Whole 30 Newbie! Asking for advice from veterans!


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Hi, my name is Stephanie and I'm a sugar addict.


No seriously... I don't remember an entire day that I have gone without chocolate EVER. Until yesterday, which was my very first day on the Whole 30. This is my first Whole 30 and I have been doing research and reading "It Starts With Food" and the "Whole 30" book for over a month before I decided I would start Jan. 2, 2016.


My first day went surprisingly well. Despite my constant cravings and my sugar dragon ROARING all day, I did it and I felt AWESOME doing it! I was, however, a terrible planner. I went to Whole Foods that morning to buy ingredients for Day 1 recipes... which cost $70... 3 meals... $70. So for all you veterans and Whole 30 pros out there.. Where do you grocery shop and how to make it more affordable? sheesh.


So day 1 went well, and then I "woke" up. I put "woke" in quotes because I hardly slept last night. I was tossing and turning all night with a slight headache. IS THIS NORMAL?


So for anyone who has done this before or experienced some of the things I have, I'm asking for advice!

I'm also looking for support because I have two roommates; and one is a functioning alcoholic who eats dominos every day, and the other is a firm believer in sugary carbs for breakfast lunch and dinner followed by more sugar for dessert.


So if anyone else is on this journey with me, I'd love to connect! Newbie, veteran, anyone! I just woke up to day 2 and I'm ready to start my day! YEAH!

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Hello, Stephanie.


You don't have to follow the recipes. Take a look at www.melissajoulwan.com and look at her weekly cookups. These aren't recipes but batching cooking ingredients you can mix and match to make good meals and they are not expensive. Her chocolate chili is wonderful.


It sounds like you bought on the expensive plan - grass fed beef, organic produce, ghee. You can do this on a budget. In the books it points out to just buy the best you can afford. I live on Social Security and my food budget for the month is $250. I've done well with the Whole30. I shop the grocery store sales and plan my meals around that. For example, this week pork butt is $1.29 a pound. I use the crockpot method and cook this with salt, pepper, and garlic salt for 16 hours on low - it makes the most amazing shredded pork. Birdseye Steamfresh Veggies are $1 so I'll get several bags. I shred my own cabbage and buy lettuces in a head or bunch, not the prebagged salad stuff.


Only you are in charge of what you eat. You aren't the food police so you can't tell others what they can have. You can have ready foods that fit the Whole30 and make the choices that fit your lifestyle.


For great support and lots of suggestions, come join us on the TTT and Renewed Crew thread. This is a great bunch. We have newbies and some of us have done multiple Whole30.


There have been several discussions for doing the Whole30 on a budget. Goggle Whole30 on a Budget and you'll get several links.

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Stephanie, I saved a ton of money on my Whole30 by NOT buying lattes or meals out or snacks.

I shop at Trader Joe's and at my local independent grocery and I look for specials. Trader Joes has great deals on produce. I make clarified butter out of the cheapest unsalted butter I can buy and make my own mayo with a stick blender.

I only venture into Whole Foods on Tuesdays, when their rotisserie chicken is $2 off (there plain version is Whole30 compliant) and I have a very short list of items I allow myself to buy there.

I kept my Whole30 meals intentionally simple, with interchangeable batch-cooked proteins (chicken breasts, chops, beef patties, fish filets, frittatas) I could grab and go. I still find frozen vegetables both a time and money saver as I can cook only what I need (for 1) and yet always have a variety of vegetables available.

My two splurges were, and are, Tessamaes catsup and Bella balsamic vinegar. Oh, and organic dark roast coffees from Larrys Beans.

Find some foods and condiments you LOVE and eat those and you won't miss the damn chocolate!

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Don't forget canned and frozen too, sometimes these are on sale and you can get good bargains.


I only buy canned salmon when it's on sale (it's on sale maybe once a week), but I have a good supply so I don't run out.


Keep a food log. My first Whole30 I was surprised that I liked a lot of the cheaper simpler meals better than the more expensive complicated ones.

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For me, Whole Foods=whole paycheck. I do an occasional trip to Costco for items like coconut oil and olive oil. I do a lot of sautéed vegs with some kind of ground meat and spices. Canned tuna, salmon and olives - all when on sale. I do an occasional Trader Joe run for nuts, almond milk, and vegs. Every week or two I make a batch of chili or do a crockpot roast. I am trying to just keep things simple and do recipes with a lot of ingredients only once in a while. That way I've added to my spice and special ingredients slowly.

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Hi stephiej my name is Erin and Im about to start the whole30 again for the second time since I finished in august and I have been terrible (relapsed) and gained 7kgs! plus im a full on sugar and coffee fiend. I totally need some motivation. Hope your doing well! 

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Hey Stephiej! 


Charleston Whole30-er in my twenties here too!


Your roommate comment made me laugh aloud- in a booze soaked town like ours with so many things to do and great things to eat its hard to balance with healthy living, but I managed two rounds last year! Budget is definitely a concern for me too...I've found a few things work great for me: grassfed meat, nuts, and produce for great prices at Trader Joes, roasting a whole chicken over root veggies on Sunday (about 2 hours invested, 5-6 meals, $15ish), and making a big frittata (four breakfasts, $10 max if you buy good eggs and veggies to go in it). I also LOVE the mexican tuna boats and salmon cakes from the whole30 books and both are super inexpensive recipes. One recipe with specialty ingredients ($10 fish sauce...ouch!) every week will build up your pantry without killing your budget.


If you come up with a good response for the people who ask "are you pregnant?" when you're out downtown and say you aren't drinking let me know!


Good luck! It's got a learning curve for sure, but you've got a great support network here even if your roomies taunt you with dominos. 

Would love to have a (black) coffee if you're down!


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If you have an Aldi near you, definitely check it out!  I do almost all of my grocery shopping there.  Take a quarter for the shopping cart, your own shopping bags, and prepare to bag your own groceries.  They don't carry many name brand items, but you'll be surprised that their store brand is quite good quality for such a reasonable price.  Things you can buy there are coconut and EVO oils, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, spices for $1, canned olives, tuna, and salmon, butter (for making your own clarified butter/ghee), excellent fresh and frozen produce, and sometimes they even have grass fed organic ground beef.  And believe it or not, my local Walmart has unsweetened flaked coconut (wild oats brand), and full fat canned coconut milk (thai kitchen) for less than $1.50 each!  I also found free range eggs there (the happy egg company) for about $5 a dozen.  I eat the Jones brand of frozen breakfast sausage (plain, not maple)  and canadian bacon, they are inexpensive.  Even though sugar is listed in the ingredients for the sausage and canadian bacon, the nutrition info doesn't list sugar at all, and at the bottom it has a little disclaimer *not a significant source of dietary fiber, sugar, etc


This is my second whole30, and I'm not beating myself up about not being able to afford all organic meats.  Trying to be legalistic and militant gets me discouraged and deflates my enthusiasm, so I use common sense and do the best I can with the resources I have!  Hope that helps, and you GO girl!

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