Ask the Coach – Your Whole30 Questions Answered!

By Judith 

Recently, I put a call out in the Facebook group for Whole30 questions I could answer in my new blog series,” Ask the Coach.” I was excited to receive quite a few! I chose two questions to answer in this first installment, and I will tackle more them in the coming weeks. 

Have a burning Whole30 question? Email me at and you may see your question appear in a future blog post!

Jolynn P. asked: “I could use ideas for plated fats that are not avocados. Thanks!”

Thanks, Jolynn! I have to say that this has been one of the most popular questions over the years. For some reason, people seem to get tripped up by the idea of adding fat to every meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated – and there are tons of ways to add to fat (which helps you feel satisfied and satiated, as well as providing what your body needs to function well!) to your meals.

The Whole30 meal template lists some basic ideas for fat (along with suggested serving sizes, although I personally do not measure a thing in my life). 

They are: oils and cooking fats, ghee and nut butter, coconut, olives, nuts and seeds, avocado, and coconut milk. Most of these can be added right to your meal, regardless of what you are eating. For example, you can drizzle olive oil over meat and veggies, add a side of olives to your plate, sprinkle some unsweetened coconut on fruit, and enjoy a handful of nuts with your lunch. You can add coconut milk to your coffee! Easy peasy.

Note: Whole30 recommends you add fat to your plate BEYOND any cooking fat you use because a lot of that stays in the pan. For more on that question, check out this blog post.

Beyond that list, here are my favorite ways to add fat to your plate:

  • Compliant ranch dressing – I like Tessemae’s or I make my own using Whole Sisters’ Dump Ranch recipe. 
  • Homemade pesto – I use this basic recipe and sub in any greens I have on hand (arugula, spinach, fennel fronds, etc)
  • Homemade wing sauce – Heat ghee (I like this one from 4th & Heart) with compliant buffalo sauce (my favorite is Medium Buffalo from The New Primal, use code “whole30facebook” for 25% off your order!)
  • Compliant mayo – You can easily make your own (I like this recipe!) or buy one that’s premade (I like this one from Tessamae’s!) You can turn the mayo into spicy mayo, buffalo mayo, ranch mayo or any other variety of mayo that makes you happy!
  • Compliant oil-based salad dressing – You can make your own vinaigrette (like this balsamic one from Tastes Lovely) or get a pre-made dressing from The New Primal. You can also just use whatever oil and spices you have on hand to whip up a quick and easy dressing for greens or to drizzle on whatever you’re eating!
  • Any other oil- or nut-based sauce – Here are some great ideas from Eat The Gains!
  • Tahini – You can buy this premade (here’s one from Thrive Market!) or make your own
  • Guacamole – Tired of avocado as is? Mash up your own guacamole! Check out this recipe from The Real Food RDs – save the chips for your Food Freedom!
  • Lard, tallow, and other animal fats – These fats may be more obscure to you but they provide a lot of great benefits. Read more about them on the Whole30 website here.

I love this post from fellow Whole30 Certified Coach Bailey Fischer on common mistakes that people make during a Whole30. See #3 – Eating enough fat is key to success on Whole30. As I like to tell my clients, healthy fat doesn’t make you fat! Healthy fat is your BFF on Whole30, so eat up!

Julie P. came in hot with a question on cooking oils. She wondered: “How do you choose cooking oils based on taste and temperature?” For this one, I turned to fellow Whole30 Certified Coach Ana Desmond, for her expertise. (You can check out more of her amazing culinary creations on Instagram here!)

From Ana: 

I base my cooking oils on both taste and cooking temperature.  My favorite ones to use are Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Ghee, and Coconut Oil.  I always have these on hand, both in liquid form and spray! 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is almost always a safe bet when you aren’t too sure what to use.  It is light in flavor and can withstand medium temperatures.  You can also find olive oils that are both bold or milder in taste.  I like to use “Extra Light” Olive oil when making my homemade mayo.  And I love the Trader Joe’s Garlic Olive Oil to sauté or bake veggies.  

If you are going to roast, sear, or pan fry and temperatures are going to be high, reach for Avocado Oil. It has a high smoke point which is very important!  Smoke point is important for a few reasons.  When oil smokes it releases toxic fumes and free radicals which are very harmful to you, it will give your food a rancid flavor, and it will smoke up your kitchen! (My firefighter hubby doesn’t like that too much! LOL) 

My favorite brand of Avocado Oil is Chosen Foods. It is mild in flavor. It can be a little pricier than other oils, so I am always on the lookout for them at TJ Maxx! 

Ghee… ah ghee!  All about flavor here!  Gives you that buttery taste we all love AND has a high smoke point.  Sometimes I will combine both ghee and olive oil when sauteing, as the veggies really soak up the ghee!  My favorite is again from Trader Joe’s!

Coconut Oil!  I have a love affair with all things coconut!  However, it does smoke at a high temperature!  I use it when cooking on medium heat. I love it when making scrambled eggs, baking sweet potatoes and butternut squash!  And I love it for my hands, skin, hair, and nails! But back to cooking! Coconut Oil can have a “coconuty” flavor.  So, if that is not your thing, buy refined coconut oil as opposed to unrefined.  I love the Chosen Foods brand!

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