So I have made it through Day 1 of my Whole30 September. It was not difficult, especially seeing as though I have been eating mostly Whole30 since May.
Here is what I did to prepare myself for the month ahead.
First I read The Whole30 Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. Familiarizing yourself with the diet and what you can and can’t have is very important. They also hit you with some tough love to motivate you to stick to the diet completely, explaining that there is a reason behind all the rules, they’re not just there to torcher you.
Once I decided that I was going to start Whole30 for real, I picked a month that I thought I wouldn’t feel I was sacrificing too much. My birthday was coming up at the end of August so I figured September 1st would be a good time to start. There is always going to be something going on that you will wish you weren’t on Whole30 for so if you are holding out for the perfect block of time you’ll never start. Once I had my start date picked out, I took about a week or two to relax from my usual strict Whole30 throughout the week diet. I allowed myself to eat a few of the things that I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat for a month. This included drinking some of the beer that was stock piled in the fridge. This was actually harder than it seems, there was a lot of beer.
Next, I did a full clean out of my fridge. After the beer was gone I got rid of everything that I could of non Whole30 foods, sauces and condiments. My boyfriend Oz is planning on eating Whole30 with me throughout the week (with cheat days on weekends) so it was pretty easy to throw out what we wouldn’t be eating anymore. The only exception was his beloved hot sauces, he has about 1,000 and only about two are Whole30 compliant.
Once the fridge is empty it’s time to fill it back up. We went grocery shopping and to the public market to gather up some fruits and veggies for the next few days. I’ve been pretty used to cooking Whole30 so I can shop without having a real specific list but if you’re new to this I suggest planning the next day or two’s meals in advance and just grab the ingredients you’ll need for those. The foods you’ll be buying will not only take up a lot of space in your fridge but they usually expire pretty quickly as well. You don’t want to get carried away and end up throwing out half your expensive organic foods because you didn’t get around to making anything with them. Another tip that I would have is to grab a few Whole30 “snacks”. Although snacking on Whole30 is discouraged there will be a grace period where you are figuring out your new eating schedule, how well you are coping to cooking all your meals at home and some time when your metabolism is adjusting to your new diet. Having some snacks like cashews, almonds and dried (unsweetened) fruits can be a great energy booster and keep your mind off of other less healthy choices. I am also a huge fan of the Whole30 Lärabars, they are dried fruit and nut bars that are great for holding me over until my next meal or as an occasional snack when I feel I need to eat but there is nothing else Whole30 available.
After that there’s really nothing to it but to do it! I’ve shared my plans to start my real Whole30 with close friends and family. It’s important to find those who will support you through this challenge. You will be constantly tested and if you are only hearing negative feedback by those around you it will be much harder to stay motivated. I woke up on September 1st to a handful of texts, wishing me good luck as I started my Whole30. I know there are many challenges ahead but today at least I am feeling strong and confident.
Here is a picture of my Day 1 dinner. It was super simple, fresh tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic and garlic and grilled tri-tip.