Starting my first Whole30 since 2013 - is this meal plan okay?


Hototogisu

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Anally retentive spreadsheet can be found here.

 

We're starting next week, and I've been preparing by cutting out alcohol and sugar, stocking up on food containers, bookmarking recipes and test driving our new Instant Pot.

 

About us: we're London-dwelling DINKS and keen cooks. We already cook most nights, so we're unconcerned with that aspect. I've included some recipes that have non-compliant ingredients, but plan on modifying them on the fly - eg, chicken stock with apple cider vinegar instead of wine or sherry, a fat pinch of gelatine instead of corn starch as a thickener. 

 

I'm mostly concerned with getting enough vegetables on our plate. I'm very open to a bit of tough love, so let me know if we've gone off the deep end!

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First off I'd say don't plan to have snacks, instead plan to eat more at each meal so that you are feeling full for 4-5hrs.

Secondly I'd comment that your breakfasts in particular look on the small side to me (and in general your meals look a little light) - one muffin would have me gnawing on my elbow within an hour or so, and you need a TONNE of spinach to get anywhere near 3 cups (which is the optimum amount you're aiming for) - consider how much it reduces down when chewed/wilted. And also, fruit when eaten in the morning often leads to blood sugar spikes & troughs meaning you're hungrier much sooner than if you'd eaten veg, so maybe keep your fruit until meal 3.

I see starchy veg on saturday only - we'd recommend a fist sized serving per day particularly in the early days (best eaten with meal 3) - it will also help in stabilizing moods/emotions. Think about adding in the likes of white potato, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, turnip etc - even if they're added to curries/stews etc rather than eaten on the side...

You're planning on eating A LOT of cruciferous veg - cabbage, cauliflower etc - if this is unusual for you you may find it causes digestive stress so keep an eye on that going forward.

Other than your almond butter (which I'd suggest you keep to an absolute minimum) I see no mention of added fat - you're going to need fat for energy, fat for brain health, fat for satiety & fat for sanity.... the fat you're using to cook with is negligible so be sure to add an extra source to each meal - some home-made mayo, avocado, ghee, compliant bacon, coconut milk/cream, a handful of olives etc. Fat is your friend here.

Remember the recommended food template of 1-2 palm sized pieces of protein, 1-3 cups of veg (with 3 being optimum), and a generous serving of fat, with fruit not pushing the veg off of your plate  - build each of your meals like this, keep fruit & nuts/nut butters to a minimum, avoid snacking unless out of genuine hunger rather than habit/boredom, and drink the recommended 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily & you won't go far wrong.
 

Hope this helps  :)

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Thanks so much for the feedback! It's super helpful. I've nixed the bananas and snacks, and added more starchy veggies to the dinners. 

 

Breakfast is a tough one, because I work out in the AM and I really need something I can grab on the go. Maybe two of those egg muffins might be a start, or half an avocado once I make it into work?

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Thanks so much for the feedback! It's super helpful. I've nixed the bananas and snacks, and added more starchy veggies to the dinners. 

 

Breakfast is a tough one, because I work out in the AM and I really need something I can grab on the go. Maybe two of those egg muffins might be a start, or half an avocado once I make it into work?

In that case you also need to factor in at least a postWO of a lean protein & optional starchy carb.

This is in addition to your meal one, need only be a few bites & should be eaten immediately upon finishing your training - I usually have a few bites of chicken before I shower, then shower & head to work where I'll have breakfast.

What are putting in the muffins? Bear in mind that if there is no meat then you should be getting equivalent of 3-4 eggs (for you - your partner may need more considering a serving of eggs when they are your only source of protein in a meal is the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand without breaking). Two muffins would be a much better start but don't short change yourself on food on the days that you train or you'll suffer the consequences after a few days and you'll be constantly playing catch up....

A fritatta is another good breakfast option - less of a faff than muffins - make in a big oven dish & slice into wedges... Or a blended veg soup with nsome chicken drumsticks/thighs/wings on the side, or maybe some meatballs.... Or left-overs - I batch cook a few different types of meat at the weekend (say a whole chicken, a pork shoulder, and a batch of chilli, or a pot of seafood chowder, or a curry of some description - I aim for at least three protein sources, plus tinned fish & eggs for variety), and cook up a number of veg sides then just mix & match with a fat source at each meal - it makes life much easier than trying to cook a load of different recipes each week.

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