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Hey guys! My name is Sarah, I started the Whole30 about 3 weeks ago. I have been battling hypothyroidism (my thyroid gland is not working, and the thyroid is what controls your bodies metabolism) for 2 years. After over a year of medication my Dr. and I FINALLY got me into the correct range! Yee haw! Since I began seeing her I have gained 50lbs. The culprits are many, but to name the main few is stress, hypothyroidism, nursing school, working night shift at the hospital, and a general lack of sleep and ability to exercise. My typical weight is 150-140. I am 5'7", and right now 200lbs. Miserable, let me tell you. 


Anyway, back on track. After getting my thyroid hormone within range, my Dr. recommended this program as a way to reprogram me and my body. I love it. I have no issue eating veggies or anything (parents are farmers), so healthy eating isn't hard. 


So, whats the big deal then? Well, I will tell you by showing you my schedule. When I actually have time to meal prep, I am so exhausted and sleep deprived I pass out, or I am busy studying for exams, or doing care plans, or going to clinicals, or working. You get the idea. In nursing school, the university and the hospital own you. I am not exaggerating. The joke goes that you know you are a nursing student when your GPA is greater than the number of hours you sleep a night. 


Here is what I need help with. I have done the whole30 for 2 week successfully, but then with time restraints that are unpredictable, I was unable to get ready for the next week. In my schedule, I do not have time at all to cook everyday. Because of my ever morphing schedule as well, I sometimes do not have the day free to do meal prep like I did, so I go a few days without approved meals. So, I am asking for help. If anyone knows of any resources in Denver that can help with this, I will be most grateful. I know the basics of what I can eat, it is simple and easy. However, it always seems to require cooking. A'int nobody got time for that!. Plus with working night shift, forget about it!!!! 


So, yea, please please PLEEEAASE help me figure out what to do!! I am normally a very independent person, but I am actually reaching out for help. Any and all advice is appreciated. Sorry for the rambling, I just got off night shift and went to school, took and exam, and am still up getting stuff done. Kinda loopy. Thanks in advance, I appreciate it. 

May Goth be with you! :ph34r:



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However, it always seems to require cooking. A'int nobody got time for that!. Plus with working night shift, forget about it!!!! 


I think it's commendable that you want to do Whole30 at this moment.  But consider whether or not the rigidity of the program is just heaping more stress on an already crammed schedule.  You could rightfully and understandably just choose to do the best you can and schedule a Whole30 for down the road when things ease off a bit.


If you are completely committed to doing this Right Now, here are some tips that don't take very long at all.


canned salmon, tuna, sardines, chicken

precut veggies like carrots, butternut squash, trimmed and cleaned broccoli, throw these in a steamer or roast in the oven in 20 minutes or less

hard boiled eggs

large roasts (beef or pork) in crockpot overnight (or while you're at work)

double batch chocolate chili (dead easy)

roast 2 or 3 whole chickens at one time when you do have time and then freeze the cooked meat in portions

bake chicken thighs, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts (all 435F for 35-40 minutes), as many as you can fit in your oven at one time

stew done in the crockpot


As far as your comment above, it all requires cooking.  Well.....ya, it does.  There's not a lot of getting around that.  If you truly do not have time to shop for, prepare and sit and eat Whole30 meals then you are probably not in a suitable space to take on something like this.  Be real with yourself about what you can commit to.

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Boy does this post resonate with me.  I just graduated from nursing school a year and a half ago.  This advice is easy to give looking back... I'm not sure I could have listened to this advice in school had someone given it to me: let it go.  Nursing school is not the "you will fail and be a miserable failure in life if you don't pass this clinical exam" that your instructors make it out to be.  During school I bought in hook, line and sinker to the story they were telling... WE WERE ALL GOING TO FAIL!!! EVERYTHING!  Forget about the NCLEX - we weren't even going to pass the lab exam on how to wash our damn hands... it was bad.  But you know what, it was fine.  I graduated with a 3.8 or something,  it doesn't mean squat.  With your tech experience you'll probably find a job without much trouble.  Hospitals (assuming that is where you want to work) want grads who are motivated.  If you care about your patients and your practice that will come through in an interview.  If you are task oriented and organized (which based on someone who schedules their sleep, you must be) you will get a job.  Maybe you won't get your dream job right out of school (I did, so there is hope!)... but you'll get *a* job.  So, give up a group study session or something to cook if W30 and your health is your priority now (which it should be).  Your post is well written and I can't imagine you are a borderline student - but I promise you that a B- vs an A- (you probably don't want a C though) in some nursing fundamentals class is not going make an iota of difference in your nursing career.  


In terms of time savers: bulk cooking like Ladyshanny suggested: boil a dozen eggs, cook a double batch of chili/stew.  Buy frozen veggies to cut down on chopping time.  Do a HUGE cook up at once to save yourself doing the same dishes over and over.  Make a roasted chicken in the oven and toss in 6 sweet potatoes at the same time.  Buy bagged salad.  Casseroles are your friend.  Here is an easy one:


Put a 1 lb bag of frozen spinach in a  bowl and put it in the microwave for 6 min or so.

1 lb sausage - cook it until browned, drain some fat if you want, or don't

Add in 1 chopped onion - use frozen chopped onions if you want

Put that in a casserole dish.

Drain some of the water out of the defrosted spinach (I put it in a cloth napkin and ring it out) - add that to the casserole dish.

Throw in some other frozen veggies too if you want (I use the haricot vets - thin string beans from Trader Joes)

Mix up 8-12 eggs and dump them on top.  Into the oven for 30ish minutes at 375.  


While your pan is out - saute up something - I make balsamic mushrooms a lot, onions and peppers are good too - fresh is best but frozen works too.


While your big microwave bowl is out microwave 2 lbs of frozen cauliflower for 10min or so.  Put that in your food processor (probably in 2-3 batches) - add a little garlic powder and maybe some coconut milk or broth if you have it around.  Put that in a casserole dish and put it in the oven too.  That is 3-4 servings of mashed cauliflower.  


Soups are great for frozen veggies because the texture doesn't matter as much.  They sell frozen cubed butternut squash near me.  Great soup base.  Just change the spices to get different varieties.  I was on a broccoli soup kick last year - frozen onion, dried garlic, 1 lb bag of frozen broccoli and 2 cups homemade chicken broth.  I think I ate that everyday for a few weeks :)


Moral of this very long story.  Don't believe your instructors.  You will survive.  You will pass your boards.  You will get a job.  So on Wednesday, from 4-8... don't study.  Cook :)  Or have a friend come over and study together - one chops, one quizzes :)

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I thought of this thread eating lunch today.  


3 HB eggs

Blob of homemade mayo (this is super easy to make with a stick blender)

whole avocado

last of a bag of baby carrots



Can't get much easier than this.  A little light on the veggies but adding a fresh pepper or salad greens wouldn't have changed the effort much.  



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Not sure what your budget is, but the ultimate (expensive) solution would be something like Pre-Made Paleo: http://premadepaleo.com/products/whole30-program-meal-plan


Pre-Made Paleo will deliver Whole30® approved breakfast, lunch and dinner plus trail mix snacks for: 5, 10, 20, or all 30 days of your Whole30® Nutrition Challenge.


Again, lots of options for pre-made salads, canned protein sources, pre-cut and pre-washed or frozen veggies, etc.


Good luck!




-Lauren (GGG)

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