The more I’ve struggled with sticking to a low-carb lifestyle, the more I’ve come to realize I need something more structured than just “I’m trying to eat low-carb.” Many, many people have recommended the Whole30 program to me as a great way to break food addictions and kick-start a healthy eating lifestyle. So I’ve decided to start the Whole30 program starting tomorrow (Monday, August 10, 2015).
In a nutshell, the Whole30 plan is to eat non-processed meats, veggies, fruits, and fats/oils, and eliminate dairy, legumes, grains, and all sugars and sweeteners, natural and artificial. Oh, and alcohol—but that isn’t a problem for me—it’s been over a month since the last time I had an adult beverage.
The last time I successfully lost weight and stuck to a healthy eating lifestyle was when I did the Core Plan on Weight Watchers 6–7 years ago. And I was successful because I was proactive and methodical. Every Sunday, before the WW meeting, I would go through my kitchen and make my meal plan for the upcoming week. Then, after the meeting (while all of that encouragement was still fresh in my mind), I’d go to the grocery store and pick up all of the stuff I needed to make all of my meals for the week. (And I saved a lot of money by shopping this way, too—planning around what I already had in the house and then just buying what I needed to complete the menu. A lot less went to waste.)
To be successful with Whole30, I’m going to be doing that for the next 30 days as well . . . shopping from the fridge/freezer/pantry first and planning my meals for the week around that and just “fill-in” shopping.
So to start getting things in order, I started by cleaning out my freezer . . . which included throwing out several things that aren’t on plan for the next 30 days and which I don’t want to go back to eating when I finish and start adding other foods back into the plan. (Like a frozen pizza, a couple of frozen meals that have been in there too long anyway, and some frozen biscuits and a leftover breakfast sandwich.)
There wasn’t as much to get rid of as I originally thought . . . I’ve actually done a pretty good job at keeping the freezer stocked with low-carb options. I should actually be able to get all of my meals for this week planned without having to buy any additional meats.
Unfortunately, I put it off until a little too late in the day to be able to do both the meal planning and the grocery shopping. But fortunately, I work from home now, so as soon as I finish a pending project first thing in the morning, I can head to the grocery store and get the fresh veggies and fruit that I’ll need to fulfill the menu for the rest of the week.
My remaining tasks to prepare for a successful Whole30 program:
- Clean out the fridge (hide all cheeses in the back of the freezer for re-introduction in 31 days, toss everything that will either go bad in 30 days or that aren’t on plan and I won’t be re-introducing at the end).
- Clean off pantry shelves (again, same thing as above—I have a cabinet I never go into because it’s partially blocked by my dishwasher, and I’m very much an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person).
- Deep clean stove, counters, shelves, fridge—this will get done a bit at a time during this first week.
- Plan meals for the week (should have listed this first!).
- Cook/prep ahead where possible. Even though I work from home, I’m still a big fan of not having to spend an hour or more in the kitchen prepping meals before I can eat.
- Set the specific goals I want to accomplish during the next 30 days.
- Weigh, measure, and take some selfies so that I can do before/afters at the end.
- Finish reading/studying the Whole30 books (The Whole30 and It Starts with Food).
- Remind myself daily to not watch Food Network.
That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure as I get a few days into the program, the list will grow.
Have you ever done Whole30? What are your tips and suggestions? What are some of your favorite Whole30 recipes/meal plans?