December 28, 2012

Whole30 Round 2: My Plan for Success

After completing the Whole30® program in October/November, I realized how unprepared I was when I started. I really jumped into the program without too much thought about it. And while that is fine to do, this time I'm preparing and planning for my January Whole30.

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
My Plan for Success (Whole30)

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:
The support 
Whole9 posts (These are just some that were helpful for me -- check their site for more)

Finding recipes (not all will be Whole30 approved)
Update: Here are all of my Whole30 recipes.

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®

Good luck!

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  1. I love your post today. And um yeah, what WILL you eat? lol I am excited to start. I have not purged my kitchen yet, it will be more like a re - shuffle since my husband and daughters will still eat the other stuff. I spent a bundle at New Leaf earlier this week, stocking up on coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, tapenade and pico de gallo (gotta get those veggies down somehow!) I have a nice little greens garden patch to supplement and a (teensy) freezer that is bursting with meat. Bring it!!

    I do need to get the planning part down. I'm not a big planner when it comes to meals and sometimes that can be a problem. Thanks again for the inspiration, motivation, and awesome post. I *liked* your FB page too btw.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Kat, and you are welcome. I'm a little nervous this time without my eggs and coffee. :) I'm not much of a meal planner either, but doing the Whole30 helped with that. It's definitely harder when you are feeding others, especially if not already eating paleo. I would suggest (if you are able) to pick up at least one paleo cookbook -- two that are on the top of my list to get are Well Fed (Melissa Joulwan) and Practical Paleo (Diane Sanfilippo). Plus, instead of cooking two different meals, I would have a protein and veggies for everyone, then extra veggies for you and maybe a rice/quinoa/pasta for everyone else (if needed...sometimes veggies are enough :)).

      Good luck again! It sounds like you are prepared and motivated so you got this :)

  2. Thank you so much for posting this!! I am so ready to do this in a couple days, and these are some great tips! Love the links for the Resources too, much needed. Good luck!

  3. I got It Starts With Food and Well Fed through Amazon. By getting both I got free shipping. I haven't had time to get too far into them but they look FANTASTIC. Also joined the Whole9 Whole30 forum. Lots of good stuff on there. Tonight's my second Crossfit Intro class. Praying they don't do arms again - I can barely turn the steering wheel lol

    1. Great! I've finally read much of the science-y parts of It Starts with Food and I love their style of writing -- humorous and very easy to understand. And I've seen nothing but great things about Well Fed. I hope your Crossfit is going well. You are much better than me -- all I've done the past week is lift a few kids in the air :)


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