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Preparing to start first Whole30


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Hi everyone,

I've been dabbling with paleo lifestyle for the past couple of months, and have planned a start date for my first Whole30.  I wanted to be finished before the holidays, and we have a work-related potluck tomorrow evening (Friday) which will have all the food I do not usually eat (italian bread, eggplant parmesan, wheat berry salad and apple pie).  I don't know yet whether I will eat first before going, and then try to politely refuse, or simply hold my nose and swallow (I hate eggplant).  I plan to begin my Whole30 on Saturday and have done a lot of shopping and recipe-gathering thanks to the Well Fed cookbook.  Saturday I'll spend a lot of time cooking up a bunch of stuff for the first week.  I'm excited/nervous.  I've never given up coffee (I only drink decaf, but I drink it with light cream) for more than 24 hours, and I think this will be the hardest part for me.


Does anyone have any advice or suggestions before Saturday arrives?  Specific recipes that have helped you get through tough days.  Best foods for the first day, second day, etc.  How to keep the evil brain from talking you into having "just one..."  How to avoid hidden ingredients.  Every label that I've looked at lately contains forbidden ingredients (the frozen snap peas have added sugar!!  why is that necessary??  the chipped beef also has sugar.  <sigh>) 


I usually drink one can of seltzer in the afternoon - nothing in the can except water, C02 and natural flavors (according to Polar).  Do you think this is in the spirit of the Whole30, or should I plan on leaving it out?





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Sounds like you have a good plan ahead of you.

You can still drink coffee on a Whole30, just without the cream.

Flavored Polar seltzer is fine on a Whole30.

The best advice I can give is to diligently read labels (even if it's something you purchased before, as things change), and to find a way to keep the 30 days as simple as possible.  For me, that meant not needing to cook 3 times a day.  I do that by having lunches like chicken or salmon salad made with paleo mayo, or sardines with veggies of choice. For breakfast, I have a handful of baked frittata recipes that I rotate through, which cook up 4-6 servings at once. I cook once and am set for breakfast for 4-6 days. For dinners, I try to make most cook-ups last at least 2-4 meals, so again, I'm not cooking every night. 

Have staples on hand, always. For me, that's turned out to be homemade paleo mayo, homemade clarified butter, coconut oil, eggs, sardines, canned chicken, canned salmon, lemons, avocados, and sweet potatoes.


EDIT: On the potluck tomorrow night, could you bring something at least Paleo compliant that you would like to eat/share?  You could also test out one of the Well Fed recipes. I personally love the Moroccan Meatballs.

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Thanks Chris - great suggestions!  I made the Bora Bora Fireballs and LOVE them!  I could definitely bring some along with me.  (I'm assuming they are okay for the Whole30 since they were in Well Fed).  I spent a lot of time reading the ingredients in all the bacon and sausage packages this morning, and found only ONE sausage pkg with no added sugar/maple sugar/turbinado sugar/corn syrup, etc.  Crazy!  I was going to make the Machaxxxxsomething-or-other eggs, but not with the chipped beef I have (with sugar!?!).  I bought a few pkgs of beef to add to my breakfast eggs.  When I tried an anti-inflammatory diet a few months ago (J J Virgin's diet), I ended up eating chicken or beef curry for breakfast.  It sounds strange, but it was great.  Of course I'll have to clean up all my recipes, but that's a fun challenge for me. 


I will be sure to keep tuna, salmon and sardines in my desk at work - and of course canned chicken which I stopped buying because it's probably from unhealthy chickens.  I am planning to spend the weekend preparing lots of food in advance, because like you said, I always want something readily available to nosh on so I don't break down for something unhealthy.  I don't keep the other junk in my house, so I should be safe.  I say "should," because I found all those paleoified dessert (paleo apple crisp, paleo mug chocolate cake, etc), so I actually do have the ingredients for something unapproved for the Whole30, but it's not prepared, and when I want a little something "now," I don't want to wait while it bakes.  I think I'll be okay.  I'm going to print out the timeline so I can take comfort in the fact that many many people before me made it through this and just how the journey went. 


I have always done a one-week liver cleanse in the spring, which means days 1 & 2 only fresh organic vegetables and fruit (unlimited) and *special lemonade (lemons, filtered water, a little maple syrup and cayenne).  Day 3, only organic fruit juice and special lemonade.  Day 4 only filtered water and special lemonade, with a 2 oz shot of EVOO at bedtime, then Day 5 is like day 3, and Days 6 and 7 are like 1 and 2.  It's pretty strict, but it's only a week and I have done it every year for the past 8 years.  I'm hoping 30 days will show me just how healthy I really can feel!  Maybe my chronic low back pain will diminish, maybe my insomnia will disappear, maybe my occasional food cravings will be for FISH and BRUSSEL SPROUTS! 

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Thanks Chris - great suggestions!  I made the Bora Bora Fireballs and LOVE them!  I could definitely bring some along with me.  (I'm assuming they are okay for the Whole30 since they were in Well Fed).  

Yes, those would be great. The only recipe in Well Fed that is not Whole30 approved is the Peach Almond Crisp.

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The thing that helped me the most is to eat the same breakfast every day and the same lunch everyday.  I make enough on Sunday for the whole (work) week and then I don't have to think about it.  Not thinknig about it, I think, is the key to W30.  Make your plan and then just eat what you eat and don't let your brain pull you into debates or arguments about what you are going to eat.  Plan your week and then do it.  Don't think about it.  At least that's what worked for me.  Good luck!

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The Hot Plates in Well Fed/meal ideas in ISWF are super easy (especially if you're just feeding yourself). I browned ground beef and fridged it so I could combine with whatever I wanted. The frozen veggies that are compliant (I usually get ones with cauliflower/broccoli/carrots) can be added to it, with some spices and maybe tomato sauce. By lunch time I can just microwave it and it's delicious (the frozen veg keep everything cold too).


Beyond that, I'd recommend not doing your liver cleanse. As someone who enjoys food...that sounds terrible! Give me veggies and meat and fruit any day. As long as it also has fat (there's actually a syndrome called "rabbit starvation" wherein people end up malnourished despite having lean meat from a combination of lack of other nutrients and lack of fat).

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