Back in January, I embarked on my first Whole30 journey. Although I had to make a few major tweaks to my diet (no Stevia to sweeten my coffee, Italian meals without pasta or bread), it was not impossible. I found the 30 days to be rewarding - my mood improved, my workouts became more productive, my energy levels were the highest they'd ever been and my skin cleared up.
So...After a summer of indulgence and lots of travel, I decided to embark on my 2nd round of Whole30. I'm now 8 days in after getting started on September 1st and am feeling pretty good. My energy levels are high and I have a new-found optimism. For those of you who are considering trying it out, I wanted to share some tips/tricks that have worked for me. And, since going out to eat is probably the most daunting part of the experience, I want to share some restaurants that are Whole30-friendly. As the next 22 days begin to play out, I'll continue to update with restaurants that have menus/wait staff that are easy to navigate!
Tips & Tricks:
- Carry snacks with you at all times - RX Bars (Coconut Chocolate, Mixed Berry, Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt), nuts, fruit, veggies
- It may be tough to go to a bar during Whole30, but you can do it! Try to have fun by ordering a seltzer with lime!
- Stock up on GT's Kombucha and LaCroix
- Smoothie bowls are your friend - if you get sick of eating the same type of meal over and over again, I recommend opting for a smoothie bowl for weekend brunch or weekday breakfast. My favorite ingredients: frozen blueberries, frozen banana, medjool dates, unsweetened coconut flakes, unsweetened almond butter, spinach. I'll post a recipe soon :)
Local LA Restaurants:
- Hugo's: This spot is known for its healthy food, so making requests to the waitstaff to "please cook my omelet in olive oil" are not seen as outlandish. I've typically gotten egg dishes and burgers when eating here during Whole30.
- Mustard Seed Cafe/Joey's: Whether you're in Los Feliz or West Hollywood, these diner-like restaurants have great options for Whole30. I recommend coming here for brunch so you can have a dish with eggs. They're also open to a request for cooking your meal in olive oil.
- Taste on Melrose: To start, I got a side order of grilled asparagus and for my main course I ordered a salad with Salmon on top. It was really delicious. Make sure to order a side of olive oil and vinegar because their dressings are not Whole30 compliant.
- Sweetgreen: This spot is not specific to LA, so hopefully if you're in another city you can check out a Sweetgreen. I recommend the Guacamole Greens (without tortilla chips). I've read conflicting reviews about the lime-cilantro jalapeno dressing being Whole30-compliant. So, if you're nervous can always request to just toss a salad with olive oil.
- Cava: This spot was mentioned on a Whole30 Forum so decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised that almost every topping I wanted was compliant.
- True Food Kitchen: This spot has delicious salads and bowls. They're very gluten-free friendly and are used to receiving requests for dietary restrictions.
- Bareburger: High-quality burgers and ability to customize, what's not to like? Be careful with their ketchup and mustard as these are not compliant.
Please note that the LaCroix & RX Bar pictures above are not mine.