Crazy Person's Whole30


decker_bear

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Hey all, 

I consider myself a veteran Whole30-er and I completely understand the concepts (a few arguments aside, LOL). I know meal prep is best. I know fresh is better than processed. I know, I know. BUT. I've been off the wagon for a while due to an insane schedule and wanted to do another Whole30 to get back on track. I do. not. have. time. to Whole30 like I did in the past, despite knowing all the rules and reasons. 

My time for meal prep is extremely limited. I need meals I can get on the table, start to finish (including prep) stat. Oh, and I hate salads. Hate them. 

So what I'm asking for (and please don't lynch me right out the gate, I'm trying to make this work) is for some of your go-to convenience foods that are compliant. I have already found Trader Joe's almond milk, a TJ's marinara sauce that is compliant, and some cooked chicken breasts from TJ's (though they are not always in stock). I plan to buy some of their pre-chopped veggies and roast them in big batches. I use their pre-roasted sweet potatoes. But I feel like it would be good to have a few more tools in my arsenal. 

Any other suggestions on how to make a Whole30 work on a crazy person's schedule?? 

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I buy pre-chopped vegetables a lot. They can be steamed or roasted easily. Applegate Farms and Bilinski's both make some compliant sausages, just read your labels. If I'm roasting veggies, I cook them halfway and when I go to flip them, I add the sausages, sliced into bite-sized pieces and it's all done at the same time. Add some fat for a template meal -- mayo is my go-to, but avocado or olives would work too. I also keep frozen burger patties on hand, they cook from frozen pretty quickly. Bubba Burgers has some compliant ones, but I'm sure there are other brands too.

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My biggest time saver is my pressure cooker.  In the time it takes to prepare one meal, I can have protein for several meals ready. I also use it to steam-bake potatoes, cook kale--tough stems and all, and boil eggs.

Batch cooking doesn't have to be time consuming  

nomnompaleo.com has quite a few pressure cooker recipes that are W30 compliant.

 

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5 minutes ago, Rebe_J said:

My biggest time saver is my pressure cooker.  In the time it takes to prepare one meal, I can have protein for several meals ready. I also use it to steam-bake potatoes, cook kale--tough stems and all, and boil eggs.

Batch cooking doesn't have to be time consuming  

nomnompaleo.com has quite a few pressure cooker recipes that are W30 compliant.

 

I am coveting an Instant Pot. Might be time to splurge! Pressure cookers scare me, but I feel like I could work with an instant pot. Great suggestion, thanks! 

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11 minutes ago, ShannonM816 said:

I buy pre-chopped vegetables a lot. They can be steamed or roasted easily. Applegate Farms and Bilinski's both make some compliant sausages, just read your labels. If I'm roasting veggies, I cook them halfway and when I go to flip them, I add the sausages, sliced into bite-sized pieces and it's all done at the same time. Add some fat for a template meal -- mayo is my go-to, but avocado or olives would work too. I also keep frozen burger patties on hand, they cook from frozen pretty quickly. Bubba Burgers has some compliant ones, but I'm sure there are other brands too.

Awesome suggestions, thanks! 

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Buy an Instant Pot!  It really and truly is a beautiful appliance and a time saver for sure. I am like you - was kind of leery of a regular stove top pressure cooker, but the instant pot seemed like a safer appliance to me.  But I would say, if you can wait, they generally go half price on Black Friday on Amazon.  In the meantime if you can make use of a slow cooker - it's a time saver too.  If you don't have one - they are not terribly pricey - but you could easily scout out one second hand.

 

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I went to Costco and bought a whole bunch of chicken. Yesterday I put two packages in the slow cooker with some Tessamae's BBQ and I have at least 3-4 more meals worth for my family. (My husband and daughter ate theirs on bread. I ate mine on a bed of green beans. Costco frozen burger patties are also compliant. I have some compliant sausages that I just put in the oven when in roasting my veggies. I use primal kitchen mayo for practically everything (I don't trust myself with homemade). I buy a lot of already cut fresh or frozen veggies so all I have to do is steam or roast them. If you roast a lot at one time the left overs are great cold. 

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1 hour ago, Carlaccini said:

Buy an Instant Pot!  It really and truly is a beautiful appliance and a time saver for sure. I am like you - was kind of leery of a regular stove top pressure cooker, but the instant pot seemed like a safer appliance to me.  But I would say, if you can wait, they generally go half price on Black Friday on Amazon.  In the meantime if you can make use of a slow cooker - it's a time saver too.  If you don't have one - they are not terribly pricey - but you could easily scout out one second hand.

 

I REALLY REALLY REALLY want one! I have instant pot envy! I have two slow cookers - believe it or not, you CAN overcook things in them. They're not a good solution for me because I leave around 6:30 in the morning and don't typically get home until 6:30-7:00 at night. I even have one with a timer (that switches to warm when the time is up) and I still end up with sawdust. Sad face. 

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9 minutes ago, Karen_Suep said:

Maybe try setting the timer for a shorter time? I had to move my chicken to the Dutch oven last night because I had somewhere to be at 6:30 and it was 5:30 and the food wasn't done. But I did put it in kind of late. 

Great thinking, but I bought a crock pot that hates me apparently. It doesn't have an adjustable timer, just 4 or 6 on high, and 8 or 10 on low. It's very sad. Great if I'm home to babysit it, but if I'm home, what's the point of a slow cooker? :blink:

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You don't have to stir the pot while you're home.:lol: The thing I don't like are the aromas of food that meld into the curtains, walls, clothes closets, rugs, everything. Feel like you need to get the garden hose out and wash the walls down after 12 hours.  Wallpaper hanging down, paint peeling off the ceiling when you're finished.  

head-chef-karthik-kumar-28-wearing-the-g

 

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16 hours ago, decker_bear said:

I REALLY REALLY REALLY want one! I have instant pot envy! I have two slow cookers - believe it or not, you CAN overcook things in them. They're not a good solution for me because I leave around 6:30 in the morning and don't typically get home until 6:30-7:00 at night. I even have one with a timer (that switches to warm when the time is up) and I still end up with sawdust. Sad face. 

Yes - you can over cook things - exploding broccoli anyone?  

Because of this problem we generally put things in the slow cooker overnight as opposed to daytime.  Dump things in before you go to bed - then get up at 4 am or so (depends on what time you went to bed) to unplug it.  (Leave it in there til morning - I generally take care of it at when I get up - 6am or so)

 

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44 minutes ago, Carlaccini said:

Yes - you can over cook things - exploding broccoli anyone?  

Because of this problem we generally put things in the slow cooker overnight as opposed to daytime.  Dump things in before you go to bed - then get up at 4 am or so (depends on what time you went to bed) to unplug it.  (Leave it in there til morning - I generally take care of it at when I get up - 6am or so)

 

I am WAY digging this overnight crock potting thing some of you have mentioned! I consistently sleep about 7 hours, so that's just about perfect. I kind of feel like this might be a better solution than my initial question about go-to convenience foods. :ph34r:

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Have a meat day! I love pre cooking my meats : grill chicken, make chili, crock pot or pressure cook carnitas (shredded pork) all on one day. That way I can mix it up with the sides easily the rest of the week and have 15 -20 min prep /cook time. While you are at it roaster up a sheet pan or two of veggies (I love seasonal mixes) and bake some taters(sweet or white). You could also make mashed potatoes using a compliant chicken stock and some clarified butter and salt. Then it's easy and breezy the rest of the week!

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4 minutes ago, DesertDebbi said:

Have a meat day! I love pre cooking my meats : grill chicken, make chili, crock pot or pressure cook carnitas (shredded pork) all on one day. That way I can mix it up with the sides easily the rest of the week and have 15 -20 min prep /cook time. While you are at it roaster up a sheet pan or two of veggies (I love seasonal mixes) and bake some taters(sweet or white). You could also make mashed potatoes using a compliant chicken stock and some clarified butter and salt. Then it's easy and breezy the rest of the week!

If I had a day (or even half a day), that would be an awesome suggestion! Unfortunately I just don't. I have zero time for prep. Past W30s - absolutely! But I just don't now. When I used to read people saying these things in a forum I was like, "Come on, you have a few hours you can spare, you just don't want to, stop being dramatic." But now I get it, LOL. B)

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/hug

I DO get it. Its not easy for sure. TBH I am stressing about this upcoming week as my hubby is having shoulder surgery. My grill master will be out of commission.. and my HEY can you pick it up for me on the way home guy is bye bye =p

 

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40 minutes ago, DesertDebbi said:

/hug

I DO get it. Its not easy for sure. TBH I am stressing about this upcoming week as my hubby is having shoulder surgery. My grill master will be out of commission.. and my HEY can you pick it up for me on the way home guy is bye bye =p

 

Oh no! Such a huge support system gone! Hang in there, you can do it! 

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18 hours ago, jmcbn said:

I do the same as Shannon - and in winter there is nothing quite like coming down stairs to freshly cooked beef shin for breakfast, and supping on a mug of it's resultant juices/broth... :wub:

"Beef shin"? That's not a typo? Is that like beef shanks?

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Not a typo, no - and a quick google tells me that, yes, it's the same as a US beef shank pretty much - the shin being the foreshank. Shin & brisket are the cheapest cuts of meat here, but they are awesome when slow cooked.

Lamb shank is a thing here though.

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I don't know how you sleep through the night with food aromas wafting through the house.  My husband smokes a brisket and then finishes it all night long in the oven.  It's so overpowering, around 3 or 4 am it starts to settle down but I need the windows open even in the dead of winter. Everything smells like a smokehouse. 

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