I have personally completed 2 full rounds of Whole30. I have done multiple “resets” that vary from 3 days to 10 days. All have been exactly what I needed, when I needed. They don’t necessarily all start the same however. I have gotten way more comfortable with how to best prep myself for each of these rounds, no matter how long or short they actually are, and so will you, I promise. It really does become more a way of life than anything else. I’m going to tell you the best ways to begin your first Whole30, and then you can decide what you need to do for yourself for the next. Because you are you, and not me, and that’s different, don’t you see?
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Anyway! First things first: Research!
I was so excited about starting this new chapter in my life that I went out and bought the first book that Whole30 had to offer: It Starts With Food (on a major sale right now!), and read that book in 3 days. I loved every second of it, but I don’t feel like it fully prepared me for my first round. It left with me a lot of basic questions still. Like, what do I eat? How much do I eat? When do I eat? This book dove super deep on the science behind this elimination process. It helps break down how what you are eating is being digested. It was so eye opening to see how so many things I have done in all of my dieting, were part of the reason I was never losing weight, or plateauing, or gaining when I was doing all the hard work.
So then, I bought the Whole30: 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (almost half off right now!) This is the ticket. If you don’t want to rabbit hole through the Whole30 website, this book puts everything in there you really need to know to get through your first round. Since then, I have also bought the Whole30 cookbook, which has some delicious and easy recipes, as well as tips to get through a Whole30, and Food Freedom Forever, that has been crucial to the self-care work I’ve been doing. It has helped me navigate deeper issues I might have related to food. So check those out if you’d like too, but they are not needed to do a round of Whole30.
Secondly, pick a time.
Sit down with your calendar. Look at all of the commitments you have: holidays, birthday parties, networking events, and anything else you feel will make you regret doing a Whole30 at this time. The first month I picked was in March, and I knew it would be tough during Easter, as we have a large family gathering. I decided after weighing my options, it was the best time for me, and so I let everyone know, often, what I was doing. My family rallied around me and we had so many compliant options for me to eat, that I didn’t feel left out one bit.
The first week will be the hardest. You will have the detox headache, the sugar flu, and will be really tired. That is normal! So make sure you don’t have a big presentation that week, or something major going on that may be more difficult to just get through.
Once you pick your date, put it on all the calendars. Make sure you are giving yourself 40 days. Do the reintroduction period. I feel like that is the most important part of the Whole30. I didn’t do it well the first time, and didn’t really understand my body until I finished that part on my second round.
Next, clean out that pantry and refrigerator!
Get rid of anything not compliant. Seriously. I don’t care how you get rid of it. If you decide you are NOT wasting it all, you can give it to another home, or eat it all. I don’t recommend the latter. In my case, I felt like I couldn’t throw all of that out, and my Husband and boys weren’t planning on doing this round with me, and I would be throwing away most of their things. So, I threw out things that were my favorite foods. The things only I enjoyed. The rest, I committed to myself that they were only staying for my family, and I would strongly resist in my weakest moments. If you are doing this, dedicate a shelf and a drawer in each the fridge and the pantry that are yours! You will want to have things at eye level to keep you encouraged and on the right track throughout your 30 days and reintroduction.
My last tip, is to plan your first week of groceries.
Get inspiration on the Whole30 Instagram accounts for recipes if you are filling stuck. You will find a lot of bloggers and developers that have come up with some mouth-watering ideas. I lived there my first round. The best piece of advice I can give you is to make enough for leftovers. That is the easiest way to become successful. Always having something that was delicious the night before, the next day for breakfast or lunch.
Yes, I will eat most dinners for breakfast, because, why not? Getting over the traditional type of breakfast will really help you from drowning in the Bermuda triangle of bacon and eggs every morning, unless you really think you will be okay there. It is okay to keep things simple on your first round.
This should definitely get you started on your first round. Good luck, I know you can do it! Remember, it really isn’t that hard. It’s only 30 days, and it could change your life. I know it has changed mine!