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Jewelz423

Share your if/then plan, and other tips about staying on the Whole 30

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I am about to start my first Whole 30, and right now I am in the process of preparing for my W30 journey!  One part of planning for success is creating an if/then plan.  

 

To quote the Whole 30 website on creating an if/then plan:

"First, write down every potential stressful, difficult, or complicated situation you may encounter during your Whole30. These may include business lunches, family dinners, travel plans, a long day at work, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or office gatherings.

Next, create an if/then plan for each potentially difficult situation: “If this happens, then I’ll do this.”

I can think of many stressful, difficult situations that I might encounter during my W30, but I've had a hard time coming up with ways to handle those situations.  I thought it would be great if there was a thread for people to share tips and strategies that work for them when they face those difficult situations.

Some of the difficult situations I'm anticipating are: Thanksgiving next week, wanting to drink on the weekends with my friends, being too tired/busy after work to plan/prepare my meals, and there is always food/sweets in the office at work.  My strategy at this point is, Just do it.  Not a very good strategy I admit, but I'm working on improving it and making my "thens" more specific.  

What are some of the challenges unique to your experience of the Whole 30?  Do you have any suggestions or strategies that might help others facing similar situations?

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Don't over think this.

 

 

Posted by Robin Strathdee on 04 January 2013 - 05:03 AM

Welcome all newcomers, welcome back vets, and for those of you who never left...welcome to this post.

I just wanted to pop in here and remind you all to take a deep breath before you dive into all the questions about what you can and can't have. The program guidelines are clear on what you can and can't have (grains, dairy, W30 muffins), but things get a little grey when people start talking about what you should andshouldn't have. Please don't over think think this. You don't have to address every food related issue you have, break every bad habit, and shun every food that gives you comfort to succeed with your Whole30. If you need to you can always extend or repeat the process, and things will get better each time you do. My advice to you is this:

  • Stick to the rules like they are your port in a storm (really, they will become that).
  • Take the Moderators responses seriously (we know what we're talking about).
  • Take community members suggestions as advice from those who came before, but keep in mind they are not the rules and not the Mods. Everyone here is well-meaning, and everyone here wants to see you succeed, but everyone here is at a different place in this journey.
  • And finally, take comfort in these words (from Melissa Hartwig, on another forum post):

Here's the thing (and this is an interesting discussion)... there are Whole30 "rules," which are strict, clearly outlined, and very well defined. No grains - and here are all the things we consider grains. No dairy - and here are all the dairy items excluded. No Paleo-fied food choices, and here's what those look like.

Then, there are Whole30 suggestions for success. They're not part of the official rules, but they're things that we've seen really help (or harm) people as they move through the program. Fruit smoothies for breakfast - not a good idea. Skipping breakfast - not a good idea. Eating every two hours, all day - not a good idea. These things won't necessarily affect your Whole30 results (although they might), but if we can give you additional suggestions that will make your transition and your program easier and more effective, we're going to give them to you.

Keep Calm and Whole30 On. 

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Some of the difficult situations I'm anticipating are:

 

>Thanksgiving next week

Who's hosting? Can you tell them your plan?  Sticking with the turkey and sweet potatoes is the simple but boring choice.  Can you bring a side dish of your own to take refuge in?  Several threads here about Thanksgiving menus.

 

>wanting to drink on the weekends with my friends

It's only a couple weekends, you can make it.  Be the DD, focus on the $ you're saving, think about the 'if I can really take it or leave it, then I should be able to leave it for 30 days' aspect, 

 

>being too tired/busy after work to plan/prepare my meals

Cook batch stuff on the weekends, make enough for leftovers each time you cook, have compliant ready-to-eat stuff on hand: canned seafood, pre-cooked sausage, hard-boiled eggs, etc., use a Crock Pot so dinner's waiting when you get home

 

>and there is always food/sweets in the office at work

Remember "and there always will be", think about how the holidays often result in people gaining weight and you can be one of those that defy the trend, think about Secretarial SpreadTM, bring your own food, if you get a craving take a walk around the office and drink some tea or something else that takes your mind off of it - don't just sit there staring at your screen thinking about what's in the breakroom

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My one for work is no surprise food. If I didn't plan on eating it, I don't need to eat something because someone else wants me to. You will probably find though, that after eating to the template for awhile, you won't be hungry in between meals and snacking isn't such an urge. Until that kicks in, keep some compliant snacks available (you don't have to eat them), but don't eat them instead of real meals.

 

Be prepared, make sure you've got plenty of compliant food ready to eat, in the cupboard/freezer/fridge. It's really hard to go off the rails when there's compliant food ready to eat :)

 

If you're likely to be tired in the evening, make sure there's a cooked meal waiting for you so you don't need to cook :) Batch cooking, crockpot, etc helps. It's also good to have a few quick meals you can throw together from the freezer, cans or the cupboard if you need to, for the Very Bad Day when things go wrong. Takeaway and eating out may not be options where you are, so keep that in mind when you're planning ahead. If there's nothing compliant around for eating out, cook ahead and have plenty of spare meals in the freezer.

 

If you find it hard to plan your strategy, you could try drawing a Force Field Analysis, which reviews your goal and forces which support and oppose your goal.

 

http://www.change-management-coach.com/force-field-analysis.html

 

Each one of your potentially difficult items is a red arrow, and the green arrows are the things you can do to make sure those red arrows don't prevent you from achieving your goals :)

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Wishing you the best of luck with your Whole30 Jewelz! I like your "just do it" attitude! That's sort of how I approached it, I thought if I'm going to do this, I will do it cold turkey and all the way! I threw out and/or donated all the non-compliant foods in my house, did a huge grocery shop to stock up on compliant foods, and made sure that I planned ahead so that I always had a packed lunch and snacks to take with me to work so I wouldn't be tempted. It would be very hard to get any restaurant food or take out to comply with Whole30 so I didn't want to leave myself in that situation. 

 

One thing I relied on once a week was picking up a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on my way home from work. Easy protein for dinner, and lots of leftovers to either make into chicken soup with my bone broth, or use in other recipes. Also, the slow cooker is my friend!!!

 

I used to have a glass of wine with dinner especially after a stressful long day at work, but it is only for 30 days and it wasn't hard to cut out alcohol for me. I had some decaf tea instead, I find that the tea is nice and relaxing as well! I avoided a party situation (our friends had a housewarming party), instead we met up with them earlier in the day and hung out with them 1 on 1, I thought that would be easier on us than being the only couple at the party who can't have pop or alcohol or any party snacks.

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Lot's of good advice here! My two biggest tools are to always remind myself that "<insert food here> isn't going to disappear from the Earth in 30 days" and to always use the words "I'm choosing not to have that right now" not "I can't have that right now". 

 

There is so much more power when things are choices not restrictions.

 

Best of luck!

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Thanks for the great advice, everyone!  I did a lot more reading yesterday, cleaned out my kitchen, and went food shopping today.  I also prepared some meals for the week so that I will always have something compliant to grab.  Now that I am prepared I am feeling much more optimistic, and I am really excited to start tomorrow!  Maybe it won't be as hard as I was imagining.  For now, I'm just staying positive and taking it one day at a time!!

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Thanks for the great advice, everyone!  I did a lot more reading yesterday, cleaned out my kitchen, and went food shopping today.  I also prepared some meals for the week so that I will always have something compliant to grab.  Now that I am prepared I am feeling much more optimistic, and I am really excited to start tomorrow!  Maybe it won't be as hard as I was imagining.  For now, I'm just staying positive and taking it one day at a time!!

Don't worry about tomorrow,  tomorrow will take care of itself.  

Don't worry about tomorrow...it's already tomorrow in Australia.  coffeedate.gif

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Things are upside down everywhere.   Extreme cold and extreme heat.   Two feet of snow one day and 70 mph winds the next to blow it away.  Another foot of snow the next day.   It's a rollercoaster...hang on for the ride.

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