You’re committed to doing your first round of Whole 30. You’re all in! Or, maybe you just heard about it from a friend and are eager to give it a try. Well, here are the very, very basics of the program and how you can prep for your round.
You’ve probably heard that Whole 30 is hard. Well, it is. Sort of. Is it worth it? Absolutely and it is only 30 days. You can read the rules online here and have access to some great online resources like The Whole 30 Meal Template, The Whole 30 Shopping List, The Whole 30 Guide to Sneaky Sugars, and The Whole 30 Common Additive Cheat Sheet.
Is this enough to tell you about the program? Yes and no. From what I’ve listed above, you’ll get the gist of the program but not the science behind the rules and what’s going on with your body; you’ll get that in the book. I highly recommend reading (or even skimming!) It Starts With Food–you can get it here or through your library.
Stock Up On The Essentials
One of the most common questions we get is about what you should have in your kitchen. Sugar is in everything and it seems like half your fridge and pantry is off-limits during your round. Why is there even brown sugar in a store bought roasted chicken? WHY?
All the admins have been on multiple rounds. Here are our staples in the kitchen and where you can get them. I get most of my staples through Thrive Market. You can get a 30-day trial membership and 20% off your first three orders, with no obligation to join here (the link is good for 24hrs. once you open it).
I ended up joining because it’s cheaper than where I shop, the selection is great for Whole 30 products, they have great sales and Thrive cash back, they gave me about 60$ in free products when I joined, and my membership gave someone else a free membership.
You can get a FREE Thrive Membership if you’re a teacher, student, veteran, first responder, or low-income. You can apply here.
Not up for spending money–no worries, we have you covered! You can do this without any special compliant sauces, flours, or ghee. I think the most special thing I used was olive oil and some regular ol’ spices during my first round. You can also, easily, make your own ghee (clarified butter), spice blends, mayo, ranch dressing, and cashew milk for your coffee. The sky’s the limit and almost everyone comes out a better cook at the end of their rounds. BONUS!
You and your kitchen are going to spend A LOT of time together in the next 30 days. So much time together. I’m not a fan of having extra stuff laying around the kitchen but I always used my olive oil bottle, mandoline slicer, and lemon/lime squeezer (yeah, it’s hard to find compliant pre-squeezed lemon/lime juice!). I was CRAZY about my spiralizer for a couple of rounds but find I haven’t been using it much this round. Again, these are things that I use–they are certainly not required to get through a round.
So, you’ve got the basics down. What next? Meal planning. I can’t stress enough to keep it simple. Chicken, Ground Beef, roasted veggies–there are a lot of ideas on the blog and Facebook page to help you out.
Hit the supermarket and be sure to make a detailed list so you don’t forget anything! And, be sure to buy more vegetables than you need – you will go through them quickly.
When you get home from the market, don’t even put the veggies away. Take out all your sheet pans and start roasted – simply slice the veggies and toss them in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Roast them at 400 degrees until caramelized and delicious. These will help you build your Whole 30 plates throughout the week.
Don’t forget to double up on your recipes so you can have some parachute meals handy. That’s what I call a meal that you can grab without thinking on a day when you can’t imagine cooking! Pre-plan for that time, it will happen!
Break it down into three days at a time – and think about having enough on hand to make it through nine meals. It’s OK to eat the same thing a few days in a row – we do it all the time!
It can be overwhelming to take on Whole 30 so I hope this helps explain how and what you need to get started!
Stay tuned for an upcoming post that walks you through meal prepping for the first three days of your round. In the meantime, please feel free to email me with your questions (and victories!) at firstname.lastname@example.org.