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It’s day one of our Whole 30. Well, technically today is the start of it but I’ve been throwing up all weekend, so I guess we’ll see what life is like when I wake up Monday morning. (I’m writing this on Sunday.) To prepare for the Whole 30 we’ve (I’ve) done a lot of smart planning….and a lot of not so smart planning. Eh, you live and you learn. Here’s how we’ve attempted to prep for the Whole 30.

P.S. You should totally join us for the Whole 30! It’s ok if you wait a week or so to start.

How To Prepare For The Whole 30

Start cutting out foods you know you’ll suffer withdrawal from

If you get debilitating headaches when you have less than three sodas a day (guilty), go ahead and start cutting back now. The last thing you want is to go into sugar shock from withdrawal the first few days of the Whole 30. You know what foods you eat too much of, do yourself a favor and start cutting back on them. It’ll make your first couple days far less miserable, cold turkey isn’t fun for anyone. Don’t do what Carl and I have done. We’ve pretty much binged on every food we knew we’d miss during the Whole 30. Oops.

See if some of your favorite recipes can be whole 30 approved with a few changes

It’ll be easier to start a new diet if you have a few old favorites to rely on. Plus, what fun is a new healthy diet if you spend the whole time missing your old favorites? Kristin (my Whole 3 partner in crime) has a favorite coconut soup recipe that her and her boyfriend love. It’s their go-to recipe. They were able to replace one or two ingredients and now they can still have it during their Whole 30. You’re also much less likely to fail the challenge if you feel like you aren’t leaving so much behind.

Test out a few whole 30 recipes

Egg Prosciutto and Mushroom Breakfast // Whole 30 approved

What’s the point of a new healthy diet if you don’t try new healthy recipes? Give a few a try before you start your Whole 30 so you go into it with several reliable dishes. Even better, create a few freezer meals that you can heat up in a hurry for days you’re feeling lazy or when your recipe experiment turns out terrible.

Use up non Whole 30 approved foods

Use up non whole 30 foods

You don’t need that temptation in your life. I made a shelf in our fridge all non Whole 30 foods (see above and don’t judge) and told Carl to have at it. Today, those food will disappear. Temptation and laziness will be our biggest struggle, so we might as well do our best to avoid both.

Meal plan

Not knowing what you’re going to cook is the quickest way to fail the Whole 30. Buy a recipe book, pin a bunch of pins on Pinterest (or ask to join my Paleo/Whole 30 board) and write down everything you’re interested in cooking. Write. It. Down. Plan a meal to cook each day but still cook a little more than you need. Leftovers will be your friend. You can have them for lunch the next day or as a backup if what you cook the next night fails.

Do some meal prepping at the beginning of the week

Rosemary Lemon Garlic Crockpot Chicken // Whole 30 & Paleo approved

I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot to have for salads as well as backup in case one of the new recipes I try is disgusting. I’m also hard boiling several eggs for salads and snacks. Chopping fruits and veggies is another task you can knock out at the beginning of the week. Look at your meal plan and see what you can get done before your week gets busy. It’ll save you time and help on lazy days.

Have a snack drawer

Snack Drawer // Having a snack drawer in your fridge is a great way to stay on your healthy (or whole 30) diet.

Everyone gets the munchies. You don’t want to blow your progress just because you find yourself needing a snack. Carl definitely is going to have a hard time with snacking so I made a snack drawer in our fridge for him. Since he works nights, on his days off he stays up really late. Who wouldn’t snack when they’re up alone late at night. Now he has a nice drawer of portioned out, Whole 30 approved snacks to munch on. (I need to add more, so feel free to share suggestions.)

Awesome Whole 30 resources for inspiration:

The Whole 30 // The Whole 30 website is obviously a great place to start.

It Starts With Food // (affiliate link) The book that started it all is another useful resource.

Nom Nom Paleo // This blog had lots of great recipes I’ve written down to use. She also has a book out, Nom Nom Paleo, (affiliate link) that Kristin has and she loves it.

Stupid Easy Paleo // Another great blog with recipes I will be using.

Practical Paleo // (affiliate link) Carl bought me this book over the weekend and I LOVE it. I’ve tabbed so many recipes and they are all simple to make.

Well Fed // (affiliate link) My boss, who is on her second Whole 30, loves this cookbook. It’s not my favorite, mostly because the recipes don’t appeal to me, but it’s definitely a good resource.

Pinterest Boards // I have a Whole 30 Pinterest board (you can even be a contributor if you’d like). I also follow this board and this pinner.

Do you think you could survive a Whole 30?


  • Your “how to prepare” post is way more organized than ANYTHING I’ve done to prepare for the Whole 30 😉 Also, the only thing I have to say about your Bad Foods shelf in the fridge is that I’m impressed. How did something from Chick Fil A manage to stick around long enough to be put in the fridge? Can you please teach me your self control?

  • You’ve definitely done a lot to prepare! Best of luck on your Whole30 journey.
    For the snack bin, I’d suggest stuff like nuts and nut butters, kale chips, and Whole30-approved bars like certain varieties of Larabars (or make your own). For quick, portable, no-prep protein I like cans of tuna and sardines.

  • This is excellent! I hope I’m able to find the time to prepare such a post when we start ours. I posted each week last year when we did one but I didn’t cover quite so much! This is great! We will be doing another one again starting in February for the duration of Lent. I would LOVE to know what that is in the picture above and how to prepare it. Is it portablella, egg and ???

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  • We’re not doing Whole 30, but my husband and I are working through a meal plan with more natural, non-processed foods. It’s been great so far! I’m also not eating added sugars this month, which is MUCH more difficult for me. I am so addicted to chocolate.

    Thanks for the links! Once we get through our meal plan, I’m going to keep trying to eat whole foods, so I’m sure I can find a few great resources here. And good luck during your Whole 30!

  • Great ideas! I am planning on starting the Whole 30 in the Spring, after this new baby arrives and we’ve gotten back into the swing of cooking meals again. Love the idea of the pre roasted chicken and hard boiled eggs!

  • I would have a really hard time cutting cheeses and breads from my diet. They are like my favorite things ever. But I have a few paleo recipes that I love and we cook those sometimes. It just depends. But really – giving up cheese would be really a challenge.

    We (I) have been cooking a lot since the start of the new year, and I love it. Some days don’t go so well – pizza dough from the farmers market – but I do love cooking.

  • Katie, Giving up bread & sweets has always been my
    weakness. Your idea is great but will take a lot of planning on my part on
    starting and sticking with the whole 30. Love the idea.

  • I am SO intrigued, but am not sure if I could do it. I hear the food prep is so time consuming. Maybe if I can convince my husband to try it with me. Then it might be easier? GOOD luck!

  • Foreign Geek

    I would love to give it a try! Snack drawer is a great idea Katie.

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