The Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge
A new year, a new book, and a new challenge from Dr. Gundry for both current and aspiring Plant Paradoxers. It’s called The Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge, or PlantParadox30 (Whole30 is so last decade), and I’ll be documenting my personal challenge experience in this post.
I love a good challenge. It’s a fun and social way to go lectin-free and get your health (back) on track. More importantly, it will pave the way for continued adherence to a lifestyle that has helped thousands of people reverse disease.
Get the New Book
There’s a new Plant Paradox book! It’s a pocket-sized quick guide to the Plant Paradox called The Plant Paradox: Quick and Easy (self explanatory, really). Purchasing the book is not necessary to participate in the challenge, but it has 30 days of new recipes, plus the coveted shopping lists…
Get the book HERE!
Note: I highly suggest reading the original book as well. As fun as the Quick & Easy plan is, the lifestyle is not meant to be quick–it’s a complete transition to a new way of eating. Dr. Gundry gives a much more in-depth explanation for the lifestyle and the science behind it in the first Plant Paradox book.
To see posts from the initial Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge follow @PlantParadox30 on Facebook and Instagram for challenge news, tips, and recipes. Tag #plantparadox30 in your related pictures and posts. The official challenge ran from January 15 – February 14, 2019, but I’ve documented it here (and on social media) for people who want to take the challenge anytime.
The Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge: Week 1
These meal prep instructions–albeit helpful–were written for someone far more ambitious than me. Smoothie packs, salad dressings, soups, guacamole, veggie rices, nut mixes, sauces, kale chips, bowls, salsas, and chopped veggies. IN ONE DAY?? I did none of that. It took me one hour and a thousand tears (from onions) to make this colorful veggie hash and then it was time for a nap. That’s enough prep–I’ll wing it.
It is 20 degrees here and there is a rock solid snowman in my yard. No way is an ice cold smoothie making its way into my warm stomach. Therefore, I made warm and savory breakfast soup: 1 cup chopped romaine, 1 cup power greens, 1/4 cup basil leaves, 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, and 3 cups broth. Pressure cook it (or simmer it), add the avocado, and then purée it in a blender. Add salt and juice of 1/4 lemon. Drizzle with avocado oil.
It’s a long story, but right now I eat everything in soup form. I have to cook down my veggies a lot to make my GI tract happy. This is a Salmon Avocado Breakfast Bowl with broth, power greens, broccoli slaw, Alaskan salmon, and avocado. I didn’t really read ahead, so I’m only now realizing how repetitive this meal plan is. I should’ve bought about 50 more avocados and a dozen more boxes of greens.
Instagram and Facebook photos of other people’s risotto were looking more like cream of cauliflower soup, so I skipped the canned coconut cream (which would probably give me a reaction anyway) and added ghee and lard instead, because I <3 fat. The end result was tasty! Probably not as creamy as risotto, but it was a buttery and flavorful side dish. As in, after I ate this as a main meal, I was immediately hungry again. Should’ve added more fat.
Aren’t these gorgeous? It’s because they’re not baked yet. Purple kale is a thing of beauty and then you bake it in the oven till it resembles burnt paper (don’t actually burn them). They taste so good, though, and I’ll let you in on a secret: kale chips are disgusting unless you quadruple the seasoning. One teaspoon??? Pssssh. Try four. You can salt, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, pepper, curry, cinnamon, and clove your way to a better kale chip.
It doesn’t look the most appetizing, but the Sage and Mushroom soup is really earthy and tasty. I skipped the coconut milk (again) and opted for more homemade broth. On page 155 and 156 of the book, Dr. Gundry says mushrooms are helpful in killing bad gut bacteria, molds, and fungi in people with digestive disorders and autoimmune disease. Since I’ve been overrun by bad mold and fungi for the past 5 years, alllll the mushrooms please.
Do you think I can make it to phase 2 before eating these gorgeous pastured eggs? No. No, I cannot. I don’t consider this a failure. Even Dr. Gundry posted a picture of his breakfast of eggs during phase 1, so I’ve been inspired to as well. After all, I already did this cleanse thing over a year ago. I got these from a local farm I’ve been frequenting since I was a child. From strawberry-picking to hayrides, I have many memories there!
I have felt this way since the beginning, but coffee is a blessing on this diet. Especially if you’re coming off of a standard American diet (SAD), coffee and chocolate are like the two semblances of your old existence that you can carry with you into the new one. And really good cheese. And quality meat. There’s actually a lot of good things about this diet. But coffee, slippers, and fires are especially appreciated when it’s -16 degrees outside.
Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge: Week 2
After a week of phase 1 meals, it’s pretty much business as usual for me. I stopped following the recipes in the book so closely–the sage and mushroom soup and the cauliflower risotto are new staples in my lunch rotation (I’ve got endless ideas for dinner. Here are some highlights from the week.
Yay, eggs! This is actually a meal I made for my toddler, but this is an excellent adult meal, right? (I ate the same thing.) Scrambled local, pastured eggs with a little Manchego cheese, green veggie hash cooked in broth, and homemade sauerkraut. The green veggie hash is still from week 1–I made such a big batch, it lasted me through this week. It’s probably some of the the only meal prep I’ll do from now on–chop vegetables.
On the day I started this 30-day challenge, I also made homemade sauerkraut and kraut juice, which was done fermenting on day 9. From my Instagram account:
View this post on Instagram
My homemade sauerkraut is done!! It turned out so well–it tastes fresh, crispy, and tangy. I started fermenting this the day I got the new #plantparadox book, so I could eat it when I was back in phase 2 again (not that it’s not phase 1 compliant–it just takes 9 days to ferment). I got recipe inspiration from the Nourishing Plot blog for kraut juice. . I did half a head of cabbage and ended up with 4 quarts. This really makes a lot of juice and kraut. I used like 500 different appliances and dishes to make it, but it was worth it. I shredded and then grated the cabbage in a food processor, because the smaller the pieces, the more the juices will draw out. Added 3 tablespoons iodized sea salt and then I actually beat the cabbage in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for a few minutes until it was soft, juicy, and foaming. . Then I spooned it into sanitized quart size jars, filling them 1/3 full and filled the rest the way up with water. Put lids on (no need to pressure seal) and stored in the basement (dark and cool). The kraut rose to the top, but I’ve heard that doesn’t always happen. I’ve only opened one jar so far and it tastes fantastic. Kraut only gets better with time, so I can’t wait to try the rest of them! The gut bugs will have some good company :) . . . @plantparadox30 @drstevengundry #sauerkraut #homemade #ferments #fermented #wild #cabbage #wapf #nourishingtraditions #wisetraditions #gaps #theplantparadox #keto #paleo #lectinfree #lowlectin #whole30 #ketogenic #gutbugs #cooking #cleaneats #ketogenicdiet #ketolife #lunch #ketodiet #dinner #paleolife #eatfatlosefat #eat #dinnertime
I also made my own homemade almond butter from almonds I soaked, blanched, and dehydrated myself. It’s not really in the spirit of this challenge–it’s definitely not quick (I suppose it’s easy). But it’s fun, and in the end you get an almond butter that you guard with your life, because you spent three days making it. I’m like the little red hen with my jar of almond butter over here–GET YOUR OWN.
I will make a separate “How-to” post for how I did all of this–in the meantime you can check my Instagram account for the full process–start with this photo.
Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge: Week 3
I am so at home here in phase 2, it doesn’t feel like a proper challenge anymore. That doesn’t mean my readers aren’t struggling, though. If you’re finding this difficult, I promise it gets easier. You’ll soon fall into a routine of foods you love and ingredients you always purchase (and where to find them). You can see a full pantry checklist I’ve made HERE.
I guess I like eating purple, what with the purple kale chips and now this purple soup. It’s just so pretty! This was a take on the cold sesame noodle bowls that I turned into a soup, because–again–winter. It’s broccoli slaw, purple cabbage, shirataki noodles, and some Asian spices and flavor in a homemade broth. What a lovely contrast to the freezing rain and falling branches outside my midwest window.
Purple and now such pretty green veggies for “veggie hash.” I thought I would be clever and throw a wild-caught Alaskan salmon fillet on top of these veggies and bake them at the same time in the oven. Don’t do it. It took forever for the salmon to bake. Not a time-saver. You know what is a time-saver, though? Meal prep. If you only do one thing for meal prep, making a huge container of chopped veggie hash for the week should be it.
I made classic, down-home, mama’s-in-the-kitchen-with-an-apron-on chicken noodle soup, because…still winter. This is a plain ol’ soup–nothing fancy, except for the fact that it’s homemade. And my grandma would tell you that the magical ingredients in this here soup will heal any cold better than those weird powders and vitamins you take. Homemade broth, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, thyme, chicken, and noodles (Palmini).
Plant Paradox 30-Day Challenge: Week 4
Unfortunately, I don’t have any new phase 3 meals to document for this portion of the challenge. I chose to stay in phase 2 because I still suffer from health issues and have had suspected autoimmune diseases. I urge anyone in a similar situation to continue in phase 2 for…well, for life! The benefits are amazing and many have seen remission from debilitating conditions.
According to the American Psychological Association, a group approach to health and lifestyle is more successful than going it alone. I doubt anyone needs a clinical trial and peer-reviewed research to know that. Many of us can personally attest to how hard it is to stick to something when everyone around is doing the opposite.
In my Facebook group, I’ve created a wonderful community of people who are all striving for the same thing: improved health and reversal of disease through elimination of lectins, sugar, and bad fats. All participating are welcome, and, of course, you’ll get tips and tricks for the ongoing Plant Paradox Meal Planner recipes.