You think you’re ready to commit to a Whole 30, but you don’t know where to begin? Maybe you’re even feeling overwhelmed with all the new foods you’ll be cooking. Don’t worry; there are lots of ways to make your Whole 30 experience a great one without spending hours in the kitchen everyday. I talk about my Whole 30 experiences and progress here.
start with the literature
It Starts With Food gives you the how and why behind the Whole 30. If you’re a skeptic, I recommend you start with this book. This book will help you understand the process and prepare along with giving you lots of great recipes. This book is a new favorite for me with easy and quick Whole 30 meals. I got the Whole 30 Day by Day for my second round, but wish I would have had it for the first. It’s helpful to let you know whatever you’re working through at the time is normal and helps you reflect each day on the highs and lows. Lastly, the Whole 30 Cookbook, obviously, has 150 recipes for your Whole 30.
First up: your morning coffee. What do you normally add to it? If it has any type of sugar or dairy, cut it out and let’s find a replacement. If you can go straight to black coffee, more power to you! Nutpods are by far the most popular option for coffee creamer while on a Whole 30. I prefer Califia Farms Better Half. You can also use plain almond milk, just be sure that it’s one of the compliant versions and doesn’t have hidden sugar!
What do you normally eat for breakfast? If it involves grains or dairy, you’ll need to rethink that. Eggs are the most popular breakfast option on a Whole 30. If you’re not an egg lover, you’ll need to be creative. Paleo Bailey’s version of egg bake is great and easy if you need a little more than plain eggs for breakfast. Remember that you can have hash browns (check the bag – sugar is sneaked into potatoes, too!); add some onion and peppers to give them some more flavor! Find compliant bacon or compliant breakfast sausage to add to your eggs as well.
Do you normally snack a lot throughout the day? By the end of your Whole 30, you’ll likely have stopped this habit, but this could be a tricky part for you in the beginning. It’s better to be prepared than to regret a decision later on. Make sure to have LaraBars, RX bars, or jerky on hand just in case. Technically, the Whole 30 plan is designed for you to eat three meals throughout the day. The Whole 30 Day by Day book, though, reiterates that it’s more important to stay compliant than it is to stick to only three meals. Get yourself to the end however you have to do it.
Think about prepping for the week for your lunches so you’ll be prepared with compliant meals. This is a good time to check your fridge specifically looking at your condiments; prepare to be surprised! Primal Kitchen makes a Whole 30 kit to help with these replacements. You can make your own mayo if you’d like! Please, please, don’t do a Whole 30 without Dump Ranch. It is THE BEST. Check your seasonings, too! If you need to ditch and switch, here’s a good alternative.
During my first Whole 30, I discovered Thrive Market. It’s the best. Get all the Whole 30 things for wholesale prices. Plus, you’ll get 20% off your first three orders using my link below. I always get Ghee from Thrive Market (I use ghee for everything now). They have an entire Whole 30 section that you can shop from. I also get coconut oil from Thrive Market; what a steal! You’ll need lots of coconut milk and coconut aminos will become your new bff.
Hopefully, as you work through your Whole 30, you will begin to love cooking dinner and not see it as a chore. If it is a chore for you currently, prep accordingly. Buy pre-cut veggies and prep and plan on the weekends. Here are some of my go-to recipes:
- Shrimp and sausage skillet meal
- Chicken tenders
- Sweet potato fries
- Pulled Pork from Whole 30 Fast and Easy
- Pork Chops from Whole 30 Fast and Easy
- Chicken wings
- Chicken fried rice
- Mashed potatoes
- Zuppa Toscana soup
- Instant Pot carnitas
- Instant Pot taco stuffed potatoes
- Jalepeno popper chicken salad
My last recommendation is to either complete a Whole 30 with a friend/spouse or, at least, reach out to someone for accountability. There will be some tough days and having an accountability partner will help you get through it.
You can do it! You won’t regret this lifestyle change.