Learn all about the Whole30 program and useful tips and recipes to get you through the 30 days successfully! Plus lots of healthy recipe ideas, meal prep tips and tricks!
Eating healthy or even just attempting to make your own food can seem like an impossible task at times. And it can be hard if you aren’t prepared. Today I’m going to share how I prepare the eat only Whole 30 foods for a week and how you can incorporate into into your weekly schedule too!
If you don’t know what Whole 30 is it’s basically a 30 day elimination diet that helps you refocus on your relationship with food and target what foods might be problematic for your body. For 30 days you do not eat anything with dairy, grains, legumes, sugar/sweeteners, soy, or alcohol. But it’s more than just a diet! The program focuses on eating intentionally by sitting at the table for all of your meals and eating three balanced meals a day. Even if you don’t want to do a Whole 30 I highly recommend paying attention to where you eat your meals and reevaluating how that affects your relationship with food. When we’re doing a round my husband and I eat our breakfast and dinner at the table together without phones or TV or other distractions. It really can change the dynamic of your whole day.
If you are interested in knowing more about the program you can read up about it on the Whole 30 website or feel free to shoot me an email or comment with any questions and I will be happy to point you in the right direction! Now on to my tips and tricks about effective meal planning for the week.
Utilize Batch Cooking in your Whole30 meal prep:
I’ve never been a person that does well with eating the same meal every day. While I know that works for others it just doesn’t work for me. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make food in advance! The part of cooking that usually takes the longest and is the most intensive is preparing the meat/protein. I try to get lots made in advance so that I have it easy to grab if I don’t have time to cook for an hour.
This will vary depending on what meats your family eats but I generally like to cook a couple pounds of chicken, pork shoulder, and some ground beef. I then shred all of it and pack it in portion sized freezer baggies and throw it in the freezer until I need it. I will also sometimes do this with leftovers from a meal I was already making, like my crockpot pork carnitas. It’s so easy to defrost what I need quickly and throw it in a soup, chicken salad, tacos, on a baked potato, or to make carnitas. The possibilities are endless!
Plan out your veggies in your Whole30 meal prep:
How many of us probably have a very sad carrot withering away in their vegetable crisper that’s a little past it’s prime? Slowly raises hand. You are not alone. We all have made the mistake of deciding to eat healthier then buying out the entire produce section and then promptly forgetting all about it in our fridge. But when your whole meal plan exists without having pasta or rice or beans as back ups then suddenly having lots of veggies becomes really important! Here are some tips for keeping those veggies from going to waste.
- Have a game plan: Even if it’s just hastily jotted down and stuck to your fridge have some idea or what you plan on eating as your vegetables for each meal. This will help you remember what you have in your fridge and also give you a better idea or what you will actually need to get you through the week.
- Store them properly: Don’t just toss everything in the crisper and call it good. Make sure that you are properly storing all of your produce. Some things go in the fridge, some need airtight containers, some need to have their ends in a glass of water. This article goes more in depth about how to properly store just about everything you can possibly think of.
- Eat according to shelf life: Some vegetables are more durable than others. While potatoes and onions can last for weeks, kale or most other greens will not. I always plan to eat the delicate greens as soon as I get them like kale, chard, collards, or salad greens. I will usually mix potatoes or squash in with them as they are more filling.
Cook what you know:
I think one of the most common mistakes people make when trying out a new way of eating is to try and make brand new recipes everyday or meal prep a bunch of new Whole30 recipes without trying them first. I definitely highly encourage you to try out new things. That’s half of the fun of doing a Whole30 is learning lots of new exciting recipes. But when you’re hungry and you’ve “messed up” dinner three nights in a row you’re going to get frustrated.
Pick things that your family already eats and plan your recipes around that. Take what you would “normally” eat and work off of that. Do your kids love spaghetti and meatballs? Try making zoodles and meatballs instead. What about sloppy joes? That’s so easy to make compliant to just trade out a bun with a baked potato. Tacos on lettuce instead of tortillas. Burgers without buns. There is no need to reinvent the wheel here.
Plan for the unexpected during your Whole30 round:
Unfortunately no matter how hard we try recipes are going to fail. Someone will have forgotten to defrost the roast. You’ll need to be at baseball practice in 45 minutes and you don’t have time for this headache! That’s why it is so important that you whole30 meal prep. Or at least have a couple quick and easy things you can make meals out of on hand. You will almost never find me without these items in my fridge because they are such life savers. I would suggest you do the same or find your can’t survive without items.
- Sweet Potatoes: In a pinch they can be “baked” in the microwave in about 7 minutes on high. Toss on some of that precooked chicken or ground beef and you’re most of the way to a meal! They go great with my Smokey Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes.
- Precooked Sausage: It takes about 5 minutes to brown up some sausage and it lasts quite a while in the fridge. I usually go for the Sam’s Choice Chicken Apple Sausage at Walmart or Aidell’s Apple Sausage.
- Cabbage/Shredded Coleslaw: In a pinch I can always make a quick chicken salad (that precooked chicken will come in handy I promise!). Or I can throw it in a skillet and saute it and serve it with sausage. It also is great filler to add to soups.
- Eggs: I think this goes without saying that eggs are essential to completing a Whole 30. I always keep a few hard boiled in the fridge. But I also use them for egg muffins for a quick breakfast for the whole week. Breakfast for dinner is also always a quick and easy go to when you don’t have time to cook. Be sure to make a batch of my Everything Deviled Eggs.
- Peppers: So you don’t have to have this but I couldn’t live without peppers. I use them in everything bell, poblano, Anaheim, jalapeno, Thai, etc. They add flavor to everything so my food never feels boring! You can use them in my Southwest Skillet recipe.
I don’t want to tell you exactly what to make and what to buy. I think that will depend on where you live, what your personal tastes are, how much you need to eat. But hopefully this will help you have a better idea of how to prepare your meal plan for the coming weeks. Cooking all of your meals can be really intimidating at first. But I promise once you get past the first couple weeks you are going to feel like a top chef and feel pretty good because you aren’t eating junk.
Eating healthy isn’t always the easiest choice or the cheapest (check out my budget shopping tips here) but I promise you that your body is going to thank you in the long run. I feel a dramatic difference in my energy when I’m eating healthy foods versus fast food. It’s so worth it and I know you can do it!
Most of the recipes you will find on The Simple Supper are made either Whole 30 compliant or with easy ways to alter the recipe to make them compliant. And even if you aren’t doing Whole 30 you can never go wrong with some delicious healthy recipes in your stash.
Before you go be sure to check out some of my most popular Whole30 recipes. These are perfect for meal prep: