5 ways to survive your Whole 30.
This post is a little late in the game (I’m on day 15 already!), but I want to discuss how my journey has been and a few things have have helped me stick with it. This is my second Whole 30, and it has been COMPLETELY different than my first go around. First, it is way easier. I would say part of that comes from experience and part of that comes from the growing frequency of pre-made Whole 30 approved foods in stores. Second, I can see a more significant difference than I did during my last Whole 30. I think this is mostly due to attitude. I’m a big believer in your mindset changing your reality, and I have been way less stressed this time around.
Here are the 5 things that have helped me stack on track:
1. Meal Planning
My husband and I started meal planning before I even started the Whole 30, and it has made all the difference in our diet (and in our wallet!). We have some staples that we keep in the meal plan, and we almost always put a new recipe in each week just to keep it interesting. We never have an excuse to order in because we already have all of the ingredients at the house to make all of our meals. I always include a couple of crockpot meals in beginning of the week so we have leftovers to snack on. We use the AnyList app to plan our week, and this app will store your recipes and create a shopping list for you. (It's AMAZING.)
2. Whole 30 Snacks
One thing that made my last Whole 30 difficult was the inability to snack between meals, unless I wanted to eat MORE raw veggies and fruit. And even with that, veggies and fruit are not fun to lug around in your purse when you’re in transit. They get warm. They get soggy. Or you have to pack a cooler. I realize these are just first world problems, but they still made the overall experience unenjoyable.
This time, I have discovered Larabars and Epic bars to add to my repertoire. This are great to have in your bag whenever you need something to hold you over. Make sure you only buy the Whole 30 approved Larabars before accidentally reseting your Whole 30!
Some other snacks I have at home are fruit (obvi) and pre-cooked meats. The precooked chicken breasts from Trader Joe's are AWESOME, and they only take a couple minutes to heat up. And, as I said before, left overs are bomb.
This is a big one for me. Last time, I did my Whole 30 alone and in a house with a husband who did NOT want to be a part of it. Things are different time. My husband is not strictly sticking to Whole 30, but he eats all of my Whole 30 meals with me. I just hide all of his non-Whole 30 snacks in the back of the cabinets so I am not tempted to munch on them.
I am also on group text with 3 other friends who started their Whole 30 on the same day as I did. It is great to have this little family for encouragement when you feel temptation and to complain to when no one else wants to listen. Memes like this were a fav.
If you don’t have roommates or friends that are doing a Whole 30, find yourself a Whole 30 family online! Just follow the #whole30 hashtag on Instagram, and you are bound to find some other people who are in the same situation as you. Just remember, you have made a positive choice to cleanse your body and better yourself; DON’T LET ANYONE STOP YOU!
4. Being Home for Meals
Since I work in education, summers are very slow for me. This has enabled me to cook most of my meals throughout the day and has minimized that amount of packed lunches I need. I do realize everyone does not have this luxury, thus having another hurdle in their Whole 30 experience. Meal planning specifically in to-go containers can really help with this, which is what I had to do during my last Whole 30.
If eating out is your only option, or if you just want to treat yourself, Chipotle and Whole Foods are the way to go. After doing some research, getting a salad bowl at Chipotle is Whole 30 friendly as long as you skip the dressing and go with steak or carnitas for your meat option. Obviously, you will need to stay away from the beans, rice, corn salsa, cheese, and sour cream. My favorite (which I’m eating right now!) is the steak with pico, hot salsa and guacamole. The Whole Foods hot bar is awesome for Whole 30 options, and the convenience of having the ingredients listed for each item is unsurpassable. The salad bar is a great option as well; just make sure you skip the dressings and opt for oil and vinegar since most dressing tend to be hiding sugar.
There are restaurants you can eat out on Whole 30, but this starts to get tricky. Most servers aren’t informed on the nitty gritty ingredients in each dish or the what the meats are seasoned with. Your safest option will always be a salad with no dressing or oil and vinegar. I personally find eating out unbearably tempting and wouldn’t want spend my meal drooling over every else’s food.
5. Shifting Focus
I find the biggest difference between the complainers and the thrivers in my Whole 30 group is who has another project to distract them and who doesn’t. This month my tutoring company is opening the doors to our first-of-its-kind study lounge, and, needless to say, it has been equally exciting and exhausting. More importantly, it has kept me in a “food for energy” mindset. I don’t have time to eat out, unless I’m sitting at Chipotle or Whole Foods and writing blog posts.
I understand the concept that there is no right time to start eating healthy, and you just have to do it, but there is a better time to start a Whole 30. If you have a ton of vacations/ and or wedding coming up, I would not recommend trying to stick to a Whole 30. The social pressure alone is difficult, let alone all the delicious wedding cakes! And champagne. Don’t forget champagne.
All in all, this Whole 30 has actually been enjoyable so far. Now I understand Melissa when she says that drinking your coffee without sugar is. Not. Hard. At least we can have coffee, and I like my coffee black, just like my metal.
Until next time, folks.