Breaking It Down: A Step-by-Step Guide For Your First Three Days of Whole 30

You’re ready! You’ve read your Whole 30 books, scoured our Everyday Whole blog (including this post on Whole 30 Basics), and spent lots of time in our Whole 30 Facebook group. You’ve ordered some of our favorite Whole 30 products! You’ve chosen a start date and you’ve begun keeping a running list of recipes to make.

Even with all of that advance recon, Whole 30 can be intimidating. You may be unsure on how to organize your meal prep, how many vegetables you need, or how long a recipe will stretch you. You may feel anxious about eating the same foods a few times in a row or worried about burning out on eggs.


Take a deep breath!

I am here to help. I have done seven rounds of Whole 30 – including a Whole 60 and a Whole 75. I work full-time, have a long commute, am a single mother to a 5-year-old, and I exercise most days. I am busy – just like you are but I have come up with a system that works for me!

I am going to map out for you how I would approach the start of a Whole 30 round, beginning at Day -1, aka two days before your start date. I will outline five days (two days in advance and then the first three days of the round) to take you through what I would to do to prep for a round. The recipes I suggest below are tried-and-true favorites of mine that I come back to again and again.

I know this won’t work for everyone but hopefully you can use this to help guide your Whole 30 prep! Here’s to shopping, cooking, and eating well! Let’s do it…

DAY – 1

  • Assess your pantry and fridge and make sure you have the following basics (or add them to your shopping list!): Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, red pepper flakes, olive oil, extra light olive oil, compliant balsamic vinegar, coconut oil, ghee, raw coconut flakes, coffee, non-dairy creamer (like nutpods, if you need it!) compliant canned tuna, compliant nut butter, and raw nuts.

  • Add to your shopping list the following: Sweet potatoes, red bliss potatoes, 2 dozen eggs, riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen), two packs pre-made veggie noodles (fresh or frozen, such as carrot or zucchini), mixed greens and salad vegetables of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, onion, etc), bananas, berries of your choice, compliant chicken sausage, avocado/guacamole, and seltzer.

  • Add to your shopping list the items you need to make the following recipes:

  • When you get home, put everything away in an organized fashion. Make sure you know where everything is. Also, do a survey of your storage containers/supplies. Do you have enough Tupperware, glass containers, foil, etc.? If not, make sure you stock up.

  • Get some rest! You’ve got a big prep day ahead of you tomorrow!

DAY 0

  • Good morning! Coffee in hand, today is your big prep day! If you need to grab some more storage containers/supplies, I would make a quick run to a store like Target now. Before you go, review your ingredients against your recipes. If you forgot anything, now’s your time to grab it!

  • Get ready to prep! Make sure you have a few hours to get everything done and an easy way to reference the recipes, whether on your phone, computer or iPad.

  • Today, make the following recipes:

  • Also, roast some red bliss potatoes (cut them in chunks, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt/pepper/seasoning of your choice, and roast at 400F), saute your veggie noodles in a pan with some light olive oil, cut up/store your salad ingredients so they are easily accessible, and mix up some tuna with your homemade mayo (and any spices or add-ins you want – I like raw cashew pieces and raisins in my tuna salad!)

  • If you will be at school/work during lunch tomorrow, pack up your lunch tonight (Tuna with salad and guacamole/avocado, roasted potatoes, and berries.) Also leave out your mug, spoon and coffee for the morning!

DAY 1

BREAKFAST

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Egg Bake

Dump Ranch

Veggie Noodles

(Plate the above on a bed of mixed greens for more color and bulk)

½ Banana

Coffee with non-dairy creamer

LUNCH (see above)

Tuna with salad and guacamole/avocado

Roasted potatoes

Berries

Seltzer

DINNER

Salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette (I would add in some raw nuts as well, for crunch!)

Whole 30 Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce

Veggie Noodles

(I would mix the Veggie Noodles in with the Egg Roll in a Bowl – YUM!)

Seltzer

  • Sometime today or tonight, make this quick recipe below – being sure to sub nutritional yeast for parmesan cheese! Also slice a package of chicken sausage into rounds and saute them in light olive oil with salt and pepper.

  • If you will be at school/work during lunch tomorrow, pack up your lunch tonight (Leftover Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Egg Bake, a container of dump ranch, some crispy oven fried green beans, a handful of greens, and berries.) Also leave out your mug, spoon and coffee for the morning!

DAY 2

BREAKFAST

Three eggs fried in ghee

Sliced compliant chicken sausage

Roasted potatoes

Breakfast salad with dump ranch

Half of a banana with compliant nut butter

Coffee with non-dairy creamer

LUNCH (see above)

Leftover Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Egg Bake

Dump ranch (pack in a container if it’s to go)

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans

All served over a bed of greens

Berries

Seltzer

DINNER

Easy Ground Beef Stir Fry – The Defined Dish – Make it now, it does not take long!

Also, in a saute pan, cook cauliflower rice in light olive oil, with salt and pepper. Crack two eggs into it and stir to make it more like fried rice!

Mix your beef stir fry with your cauliflower rice for maximum enjoyment!

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans

Extra ghee on top of the stir fry

Seltzer

  • Don’t forget to pack your lunch for tomorrow if you’ll need it on the go and leave out your mug, spoon and coffee for the morning!

DAY 3

BREAKFAST

Leftover Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Egg Bake

Dump ranch (pack in a container if it’s to go)

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans

All served over a bed of greens

Coffee with non-dairy creamer

LUNCH

Whole 30 Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce

Veggie Noodles

Roasted potatoes

Berries with raw nuts

Seltzer

MINI MEAL

Leftover compliant chicken sausage rounds

Guacamole for dipping

DINNER

Easy Ground Beef Stir Fry

Leftover cauliflower rice and whatever vegetables you have left over from the previous three days

Berries with coconut flakes

Seltzer

There you have it, three days under your belt! Keep eating down your meals and mixing and matching through days four and five if you still have food left over.

If you don’t have much left at this point, I would choose another two EASY (keeping it simple IS the name of the game!) mains/one vegetable recipe to shop and cook for to get you through the rest of the week. Be sure to buy extra vegetables to roast and greens to put as the base layer of you plate.

Not sure what else to make? Check out our Pinterest board or this Whole 30 recipe round-up for inspiration!

Whole 30 is all about the prep – but if you break it down in smaller increments, it’s manageable. Always stay on top of your food, and find time to meal prep when it works for you. I am an early bird so I would much rather do some prep in the wee hours of the morning than in the evening, when I am tired.

A final tip: Be sure to keep some “emergency food” on hand so you’re able to whip up a quick meal with little effort.

Items like compliant hot dogs, frozen beef or chicken burgers, canned salmon, extra bags of frozen cauliflower rice or veggie noodles, and heartier vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and beets (that stay for a while) are great to have in your kitchen when your meal plan is just not happening, well, as planned!

Put together some protein and vegetables, add your fat (nuts and olives keep for a long time), and you’re good to go!

Make any of the recipes I highlighted in my 3-day meal plan? I’d love to hear how they turned out! Let me know in the comments!