I already told you part of the reason why I'm doing the Whole30 again. I also want to explore some possible issues with inflammation and gluten cross reactivity. So, I'm doing the autoimmune protocol meaning I'm also giving up eggs (what will I eat for breakfast), nightshades (not my tomatoes and curry) and nuts and seeds (seriously, what am I going to eat). Plus, I'm giving up coffee this time. Call me crazy. I might just be.
And I'm doing at least 60 days, maybe 90. Yep, I'm officially crazy.
My basic plan for a successful Whole30
1. Hide or get rid of it
Get rid of all sweeteners. Sugar, honey, maple syrup. Whatever you have in your pantry, get rid of it. I'm not telling you to throw it away, but do something with it. Hide it, stash it away somewhere, donate it, or separate it from your approved foods. Eat it all before you start...well, that's probably not a good idea, but it's an option. I made holidays gifts with the last of my honey, maple syrup, and any opened bags of sugar. The rest, I'm putting away -- out of sight. The same goes for other foods that aren't Whole30-compliant. Divide up your fridge and pantry if you have other mouths to feed. Put Whole30 food on one side, non-Whole30 on the other.
2. Stock the good stuff
Since we are hiding or getting rid of the beans and rice and other things, we need some stuff to replace it.
The Whole9 has a great pantry list. Other things I like to keep on hand are salsa (I make it but there are some approved ones out there), eggs, sauerkraut. And of course, you want to have plenty of meats and vegetables.
(I purchase most my pantry items from Vitacost in order to save money. If you are a new customer to Vitacost, you can save $10 off your first order using my refer-a-friend link here)
Fill your freezer with meat and vegetables. Make meatballs and sausage and freeze cooked or raw. Freeze raw and cooked chicken. Freeze blanched kale, spinach, broccoli, peppers, etc. (or buy already frozen). A big freezer comes in handy at this point. Have one I can borrow? Seriously. Mine is tiny. And overstuffed. Hence the need for #3...
3. Organize and Plan
A while back I shared my new "keeping track of my food" board with those of you on Facebook. I finally completed an inventory of the freezer and wrote it all down. I mean... my four year old nephew wrote it for me. Really. My handwriting is not that bad...
- Keep track of frozen vegetables and meats (and anything else you forget about in there).
- Keep track of what's in your fridge -- mainly the meats and veggies that are used for planning meals.
- Keep track of leftovers so they don't go to waste.
- Make a meal plan or menu. Try to do at least a basic overview of what you plan to make or be specific. Whatever works for you.
At the very least, try to plan a few of your meals. And always -- always -- make extra to eat later.
4. Prepare for quick need-to-eat meals
Like I did in this post, preparation is really key to being successful during your Whole30. If you prep some of these foods ahead of time, you will be very grateful when you come home after a long day and you can throw together a quick plate or meal for yourself and your family.
- Prep (chop, blanch, etc) vegetables
- Cook or prep meats for the week
- Make and freeze soups or other freezable meals
- Boil eggs
- Toast coconut
- Make a trail mix (nuts, coconut, raisins or whatever you like without sugar or unapproved foods)
- For trips/travel/on-to-go, check this post from the Whole9
5. Gather Resources/Support
First, the book:
- It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
- The Whole9 Forum
- The Whole30 Daily (sign up at least one day before you plan to start)
- Whole9, Whole30, and of course Livin' the Crunchy Life on Facebook
Whole9 posts (These are just some that were helpful for me -- check their site for more)
- Whole30 Shopping List
- Sneaky Sugars
- It's Not Me - It's You
- 5 Reasons to Break up with your Scale
- Sometimes it is Hard
- "Sex with Your Pants On" (not what you think...)
- The Whole9 Health Equation
- Dessert Demon in Disguise
Finding recipes (not all will be Whole30 approved)
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Nom Nom Paleo
- Mark's Daily Apple
- Civilized Caveman
- The Paleo Mom (great source for autoimmune)
- Paleo Parents
I'm sure I've forgotten some, but this is a good start.
6. Mental prep
I hope you're still reading, because this is probably the most important part of preparation for the Whole30
Find your purpose. Why are you doing the Whole30 program? To lose weight, to take control, to help your eczema, diabetes, etc.? Whatever the reason -- don't focus on the "results."
Find your purpose and motivation from within. Do it for your family, for your health, for your sanity, for yourself, and your life. But don't do it for the possible results. You may have them or you may not, but you will most certainly learn something about yourself and your body in regards to food.
So, believe in yourself. Believe that you can do this. Because you can. It's only 30 days. Take it one day (or even one hour) at a time. And if you do slip up, don't beat yourself up. Just start over, decide to do it another time, or decide it's just not for you (that is totally possible and okay). Make a decision and move on, but don't ever feel bad or guilty about food.
And if you prefer the "tough love"...
"It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime." - Whole30®
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