Thirty days of no dairy, grains, legumes, sugar and alcohol sounds like absolute torture for someone who loves food as much as I do. The thought of dramatically changing my weekly meals and weekend socialization seemed overwhelming! In reality, I couldn’t be more happy I committed to taking the plunge into the 30 day challenge. It opened up my eyes to a whole new way of looking at food, cooking and my body. If you’re thinking about completing a Whole30, I couldn’t support you more! GO FOR IT. You’re going to have a million reasons and excuses why NOT to do it, but all I can say is, push those aside and commit to this small fraction of time in relation to the big difference it could make on your life.
There are so many things I learned along the way that I want to pass along to anyone who is going to do a Whole30. I hope this can be a resource that you and any friends doing Whole30 with you! If have other suggestions or ideas, comment below and I’ll keep growing this over time.
My Seven Top Tips for Success
- Set aside a few hours on Sunday to really meal prep. Wash and prepare fruits and veggies, make a few lunches, get started on elements for dinner… you’ll feel so much better knowing you have food on hand you can eat and won’t feel like you are depriving yourself.
- Find your people!! Get a group text going with anyone else who is completing the Whole30 with you and talk to each other daily… This support network will 100% get you through the highs and lows of the journey. You’ll want to share in the so-called “tiger blood” phase with others, but also have people to complain to who will hold you accountable.
- Lara bars are AMAZING… but don’t rely too heavily on them. I was having one a day for too long, and I realized I was becoming dependent on them. Have other compliant snacks around as options!
- Buy Maldon sea salt. It’s a flaky sea salt that you sprinkle on a dish once it’s complete to finish it. The sea salt flakes bring out the flavor of any produce or dish and makes you instantly feel fancy, especially on scrambled eggs! (See my love letter to Maldon here.)
- If you are one to dive deep into the jar with a spoon (ahemmm, that’s me!) you may want to portion out a scoop when you’re snacking on apples, celery, etc. It’s easy to get carried away!
- When you start getting sick of fruits or veggies, make some sauces to have in your fridge… I listed several examples below, but chimichurri, tomatillo salsa, cashew cream sauce, etc. always made me feel like I wasn’t compromising on flavor!
- Tell yourself the challenge is going to be more than 30 days… I wish I would have mentally prepared for about 45 so I could have stayed steadfast through the recommended re-incorporation phase.
Gourmet Gab Recipes for Whole30
Dishes from the blog that I loved during the Whole30!
- Cast-Iron Brussels Sprouts with Shrimp and Mushroom
- Ropa Vieja (Cuban Flank Steak Stew)
- Tuna, Chicken or Egg Salad (Recipe within this post)
- Chimichurri Tilapia (Recipe within this post)
- Coffee-Rubbed Salmon (Recipe within this post)
- Easiest Baked Chicken Breasts
- Orange Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- Easy Turkey Chili
- Easy Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
- Chicken Stock from Scratch
- How to Make a Soup from Anything without a Recipe
Recipes from Around the Web
A few recipes that inspired me from other bloggers.
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- How to Quickly Cook Frozen Shrimp
- Easy Paleo Salmon Cakes
- Whole30 Caeser Dressing
- Cashew Cream Sauce
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
- How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven
- How to Make Soft Scrambled Eggs
Follow on Social
When you’re scrolling through social media and see all the things you aren’t supposed to eat, it’s helpful to fill your feed with people who are making insanely flavorful, gorgeous Whole30 approved food.
How I Felt After…
My reactions after each phase of the process.
Trader Joe’s Shopping Favorites
If you have the chance to stock up at Trader Joe’s prior to your Whole30, you will save so much money! These are my favorites and you don’t have to buy them all at once, but I’ve starred (*) things I used consistently week to week. It would be worth the investment to have at the start of Whole30 to set you up for success.
Fats and Oils
- Clarified Butter (Ghee)*
- Coconut Oil*
- Mixed Nut Butter*
- Olive oil*
- Toasted Sesame Oil
- Coconut Aminos
- Canned Coconut Milk*
- Chunky Spicy Guacamole
- Everything Bagel Seasoning*
- Sea Salt*
- Chunky Salsa*
- Red Wine Vinegar*
- Fire Roasted Yellow and Red Peppers
- Golden Raisins
- Slivered Almonds
- Chia Seeds
Meats and Fish
- Boneless Pork Tenderloin
- Raw Shrimp
- Frozen Tilapia
- Frozen Ahi Tuna Steaks
- Sokeye Salmon, Canned
- Chile Lime Chicken Burgers
- Solid Light Yellowfin Tuna, Canned*
Other Shopping Links
FYI… affiliate links below!
- Nut Pods Creamer (The best way to make coffee creamy while staying Whole30 compliant.)
- Primal Kitchen Mayo (A little pricey, but will save you time if you don’t want to make it yourself!)
- 16 Pack of Cashew Cookie Lara Bars (just be careful not to rely on these!)
- Mini Food Processor for sauces, salsas and easy prep
- My favorite set of Glass Storage Containers
- Stasher Bags (Dying to get my hands on these reusable storage bags. I personally haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve heard great things!)
- Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap (Not kidding, you’ll be doing so many dishes. This is my favorite!)
- The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
Looking for more cooking staples? Read my full blog post with all my basic kitchen essentials here!
You Got This
I hope you feel more prepared than ever to kick off the 30-day journey. If you need anyone to be your cheerleader or answer questions, send me a direct message on Instagram and we can chat. I’m here for you! What else did I miss? Comment below with any must-knows about Whole30… and go get ’em!
Love food. Love self. Love life.