Feeling sluggish after all the holiday treats and drinks, and ready to give your system a reset? It can be difficult to go from cookies, cakes, pies, and drinks back to your normal routine, so partaking in a Whole30 challenge can help get you back in gear! There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to Whole30, but these 10 tips will make your journey a lot easier.
- Keep it simple.
Trying to recreate pizza with with Whole30-approved ingredients is likely to leave you disappointed. Instead of focusing on recreations, stick to a simple formula. Protein + fat + vegetables + a small portion of a starchy carb.
- Prep your bases.
The biggest roadblock when it comes to sticking to a plan is a lack of preparation. You can throw a whole chicken in a pressure cooker, crockpot, or the oven and utilize it different ways. There are endless ways to dress up a plain chicken! You can eat some of it as a simple piece of chicken, some as pulled chicken with Whole30 BBQ sauce, or some chopped up in a taco bowl.
Another way to ensure you’re getting enough of the most commonly overlooked piece of the puzzle, your vegetables, is to pick 30 minutes on the weekend that is reserved for washing and chopping. It is much easier to come home after work and simply throw some veggies on a pan for roasting, rather than knowing you still have to wash and chop.
- Have 2 dressings or sauces on hand at all times.
Things start to get difficult when food gets repetitive. Dressings and sauces are what keep things interesting. Dressings and sauces give you variety throughout the week without more than a few minutes of work. Turkey meatballs can be two completely different experiences depending on the sauce! Monday night might be turkey meatballs bathed in a coconut curry, while Wednesday night might be turkey meatballs coated in BBQ sauce.
- Stock your pantry with Whole30-approved items.
Making your own meals, snacks, and condiments is optimal, but optimal isn’t always possible or realistic. On the days where you can’t fathom cooking a meal from scratch, reaching for pre-made food with the “Whole30-approved” sticker attached can be a lifesaver and will help keep you headed towards your goals.
Social media is full of people documenting their Whole30 journeys. Jump in on the conversation and connect with those who are going through the same experience as you! Search hashtags such as #Whole30, #Whole30recipes, #Whole30results, and #Whole30approved.
Forget about what you can’t have, and celebrate what you can have.
Instead of focusing on the foods you’ll be avoiding for the next 30 days, think about all the new foods you’ll be able to try! There are probably so many vegetables you’ve never picked up at the store, and now is the perfect time to try new things in the kitchen.
- Give your pantry a makeover.
Anything that isn’t compliant must go. Whether you clean out your pantry and donate all your snacks to the break room at work, or toss them in the garbage, they should not stay in your home. Food is not a pretty decoration. It is meant to be eaten and if it’s in your house, you will eat it. Clear it out, and refer to tip 4.
- Expand your spice rack.
Spices will become your best friend for this next 30 days. Like sauces and condiments, spices can transform a meal. Experiment with fresh herbs as well, as those can add another dimension of flavor!
- Commit to the full 30 days.
It’s not about sticking to something for 30 days, only to go back to your old ways the very next day, but if you don’t fully commit for the full 30 days you’ll never experience the full benefits. A single bite of gluten, for example, can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months to exit your system. Give yourself the joy of experiencing a truly anti-inflammatory 30 days.
- Do the reintroductions correctly.
Don’t throw away all your hard work. Part of Whole30 is about feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, but another huge part is making sure you continue feeling that way! If you skip the reintroduction process and begin adding things back in here and there, you may not feel great and you won’t know why. The real diligent work begins after the 30 days are over, but it’s so worth it!