Whole30 – Week 1: Meal Plans

Alright everybody! Here is my breakdown of WEEK 1!!! Eeek!! Ok so maybe some people will roll their eyes at this but I am so proud of Jacob and I that we have finished one full week of eating WHOLE FOODS! Y’all, that means I can pronounce everything I ate this week haha! But really, it’s amazing how much you just grab and go, or how often I would steal stuff from my toddler here and there… this lifestyle change has definitely made me see food differently and I love how it’s making me feel. I’m still in that kind of tired stage while my body is adjusting to processing food differently but overall I just feel so much better.
I posted what we ate this week and updated with some pictures. I’m definitely not a professional food blogger so sorry if they’re kind of lame haha…
What I want you to see though with this post is that this is something anyone can do. If you’ve been thinking, “Hey, I’ve heard of this, it might be worth a try but whoa I cannot give up my (fill in the blank) for a whole month! That’s Cray Cray!!” But really, it might be hard at times, but if you want to do it you can. It’s the way with anything in life, might be hard at times but overall we do what we want to do. 🙂 The meal preps definitely take time, but what I noticed is that the meals I’m preparing were simpler than they used to be, so my time in the kitchen was kind of just rearranged a little. I may be cooking more at dinner but then less at lunch because I just reheat leftovers.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that my grocery bills have stayed about the same. I was under the impression that you spend SO much more money eating this way but that’s not the case. I’m not buying cases and cases of granola bars and cereal anymore, so that money can go to meat and produce. Besides that, we’re not eating out as much as we did before so that saves money there too.
If you think it’s a lot of foods to cut at once, start out with one thing like dairy or cokes, then another  thing here and there, add a whole foods meal here and there until you get used to that kind of way of thinking and then fully commit to the month. I feel like that’s what we did and it made an easier transition.

My breakfast, lunch and snack options will probably be basically the same for my meal plan posts. I may add something if I find another good idea, but these are pretty basic. There are a lot of good breakfast casseroles out there so if I find a good one, I will post that as well. I love the idea of making a casserole on Saturday evening and having it in the fridge for a few days for us to just grab breakfast and heat it up.

My dinner plans are listed at the bottom. I will briefly explain or list recipes I chose, and link them or reference the book if you are interested in that. Again, hopefully my pictures don’t gross you out haha… food is like that in pictures… either looks really good or just kind of weird. P.S. most of the things I made have pins, so you can see them on my Whole30 board here.

Breakfast Options:

  • scrambled/fried eggs – use Coconut Oil
  • bacon – make sure it is sugar free (check ingredients)
  • veggies/fruit
  • potatoes (any kind) – cut up ahead of time, boil 10-15 minutes and store in the fridge; when you are ready to cook breakfast just grab a handful and toss them in the pan on the other side with the eggs, add some rosemary to them with ghee. I also diced mine and made a hash with them.
  • smoothie – coconut water, banana, frozen fruit, spinach, avocado, water (technically Whole30 compliant, but they say to use sparingly – lots of sugar for breakfast in the morning sets your blood sugar for crashes throughout the day. I would probably use this as a snack later with just a little frozen fruit)
  • coffee – ok, but they recommend to only drink it before noon – you can use coconut milk  (this is a good brand… just check ingredients and make sure it doesn’t have any random ingredients… sometimes guar gum can upset your stomach. It is whole30 approved but some people have a sensitivity to it) instead of creamer with a little bit of cinnamon (seriously… this is what I was mourning the most, and it really wasn’t that bad this morning!)
Lunch Options:
  • leftovers from dinners
  • crockpot shredded chicken
    • plantain nachos – seasoned with cumin, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper (check ingredients for preservatives/fillers), top with salsa, avocado
    • chicken salad – something crunchy (celery, onions, apples, nuts), something sweet (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, grapes), something acidic (dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice), seasonings, mayonnaise
  • canned tuna fish
  • salad –  use leftover meats from dinner, lunchmeat or grilled chicken
  • lettuce sandwich wraps – lunchmeat (applegate is a good brand), avocado, tomato wrapped in lettuce
  • random plate of stuff – sometimes I like to just grab random stuff for lunch… orange slices, lunch meat, avocado, plantain chips and salsa, handful of nuts, grapes… get creative!
These RXBARs were pretty tasty! A little pricey, but
sometimes you need something to throw in your purse
for emergencies!

Snack Options:

  • veggies with guacamole
  • mixed nuts (no peanuts)
  • fresh fruits/veggies
  • chia seed pudding with coconut milk
  • larabars
  • fruit with almond butter (check ingredients)
  • epic bars
  • seasnax
  • sardines
  • unsweetened coconut chips with cacao nibs
  • dinner leftovers
  • smoothie (see above)
  • applesauce (sugar free, organic)
  • boiled egg


Dinner Plans:
  • Sunday Lunch – Sorry, no pictures to post here haha! When we got home and got that baby down for a nap we chowed down! For dinner tonight we will probably bring snack stuff to eat in the car on the way to church and then just have some eggs once we got home after church.
    •  Miranda’s Slow Cooker Roast – lay 3-4 strips of sugar free bacon on the bottom of your slow cooker and place rump roast on top, maybe put a slice of bacon on top too. Cook for 8-10 hours. I put this in Saturday night and let it cook all night on low for 10 hours but will probably do 8 next time. When we were ready to eat, I just pulled out the roast, shredded it and poured some of the juice on top, it was so moist and yummy!
    • Mashed Sweet Potatoes – you can bake these in the oven or heat in microwave, then mash with some ghee or coconut oil, top with sea salt
    • Salad – You can add any other veggies you want, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes… use olive oil with a little lemon juice, or basalmic vinegar as dressing, maybe salt and pepper if you want.
  • Monday
    • Jessica’s Spaghetti Sauce – Brown 1 lb. ground beef, add onion and drain fat, add two cans of tomato sauce and then fresh garlic and Italian spices. You can also add diced carrots and diced squash. Cook for two hours in skillet, serve over spaghetti squash.
    • Spaghetti Squash – Cut in half width wise for longer noodle strands, scoop out the seeds, brush oil over the squash and turn inside face down onto baking sheet. Bake on 375 for 45 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Once it is done and cooled a little, get a fork to shred the squash out. This is SO yummy, once you’ve had spaghetti squash, it will be so hard to go back to regular noodles!
    • Salad or Greenbeans
Little Jude Man even liked the spaghetti! I’ve noticed that a lot of these meals so far are baby/toddler friendly as well… although Jackson is far from doing Whole30 with me haha… I would love to say that he is but yeah there’s no pealing that kid away from his fruit snacks right now!
Love the Ninja Chopper for cutting up and dicing the onions, carrots and zucchini … made the meal prep super fast! I also posted some pictures of my squash below. I saw on an instagram feed I follow that cutting the squash width wise yields longer strands, so it’s up to you what you prefer! I just use a fork to pull out the strands once it is done. The longer you cook it, the less crunchy it will be. The spaghetti squash also reheated well too which I was kind of surprised about.
 
 
  • Tuesday
    • Plaintan Nachos – Brown ground beef, drain and add a little water and homemade taco seasoning and cook for a few minutes. I sliced plantains really thin, then fried in coconut oil. Greener plantains are better for this. You could also bake them. Place beef on top of plantain chips, top with tomatoes, avocado and salsa.
My new obsession. I peeled as I went to help grip the plantain while I was slicing it on the mandolin.
Probably my most favorite meal so far… I thought Whole30 was supposed to get rid of food addictions, not start new ones haha!
  • Wednesday
    • Leftovers – Jacob always meets the boys and I at church on Wednesday nights so I will just have leftovers or something quick before we go!
  • Thursday
    • Kale Balsamic Sausage – Slice sausage links and heat in skillet on stove until warm and a little brown around the edges.
      • I couldn’t find the chicken apple sausage at our HEB, but plan on looking again this week. However, these were a good replacement. Full of flavor and had a unique taste to them!
    • Baked Potato Bites – Chop potato into bites, in a bowl drizzle some olive oil, rosemary or parsley and some dijon mustard. Lay out on baking sheets and cook for 35-40ish min on 350
    • Steamed Broccoli and other veggies (squash, zucchini) or steamed carrots with coconut oil
                            
  • Friday
    • Bacon burgers with egg and avocado – Grill burgers, make egg “buns” using a round biscuit cutter to cook the eggs, layer burgers, tomato and avocado
      • I went to the grocery store Friday evening so definitely was pushing it with dinner. Didn’t have time to make the fancy egg buns so I just fried up some eggs and threw them on top. Also reheated potatoes from the night before. SO yummy!
    • Plantain Chips and Salsa – You can buy plantain chips but they are not hard to make. See pin/recipe here – slice plantain thinly, heat up coconut oil in pan and fry chips.
  • Saturday – We actually did leftovers tonight just trying to clean out the fridge before next week. I went ahead and left my plans below though for you if you needed something else, and for myself when we repeat haha!
    • Erica’s Baked Chicken – Season chicken thighs with sea salt and black pepper, garlic powder and a little paprika. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 min.
    • Baked sweet potatoes – Slice sweet potato, cut up into smaller pieces if you want, brush with coconut oil and sea salt if you are in the mood for a salty taste or cinnamon if you are in the mood for sweeter taste! Bake at 350 for 30ish min.
    • Roasted veggies – Slice zucchini, squash and lay on baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 15ish min. Adjust time depending on how crisp you want your veggies.

Preparation goes a long way! Jacob and I spent some time Saturday evening grilling chicken for him to take to work this week and slicing some veggies and potatoes! I tore up lettuce for salads and left some salad pieces whole to do sandwich wraps. Makes it much easier when you are grabbing stuff to cook in the evenings!

I loved this because we were all spending time together in the kitchen, playing and talking with the boys as we cooked and just talking with each other rather than sitting and watching TV or something! I was have been so proud of my hubby for jumping on this crazy idea boat with me and being so willing to help out! I  also put the slow cooker on Saturday night for Sunday lunch because Sundays are SO cray cray with the boys, and I will do the same thing again this Saturday.

Cut up sweet potatoes and white potatoes to heat up for breakfast with my eggs!

Busy doing stickers while we were cooking!
Our sidekicks 🙂

 

I know there’s probably not a ton of variety even thought I was trying to have variety, because I like different tastes and don’t want chicken five nights in a row… but I wanted this to be EASY. Easy so my life doesn’t get stressful doing this program and easy so other people can say, “hey, you know I think I could do this!” Cut things up earlier in the day, get spices mixed together before dinner… just little things here and there so you don’t spend a ton of time on it later.

What I’ve noticed just with our first meal is that it took LESS time than normal with LESS ingredients, it had more flavor and most importantly it was all real food with names I could pronounce! Love that! Can’t wait to see how the rest of the week goes!
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Whole30 – Getting Ready!

Like I said in my first post, preparation is key with Whole30. You want to have lots of meals planned out and maybe some made ahead of time for those crazy nights you don’t want to cook. Keep this simple!

Read and get educated – This is most important. How can you make changes in your diet and lifestyle unless you know why you should and what changes to make hehe!? If you don’t want to spend time reading their book, I don’t think you necessarily have to. You can find the program guidelines on their website. I liked reading the book because they explain the science behind how your body processes food (in a very simple way) and that really made me want to change my diet.

Formulate Mind Mantras: Maybe this sounds silly, but any time you are about to commit to something, you have to get your head in the game. When I prepared for my second birth, this was SO vital that I had mantras I could focus on and sayings I could repeat in my head to be positive and get through the hard parts, especially since we did not do pain meds for his birth! Think about why you are wanting to do this… (These definitely came in handy when walking by the coffee creamer this morning haha!)

“I’m doing this for myself, for my body. For my family, for my friends, my husband and children… I’m taking the best care of what God has given me. This is not hard, I can do this. I can make changes that my body needs me to make so it can heal. I can say no to things that I might want to eat but shouldn’t eat.”

Clean out the pantry – Once you have the knowledge, clean out that pantry! Just throw away the junk you know your body doesn’t need anymore. There are some things that I know we can probably have after the 30 days that are “clean” but maybe not “Whole30 approved” so I just put those in the corner for now, but a lot of things just got tossed and I’m not looking back! Purging is good for the soul! Especially when you do it on January 1 haha!!

Create Meal Plans – Every where I turned, people kept saying, “Write a meal plan!” So I sat down and looked through my Whole30 Guide, Pinterest, Practical Paleo and Against All Grain- Meals Made Simple and wrote out the first week of meals. (This will be in my next post.) Here are some Meal Plans from other bloggers and Two Whole30 Day by Day Meal Plans in case you are interested.  The Can I have Guide from Whole30 was a HUGE help in planning out what we would eat for the week. Once I had a good idea of what we wanted to eat and what Jacob wanted to take to work, I made our grocery list.

Go shopping! – I’m one of those people that organizes my grocery lists according to where items are in the store, so as I’m walking through the different sections I can just follow the order of my list. I sent one like this with my hubby once and he was like that was actually really easy haha! One thing my cousin’s wife suggested when shopping is to focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles as much as possible. When I made my list for next week after I wrote our meal plan, I was kind of shocked at how much shorter those middle sections were. I’m interested to see how the bills will compare! I know we will be saving money by not eating out, so we can afford to buy more produce and meat! Listed below is the order that Whole30 suggests how you should shop.

When planning your list, think about your plans for the upcoming month… are there any situations you might need to prepare for? Dinners out or travel plans?

I’m ready! Coffee in hand, kids at home, and inconspicuous selfie in  HEB!
  • Buy meat, seafood and eggs first – allot most of your budget here
  • load up on vegetables and then fruits
  • shop seasonally if possible for best price and taste
  • get your healthy fats – virgin olive oil, coconut oil, pastured butter, olives, nuts and seeds
  • stock your pantry with essentials – Amazon has a lot of great products for great prices and things you might not be able to find locally

Honestly this is probably the most produce I’ve ever bought in one trip to the grocery in my life. And I’m so excited about that. My colon is too hahaha…
I literally almost started crying when I passed up the coffee creamer section… inwardly cringed and my shoulders started creeping up to my ears because I felt stressed about not having this in the morning and afternoon. #biggestsacrifice
And then I reminded myself… “This isn’t hard. I don’t need this!” Shook my fist at that toxic creamer and walked on. And possibly texted Ashley a picture of this with the crying emoji haha… #supportgroup
And DONE!
I’m just going to say… after being at the store for an hour and reading ingredient labels half the time for a few things we needed that weren’t in the produce section… I was kind of sick to my stomach. I was absolutely floored at how many food products have SO. MUCH. JUNK. in them. SUGAR is in EVERYTHING. Seriously. EVERYTHING! No wonder we all have anxiety, depression, ADHD and other health problems! It really just reassured me that this is what I need to do for myself and my family, and if I can keep up with this, it may be a more permanent lifestyle change than I realized. Why don’t we have a Whole Foods around here by the way!? I think I may email them today haha… anyone want to sign a petition with me?!?! 🙂
Got home and got organized. This was a great time to clean out the fridge!
Get rid of the scale – take measurements and a before photo but don’t weigh yourself every day. A big part of this program is getting rid of negative body images that are number dependent. They really want you to focus on how you feel.
Whole30 Downloads – Grocery lists, meal templates, products that are ok and products to rule out and more. I linked a few below, there are still a few more on their site as well as specialty guides for other dietary needs.
I hope this can help you get ready for Whole30 if you are interested in pursuing this too! It has actually been fun writing what meals we want to eat, making a list and then going shopping! I loved how full my cart was of good food for us! Yes, it may have included fruit snacks for the toddler, he’s definitely not giving those up for a month, but I felt so good about the other decisions I was making for my family. Happy shopping and organizing peeps!