Look at you.
Taking the first step. Committing to a round of Whole30! So proud of you, and super excited. The things you are about to learn will change your life, if you are anything like me.
So you have your date, and have completed the rest of your to-dos from my last blog. The next thing you need to do is plan your first week of eating, and create a shopping list. Don’t do what I did the first time, and just wing it. You will be drowning in your own tears standing over the pan of Pederson’s bacon that wasn’t Whole30 compliant, but you thought it was because it said “WHOLE” in big letters – referring to the Whole Hog that they use – all because you didn’t give yourself enough time to shop and really read the labels. Then someone will have to talk you off of the ledge of quitting on day 19!?
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How I Plan
What I like to do is sit down with my calendar and write out what meals I will be cooking this week, and who will be home for those. Between swim classes, violin, soccer, and my husband’s crazy work schedule, we aren’t always here all the time. If it’s the Summer, then 3 meals for 4 people are going down each day. I don’t want to cook 360 meals a month, I mean come on!
Then, I figure out what my busy times are, and guess when I’m going to be too tired to cook/over it. For those days, I make sure I have either convenient foods on hand, or that I have some yummy leftovers, so I can plan the day prior to double a recipe. I know it sounds like a lot of thinking, but it’s worth it.
The worst thing that can happen in a Whole30 is not having something to eat. In your first round, you will feel like its your life. It’s like if you are on weight watchers and someone eats your last skinny cow ice cream sandwich, or that low fat corn dog you have been dreaming of all day.
So I’m trying to save you, mk!
You can actually plan out meals. OR if you are like me, and you eat by what you are feeling/craving that day, then you may not want Whole30 shephard pie when you have only seen taco commercials, and its Taco Tuesday, and Instagram is blowing you down with drool worthy taco pictures. Right?
So my plan of action is this:
I will look at how many of my family members will be home for which meals this whole week. I will then list the things I would like to eat because I am the VIP of the house for the next 30 days. I’m the only one doing a Whole30, and they can just coat whatever I’m eating in bread and cheese when I’m done cooking it.
I will make columns for Protein, Veggies, Fruits, and then Favorite Condiments and Additional Items not in those other columns. Remember, I’m keeping it simple my first week. Not tackling any big recipes or difficult things to cook. It saves time, eases up your dish load, because Lord, the dishes, and you know its going to be delicious every time, so you don’t have to worry about wasting food or being hungry.
What I Tend To Buy
For proteins, we stick to chicken breasts, clean rotisserie chickens, ground turkey and beef, bacon, compliant hot dogs and sausages, and eggs. Whole30 encourages Grass-Fed/No Antibiotic/Organic items. But it is just a recommendation, not a rule. So, I try to buy with the recommendation as often as possible, but $10.99/lb vs $2.99/lb chicken breast, well, I’m not certifiable.
Guys, you can make the Whole30 as expensive or as cost effective as possible. Go with what makes you feel comfortable. If you need to buy some of the more expensive pantry items, stick with the lower priced proteins and produce that week.
Then I think, what veggies would go great with those items. 1-2 per meal is what I try to stick to. Again, organic when and if you can, but not required. I like to refer to this produce guide from time to time because pesticides can be so prevalent in produce, and those are things I choose to eliminate because its typically just pennies per pound more. For fruit, I do the same, except I have them on hand for the kids, to add to breakfasts, and snacks if I’m getting hungry throughout the day. Which you shouldn’t be hungry Beeteedubs. If you are hungry between meals, you aren’t eating enough, or you aren’t eating enough of the right thing (fats, proteins, carbs).
If you are snacking
Make sure you have some protein and fat, those will help you feel full longer. Almond butter and apples, carrots and compliant dressing, nuts and seeds are some good snacks, but again, do it in moderation. Something Melissa Hartwig said has really stuck with me. “If you are hungry enough to eat fish and broccoli, then you need to eat a snack.” I use that as my measuring stick all of time. Most of the time, it ends up that I’m not really hungry, I’m just bored or tired or (insert emotion here).
The last thing I do
Figure out what pantry items or condiments I’ll need to go with meals. I need healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee). Coffee, and then some coffee. For my creamer, I use whole fat Coconut milk and cinnamon. I will post that recipe soon. Then dressings or sauces if I’m not going to make my own. I like to stick with Salsas and make my own Dump Ranch by Whole Sisters. You can also find many compliant dressings like Tessamae’s or Primal Kitchens, if you want to spend your money there. Snack items I like to have are Pickled Okra (check your labels!), Larabars or RX Bars, and almond butter to go with my fruit. One last thing to check at your house. Your spice counter. Make sure there are no additives or sulfites, and its just pure ingredients. This goes for your vinegars too. Use this list, it is amazing. Save it to your phone so you can look at it while you are shopping, I used it my first 2 rounds.
Okay, I could write a book on products I have tried on my Whole30, so I will stop there, and will be creating a shop for all of these soon! Let me know if you have any questions on grocery shopping in the comments below!