I finished my March Caribbean Whole30. For the past 30 days I ate wholesome, nutrient dense foods loaded with Caribbean flavor. Many dishes were things I make often, even when I am not on a round of Whole30. Dishes like fish stew, shrimp curry, cabbage and chicken and boil and fry cassava are all things I grew up eating. And I continue to enjoy them over my 30 day reset.
To make some Caribbean dishes Whole30 compliant sometimes I made slight modifications for example, skipping burnt sugar or browning in stews and substituting with coconut aminos or similar compliant ingredients. Most dishes were naturally Whole30 compliant and didn’t require any modifications. For example most curries are naturally compliant. This is what I loved most about my Caribbean Whole30—that I was able to enjoy classic dishes without modification. It just reminded me to get back to the way my parents cooked growing up. With simple, clean and fresh (whenever you can) ingredients.
The Past 30 days
Over the past 30 days I was committed to posting new recipes as often as I could. Some weeks this meant every day. Click here to see the full line up of Caribbean Whole30 recipes I shared in March. I have to admit that it was really great seeing how some of our traditional flavors, spices and seasonings transitioned smoothly into a Whole30 meal.
My Top Five Favorite Caribbean Whole30 Recipes are:
1. Tuna Cakes
2. Shrimp and Tomato Stew (I have a demo of this dish saved on my Instagram highlights)
3. Cabbage and Chicken or Bok Choy and Chicken (They are pretty similar so I made them one choice)
I enjoyed every bit of my Whole30 and although my sugar dragon continued to roar (mainly due to stress) I was able to keep calm and not dive into my usual bowl of ice cream or favorite candy bar. Had I not been committed to doing the Whole30, this would have been a different story.
Was this the right time for a Whole30?
Many people have asked me why I continued to do my Whole30 with all that’s going on? It seemed crazy to have to stock up on whole foods and cook every meal at a time when everything around us seemed lopsided. This is actually why I kept going. I welcomed the distraction of my Caribbean Whole30. I had committed to showing my online community how we could eat foods that we were already familiar with in a quest to change our relationship with food forever.
Were there time when I wanted to give up and stop posting new recipes? Heck yeah. But I knew I had to push through. I knew there were folks depending on these recipes. And I kept getting direct messages (DMs) about how eye opening it all was, or how much I was helping people who were trying to shift to a better relationship with food. And that made it all worth it. That kept me going.
Read this Dear Melissa Response where Melissa Urban (Co-Founder) of Whole30 discusses why now might not be a good time for a Whole30 and why it is ok.
Victories (Scale and Non-Scale)
First the Non-Scale Victories or NSVs (because I am typing this up on Monday 3/30 and haven’t stepped on the scale yet). Speaking of the scale my first NSV is actually freeing myself from the burden of the scale. I was happy living my best life, eating until I was full, not snacking, not binging, not starving, not counting calories and recording everything I ate in an app and absolutely not stepping on the dreaded scale. It was so LIBERATING.
Then, the inflammation in my left knee decreased significantly. I shared with you in a previous post that I had knee surgery in January 2020 and was still recovering. I mainly started this round of Whole30 because the inflammation in my knee was not decreasing, even with prescription anti-inflammatories. My doctor was even considering switching to a stronger anti-inflammatory medication but I decided to do Whole30 and see if that would help and it did, tremendously.
Another NSV was watching my kids enjoy cauliflower rice meals and never knowing that it was actually not rice. Shhh, it’s our little secret. That’s how good the Caribbean Whole30 Recipes are.
And finally, my mother-in law bumping into me in Walmart said she didn’t recognize me because was face was not as chubby. I know that might be a back handed compliment, but I’ll take it.
For the scale victory, I lost 6 pounds over the 30 days and I feel less bloated and less stuffy.
So what’s next?
Typically at this point I start to plan my reintroduction. However, I am joining the worldwide Whole30 at Home that starts on April 13th. So instead of doing reintroduction then starting over, I am going to continue to eat Whole30 compliant ingredients. During the next two weeks (before April 13) I am share some recipes that are recreation of classic Guyanese baked goods using compliant ingredients. So I will not say that I am officially on another round until April 13. If you were doing this Caribbean Whole30 with me and would like to move forward with your reintroduction, everything you need to know about reintroduction is available on Whole30.com
Want to learn more about reintroductions? Click here!
If you are like me and are feeling great about what you accomplished over the last 30 days and just want to keep going for a little while longer, join me in the Whole30 at Home. Or maybe you were following me for March but not quite ready to start? This might be the right time for you. Find more information on whether the Whole30 at Home is the right for you by clicking here. And as always, join me on instagram as I continue on my journey to Food Freedom.