Just Be Kitchen, the only Colorado headquartered food establishment with a menu approved by the Whole30 organization, will restore some post-holiday sanity and provide encouragement for anyone pushing through a January Whole30. The strict, thirty-day clean-eating regime has gained a mass following and is a common January buzzword you hear from friends or co-workers attempting to complete the plan to reset healthier eating habits — especially after a month of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's indulgences.
Walking into Just Be Kitchen, a Whole30-er will spot a few supportive signs throughout the restaurant — including one behind the register stating “Ask about our Whole30 menu” — that offer guidance for those seeking refuge from home cooking, meal prepping and dirty dishes.
Jennifer Peters, the restaurant's CEO and "chief foodie officer," has participated in the program herself and recalls how numerous customer inquiries about compliant menu items inspired Just Be to reach out to the Whole30 headquarters. “I started this business because I was tired of healthy food being so streamlined — your kale quinoa salad and your pick-your-protein and two sides kind of thing," she explains. "I wanted to show that you can have craveable comfort foods, but just done in a super-nutritious way. And I think Whole30 is just a subset of that.”
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After being successfully vetted by the organization, Just Be Kitchen became an official Whole30-approved partner in September 2019 and receives an occasional social-media shout-out from the official Whole30 account and in-person visits from co-creator Melissa Urban. In order to receive Whole30 approval and permission to display the logo, Just Be Kitchen submits every proposed menu item's full ingredient list for thorough review. But unlike many other eateries, Just Be Kitchen updates its menu with new seasonal dishes twice yearly. The extensive menu contains more variety than the redundant bunless-burger option at other restaurants while offering satisfying dishes that do not sacrifice flavor, Peters notes.
The current compliant menu includes exciting new and varied dishes such as the Envy Beef & Broccoli, the Cozy Chicken No Dumplings, and the Glow Deconstructed “Egg” Roll, all of which might make you feel like you’re cheating but are in fact 100 percent compliant. The W30 Energy Drink — similar to Bulletproof Coffee — is made with coconut milk instead of butter and provides a strong jolt of java energy. If you have to do the Whole30 or you’re choosing to do the Whole30, Peters adds, you have a place where you’re not going to feel like you’re sacrificing to eat nutritiously.
Give your stove a break and join Just Be Kitchen, 2364 15th Street, on January 23 for a three-course dinner event, A Whole Night of Whole30, for $35, which promises to include dishes so far from boring that you won't even know you're still on Whole30. Visit the restaurant's website or call 303-284-6652 for more details.