It has been a long time coming. I started my first round of Whole 30 over 2 years ago and have dabbled in and out of Paleo/grain free/gluten free/high fat low carb eating ever since. Then, my husband came to me in the beginning of this month and said he wanted to do another round of strict Whole 30 and though I was skeptical, I was in.
I really didn’t have a lot to cut out this round because my eating has changed so much in the past 2 years towards a completely whole foods diet that the subtraction of sugar and grains was almost unnoticeable (I won’t lie, I still miss my gluten free chocolate chip cookies).
I realized though, that I didn’t actually CRAVE the sugar at all. It was eye opening and quite refreshing.
How have the cravings just gone away? Well, its because I have finally figured out how to eat on the Whole 30 so as to not get the cravings for the sweets/grains in the first place. I know, I know, many people “get it” on their first go around with Whole 30 and become converts immediately, but me, I’m a slow (and stubborn) learner who was also quite skeptical.
Here I am now though, singing the praises of Whole 30 and I wanted to share with you a few tips that were kind of “ah-has!” for me this round that I thought would help you (someone on the fence about Whole 30 or wondering how/when to get started).
- Find a few staple side dishes that you love and can make TONS of at once. These sides should become YOUR sidekicks. They should be versatile (to you) and work well in combination with each other, alone, and with different protein choices. My personal favorites? Sweet potato mash with ghee. I make this in huge batches on the stove top in a giant skillet. My other favorite? Brussel sprouts sauteed in coconut oil. I could seriously eat these two sides with EVERYTHING (and I do). I also mix them together and add different spices to them to mix things up. Important take away here? To get used to the idea of meal prep and preparing food ahead of time so that you always have something on hand that you can grab in a hurry.
- Switch up your protein as much as possible. Don’t get stuck eating eggs everyday for breakfast and chicken every night for dinner. Have some salmon for breakfast, eat a grass-fed burger patty for dinner. Heck, have some eggs for dinner and some chicken for breakfast! Remove traditional meal “rules” and really play around with your food. The Whole 30 is a time to really try new things . . .don’t be shy!
- Do NOT skimp on those healthy fats! These fats are going to be what keep you full and are really the “secret sauce” to the Whole 30 lifestyle (IMO). So how do you make sure you are getting these fats throughout the day? Well, like I described in #1, I add healthy fats to my sides (ghee & coconut oil). I also eat a ton nuts for snacks and add avocado to salads.
- DRINK YOUR WATER! Last but not least. Water. So many of us mistake thirst for a sign of hunger. If you are drinking enough water (about half your body weight in ounces a day) and eating enough of the right foods, you will kick Whole 30s butt, and hunger will not be a problem. How do you make sure you get enough water? Track it on an app, drink herbal tea (no caffeine) through out the day, or add some lemon or cucumber to tap water to make it more “fancy”. When in doubt, drink some water FIRST!
I hope these tips help. Also, if you are a Whole 30 alum and have your own tips, I would love to hear them!
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