can you.  Here are a few things to help you with adjusting your morning coffee routine and remember: IT WILL NOT TASTE LIKE YOUR OLD COFFEE. You’re going to have to get passed that. 
    1. Buy better coffee. Cheap, black coffee has the most bitter, nasty taste ever. Since you’re saving money on all that dairy and wine you used to buy, why not put a few extra bucks into some better quality coffee? I love Illy coffee so much that I can drink it black, which is something I never thought I could do. 
    2. Nutpods. I’ve tried a lot of different compliant nut-based creamers and nutpods is definitely my favorite! Buy yourself a hand milk frother, froth up your nutpods and top it off with good coffee. 
  5. Own your Whole30. You can do your Whole30 one of two ways:
    1. Complain everyday about how you hate your coffee black, gripe about how much you want that bagel your co-worker is eating, or whine about how hard it is to cook all of the time and meal prep. Not only is this holding you back from your best whole30, its also annoying AF to everyone around you. Your coworkers are going to want to slap you in the face the next time you gasp and say “ugh, I would kill for that creamer in my coffee today.” 
    2. OR, you can choose a positive mindset. Your mindset can make or break your Whole30. If you go into it with a self-pitying attitude or believe it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be hard. If you embrace the challenge with an open heart and mind, it will become easier. Before you start your Whole30, try writing down the reasons you are taking on the challenge and keep it around during your challenge to remind yourself what all the hard work is for. And never forget, you got this! 

So there you have it. Some of my top tips for Whole30 beginners. I could go on and on for days with little tips and tricks, but these are the ones to get you through round one. You’ll find your own ins and outs as you get comfortable with navigating your new lifestyle. Enjoy it. Own it. You got this!


Whole30 Superbowl Sunday Recipe Roundup

Superbowl Sunday is one of the best times to gather with your friends and cook up a bunch of fun gameday food. Here is a compilation of my favorite Whole30 Gameday recipes and I will be sharing a few more this week with you as well. Even if your guests aren’t doing Whole30, I can promise you they will enjoy these clean, delicious recipes! Happy Superbowl, folks!

Apple Cider Vinegar Pulled Pork, Green Chile Stew, 3 Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Dip, Whole30 ChiliLemon-Pepper Chicken Wings, Baked Cilantro-Lime Chicken Wings, , Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash BitesBaked Buffalo Drumsticks.

This pulled pork recipe is perfect for lettuce cup tacos or stuff them in mini bell peppers and roast at 350 for 10 minutes to make “nachos”.

I can’t get enough of this Green Chile Stew. So hearty, delicious and filling! This is what I will be making on my Superbowl Sunday!

3 Ingredient Buffalo Chicken dip…I mean, enough said, right?

Keep it classy and easy, right up my alley! I love making a big batch of chili in the morning. That way I can enjoy the game and my guests.

Along with the Green Chile Stew, these are on my menu. If they weren’t my husband might leave me…but really. He is a lemon-pepper chicken wing ADDICT and he asks me to make these for him every. damn. sunday.

These Cilantro-Lime Chicken Wings are great, too! But if you haven’t made the Lemon-Pepper ones, I prefer those.

oohhh la la, Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites. I will probably be making these on Superbowl Sunday, too! TDF!

If you want something a little meatier than chicken wings, try these baked buffalo drumsticks!

product we love and use daily: e3live

Have you ever heard of e3live? Well, if not, let us give you a little rundown on what it is, why we use it, and how we use it daily. 

I want to start off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. Just something I love and that works for me and so I thought I’d share a little about it with you!


First off, E3LIVE serious superfood that is so super healthy for you!

Let’s get scientific for just a minute,

“E3Live is 100% Aphanizomenon flos-aquae blue-green algae (AFA for short)—a certified organic wild-harvested Nutrient Dense AquaBotanical™ considered by renowned health authorities to be nature’s most beneficial superfood. Our E3Live AFA is a non-GMO Heirloom variety. E3Live is the frozen/liquid form of AFA, which is superior to all other forms of AFA. E3Live is the only company to offer AFA in this fresh-frozen form…Nutritionally, E3Live provides over 65 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids.** It is the most nutrient dense food known to mankind.* E3Live is a gift of nature, a miracle food.”


I am no scientist, but from reading and learning more about nutrition over the years, it is my understanding that even if we eat our greens the way that we should, we still need to get more greens in our body. Even if we eat delicious, organic greens, they are just not as nutritiously potent as they were decades ago due to the way that way farm and soil depletion. For that reason, I like to ensure that I get tons of the disease fighting, health stimulating nutrients–which is where e3live comes into play.

“A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.” — Scientific American

Long story short, I struggle with anxiety and I have a holistic doctor that recommended I start taking E3Live Brain On daily, (“E3Live + BrainON is for anyone who wishes to balance mood and increase concentration while functioning at a higher level”). Honestly, I have noticed a decrease in my anxiety and my overall health. 5 thumbs up!!!

Some benefits of e3live may include:

  • Increased energy, vitality and endurance
  • Support of a healthy mood balance and ability to manage everyday stress
  • Support of healthy intestinal and digestive systems
  • Faster recovery time after exercise
  • Restored overall biochemical balance
  • Long-lasting energy boost
  • Support for a healthy immune system
  • Support of healthy skin, nails, and hair


I purchase my E3live on their website in a pack of 6 (the brainon costs $174 and the regular $142). It is delivered to your doorstep frozen. I immediately put 5 of the bottles in the freezer for later but leave one out on the counter to thaw. Once thawed, I immediately pour it into my little ice cube tray and pop that in the freezer so that I have individual serving sizes to use daily! 

Typically, I just pop one of the ice cubes in a cup of filtered ice water with a ton of fresh squeezed lemon, some fresh mint (if I have it) and a dash of cayenne! Talk about a real detox drink right there!! If I am making a smoothie, I will pop one or two cubes into my smoothie (I sneak them into my kids smoothies, too). You can also just thaw out an individual ice cube and take a little daily health shot! I don’t really like to take a shot of it because the taste isn’t so great but, I will when I don’t feel like making my detox drink!

I am sharing this because this is something that has worked for me. Do your research on e3live, they have tons of information on their website. Read all about it and you decide for yourself if you think that this is something that can benefit you! 

Classic Sage and Sausage Stuffing

Happy almost Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my very favorite Holiday, what about you guys? I love it because it is all about family and food, my two very favorite things. No stress of Christmas presents involved. My mom, sister and I huddle up in the kitchen with big glasses of wine and cook all day while the boys watch football, it is pretty much perfect! 

My family has always made a classic dressing recipe for Thanksgiving, you know the one using the packaged Pepperidge Farm breadcrumbs? It really is delicious!! My sister and I had to get together and come up with something very similar but sans the packaged breadcrumbs, you know, to keep it a little “cleaner”. This dressing is simple and delicious! Can’t go wrong! Enjoy and we hope you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Classic Sage and Sausage Stuffing
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. Approx. 8 cups good french or italian bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Approx. 6 cups plain cornbread cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  3. 1 stick butter
  4. 1 large yellow onion, diced small
  5. 4 stalks of celery (with leaves and all) diced small
  6. 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  7. 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  8. 1.5 lbs. Sage Sausage
  9. 4 eggs
  10. 4 cups chicken broth
  11. Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Spread cubed cornbread and cubed bread evenly across baking sheet(s).
  3. Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes, you want the bread to feel stale and lightly toasted, it doesn't need to be super toasted.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. When cooled, place all of the bread in a very large bowl.
  5. Turn oven heat up to 350 degrees (if you plan on baking the dressing immediately, that is).
  6. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. When melted, add the diced onions and celery (season with a little salt and pepper) and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. When done softening, add the vegetables to the bowl with the bread.
  7. Add sausage and mash with a stiff whisk, a fork, or potato masher to break up into fine pieces Cook, stirring frequently, until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Drain off excess fat if necessary, and add to the bowl.
  8. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the bowl.
  9. Whisk together the eggs with 3 cups of the chicken stock with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into to the bowl and toss until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  10. Transfer into a greased 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Drizzle with remaining chicken broth all over the dressing. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.
  1. If you want to make ahead, combine all ingredients in the bowl EXCEPT for the broth and egg mixture. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge up to overnight. Remove from fridge, add the egg + broth mixture, toss, add to the baking dish and bake according to above directions.
The Defined Dish

Chocolate Protein Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee
Serves 1
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Cook Time
3 min
Cook Time
3 min
  1. 4-8 ounces of hot coffee
  2. 1/2 scoop collagen peptides
  3. 1/2 tbsp ghee (or grass-fed butter)
  4. 1 tbsp Bulletproof brain octane (or coconut oil)
  5. 3/4 cup almond milk
  6. 1-2 tbsp chocolate protein powder
  7. a few shakes of cinnamon or pumpkin spice seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice seasoning. ENJOY!
The Defined Dish

Have you ever tried bulletproof coffee?! It’s black coffee mixed with grass-fed butter or ghee and Braine Octane oil- an extract of coconut oil. I love making bulletproof coffee before an early morning workout. I’m getting protein, healthy fats, energy and a little something to fill me up. My husband is loving this recipe, too! If you don’t have all these ingredients then have fun with it because the possibilities with bulletproof coffee are endless! Also, I’m obsessing over my new Healthy Human tumbler. Comes with a little steel straw so it’s great for on-the-go and protecting your teeth.

Brain Octane: distilled from 100% pure coconut oil. Get your energy from healthy fat, not sugar! This bad boy helps the body to burn fat that’s why I love this blend before a workout.

Vital Proteins: I pretty much love everything about this company. You can’t go wrong with any of their products but the two I used are my favorites. I add them both to all my smoothies and now my coffee! Even when you are just making a regular cup of coffee try adding the collagen peptides. They have no flavor but are packed with protein for your hair, skin and joints. They even make them in individual packs for on-the-go!

Ghee: Pure Indians Ghee is great but I also love Fourth and Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee. It’s sooo good in this coffee, smoothies, on toast or as a replacement for butter when baking.