Prep! Prep! Prep!
Set yourself up for success!!!
I cannot stress enough how important prepping is BEFORE and DURING your Whole30! Prepping like I did was the only way we got through our 30 days.
➼How I prepped?
I read most of the book It Starts with Food to gain a better understanding of why the rules are what they are. I read all of the information provided on the Whole30 website https://whole30.com/. I read it over and over to make sure I understood all of the rules and recommendations fully.
I put together a binder for myself with all the references I could find to make it easier on myself – the rules, the added and artificial sugar page, how to meal prep, how to dine out, how to read labels, the pantry guide, how to travel on Whole30, the timeline, etc. You can find all of the resources I used here: https://whole30.com/pdf-downloads/
Pinterest has been a good friend of mine throughout this journey! Recipes galore! Be careful though… make sure you read the ingredients thoroughly. I’ve seen recipes that claim to be Whole30 but include cheese and other non-approved ingredients.
After all of the reading and searching, I sat down and planned two weeks of meals. I wrote down the shopping lists for those weeks as well. I went through every cabinet, the pantry, the refrigerator, and the freezer and removed any and all non-compliant Whole30 foods. (Don’t worry! Nothing went to waste… it was all rehomed.)
Meal planning started weeks ahead of our round 1 start date. The meal planning calendar I created is broken down into 7-day increments with spaces for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I printed all 30 days (ultimately 5 weeks) and tucked them away in my binder under their very own “meal planning” tab with the meal planning guide from Whole30 (https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf) Behind each calendar page I put a Whole30 shopping list.
I started planning out our meals for the next week on Wednesdays, grocery shopped on Saturday and meal prepped on Sunday. Each week bringing forward the calendar page I created for that week.
The shopping list on the Whole30 website has become my very best friend! (https://whole30.com/downloads/book-shopping-list.pdf) It has reminders on it for your best choices and what to avoid. It helped me discover new vegetable options as well as a few other items I would not have considered!
I gave myself enough time to wander the health food stores, Kroger and Walmart comparing prices. I spent hours in the grocery stores reading each and every label to ensure I was picking quality, Whole30 approved products. (⇠very, very important and exhausting when you’ve never spent any time really examining what ingredients are in the food you buy.) It got to the point that if there were more than about 6 or 7 ingredients I wouldn’t bother reading anymore and set it back on the shelf.
The initial shopping trip was EXPENSIVE! This trip was the pantry staple trip – flours, nuts, oils, spices, etc. Don’t let this deter you though. After the initial expense with the pantry staples, buying Whole30 compliant foods has been a money saver!
Saturday after Saturday I’d go on a grocery shopping trip with my handy dandy shopping list! This was the grocery trip for the week. On occassion, usually later in the week, we would have to swing through the produce section to pick up some lettuce and other things.
I made sure to buy a little extra here and there to ensure we always had something in the refrigerator and freezer to whip together. I wanted to set us up for success! And it totally worked!!😉
➼Added Prep After Week 1
Breakfast Monday through Friday started with hot and fresh scrambled eggs and the delicious uncured, sugar-free bacon. Our breakfasts very quickly turned in to delicious casseroles that fed us for the 5 mornings we worked. Not gonna lie, cooking breakfast at 3:15am was a bit much for the both of us.
I haven’t used packaged seasoning mixes in quite some time, but we didn’t use as much of our homemade mixes as we have lately. So… I made large batches of taco seasoning and our diced potato seasoning. This made cooking dinner a smidge quicker. 😊
Dishes! Y’all… I have never done so many dishes in my life! 😂 This was not planned and I was not prepared for the overwhelming amount of dish cleaning that would be required. This may seem trivial to you, but to me, it was not. We have since then become much better prepared for the dishes we have night after night.
That’s about all that was added. Overall I felt I prepared us pretty well to succeed on our Whole30 journey.
I hope if you are looking to start your very own Whole30 journey this will inspire you! If we can do it, I know you can too. If you have any questions or would like a copy of my meal planning page/calendar let me know!