Day 1 - already having meal planning issues!


rachel30

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OK, so I started my Whole30 today. Yay me!

 

This morning, I made no-sugar, no preservative bacon for my son, so I had one slice with my 2 scrambled eggs. I cooked them in coconut oil with sautéed shallots. And I had a handful of sun gold tomatoes from my garden. (Yum!) But I knew I should have been having spinach or some other leafy greens or other vegetables. And didn't.

 

So, when I got to work, I wilted some spinach and had it with herbs & some salt. But it was 2 hours after breakfast and about 1.5 hours before lunch. I know this is not ideal.

 

Speaking of lunch, I threw 3 uncooked chicken breasts, some sugar snap peas, a sweet potato, some lettuce, a peach from the farm, a ripe avocado, and some more tomatoes in a bag and thought, "I'll make this into some kind of lunch bowl."

 

Obviously, this is not sustainable. Does everyone meal plan for the whole week (or at least the day!), or is it possible to be successful with a more "fly by the seat of my pants" approach? FYI, this is how I live most of my life. I'm not much of a planner.

 

I did plan dinner -- 5 oz. filet, sweet potato, salad with garden tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts. This is my favorite meal ever.

 

 

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I don't plan the entire week. Instead, I usually do 2-3 days out.  I hit the grocery store 2-3 times a week to make this happen.  It also helps to have some staples in the house at all times. For me, that looks like eggs, avocados, paleo mayo, ghee, sardines, canned salmon, olives, cashews, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil, coconut oil, lemons and sweet potatoes.

I've found that planning and prep is 80% of being successful on the Whole30. 

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My "method" sounds a lot like Chris' above, as far as planning 2-3 days at a whack.  I end up at the grocery store at least 3x/week. 

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with your plan of putting a bunch of produce in a bag and then throwing together a salad at work.  The vast majority of the time, I don't do anything fancy for dressing - I just drizzle on some olive oil (or avocado oil) and a liberal amount of vinegar.  Currently I am obsessed with this one:  http://www.ooliveoil.com/product_cabalsamic.php?n=O%20california%20white%20balsamic%20vinegar

 

I try to make a batch of sauteed greens once or twice a week to use with breakfast.  Could you do some prep/cooking in the evenings? 

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Don't worry about too much exact planning but you do need to have food on hand.  Just a few ideas: frozen veggies, several hard boiled eggs, ground or grilled meat cooked up (or defrosted and ready to go). Also you need your fats on hand - 3 or 4 avocados, some nuts, your cooking fats, some jarred olives, cans of full fat coconut milk.

 

IMPORTANT: Print out and keep posted nearby the MEAL TEMPLATE. Fill your plate according to it, even if you don't feel like it. Do not skimp on fat, you will pay for it.

 

I HIGHLY recommend buying Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. I have it on Kindle. It has wonderfully delicious yet easy recipes, and a section all about how to do your "Weekly Cookup" - really helpful on how to cook a bunch of food up on a Sunday afternoon so you can have almost-ready things to throw together in a pan all week long.

 

Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausages, canned tuna and sardines have saved me on many occasion. Protein is the hardest to come up with quickly -- veggies you can always resort to baby carrots/salad/frozen. Fats you can always resort to a small amount of nuts, a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil, a big handful of olives.

 

Since you are already in the midst of your first week with little food on hand, get to the store and grab a couple dozen eggs, some pre-cooked shrimp, the above-mentioned chicken apple sausages, a couple of steaks and/or chicken thighs/breasts. Get some ready-made bagged salads, frozen veggies, baby carrots and celery and peppers, microwave (or bake) a few sweet potatoes. And get some fat options (see above).

 

Go home, hard boil 6 or so eggs, grill your steak/chicken and then what you don't eat right away, stick in the fridge. Labelling it really helps. Then grab what you need from there.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks, all!

 

I do have plenty of compliant food around at home -- chicken, grass fed beef, veggies, avocado, eggs, coconut oil, etc. I just, uh, hate planning! I'm going to have to just do it. I was thinking of making a bit pot of the chocolate chili that people rave about and keeping grilled chicken and mayo (I've been making my own mayo for years; so much better). I wish I liked hard boiled eggs.

 

I just made a lovely salad with grilled chicken, avocado, spinach, butter & red leaf lettuce, sweet potato, vinaigrette, a few nuts, garden tomatoes, some peach slices.

 

I am planning to buy Well Fed.

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It doesn't have to be complicated.  The key, as many on this thread have said, is having the right staples always available.  Earlier today I was in a pinch: I had done no planning, was in a hurry so I just threw some ground turkey, brocolli, a couple of eggs and salsa in a pan and lunch was ready in 5 minutes. And it was delicious.  Not having to run to the store hungry and read all the labels in a compromised mind set is the key.

 

Keeping it simple will help tons. I love nothing more than Well-Fed's sweet potato chili. It does take a while to cook but you will have leftovers for days. Every meal doesn't need to be a complicated affair. Leftovers for breakfast works well.

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My "planning" involves having a freezer of different portioned out protein based meals, a fridge full of fresh vegies and some fruit, mayo, eggs, HB eggs, cooked chicken breast, cooked sweetnpotato and pumpkin.

Breakfast is eggs, usually with chicken, and whatever vegies we feel like. Lunch is often salad, or one of the freezer meals with vegies added. Dinner is a freezer meal that's reheated while vegies are cooked.

We cook in fat, add coconut milk (great in curry!), add avo or mayo, use coconut oil or coconut butter :)

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:ph34r: I still don't meal plan :ph34r: Several years ago, when I was a raw foodist, I attended a seminar and part of it was to find out *how*(not what) you liked to eat. I'd never done well with meal plans, I loved making them - I hated sticking to them. I discovered that my ideal is to be able to open my fridge freezer and just choose what looks appealing at the time.

 

I adapted this quite easily to W30. I cook loads of protein at a time and freeze it in single portion sizes. I cook lots of veg and store it in the fridge and I wash and prep salad stuff and green baggie it in the fridge. I also keep lots of home made mayo, ghee and coconut oil etc.

 

Come meal times I just choose my protein and add whatever veg, salad, fat etc I feel like. Sure, as the week goes on, i have less choice of veg but I've never found that a problem and I always manage to eat it all :) I also stress an awful lot less than when I used to feel I *had* to have my meals planned out. The secret is to find what works for you

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I don't like to plan my meals much in advance.

I like to make sure I have plenty of variety in the fridge and freezer, and then spend the day thinking about what I can cook for Meal3 from what I have.

It also makes grocery shopping more fun since I then can shop for whatever I want/looks good/is cheap etc and not being controlled by a precise shopping list.

 

Usually Meal3 leftovers then makes Meal2 for the next day.

 

For Meal1 I like to just assemble a platter from what I feel like having right then and there (like olives, veggies, nuts, leftover protein, an avocado, Pre-boiled eggs, fresh berries etc.)

Don't know why, but I love to have Meal1 as close to finger food as possible...and preferably a little bit each of many different things.

 

Works great for me.

(My girlfriend on the other hand is the complete opposite, she can't stand not knowing ahead what we'll eat. It can get somewhat problematic, but we usually solve it by taking turns in who's in charge of making sure food is served every other week...)

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This is my 3rd Whole 30 and I've found it's best to make way more of paleo recipes you have tried already and only try one (maybe two) new recipes a week.  And make sure that the new recipes you try are not on a week night!  We have done that repeatedly and every_single_time we end up getting frustrated that whatever we're making is taking too long.

 

You have to plan and prep.  That's the name of the game. It can get irritating but once you've got a few recipes in your arsenal it's not that big of a deal.  Hamburgers and brined chicken are easy (once you get the hang of brining) and you can make tons of them easily for lunches.  

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i only get to the big grocery store once a week and the health food store once a week and the farmer's market once, most weeks from june to november, so i do have to plan a little bit...i know i buy certain things at certain stores and what foods or kinds of foods i need to have on hand...i do meal plan a bit, but loosely, meals are definitely subject to change based on what ingredients i find at the stores and weather or not we are in the mood for certain foods (i have myself, my twin sons and my grandmother to feed).

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Sounds like I am the odd one out, because I definitely plan a full week of meals at a time and grocery shop from that meal plan. Each meal is planned right down to the quantity of vegetables and types of spices.

I have been doing this ever since I got married a year and a half ago, and have carried it into our Whole30 and now beyond. It is the only way I can stay sane when it comes to cooking! I can't deal with standing in front of the refrigerator scratching my head before every meal, or not knowing when I need to defrost which kind of meat, or not knowing if I have enough avocados to last the week. :laugh:

The (very) odd time that I decide I just don't want what I have planned, I'll switch meals around a bit, but I never stray far from the plan. Anyway, that's just our household, but I wanted to weigh in and say that precise meal planning does work for some people! :)

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I'm half/half. I plan main meals (mostly dinner and some lunches) and beyond that, I have food in the house. Eggs, bacon, cereal/milk for the hubby and when I'm running late, Larabars (not all are compliant, but the ones that are have saved me several times), etc. I'm in the moving process at this point (still waiting on my main shipment of stuff, including all of my furniture...I'm tired of air mattresses!) so I'm not doing anything too crazy, but I did make mayo yesterday that I've been craving like it's going out of style. Guess I needed more fats in my diet! I've had about 1 tbsp of that (ish) a day since yesterday. It'll become tuna salad tomorrow for lunch since hubby's almost out of bread and I used the last of our lettuce (including my lettuce to make wraps from) for salads tonight. 

 

I agree with the staples. We just made a pound of shrimp (olive oil, garlic, lime juice, sea salt) for dinner and have enough for another meal for the two of us. There's half of my steak in the fridge (I couldn't eat half a pound of steak...I like beef, but...ugg...) and the makings of a big stir fry (1 lb chicken, several small zucchini, ginger, garlic, carrots to shred...). Stir fries happen a lot in the Stick household, since they're fast to cook and two people can make them easily - each person has their own job (say, one chops ginger and garlic while another uses the julienne peeler on zucchini and/or carrots) and you get done faster.

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