Since my first Whole30, I have had many people ask me, “How do you prepare for it?” I love spreading the Good Food Word, so I am always happy to help. There are definitely some practical things you can do to get yourself ready.
Most importantly, you just have to decide that you are going to do it, you can do it, and you are not going cheat. I may sound blunt, but you have to decide this before you even start! You can’t go into it thinking that you “might” not be able to do it. Don’t set yourself up for failure! You can do it. You owe your body 30 full days of real, healthy food. Its only 30 days! And, there are ways you can prepare, to make your life easier, so you won’t feel like you are living in your kitchen….
My Top 7 Tips for Prepping for the Whole30:
1. First, make up your mind that you ARE doing this, no slip-ups. Make a commitment to yourself and to your health. Ironically, it is kind of easier to know you just are not going to have certain less healthy foods. There is no mental tug-of-war going on every time you have a craving for sugar, bread, etc. The decision is already made. You aren’t going to have it for 30 days. Read this article to find out why “everything in moderation” doesn’t work for most people.
2. Plan out a week of meals in advance, then go grocery shopping. Every dinner does not have to come from a fancy-schmancy recipe. Simple is great too! As long as you are sticking to the Whole30 Meal Template, its all good. For me, it is realistic to try one new recipe per week. If I try to do more than that, I tend to get overwhelmed. I stick to tried and true favorites, and introduce new dishes when I can. Don’t stress about it! Make it fun!
3. If you are going to eat out, do your research ahead of time. Honestly, its easier to just eat most meals at home when you are doing W30, because you know exactly what is going into the food. Research the restaurant’s website to view the menu ahead of time, and call with questions beforehand if needed. Don’t stress over every little detail if you have to eat out, just do your best to stay compliant with the information you have.
4. Prepare extra protein at some meals so that you have leftovers. For example, I like to cook (extra) chicken breasts for dinner with sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, and at the same time cook a batch of spicy ground beef with red bell pepper and onion for another meal. If the protein is done, its easier to throw together the rest. I also like to prep big batches of diced sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, and egg muffins. Its key to make sure you have enough food ready to grab and go. You are much less likely to be tempted to cheat when you are prepared. And, you spend less time cleaning the kitchen!
5. Read “It Starts With Food.” If you don’t have time to read the whole book beforehand, at least get it and read as you go. Everything about the program makes more sense once you read the book. I promise that I’m not paid to advertise for them, I just really love their book! It has been a game changer for me, and has helped me regain a healthy relationship with food. Also, head over to whole30.com and print out the very helpful FREE downloads. I keep them in my kitchen and refer to them often.
6. Subscribe to the newsletter, “The Whole 30 Daily.” It costs $14.95 for the entire 30 days, and is very much worth the cost. You get an email every day with tips, positive messages, links to other resources, recipes, and more. And, at the end of every day, you get to click on the “I rocked the Whole30” button at the end of each email. Its kinda satisfying! Its the little things…
7. Ask questions! Seek out more info! Check out the Whole30 Forum. You can find the answer to most questions there. Get social, and follow the official whole30 and whole30recipes accounts on Instagram and Facebook. There are so many great resources out there. Take control of your Whole30 and get the most out of it!