Whole30 is intense. There is really no other way of describing it other than the fact that it is really intense! The cravings were really hard for me to get through and there is no way that I could have completed a successful Whole30 without the meal planning that we did. I know it is beyond cliche to say, but the phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” is so true! If you have no snacks in the house besides the stuff you ate before Whole30, when a craving comes there won’t be anything else to grab except those chips in the back of the pantry! Here are a few tips that totally saved our behinds when it came to Whole30 meal planning.
Have a plan for every meal and snack!
For the first week of Whole30, we only planned for meals. Although I didn’t ever cheat, I really struggled because I hadn’t made a plan for snacks at all. Especially where I was breastfeeding, I needed those snacks and I basically felt like I was starving myself when it was between meals. Make sure that you have a plan for every single meal you are going to eat AND have snack ideas as well! I love Larabars, carrot sticks, celery, bell peppers and guacamole, or fresh fruit as easy snack ideas when you are in a pinch and need something right away.
Meal prep ahead of time.
This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and meal prep all of your meals all at the same time. If your life allows it, I recommend looking at what you are going to be eating the next day and prepare as much of it as you can the night before. We would always prepare the next day’s meals together as a couple the night before by chopping up any vegetables, taking meat out of the freezer and put in the fridge, etc. It definitely helped things go more smoothly during the day when we were needing to actually make the meals. This was also really helpful on the days that I knew I would be eating lunch on the go because I was able to make my lunch ahead of time and have it all packed and ready for me as I was running out the door to get my daughter to dance or preschool.
Don’t feel like you have to have something different everyday.
The first time we did Whole30 a year ago, we basically had something different every meal. That got really expensive really quickly because we weren’t using up all of the food that we were buying. Instead, plan to eat leftovers sometimes, eat the same thing for breakfast a few days a week, and try to find recipes that use similar ingredients. For the most part, we chose meals we wanted for each day of one week and we basically repeated that same menu for all four weeks. Each week we would tweak it a little, but the core recipes stayed the same.
Plan meals and create a shopping list on the computer.
After we planned what meals we wanted, we made our shopping list on a Google document. Because we stuck with a lot of the same recipes from week to week, our shopping list pretty much stayed the same the entire time. Each week, we would go on the computer and tweak the shopping list accordingly as the menu would change a little. It was so nice knowing we didn’t have to put together some elaborate grocery list each week.
Get a binder for quick recipe reference.
I normally am a frequent user of Pinterest when it comes to recipes, but when you are using the same recipes repeatedly it kind of gets obnoxious to look up the same recipes time and time again. Instead, print out the recipes and put them in a Whole30 binder so you can easily reference them. The binder is also where we kept our weight and measurements so we would remember right where they were at the end of the 30 days.
If you have ANY questions at all about Whole30, our health journey, or meal planning, please do not hesitate to ask! We are NOT experts, but we have learned a lot about what is best for us and are more than happy to help! We did a little Facebook Live video and answered some of the questions that we were asked the most frequently and hopefully it can help you too!