The Whole30 is a hardcore paleo/elimination diet that lasts thirty days; it’s used to clean up your eating, establish better habits and relationships with food, and discover which (if any) intolerances or allergies you have with a variety of food groups. The challenge essentially consists of eating lean meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds for thirty days – no added sugar, grains, legumes, soy, dairy, alcohol, or processed foods are allowed.
I completed my first Whole30 in May of this year, and the results were incredible! I went from 124lbs to 110lbs, no longer needed an alarm clock to wake up, and felt amazing in general. The process was incredibly eye-opening and changed my eating for the better… but I’ve slipped back into some old habits (pasta & pizza – nom). While I certainly am more conscious of what goes into my food and body, it’s time to start another Whole30.
I want to document my groceries, cooking, and exercise habits here to help anyone who might be approaching a Whole30 or “clean eating” for the first time. My first experience was difficult; the first week consisted of headaches and feeling unwell, I spent hours in the kitchen trying to figure out what was going on, and I generally was winging it solo. This time around, I have an idea of what to do, how to prepare, and how to use time efficiently – so I’m sharing!
I hope the blogs to follow will be useful and inspiring to anyone trying to make a major eating change.
Due to Christmas, I skipped grocery shopping for the past couple of weeks and let us finish up just about everything in the fridge – that way, I could start from ground zero when it came to groceries (and keeping temptation out of the kitchen). I’ve found that it’s best to make more frequent grocery store trips so that everything can stay fresh and delicious rather than trying to plan for 7-14 days with one trip. Here’s what I purchased today:
I had coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, almond meal, vinegar, ghee, eggs, and olive oil already on hand. I plan to head to our local butcher tomorrow morning to pick up chicken breasts, ground pork, ground beef, bacon (cured with salt), steaks, and possibly rabbit or lamb. We also have a few whole pheasants in the freezer that need to be butchered. Surprisingly, the local butcher is cheaper than Kroger and has pastured, local meat cured only with salt – no sugar, nitrates, or nitrites. I highly recommend finding a meat shop if it’s at all feasible, as it will save a ton of time going through the meat department at whatever grocery store you choose.
The Meal Plan
Based on what I purchased today and what I have on hand, I plan on making the following meals this week:
Sweet Potato Bars
4 large sweet potatoes
1 can coconut milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook 4 sweet potatoes in microwave or oven until tender. Mix together with coconut milk, eggs, and cinnamon/cloves to taste. Pour into 9×12 baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Let cool, cut into bars.
Serve with almond butter or plain. These are great for quick breakfasts!