I’m still working on gearing up our meal plan for the Whole30 Plan in January! As part of this preparation, I’ve been referencing the original book on the subject, It Starts With Food. I know that not everyone has read the book so I wanted to give a quick Whole30 Do’s and Don’ts guide to help you get your head ready for the challenge.
DO come prepared.
Give yourself plenty of time 1 day per week to do some meal prep for the week ahead. Our plan will be following a Sunday Meal Prep Day but any day that works for you is fine. Every person that has gone through Whole30 will tell you that the hardest part is getting through a strike of hunger when they have no food prepped. Take the time to follow our meal prep guide so that you don’t get stuck!
DON’T believe the myth that we have to eat something different during every meal.
One of the basic premises of Whole30 is breaking our chains free from using food to cope with daily life. This one is SO HARD for me because all of our celebrations seem to center around food and I show love by creating elaborate meals for them. But we need to condition our bodies and minds to relying on food for nourishment and healing and not emotional gratification. All that to say, we will repeat some recipes during the meal plan. We will eat leftovers for lunch during the circuit. This is all nothing to be scared or intimidated by. Less time cooking and prepping translates into more time to hang out with your family, catch up on some exercise, or binge on Netflix!
DO get active.
Bored eating is a real thing. If you start wanting to snack or get a second helping of dinner, go outside for a quick 5 minute walk before you do that. If, after the walk, you are still actually hungry and want to eat something, then go ahead. This is more of the deprogramming we need to do for ourselves. We are so used to eating out of boredom or comfort that we often don’t know if we are actually hungry or trying to fill a different void. Other ideas to preoccupy yourself: play with your kids, read a book, call a friend, take a walk, take a bath or shower.
DO recognize cravings for what they are.
Especially during the first few days of the program, you might have extreme cravings for sweets or grains. These are just because we aren’t giving our body what it is used to getting. If you get any headaches from this, try drinking lemon water. If the headaches still persist, eat some fruit. The natural sugar in the fruit should be enough to stop the “no sugar” freak out your body is going through. However, fruit or anything else that is eaten just because it “tastes sweet” should be limited during the program. As the book says, one of our goals is to Slay our Sugar Dragon, and eating something JUST to cure a sugar craving goes against that. BUT, I know things happen and we will all get hungry for something sweet. Lara Bars are delicious and most flavors are Whole30 compliant. Here is a list of the compliant flavors: Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bar, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie. YUM! Just try to keep these sweets to a minimum!
DON’T miss out on life while on the program.
It’s really easy to, since most social gatherings circle around food and/or alcohol. If you are invited out, GO. Just make smart choices while you are dining out. Most grilled protein is safe, just ask the waiter to make sure it’s not cooked in butter. Your instinct might be to go for a salad but that can get sticky with cheese, sugar-added dressings, and add-ons. A really safe choice pretty much anywhere is grilled steak/chicken/shrimp with an undressed potato or vegetables. It won’t be the most glamorous meal you’ve ever eaten but that’s on the point of going to dinner, the company you are enjoying is. Remember that!
DON’T give up!
Most importantly, don’t give up! The benefits of completing this program range from weight loss and increased energy to lower cholesterol and balanced blood sugar. You deserve to see what kind of results your body and mind can achieve by sticking with this for 30 days! If you feel like jumping off the wagon on Day 1 or 4 or 29, contact me or anyone else in the group! We can do this!