So you have decided to take on the Whole 30, well done! I will tell you firsthand that the Whole 30 is not easy. It requires lots of will power, planning, and dedication. It also requires you to deny yourself of what I call, luxury eating or junk food. Here are some tips to help get you going and be successful.
Shopping is going to be one the tougher parts of the Whole 30. Your first grocery store experience can make or break you. Assuming that you have already purchased and read the book, The Whole 30. You should have a good idea of the "yes" and "no" foods.
A. Research your local grocery stores ahead of time. Last thing you want is to make it to the store only to find out they don't carry a lot of the items you need. Many grocery stores have websites where you can search items that they carry and even where to find them in the store. Look ahead of time!!
B. Once you have your store picked, go ahead a make a list of the items you need. Aimlessly fishing through the grocery store will leave you frustrated and most of all, hungry... "oh look a snickers bar". FOCUS!
C. Stay away from the aisles... Now, there are some things you will need to get from the aisles. NO, cheese puffs are not Whole 30. By shopping mostly on the border of the grocery store you will find most of the big items you will need. Most meats, fish and produce are found on the border of the grocery store.
D. Go online! Many of the Whole 30 staples can be found online. Many Whole 30 approved dressings and condiments can be found online and often times bought in bulk. However, if you have a Publix in your area they do carry many of these items.
2. Budget Tips
If you're not careful the Whole 30 can get expensive, niche items often carry a hefty price tag. Who would have thought that bacon with less ingredients would cost more??
A. Buy in bulk... Big surprise, right? I know it's been said a million times before but buying in bulk will save you money in the long run.
B. Make things from scratch.
Now, this is going to require a little more time and planning but making things like the famous Lara Bar from scratch is much cheaper. A simple google search will reveal all sorts of hacks and recipes for making many of these staple items.
C. Meet you local Butcher.
Yeah the guy in the blood soaked white coat... Go find him! Buying meat from your local butcher is going to save you a ton of money. Most times these facilities are going to have much less overhead and therefore are able to sell their products at a fraction of the cost of your big chain grocery stores.
D. Plan ahead!!!
I can't stress this one enough. The last thing you want is to be starving and the only thing in sight is Whataburger. I remember busting down the doors of Publix and buying 6 hard-boiled eggs... I ate all of them. Always keep some W30 snacks close by, you won't regret it.
3. Meal Prep
Meal prepping is going to be your best friend... And have you up at midnight baking chicken and making breakfast for the next day.
A. Set days to prep...
I would always reserve Sunday afternoon for my meal prep. Normally it would only take me a couple hours to have enough food prepped for 3 days. I didn't like eating food that was older than three days. My second prep day was usually Wednesday evening.
B. Ok, it's week three and if you eat one more bite of baked chicken and sweet potato your going to die. With that being said, get creative on what you choose to prep. Eating the same thing for 30 days is going to suck. The idea behind this is to learn about new foods and introduce new clean items into your diet. There are tons of meal prep ideas out there. Find them. Learn them. Cook them.
C. Cook items together. What I mean is that you can save some time by cooking mulitiple items at the same time. Your oven will most likely fit multiple items in it. I would often cook chicken, broccoli and sweet potato all in the same oven... Yes, I really did eat those three items way too much.
Snacks are going to be your best friend. Find W30 snacks, preferably ones that you like and keep them with you. I would often snack on dates dipped in almond butter. Never had a date before in my life before W30. Who knew they were so good. Pro tip: dates are a natural laxative... go easy.
This is not the time to stress about calories!! Eat, eat and eat some more. You need to eat a lot, remember you're eating really clean so have at it.
I wish you all the best of luck on your Whole 30 journey and encourage you to stick it out! You won't regret it and will learn so much. If you have any questions about the Whole 30 or nutriton be sure to get in touch with us!