25 Tips for Surviving Whole30

Completing a Whole30 isn’t an easy task. When you take everything you know about eating and throw it out the window you might be left with a grumbling stomach and a list of things that are no longer okay to eat. After completing three rounds I’ve come up with some tips for surviving Whole30 that have become necessities for my own success.  I hope you can apply some or all of these tips to your own Whole30.

Tips for Surviving Whole30

25 Tips for Surviving Whole30

Boil eggs a dozen at a time
Hard boiled eggs are a super versatile source of protein. Use them in egg salad, deviled eggs or just peel and eat them for a quick option when you are on go.

Make Paleo mayo
Homemade mayo is incredibly easy to make with a stick blender and surprisingly superior to anything I’ve ever had from a jar. It can bind salads, be used as a base for other sauces and serve as a condiment on it’s own. With so much versatility mayo is a must have during Whole30 for me. This is my go-to paleo mayo recipe: Foolproof Homemade Paleo Mayo.

Poach chicken
Chicken is another super versatile protein to have on hand. Whether it’s for chicken salads, other recipes or just to eat on it’s own it’s nice to have pre-cooked chicken available. Poaching couldn’t be more easy either, just follow these instructions from The Kitchn on how to poach chicken breasts.

Soak cashews
Cashews have been a real surprise all-star during Whole30 for me. When soaked a few hours to overnight they can be blended into a variety of sauces and can even be made into a very passable faux sour cream. On their own they provide a nice source of fat to balance out meals or snacks too.

Remove temptations, including gum and sodas
Silly me – it’s day one of a past Whole30 and I find myself chewing a piece of gum. Whoops. I had totally forgotten that gum was verboten and I had reached into my purse out of habit and grabbed a piece. Now I know better. Remove all of the temptations and you won’t make the same mindless mistake.

Make salad dressing
Salad dressing can be used on everything from salad to chicken and veggies. It can be very tricky to locate bottled compliant salad dressings that are also delicious. I’ve found recipes like Dump Ranch and Paleo Creamy Italian Dressing are better than nearly any bottled dressing I’ve ever tried.

Make meatballs or meatloaf
Cooking in bulk has really been a savior when doing past Whole30s. A big batch of meatballs or meatloaf can provide several days worth of protein and can easily be frozen to use throughout your Whole30. I use tapioca flour and egg to keep my meatballs light.

Prep greens for salad
The more items you have ready to eat the easier it will be to stay on track. Prep a few days worth of greens by rinsing, drying and storing them with paper towel. Alternately you could try assembling mason jar salads so that you have ready to eat meals available, veggies, protein and all.

Stock up on spices, raw garlic, onions
The right spices can make or break a dish. Use Whole30 as a time to stock and even expand your spice collection. Garlic and onion powders, sea salt and different types of peppercorn are my staple spices, but bay leaves, ginger, cinnamon, a good curry powder (my favorite one is from World Market), and a nice Italian blend are also used quite frequently in my kitchen. Additionally, I keep several pounds of onions and a few heads a garlic on hand. Make sure that none of your spices contain any additives that are on the no-no list.

Make or buy compliant stock or bone broth
Stock/broth is another pantry-type ingredient you should have on hand to use as a base or flavoring agent in other dishes. Make a huge batch of chicken stock by boiling a couple onions, celery, carrots, a whole chicken, water and your preferred spices. You can strain and freeze the stock in small portions to use throughout your entire Whole30 or use the stock as a base for another soup or stew.

Stock up on nuts – cashews and almonds especially
Cashews are my go-to, but other nuts also have their place. Almonds can be pulsed with fresh garlic and other spices to make a ricotta-like filling.  A sprinkle of walnuts can be a great complement to bananas or apples.  Keep in mind that while nuts are compliant, they are also very calorie dense and you don’t want to eat tons of them.

Prep veggies for raw snacks or cooking
Whether it’s chopping onions, slicing peppers or just prepping carrot and celery sticks you’ll be happy you took the effort to pre-plan some veggies options when you are hungry or short on time. I find I can usually get 3-4 days of storage out of cut produce before it starts to go wilty, so I am careful not to over-prep.

Never leave yourself without some precooked protein 
My biggest frustration with the program was getting overly hungry and then having to take the time to cook something.  This created a lot of unneeded stress and angst.  Now I make sure I have stuff (chicken, eggs, meatballs, etc.) either fresh or frozen that can be eaten cold or popped into the microwave for a minute or two.  That way if I am running short on time I know that I’ll still be getting a compliant, healthy meal.

Keep at least a couple of compliant “snacks” on hand
I know snacking is discouraged on Whole30, but we are only human. There are times when you are going to be extra hungry or on the go without time for a real meal. In these cases I’ve found Larabars, Epic Bars, homemade jerky or a snack pack of nuts to be real saviors. Always ensure you double check the ingredients in anything you buy. There are many Larabars that are not compliant and I haven’t run into any store-bought jerky that was okay either.

Find new recipes
Scour websites or buy/check out some cookbooks for inspiration. Cookbooks like Russ Crandell’s Paleo Takeout and Ancestral Table are some of my favorite resources. Additional places I find inspiration include Nom Nom Paleo, Stupid Easy Paleo, Plaid and Paleo and PaleOMG.  Of course, not everything from these places is Whole30 compliant, but you can usually figure out substitutions to make things work.  When it feels like limitations are holding you back it can be very refreshing to find totally new recipes that actually fit this style of eating.

Print the resources guides and shopping list
Check out the downloads section on the Whole30 website.  There you will find really great resources you can print and keep handy.  I keep a copy of the shopping list on the bulletin board at my desk so I can easily refer to it when searching recipes or making my own grocery list.

Don’t cheat
You may be saying to yourself “well duh!”.  Seriously though, do the program at least one time through following every single little direction, even if you think something may be silly.  The first time I did it I was incredibly careful, I read every label and I really applied every rule.  The next two times I was still careful and compliant, but didn’t always pay attention to the teeny details.  My first round remains my most successful and while it’s probably a little beginner’s gusto, it’s also more likely that this was when I was most into the program mentally too.   Make your first time on Whole30 a good one and then make changes on your next round if you want to try something different.

Start over if you need to (or don’t)
Did you mess up?  Did you cheat on purpose or accidentally?  Was it a big boo-boo or a little one?  Only you can decide if you need to start over, but remember that it’s totally okay if you do.  The Whole30 is about improving you so if things veer off course start back at day one and use what you’ve learned to make things better the next time.

Remember why you started doing a Whole30
I won’t lie.  I think Whole30 can be pretty darn hard.  Why?  It will probably shake up your whole relationship with food.  Whether it’s cooking, eating out, going to parties or grocery shopping you are suddenly faced with being especially careful with what you are putting into your body.  This is a good thing, but in some moments it can feeling like an annoying deprivation.  You may start to ask yourself why you would even bother.  Remember why you started.  Was it to lose a few pounds?  Sleep better?  Break an addition to an unhealthy food?  Your reason will be your motivation to keep going even when it gets tough.

Keep compliant drinks on hand
It can be especially hard to break the habit of what you drink everyday.  With even diet sodas and other drinks being off limits you may have to get creative to quench your thirst.  Club soda with a squeeze of citrus is my go-to when I need something jazzy or when I go out.  Unsweetened tea (check those ingredients) is another option when you need some flavor.  I was really surprised at how much I still enjoyed coffee and tea without any additional sweeteners and now I drink them this way even when I am not on Whole30.  When I am feeling especially indulgent I’ll have a kombucha (I love GT’s) or a coconut water, but always check those labels!

Buy good oils
Coconut and olive oil are my go-to oils for cooking while on Whole30.  I go for “light” or “light-tasting” olive oil which is nearly flavorless and perfect for making mayo or other dressings, but works just as well for sauteing and other cooking. I use coconut oil as an alternative for cooking.  Since it’s solid at room temp and has a slight taste I have found it does not work well in mayo and similar recipes.

Make ghee
Ghee is another fat that is awesome for Whole30.  Ghee is butter with the dairy proteins removed.  Ghee is sometimes also referred to as clarified butter, but ghee actually goes one step further and takes on a fantastic almost toffee-like toasty flavor that clarified butter does not have.  You can purchase ghee or make it at home.  Wellness Mama’s How to Make Ghee article explains this easy process step by step.

Use Pinterest 
Pinterest can be a treasure trove of great Whole30 recipes.  Sure, you have to be careful that recipes are truly compliant, but you’ll still most likely end up with some gems if you go hunting.  I recommend starting a Whole30 specific board so that you can collect what you find and then easily reference it later.

Don’t eat too many white potatoes
This is definitely personal experience talking so you can heed my warning or not.  White potatoes are not the nutritionally devoid villain that some people make them out to be, but they aren’t exactly a health food either.  Fries and the like are definitely out, but you may want to limit yourself to other potato dishes as well.  White potatoes are calorie dense and it can be very easy to overeat them, especially since they can be associated with comfort food.  My feeling is that if you have any sort of potato issue just cross them off your list.

Do it with a buddy
Whether it’s your partner, spouse, co-worker or friend, I highly recommend doing Whole30 with a buddy.  Part of what can make a Whole30 so darn hard is when you are on your own no one else really understands the limitations (or the benefits!) of the program. A co-worker nudging you to eat a bite of cake, your spouse wanting to eat out all the time, the list goes on forever.  You may have great willpower and determination, but even the best of us can get worn down.  Having a buddy while on Whole30 provides support and encouragement and may make all the difference in whether your Whole30 is a success or not.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week, both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends!

Want to see more Whole30 posts? Check these out!

Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience while working through the Whole30. This is not a recommendation or suggestion for you to do the same, nor is it an endorsement of the Whole30 program. Before you begin this or any diet or exercise program you should discuss it with your doctor or qualified health care provider to determine whether it is safe for you. This post is based on my personal situation and is for information purposes only. Anything contained herein should not be treated as guidance or advice.

Whole30 Meal Prep Monday

Meal Prep Monday Banner

Happy Monday!  Today I’m focusing on Whole30 meal prep since I’m still following that routine.  This week is my last week of this round of Whole30, but it looks like I’ll be starting again on February 1st with my hubby.  I can’t wait to see what it’s like to go through the program with someone else.  I anticipate it will be easier to have a support buddy who is suffering going through the program with me.

Whole30 meal prep has been a little different than my usual meal prep.  Instead of making and freezing whole meals, I’ve found it easier to focus on making the protein components of my meals in advance and then adding fresh sides to meals as I go.  This week I’ve been eating three main dishes:

Whole30 meal prep

Chocolate Chili (above, darker)
I started following Mel Joulwan (author of Well Fed) on Facebook and boy am I glad.  I stumbled across a post for her recipe for Chocolate Chili and immediately knew I needed to give it a try.  This chili was not like any I had ever made.  First, there were no beans (obviously for Whole30 compliance) which is extremely foreign to my chili-making process.  Second, the spices were way outside my zone.  Cocoa powder is one thing, but allspice?  Whoa now!  That’s out there.  That being said, this chili really does come out well.  It has a depth and flavor unlike anything I’ve ever made and while I am not a huuuuge fan of the flavor the allspice lends, it’s tasty nonetheless.  It also cooks up really thick which is nice given that there are no beans (I’m kinda stuck on the no beans things, it’s weird for me :))

Italian-Style Meat Sauce (above, lighter)
The first or second time I did a Whole30 I distinctly remember buying jarred pasta sauce that had no sugar.  I am pretty sure it was Target’s house brand.  Rewind to last week and I am scouring every single jar of sauce searching for one that had no added sugar.  After two stores I finally landed on a single variety of Prego that did not list sugar in the ingredients.  After all that trouble it probably would have been easier to just make sauce from scratch, but damn it, I wanted convenience!  I mixed two pounds of ground beef with a whole bunch of Italian spices, some chopped onions and the jar of sauce to get an easy topping for zoodles or whatever else.  It really did taste great, but I’m still annoyed that nearly every single big name manufacturer seems to think we need sugar in our pasta sauce…. Guess what?  We don’t.

Whole30 meal prep

Pineapple Pork Meatballs
Following popular authors has really gotten me some good recipes lately and this was another lucky find.  When Steph of Stupid Easy Paleo posted a chicken pineapple meatball recipe on Instagram I was practically drooling.  I didn’t have any chicken on hand, but had a ton of ground pork so I made the substitution and followed the rest of the recipe as written.  Score!  The flavor was spicy with a hint of sweetness from the pineapple.  I used the remaining pineapple and juice from the can, along with some pickled jalapenos and lime juice to make a little sauce to go with these babies.  I will definitely be rotating this recipe into future meal prep sessions.  Note of caution, you seriously do not want to work the mixture too much or you’ll get really dense meatballs.  Still tasty, just a bit tough.

For side dishes to these recipes I’ve made everything from zoodles to shredded cabbage for slaw to cabbage fried in coconut oil to mashed sweet potatoes.  I like being able to make things on the fly when doing Whole30 since the same old thing can get boring very quickly.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Whole30 Update

Whole30 Update

It’s officially day 15 and time to provide a Whole30 update.  This Whole30 is really flying by and to be halfway through already feels pretty good.  As with any Whole30 there have been ups and downs.  Here’s the scoop:

The Ups of my Whole30

I am a firm believer that preparation is one of the main predictors of a whether your Whole30 is going to be successful or not. On that train of thought I have been especially aware of the need to stay one step ahead of my hunger by having lots of options available. Not only have I been prepared with meals, but also with condiments and other staples to make cooking/eating easier and more enjoyable.

My last meal prep post showcased some of the great meals and condiments I had made in preparation for my journey. Those things, especially the condiments, have really been a life saver. On the way I’ve picked up some new ides and recipes. My new favorite sauce is Dump Ranch (seriously better than store bought even if you don’t care about Whole30 at all).  I’m also very excited about trying some new recipes I’ve found: chocolate chili, chicken pineapple meatballs and Asian marinated flank steak.

So far I’m not really noticing any drastic changes in any area, but I wasn’t really expecting them either.  Previous rounds of doing Whole30 have left me feeling a little more peppy, but I’m only halfway through so I don’t want to jump the gun on what may or may not be happening for me.

The Downs of my Whole30

I’m suddenly both hungry and tired of food at the same time.  While I did prepare pretty well and knew what to expect, I am still a little sick of the limitations.  Going out has become a chore rather than a treat.  Even places I went on previous rounds no longer have suitable options and it’s kind of a bummer.

Being around food that is not compliant is both annoying and difficult.  Cooking separate meals is hard because I can’t taste things to adjust seasoning if I’m cooking for instance.

I have no real desire to cheat, but at the same time I’m so bored that I would feel fairly ambivalent about it if I stopped today.  Now just because I’m feeling blah does not mean that I am going to quit.  I’ve hit this point before and I really think it’s where I experience a shift in food for entertainment to food for nourishment.  That’s a good thing for me because I know I use food for reasons other than fuel.

The big news is that I think my hubby is going to get on the Whole30 train starting in February so I’ve vowed to keep going until he finishes if he does in fact do it.   Until then, I’m looking forward to finishing up these last 15 days and seeing where they take me.

Are you doing a Whole30 right now?  How are you feeling about the process?

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week, both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this Whole30 update please share it with your friends!

Want to see more Whole30 posts? Check these out!

Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience while working through the Whole30. This is not a recommendation or suggestion for you to do the same, nor is it an endorsement of the Whole30 program. Before you begin this or any diet or exercise program you should discuss it with your doctor or qualified health care provider to determine whether it is safe for you. This post is based on my personal situation and is for information purposes only. Anything contained herein should not be treated as guidance or advice.

500 Mile Goal for 2016

500 Mile GoalFor 2016 I’ve set a 500 mile goal in Runkeeper. I had no idea you could even do this, but last week I was cruising through Instagram and saw someone posting about how they had set a goal in there. I figured since I use this app to track my walks it would be a great motivator to get moving more. The original poster that inspired me to add this goal had set theirs at 2016 miles for the year. Most admirable, but I knew that was probably outside my league.  After a lot of internal back and forth I decided that 500 miles was probably doable for me. Not a distance so high I couldn’t reach it, but not so low that it was easy.

I had a bit of a tough time figuring out how to actually set the goal.  Once you are in the Runkeeper go to the menu, then the “Me” section, then click on the “Goals” section.   To add a goal click the little trophy in the upper right hand corner (this is for the Android version, not sure if iOS differs).   I use the free version and it allows one walking goal to be set, but you can also set an additional running goal if you want to split things up.

A 500 mile goal may not be for everyone, but for me it feels pretty darn good.  Now if the weather would cooperate just a bit I could get out there and start logging these miles. :)

Do you use an app to track your miles?  Have you ever set a goal in Runkeeper or a similar app?

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Monday

Meal Prep Monday Banner

Happy New Year!! It’s meal prep Monday and the first of 2016. Since I am focusing on eating Whole30-style my meal prep is split between things that I will eat and things that my hubby will be eating. I’m still trying to convince him to do the Whole30 with me 😉 It’s been a couple weeks since I rounded up the meals I’ve prepped so here’s a look at what’s been cooking since last time:

Meal Prep MondayLasagna
Broccoli
Another successful use of leftovers. Our Christmas leftover lasagna turned into a perfect meal prep item with the addition of a handful of broccoli. This is another meal I typically would not make for meal prep due to it’s slightly richer content, but when portioned out into reasonable pieces and paired with veggies there’s really no reason it can’t be part of a balanced eating plan. This one is definitely for hubby only though as the pasta and dairy are a no-no while I’m doing the Whole30.

Meal Prep Monday
Kalua pork
Broccoli
Whipped cauliflower/potatoes

The kalua pig recipe from Nom Nom Paleo is one that I go back to time and time again. It’s almost ridiculously easy – pork + salt + crockpot = amazing meat. It’s Whole30 compliant and just plain delicious. I paired the shredded pork with frozen broccoli and some whipped cauliflower/potatoes. The cauliflower/potato whip was made in the food processor with a little coconut milk, spices and salt. The broccoli was topped with a bit of coconut milk mixed with nutritional yeast and spices. Broccoli can get boring and I was looking for a way to jazz it up. This worked fairly well.

Meal Prep Monday
Poached Chicken, Egg Salad and more
Whole30 success requires major prep in my opinion. It’s too easy to goof up when you let yourself get hungry so I went on a spree of cooking. Chicken was poached and cubed, then added to fajita veggies and steamed sweet potatoes. Egg salad was made with lots of celery, onions and my twist ingredient, green olives.  A soup was also prepared.  I have never made soup before while doing a Whole30, but with the chilly weather I thought it sounded good to have something on hand that could be warmed up and sipped.

To make the soup I blended 16 oz of a frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix with 2 cups of homemade chicken stock and a cup of coconut milk.  To that I added about 1/2 tbsp onion and garlic powders, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  The end result was a pale green, creamy soup that fit perfectly into five portable little jam jars.

Meal Prep Monday
Whole30 Condiments
Ketchup, mayo and cashew sour cream were condiments I had used in previous Whole30 rounds.  I knew these condiments would help me cook or prep meals (like mayo in the egg salad) or add to the tastiness of other dishes so I wanted to get them done before I got too far into my 30 days.  You can find links to the recipes below.  Sometimes it’s a gamble cooking things off the internet you stumble across, but these recipes are truly delicious and worth making even if you aren’t doing a Whole30:

Sugar Free Ketchup Recipe
Paleo Mayo
Cashew Sour Cream

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.