On Monday we start Whole 30. That’s right, 30 days of eating only whole, healthy food and cutting out all custard-filled croissants, glasses of sauvignon blanc and yes, even peanut butter. Based on paleo principles, but cutting out those paleo baked goods (like sweet potato brownies), it’s cutting out all sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy for a whole 30 days. It’s not a diet, but rather a lifestyle challenge, where your levels of control and organisation are tested on a daily basis!
And in order to make sure my household remains happy, planning ahead is pretty much key in order to be successful and to ensure the challenge goes off without a hitch.
- PLAN YOUR MEALS
I’ve just downloaded a simple food app called MealPlanner on android, which is going to help a lot with setting out our planned meals for the week. Seeing what is coming up ahead avoids those last minute dinners where you reach for anything consumable (and very likely not allowed!)
- SHOP SHOP SHOP
Get your basics down: nuts, oils, milks (almond & coconut), flours (nut & coconut), spices and snack prep. It’s worth making a list of what you’re going to need for more than a week, and then shop weekly for the fresh goods. Once you’ve planned your menu for the week, you can go pick up your proteins (meat, poultry, fish, eggs) and all your fresh veg and fruit!
- COOK AHEAD
If you can manage it – and you are working in the week – try to do some of your weekly cooking on the weekend so you can freeze it for when you need it. This is a good idea for lunch prep, so you can toss what you need into your containers the night before without needing to scramble in the morning.
- BREAKFAST VARIETY
Let’s face it, breakfast that doesn’t include milk, yoghurt, cereal or pastries sounds like heaven to all those egg and bacon fans. But let me tell you, eggs every day can start to take its toll. Make sure you’ve got some creative ideas up your sleeve to add a bit of variety to the start of your day. Coconut cauliflower porridge anyone?
- SNACK ATTACK
Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or even a slice of toast with peanut butter, rather make sure you’ve got a good stash of healthy snacks stored away in the cupboard or fridge that you can enjoy as a replacement. Think lara balls (see item 6!), fruit skewers, carrot sticks with allowed guacamole, apple or banana with almond/macadamia butter etc.
- LARA BALLS
These will save your challenge! Blitz a cup of dates, a cup of almonds, a few table spoons of coconut oil and a spoon of cocoa or raw cacao in your food processer and roll into bite size balls. Pop into an empty container and into the fridge. Immediate sweet hit with your black tea or coffee.
- IT GETS BETTER AFTER DAY 10
Everyone told me this and I didn’t see how it was possible. But it’s really true. Your body and taste buds start adapting to your new food regime after around 10 days of eating and drinking clean and then it really becomes easier. Tape this over your bathroom mirror and on your fridge door J
- EAT WELL
Don’t starve yourself or eat boring food. Whole30 can be a true celebration of flavour and natural goodness, you just need to unlock its potential! I’ve eaten truly delicious meals that are 100% safe: bunless burgers with bacon, crispy onion, mushroom, avo and sweet potato wedges with salad anyone? For reals.
- AVOID DINNERS OUT
Trust me, it’s difficult. Most restaurants will use sauces or condiments that include added sugar or butter or something that contradicts the Whole30. It can be done, but even the most obvious (a healthy wrap? Caeser dressing. Chicken soup? Dairy. Salad? Crutons & cheese) can be challenging.
- FOCUS ON HOW YOU FEEL
You may initially have headaches from sugar withdrawal, or cravings for carbs, but after a while you are going to feel amazing: full of energy and vitality, glowing skin, better digestive system and even weight loss! After 30 days you can be a wizkid and aim for the Whole60 or slowly start reintroducing foods back into your diet.
Whole30 is a lifestyle that is strict, sure, but it really kickstarts you into feeling great and making positive changes to your life in other areas like fitness and skincare. I’ll be sharing my favourite recipes on the blog, on Facebook and Instagram over the next 30 days so stay tuned!