*Post inspired by my Whole30 experience after reading the book called, It Starts With Food*
I first tried Whole30 about four years ago. I failed. On day 12. This little engine that could, did not give up. Nope. A year later, I did Whole30 again. Quit after day 11. Third times is a charm though. On February 3, 2015, this bad betch successfully completed her first Whole30. You never forget your first time.
For the newbs, Whole30 is a 30-day reboot of what you eat and drink. For 30 (long) days you eliminate dairy, added sugar of any kind (including honey), alcohol, grains, legumes, carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites. Really what you are left with is meat, vegetables, fruit, and some nuts. Kick that up a notch and make it grass-fed, farm-raised, antibiotic free meats and organic fruits and veggies. You are not even allowed to chew gum. You cannot even make Paleo pancakes because that is considered having sex with your pants on.
Before Whole30, I’ve tried many different eating styles: vegan, Paleo, vegetarian, juice cleanses. Nothing stuck. Though I did overtime adapt many of those principles into my everyday diet with the occasional (weekly) binge on Kraft mac and cheese deluxe – I’d do Velveeta sometimes too to mix things up. I wasn’t really in search to lose weight or get swoll, what I have always been after is energy. Some stamina. I was fuckin’ exhausted from working around the clock, spurts of business travel, raising two small kids. I tried every energy drink and nootropic on the market. Those just made me irritable (except Alpha Brain, I likey).
Reading It Starts With Food opened my eyes to how important the food we put into our bodies really is. Even many foods that I considered healthy, I learned was not. The idea is, you eliminate all this unnatural food from your body. A full body cleanse – but in a controlled, healthy manner. By Day 30, you feel like a new person. Glowing skin, weight loss, energy, happy disposition, and more. After Day 30, should you choose – you can begin reintroducing food groups back into your body, such as my beloved cheese. Turns out, cheese leaves me feeling not so great. Mucusy, sluggish. Bread – makes me tired and difficulty focussing. Long story short, I’ve learned how to make better food choice on the regular. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my indulgences but now I am very knowledgeable grocery shopping ninja. Visit the Whole30 website to learn more and read some astonishing testimonials.
Here are 10 Whole30 must haves that supported me in getting through some difficult days, added to my Beyonce-like results, and kept Whole30 fun.
- A Spiralizer. A good one. DO NOT get a handheld one. Blades snapped off on me and I cut my hand, plus lost them in my food. I use this one and it is still decently priced under $30. I used mine to make “spaghetti” noodles, apple chips, sweet potato chips, salads – you will get inspired.
- Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein. Both can help rejuvenate your skin, hair, and nails. When I started using collagen peptides – my hair grew so fast. Several inches in just a few months (I still use every day even when I am not doing Whole30). The collagen protein is great for your digestive system and healing your gut.
- Epic Bars. When I started Whole30, Epic only had a few products. Now, they have so many easy products that I eat on the reggie. Don’t get too fancy with your Epic selection though, not everything they sell is Whole30 compliant. Epic Bars were a game changer for me on my third Whole30 go around because they are packed with SO MUCH FLAVOR. It pulled me out of a dull food rut. Epic Bone Broth is Whole30 compliant and I heat these up and drink it straight out of my mug as a nightcap.
- Flavor God seasonings. No reason to give up all that is flavorful in this world just because you are eating clean. This discovery came later in the game but is an everyday staple for me now: Simply Organic’s Adobo Seasoning.
- Meal Prep containers. These storage containers did the job for me because they were microwavable and washable. Over the years though, I’ve ditched the microwave and have been using stainless steel containers. The stainless steel route – though less toxic – can be more costly if you need enough for meal prep.
- Bulletproof coffee. To make traditional Bulletproof coffee, you need three ingredients: coffee, brain octane oil, and grass-fed ghee. If you watch my Instagram Stories though, you will see when I show some mornings my coffee making routine that I know add some other secret ingredients.
- Coconut oil. I cooked all my food in coconut oil. Throw a little in the pan then saute them veggies.
- Primal Kitchen goods. Again, not all Primal Kitchen foods are Whole30 compliant, so check the labels before you go on a shopping spree. I use their salad dressings and mayos.
- La Croix. I went a little overboard with my La Croix addiction, drinking an embarrassing amount of cans a day, but this was one of those products that got me through the hard days when all you want is a cheesy burger and Coke. I never met a La Croix flavor that I didn’t like, so follow your bliss.
- THE Whole30 Cookbook. There’s gonna be days where you want to celebrate and have a nice hearty meal because you are bored. Do up date night real nice with the official Whole30 cookbook.
BONUS 1: Model Meals. If you live in Southern California, Model Meals is a must to check out. Model Meals delivers fresh, Whole30 foods to your door. When I did Whole30, Model Meals wasn’t delivering to my area – but their meals help me maintain the disciplines I’ve learned from Whole30.
BONUS 2: The Thrive Market sells Whole30 Starter Kits and huge discounts. Thrive Market almost ALWAYS has the best prices.
BONUS 3: My go-to meal was Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausages, sauteed spinach in coconut oil, and Frank’s Red Hot.