A few weeks ago I decided to do the Whole30, in great part to finally discover whether or not (and to what extent) I actually am allergic to dairy and wheat. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy size (i.e. not a single pair of pants in my closet is tight – I actually have no idea what I weigh, as I haven’t stepped on a scale since 6 weeks postpartum), I generally eat pretty healthy anyway – our weekly groceries are 90% whole foods and zero processed items with unpronounceable ingredients (unless you count my inability to pronounce ingredient names in Russian), and all the digestive issues I developed in China gradually dissipated once I started eating lean-clean-green. But after hearing about the program here and there I googled it and decided that 1) it couldn’t hurt, 2) if I did it I would finally figure out whether I’m allergic to wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy and anything else, 3) it might help clear up my skin, and 4) it would be good to finally not eat any wheat for a month, as I keep saying that I’m not going to have bread/pasta/wheat, etc…for a week/month etc… and then realizing I’ve just eaten bread on the second day.
So, Whole30: as the name suggests, the basic premise of the program is that one eats only (and they mean only) whole foods for thirty days, with a complete ban on sugars, grains, dairy, legumes (including soy) and peanuts based on the idea that these foods often irritate people’s digestive systems, and it takes about 30 days to clear everything out of your system. For a more complete summary, see The Kitchn‘s post. Most people go through the program eating plenty of meat, fresh produce, and lots and lots of eggs, avocados, and sweet potatoes. We have scant supply of the last two in Bishkek. I realized about two days in that this would be rather difficult and would require conscious eating, plus a few (fun!) modified recipes. One you’ll find below.
For anyone who has done the Whole30 (and lives in a country without much fresh produce in winter, or any avocados that don’t look like glossy lumps of coal) you’ll know that, most mornings, breakfast options are eggs, eggs or eggs (or some strange sausage-spinach combination with more cholesterol than I care to count, or something with shredded coconut, nuts, and dried fruit that really seems more like a hippie candy bar than actual fuel. So today, wanting something hot and warm, I did a twist on cauli proats (cauliflower protein oats): golden (non-milk) cashew cauli proats sweetened with banana. It was soft and satisfying and rich and warm, an actual porridge that I might actually make again after the whole 30 (though I might add a tad of honey and a tablespoon of oats).
– 1 1/2c water
– 1 TBS raw cashews
– ½ TBS chia seeds (can be omitted)
– ½ head cauliflower, grated (cauliflower rice)
– 1-3 egg whites
– Golden milk spices (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger…)
– Salt to taste
– OPTIONAL: if you want it sweeter/creamier, top with coconut milk/cream, add in coconut flakes, add in chopped dates, dried apricots or raisins (I didn’t, but you could)
– Stir cashews, chia, and spices into the water
– While grating the cauliflower, bring the cashews and chia seeds to a simmer on the stove
– Add the cauliflower and chopped banana to the pot
– Stir in the egg white(s)
– Cook on low until tender (maybe this was 15 minutes? It doesn’t need close supervision, so you can go and get dressed or make coffee or do some stretching while your breakfast cooks)
– Top with dried fruit, sliced banana, or coconut milk