Last week over at Flex in the City we announced something which I personally am extremely excited about – our very first Studio Whole30! At the end of last month, I became Ireland’s one and only Whole30 Certified Coach and this will be my first official event. As I have shared previously, I am extremely passionate about this program and after completing several successful rounds, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it did indeed live up to its bold promise to “change my life.” I have completely transformed my health, my habits, and my relationship with food and have experienced tremendous growth in many other aspects of my life – it helped to solidify and deepen my commitment to fitness, it has inspired my reading list and a litany of personal projects, it has helped me to become more self-aware and it has given me a sense of efficacy and a fresh mindset which has led to unprecedented growth. Being afforded the opportunity to share my passion and help others experience the same life changing magic is thrilling to say the least.
Founded upon vast amounts of research, the Whole30 is a short-term elimination diet or nutritional reset which allows you to find out what does and does not work for you specifically, by cutting out those types of foods which are most commonly problematic for a lot of people (in ways you may not even suspect), and then systematically reintroducing them to measure their impact. But the Whole30 is more than just a way to determine digestive issues and food sensitivities. It helps you evaluate your habits and relationship with food including cravings and other less than healthy ways we use food when we are stressed, anxious, or bored. You won’t have to worry about counting calories, tracking macros or measurements; instead you’ll eat in such a way that you’ll teach your body how to respond to hunger and satiety signals. And at the end of it all, you’ll walk away with a profound sense of accomplishment, empowered to make informed decisions about what and how you eat, and a first taste of Food Freedom.
But all this life changing business can be challenging to navigate on your own at times. And absolutely everything is better when it connects us to others. As I wrote about recently, being a part of a community of likeminded people with similar goals provides the energy and enthusiasm to do hard things even when we want to give up. Which is why we are rallying together to swap ideas, recipes, and Whole30 hacks all while keeping each other encouraged and accountable – key ingredients to building habits which last. As Gretchen Rubin describes in her Four Tendencies framework, almost everyone can and does benefit from sources of external accountability and for some (a majority) it’s an absolute essential in habit formation. And a lot of research (and anecdotal evidence!) shows that regardless of whether or not you require accountability or not, it’s fun to find new ways to engage with others. If you are member of #TEAMFLEX you know this firsthand and if you are not, we’d love for you to find out. The Studio Whole30 is a chance to partner with your squad, to learn from others, laugh at near misses, applaud each other for a job well done and to be encouraged and supported by a community built upon mutual goals. Even if you are not local to Cork, it’s ok – you can still sit with us! You can still participate in the group virtually online and have access to all the resources, support, and guidance you need to crush your Whole30! We start May 14 with preparation and planning sessions on May 2. If you are able to make it into the studio here in Cork – sign up in the studio for our in person meeting. If you are elsewhere in the world and would like to join us – just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and get ready – because it’s not an exaggeration to say that this will literally change your life!
There are so many simple swaps and ways to build habits which sustain a healthier life – case in point, this DELICOUS and easy Whole30 Chicken Caesar Salad! Completely dairy-free and sugar-free but still a tasty and nearly effortless weeknight dinner just in time for warmer weather!
- Cooked Chicken, Thinly Sliced 4 each
- Baby Gem, Cos, or Romaine Lettuce, Chopped 6 cups (450 g)
- Grape Tomatoes, Sliced lengthwise .5 cup (100 g)
- Pepitas or Pumpkin Seeds 4 TBSP
- Tahini .25 cup (70 g)
- Wholegrain Mustard (without sulphites) 2 TBSP
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- Water .25 cup (60 ml)
- Garlic Cloves, minced 3 each
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Prepare and slice your chicken, chop the lettuce, and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
- In a small jar with a lid, add all the ingredients for the dressing. Secure the lid and shake like crazy to combine all the ingredients.
- Pour the dressing in a large mixing bowl and then add the lettuce tossing well to cover in the dressing.
- Place ¼ of the salad on your plate, top with chicken, grape tomatoes and 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds for a little crunch and enjoy!