I recently completed the Whole30. Basically, this is a diet (challenge) to eat natural (non-processed) foods for 30 days as a way to heal your body, kick food addictions to the curb, and regain your energy. In our culture, eating well can be hard (so many temptations!), but it’s worth it. Although I found this diet challenging for the first few days, I felt great by the end. Here are a few tips that helped me power through the 30 days to a successful completion.
Have several go-to snacks always on hand.
Before you start, plan ahead with a short list of go-to snacks that you can have on hand. This is really helpful especially for those times when you’re hungry and need something quick. I would even go so far and say make sure this is your “treat” list. Some of my go-to snacks included: apples and almond butter, dates, Larabars (compliant ones), smoothies. (I know technically the Larabars and smoothies are frowned upon, but they helped me through the Whole30, especially the first few days. And, I still noticed a difference in the way I felt after I finished. By the end of the 30 days, my sugar (and “junk food”) cravings had left too. I didn’t even crave Larabars or dates or any of my “treats”.)
As much as possible, make a weekly (or monthly) meal plan. I planned at least 3-4 dinners per week. I also had a bunch of simple breakfast ideas handy too (or I ate leftovers for breakfast). Having a plan helps you from scrambling at the last minute to find something good to eat.
I learned how to “throw food together” in a pan and sauté it up for a quick dinner. In other words, have some chicken and veggies and coconut aminos always available and you can have a quick, filling meal. I used to think that I had to have an elaborate recipe or plan in order to have a good dinner, but I realized that some meat and veggies cooked on the stove or in the oven can be really easy to make and very delicious as well.
Have someone to commiserate with. Seriously.
If you can do the Whole30 with a buddy it will help. This helped me because if I had a hard day or felt like caving I would text my “Whole30 buddy” and we both felt better or at least were able to make it through the day.
My husband also helped tremendously, even though he wasn’t doing the Whole30 with me. He’s a fantastic cook – Indian food of course – and he kindly adjusted whatever he was cooking to make it Whole30 compliant for me.
Overall, I felt great after completing a successful Whole30 and would recommend it to anyone. I hope to try it again soon and maybe extend it to make it a Whole60. Make sure to plan ahead and follow some of these suggestions. You can do it! I’d love to hear your experience on the Whole30!