Super Bowl on the Whole30

img_20170205_193458When most people start a “diet”, food program, or some sort of “cleanse”, we generally start on a Monday: after the weekend, right?  I mean, who wants to start eating right on a Friday?! What a waste of a perfectly good food-indulging weekend! We all want one last food “hurrah” before the “transformation” begins, and then come Monday, we start getting organized/in shape/eat right/whatever.  If you’re doing a longer food regimen like the Whole30, or something that you plan to carry over into some lasting habits–no matter when you start–you’ll hit a weekend and that’s where the test really begins.  Sure, it’s not so hard to get through the weekdays in a new routine.  Maybe you go to bed early to avoid late-night snacking. You have light meals and distract yourself from more daytime snacking by occupying yourself with work.  This doesn’t seem so hard!  And then the weekend comes.  Maybe you had plans to go out, enjoy company with friends, or just want to veg on the couch with the hubby and order take-out, eat ice cream, and have a glass of wine (or margarita)!  But all of that is dampened by food restrictions.  (This is one reason I’m not a fan of dieting for the sake of dieting, or long-term food-deprivation.  We live in such a food-centered society, it’s hard to really enjoy ourselves in social situations without food.  Good food.)  For me, food I love is a huge part of my enjoyment of life.  My Whole30 is not about weight-loss, or because of “issues” with any kind of food.  For me, it’s been an experiment and a hopeful minor lifestyle change.  I’ve wanted to see if my energy levels would change with a diet change (they have) and I hope to incorporate healthier lunches and snacks and be able to keep my everyday diet a priority in my life.  (It can be too easy to snack on processed foods or to take bites of my kids’ lunches rather than make myself a salad.  And don’t even get me started on my old “late-night snacking” habits!)

Anyway, I got through my first 2 weekends pain-free.  Of course, I wished I could indulge in some take-out or dessert with Randy on the couch while watching a movie or playing a game (I went with a few handfuls of almonds, instead), but all-in-all, they were good weekends.  When I planned for the Whole30, I had no plans on the weekends, but that quickly changed.  I learned to use restraint but be polite (which was hard on the first weekend when the homemade oreo ice cream came out!), and to pack my own snacks and be creative with what I could eat!  This has been a fun adventure.

img_20170205_193300Come Super Bowl Sunday, I knew I would need to be equipped with some awesome appetizer recipes so I could still enjoy the event.  (Events of the actual mind-blowing game aside, this is about food.) 😉  Here are some of my “healthy” Whole30 compliant recipes that were enjoyed by all on game night!  You can use them for your next gathering whether you’re on the Whole30 or not, because they’re delicious.  Trust me! 😉

Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

My recipes for homemade salsa and guacamole are naturally Whole30 compliant.  That’s what made them so perfect.  Actually, I do typically add a pinch of sugar to the salsa to cut through the bitterness of the tomatoes, but I just skipped that this time.  My trick when I’m making these two dips together is to use the food processor for the salsa first, then without cleaning it out, I start the guacamole right away in the same processor.  That way, the guacamole gets a hint of the salsa flavors in it.  So yummy!

Salsa (Measurements can be to your taste, depending on how strong you want your flavors)

  • 1/2 (or whole) onion, quartered

    Let’s talk about the chips!  No tortilla chips on the Whole30!  Technically, chips of any kind go against the philosophy of eating whole foods, foods with minimal ingredients.  But because these veggie chips (left) didn’t have any actual out-of-bounds ingredients, I made an exception.  Because, Super Bowl. PSA: One Potato Two Potato makes an excellent sweet potato chip!  I’ve only seen them at Starbucks so far.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 (or whole) jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired smoothness.  Test with a tortilla chip before pouring into a bowl!  You never know if you’ll have to adjust something.


  • 4-5 avocados, ripened
  • 1/4-1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 (or whole) jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsps salt
  • juice of 1 lime

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired smoothness.

Stuffed Jalapeños

img_20170205_193354Normally when I stuff jalapeños, it’s with cream cheese.  That’s obviously a Whole30 no-no, so I came up with this little concoction instead.  To make the turkey sausage, I followed this Whole30 recipe (click the link below), which I love for breakfast sausage with my scrambled eggs.  So bonus, I only used part of the sausage in my jalapeño stuffing, and I was able to save the rest for some breakfasts this week!  

  • 10 jalapeños, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (use gloves!)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed with salt, pepper, and ghee (clarified butter, whole30 approved)
  • crumbled turkey sausage
  • 10 strips Whole30 compliant bacon, cut in half

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes and the sausage.  Spread the mixture into each jalapeño half.  Wrap in a half strip of bacon and place on a rack, on top of a baking sheet.  Bake at 275* for 2 hours.  Serve hot.

I found these other 2 recipes, as well, which were a huge hit with me and our guests.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip  img_20170205_181916495

Chile Lime Chicken Wings

And here are the printables for my salsa, guacamole, and jalapeños!   Enjoy!




There is a lot of adapting involved in parenting.  Before you become a parent, you probably have an idea of what kind of parent you’ll be like and how your kids will behave.  Then you start having kids and… well, it usually doesn’t look exactly how you pictured it.  Things arise that you never could’ve predicted and so you adapt.  You try one discipline technique and it doesn’t work, so you adapt.  Methods that your oldest child responded well to don’t have nearly the same effect on your second child, so you adapt.  If you’re a parent who has never had to reevaluate or change direction with something, you’re probably not doing something right.  Or you’re just not receptive to what’s not working.  Or you’re the perfect parent.  But I’m convinced that doesn’t exist, so… 😉

This same thinking is applied for teachers in the classroom.  When something isn’t “clicking” for a student, the (good) teacher will try to find another method that will make the material accessible and easily understood.

As a homeschool mom, there’s a combination of both these mentalities that can sometimes be overwhelming.  When we have a bad day of school, we wonder if we need to change our parenting style or our teaching style.  As daunting as it can be, it’s important to keep assessing so we can meet our goals.  I don’t know anyone who made the decision to homeschool on a whim.  Usually it comes with lots of thought, research, discussion, and for the Christian families, prayer.  With something so important at stake, of course we want to do our best.

Recently I was met with a decision that made me turn and look at the way I’m “teaching” my preschooler, Noah, and if I’m really tailoring my teaching style and preschool activities to his needs right now.  (He’s a little behind in his speech, so that’s something I want to work on with him.  Now, when I say “teaching”, I do mean very light, fun activities.  One thing that I love about homeschool is that kids can still have plenty of time to be kids.)  After a lot of prayer and discussion with my husband and close homeschool mom friends, I decided I needed to remember why we decided to homeschool in the first place, stay the course, but just recalculate a bit and change what I do with him right now.  I’ve had to do this with Abby in the past and I strongly suspect I’ll continue to do it year after year with all my kids.  When you come face to face with a time for recalculating your parenting or your teaching style with your kids, here are some important things to remember:

  1. Cover the situation in prayer.  Cover your child in prayer and ask for wisdom to know what to do.
  2. Remember WHY you’re on the path that you’re on.  My husband and I have specific goals for our family and our children which is why we decided to homeschool for now.  I think it’s important to have “umbrella goals” or a family mission statement that won’t change over time.  But you may have smaller, more specific goals that will change as your kids grow up.  For us, homeschooling may not always be tied to our umbrella goals, but right now it’s a big part of how we’re meeting those goals and it’s definitely tied to our smaller goals for our young kids.  It may be helpful to have these goals written down somewhere.
  3. Realize that change takes time.  So you tried something once and it didn’t work out the way you envisioned.  It doesn’t mean you have to change it right away, your child may just need an adjustment period.  But if you keep doing the same thing without desired results, then it might be time to reassess.
  4. Recalculating doesn’t make you a failure!  It makes you a better parent/teacher for recognizing the need for change and following through!
  5. Age matters.  Maturity matters.  Sometimes, my best plan of action was none at all.  Simply because my child was too young or immature to “get it” at that time.  So, we just took a break.  After a month or two of not doing a certain activity, what used to be met with tears and anxiety was suddenly met with confidence and determination upon reintroduction.  And I never even had to change my teaching method!  She just needed a little time to grow and mature.
  6. The best route is not always the fastest route, and it’s definitely not the same for everyone!  Stop comparing every little detail of your situation to another’s.  Sure, there are basic, age appropriate benchmarks to be aware of, but not every kid moves at the same pace.  And the beauty of homeschooling is that you can tailor your child’s education so that it suits their needs, and they don’t always feel like they have to learn like everyone else (by “keeping up” in the classroom).

As we are about half way through the school year (depending on what kind of schedule you follow), now is a good time to reassess where you are in your homeschool year.  Is your child understanding everything?  Are you on target, or where you wanted to be by this time of year?  If not, what needs to change?  Sometimes it’s our expectations that need to change, but other times, we do need to recalculate so we can still make it to our destination even if we have to go about it a different way.