The beginning of the year so many people tend to think about food, diets, and health. A great way to give your year a jump start, no matter your long term eating plan, is a Whole30.
After months (maybe even years) of thinking about it, we completed our first Whole30 in October. What exactly is a Whole30? It’s a 30 day nutritional program a couple started over 5 years ago. It will change your cravings, habits, help heal your body, and give you a good restart. They have a great post of the many benefits here.
The rules (foods you can and can’t eat) can seem a little daunting. Knowing I was going to have to avoid so many foods that were a standard part of our mostly real food diet stopped me from committing for a long time. There are no sweeteners allowed of any kind (not even honey), no grains (quinoa, oats, rice etc), no legumes or peanut butter, no dairy, no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, and you also aren’t allowed to create plan ingredient approved “baked goods”. (It’s sort-of like a paleo plan but more strict.)
Ummmm, that’s a lot of nos! Where do you start and how do you ensure that you’ll finish out the 30 days strong?
I have 12 tips for a successful Whole30 to help you out!
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Menu plan for all three meals and snacks. Plan for at least a week at a time or even for the whole 30 days. Food on this plan can take some more time to prepare, don’t leave it to the last minute or you’ll find yourself stressed or grabbing foods that aren’t on plan. Having a written menu help keep that from happening. Use Pinterest to keep track of recipes you’d like to try and find some great resources. I have a list of Whole30 Soup Recipes and Whole30 Breakfast Recipes to get you started.
2. Mentally Prepare for a Hard Start
Don’t expect it to be a bed of roses! You will struggle and possible feel miserable the early days. I found myself thinking about food (I couldn’t eat) continuously! Be prepared for this and be prepared to stick it out. You can do it. Maybe plan your Whole30 to start when life won’t be too crazy or stressful.
3. Mentally Prepare to be Over it at the End
By the time 30 days are over you’ll probably be ready to just quit and think, “surely 27 days is good enough”. Knowing this will happen will allow yourself to combat it. Perhaps give yourself a reward if you stick out the 30 days.
4. Have the Entire Family Do It
Let me tell you, it would have been torture if everyone else in my house was eating cheese, grains, and chocolate and I had to watch. The temptation to take a bite would be huge. I didn’t cheat, but it was a family project. I’m not sure the results would have been the same otherwise.
5. Do it With a Friend
My sister and her husband did a Whole30 the same time we did. It was amazing! Having another person responsible for the majority of the cooking to talk to, was great. We could brainstorm together and take meals from each other’s menus, and, of course, keep each other accountable.
6. Repeat Meals
Please, don’t feel like you need to come up with 30 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. If you find a meal you love – especially one the kids love – make it every week. Or even more often.
7. Do Lot of Kitchen Prep at One Time
You’ll be using many fruits, vegetables, and meats during this month. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen each day preparing these items, take some time on the weekends to wash, peel, chop all the food you can for the next several days. Bonus, you only have to do those dishes once.
8. Plan for Leftovers to Save Time in the Kitchen
One of the big deterents of the Whole30 is the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen. Make extra one night so you can have leftovers on a busy day or use them for lunches.
9. Try New Things
If you don’t venture beyond scrambled eggs for breakfast and carrots and broccoli for your veggies, it will be a long 30 days. Get out of your rut. Trying cooking some veggies you don’t love in a new way and pick out some new produce you’ve never tried.
10. Save Up to Increase Your Grocery Budget
Set aside a little extra money before your Whole30 begins! We keep our grocery budget low and we definitely spent more during this challenge. Probably double what we normally spend. Only buying produce, meats, dried fruit, and nuts can get a little pricey. Watch for meats to get marked down and start stocking up in the months prior as well.
11. Get Rid of Temptation
Had there been a bag of my favorite candy staring me in the face every time I opened up the cabinet or cheese in the refrigerator it would have been a really long month and I’d have been much more incline to just cheat a bite of something here or there. Bury them in the deepest part of your pantry, pass ingredients on to a friend, or toss them – do what it takes so they won’t be taunting you.
12. There’s NO Perfect Time
Our lives are busy. There’s always things going on. If you try to wait for the perfect 30 days where you have nothing going on that will take you out of your home, you’ll never do. That’s a big part of the reason it took me soooo long to commit. Find a time that works best – probably avoiding major holidays and birthdays of your family members – and put it on the calendar.
Lastly, don’t let fear keep you from getting started! Take the plunge and set aside 30 days for recharging your body, breaking cravings, and possibly losing a few inches and pounds and becoming a healthier you. You’ve got this, especially with these tips for a successful Whole30!
Have you done a Whole30? What tips do you have?
Haven’t done a Whole30, are you thinking about it?
I’ve joined up with 40 other bloggers to share ways to make 2015 the best year ever! A Whole30 is a great way to jump start your health, but read below to see many of fabulous ideas.
1. How to Set and Keep Goals to Make This the Best Year Ever | Jen @ Girl in Garage
2. 15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015 | Elizabeth Harrin @ A Girl’s Guide to Project Management
3. How Personal Style Will Help You Achieve Goals Faster in 2015 | Cherene Francis @ Aura Image Consulting
4. Completing Those Unfinished Projects in the NEW YEAR | Angela Lerew @ Unexpected Elegance
5. 42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything | Amy Garro @ 13 Spools
6. Easy Exercises to do on a Cruise Ship | Amanda Woods @ Adventures All Around
7. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year | Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health
8. 31 Days to a More Fabulous You | Julie Bonner @ Mom Fabulous
9. How to Make This the Best Gardening Year Ever | Kendra Spencer @ a Sonoma Garden
10. 5 Ways to Make this Your Best Monarch Season…Ever! | Tony Gomez @ Monarch Butterfly Garden
11. 12 Scriptures for Goals and Guidance | Julie @ Loving Christ Ministries
12. How to Build a Starter Emergency Fund in 30 Days or Less | Jackie Beck @ The Debt Myth
13. Family Verse of the Week Challenge for 2015 | Jamie Yonash @ Life is Sweeter By
14. Hot Work at Home Jobs for 2015 | Holly Hanna @ The Work at Home Woman
15. A Year of Intention | Hilary Bernstein @ Accidentally Green
16. 2015: Our Best Year Yet | Ashley @ Leaving the Rut
17. Create a Better Life Story | Bronwen Warner @ Tummy Time and Beyond
18. Get Ready to Get MDfit | Tom and Anne @ Eat & Be Fit
19. 5 Free Ways to Learn Something New This Year | Sarah Fuller @ Earning and Saving with Sarah Fuller
20. Healthy Leek Soup | Mirlandra @ Mirlandra’s Kitchen
21. Health Resolutions: Baby Steps to a New You | Ellen Christian @ Confessions of an
22. 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Motivated to Work Out | Diane Nassy @ philZENdia
23. Be Prepared for the New Year | Jennifer Dunham Starr @ The Memory Journalists
24. 3 Steps to a Healthier Life in 2015 | Joe Goodwill @Average Joe Cyclist
25. New Year’s Resolution: Cook More Often! | Kim Pawell @ Something New for Dinner
26. I Should What? 28 Ways to be Happier | Karen Young @ Hey Sigmund
27. 9 Ways to Get Healthier In The New Year | Amy Maus @ Home and Farm Sense
28. In 2015 Resolve to Take Control of Your Money | Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet
29. Eucharisteo: A Year of Thanksgiving | Lani Padilla @ Simply Fresh Vintage
30. No More Tears at IEP Meetings: Make This Your Best Year Ever! | Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes
31. Learn to Save Money on Groceries | Melissa Buckles @ Everyday Savvy
32. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution – For Real This Time! | Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies
33. 52 Weeks to a Better You: Week 1 – Go to Bed Early | Mindi Cherry @ Moms Need to Know
34. Food Street: How a Community Has Joined Forces to Start a Street Farm | Sam Walker @ Bubble ‘N Squeak
35. Organizing Coupons with the Binder Method | Sara Steigerwald @ Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String
36. How to Make This Year the Happiest Yet | Shambray @ Shambray.com
37. A New Year, A New You | Sharon Rowe @ How to Get Organized at Home
38. 5 Ways to Get Paid for Losing Weight This Year | Anna @ Real Ways to Earn Money at Home
39. Tips for Successful Whole30 | Deanna Michaels @ From This Kitchen Table
40. 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015 | Maryea Flaherty @ Happy Healthy Mama
41. How to Make 2015 the Best Year Ever! | Jennifer @ My Boys & Their Toys
How to Add Style to Any Outfit | Ellen Christian @ The Socialite’s Closet
Linking up to these fun parties!