January Whole30 Prep
You, my little Instagram followers, are funny. I did a few polls the other night to gauge y’alls interest in Whole30. The vast majority of you said you do not want to participate in a January Whole30, but the vast majority of y’all also said you wanted me to do a post on how to prep for Whole30. My intuition tells me that means that a lot of you actually do have interest in participating but YOU SCARED. And that’s completely ok, because before I became a Whole30 veteran, I was too.
I believe my first round was in Feb/March 2013 and there were not NEAR the amount of resources then as there are today to help get you through this challenge. In part, that made things easier – there was only one source of truth – https://whole30.com/. It actually may not have even been whole30.com then… Anyhoo! All of that to say there is a LOT of information out there and it’s hard to know what to trust. Here I am to help you navigate. I am going to list in this post some of my favorite Instagram accounts and blogs to follow, as well as how to prep your kitchen and your mind to get through your January Whole30.
The Whole30 website – I think the reason you should visit The Whole30 website is clear. It’s the bible of Whole30 rules. The page I linked to above will take you straight to the program rules page. Familiarize yourself with this and keep it very close for reference. instagram: @whole30 @whole30approved @whole30recipes
If your fear with Whole30 is not knowing what the heck to cook and worried you’ll get bored with food, this blog will be your jam. Michelle Tam is a crazy good recipe creator. If this is your first dabble in paleo life, some of the ingredients might sound odd to you, but they will be well worth the swap for yuck ingredients that might be lurking in your pantry. instagram: @nomnompaleom
This is one of the very first paleo blogs I ever followed. Juli has evolved this site in recent years and it now has lots of fashion and fitness tips along with recipes. Not all of her recipes are Whole30 so be mindful as you read ingredients. If you travel a lot or like to work out at home, check out some of her workouts as well. instagram: @paleomg
Alex is hands down my favorite blogger as of late. The vast majority of her recipes are Whole30 compliant. Also she’s just freakin cute and seems really cool and I really want her to be my friend. instagram: @thedefineddish
@melissa_hartwig – Co-creator of the Whole30 program. Nuff said.
@fitasgluck – Laura is not necessarily talking about Whole30, but she is very focused on eating real food. I find her recommendations and the information she shares inspiring while I work towards my health goals.
@againstallgrain – Danielle is legit. She has 3 cookbooks and I would recommend any of them. Bonus points – I love her style and want all of her clothes and home decor.
@boochandbacon – Paige is not completely focused on Whole30 but is often found eating and creating compliant meals. We actually went to college together and I always really liked her so I definitely want to help support her! You can also find her chatting about fertility struggles and ways to promote health during a difficult time.
@nocrumbsleft – I feel like I’m flipping the pages of a magazine when I look at her creations. Always so beautiful and delicious!
@danikabrysha – Founder and CEO of model meals and GORGEOUS plus size model. Bonus – she has an amazing dog.
Honestly I have so many others so leave me a comment if you want more!
Buckle up people, because this is the hardest part. First of all, I want to be upfront about who I would suggest NOT do a Whole30 – if you have ever, and I mean EVER, struggled with any kind of disordered eating, I would not advise doing a Whole30 unless you are under the care of a doctor or counselor. The fact of the matter is, Whole30 kind of forces you to obsess over what you are eating for 30 days, ESPECIALLY if it is your first round. If that is triggering for you, I am happy to point you in the direction of some resources that might be better suited toward what you are looking for. Whole30 is about your overall health (mental health included) so please consider that before venturing down this road.
Ok moving on. Do not walk into this thinking about how miserable these next 30 days are going to be or you will never make it. Think of it as a fun experiment to learn how to feel the best you have ever felt. What if you learn that a certain food messes with your body to the point of pain or discomfort? You can cut that food out forever and never feel that way again – THAT IS GREAT!!!
Be prepared to cook. There is no way around cooking some during your Whole30. Cutting out processed foods means cutting out a lot of pre-packaged foods and pretty much all fast food. Cool thing though: Blue Apron is partnering up with Whole30 in January to give you compliant options during your January Whole30! That means you can have at least 2 meals (probably more with leftovers) a week that you don’t even have to go to the grocery store for.
30 days is not that bad. It really isn’t. You do need to prepare to feel pretty shitty on days 3-7 but that is 5 days of your life you might have to feel bad to later feel amazing. Trust me when I say that if I can give up wine and cheese for 30 days, you can too.
If this is your first Whole30, this is going to be a little harder for you because you are about to really learn how much crap is in most of your food. If something has weird ingredients, toss it. If it is something you really love, put it out of sight. You can have it again, just not for 30 days.
Spices – Look through your spice drawer and toss any that have weird ass chemicals in them. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Honestly how many ingredients does “paprika” need? I’ll tell you – one. Paprika. That is all.
Snacks – Ok, you need to be prepared to spend a little money here upfront but it is going to save your little hiney when you get hungry. Stock up on some compliant Larabars, RX Bars, Epic bars, and Chomp bars (check out my shop page). At some point you are gonna get hangry and you are gonna need these for a snack. You can order all of this stuff on Amazon, Barefoot Provisions, or Thrive Market. Snacks like these are becoming more common at mainstream grocery stores too.
Meal Prep – I know, I know. You hear about meal prep all the time and it’s annoying. But you really, really need to consider setting some time out each week to do this. I like to take a couple hours on Sunday to get some good stuff ready for the week. Follow along on @graceful_cooking and you will see my weekly meal prep!
If you want to know sciencey stuff of why food is so important, you should start here.
Walks through the rules and ins and outs of Whole30 and has lots of great recipes.
Helps navigate your life after Whole30. On day 28 and 29 you will start to panic about what you will do once it’s over. This will help!
There are 2 more new Whole30 books that I have not gotten my hands on yet, so I don’t want to recommend them quite yet. However, my guess is they are great – will keep you posted!
Ok people, I put a lot of words out there. What questions do you have? Have I convinced you to join me starting January 6? For more info on the benefits of my last round of Whole30, check out this post!