I've written here and here and here about my first forays into the world of conscious eating. I don't use the term "diet" and even the phrase "lifestyle change" kinda makes me roll my eyes, even though that's what the Whole30 and I Quit Sugar programs decidedly are.
I thought that my personality was such that I needed a hard reset every so often to remind me how it feels to live with quality habits around food. And I was right; my personality (kinda Type A / control freak, but with a huge dose of rebel thrown in for good measure) does thrive on these kinds of programs. But only for so long, because: rebel.
So, although I've kicked off my perhaps-annual October Whole30, I am doing so with more focus on what happens *after* this, rather than just getting through it. And folks, it is way different than the first go-around. Considering this to be groundwork, rather than a 30-day experiment, already feels more fulfilling to me.
Questions that I find to be useful when considering big changes (and almost all change feels big):
- Why not now?
- Why will it be easier later / in the future?
- Why is future-Kelly more equipped than today-Kelly to make this change?
The answers to all of these are either lame or ridiculous, let's be honest. There is no good reason to not start now. Now is always the perfect time to start anything. Later is never better. The future is not guaranteed. Later is just kicking this can down the road, aka: not productive if real change is the goal.
And so I keep these questions handy. And their lame answers. It's a kind of reminder to me as I'm prepping food for the week or dreaming about ice cream that there is no better time, no easier day, and no more-prepared version of myself for this kind of work.
Something else that I find to be fun re: food and change is taking other people's recipes and mixing them together into my own adaptation. I have done that with potato soup this week. As-is, this is Whole30 compliant. But you can always mix things up to suit your tastebuds and nutritional needs / preferences, of course.
Not Your Usual Potato Soup
3 Tbsp Olive or Avocado Oil
3 - 5 Cloves of Garlic (the more, the better, I say), roughly chopped or minced
1 Medium Onion, roughly chopped
3 Carrots, roughly chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, roughly chopped
~20 Red Potatoes, roughly chopped
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
3 Tbsp Almond Flour
1 Cup Almond Milk
S & P
1/2 Cup Coconut Cream (see note below)
Parsley, Chives, etc. to garnish
Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook long enough to season with S & P and Cajun seasoning (I like to spice things up, so I used ~ 2 tsp); stir to evenly coat. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir well; cook ~10 minutes.
Add the broth and bring everything to a boil. Cook 10-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. While that's cooking, whisk together the almond flour and the almond milk in a separate bowl. Once the potatoes are tender, add the almond flour + milk to the pot and stir; cook ~5 minutes (this will thicken things up).
Use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables together. The soup is going to have a beautiful golden color that means fall and deliciousness.
To serve, stir in coconut cream (heavy cream can also be used here) and garnish with parsley, chives, or whatever makes your boat float.
Note and *genius* life hack, courtesy of the Whole30 cookbook. To make coconut cream, buy a can of full-fat coconut milk and put it in the fridge. The cream will rise to the top and you can scoop it off. The coconut water is left over and you can use that in smoothies or just drink it straight up, if your sweet little heart desires.
Serve this with a green salad, grilled shrimp, or baked chicken to make it a meal. This makes enough to serve 4 + extra for lunches (because if you're gonna cook, might as well have some leftovers).
Let me know if you give this a try and what you do to make it your own recipe...