The Ultimate Whole30 Survival Guide!January 30, 2017 |Hi Friends! Happy Monday!!! I’m writing you from day 29 of the Whole30…can you even believe it?!?! If you’re playing catch up, start from the beginning with Week 1…Week 1 Meal Plans + My WHY Week 1 Update + Week 3 Meal PlansWeek 2 Update + Week 3 Meal Plans Week 3 Update + Week 4 Meal PlansOnly two more days of the formal 30 day program and I’m literally shocked at how fast the last two weeks have gone by. Aside from that, I’m even more shocked at how I’m not necessarily looking to END the program nor am I counting down the hours of the next two days. Quite frankly, I’ve learned too much to just do that and am actually scared of how my body would react should I inject it with tons of sugar and/or processed foods. We are going to keep *most* everything the same in the beginning and plan to follow the Reintroduction Plan as we want to learn which food groups our bodies are especially sensitive to. Today’s post is a doozie…lots of information for anyone who might be interested in starting Whole30 and some final thoughts about where we ended up this month!How Was the Last Week?It was great! Seriously, it felt like a lifestyle. I wasn’t stressed about what I would eat, I had very little cravings, and I felt confident at whipping up Whole30 meals on the fly. I continued to feel more energy throughout my days and definitely don’t feel uncomfortably bloated anymore. As I mentioned on my Instagram stories (@styleyoursenses), I had a pre-natal appointment this week. I was forced to get on the scale (a no-no for you non-pregnant Whole30-ers) and was also forced to test my blood sugar levels…both of which were very eye opening. Since December (in which I packed on 12lbs in 4 weeks…wildy unhealthy even during pregnancy!), I did lose 4lbs in January. My doctor was overwhelmingly supportive of my Whole30 diet and said that it’s actually what he recommends for pregnant moms with gestational diabetes. He assured me that losing 4lbs was NORMAL and was a good thing…likely my body getting rid of unnecessary fluid and toxins and relieving some of pressure and discomfort that I was feeling. He also allowed me to skip the glucose test and the “sugar drink” (aka my body would go into shock with all of that sugar) and instead tested my fasting blood sugar. It came back at 81mg/dl and the range of a normal test of someone without diabetes is between 70 and 99mg/dl…which I felt great about!This past week felt very “back to normal”…we were out and about, and actually had two unplanned meals out, which we made it through with flying colors. I will say that the biggest wake up call for my husband and I came just yesterday as we were crunching some numbers. I wanted to report back as to whether we saved money or spent more while eating Whole30 this month and I was absolutely disgusted when we put pen to paper. On average (over the last year) we were spending over $2,000 a month on FOOD (groceries + eating out). Oh My Goodness…are you serious??! Not only do we have NO business doing that from a financial and budgetary perspective, but we were spending all of this money on JUNK. This month we saved over $700 doing Whole30, still dined together as a family 5 times (my husband also ate all but 5 lunches “out”), and ate food that was light years more filling and overall better for our bodies. Can you guys get over this? We were in SHOCK. This will definitely be a huge takeaway for us. Here are my other major takeaways…Major Whole30 Takeaways:-Meal Planning and Prep is KEY! I will definitely continue making weekly meal plans and grocery lists. this was not nearly as hard and annoying as I had previously made it out to be. It kept me on track and organized and was something that I actually ended up enjoying!-Buy more fruit that you think that you need. I’ve learned that being out of bananas, strawberries, and/or apples is a real Whole30 cardinal sin. We use them in so many things, that I now buy more than I ever have.-Food does NOT equal love. This is a proven fact. I do not need to feed people, sit down to a meal with friends or buy my kid (or myself) a cookie to prove to them that I love them.-Real food is GOOD food. You guys, we didn’t have ONE bad meal. Not one. All were amazingly delicious, filling and satisfying. We were both pleasantly surprised and loved getting to know the flavors of real food again.-Black coffee isn’t that bad after all. I’m kind of secretly liking it. Shhhh don’t tell my husband.-Distinguishing between a craving and true hunger is a big deal. Fighting back against the sugar cravings and finally overcoming them has been a huge victory for me.-Not being emotionally tied to food or the false “high” that sugar provides is an insanely freeing feeling.Here’s my very best advice for any of you are are interested in or are planning to embark on a Whole30 journey of your own!Like I mentioned up top, meal planning and bulk grocery trips were key. Keeping your fridge stocked with healthy options only sets you up to be successful. This is exactly what my grocery list looks like on a weekly basis. I print this out, buy everything up top to replenish stock and then highlight what pantry items that I might also be out of as well. The only thing that really varies weekly is the amount and types of meat I buy. I usually buy them according to which recipes that I’m making, but have learned that I always need ground meat, bacon and sausage on hand, regardless.As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I didn’t really understand the initial time commitment that sticking to a clean eating plan would require. In the beginning, I felt chained to the kitchen and like doing the dishes was a twice daily task…yuck! Happy to report that this burden has lifted a bit as I’ve learned to plan and prep better, but you are still utilizing the heck out of your kitchen and there are some kitchen gadgets that you’ll want to make sure that you have on hand to make prep work easier.One | Kitchen Sheers + Cutting BoardGreat for cutting fresh veggies like baby carrots right into the pot.Two | Kitchen PeelerI cannot tell you how many apples + potatoes I’ve peeled this month. These were so handy.Three | Standard Kitchen SheersI mentioned on Instagram that good kitchen sheers are my #1 favorite kitchen gadget. I have 3 pairs because I literally use them for everything. Meal prep, chopping salads, dicing up toddler food…you name it.Four | Veggie ChopperI chopped at least 1 onion + 1 bell pepper per day and this little guy cut out the annoying manual process. Easy and effective, I used this daily. Five | SpiralizerTons on Whole30 recipes call for zoodles, so make sure to buy a spiralizer. They are inexpensive and easy to use and seriously zoodles are SO good…no need for pasta! My mom also spiralized lots of sweet potatoes and crisped them in the oven, using them as a base for eggs or as an extra crunch to salads…yum!Six | Immersion BlenderThis is one thing that I didn’t have and went out to buy the first week. This is the exact one that I bought and it’s definitely not the nicest on the market, but it gets the job done. Great for emulsifying soups and making your own dressings and sauces. Seven | Non-stick SpatulaSounds silly but make sure that you have 3 of these on hand, because you’ll use one for every meal and the other two are bound to be in the dishwasher.Eight | Non-stick CookwareThis is our exact set of cookware and it’s really been a champion for us over the last month. I told Dan that I was starting to get worried that the coating was going to come off. We use the pans EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I would just make sure that you have at least (2) really good 12” non-stick fry pans in your lineup. You’ll also use your sautee pans and dutch oven a ton too.Nine | Non-stick BakewareSee above! The cookie sheet was definitely our most used piece. Make sure that yours is really great and totally non-stick.Ten | Mason Jars Great for storage and for making your own homemade sauces and dressings…Eleven | Ninja BlenderI found myself whipping up healthy smoothies (see below) if I didn’t have time to cook a full breakfast and this ninja does it in a snap. Also great for making things like homemade salsa.Twelve | Tupperware Storage SetI was so unprepared for how much food our fridge would have to hold! I quickly got organized with this tupperware set so that I could clearly see what we still had available and what all was leftovers.Thirteen | Meal Prep Storage SetI didn’t use these, but LOVE the idea of getting them for the future. Dan and I have both discussed really being better about eating pre-determined lunches and I love the idea of prepping an storing them to grab and go.One | Egg Roll in a BowlI’ve made this 3 times in 4 weeks if that tells you how much we like it. The coconut aminoes taste just like soy sauce and you can literally make this entire meal in 10 minutes flat!Two | Plantain NachosThis is definitely one of our favorite weekend meals. It feels casual and fun and is SO yummy. Great for entertaining and can be thrown together in under 20 minutes.Three | “Ramen” BowlI loved this during the cold weather we had earlier this month. It felt like amazing comfort food and the zoodles were a great alternative to ramen. Four | Taco Salad This was definitely my favorite lunch. It was super easy to batch cook the meat and have it for 2-3 lunches during the week. The plantains add a wonderful crunch.Five | Spaghetti BakeThis was definitely Landry’s favorite! Dan loved it too. I thought that it was good, but not my ultimate fav. Warning, this is not a quick dinner. It takes a full hour and a half. Consider prepping by baking your spaghetti squash earlier in the day.Favorite Snacks So “technically” snacking while on Whole30 is frowned upon, but I tried to really really listen to my body (I’m 7 months pregnant) and if I was truly hungry I obliged with a healthy snack. My husband and I will both agree that we were rarely hungry between meals, which was quite freeing. BUT, if we were, we tried to come up with a variety of healthy snacks so that reaching for something healthy mid-day became a long-lerm lifestyle change for us both.Apple + Cashew ButterSmoothies (1 banana + 5 frozen strawberries + 1tbsp cashew butter + cashew milk + handful of walnuts)Diced Apple + Walnuts + RaisinsRX + Lara Bars (I always carried one in my bag for on-the-go emergencies)Plantain Chips (always pre-portion them out and don’t eat out of the bag. Dip them in fresh salsa or nut butter)Our nightly snack (instead of our usual ice cream)1/2 banana cut up, 3 strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, raisins, 1tsp cashew butter, toasted coconut flakes, walnuts.Favorite Breakfast: Egg + Banana Porridge (1 mashed banana + 2 eggs + dash of cinnamon). Scramble, pan fry in ghee stirring constantly. Top with chopped apples, cashew butter and nuts.Looking for meal plans? Here they are…all in one place!WEEK 1: MondayBreakfast: Scrambled Eggs + Easy SalsaLunch: Taco SaladDinner: Dairy Free Loaded Baked Potato SoupTuesdayBreakfast: Loaded Breakfast CasseroleLunch: Taco SaladDinner: Dairy Free Loaded Baked Potato SoupWednesdayBreakfast: Loaded Breakfast CasseroleLunch: Egg + Avocado Cups Dinner: Loaded Enchilada Sweet PotatoesThursdayBreakfast: Scrambled Eggs + Easy SalsaLunch: Broccoli SaladDinner: Loaded Enchilada Sweet PotatoesFridayBreakfast: Breakfast SaladLunch: Broccoli SaladDinner: Smoked Sausage, Potato and Kale SoupSaturdayBreakfast: Breakfast SaladLunch: Loaded Sweet Potato FriesDinner: Smoked Sausage, Potato and Kale SoupWEEK 2:Monday: Breakfast: Egg + Sausage Scramble (Brown sausage and scramble in 3 eggs, a few diced yellow and green onions)Lunch: Plantain Nachos (overly excited about this one)Dinner: Potato, Kale and Sausage SoupTuesday: Breakfast: Bananas, Strawberries, Blueberries and Pineapples topped with toasted coconut, almond butter and walnuts. Experimenting with this to see if it keeps me full.Lunch: Plantain NachosDinner: Potato, Kale and Sausage SoupWednesday:Breakfast: Browned jalepeno sausage (Trader Joes), scrambled eggs + fruitLunch: Egg and Avocado Salad (might add tuna if I get brave)Dinner: Eggroll in a BowlThursday:Breakfast: Egg + Sausage Scramble (Brown sausage and scramble in 3 eggs, a few diced yellow and green onions)Lunch: Egg and Avocado SaladDinner: Eggroll in a BowlFriday:Breakfast: Browned jalepeno sausage (Trader Joes), scrambled eggs + fruitLunch: Sweet and Salty Salad (broccoli slaw, riced cauli, strawberries, blueberries, cabbage, raisins, 1 slice of bacon)Dinner: Lettuce WrapsSaturday:Breakfast: Banana Pancakes (I topped with almond butter and reduced a few strawberries in a touch of ghee)Lunch: Lettuce WrapsDinner: Crockpot Roast + VeggiesWEEK 3: Monday |Breakfast: Sausage + Egg Scramble + Fresh Salsa + FruitLunch: Sweet and Salty Salad (broccoli slaw, riced cauli, strawberries, blueberries, cabbage, raisins, 1 slice of bacon)Dinner: Crockpot Roast and VeggiesTuesday |Breakfast: Bacon + Scrambled Eggs + Sausage + FruitLunch: Baked potatoes topped with left over ground meat, salsa, and homemade ranch sauce (will share this next week!)Dinner: Asian Broth Bowl with Zucchini ZoodlesWednesday | Breakfast: Sausage + Egg Scramble + Fresh Salsa + FruitLunch: Taco SaladDinner: Asian Broth Bowl with Zucchini ZoodlesThursday |Breakfast: Scramble 2 eggs + 1 banana + cinnamon in ghee. Top with apples, strawberries, blueberries, nuts and almost butter (definitely my favorite breakfast)Lunch: Eggroll in a Bowl (we loved this so much, Dan requested we do it for meal prepped lunches)Dinner: Mexican Fajitas with Cauli RiceFriday |Breakfast: “Pancakes” 2 eggs + 1 banana mashed + 2 tsp almond flour + cinnamon. Cook in ghee and top with reduced fruit.Lunch: Eggroll in a BowlDinner: Mexican Fajitas with Cauli RiceSaturday|Breakfast: Scramble 2 eggs + 1 banana + cinnamon in ghee. Top with apples, strawberries, blueberries, nuts and almost butter (definitely my favorite breakfast)Lunch: Plantain NachosDinner: Zoodles with Avocado PestoWEEK 4: Breakfasts: SEE ORIGINAL POST Lunches |New Recipes:Jalepeno Turkey Guacumole Burgers Avocado Dill Tuna Salad Dinners | Plantain Nachos (we’ve had these every single week because they are so dang good!)Slow Cooker White Chicken ChiliSpaghetti PieNon-Dairy Potato SoupSo there you have it…and honest account of my first Whole30 journey. Thank you SO SO much for following along over these last 30 days. Without having this network to report back to weekly, I’m actually not sure that I would have made it through the entire 30 days. I really appreciate your support, feedback, emails and engagement. It turned from something that I was absolutely dreading, into something SO fun! If you have ANY questions or feedback, please consider leaving it below in the comments as I will make sure to answer them and they can serve as a resource to others. Anything else, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love it if you pinned the below image from this post, or kept up with how I’m going to continue this clean eating journey over on my Pinterest Board HERE.Thanks again for reading and sharing! xoxoYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...The Friday EditMom Style Monday | Loungewear + Playdate Party20 Christmas Morning Brunch Ideas!