What I Eat in a Day on Whole30
January is here. Phew, where did the time go?! I hummed and hawed over whether or not to embark on another round of Whole30, but after the gluttony of the holidays [no regrets!] a reset was in order. Whole30 round 3… let’s kick it!
For a lil extra bonus this time around, K., my BF, decided to join in and try Whole30 for the first time. It’s nice to have a partner in crime to keep the motivation up. Thanks, K.!
People always seem to be flabbergasted when they learn that I’m doing a Whole30. No bread? No booze? … no way, it’s too restrictive. I could never do that!
B says, bah humbug! If you put your mind to it, anyone can do it! It’s 30 days.
Just keep it simple. [lean meats. eggs. tons of veggies. fruit.] You don’t have to shop for and cook boatloads of complicated Whole30 recipes. Yes, I believe meal prep is essential and yes, it can be time consuming, but there’s ways to make it easier. Completing a successful Whole30 is manageable … and the feels [mental and physical] are amazing, my friends.
I’ve noticed that I fall into a certain rhythm, or routine, for how I organize my meals during the work week when I’m on Whole30. I especially noticed it this past week [my first few days of round 3], as it felt more effortless than the last two. I know the rules, I know what foods I can/cannot eat, I know how to shop, and I’m familiar with my portion-sizes so I don’t feel too sluggish or hungry throughout the day [the hardest part for me]. All of these things can be SO tricky to nail down, but I’m lucky to have had a lil practice by now!
I keep my work weeks SUPER simple [ha, you’ll see!]. Weekends are the time when I grocery shop, meal prep and take a lil extra time to experiment with a Whole30 compliant recipe if I feel like food boredom is setting in. Because I have the time then, it doesn’t feel like a chore. And, bonus, any leftovers can be used throughout the week!
I figured I’d share a brief outline for a typical Whole30 day [during the work week] ... breakfast-lunch-snack-dinner. I acknowledge that every person is different and a one-size-fits-all approach to Whole30 is crazy town! This routine works for me. At the most, I hope it can be a source of inspiration if you’re in a Whole30 now, or are preparing to do one in the future.
I’m an early bird. On weekdays that alarm buzzes at 4:50AM [snooze it] and then again at 5AM … okay, okay, I’m up! I drink some coffee [sans splenda, oy vey!] and head to my 6AM spin class. By the time I come home and shower, I’m on the verge of morphing into one hangry b, so a quick, filling breakfast is needed to power me through my morning at the office.
I make an “omelet-ish” [1 full egg + 1/2 cup egg whites, cooked in olive oil] and lay it over some greens [TJ’s cruciferous crunch is my go-to!]. Lately I’m into adding a chopped apple [so crisp, so crunchy], but I also like sweet potatoes. I’ll add some nutritional yeast and coconut aminos for extra flava-flav! g
I meal prep all my lunches on Sunday. The crockpot is my best friend. You laugh, but real talk, it’s a lifesaver for all that chicky that needs to be cooked.
I’ll typically add about 5-6* chicken breasts into the crockpot along with some sort of Whole30 approved marinade/sauce or stock. I’m diggin' The New Primal’s line of Whole30 compliant sauces. Whole Foods seems to stock pretty much every flavor. The mild buffalo is bomb.com. Set that crockpot on high and cook for 4-5 hours.
While the crockpot is groovin’, I’ll cook some veggies. I love sweet potatoes and coconut cinnamon-cauliflower florets [add coconut oil, cinnamon and sea salt].
I divide the chicken + roasted veggies into 5 containers, one for each day of the week. I pop those into the fridge and then they’re ready to grab before I head out the door each morning. Simple, no fuss.
*5-6 chicken breasts always ends up being more than enough to prep my lunches, but it’s nice to have a little leftover to keep in the fridge and pair with a veggie sheet pan roast for dinner [you’ll see below].
I usually get hungry around 3 or 4PM most days so I like a lil snack to hold me over until dinner. I need things that are easy to keep at my desk, so most commonly I’ll have either a piece of fruit [apple or banana], veggies [carrots], nuts [individual almond packs], or Larabaras/RXbars.
I’m also a big fan of kombucha. I haven’t had any this round, but perhaps I’ll snag a bottle or two for next week. Check your labels. I like GTs and this brand is compliant for Whole30. Other brands that add sugar after the fermentation process are not compliant*.
*more information from Melissa Hartwig here.
Can you say … one sheet pan meal? Yes please! I’m not the type of gal to whip up a complicated Whole30 meal after work. Puhlease, I’m too tired! So a one sheet pan meal is ideal for me. This is my definition of simplicity when it comes to Whole30 cooking.
Some may call it boring, but if you mix up your veggie varieties [and seasonings!] it can be different every night!
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pop on any veggie combo you desire. I like broccoli, brussels, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, carrots, red onion, zoodles, caulirice… the list could go on and on! Add a protein, such as a Whole30 compliant sausage, salmon, chicken thighs [or, leftover crockpot chicken]. Add olive oil and your preferred seasonings, then pop that goodness into the oven to roast n’ toast [typically 400 degrees for about 30 min].
After dinner I love a nice cup of the Trader Joe’s ginger turmeric tea. Pop a lemon slice in for some extra jazz. So zen.
And there you go! That’s my Whole30 weekday routine that keeps me sane and organized. My main tips? Crockpot, meal prep your lunches, keep lots of fresh veggies stocked and chopped in the fridge, and never underestimate the power of a one sheet pan dinner.
On the weekends, because we’re not busy gettin’ boozed up - just jokes - K. and I like to spend a lil extra time actually cooking a more time-intensive Whole30 recipe. If you have any ideas pass ‘em our way! So far we’re aiming to make turkey meatballs, sweet potato taco bowls and coconut curry chicken thighs. nomz.