So, You Wanna Start a Whole30?
ARE YOU CRAZY?!
Nah, just kidding. You read my blog, so you obviously are insane.
It turns out that if you do enough Whole30s and post about it incessantly on social media, people start to ask you for advice, tips or just general support. It has happened at least three times over social media and even more times in person.
I look at Whole 30 the way most people look at Jesus. I don't need Jesus/Whole 30 because I am perfect, I need Jesus/Whole30 because I am a hot hot HOT mess. Like, I eat like an unsupervised child at a birthday party if left to my own devices. Being a talented home cook is unhelpful. A long time ago, I made myself a deal that if I wanted junk food, I had to make it from scratch myself. It slows you down because most times I am just too damn lazy to fry my own french fries ya know? But I have gotten scary efficient at baking cookies and brownies, so my rule had to be repealed.
I do Whole30 when I need to make better choices while eating, when I need to be mindful and not just chasing the food pleasure dragon. Yeah, I am addicted to food. COME AT ME BRO AND BRING CUPCAKES. I also do it when I am preparing for a trip or after the trip or if I am trying to look good in a dress at a wedding. I have full out completed 30 day three different times. Sometimes, I do a quick Whole15 or do it until I just cannot do it any longer because cake.
So, I have bunch of experience eating by the rules of Whole30 and I have some tips and tricks and suggestions. And, listen, like with any and everything I do and say in real life or on my blog, my life is not your life. My body is not your body. You gotta do you.
So, to begin, the Whole30 is both hard and not hard. I am very attached to food as a reward, so taking away my "yay you survived the week" ice cream cone is a big bummer. No corn in July while living in rural PA where the corn is like omg the best shit ever, is hard. (you will not see me doing a full Whole30 in July. No, m'am.) But you do not have to count points or calories or any of that stuff and for me, that makes it cake. Okay, not cake but you know what I mean.
I highly encourage anyone who is doing a Whole30 to research their website and social accounts. They are excellent resource. My favorite is the Whole30 Timeline. The timeline is helpful because taking away sugar, grain and dairy can be rough on your body and emotions. The timeline helps me realize that the crazy I am feeling is just part of the process and that it will pass...eventually. Every Whole30 I have done has been slightly different. The sugar hangover on day 2-3 has been AWFUL and also nonexistent. Just be aware. This helps when you want to give up because every single person in your life is making you stabby.
Planning is so key. If you have food you can eat nearby, you will eat that and you won't be hungry/mad/sad/freaking the fuck out because you are hungry and then make bad choices. Planning meals ahead for the week helps me, buying snacks that I can eat and keeping them in places I can get them and knowing, at all times, where the closest Chipotle is are all super important.
Ghee is your friend. Buy Ghee. Make Ghee. Whatever. But, friend, if you like to eat and are doing a whole30, you need ghee. Ghee is basically butter with the milk solids removed. It has a higher smoke point, which means it is great for pan-frying or grilling. You can use it on a baked potato, you can brush meat with it. IT IS COMPLIANT BUTTER. You need it. Just trust me.
You will eat a lot of eggs. It just is how it is. But here is where my advice diverges from the official Whole30 program, do not freak out about sugar in bacon. Sugar is part of the meat curing process. Sugarless bacon is expensive and tastes awful. It is hard to find. Now, if you are a rule follower, I get it. You go get yourself some sugarless bacon. But, if you are like me, busy and like delicious bacon, I say you can have regular bacon. I have never obeyed the sugarless bacon rule on any of my whole30s and have received all the benefits that the program offers. So. There is that. Yay BACON!
Now, if you are looking for recipe inspiration, fear not, I got you. First, though, you need to know that KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) works really well here. Meat, veggies, fruit. That is all you need. You do not have to make crazy fancy shit. You do not have to slave over it. Grill a meat, steam/grill/roast a veggie or make a salad. BOOM. Dinner. That is how I run shit over in my house and it works. However, if you are not entirely confident in your cooking ability or you want more ideas/inspiration/replacements for things you used to love to eat, here is a list of blogs I trust:
Three of those bloggers have books you can buy on amazon. I recommend all of them.
In terms of whole30 world stuff I have tried and liked/loved/use on the regular, below is a list that is pretty comprehensive. I buy most of this stuff at Target or the grocery store but did get the creamer above from Whole Foods. Amazon is also a great resource for paleo/whole30 stuff.
- Califia Farms Nondairy Creamers with no added junk.
- La Croix Starking Water (Grapefruit & Cherry-Lime are my favorites)
- Rao's Marinara Sauce
- Pure Indian Foods Ghee
- Lara Bars (Cashew Cookie is my favorite.)
- Kirkland Signature Unsweetened Applesauce Pouches
- Canned Pineapple, Peaches or Pears (all in natural Juices)
- Justin's Unsweetened Almond Butter
I know it can seem super overwhelming. Hello, this blog post is basically a novel without sexy vampires and shit. But I am here for you. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments or tweet or email me.
Whole30 makes me feel better. It really does. I do it because it is an easy set of guidelines to follow that I know will be worth it after a few weeks.