I did my first Whole 30 back in March. It was tough, but I loved it so much that I decided to continue for a total of 60 days. I got pregnant in the middle, so cut it short to 45 days before the food aversions and nausea took over. My results weren’t earth shattering and I was pretty disappointed. I lost 2lb in the first 30 days. I wanted to cry until I measured and realized I had lost 5 inches in my waist alone. But I felt amazing! If you stroll through the Whole 30 site you’ll find a plethora of information. One of the best articles for me was the one that described what you can expect to experience. “Tiger Blood” is a catch phrase in the Whole 30 community, and although I never felt like Charlie Sheen, I did feel healthy, accomplished, and in charge of my food cravings.
The day I gagged on eggs I knew my first Whole 30 journey was over. Now that I’m past the nausea of the first trimester, I am gearing up to start another Whole 30 in July, after the holiday of course! I have this silly little goal of not gaining any weight by 20 weeks, and although I’m still 3-4 pounds under my starting weight, I can tell my eating habits are starting to get a little out of hand. I made the mistake of gaining 60lb during my last pregnancy and that CANNOT happen again.
So, wait, what is this Whole 30 you ask? Well, you cut out some major foods groups: grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar (all of it, even sugar free sweeteners). There are also some strict rules about recreating foods with on plan ingredients that go against the ideals of a Whole 30. It seems really hard, especially when you begin looking at labels and realize that there is sugar (or some form) in everything! But not to fear, there are some amazing grocery store finds now that make it so much easier to take on the challenge for 30 days. Below you’ll find my favorite on the go food products, some essential kitchen items, and my personal tips for success.
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- Nick’s Sticks – I seriously could not do a Whole 30 without these. I’m lazy when it comes to eating foods and so many times I just want something I can grab and go. That’s really difficult on Whole 30 but these jerky sticks make life 1000 times easier. Yes, they’re pricey, but worth every penny.
- Primal Mayo – You can use this mayo to make tuna salad, or make on plan ranch dressing!
- Tessemae Sauces – This brand makes Whole 30 compliant ketchup, salad dressings, sauces such as buffalo and BBQ and more! This value pack has everything you could possibly need to make your 30 days delicious!
- Larabar – These are another great on the go or snacking option. If you’re being strict these might not be the best choice because they are pretty close to a desert! Beware that not all flavors are on plan due to off plan ingredients. My favorites are Cinnamon Roll and Apple Pie.
- Plantain Chips – These are another lifesaver find for me! I use them for multiple things: as crunch in my favorite Whole 30 taco salad recipe (link soon), with my tuna salad, and as a snack with guacamole.
- Wholly Guacamole – This brand of guacamole is on plan and the bonus is that they are sold in 6 pack of mini containers! To keep my chip snacking in check I limit myself to one single serving of guac…when it’s gone, no more chips!
- Tuna – You can very quickly make tuna salad with some primal mayo, guacamole, boiled eggs, and relish and it’s a delicious meal with some plantain chips! Notice how so many of my favorite things go together? Be sure to check the labels because many brands have soy.
- Hot Dogs – My favorite on-plan hot dog is the one by Applegate! Pair with some Tessemae ketchup and plain yellow mustard and you have a quick and easy lunch!
- LaCroix – As far as this goes, I’m going to suggest not introducing this right away! It takes awhile for your taste buds to get used to the lack of sugar, and water is best in the first days as you detox from all the other foods! But once you’ve adapted after a week or so, this is a great option get some bubbles and a break from all the water! My favorite flavor is the cran-raspberry.
- Tea – I promise you will get tired of drinking plain water. As with the LaCroix, this is best enjoyed after the first week! I’m a southern girl, and sweet tea is gluttonous to me! But I found myself enjoying a glass of unsweet tea once the sugar cravings were gone! You can also add fruit to your tea and let it infuse for some extra flavor!
A good food processor makes all the difference! I bought my food processor the very first time I tried eating a paleo diet and it hasn’t let me down yet! It dices apricots, shreds sweet potatoes, functions as a mandolin slicer, and even has a dough attachment! It has a 14 cup capacity, and comes with 3 separate blades (and you can buy more)! This is probably my favorite hard working kitchen appliance! I haven’t chopped an onion in 3 years since I bought mine. Put this on your next wish list for sure!!!
I bought this ceramic griddle last Christmas and I looooooove it!!! I have 3 kids and a hungry husband and making eggs drove me nuts! I could maybe get 2 in a pan and it took me forever to get them all cooked! I can fry 6 eggs on this pan or cook 12 slices of bacon. It wipes off so easy and clean up is a breeze! There’s even a warming pan so your food stays warm. Game. Changer.
Soup is a staple on Whole 30. I’ve found that you can convert nearly any recipe for use in a slow cooker with just a little bit of planning. I even have a fancy Instant Pot and still prefer my crockpot. There’s something so relaxing about putting food in it in the morning and letting it cook all day, maximizing the flavor and infusing my house with delicious scents. With 3 littles and a busy schedule and an inferno climate my crock pot is a lifesaver!
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Make a meal calendar. Print mine here. Plan for everything including snacks–although you’re not really supposed to eat snacks, I find that there are certain situations that call for it, such as being pregnant or nursing, or regular exercise.
- Leftovers are your BEST FRIEND. One of the challenges most people face when doing a Whole 30 is how much time they have to spend in the kitchen. You quickly realize that nearly everything on the shelf at the store contains sugar in some form. So nearly every meal has to be made from scratch. The best way to beat kitchen fatigue is to make double or even triple of your meals. Some things can be frozen (like meatballs), or stored in the refrigerator for up to a week!
- When you combine these two practices: meal plan and leftovers, you get my most favorite tip and survival tactic! Using leftovers to get by, make your meal plan so that you only have to cook one meal each day! Yes, it’s possible. Imagine this: you have meatballs for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, and cook stew for dinner on Monday. On Tuesday, you have leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you cook lunch for the next 3 days. On Wednesday, you have leftovers for breakfast and lunch, and cook meatloaf for dinner. It’s truly genius and you don’t feel like you’re a slave to the kitchen!
Well, there you have it! All my favorite Whole 30 things! Do you have a product or tip that I missed? Drop me a comment with your favorite Whole 30 thing!