If there is just one piece of advice I would give to those starting whole30 it would be plan, plan, prep, plan and prep some more.
If you asked me what’s the one thing I find the most difficult about doing whole30, it would be all the planning and all the prepping.
As difficult as it may seem, and as much as you really don’t want to go to the supermarket and you really don’t want to grate those carrots; its key to your success. I guarantee you that you’ll be super happy you did your prep work when you’re mid-week, 30 seconds away from a hangry tantrum and you have a delicious meal to tuck into.
This, of course, really applies to eating healthily in general.
Unfortunately (especially here in Barbados) fresh healthy meals made from whole foods are simply not abundantly readily available. If you’re close to hangry tantrum it’s very likely that, unless you brought your own snack or meal with you, the closest thing to eat is a food-like, processed product; aka not whole30 and not healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, if i thought some how my landlady’s dog could be trained to cook all our meals while we slept, I would be the first person to call the dog whisperer.
Worth a try? I’m kidding. Don’t call PETA.
Anyways until the day animals become trained chefs, here are a few prep tricks that have helped me with planning –
- Start off by finding some recipes to fill the week, either ones you already know or ones you want to try, a combination is best. Pinterest.com is great for finding new recipes and a great place to store them.
- Make a list of all the ingredients you need and be sure to get them all at the supermarket. Substitute where you need to.
- Create a meal map for the week. The start day for the week should be the day or day after you go to the supermarket so you make best use of your fresh produce.
- Your meal map does not have to be pretty (this one is really for myself because this photo makes me cringe) it just needs to be easy for your eyes to scan so you can quickly decipher what’s for dinner.
- Take advantage of being in the kitchen. I cook breakfast everyday because I often(if not always) have eggs and they are very quick and easy. Apart from that I hardly ever cook for just one meal. In our house dinner is enough to feed us for lunch the next day, so we have cooked just once but it’s feeding us both twice, sometimes 3 times.
- Plan meals for the week but don’t go beyond that. Even if you have the storage space, fresh food doesn’t last that long and you don’t want to pull wilted spinach out the fridge for tonight’s salad.
- Be a bit more flexible on your off days. Depending how your week goes you may want an easy Saturday lunch or a fancy-pants romantic meal. Weekends should be fun.
- Sunday soup – soup takes minimal effort and you can throw in leftover veggies before the go off. If you make a big pot, add to protein and this can make up quite a few meals during the week.
- If you know you’re going to have a lazy Saturday morning – throw some sweet potatoes in the oven to roast so that you have a ready-made side dish to add to some meat on that evening you don’t feel like cooking.
It can be hard. It really can but the benefits far outweigh the challenges and your future-self will always be thankful you grated those carrots.
Ps. I hope you found this helpful! Do you have any other tips I missed? Hit me up in the comments.