Okay…so what in the heck is a Whole30?
Are you sitting down? It’s a committed 30 days to not eating Dairy, Grains, Legumes, Soy, Sugar or Alcohol. “Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.” Read more HERE…
Then, after 30 days, if you choose, you can reintroduce these food groups back in, one at a time, to see how they might affect your body and mind. This is not a weight-loss program. I’m not into gimmicks with weight loss. This is a change from the inside program.
I’m currently on a Whole- whatever and now on day 200+ (yes) and several Whole30’s and 9’s. 2015 was a year I changed how I saw food and am coming to completely understand my own food habits and issues. And most importantly, I’m fully understanding how what I eat affects me!
I cannot speak more highly of this committed 30 days. I’ve done this plenty and feel very confident in sharing what I know with others.
So… *cheers*…here’s to continuing working on myself feeling better in 2018! No resolutions here…just a commitment to feeling better.
If you’re interested in participating in the January Whole30 with me…join me at my facebook group, SoCalWhole30!
And check out 40 things below, that I think might help you have a successful Whole30!
The Top 40 Things I Think Will Help You Through A Whole30
**And a bonus extra 5 things….just because!
45. Dump Ranch
Ranch makes all things better, doesn’t it? For the condiment people, it definitely does. The Whole Sisters have a recipe for homemade Whole 30 Ranch that is TO. DIE. FOR! As in, my ranch-loving husband actually ‘prefers’ this recipe to all others..and he’s not on Whole 30. Here’s a link to the recipe...and FYI, my personal tip is to add a second egg. I always do, and it’s just a better consistency than the one egg the recipe calls for.
44. Instant Pot
The hype about these are real. So, what’s the big deal, you ask? Basically, being able to cut down your cooking time by more than half!! Okay, some recipes, I actually prefer my slow cooker. But, there is a Chicken Basil dish, that calls for 6-8 hours in a slow cooker, that I literally cook in 30 minutes in my Instant Pot!
I am really loving my IP and I got mine on Amazon last year! Click here to see the sizes available on Amazon.
43. CHOMP Beef Sticks
Being able to find a good for you (and delicious) protein snack is fantastic. I keep these things everywhere! These are truly one of my favorite snacks for all things, including movie theaters! Get them on Amazon, here…
You can also find them at your local Trader Joe’s.
42. The Simple Grocer Proteins
Breakfast sausage is an absolute must for me. I have to be able to change up my breakfasts on Whole30. The Simple Grocer has SO MANY WHOLE 30 choices! And the more you buy, the cheaper they are. So, normally a few friends and I will go in together and make an order. Check out all their options for Whole30, HERE…
41. Trader Joes Dried Fruit Snacks
These are my favorite snacks, specifically from Trader Joe’s. I’m sorry to be sharing this with you, if you don’t live close to one. I highly suggest finding a friend who does, and let them know what good friends do: They go to Trader Joe’s and buy all the Whole30 things and ship them to friends who don’t live close. Yup, that’s what friends are for.
40. Sticker Chart
We are like children after all…this type of reward system will keep you on track and encourage you every day. My kids LOVE reminding me to put the sticker on my chart when I’ve completed a day. (Also gets your family in on your healthy choices). I put my favorite quotes or scripture on my chart…
39. Support Group/Friends to join you
Going at this alone is like sitting in your rowboat in the middle of a river…with no paddles. I’m not saying you cant get to shore from the middle of that river..it’s just going to be much more difficult.
This Whole30 journey will take you on many ups and downs…several moments of wanting to quit, wanting to drive through In & Out burger for a shake, maybe a realization of your unhealthy relationship (and might I say addictions) with foods. What kind of journey would it be without those friends supporting you! It’s even better if there is a friend who’s done it before or who is doing it with you.
I’m just going to be honest here…You are going to have many, many moments of…”omgoodness, I really NEED a piece of gum.” Bad breath happens. But…you can’t have gum. Soooo much junk in gum and it’s not Whole30 approved. On my first Whole30, I did not do this…but by my third, I carried the little bottles of mouthwash with me simply to have an option to not slay the people around me with Paleo-ish Dragon Breath.
Make plenty. I mean that. Use the leftover veggies from dinner to make your breakfast omelet in the morning. Trust me. Make enough food to have leftovers. This will save you from jumping off the Whole30 cliff more than once.
36. In & Out Burger (Not for the shakes or fries)
People. Keep this in your back pocket. Keep this for rainy days. Keep this handy piece of information on days you want to “kill all the things.” Trust me… You can eat In n Out on Whole30. This does not mean you get to go grab a chocolate milkshake and a burger on a bun with their amazing sauce and fries. What this DOES mean, is that you can grab a hamburger, protein style with mustard only and tomatoes and pickles..if you’d like. They only use salt and pepper to season their (never frozen) meat. I can eat two in a sitting. (she says as she smiles knowing she could really eat three on a Kill all the things kind of day). If you’re not close to an In n Out Burger…check your local restaurants for the seasonings they prepare their meat with (no sugar, soy or wheat)…and I am NOT talking about McDonald’s or Burger King….that is NOT FOOD. McDonald’s has 19 ingredients in their french fries. I’m talking more local. Ask questions and read labels.
35. Frozen Veggies For Backup
Always have backup. Whether you’re in your kitchen or running errands for the day…be sure to have backup. At home, stock your freezer with freshly-frozen veggies for those meal moments where you realize you’ve eaten all the fresh vegetables in the house. Veggies are your friend! Eat them at every meal, trust me. Even if you despise them now…you will come to love vegetables. Just be sure NOT to run out at home.
34. Veggetti to make Zoodles
This was a suggestion from an amazing friend of mine. Making vegetable noodles is almost like a Christmas miracle. You might be thanking God for the invention of a Veggetti two weeks in to your Whole30. You can find these contraptions on Amazon, HERE…
33. Containers for meal prep
Prep you must. This Whole30 will not work, if you’re not willing to prepare meals and even prepare meals ahead of time. That might mean cooking plenty of chicken at the beginning of the week. It will probably also mean chopping veggies for salads so when you need something to eat, that salad with a great protein is easy to throw together. Let’s be honest here, we get in trouble when we are not prepared…Whole30 or not. It’s easier to grab a bag of chips from the cupboard (remove them now, BTW) than it is to get out lettuce and all the trimmings to make yourself a salad. Have things ready to go!! Containers in the fridge will make this easy.
32. Frother From Ikea
Coffee, for most of us, is not something we like to mess with. We do NOT want anyone to tell us not to drink our coffee. I mean, there are, in fact, actual statistics proving the health benefits of that cup ‘o joe. However…it’s not healthy when we put the processed creamers and pounds of sugar or milk in it. That’s like drinking a Diet Coke with a Twinkie. Not really going to have the healthy benefit you’re hoping for. And BTW…don’t drink Diet Coke or eat Twinkies. Not food.
I’m going to give you my favorite item to add to coffee below, but in the meantime…head to Ikea and grab a $4 frother for your morning cup. I feel like unicorns will leap out of my cupboard and a personal barista has been spoiling me with love. In reality…I frothed my coffee with a $3 do-hickey from Ikea…and it makes this mom a better person.
31. Tapioca Starch
I have a very favorite Whole30 recipe my entire family devours. Shepard’s Pie, Whole30 style. As with any recipe you make…you have to omit anything that is NOT approved. Even great Paleo recipes will call for honey or something that isn’t approved. Read labels and make good choices. You can find the recipe for our fav Whole30 meal HERE. Places where you will need to thicken a soup, you can use Tapioca Starch. You can find this item in the baking aisle in your grocery store. It is also called Tapioca Flour. Great, healthy alternative to corn starch. I promise to not get into corn at this time. That rant could take the rest of the week for you to listen to.
30. Almond Flour
Almond flour or almond meal can help you make fantastic meatballs. I found the kind I use at Trader Joes in their baking aisle. I don’t use this too often, so one bag will last..but it is a very handy thing to have when you’re looking to change dinner up for the evening.
29. Applegate Hot Dogs or Deli Meat
These are not the hot dogs you grew up on. They taste “funny.” And by funny, I mean real. Funny is sometimes how we can describe real, actual food, you know, because we’re used to eating ‘not real food.‘ They’re delicious, actually. I have found Applegate at many local grocers and these are so awesome to keep at hand for a quick protein at lunchtime. They make a Whole30 approved lunch meat series too. We all know processed meats are not the first choice we should make..ever. But, Applegate is the way to go if you are. Be sure to read the labels! Remember, no sugar, soy, wheat!
Mustard is my friend. Regular mustard is approved.I do love it. But, again, be sure to read the labels on mustard. Especially on brown (dijon) or spicy mustard. These contain sugar! Annie’s makes a whole30 approved Dijon mustard and there are a few more out there. Just be sure to read labels! Know what’s in your food.
25. Apple Chips
The Bare company makes a delicious Apple Chip. I did find these at Costco for a brief period of time and I considered myself lucky. They are not cheap. But, boy are they delicious and can help in those moments of feeling like you want something sweet. You can find the large bags on Amazon.
24. Approved Lara Bars
I had never had a Lara Bar until I started Whole30. These are not really to be used every day, as we could probably use them and abuse them like other forms of sweets..but gosh darn it…they are a good thing to have around. They are not all approved, so read labels. Get them on Amazon! It just makes life easy. There also seems to be a new bar in town…I’m thinking of trying this one too. If you’re really feeling up to it…make your own!
23. Coconut Chips
A friend once saved the day by making me a snack. Well, that’s happened more than one time, but this time it was a Whole30 approved snack. She toasted coconut chips in the oven and mixed them with raisins and macadamia nuts. Day saved.
22. Seeds – Sunflower (limited)
Not everyone likes sunflower seeds, and actually most seeds are not Whole30 approved. But…sunflower and pumpkin seeds are allowed on ‘occasion.’
For an idea of a shopping list…click HERE.
21. Homemade Mayo
Can you sing Hallelujah with me!!? I am a condiment girl, but most condiments contain sugar. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings to name a few. For the first time in my life I made mayonnaise. And it was good. You can use the mayo on a lettuce wrapped BLT (see bacon below) or to make other awesome dressings for your salad like this one.
Mayo is not hard to make, really. There are many links to find a Whole30 approved one, like this one.
20. Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage
Now, we’re getting down to the basic essentials. Aidells has a couple of Whole30 compliant chicken sausages, sweetened only with fruit juice. The Chicken Apple and the Sweet Basil & Garlic are the approved ones I have found here and can be found most affordably at our local Costco. I’ve been to Costco’s in the Midwest, and although they don’t carry the same brand…they do carry some brands very similar that are also Whole30 approved.
This is a protein you want to have on hand. They are easy to prepare, since they are already cooked and can pair with a sweet potato or roasted veggies very easily. You want to have this product and all of it’s simple ingredients. Thank you Adells!
This is an absolute no-brainer. I’m not sure I can handle one more person saying to me to limit the amount of fruit we eat because “it has sugar too.” My fruit-filled head will explode all over you. Yes…it has sugar!! It’s the kind we’re SUPPOSED to eat!
Eat all the fruit! Eat all the veggies! So you don’t Kill All The Things!
Chicken, beef, turkey, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, eggs….protein!
*When possible, always choose sustainable, organic, grass-fed, pastured and/or wild-caught
17. La Croix/Sparkling Water
Although I am pretty good about only drinking water and coffee…every once and a while the desire for something different is strong. La Croix is a Whole30 approved drink, my favorite being the basic lemon/lime. If you’re going to chose a sparkling water…just be sure to read labels!
16. Almond Butter
Butter that is made of almonds. Every time you open a jar….an angel begins to sing.
Use with caution or you’re going to find yourself elbow deep in brown awesomeness, barking at anyone who comes close.
15. Coconut Aminos
What the heck are Coconut Aminos?! Exactly. Don’t ask questions. Just have some at hand. This is a soy sauce replacement. I find it at Sprouts or Whole Foods.
You will want to have this in the pantry for those stir fry recipes or anything that might call for soy sauce…such as this amazing favorite of ours. (FYI…I do not add the sugar it calls for.)
14. Cauliflower/Cauliflower Rice
Okay. I’m not sure why I had never tried this before Whole30. Making cauliflower rice can be a bit time consuming…but it is soooooo worth it! My family loves it when I make a chicken or veggie stir-fry served on cauliflower rice. Trader Joe’s sometimes carries a frozen bag of this product, but they’ve been out for a very long time. I’ve tried making the cauliflower crust for pizza…I’m not sold on that. I’m sticking to basic “rice” dishes with this one.
13. Dried Fruits (Limit These)
Dried fruit can really help you get through the day. (apricots, pineapple, etc) But read your labels carefully! Many packaged dried fruits have nitrates and other crazy ingredients that we shouldn’t be eating, whether we are Whole30 or not!
Macadamia Nuts are my very best friend. I have grown so fond of them…but they can be a dip to the pocketbook. Cashews and almonds are also a good choice. Just read the labels!! You’d be surprised how many things have added sugar in them! Go naked…you know what I mean, silly.
The Whole30 handbook would tell you not to go crazy on Dates. These taste like candy to me, so this is exactly why we shouldn’t eat a bunch of them. The Whole30 process is meant to help us deal with all kinds of food relate issues…including eating too much of a good thing and replacing one bad habit with another. Just use with caution 🙂
10. Hot Sauce/Salsa
Having hot sauce and/or salsa as a staple in your home during this period will save you over and over again. Holy cow, I love hot sauce! There are plenty that are approved, but read labels, there are also many that are not. Hot sauce and salsa can be loaded with sugar! I use these condiments on eggs, potatoes, salads..any excuse to use these foods. Some approved hot sauces are Franks Red Hot is definitely an approved sauce. With salsa’s..read labels!
9. Sweet Potatoes
I don’t need to say anything other than…make sure you’ve got them! White potatoes are also allowed on Whole30, but I’d much rather eat the sweet ones.
8. Sugar Free Bacon
BACON!!! I can shout that with the same excitement Buddy The Elf shouts for Santa. I only know one person in my life who doesn’t like bacon and I often wonder how we are friends. Here’s the problem with bacon (yes, I just said that)…it is processed and contains sugar. You can, however, find bacon without sugar. This does not mean ‘natural’ or ‘nitrate free’ (Which are both awesome). It means NO SUGAR. Look on the ingredients list. If there is any kind of sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar etc…it’s a big fat no.
Sprouts & Whole Foods carry it. Fresh & Easy did carry it, but we know how that one worked out…
Bacon should be eaten infrequently….that’s just what I know I have to say. What I really want to say is Bacon should be eaten daily…at every meal or close to it. But that wouldn’t turn out well either.
Bacon is a real possibility…just read labels!
Say what? Let me rephrase that…Clarified Butter. Ghee is a form of clarified butter…or butter that has the milk proteins removed. It is super sweet, easy to find and really easy (and fun) to make! I actually make my own, it’s just easier. **TIP: Use a French Press to separate out your milk proteins to make Ghee an easy job at home. Put it on your potatoes, cook your eggs in it..it’s approved! Trader Joe’s has a clarified butter that is inexpensive but it’s not my favorite. I like the flavor of the Ghee made by Organic Valley. You can find that at sprouts and whole foods.
6. Coconut Cream and/or Nutpods
Coffee!!! Coconut milk, cream and almond milk….they are your friends on Whole30 and Nutpods are the absolute best tasting alternative to dairy I’ve found for my coffee. It used to be the Coconut Cream from Trader Joe’s and then they went and changed their formula on how they make it…and now it’s just awful.
The Trader Joe’s brand is found in their baking aisle…although some Trader Joe’s can be structured differently.
Coconut milk is great for cooking (and making mashed potatoes!) and coconut water is something that, although might not be your thing, can be a great refreshment a few times a week.
Not all coconut water’s taste the same..and not all are approved. Read the labels and make sure there is no added sugar! The Sprouts brand of coconut water is my favorite.
I apologize if you don’t like coconut at all…because it saves my Whole30.
And the nut pods on Amazon are THE BEST THING EVER. I love the Hazelnut, and I didn’t think I would.
5. Seasonings…(My fav…Flavor God)
f you were to look in your cupboard right now, you might be shocked to see the ingredients in your seasonings. Sugar, soy, wheat, maltodextrin etc… not good. I have found the best replacement…Flavor God! I still make my own chili seasoning and was making my own taco seasoning too..until FG came out with a taco seasoning.
Yes, even the smallest amount of these ingredients make a difference…make your own or check out Flavor God.
There are so very many recipes out there for eggs. Seriously, spend some time on Pinterest. Which leads me to the next items…….
Even if you’re not on Pinterest…spend some time searching. There are people out there who have the most amazing ideas and recipes. Ask your Whole30 or Paleo friends. Join a Facebook group…like mine! You don’t need to be a Southern California resident to join my SoCalWhole30 group on Facebook. Just request to join! Find Whole30 on Instagram (ya know, like SoCalWhole30)…there are many social media platforms where you can get solid advice, support and recipes!
I would highly suggest obtaining a copy of It Starts With Food and The Whole30 Cookbook. They both have so much information in them! In an age of digital everything, I still find having the books in hand give me a re-charge and help me find answers.
1. The desire to make a lifelong change for your health.
You cannot and should not participate in a Whole30, unless you’re really ready to make a lifelong change. This is not a “fad diet” or some get skinny quick thing. As a matter of fact, if you’re in it to lose weight, you shouldn’t be doing it. Losing weight is a good side effect for some…but this is really about challenging yourself for 30 days (not 28) to examine your body, your food, your addictions, your vices, your cravings, your bad habits, your food and yourself.
Having had gone through 2015 doing a Whole90 and several Whole9’s…I can say this: There are more NSV’s (Non Scale Victories) than you think are possible. A few I’ve experienced are reduced inflammation, calmness in mood, better nighttime sleep, no hunger cravings, clearer/smoother skin, zero upset bellies and so many more.
You can do this. 30 days. Give it 30 days. You will not regret it. Stay tuned for my list on Non Scale Victories and review of the 310 shake!
For your reference, check out the Whole30 website and follow them on Instagram…lot’s of inspiration there.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you purchase any items via amazon through this post. It costs you nothing more. I get a ‘tip’ from Amazon for referring readers to Amazon. It’s how I support my family! Thank you and Whole30 on!
This is the least crazy thing I have ever seen written about Whole30. My normal way of eating is pretty Whole30-ish, so I just have to back off the bad behavior to play along, although I’m not so hardcore about cutting out sugar from everyTHANG. Still, I love your suggestions for healthy sugar-free snacks!
Thanks Kim! I am a huge fan of getting off sugar. I love all of my “non scale victories” and what I learn about myself and how I relate to food.
And bravo for eating so clean!
I’ve heard so much about Whole 30; but this is the first thing I’ve read that makes it sound do-able!
Ann, it is so very doable! Just like any change, it takes getting used to and definitely takes prep and practice. Whole foods rock!