Are you getting ready to tackle a Whole30 for the first time? The Whole30 elimination diet is not only a great test to find out what foods you are sensitive to or that generally make your life a little worse, but also a test of your mental fortitude and habits. It can seem intimidating but with a little prep you will breeze right through it. Let’s talk through four steps to prepare for your first Whole30 to be ready for success!
1. Have a ramp up week for your food choices
One of the best ways to get ready for Whole30 is to take at least the week leading up to Day 1 to examine your habits and start making Whole30 choices if you can. Doing the Whole30 will cause you to build new habits and focus you on the possibility of abandoning some old ones. This ramp up week will give you a look into what you can expect from your new routine. During this week you should:
- Avoid sugar whenever possible: This will help with the sugar hangover you’ll have during the first week or so of your real Whole30, making it an easier transition
- Avoid grains: This will help give you a preview of substitutions you’ll need to make for your go to snacks and meals, as well as help with having a not-so-stark change for your carb-tooth on Day 1.
- Start reading those labels: Get started on the habit of reading the label of any packaged food you eat to check for Whole30 compliance – this is about to start being your way of life!
2. DON’T SPLURGE ALL THE TIME
Okay, so maybe you have a slice of cheesecake you wouldn’t have had, or you have a friendly goodbye meal with your favorite glass of wine. But, spending the few days leading up to your Whole30 binging on non-Whole30 compliant foods will make your life so much harder when you flip the switch on Day 1. Resist this and make normal food choices during the week leading up to it.
3. DO Think through a recipe road map
You don’t need to have every single meal and snack planned out, but do have some high level recipes planned out for each week, and some essentials on hand if you run out of prepped food. This is a great opportunity to check out a few Whole30-focused Pinterest boards to get inspired and pick out some new recipes to try! My favorite part of Whole30 is getting the opportunity to cook some new things with new ingredients. You might find something you love that you never would have tried without it! Try writing down at least two recipes, new or old, for each week of the Whole30 so you have a map of what you’ll need to shop for each week.
4. Have your meal prep kit ready to go
Meal prep is one of my favorite topics of conversation, because there’s no better way to feel organized and healthy than reaching into your fridge for a meal on a busy Wednesday morning. (Maybe I’m a nerd, but it’s so satisfying!) Make sure that you have your containers, small and large ready to go. Having your meals prepped will be a make-or-break habit during the Whole30, so make sure you have everything you need to store that healthy food as you go. Check out my recommendations for the best meal prep tools here.
BONUS: Relax 😉
So, this step doesn’t have a number, but the biggest thing you can do to prepare for Whole30 is to take a deep break and lean on the principles of the program. During this time you’ll want to pay attention to what you feel and how you struggle with food choices, that way you can recognize those same issues when you’re off Whole30. The time will pass faster than you think, and this is a great opportunity to relax into the feeling of not needing to feel guilty for eating too many french fries or candies – because you won’t be!
That’s it! Whole30 is a great way to sharpen you cooking skills and your diet instincts. What have you done to prepare for your first Whole30? Do you have things that you’re especially worried about for getting started? Let me know in the comments!