OOPS I live in Georgia now. If you remember from my casual 5 year catch up post, I mentioned we were preparing to leave Wisconsin and somehow it’s already happened! I mean, I wish it was that easy to have moved across the country during a global pandemic, but no one cares to hear about a stressful move. The end result is that we’re here and getting acclimated to our new sunny southern space!
After packing for weeks and eating largely junk food and takeout during the whole process, Husband and I decided to try the Whole30 meal program for a food reset to get us back on track. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically an elimination diet where, for 30 days, you refrain from eating food types that tend to cause negative impacts for people, including dairy, grains, legumes, soy, sugar, and alcohol. During the 30 days, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself or count calories. The point is to listen to the way your body responds to the food and develop trust for your hunger signals. This is a very brief summary but there's lots of research and resources available if you’re interested in undertaking the 30 days. After the 30 days, you slowly start adding back in the eliminated food groups to pay attention to how it makes you feel to decide if you want to continue eating it.
As you can probably imagine, it takes a LOT of planning to make Whole30 compliant meals. On top of that, Husband is super duper picky, especially about vegetables. It’s fine. I’m fine. But it is doable! Knowing how much time and energy it’s taken to create meal plans for us, I thought it might be helpful to share what’s worked for our first week:
A few tips and tools:
Google Sheets is your best friend in this effort. It’s been the most helpful tool to create meal plans, shopping lists, and prep plans.
Use weekly ads and specials to inspire your meal plans. Don’t be like me and go straight to Pinterest, find a bunch of delicious looking recipes, realize it would double your grocery bill, and then start over with a sales first mentality. Whole30 ends up incorporating a lot of protein since grains and legumes are out and that can get expensive quickly.
I also tried to find recipes that used the same ingredients in multiple different ways to save a little more buying larger quantities.
If possible, move your non-compliant foods to a less visible area of your pantry/fridge/counter. It’ll feel less restrictive if you don’t have to remind yourself what you “can’t have.”
Now to the fun part, the food:
I prepped 3 to 4 meals at a time so having two options to switch during the week kept things interesting. Recipes are linked, although I didn't always use one, or the linked recipe was an inspiration.
And a shopping list: