My first whole30 was almost a year and a half ago. It changed so much for me about food, health, freedom, guilt, and body. But it also comes with deep consequences that can be really hard to overcome. Doing any kind of elimination diet, long term, can really mess with what is “okay” or not okay in your brain, and what you start to categorize as “healthy”. Whole30 can be especially problematic because there are strict rules and guidelines and the tone of the site and book can be really harsh (works for some people, I am sure. But for me…not so much. I love the food and science behind it, and how it makes me feel, but not the tone). The deal is that to make whole and healthy food changes that last a lifetime you have to be able to decide and see what works for you long term and what will help your choices be sustainable. I wish I hadn’t done quite so many strict whole30’s back to back, and instead had followed the advice on the website to wait, and live my “Life After Whole30” a bit more out, so I could have learned more about myself and trusted my self control(turns out, I have AMAZING self control!!). It took me about 8mo (and 6 whole30’s) to really realize that I need to take off the training wheels and really try living my life without rules, and instead make healthy choices because they *feel* good and not because they’re imposed by a challenge I chose.
Sustainability is the key to maintaining your successes in food freedom, and your successes in body. Knowing what you need to keep your body ticking just right, whether that is what Whole30.com would recommend or not… is way (way way) more important that always living By The Book.
On that note… Chia Pudding.
Chia pudding is a (hilariously) hotly debated food in the Whole30 world. It’s mentioned on the site to “leave the chia pudding for 30 days” when talking about SWYPO foods (aka: Sex With Your Pants On, meaning foods that recreate a food that can send you spiraling, and won’t help you break your sugar/grains/baked goods/whatever coping mechanism during those 30 days). There are rules to whole30, and there are recommendations. No chia pudding is a recomendation, not a rule.
My feelings on this: 1. I don’t like eggs. So having a go-to breakfast that is healthy, protein and fat dense, and easy… worth it.
2. It’s portable, and that is paramount to sustainability and success for me!
3. It’s just not that good. Chia pudding doesn’t make me dive into a pudding cup once the 30 days are over (nothing does, because pudding is great, but not a “thing” for me), because it doesn’t taste anything like that. It’s good, sure, but it’s not sweet or creamy. It’s a great on the go choice, and off whole30 it’s stellar with some honey, but when you make it compliant (this recipe is), it’s more like a yogurt substitute than it is a pudding recreation.
Anyhow… there are a million recipes out there! But here is mine. Endlessly tested, fool proof, and so meal prep friendly it’s ridiculous.
1 cup nut milk (I used that coconut almond blend, it’s whole30 friendly, and tasty! It’s also great in coffee. You can use coconut cream cut in half with water, coconut milk, almond milk, whatever you love and you family prefers. Just be sure to either make homemade or read you labels, lots of nut milks are full of added junk!)
1/4 cup chia seeds
Dash of Cinnamon
Mix all of this together well into serving sized containers and then choose 1-3 mix in’s (I’ll add a list of ones that go well in it and one’s that work better as toppings the day of!).
Refrigerate for at least three hours, but also keeps for up to 5 days in your fridge. I prep enough for the weekday mornings on Sunday nights!
Mix-In (to add before you pop it into the fridge!):
Almond Butter/Sun butter (mix this in super well and it flavors the whole thing SO well! This with a banana chopped into it is Charlie’s favorite combo)
Mango Chunks (omit the cinnamon for this mix)
Tumeric and Nutmeg (and top with nut’ola at serving)
Unsweetened cocoa powder (this is amazing with nut butter too and also topped with fresh berries)
Topping (to put on top at the time you serve it! I like to always have something to add to it that has some crunch because the texture can be a little soft for a whole breakfast)
Nut’ola (basically paleo granola! I’ll be posting my recipe for it later this week)
Raw or toasted Nuts
I almost always make three nut butter/banana ones for Charlie to grab and go in the AM (he needs higher calorie count than me so he takes one of these, a couple hard boiled eggs, and tops his with nut’ola as well!) and three that are just cinnamon and mixed frozen berries for me. Let me know if you make these, and if you have any other suggestions for mix-in’s or toppings! We are always looking for ways to switch it up.