We have jumped on the band wagon and are in the process of completing the Whole30 Program. In brief, for 30 days you are not to eat dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, preservatives, and white potatoes. The idea behind this “cleanse” is that certain foods can cause your body to react poorly. Sometimes it is really noticeable, like cramps, but sometimes it is more subtle, like headaches or feeling tired. By cutting out known irritants for 30 days it gives your body a chance to cleanse and heal itself. After 30 days, you slowly reintroducing those foods back into your diet to see if they have any adverse effects. There is a lot more to it but this is what my husband and I are focusing on. Please check out their website to get the full picture! Whole30 Program

We started this on October 1st so as I write this we are 14 days strong! It has been a little rough but not terrible! Here are 5 things I have learned so far.

1) I really really really REALLY miss chocolate :'(

2) You can make your own mayo! It is so good and makes a great salad dressing/ anything dressing! I like to spread it over chicken breasts, season with salt, pepper and any other spice you enjoy then top with crushed almonds. The chicken turns out moist and the almonds give it a nice crunchy top! YUM!! I was inspired by this Hellmann’s recipe.

Almond Encrusted Chicken

3) I do not need to drown my salad in dressing to enjoy it. A salad is great drizzled with lemon or lime juice. Who knew!

4) A vegetable peeler is a great way to make a yummy salad. It has become my best friend! Seriously!! If you do not use one already try it! I use it to get nice carrot and cucumber shavings (see above).

5) Cocoa powder really does make a delicious spice rub! In my desperation for chocolate I remembered hearing that you can use it for a spice rub. As I stared at my pork tenderloin wondering what to do with I went in search for this magical spice rub. I found two good options. One by Doctor Oz and another from CHOW by Christine Gallary. Both sounded good but Dr Oz didn’t have the cocoa powder and Chow had brown sugar in it. A big no no for us currently. So I went my own way and used those recipes as inspiration!
Note: This does not taste anything like chocolate and will not help with a chocolate craving! 😉

Here is what I came up with:

Cocoa Spice Rub

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dutch-process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Rub over meat and cook as desired! You could also let it sit in the fridge for a bit so it gets a better stick but I am too impatient for that!

I rubbed this on pork but I have heard this is great on red meat as well! I don’t think it would be as delicious over chicken or turkey but if you give it a whirl let me know! I was licking my fingers (after it was cooked of course) to make sure I got to savor every last bit of pork tenderloin cocoa-rubbed goodness. This made enough to cover my 2.5lb pork tenderloin(s). (I never bought one before and was surprised to find 2 pieces instead of one big one?!) I am super tempted to make a whole bunch of this and give it as Christmas gifts! It was THAT GOOD!! (Feel free to play with the salt a little. We like ours a little on the salty side.)

If more revelations come to me I will be sure to share. It has been a bit rough. I feel like food is taking over my life; but, we have been eating some really great meals and have been feeling good lately! Can’t complain about that!

Thanks for reading!


Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8

To see how Whole30 went for us check out my reintroduction post here!
To see another great use for  the spice rub click here. Do not this recipe while on Whole30, is not compliant. Although it would make a great snack during grain reintroduction.


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