You can do anything for 30 days, right?
For the first post in our series on “Diets and the Instant Pot”, we are going to talk about the Whole30 program and how the Instant Pot, and other electric pressure cookers, can assist with all the food preparation. Because this way of eating is essentially all whole foods, there is a LOT of cooking and prepping involved with eating this way!
What is the Whole30 eating plan? Basically, the Whole30 is an elimination diet that lasts for 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days, right? Described as a clean eating Paleo-type “whole body reset”, all sugars, all grains including wheat, all forms of dairy, plus soy, legumes(including peanut butter) and alcohol are off limits. Yes, you read that right. No alcohol, no sugar, no flour, no cheese – nada, for a whole month. This is NOT a weight-loss plan, but people do often lose some weight while on it…in fact, one is encouraged to only weigh at the beginning and end of the “round”, so that scale fluctuations are NOT what you are thinking about during the 30 days. The goal here is to heal your body on a deeper level, and to observe what this plan can teach you about your relationship with food.
Developed by sports nutritionist Melissa Hartwig, and her now ex-husband Dallas back in 2009, people on this plan do it because they are convinced that eliminating the kinds of foods that typically cause inflammation and damage to your gut, for four weeks, will reveal hidden food intolerances that erode good health. Millions of people have bought the New York Times bestselling books that detail Hartwig’s plan.
Many who finish the Whole30 will tell you that they have increased energy, more focus and less brain fog, and that they sleep better, and have less body aches and pains. Some people do Whole60’s or Whole90’s, while some others do a round twice or more a year. Often, it is the strict rules that help people get through the month – if you slip up once, you go back to the beginning and have to start over. Who wants to do that? It feels like losing at Candyland, only much, much worse!
The Instant Pot is a tool, and any tool that makes you more successful is a great tool to have, and use!
Because finding foods with no sugar, no gluten, and no dairy is HARD, cooking and preparing everything from scratch becomes a huge challenge for busy people who work, have families, and want to actually do something other than cook all the time! Enter the Instant Pot, which can cut the work in half, or more! As with all things Instant Pot, if you do a simple Google search for “whole30 instant pot”, you will have plenty to read. Entire blogs, and thousands of recipes, exist just to give you more options for the vegetables, meats, and eggs that you are allowed to consume on the Whole30 plan. There are a number of busy Facebook groups dedicated to supporting eaters through the 30 days with personal anecdotes, ideas for success, and 7,243 recipes for breakfasts without eggs. The files sections of those groups are gold mines of recipes and tips. That kind of camaraderie and accountability is often what helps someone get to the end of the program without cheating!
Here is a wonderful compilation post of 75 Whole30 Compliant Recipes for the Instant Pot, from the blog Ben and Me. Here is another list from Instant Pot Eats. I for one am very grateful to the writers and bloggers that take the time to put lists like this together – what a time saver!
The Instant Pot is a tool, and any tool that makes you more successful is a great tool to have, and use! Whole30 cooks love to share their Instant Pot recipes and dieters love to share their goals and dreams. The Whole30 program is MUCH more doable because of the wonder pot! Ask me how I know…?