How to Make Whole30 Survivable: Recipes, Ideas, and Shopping Tips
I wrote a few days ago about why we decided to do a Whole30 and a little about the results from our first one. Today I am sharing about the specifics of Whole30, along with some recipes and shopping tips. (This post contains affiliate links. I am linking to Amazon the exact products I purchased for Whole30 and will purchase again. If you decide to click and purchase, I receive a small commission which helps keep this blog alive and well. Thanks!)
Whole30 is a eating plan where you deliberately eliminate all grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar for 30 days. The main reasons for doing this are to create healthier habits (and break bad ones), do a healthy reset of your body's metabolism and digestive system, and to find out if there are foods you are eating that are impacting your body in negative ways that you might not even be aware of. Many people lose weight on a Whole30, but that's not really the focus of the program.
We experienced many positive "side effects" while on our Whole30, including better sleep, calmer tummies, and reduction in headaches. As i wrote in my last post, we are now doing a second Whole30, because we didn't follow the reintroduction steps and didn't gain as much information as we could have following our first time through. (For example, what is causing my husband's frequent headaches? They disappeared on Whole30).
Whole30 Preparation and Shopping
Here are a few of our essentials for Whole30. At the very least, you will probably want to stock up on these items, plus additional fruits and veggies before starting your own 30 days.
- Eggs. We eat a LOT of eggs on Whole30. A dozen a day, if the whole family is involved.
- Coconut Milk. I bought this in bulk on Amazon and we used it all. In my opinion, it's the most versatile of the non-dairy milks for recipes, coffee, even "ice cream."
- Ghee. While diary is out-of-bounds on Whole30, ghee is an option. This is because ghee is clarified butter that has been strained to remove all the milk proteins. This is awesome for cooking things where a buttery taste is in order. (Check the recipes below for several that use ghee.) It's also perfect for your morning eggs.
- Cauliflower. We ate cauliflower rice on several occasions on Whole30. You can even make a bunch and freeze it for easier meals. I used my food processor (which I will be reviewing soon) to make the rice.
- Nuts. Almonds, cashews, anything but peanuts. Nuts are essential on Whole30, for snacks on the go and times when other snacks that fit the plan might be hard to come by. Trust me when I tell you that you can't find many snack options at the gas station.
- LaCroix (or something similar). On Whole30, your beverage choices are basically limited to water, 100% juice, tea/coffee and nut milks. Sometimes, just being able to grab a can of something "special" out of the fridge can be a lifesaver. Especially in the car! My favorites are Pineapple/Strawberry and Peach/Pear. (Amazon isn't the cheapest for LaCroix, unless you catch a great sale.)
- Coconut Aminos. Similar to soy sauce in flavor, this one ingredient opens up lots of meal possibilities, like the beef and broccoli I listed below.
There are LOTS and LOTS of recipes out there. Here are some of the recipes we tried and liked while on Whole30. I'll definitely be using all of these again this time around, plus trying a few new ones. I have a Pinterest Board that you can follow for all the ideas I find to try.
- Sweet Potato Apple Breakfast Bake - Perfect for mornings when you just can't eat another scrambled egg. Or, for a lunch when you forget to plan something else... Ahem.
- Garlic Broccoli Spaghetti Squash Casserole. The recipe calls for salmon. I used chicken (canned, even) because it was at the end of the shopping week. I cooked the squash in the crock pot. Easy!
- Beef and Broccoli (with cauliflower rice). This one is really good. It also provided a change of pace when we were tired of all the options.\
- Crock Pot Coconut Curry. I actually made this twice in 30 days. That says something (hint: We loved it. Don't forget the cilantro).
- Crispy Garlic Ranch Roasted Potatoes. Yummy and decadent-feeling, this is a great recipe for stretching the meat a little.
- Homemade Mayo. You can make everything with this goodness. Salad dressing, ranch dip, deviled eggs. You'll need to make mayo on Whole30. Sorry. But, it's really not hard with either a food processor or an immersion blender. My review of my food processor is coming soon!
- Sweet Potato Kale Hash. Easy, packed with good stuff, and a favorite in our house even before Whole30. Serve it as a side dish with a meat, or on it's own with an over-easy egg on top!
- Pot roast, tacos, and some salads. worked for us too with few modifications. Check the labels for hidden sugar, and make your own salad dressings.
There are many delicious Whole30 food recipes and options. It's completely doable. However, please realize going in that eating out at restaurants is really hard (almost impossible) and that there is a lot more prep work involved sometimes. I did find it a bit tiring to have to plan ahead and make everything from scratch all the time (leftovers will become your best friend). No pizza night when you're extra tired! But, it's only 30 days and totally worth it.
Remember to follow my Whole30 Pinterest board for more recipe ideas. If you missed the series on Food Dyes, check it out here.
In my next Whole30 post, I'll be talking about doing it with kids. Stay tuned!