Carrot cake baked zoats + 5 more Whole30 tips

Carrot cake baked zoats + 5 more Whole30 tips

5 tips for your Whole30

It’s been 3 weeks since I finished my {almost} Whole30, and I’ve done surprisingly well at maintaining the habits that I built during that challenge. I’m especially proud of myself for spending a week in Florida with my parents and sister and staying within a normal fluctuation of 2-3 pounds, especially since food is our family’s love language!

At some point I’d like to get serious about it again to try to lose this remaining 5-7 pounds (which may not even be possible after 6 kids…who knows?!), but for now I’m just focusing on making good choices and maintaining my  current weight.

As I’ve been thinking about the changes I’ve made and why this time feels different than all the others, I’ve come up with a list of 5 tips that have helped me maintain the changes I made this time around (plus I’m sharing my carrot cake baked zoats recipe at the end of this post!):

1. Hydration is key.

We’ve all heard that thirst is often mistaken as hunger, but drinking enough also helps you feel satisfied between meals.

I start out each day with a bottle of water, a hot tea (which probably doesn’t actually help with hydration, but I gotta get my caffeine somewhere!), and a bottle of kombucha. Midday I’ll drink a quart of green tea (made with just 1 tea bag) and another bottle of water. I haven’t been as disciplined about this lately, but I was drinking a mug of chicken broth each afternoon for awhile, and I’d like to get back to that. And then in the evening I’ll have another bottle of water.

That’s a lot of liquid! But on the days that I skip out on drinks, I inevitably want to eat my arm off, and I end up making poor choices because I’m so hungry.

2. Eat enough fat.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from the Whole30 is the importance of fat. And I’m not just talking about from a nutritional standpoint. Fat is also incredibly important for helping you feel full and remain that way in between meals.

When I started my Whole 30, I would make a big ol’ plate of food plus a side of fruit and nuts. Now that I’m almost 2 months in, I’m just not that hungry, so I tend to skip the fruit on the side. Unfortunately, that means I’m not getting the fat either, and on those days I end up hungry a couple of hours later. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to be more conscious about adding an oil-based dressing to my salad or grabbing a handful of nuts.

It turns out that making sure I have healthy fat with each meal is really one of the most important choices I make each day. (Who’da thunk?!)

3. Prep food ahead of time.

Eating real food, especially Paleo or Whole30, can be time intensive because of all the veggies to prep. Life is busy, and as much as I like to eat a pan full of roasted veggies, I can’t always carve out 20 minutes to prep them before lunch. Chopping veggies at the start of the week, or even just the night before, makes it so easy to just dump them in a pan with some olive oil and salt so that I can have a healthy, delicious midday meal.

Similarly, I like to make baked oatmeal with enough for leftovers or bake a big batch of egg cups ahead of time.

4. Make a list of standby meals.

On the other hand, sometimes there just isn’t anything prepped when meal time arrives, or we’re rushing out the door to get somewhere with no time for cooking. After getting caught without food on one too many occasions, I started a mental list of grab-and-go meals. This includes things like sliced pear with turkey lunch meat, hardboiled eggs with fruit, or an almond butter & banana smoothie.

5. Brush your teeth after dinner.

Finally, my routine right now includes an evening shower after dinner each night, and I find that brushing my teeth after my shower helps me avoid snacking in the hours between dinner and bedtime. Sometimes the little things really do make the biggest difference!

Carrot Cake Baked Zoats

Baked oatmeal has been our favorite breakfast for the past year, but this recipe is my favorite favorite, and it’s even better cold on the second and third mornings. My girls top theirs with a little maple syrup, but I don’t mind it without any sweetener.

Carrot cake baked zoats

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 3-3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Directions:

Whisk together eggs, olive oil and vanilla in a 9″x9″ pan.

Add oats on top and spread evenly (but not mixed in). Sprinkle baking powder, spice and salt on top.

Mix everything together

Shred zucchini and carrots (I use my spiralizer), add pecans and raisins, and gently fold everything together.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, uncover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

(Lynn at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures recently shared her method of freezing baked oatmeal, and I’m pretty sure I need to do this!)

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