The whole Whole30 thing

Whole30There is this thing called the Whole30 challenge. It’s a challenge to eat whole, non-processed foods for 30 days, including “meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.”

During that time you are not allowed to consume added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. You are also not supposed to create baked good (breads, pancakes, etc.) with compliant substitutes, and smoothies and other blended drinks are frowned upon.

The aim is to go for healthy eating and there are entire areas of the internet given over to how awesome this challenge is and the health benefits it provides.

Although I find aspects of it annoying, I’ll be doing the Whole30 challenge for the month of August. Why? Because my sister has had some anxiety and health challenges, she wants to try it to see if it will help her, and she doesn’t want to do it alone. So, I’m backing her up.

I’m pretty sure I have the willpower to stick to the plan (she says as she sticks a piece of chocolate candy in her mouth). My two main challenges are going to be cooking and cost.

Most of the recommended meal plans I’ve seen for Whole30 so far have been elaborate to say the least, often written by people who seem to enjoy cooking. The plans involve weekly meal-prep work and homemade dinners every night and 50-item shopping lists.

None of which works for me or my sanity.

I don’t really cook much and I dislike grocery shopping. And it seems like the Whole30 thing would less helpful if it includes a massive amount of stress.

I’m trying to find ways to keep it all as easy and cheap as possible. I need breakfasts that I can put together in less than 5 minutes flat and ideally eat while I’m walking out the door (right now I do protein shakes, which are not allowed in the plan). Lunches will be mason jar salads made on Sundays (something I used to do for a short while) and dinners will have to be one-pan and able to be finished in no more than 20-30 minutes. Most of my shopping will be at Trader Joe’s. Apparently, I can have carnitas salads from Chipotle, which is awesome for a quick fix, since they’re right across the street.

I’ll post weekly updates on the meal plans and costs and how things are going — in part to just keep myself accountable.

Have you done Whole30? What was it like?

4 Replies to “The whole Whole30 thing”

  1. Maybe there’s a DoorDash type option for Whole30? Because I agree, that sounds like way too much work… Good luck.

    1. That would be awesome if there was, but unfortunately I think I’m going to have to do it the hard way, mostly. There are some restaurants that I can go to, though. So, that’s good.

  2. Hi, just finished a W-30 and kept it simple so maybe my approach would work for you. I threw baby spinach into scrambled eggs and ate w/chicken sausage most mornings, 10min prep at most. For lunch I too did salads topped w/meat I cooked in batches to save time. Then dinners I just pan fried whatever meat I felt like and either steamed or sauted veggies to go w/. Anytime I cooked anything I made enough for more meals. Pre-riced cauliflower was an easy addition to most meals (8min in microwave!) I added frozen chopped Kale to many dishes to up the veggie content.

    I did prepare a batch of stew and a meatloaf and then froze portions for later, but other than that I didn’t make any recipes.

    You can do it — just think ahead a little.

    Good luck!!!


    1. Hi. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a good plan.

      Although, I’m not sure the breakfasts would work for me, since the last thing I want to do in the morning is cook. Right now I’m going for hard boiled egg and avocado for breakfast since it doesn’t require reheating. I may try a compliant smoothie, but we’ll see.

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