So you’re thinking about embarking on a Whole30 journey?
Congratulations! You’re now on on your way to food freedom!
If you’ve been reading my blog (hopefully someone out there is reading this, other than my boyfriend… hi Alex), then you’ve heard me mention the Whole30… a lot. The program played a big role in healing my relationship with food, especially my fear of food. If you haven’t read my post on how I got here, and have curiosity and time, click here.
If not, let’s proceed. The Whole30 is guaranteed to change the way you feel about food, no seriously, it really is. How you ask? In just 30
short days (just kidding, this will feel like eternity in the beginning.. hey I’m just being honest here) you’ll begin to change your habits, your taste buds and find that making decisions about food is a lot easier when you’re just getting back to the basics of fresh fruit, veggies, fat and proteins.
A word to the non-meat eaters
Before you go thinking Whole30 means getting crazy with the meat eating, you couldn’t be more wrong. Sure, if you eat meat, this is will be a little easier, but you don’t have to. There have been many vegetarians and vegans who have embarked on the Whole30 and made it out alive, well and healthy. Actually, the Whole30 program even helps you by providing vegetarians and vegans with pdf list, which you can access here.
The main purpose of this program is to instill good food habits when it comes to how you eat, cook and shop. It will also make you more mindful of what is in your food and what you’re putting in your body (read your labels).
Okay, let’s start off with what you CAN eat.
REAL FOOD: meats, seafood, and eggs (moderation people), some fruits, and LOTS of veggies.
Okay, what CAN’T you eat?
- NO Added sugars, artificial OR real (yep, that’s right not even maple syrup or honey). The point of the Whole30 is to understand how your body functions without added sugars (plus it’s just 30 days!). This is also where it’s SO IMPORTANT to read your labels because companies disguise sugar under many names… dextrin, corn syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, agave… the list is so damn long. If you’re worried, just click here for the list of names sugar is disguised as.
- NO Alcohol. Yep, not even for cooking. Deal with it.
- NO grains. No corn, wheat, oats, rice, you name it. Yes, this even includes quinoa, and before you try to argue that quinoa isn’t a grain… well too bad. It’s a part of the rules and if you don’t like it, take it up with Melissa (the creator).
- NO legumes.
- NO dairy.
- NO sulfites, carrageenan (look at your almond milk labels for this), or MSG.
- NO re-created “treats” with approved ingredients. This means no “paleo pancakes” made with almond and coconut flour, or three ingredient banana bread. Just don’t. Again, it’s just 30 days and the whole point here is to change your habits and dependency on certain foods. When in doubt, leave it out.
Another big part of the Whole30, don’t weigh yourself or take body measurements throughout the 30 days. Weight loss is not the primary focus of the program, however, for many (especially if you’re carrying a little extra) it is a side effect of learning how to properly eat. I’ll be honest, when I did my first whole30, I wanted to weight myself so bad, mostly because I could feel the difference as time went by, but I resisted and learned that weight loss is a process that begins with what you eat.
In my experience, Whole30 was much easier when I kept my kitchen stocked with ingredients that help me make simple meals. A lot of my ingredients come from Trader Joe’s, Sprout’s, Whole Foods and Costco (amazon is great too).
Below you’ll find foods, from Trader Joe’s, that will make your life a little easier (if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, I’m so sorry, you poor soul!)
- Coconut Aminos- As you begin to find whole30 approved recipes, you’ll see this ingredient used a lot. It often replaces soy sauce (a no no) and is just all around great. Trader Joe’s just started carrying this for only 2.99!
- Eggs- the most magical and versatile food I use on the whole30. My favorite eggs are the Vital Farms brand, they’re pasture raised. Otherwise, TJ’s has a great grab and go boiled eggs, perfect for busy days.
- Ghee/Clarified butter- Again, Trader Joe’s has a great affordable selection of this, they just got a great seasoned buffalo ghee that is great in veggies and chicken.
- Oils/Fats- Olive oil, avocado oil, animal fat (I love epics duck fat for veggies) you can also save some of that bacon fat, which is great in just about anything. And if find your fear of fat is creeping up, read my post about fat here.
- Seasonings/Herbs- The more herbs/seasonings you have, the more creative you can get. Again, just read you labels, companies like to sneak sugar in here too.
- Frozen Fruits/Veggies- Trader Joe’s has an great selection of ready to use fruits and vegetables. I always keep frozen cauli-rice and carrot “noodles” in the freezer for last minute meals. The carrot spirals are great with marinara sauce (with meat or without)!
- Nuts and Rx Bars- I like to keep little bags of almonds and RxBars in my bag in case I’m running late with meal prep or stuck somewhere with limited food choices. Broken record alert, Trader Joe’s has Rx Bars for only $1.99!
- Nut butters- Almond butter is essential, however, check your labels for that darn sugar.
- Canned food- tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken (you can quickly throw together meals with these items)
Other foods that make your whole30 a little easier and found at Trader Joe’s …
I hope that you find this helpful as you begin your whole30 journey. Again, keep in mind that this program is only thirty days, I know it can seem overwhelming at first, but believe me, you can do this.
If you’re starting the program, I’d love get hear from you and am more than happy to answer questions you may have. If you’re currently on a Whole30, what foods do you love to have in your pantry or fridge? Or, if you’ve done the program, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are after completing the 30 days.
For more information, I highly suggest reading ‘It starts with food’ and ‘the Whole30,’ check out these links.