Monday, March 2, 2015

Whole 30--Getting Started

I'm not an expert or anything of the sort when it comes to nutrition. But I know how to Google like a boss and I genuinely enjoy researching and learning about the things I am interested in. 

I just successfully competed the Whole 30 and am very proud of myself. I learned a lot and have just started developing some healthier habits that I hope turn long term. If I can go from eating Hershey's syrup straight off a spoon (truth) to eating foods without sugar, legumes, dairy, grains, or soy for 30 days--anyone can. I mean that. So, you want to start? You're intrigued? You want to learn more? This post is for you. Here's how I got started:

 Understanding the Whole 30 Program

The information and foundation of Whole 30 can be found in the book: It Starts with Food. The book details everything, but it isn't NECESSARY to start. (If you can't afford it, check it out from your local library. That's what I did.) However, please note that reading the book isn't necessary. You can find all the information you need from the places below (and then some!)
The Whole 30 website has a ton of information and ideas:
You can find the program rules here. I read through this about three times before I started. Just to make sure I understood the program and the purpose. (And to mentally gear me up for the upcoming challenge.)
I also read through this article about what you can/cannot eat because it explains why and the purpose behind things. Some of this is a repeat of the rules, but it really helped. I read this a few times and it helped me understand what to look for when reading labels and how to talk myself out of making a "compliant treat" when I felt like dessert.

Meal Planning
After reading through the program and deciding when I would do it, I picked a date, marked it on the calendar, and started meal planning right away. I literally meal planned for a month.
For us, I planned breakfast and dinner. I try to make enough for dinner that we can all three have leftovers the next day.You can find a bunch of recipes on the Whole 30 site here. You can also search Pinterest (you can find my Whole 30 Pinterest board here.)

I also follow a few Instagram accounts that are helpful and have great recipe ideas. My three favorites are @Whole30Recipes @AmazonAshley and @cleaneats_cleantreats (the Clean Eats and Treats Blog is found here.)
More recipes can be found on the Nom Nom Paleo blog here.

You can find recipes everywhere, but these are my favorite places.

Something that was a big help to me was learning how to make my own mayo and from there how to make my own dressings. That info can all be found here.

In a Pinch

 I needed some things I could buy to keep for times that we didn't have enough for leftovers or dinner didn't work out--those days happen. Clean Eats and Treats did a post on her favorite clean Costco purchases (found here) and I have only purchased the turkey burgers but they work in a pinch and I love that she gives other choices as well. Additionally, I made a list of a few quick lunches (hard boiled eggs, apples/almond butter, Lara Bars, and compliant tuna (prepare to pay for that stuff, it isn't cheap! Which is why I have pretty much stuck with hard boiled eggs or turkey burgers in a pinch).

If you love avacodo, there are so many things you can make quick and easy with it. Pick a few compliant foods you like and see if you can make a list of 3-5 backup meals just in case.

If you commit to this, best of luck! It's a challenge, but it is definitely worthwhile. If you ever have questions or need support, connect with me (Tweet me, message me on Instagram, send me an email, or just comment on this post--I will reply).

Have you ever completed a Whole 30? What resources were most helpful to you?

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