Help With 30 Days of Meal Planning!!


tallison7

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I'm new to Whole30 and today is day ONE!  However, I'm having a tough time with planning:  With the onslaught of social media and all the hundreds of fabulous blogs and thousands of recipes available, I'm on brain overload!!!  I just don't have time to sit at the computer and carefully sift through all of this to come up with my own 30 day plan!!  I'd rather just get to the nuts & bolts and have it all mapped out for me (breakfast lunch and dinner).   Just tell me what to eat and I'll buy the groceries and prepare the meals.  That's it.  I'll print it out and post on my fridge (yes, the old fashioned way!).   Can anyone point me to a straightforward 30 day calendar of mapped out breakfast lunch and dinners complete with grocery list and cooking instructions?  Or do I have to buy the book?  Thanks!!

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Don't overthink it.   You can do this without menus, 1000's of recipes and overplanning for the next 30 days.  

 

I think the book is a valuable resource to carry around with you.  It's a visual manual for the foods you'll need to stay away from and those you want.  I'm a bare bones and bone broth person.  Just the facts and I'm off and running.

 

Everything you need is within a Whole 30 google search without the book, too.

 

The Whole 30 is not about measuring, counting, weighing and turning your mind and body into a science experiment.   The Whole 30 changes your relationship with food and it can last you for a lifetime.

 

Don't you want to know a person before you love them?  Buy the book and get to know your way around the forum.  Hang to the outside perimeters of your grocery store, that's where you'll find all of the real food. Buy the basics.  Stay within your budget.

 

I eat real foods in whole form.  The less I obsess over micro minutiae...my happy awareness soars.  Frenetic activity....measuring, counting, weighing takes all of my peace away.   Food Freedom = Peace. 

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Mel Joulwan (the brains behind Well Fed and Well Fed 2, www.meljoulwan.com) has weekly meal plans. We want you to understand food, understand what you like and don't like and get into a healthy relationship with food. That's why there is no 30 day 'eat this and then eat that' plan that is officially endorsed. You don't need to make something new for every meal for the 30 days... think about the protein type you like and vegetables that you already know you like and start there... if you start with the basics and then gradually increase your repetoire to include new or different things, it's a lot less overwhelming than going into it thinking you need to be a world class chef and make 90 different meals!

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Actually in the Daily Newsletter it advised NOT to plan too far ahead. A few days is fine but life gets in the way or we don't feel like eating what we had on the menu or don't have an ingredient on hand. This is a way of life and we need to plan around compliant foods that fit out life not someone else's. Keep it simple. You don't need to have a new recipe every day. Follow the meal template and you can't go wrong. Good luck!

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My husband and I grill a variety of meats on Sunday and plan meals around what we have.  I buy veggies that are quick to prepare and putting a meal together is fast and easy after work.  We eat a LOT of salad with meat on it-it's what I take for lunch nearly every day.  Curries and stir-fries are frequent as well.  Before my last child left for college he enjoyed this as well because he could grab a burger or chicken breast for a sandwich any time.  He also liked having pork tenderloin around for fried rice.  A typical grilling would be 3 to 6 chicken breasts, 2 pork tenderloins (one might end up in the freezer), 4 to 6 hamburgers, sausages and steaks, which would be eaten hot off the grill.  

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You can do this, tallison7! When I did my first Whole30, I didn't even know that there WAS a book, and this was way before the Whole30 book came out. I just did some Googling and perused the forum and took it one day (meal) at a time. Keep it simple the first few days with following the meal template at the most basic level: protein-veggies-fat, and add more or less as you feel you need it, and when in doubt, add more fat!

 

All of the Whole30 social media and internet content is both a blessing and a curse. While it's awesome that there is so much more knowledge, support, and resources then there was back in the day, there's also a lot of overwhelming pressure and confusion too. Stick to the template, take it one meal at a time, and just breathe! You've got this!

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If it helps any, our dinners this coming week are kahlua pig with sweet potato hash and guacamole; roasted chicken legs with paleomg lemon chive 'pasta'; fiesta pork chops (well fed 2) with cauliflower rice, green veg and avo salad; chicken muligatawny with zoodles (well fed 2); steak with sweet potato wedges and green beans.

Breakfast is generally cooked meat plus cooked veg from the fridge fried up with 2 eggs. Lunch is usually protein on salad.

I'm a recipe kind of cool and find my well fed and nom nom Paleo books invaluable. We have some regular meals and I browse my books each week for different ideas.

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Keep it simple! Do what you already know, leaving out dairy and grains, and adding in more veggies and healthy fat. Do you like chicken, rice, and broccoli? Swap out the rice for a second veggie, maybe a salad with avocado. Bam. Cook up a pork roast in the slow cooker (Mel joulwan has a great Italian pork roast; nom nom paleo's Kalua pork roast is a hit with whole 30-ers), this will feed you for several days, then just add in roasted or steamed veggies and maybe some sunshine sauce (also Mel joulwan) or a handful of olives. Don't think your meals have to be super creative or "new." I made a big batch of nom nom paleo's Asian meatballs the other day, and have been eating those reheated for lunches. Once they're gone I'll make a big batch of something else...

My mom has forever made a great beef stew: about 2# beef (any cut will do), a few potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onion, salt/pepper, some water and a tbl or 2 of tapioca pearls tossed in a big roast pan. Cover and cook 5 hours at 250. Tender, delicious, easy. And it will feed you for many meals!

Start with what you already know and do. Leave out what is non-compliant, add in whatever is missing from the meal template, and congratulate yourself on another great meal. You can be creative later.

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I plan weekly. I read recipes Friday night, shop and cook on Saturday.

I have to second the moderator's links to Mel Joulwan (the brains behind Well Fed and Well Fed 2, www.meljoulwan.com). This is my second Whole30, and Mel's recipes and NomNomPaleo's got me through the first one. They are so delicious I feel the opposite of deprived. I feel like I'm giving myself this wonderful gift.

This week I'm having lemongrass-coconut soup for breakfast, salads with chicken for lunch and Mel's "best chicken you will ever eat" with dipping sauce for dinner - with broccoli and baked potato with ghee.

Today I made Mel's homemade mayo, bbrined the chicken breasts, baked another whole chicken - no recipe, I just stuffed it with garlic and thyme and baked it at 400 for 90 minutes. Tomorrow I'll remove the white meat from the baked chicken and chop it and set aside, ready for salads during the week. Remove the dark meat and set aside for soups. I'll toss the bones in the pressure cooker and make the stock for soups. Take the brined chicken breasts and apply the rub and grill.

Then I am set for the week. If I need a snack or tire of salads for lunch I have the homemade mayo to make a deviled egg or tuna salad.

We can do this - let's do it!!!

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  • I usually just get a chicken or small turkey or turkey breast or roast and cook it on Sunday, then use it all week for salads and make soup with the bones.  Then I roast a bunch of vegetables, sweet potatoes, onions, brussel sprouts and such and store them for the week.  I usually supplement with a meal of salmon, some stir fries, and maybe a lunch of tuna.  I might make one new meal a week when I feel like cooking.  I started out trying to cook everything in the book but have settled down.  I will also usually cook an acorn or spaghetti squash  and sometime during the week make a pureed soup with some sauted carrots, celery and onions and add coconut milk.  It can get boring but very easy. For breakfast, I usually make a frittata that lasts for a few days.  The meatballs in the book are really good too and can last for a few meals.  Make it simple, cook a lot one day a week and then supplement around that.  I plan some every week just for grocery shopping since we have to go 100 miles to get good food but usually end up doing less. 

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THANK YOU everyone for these wonderful responses and support!  Day 3 today and I'm NOT going to stress out about this!!  My sister-in-law did Whole30 starting in August and to date has lost a whopping 38 pounds!!  We talked over dinner last night (I made her a yummy Butter Chicken recipe I found on Whole30Recipes on Instagram... we both love indian food).  She gave me the same advice you all gave me here on this forum.  Thank you and LET'S DO THIS THING!!!!

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if you start with the basics and then gradually increase your repetoire to include new or different things, it's a lot less overwhelming than going into it thinking you need to be a world class chef and make 90 different meals!

 

I'm on Day 1!, and this post reaffirmed my decision this morning to keep things simple: I really enjoy finding and trying new recipes, but thinking about mapping out 90 meals this morning before shopping and prepping to get the ball rolling was way overwhelming. (I'm feeling a big push to plan right now because I teach and today is my last day of winter break; I want to make sure I make the most of my time off before the semester starts!) I realized that the meal planning breakdown into protein, veggies, and fat is almost the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of complexity and feeling overwhelmed!

 

In that spirit, though, I have one question for clarifying about meal planning: fats should be added in small amounts to each meal. For lunch I had baked salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. For a little more structure I'm using the recipes in Whole30, and both call for cooking fat (1 tablespoon for the salmon and 3 tablespoons in the roasted veggies). Does that mean that for lunch I used twice the recommended amount of fats, or should I have still added a serving of fat like an avocado on the side. I'm trying to avoid snacking and to stick to three meals, but I wanted to gain some clarity about including fats in food prep in case I'm more hungry now because I inadvertently skipped part of that meal. Ultimately, I'm not so hung up on "getting this right" that I won't have a few nuts or a piece of fruit if I'm hungry, but I do think it will help me with planning to have a clearer sense of what to expect for meals.

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Hi Sydni

Glad that post helped you feel less overwhelmed! You can get more tips and advice about 'hot plate' style cooking from www.meljoulwan.com as well, which really breaks it down into the basics of pre-prepping meat, veg and then adding seasonings based on what you feel like eating at a particular meal. I'm a single woman and making 'recipes' often means I would need to eat the same thing for days on end so hot plates work great for me!

As far as fat, we generally don't count the cooking fat because a lot of it bakes off or stays in the pan, so the recommendation is to add fat to your meal, yes. A half an avocado would have gone great with what you had for lunch! As you get further into understanding your body and listening to your hunger and satiety signals, some people report being able to have no fat if they have a fattier cut of meat or fish etc... for now, add the fat so you're staying full for 4-5 hours. I'm glad you're okay to eat when you're hungry while you get this all figured out but please, try eating a mini meal of at least two of the three (fat, protein, veg) instead of snacking on fruit, nuts or dried fruit alone. This will only spike your blood sugar and keep your sugar cravings going strong.

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