Probably the biggest lesson I learned to make the Whole30 process manageable and therefore enjoyable is that planning and preparation is a necessity. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of your time thinking about recipes, endlessly grocery shopping or slaving away for hours on the weekend prepping food. It just means you have to be smart and a little strategic.
Being prepared has 3 steps:
- Plan your meals
- Create your list (and actually use it)
- Prep your meals
After that, it’s pretty simple. I mean it! When you have all the pieces of the puzzle, all you have to do is put them together when it’s time to eat. You might actually find that you save time during the week (I know I did).
Also remember that you’re making this commitment to yourself. No this isn’t the path of least resistance, but that path is super freakin’ boring and can often make you feel like crap (at least that was my situation which is why I’m doing this).
Before you start:
Make sure to clean out your fridge and pantry of any off plan foods (dairy, refined sugars, grains etc.) If it’s processed you’re better off throwing it away for good. If non-perishable ingredients like honey, peanut butter, oats, quinoa, beans, or any other healthy food that is off plan, but you might re-incorporate it when you finish, put it away on a shelf you don’t look at or in a storage box. This way when you start meal planning you have a clean fresh slate without any foods to trigger a craving.
Here are tips for each step
Step 1: Planning Your Meals
- Get inspired: find blogs and pinterest boards with Whole30 recipes (there’s tons of them!) Print or save those recipes to your own board to keep handy.
- Look at your pantry and fridge and see what ingredients you already have. This can help you search with some purpose.
- Look at what’s on sale or seasonal and fresh at your grocery store. Don’t be afraid to look for coupons online.
- Use this free printable meal planning chart with room for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks.
- Don’t be afraid to double recipes to make your life easier. Writing everything out will make it much clearer to see what ingredients you need.
(To print click on image and print from screen)
Step 2: Create Your List
- Using the printable, your favorite app, or old school pen and paper write down all the ingredients you’ll need to make the foods you planned in step one
- Go shopping!
- Don’t be afraid to be flexible, if something is on sale take advantage of that, you’re meal plan isn’t written in stone – you can adjust it once you get home with your groceries
- Make sure you go on a full stomach to avoid impulse buys (easier said than done, but I swear it happens everytime I’m hungry)
Step 3: Food Prep
- Look at the meals you are planning to make throughout the week and see what foods you can prep in advance to make life easier
- Set aside an hour or two and dominate your kitchen – don’t forget to make sure you have enough tupperware to fit all that healthy goodness
Now you can enjoy the fruits (and veggies, and starches and proteins and healthy fats) of your labor.
Each week I’ll break down how I planned, shopped and shopped for the week – so you can see how it goes from idea to implementation.
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