Whole30 in January? Let’s Do This!

Are you doing a Whole30 this month {or thinking about doing one in 2019?} This is my 3rd or 4th attempt at the 30 day food elimination program, but I feel like every time I tried and failed, I learned something needed to succeed THIS TIME! *fingers crossed & fridge stocked*

If you haven’t heard about Whole30, it was co-created by Melissa Hartwig who, at the time, already worked out and ate clean. Her partner back then had a health issue that just wouldn’t improve. In an attempt to find some relief and help the healing process, they tried to REALLY clean up their diet and eliminate foods that are known to cause issues for many people. You know the culprits :: alcohol and added sugars are at the top of the list. But grains and dairy are known to affect some people more than others {think Crohn’s, IBS, food allergies, etc.} Legumes can cause issues for some as well. 

Whole30 wants you to go without these foods for 30 days to see how they make you feel when you add them back in to your diet, one by one. You take note of how different things affect YOU. Ideally, if you follow through the “Whole” 30 days and the re-introduction phase, you end up with better knowledge of how to eat for YOU, instead of cookie cutter one-size-fits-all advice that other eating plans offer.

In the spirit of mom-blog-style honesty like we do here at HMB, I have struggled with crippling Endometriosis and IBS pain. I mean ER-visit-worthy pain. We’re talking medical bills, family life and work issues, etc. In my search for treatment and answers, I found many different resources that advised cutting out red meat and gluten to help ease symptoms. Guess what? It worked! I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but in my case, it made a HUGE difference. I also saw my symptoms further improve after getting pregnant with my daughter. God answered a TON of prayers in my case. I know every story is unique, but for me, the dietary advice to cut out gluten and red meat was a success. I guess you could say I have first-hand experience in the “food elimination might be worth a try” department.

I think there’s nothing to lose with this {hopefully successful} attempt at a January Whole30! 

All that’s missing is making sure that I’m set up for success! So I’m sharing my practical plan for January Whole30 here with you to encourage you if you’re already doing it {yay, us!} or to give you tools to do one in the future! 

Practical Plan for January Whole 30

Research

This is a pretty logical Step 1. I honestly don’t think Whole30 is for everyone. When my friend Barclay told me about it, I went to the website to find out more. I found It Starts With Food {the first Whole30 book} at the library and read it and loved it. I started a Pinterest Whole30 recipe board. I asked friends who had done Whole30 how did it go, if they had any tips, etc… Do your research, find out as much as you can about Whole30 and, as “Whole30-ers” say, pick a date and announce it to family and friends!

Try Whole30 recipes

This was MASSIVELY important for me because my diet normally consists of Starbucks drive-thru, Chick-fil-A drive thru and eating out more nights than I care to admit. I’m not a grocery shopping and cooking kind of gal. But my hubby and I were appalled at how many months we were literally eating our budget. So I knew I needed an overhaul. Trying Whole30 recipes was a BIG FIRST STEP because I found recipes I was actually EXCITED about and my family actually ENJOYED! Sweet potatoes stuffed with Mexican chicken & avocados, turkey chili or white chicken chili and zoodles with meatballs, are a few of my personal faves! 

Enlist friends

Whole30 is so much better with friends! In fact, I wouldn’t be doing this without friends who either told me about Whole30 {thank you, Barclay}; did Whole30 and are now cheering me on {Jessica & Harilyn!}; extra shout out to Jessica for giving me her leftover Whole30 compliant nut pods coffee creamers! And shout out to my friends Virjinia and Madison who said they’d do a January Whole 30 with me! {Virjinia is also a fellow blogger, so to up the accountability factor, we decide to make videos and share blog posts on our sites, just to make it more fun!} I also know there are a ton of Facebook accountability groups out there to assist with resources AND cheerleading!

Decide on your menu plan

My “practical plan” tip? Keep it SUPER simple. Yes, try new recipes if you want. But honestly, here’s my meal plan for the 1st week:

Breakfast :: Mini egg “frittatas” {egg, sausage and veggies; or egg, bell pepper and diced turkey} that I make ahead; cold brew coffee & nut pod creamer. {Bonus :: my kids LOVE these mini frittatas!}

Whole30 in January? Let's Do This! | Houston Moms Blog

Lunch :: Whole30 freezer meal {they’re approved!} or Instant Pot lemon pepper chicken & steamed broccoli.

Dinner:: Instant Pot lemon pepper chicken with steamed broccoli or baked sweet potato with ground turkey chili and avocado.

Side note :: Snacks are not encouraged on Whole30, but just in case, I have two snacks in the fridge & pantry :: sliced applies and sunbutter and bell pepper strips and guacamole.

Hit the Grocery Store

You could hit the grocery store OR {and this is my favorite} you could order online and get curbside pick up at one of the many stores who offer it. Or, just have your Whole30 groceries delivered through a service like Instacart {which I’ve tried and LOVED!} We love this HMB list for the top 10 items you should have on hand for a successful/survived Whole 30, too!

Prep 

Ok, I have to admit, this is the part that makes me feel like I’m DOING a Whole30. Actually chopping and cooking. Meh. I admit I don’t love it. But I also know it’s important for our family budget to do this WAY more than I’ve been doing it lately {especially during the busy holiday season.} I also know it’s important for my family’s health. My husband and I both have high blood pressure already and we’re in our 30s and 40s. If this is what it takes to live healthier and longer, I’m here to make this Whole30 work! #LetsDoThis

Get all meals ready the night before. 

I mean all of it. I have my breakfast mini egg frittatas in little plastic bags in the fridge. In the morning, I throw 2 or 3 in a container, heat in the microwave, and dash out the door. While they’re heating up, I pour cold brew coffee from the fridge into my favorite Disney to-go cup, add a splash of Nut pod creamer & we’re Whole30-ing, baby!  

Whole30 in January? Let's Do This! | Houston Moms Blog

Lunch is ready in a container, so I just throw it in my little work lunch bag with my sliced apples and sunbutter. 

After work, I have enough energy left for a super easy dinner. Tonight it was frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, lemon slices on top EVOO, salt & pepper, and done. Oh, and while that was ready, I microwaved one of those frozen broccoli bags. SO easy. If you feel like getting extra fancy, you can get Whole30 approved sauces and dressings to make dinner a little more than just chicken and veggies. I’ll see if I can expand my repertoire as I go.

But the theme of this JanuaryWhole30 is JUST GET IT DONE. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You CAN do it! And hopefully, my practical plan helps!

 
 

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