Sunday, December 31, 2017

Let's Get Started! Whole30 Recipes Week 1

As promised. we've got your back!  No need to look any further for great Whole30 compliant recipes to get your first-week kick-started.  These recipes are tried and true with a twist or two of our own and family approved.  Even for those members of your family or friends who aren't on the Whole30 program, they will enjoy these recipes.

To prepare, you must first do your homework as far as shopping goes.  Preparing a list will help you purchase everything you need to get your first week started and give you staples to use for the 30 days of Whole30.  

Throughout this process and lifestyle change, we were more aware of the labeling and artificial ingredients choosing to follow the Whole30 strictly as instructed.  Our goal, as is your goal. is to figure out your body's triggers and what makes a difference in a healthier you.  

As with any lifestyle change, always consult your doctor or health care professional to see what is best for you.  We do not profess in any way to be a nutritionist or medical professionals but wanted to blog and share our success with the Whole30. Always, always use sound judgment and listen to your body as far as how you feel.  We, in no way, were compensated by Whole30 for any of these blogs or recipes.  

We've used our trusted fellow Internet bloggers and created our own recipes to help you along to give you flavorful, eye-appealing recipes that will not make you feel like you are missing out on anything.  You will feel full and have meals that are filling and delicious!  

As we said in the first post since New Year's Day is a traditional day off of work, start Whole30 on Tuesday, January the 2nd when you start back to work, or if you are an educator, on your first day back after your holiday break.  Beginning the program in this manner helps with the mentality of new year, new you...and hopefully you'll have fellow family, friends, and co-workers on the Whole30 with you as well.

So, to get started, do your grocery shopping in the store and online.  Natural Grocers was a huge help in our local area and Amazon online helped with the non-dairy creamer Nutpods and our Lara Bars for snacks and an occasional lunch if I was on the run.   

Do meal prep. It really was the key to our success during the Whole30. Make your meals times two at times if you and store in Gladware containers to have ready to go in your refrigerator.  Pack your lunch each day for work, along with snacks and your water bottle.  I drank unsweet tea like a madwoman each day.  As a southern girl there is nothing better than sweet tea in my estimation...but, I am now a little off that kick and can drink a good, tall glass of unsweet tea and actually like it.  

Do drink lots of water and remember DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF FOR 30 DAYS!  It's not about weight, but about HOW YOU FEEL! And we promise you, you will feel better and will lose some weight. We lost on average ten pounds each, but I can not promise that it will be the same for you. However, I hope you go above and beyond what we did.  

Below an example of what a week's worth of recipes looked like for us. Use this as a guide to help map out your meals and prep for the week ahead. These are just meals for the week as we were traveling or out eating on the weekends. Just copy off the recipes and you'll have your shopping list ready to go! 

Please note that two of us were doing the Whole30 together, so we split up the recipes among one another for the week. If you are doing this alone, you don't need to make as many meals. 


Monday, Wednesday, Friday (6 meals)

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (6 meals)


Monday, Wednesday, Friday (6 meals)
Italian Beef Stew - you can easily use ground pork, chicken or turkey

Tuesday, Thursday (6 meals)
****These were AMAZING and we used our Hereford beef for this recipe instead of turkey.  

DINNERS - Evening Meals

Monday, Wednesday, Friday (8 meals - 4 for Monday night)

Tuesday, Thursday (6 meals - 4 for Tues. night)


Larabars (Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew)
Whole30 Apple Delight - when a sweet attach hit at night, Bethany would whip these up! Delicious and Whole30 compliant!

We are excited for you!  You've got this!  And because we believe in it so much, Bethany and I are starting round 2 of the Whole30 Tuesday so that we can continue our journey with you. 

Alise and Bethany
The Ranch Kitchen

Saturday, December 30, 2017

We survived the Whole30.....

Food has always been a mainstay in my life.  Of course, we all have to eat to survive, but for me, my adoration of food goes way beyond that.  Food is and has always been ‘my happy place’ and cooking my downtime at the end of the day.  But, that love of food and everything associated with it can get you in a bind calorie wise and on your waistline, IF you don’t make the right choices.  In an effort to eat healthier and lose a few pounds that have gradually added on, my middle daughter Bethany suggested a program called Whole30 which truly has changed the way I look at food and how it affects me.

Whole 30 is based on the premise that in order to know how food affects you and your body, you’ll limit grains, processed sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, and legumes (beans of any kind)….and guess what…you can do this.  We did and we lived to tell the tale!

Prepping as part of the Whole30 was essential and having a buddy like my Bethany to motivate and keep me on track, along with preparing meals was a win, win as well.  She is blessed with uber organizational skills and a little OCD…all traits that I must some extent, but not near her level.  I used to tell her she got all this straight from my mom. 

My Bethany, middle daughter…aka motivator and 
meal prepper on our Whole30 journey!

A good week before we started making sure that for the Whole30 program to be successful for us that our kitchen was stocked with compliant foods like fresh vegetables, canned foods, and oils that we would use to cook with.  I will admit going a little overboard on ingredients, but as I’ve shared before I love a good grocery store.  It’s my weakness and don't ever go to a grocery store hungry like I often do!

So, first thing first - we bought the Whole 30 book off Amazon.  We read and then went back and read it again.  Bethany researched tasty recipes for every meal that she could meal prep for us that were compliant from breakfasts to meals to snacks.  We shopped both online and at our local Brookshire’s grocery store as well as at Natural Grocers in our nearby town.  We gradually prepped our kitchen and we bought more individual sized Gladware containers to store our left-over meals in or those we prepped in advance to eat the next few days.  And last, we prepped our family for the Whole30 adventure we were about to go on so they could be supportive and help us along on our journey.

One main thing they tell you is to NOT start the Whole30program during the holidays, however blogging like I do and being an educator, if I am going to share something with my readers, I want to have lived it.  So, a week before Thanksgiving and a week before I turned 50 and went on a family trip for it, we started Whole30.  Not ideal, but usually nothing in my life makes perfect sense…so we went with it.  Amazingly, it all worked out!  Thanksgiving was wonderful for everyone in our family enjoyed both the Whole30 compliant dishes for Bethany and me and then they ate our traditional calorie-laden veggies, rice, and dressing for my husband and other two girls.  No one suffered because of our diet, but they did learn to enjoy healthier meals that were full of flavor and not so hard on your waistline.

So, as I write this post about our Whole30 lifestyle change, we want to make sure what we print give attribution to the inspiration we found from the creators of the program itself, to the fellow bloggers and nutritionist who shared their recipes online, and to our family for supporting us through this past 30 days.

Wednesday 11/13/17 was the final day on the diet as far as the 30 days go, but we aren’t done yet. This began our slow, but sure reintroduction of foods, oils, and flours to see just how these things affect our body and yes I will drink a glass of wine first and to top it all off we will weigh ourselves for the first time in 30 days!  This lifestyle change, however, isn’t about the weight you lose, but how you feel.  I can honestly say, I’ve never felt better, have more energy and my clothes haven’t been looser in over a year.  I can tell without the scale that I’ve lost weight by just my buttons not being as tight on my waist and my shirts, dresses, and jackets not being as tight around my back.  I sleep better, don’t snore nearly as much and my joints in my legs and hips are feeling better every day. I hope you all enjoy my brutal honesty here...the struggle is real with weight gain.

So, join us. We’re going to help you get started. Bring your family along slowly as we did.  My husband really enjoyed almost every meal and at least outside of lunch at the Golden Corral buffet, did eat healthier at nights.

Check our site by clicking here at The Ranch Kitchen to see all the recipes we’ve shared to date under our new tab under the recipe tab at the bottom titled Whole30.  We’ve included all our favorite and are adding more every day. Our plan is to continue adding to these recipes even after we finished our Whole30 – 30 days to incorporate healthier eating and compliant recipes in our lives.  As always, you can also help us and add your own recipes by creating a login and becoming a ‘Friend of the The RanchKitchen’, and place your own recipes on the site.  All recipes are also Gluten Free and diabetic friendly, so it’s a win, win for people who have food allergies that may adversely affect them.

For this first posting on the Whole30, see their list below of the do’s and don’ts on their site by clicking here.  Scan over the foods, spices, oils, and books you’ll need to get started and join us!  It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!  You got this.  There are tougher things in life than this.  Every time you think, I can’t do this, think of tougher things you’ve gone through or seen others suffer through. This is a change to make you a healthier, happier and more aware of what goes in your body.  There is just one you and YOU are the only ones who can truly change your life for the better.

Go for it…we will help you! Tomorrow we will have a list of compliant recipes and a meal plan full of delicious meals and snacks here on The Ranch Kitchen blog and recipe site for your first week.  Follow us and you can even add your own recipes to our site as we hopefully go on this journey together!  

Plan to start January 2nd so you can enjoy your black-eyed peas for a prosperous New Year!  You've got this..we promise!

Let’s make 2018 the year we are all healthier, happier and on the road to living longer lives because we made it happen!

Alise and Bethany

The Ranch Kitchen