My first Whole 30, about two years ago, made a huge impact on how I shop for food and how my family eats today. After my initial Whole 30 was complete, I was 8 lbs lighter and more importantly, I felt great overall! With all of the holiday festivities (and several pounds gained), I decided it was time to reset. This time my husband, Steve, decided to join me on this journey (mainly because I’m the one that cooks and he really didn’t have much of a choice). My kids (7 and 4 years old) will be participating for all dinners since, like Steve, they don’t have much of a choice.
For the next 30 days, I will document and share meal ideas, recipes, and tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Here are some of my initial suggestions for a successful whole 30.
1. Learn the rules and understand the reasons behind them (I have a print out at work and at home of the suggested shopping list (proteins/vegetables/fruits/fats) and pantry stocking tips for easy reference). These lists can be found here: http://whole30.com/pdf-downloads/
To learn more about the Whole 30, follow this link: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/
2. Plan your first week’s menu…and maybe some weeks after (breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner). As a working mom, if I didn’t meal plan, my family would be eating at 9pm every night or we would waste a lot $$ on take out. I think it would be next to impossible to get through the whole 30 without meal planning. Tip: Don’t make yourself crazy thinking of unique lunch options, plan to make more for dinner the night before and portion out the leftovers for lunch.
3. Buy some pantry staples but don’t forget to read the labels (On my shopping list: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk (full fat), ghee (clarified butter), Coconut Secrets coconut aminos (to replace soy sauce in recipes), almond flour, coconut flour, Dijon mustard, almond butter, cans of tuna packed in water) and buy the rest of your ingredients for the week according to your plan (as per #2 above). I also like to make a weekly trip to my local poultry farm (Goffle Poultry) for eggs and any chicken needed for the week. Any chicken that I don’t plan to use within the 3 days of purchase, goes into the freezer.
4. Donate, hide, or “age” some of the prohibited temptations (I will definitely miss my chocolate bars, chips and wine). When I work from home, keeping these out of sight will help me keep them out of mind (or at least I hope it will).
5. Once you have your plan and your food, prep the night before or do a bulk prep on Sunday so once those busy days appear, eating will be easy peasy lemon squeasy (sorry my 4 year old daughter says that all the time so I couldn’t help myself).
Here’s how our first day went:
We kicked off the morning with black coffee to go, water, and broccoli, tomato, bacon frittata bites (which I made last night). I had two and Steve took three. I probably could have had one more and Steve said he could have had 7 more. I reminded him that technically, he could have those 7 as this program is more about what you eat vs how much.
Lunch was a Mediterranean inspired tuna salad (prepared last night as well) over lettuce and cucumbers. I used two cans of tuna in the recipe and divided it evenly for each of our lunches. We both felt this recipe was a keeper, but I had about 5 raw almonds afterward to “cleanse my palette.”
Late afternoon snack was an orange…not crazy exciting but it satisfied my need for a little something.
Dinner was chicken bruschetta served with a side of sautéed zucchini and steamed snow peas. I used this seasoned chicken recipe with all whole 30 modifications (e.g. cooked in evoo instead of butter, used almond flour, and omitted the cheese) and topped with a tomato bruschetta without the bread recipe. I made extra chicken to make sure there would be leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Day 1 was a success but I can’t say I didn’t miss my chocolate 😦