What's your W30 life saver?


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Hey all,

So our (OUR! Get me managing to enlist the husband! :wub: ) first W30 journey starts on Jan 1st. I'm swotting up on my recipes, ordering in lots of W30 compliant goodies and trying to be as prepared as I can be.

My biggest concern is undoubtedly work - I need to have breakfasts and lunches pre-prepared for three days of every week when I have very early starts and long days in London, but I feel as though I have plenty of options at the moment with some careful planning.

Just a random question though really - what's been your W30 life saver when you've done it? Is it something different to drink (kombucha, etc.), something yummy like sweet potato wedges to snack on, carrying a piece of fruit with you at all times, or maybe just having a permanent stash of pre-cooked chicken in the fridge.

I'd love to hear what your great finds and life savers have been to help with my prep. Thanks! :)

-Wendy

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Definitely not carrying fruit with me at all times. That would lead to mindless fruit/sugar snacking. My best defense is to make more servings of dinner so that I have leftovers for breakfast and lunch. I always have hard boiled eggs, tuna, homemade mayo and whole roasted chicken on hand. I love buying the tri tip roasts at costco. They are delicious.

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I only buy fruit and nuts for the wee ones, mostly for when we go out because it transports well but really if you get some nice glass lock and lock containers anything travels well.

Bone broth is for sure my BIG LOVE of 2012! I am addicted and drink about a litre a day of my own homemade brew. I also ALWAYS have a homemade mayo and hard boiled eggs in the fridge (Susan and I think alike :wub: ) along with a big bow of roasted sweet potatoes, prepped raw veggies and some kind of burgers. I always have coconut oil, extra light evoo, raw apple cider vinegar, organic stone ground mustard on hand...a lot can be made with that and a scoop of coconut oil eaten right off the spoon is a quick, easy in a pinch fat...Ooo and avocados too, I buy them even when I don't need them so I always have ripe ones on hand.

We also have a premade (homemade of course), precooked meat loaf in the freezer for those lazy days where no one wants to cook.

My meat method is to pull meat out of the freezer when I am making dinner so there is always so kind of meat defrosting in the fridge.

Honestly, I would try to limit your "easy" food like fruit and nuts as those tend to heavily abused. An hour of prep once or twice a week really goes a long way to ensuring success.

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My favourite is to buy a very large rolled brisket joint at the farmers market. I throw it overnight in the slow cooker with some chopped onion, carrot and celery and a little bone broth. Next morning I switch it off, take it out and let it go cold. This makes it much easier to slice. I then slice it and freeze the extra in individual portions. It's so easy to pull this out the freezer when i don't feel like cooking. It defosts quickly right in the pan with some added cooked veggies and gives an almost instant meal, quite economical too :)

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I had replied to this and now that reply is gone and I can't remember what I said, but I think it would be repeats of others now anyway lol

Kombucha has been a life saver for me, I love the stuff and mix it with mineral water.

I also cook a bunch of chicken breast and ground meats and freeze them in dinner sized portions. I can quickly add things to the meat if its already cooked and it doesn't seem like work but my house smells good.

Hard boiled eggs. You can do almost anything for a filling variation for deviled eggs.

Raw veges and homemade mayo. I could live on this.

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Lovely; some great ideas, thank you!

TBH, I'm not a fruit fan at all, so don't anticipate eating that much - I just think of it as being easily portable so I can stick a bit on my desk and forget about it for the week unless there's an emergency (this is currently what I do and nine times out of ten it actually ends up in the bin, which is as bad as it not being there at all, I suppose!) My OH will probably eat quite a few nuts but he can consume vast quantities of calories with no issue whatsoever and will be ditching far more junk than I throughout the process so we're not too worried about that.

I have not tried kombucha before but have ordered some to try as I do already drink a lot of water during the day but I really like to have something that tastes a little different in the evenings (purely for variation really) and a squeeze of lemon and lime can get a little tedious after a while. Any suggestions with what ratio of kombucha to water works nicely please? Does anyone drink it straight or is it a bit much for that?

I actually NEVER think to freeze cooked food but that's an excellent idea, thank you! A great way to have dinners on hand if I don't get in til late or my OH needs something quickly. The plan is to be as organised as possible and to have tons of food ready to roll in the fridge at all times so there's no temptation (or excuse) to stray from the path. I know that variation will be key for me - my OH can eat the same thing every day with no issues whatsoever but I can't do more than do days on the trot without some change.

Really appreciate all your feedback - thank you! :)

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I cut my kombucha half and half or so with mineral water. I can build up to drinking it straight, but it seems to not agree with my gut as well.

Oh, and for some things, like breakfast casseroles or whatever, I freeze those in foil in individual packages and then take the foil pack to work. I keep a glass dish there to heat things in, which just seems so much simpler to me when I'm throwing things together for breakfast/ lunch/ snacks on the go.

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I steam a TON of veggies every weekend. Then they are ready to be tossed in an omelet or a stir fry or nuked with a protein for a quick meal, etc. I also run a whole head of cauliflower through the food processor so I have "rice" for the week to bulk up chili and curries. Get that dang chopping out of the way and veggies become way more accessible!

And buy stock in coconut milk! You can use it a gajillion ways! :D

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I second the crockpot !!! I try to always have some sort of soup with tons of veg and a " chilli' that's at least half veg..... Great to heat up and slice some avocado ....fry an egg or two and viola...3 min breakfast or lunch. ( protein and fat take no time...it's the veg prep that bogs me down and I can only eat so much salad.... Ergo lots of cooked/prepped veg ready to go)

FWIW..... don't plan to have snack foods available.... If you plan on snacking, you will snack... If you have a long period of time between meals eat a " mini complient meal with protein,veg and fat".

One of the goals of W30 is to completely cut out snacking to reset your hormone levels.... After a few days of eating properly you should be able to go for 5-7 hours between meals with out a thought if food...... This is coming from someone who thought he would " go all Dexter" ( thanks Susan) if he didn't eat every 2 hours- I would watch the second hand tick until I could eat my next meal or snack..... I actually forget meals and need to force myself to remember now....totally new relationship with food!!!!

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For me, it is hard boiled eggs, mayo, tuna, and poached chicken breasts. I am trying to get into the habit of prepping veg twice a week--Sunday and Wednesdays and I have started roasting 2 chickens on Sunday for dinner and bones for broth.I live for chili and stews for ease of evening meals and I second, third? making breakfast casseroles--so quick and easy--and can easily sub in for dinner or lunch with a salad--kinda like a crustless quiche. And get thyself a crock pot! The greatest thing ever!! Can roast 2 chickens in there, and then toss the bones back in the pot, cover with water, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and some carrots/onion/celery and a bit of garlic and a few peppercorns, cover and let go! Yummy chicken broth come morning! I have several crockpots of different sizes and I love my 'Big Black' 7 qt one. *squee* Love it love it love it--can do so much in it.

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I have a slow cooker (which I *think* is the same as a crockpot? It's an electric stand-alone thing that you don't put in the oven but just pile everything into and cook on low, med or high) but wasn't sure I'd use it much during our W30 because stock cubes seem to be off the menu. Tagines makes sense, but pretty sure I'm meant to put water or stock in when I'm using the slow cooker (I'll find the directions) and the thought of not using something to tasty it up is thoroughly unappealing!

Planning on having a dry run making some mayo and other condiments this weekend - any idea how well they keep though? Presume I can't make enough for the 30 days and will have to do once a week or so?

@FenderBender I have no plans to snack BUT I don't want to get caught out and end up having a sausage roll or something cos I'm starving. Particularly in the early days before I get my portion control right and adapt to the programme. I guess it's a balance between having the confidence to know I can go 5-7 hours without eating and also knowing I won't have that confidence straight away. That being said though - the mini-compliant meal (instead of something snacky) is a much better way to control things so thanks for that idea!

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@ the_wendy_house....

Your gonna do great!!!! Just the fact that you are giving this so much forethought and planing is great....half the battle is being mentally prepared...

You should see me...I have zip lock baggies of food In every pocket of my gym bag,work bag,coat pocket.... Lol. I'm a chef for a catering company and surrounded by mountains of food all day long but so little of it is complient..... I always pack my own mini cooler when I go out on a long day away from our central office... I find chicken, avacado slices, steamed broccoli with olive oil and a couple of nuts gets me through just about any emergency situation ..... Poached chicken breast is extreamly juicy. ( water, carrot onion,lemon,herbs... Bring to a biol add boneless breasts and reduce heat/ cover...15-20 min remove from heat....cool in the liquid..... ). Much better than roasted or grilled when cold because it sucks in some liquid.....then the remaining liquid makes a great soup starter......

Great luck and we are here for you all the way!!!!!!

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the_wendy_house.... I end up with 4 meals a day, one of them being a mini meal instead of a snack. Because of my schedule, this seems to work best for me.

And the condiments will not keep for a month, but yes, about a week for things like mayo. Depending on what's in your salad dressing, that will keep for a month. Avocado dressing of any sort will only keep for a few days.

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I agree with everyone else on the crockpot. I'm not big on leftovers and frozen meals, but always cook enough one night to feed myself lunch the next day. Setting the crock pot in the AM is a big help after a long day of work...come home, don't feel like cooking, but BAM, it's already done! :)

Other things- breakfast bake- eggs, a meat, and veggies all mixed in either a glass dish or spooned in muffin cups. It's really easy just to re-heat in the AM and have a quick breakfast. I usually make about 12 "muffins" for the week.

Beef jerky- make your own or get some from US Wellness Meats. This is a super portable way to get more protein.

Wholly Guacamole snack packs- they come 3 to a box, although you mentioned you're in London....hmmm. Well, if they have it by you....I take one of the pouches with me when we go out to eat so I can use the guac as salad dressing. If not, I know if you add some lemon juice to homemade guac and keep the pit in after you've made it, it can last a little longer in the fridge.

I've learned so many new way to cook and pack lunches since discovering paleo about a year and a half ago. Here's hoping i put to use everything I've learned in the New Year!

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Some more great advice and tips, thank you! And poached chicken! Who'da thunk!? Intrigued to try that...

So the crockpot / slow cooker is clearly super popular but what do you all use in it instead of stock? Or do you just use water? I can see how the poached chicken water will come in handy here certainly!

I'm not sure we have jerky or Wholly Guacamole in the UK but I'll have a look... I think there's a Whole Foods in London so I might be able to get some bits from there (albeit at great expense).

Eggs I'm a bit wary of generally... I love them but get tired of them very quickly and if I eat too many reach a point where just the thought of them makes me feel sick and I then can't touch them for a good few weeks, which is tres inconvenient! I think leftovers will be a safer breakfast for me, though only time will tell! I might try hiding them in things instead...

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For slow cooker, we use homemade bone broth. It's super rich in minerals and really easy to do. The base is bones (obviously! You can do chicken, beef, pork, anything really), water (enough to cover ther bones) and an acid (we use plain vinegar, about 2 tablespoons). Then you can add veggies, spices, herbs (carrots, onions, garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves are the most popular). Throw everything in your slow cooker on low for 24 hours. Strain your liquid and use right away or freeze (we like to use ice trays so the borth is readily available after).

As for me, one of my staples/secret to my success was the book Well Fed, and homemade mayo!

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I keep extra virgin olive oil, extra light olive oil, and coconut oil on hand; also several kinds of vinegars. I keep spinach in my fridge at all times and eat it with most meals. There's a particular brand of chicken apple sausage available here that is compliant - it's called Aidell's here. No clue if it's available outside the U.S., but I would think that it would be worth looking to see if there is a compliant sausage of any description in your store. I was surprised to find this. I eat those sausages very regularly. Also, I cook up ground beef and keep it on hand.

One thing I'm finding as I go deeper into this is that I expand what I eat. I thought I would be contracting what I eat, but I expand, try new things, cook, do things that are healthy for me and also fun. It's been an interesting shift in how I look at food.

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Ohhhh.... A don't forget .... The ever wonderful pork belly!!!! It's hard to find complient bacon so I just get the " pastured good stuff" cut into 1/4 inch cubes and slowly render all the fat in a thick pan...them crank up the heat and crisp it up..... Strain it out and save the fat to cook in,season liberally with Salt and black pepper ......YUMMY topping for anything.... Especially eggs ;)

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It's easier to get compliant bacon in Ireland, so I presume the uk too (sugar free, not nitrate free though) M&S does nicer outdoor bred pork products. I've yet to find a compliant supermarket sausage here but I've heard of one that Tesco stock in the uk that is...sorry can't remember name so it's some nichey one...

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Crock pots don't need water to cook items in, and certainly far much less water then you would think. The chickens I roast in mine, I put in dry on a bed of the typical mire a poix mixture--onions, carrots and celery-- and season with a bit of fresh cracked black pepper, sea salt and paprika. No water at all, and the juices that the chicken and veg create make a wonderful sauce. I do the same thing with pork shoulder, that I do in chili spices and shred up and mix with shredded cabbage and with beef roast, on a bed of onion and mushrooms. If you do add water, use only about 1/4 cup or so, unless you are making a soup.

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VERY interesting about the slow cooker - thanks all! Will definitely have a go with this :)

Seems pork is a bit easier in the UK as even my bog standard supermarket bacon has no sugar in it (though there are nitrates - is that bad?). I have also found some compliant sausages (can't remember what they're called now but they were in Tesco as you suggested @Derval) which is handy as my OH is a big sausage eater and they're nice in the occasional sausage casserole.

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