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With 2020 finally behind us, we’re feeling optimistic about the future and want to make a fresh start in 2021. We all need a food reset from time to time, so whether you’re looking to shed that “quarantine fifteen” or simply want to try eating cleaner, we invite you to join us on our Whole30 challenge starting January 11.

What is Whole30?

Whole30 is a 30-day program developed by sports nutritionists Melissa Hartwig Urban and Dallas Hartwig and featured in their best-selling book The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide To Total Health and Food Freedom

The premise is very simple, for 30 days, you eliminate foods that are known to cause issues with digestive health, blood sugar levels, inflammation, and overall immune health. The program is meant to not only improve your physical health by eliminating foods that are filled with sugar and chemicals, it also helps improve your psychological relationship with food by eliminating foods that trigger cravings. Unlike typical diets, there is no calorie-counting and not all carbs are off limits.

What Can I Eat?

Here’s the basic list:

  • Meat, poultry, fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables, including potatoes
  • Fruits, can be eaten occasionally
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils, coconut and olive oil
  • Coffee (black)

What to Eliminate

Whole30 is an elimination plan and there are foods that you’ll need to avoid entirely. Remember, it’s only 30 days and we’re in this challenge together–we’ve got this! 

  • No Grains, this includes things like rice, cereal, bread, pasta and even quinoa
  • No Dairy, milk, cheese, and yogurt are all out
  • No legumes, this includes beans, chickpeas, soy and soy-based products, as well as peanuts
  • Absolutely no alcohol, yes, this includes wine
  • No sugar or any other natural or artificial sweeteners
  • No treats–even treats made with Whole30-approved foods–so baked potatoes are okay, but french fries are not. The goal is to reduce cravings by avoiding foods that trigger them. 

What to Expect?

Fortunately, Whole30 has millions of followers and tons of resources for you to tap. You can go to their website for a comprehensive list of Whole30 approved foods and even to learn more about how you can expect to feel throughout the 30-day challenge. Ultimately, you can expect to enjoy more energy, better sleep, clearer skin and fewer aches and pains after 30 days on Whole30. 

Let us know in the comments if you would like to join us on our Whole30 Challenge or have any questions. And follow The Pickled Beet on Instagram and Facebook for moral support, recipes and tips throughout the challenge, from January 11-February 11.

Are you ready to start a program like Whole30? Do you need to follow a sugar-free or gluten-free diet to address health concerns like diabetes or food allergies? The Pickled Beet’s nutrition experts can help plan menus that address your specific dietary needs. Then your organic, personalized, chef-prepared meals are delivered contact-free to your door. Contact us for a free consultation.

Whole30 Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk- blended so that it is smooth and no longer separated
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 cup -1 cup of chicken broth
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional, or more to taste)
  • 4 chicken breast, boneless, pounded thin
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch
  • 2-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 8oz. sliced mushrooms (button, cremini, or baby bella)

Cooking Instructions

Place chicken cutlets on a cutting board. Cover with parchment paper and, using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken until it’s about 1/4 inch thin. Discard the parchment paper. Cut the chicken cutlets down the center so that they are now two, thinly sliced separate pieces of chicken. You can keep them connected if you prefer, It won’t make a difference. Season the chicken on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. 

Place 1/4 cup arrowroot on a plate or wide bowl. Dredge the chicken cutlets so that they are just lightly coated on all sides. You don’t have to use all of the arrowroot– you just want the chicken lightly coated. Set aside on a plate. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and swirl the pan so the bottom is coated in the oil. Sear the chicken (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet), until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes a side. After both sides are browned remove from skillet and set aside on a plate. (it doesn’t necessarily have to be completely cooked through yet, it will continue to cook in the sauce later). If you are working in batches, you will likely need to add more olive oil in between to ensure the skillet isn’t too dry.

 When all of your chicken is browned, reduce heat to medium. Add ghee and let melt, then add the shallots, garlic, and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Saute until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, vinegar, and the juice of the lemon. Stir to combine and reduce the heat so that the sauce is just simmering. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is completely cooked through. If your sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth more to thin it out to desired consistency. Top with parsley and serve! Serve with zucchini noodles to keep it Whole30 approved.