Key Tips For A Successful Whole30 from Nom Nom Paleo & Fitbomb!
Hello, Whole30 / Love30 participants! How’s your journey been thus far? Welcome to Day 3!!
Okay -- I heard a smattering of half-hearted cheers and slow clapping, but I’m guessing that most of you are ready to inhale a ginormous bag of Reese’s Pieces right about now. Trust me, I know exactly how you’re feeling. From my previous Whole30 experiences (which you can track day-by-day here and here), I remember how hard it was to get through the first couple of weeks -- especially the first time I embarked on a month-long reset. As a recovering carbsumer (a clever phrase coined by the brainy Whole9 folks), I felt cranky and listless when I first cut out sugar and grains. But stay strong; once you’re past the nadir, I promise you’ll bounce back with an extra spring in your step.
Here are a few tips on how to successfully navigate through this month:
Make sure there’s plenty of ready-to-eat food in the fridge. If you’re someone who plans ahead, check out this post by Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl on how to cook a ton of food in an hour. Once it’s done, you’ll be well-fed for a week. Or if you’re super-ambitious, you can cook up and freeze an entire month’s worth of Whole30-compliant meals like Erica from Stuff I Make My Husband did. Of course, Whole9 also has a great post on how to “Get Out of Good Food Jail.” This useful article is chock full of tips and tricks to make your kitchen experience as painless as possible.
Need more ideas? These are some of my favorite quick and simple dishes: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy, Slow Cooker Kalua Pig (during your Whole30, use sugar-free, pastured bacon), and Easy Paleo Frittata. Want to get fancy? Try Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice or my sister’s phenomenal Green Chicken. Plus, my iPad® cookbook app contains an entire category of over 100 Whole30-approved recipes, and a 30-day meal-plan, too. Yep, you won’t even need to think about what to eat because it’s all laid out for you!
No time to cook? Fill your fridge with prepped cruditiés (e.g. baby carrots, jicama sticks, sliced bell peppers, etc.), Trader Joe’s pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs, and Whole30-friendly Applegate Farms’ deli meats (e.g. organic roast beef). And whip up some Paleo Mayonnaise, too, so you can punch up your dishes with a dollop or two.
By the way, I don’t believe for a second that you don’t have time to cook. I’m a full-time night shift hospital worker, a mom to a couple of small children, a semi-professional blogger, and a hardcore recreational (Internet) surfer. If I can find time to throw together complete meals using real food ingredients, you can, too. After all, this month is all about getting your priorities straight, right?
Stock your pantry with shelf-stable Whole30-compliant food. Some of my favorite Whole30 snacks include Primal Pacs, clean beef jerky, SeaSnax, roasted macadamia nuts, roasted chestnuts, dried coconut flakes, and canned fish. Pop any or all of these items in your bag and crack them open when you’re on the go and surrounded by pizza joints and drive-thrus.
Be prepared when dining out. Definitely check out the menu ahead of time to see if there’s anything you can order. If your friends don’t care, take charge and suggest a restaurant that you know serves Whole30-compliant food. If you’re in need of some fast food, Chipotle’s carnitas salad bowl with guacamole and salsa is the way to go. Caught off guard at a new joint? Pester the waiter with tons of questions and be demanding like Meg Ryan’s character from When Harry Met Sally. Better yet, host a Whole30 potluck at your house so you can be sure of what you’re eating!
Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Let’s face it: Getting through 30 days of clean eating isn’t a cakewalk, and it’s even harder if you’re surrounded by saboteurs who think your “new diet” is crazy. It’s not always easy to avoid the naysayers — especially if you’re living with them. (In fact, I myself was a skeptic when my husband first started eating Paleo; I’d make sure he arrived home to the mouthwatering smells of freshly-baked pizza — his kryptonite. Yes, I’m eeeevil.)
But there are ways to gain strength and support from those around you who understand what you’re doing, and why. If they’re not living with you, seek them out at the gym or online. Join the Whole9 forum, or the Whole30 Facebook group. Supportive friends and family can help keep you accountable to your goals — something that’s critical when you find yourself hankering for a hunk of cheese.
Lastly, keep some perspective. It’s just 30 days, people! You’ve stayed in unhealthy relationships and awful summer jobs for much longer than a month. In comparison, eating clean and feeling good isn’t such a chore now, is it? Just think about how accomplished you’ll feel at the end of the month.
The moral of the story: If you do your homework and keep your chin up, it’ll be hard to find an excuse to dive head first into a box of donuts.
Happy eating, everyone!
For more from Fitbomb and Nom Nom Paleo please check out all their links for awesome information! Nom Nom is also hosting 30 Days of Whole 30 recipes!