I would like to preface that in no way would I say that I am an expert in all things Whole30 BUT I have completed the program 4 times now and helped navigate several friends successfully through it as well.. If you have no idea what Whole30 is, check out their site here for a rundown of the basics! After 4 rounds, most days I stick to Whole30 80% of the time exclusions usually being celebratory meals, happy hour drinks and protein powder. So, if you’re ready to change your relationship with food and (most likely) feel a million times better, here are some of my tips in order to successfully survive Whole30!
- MEAL PLAN: This is the first thing I tell anyone who asks me about starting Whole30. Meal planning is easily the most important thing you should do. I plan my meals out on Saturdays and do my grocery shopping on Sunday! When planning out my meals, I’m always sure to mix up food styles, meats, hot and cold items in an effort to not bore my palate. Having your meals planned ahead of time will be a life saver. Trust me, you’re going to have days where you just can’t think about anything so having your meals already decided is so helpful!
- MAKE FREEZABLE MEALS IN BULK: Before my last round of Whole30, which was my first real round since moving out of my parents’ house and therefore losing my personal chef (just kidding, Mom!), I knew cooking everyday for me, myself, and I would be a little overwhelming at times. The biggest complaint I have with Whole30 is that cooking takes a lot longer. Last round, I made a triple batch of meatballs some of which I froze in a my tomato sauce and others that I just tossed in a ziplock freezer bag! In addition, I cooked up an extra big batch of chili and froze it into single serving containers and double serving containers which were good for dinner and then work lunch the next day! These were perfect to have on hand for lazy days when I didn’t feel like cooking!
- STOCK UP ON SNACKS: You’re going to have those moments where you are RAVENOUS out of nowhere and next thing you know you’re reaching for that NOT Whole30 approved snack in the back of your pantry! Being stocked up on all the snacks is the best way to avoid this! I never leave the house without 1-2 things in my bag! Check out our post HERE for our favorite Whole30 snacks/prepackaged items!
- HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY (or tell all your friends and family so they know not to ask you out for ice cream): Having someone do it with you makes it a million times easier because if you cheat, you’re not only letting yourself down but now you have to tell your person that you failed? Pretty easy to say no one wants to be that person. If you can’t find anyone to do it with you, make sure to tell anyone and everyone you’re doing it. You’ll find that good friends will accommodate you and your temporary insanity and instead of going out to dinner, they might suggest cooking together or hitting up a new healthy spot instead of your favorite burger joint!
- TRY NEW FOODS: You better believe you didn’t see me cooking Indian and Thai foods before Whole30 because it seemed daunting! But trust me, it’s really not hard at all! If you don’t (literally) spice up your meals, you will get bored fast! Nowadays, I love going to my local Farmer’s Market and picking up veggies I’ve never seen or cooked before and learning the best ways to prepare them!
- TIME IT OUT RIGHT: Oh your best friend’s wedding is on Day 15? NOPE! Trust me you’re not going to want to miss out on champagne toasts or vacation treats because you’re doing Whole30. Pick a time when you will be free of extra temptations or celebrations for the whole month and therefore will be more likely to stick to the program.
- SUCK IT UP: But seriously, it’s 30 days and while it looks limiting and intimidating it’s really NOT that hard! Food should not have so much control over us that the thought of NOT eating a cookie or whatever is impossible. Drink some water, go for a walk, whatever it takes! The most important thing is to believe in yourself and remember cravings will pass! You better believe even 4 rounds later, when there are 3 cakes and a pile of brownies in my work break room, I am spending as little time in there as possible.
So if you are ready for the challenge, I am SO excited for you. I cannot talk enough about how much I love this “dietary reset” and have yet to meet someone who didn’t see some change in their life because of this program! I highly recommend getting both Whole30 books (Book 1 here, Book 2 here). The first book is so informational as far as what to expect during the 30 days from headaches to lethargy to energy boosting goodness and is also filled with some great recipes plus a lot of basic cooking techniques! The second book is almost entirely recipes and I have yet to find something I don’t like. If you have any questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below if you have ever survived a round of Whole30 and let us know how you liked it!