Here we go again.
With the benefit of two Whole30’s behind us. I am feeling well prepared for our September Whole30 that we have decided to start on Monday. (If you need a refresher on why I Whole30 check out this post). To learn more about Whole30 and the rules, go here.
I thought I would share some tips and tricks that help keep me from falling off the wagon that I will be incorporating into our routine this next 30 days.
I find that by the middle of my Whole30 I’m starting to loose some of that willpower to keep going and the cravings start hitting hard. So here is what I do to keep me going.
1: Keep a Whole30 Compliant Snack in my Purse at all Times.
I like these Maple Sea Salt RX bars – they are a bit on the sweet side so they really are for emergencies only for me. But on nights when I have been stuck late at work or if my train is delayed, they can be a lifesaver.
Or I keep a small ziploc bag of mixed raw nuts like almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts. I even keep a jar of mixed nuts in the car for J to snack on when he is driving home from work.
2: Have Veggies Chopped and Ready to Eat in the Fridge
On meal prep day I always make sure to wash and chop raw veggies that can be eaten straight out of the fridge like cucumbers, carrots or peppers. That way when I come home late from work, there is less temptation to open up the snack drawer for something not so healthy.
Also this is the part of cooking that I hate. All the prep. If most of it is done (or if I can get J to do it for me) I am more likely to cook and make something way healthier than any takeout meal.
3: Have a Shared Grocery List to Make Shopping Easier
Since my work schedule can vary, I like to use an app for our grocery list. That way if I know we need something and J is going to be getting home before me, I can always ask him to just go grab the stuff on the list without having to worry about forgetting anything. We use the Wonderlist app on our phones and it works really well. It updates in real time so if I add something while he is still in the grocery store, he will see it. And I can see when he has picked up that item.
Sometimes I add things from different ends of the store, while he is still at the store to make him run around and get them just for fun. (Shhhh! Dont tell him! :p )
4: Keep Compliant Sausage/Kebabs in the Freezer at all times
I always keep some compliant sausages or kebabs or marinated chicken in the freezer. Think quick protein.
Inevitably there will be a night when nothing in the fridge looks appealing. But a quick sheet pan dinner with some baked veggies and sausages or grilled chicken will do the trick.
5: Meal Plan to Satisfy What you are Craving
Sometimes when you crave something it is not the actual thing you want, but the texture or flavours that are what you miss. For example, when I was craving my mom’s biryani I whipped up a cauliflower rice version with the same flavours and it was satisfying to me.
If I want something more noodle like, spaghetti squash will do the trick really well. Want something cheesy? Try detoxinista’s vegan mac n’cheese on zucchini noodles. It works so well! Have a sweet craving? A tablespoon of nut butter with some apple or other fruit might do the trick. Or just whip up some apple ‘pye’ by baking chopped apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some walnuts till the apples are softened (about 30mins at 375*F).
The other day J was craving some pho. So I made a version using shirataki noodles to satisfy his craving. Shirataki is a type of Japanese sweet potato, so is totally compliant. He loved it! Ill try to get a full recipe up soon!
Basically, if there is something you are craving, there is a way to get you those flavours or textures, but still keep it Whole30 compliant so you don’t feel like you are deprived.
Let me know if there is a food that you are craving on your Whole30 that you cannot find a Whole30 compliant version for? I would love to try to make it work!
But by trying to figure out where your cravings are actually coming from, and then satisfying that need, you will hopefully find ways to get excited about what you are going to eat, and not feel deprived. Which is the whole point isn’t it?
Love what you eat and eat what you love.
6: Eating Out? – Come Prepared
If I know I am being invited out to eat, I come prepared.
I will keep a small container of nutpods in my purse for any coffee & tea invites (I also keep my office fridge stocked as well).
I take a compliant salad dressing in my purse, or just opt for olive oil and balsamic vinegar when at the restaurant.
If I am invited out to eat at a friends or with my family, I will try to make and bring something compliant to share. That way nobody feels any pressure to make something compliant for me (it can seem a bit daunting if I tell them to make something with no grains, dairy, sugar or lentils). Most people look at me like I have three heads and only eat air.
If I am eating out at a place I am not familiar with, I will call ahead and ask the restaurant what they have that can meet my dietary needs. I try to call them at an off time (not at rush hour) so I can speak to them in detail about the menu. If I get to choose the restaurant, I focus on places that do a lot of grilled meats, or fresh salads, that way I know I can pick something that will be compliant.
If all else fails, I eat before I go. And tell everyone I am not hungry. I will order a sparkling water to sip on and keep others company. When I am full I am not as tempted that when I am hungry.
I also find if I say ‘I’m Good’ as opposed to “I’m not hungry” or “I can’t” people don’t pressure me to eat. It’s all in how you phrase it. When I say “I’m not hungry” inevitably the response is “But one bite won’t hurt”. But if I say ‘I’m good, thanks’ and leave it at that, most people just don’t keep insisting. It works really well for me.
It does take some persistence on my end, but as long as I am not hungry I can avoid temptation and stay on track.
7: Plan, Plan, Plan
This is probably the most successful tip for me. It may be because I am a control freak, and thrive on rules and order, but I definitely am more motivated, stay on track, and feel so much better when I know what my next meal is going to be.
There is nothing worse than trying to make a ‘healthy’ food decision when you are hungry. Same principle as the whole ‘don’t go grocery shopping hungry’ rule. You will inevitably pick something that is not so great for you.
I meal plan like it is my job (which it kinda is on my instagram side hustle, but you know what I mean). When we have the week’s menu all laid out for both of us to see, it helps both of us stay on track. That whole mental battle of ‘whats for dinner’ is gone, and we just know what needs to be prepped and heated up so we can eat. It takes some time to do, but for me it is totally worth it in the long term, because I know we are making much healthier choices for both of us.
Most days we stick to the plan, but sometimes if we just don’t feel like what’s on the menu, we improvise. We will order out, or switch up the order of things. But by planning my meals I know I have everything on hand in the fridge when I need it and I know we won’t be biting each others head off trying to decide what to eat (it’s happened before. It ain’t pretty).
Since I’m doing it anyways, I thought I would share my Whole30 weekly meal plans over the next four weeks so you can get a sense of how I plan and prep.
Stay tuned, and let me know what you think!
Hopefully some of those tips can be helpful to you in your healthy eating journey as well. I’m excited to start next week. Are you Whole30-ing? Or planning to Whole30?
Want some more of my fav Whole30 meal inspiration? Check out this post.
I’m also stocking up on my Natura Market faves for Whole30, and trying a few new things too (come check out my insta stories to see more).