Sunday, 4 January 2015

Whole 30 survival guide (or general tips for eating healthy)

It's that time of year! Yep, we're working on get healthy. I mentioned in my meal plan that I'm doing Whole 30! This will be my second go at it, and I'm really excited! 

Today, I am sharing an overview of tips, trips, and basically a sort of Survival Guide to help you make Whole 30 a successful and enjoyable process! 

Here are a few important aspects to think about during your own journey with healthy eating - whether it's embarking upon something as intense as Whole 30, or you just want to eat healthier, these tips will help you! 

Be sure to visit the links I provide throughout the post for additional recipes, as well as the link to my Whole 30 compliant meal plans!

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30

Get rid of the non-approved foods

Take inventory of your kitchen and donate the foods that you have that aren't compliant with whole 30 (or whatever healthy lifestyle changes you are making!). I find it incredibly difficult to resist a box of chocolate chip cookies that sits patiently in the pantry. It's just not good for morale. Get rid of it! 


Plan your meals for at least a week in advance. This not only saves you money, but it saves you time. The key to success with Whole 30 is to have enough meals and food on hand so that you won't feel drawn to 'easier' unhealthy options or take out. 

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30

I always start my meal plan for the week by thinking of what we'll be eating for dinner. Then, I work leftovers into my meals for breakfast and lunch. This saves so much time, especially when I don't feel like cooking. 

Make sure to write down what you will be eating, too. Don't just think about it. Place your meal plan somewhere where you can see it and refer to it, like on your fridge! 

Make a grocery list. You don't want to go to cook a meal and realise that a crucial ingredient is missing. Go through the recipes you will be cooking, and make sure that you have the ingredients on hand or buy them. It takes sometime to plan, but it saves you time over all because you won't be running to the store as frequently.  

Meal prep and simplification

Meal prep is crucial, especially if you are pressed for time. Let's be real here, most people don't want to or don't have the time to cook an elaborate meal for their families everyday. I don't. 

To save time, I have a few tricks for simplifying meals. 

-Prepare as much as you can beforehand. I frequently buy my vegetables in bulk, especially if there is a great sale! This is a fantastic way to save money. To save time during the week, I chop all or most of my vegetables straight away (after washing). You can prep your meals by getting all of the cutting done in one go rather than before each individual meal. 

-Freeze your veg. After chopping, you can simply freeze your lovely veg. Frozen vegetables work beautifully in a lot of dishes, especially soups and stews (but not for roasting!). I make my own frozen vegetables packs and buy in bulk. That way, when it's time to cook, and my toddler is in a disagreeable mood, all I have to do is 'dump' my vegetables into a pot, add some meat and call it a day. 

Sausage and broccoli recipe easily prepared with frozen broccoli!

-Have a cookout session. If you know that you have a lot going on during the week, prepare as much as you can when you have the chance. Roast a chicken, pan fry some sausages. You can get a lot done in two hours and have meals ready to go for when you're not in the mood to cook. 

-Freeze a cooked meal or two. When you're cooking a meal, double or triple the portions so you can freeze the extras! That way, when you're pressed for time, just grab a meal from the freezer and skip cooking for the day! 


If you're used to eating processed foods, snacks, etc, you may be consuming a lot, and I mean A LOT of salt. When you switch to cooking at home, food may taste bland in comparison. Give it a week or so and you'll notice the flavours of the vegetables and meat that you are cooking. 

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30

In general, properly seasoning your dishes can be the difference between having an okay meal to having an amazing one.

Simple flavour enhancers like rosemary and thyme do wonders for amping up the flavour of your meals. Garlic, onion and chili peppers, while not spices, can also transform dishes.

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30

Don't be afraid to experiment with different spices and herbs that you have never thought to use before! I also really, really, really recommend fresh herbs and spices as opposed to the dried ones. I'm not much of a fan of dried rosemary, but have a serious love of the fresh stuff. They taste different, and fresh contains more flavor. 

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30

If you really need some inspiration, here's a silly thing I do: you know those prepackaged boxes of 'spice mixes' - the ones like hamburger helper that contain all sorts of mystery ingredients and e-numbers? If there's one that my husband likes or that looks 'nice', I look through the ingredients list, find the actual spices and herbs, and try to recreate it at home. Here's the thing - homemade ones taste better! 

Get support 

It's easier to adopt any healthy lifestyle or dramatic change in your eating habits if you have support from other people. Make sure that you talk about your goals, why you're doing it, etc with at least the people in your home. Maybe they'll want to do it with you! 

Even though my husband doesn't eat 100% paleo, I do limit the amount of non-paleo foods that I prepare and purchase. Especially when it comes to snacks. It makes life so much easier. 

Whole 30: tips, meal plans, recipes, and more {Welcome to Mommyhood} #whole30
My loved one is camera shy, but he's great support even though he doesn't follow paleo

It's also important to talk about this process and what you're feeling with other people that can understand or at least be positive about your journey! 

Even though I don't expect my husband to do Whole 30 with me, I do expect that he doesn't make it more difficult for me. Before starting paleo, then Whole 30, and now Whole 30 again, we had a chat about how he could help me, and what it would mean for his meals (which are usually paleo anyway because I cook!). 

  • He doesn't offer me foods that don't fit within Whole 30. 
  • He doesn't discourage me, or try to get me to eat just oooonnnneee cookie. 
  • And he limits the unhealthy options that he eats in front of me because it's hard for me, too sometimes. 

My husband doesn't really care if we eat paleo or not, as long as dinner tastes good. And guess what? It definitely does!

Get creative 

If you aren't used to paleo, eating healthy, etc, Whole 30 can definitely seem scary and limiting. Let's be real here, you're cutting out a lot of food items out of your diet and it can be very difficult. 

But it doesn't have to be bland. It doesn't have to be boring, and it most definitely doesn't have to consist of the same meals day in day out. 

Your diet doesn't have to consist of chunks of meat, eggs, and spinach. Although I do love those foods, there are tons of Whole 30 recipes out there! Tons of different flavour combinations, and tons of real foods you can cook! Don't be afraid to try out new recipes, try new vegetables, and try new cuts of meat! 

It's important look for inspiration. Checkout your favourite food bloggers, google Whole 30 recipes (mhm. do it!), have a look through my paleo recipes, get some cookbooks, and find a market! 

Where you get inspiration may different than what works for me, but my point is that it's important to stay inspired and try new things! 

Plus, be sure to stop by Welcome to Mommyhood throughout the course of the month to read more about my journey, get more tips, some FREE meal planning printables, see all of the delicious, new Whole 30 recipes I'll be posting, and so much more! 

Don't miss out

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Looking for more? 

Whole 30 meal plans 
Checkout my paleo recipes page

More inspiration and resources? 

Checkout my Whole 30 friendly pinterest board! 

Checkout my Paleo Recipes pinterest board! 
Thank you for stopping by!