I am so excited because today is day 1 of my Whole30 experience! Even though it is only day one, I have been preparing for this all week. Some of my favorite things are cooking, eating, organizing, and making lists (particularly I like the checking off part) so I really got into the prep!
The Whole30 is just as much about changing the way we think about food as it is about changing our eating habits. Of course I read the book, bought the groceries, and brainstormed the meals I would make to get ready. But, I also knew I would need to take it a step further and make some changes to make the mental component of this change easier as well. I did these things in stages as I read ISWF and the idea of doing the Whole30 became more and more feasible to me. So here’s some of what I did:
- Purge Pinboards– I’m known for my “pin explosions” as I liked to call them, so I have collected a lot of recipes over the last several months. If food porn is a thing, reading ISWF is the cure. It’s like my taste buds changed and a lot of those recipes did not look so appetizing to me anymore! I deleted tons of unhealthy recipes and moved some lucky selections to a new board, for special occasions (AKA in moderation!) Of course, I still have a pinning problem except now it is for paleo food.
- Bake the sugar away– May seem counter-intuitive, but I needed to get all the sugar out of my house! Donating an open bag of sugar would be weird and I hate to waste food, so I baked cookies and cupcakes and gave them away to co-workers. I officially have NO sugar in my house for the first time in my life! (I know this was probably an unnecessary step but purging my house of the unhealthy ingredients was a liberating experience for me!)
- Reorganize– This was probably my favorite part! I combed through all the shelves in my pantry and fridge and moved the items that were Whole30 approved to their own shelves. Canisters of three different types of sugar used to fill my counter; now my counter space is taken up by three different types of squash! Reorganizing my kitchen helped me see how much compliant food I had and how much I was lacking. After this step, I could tackle the shopping list!
- Shopping– To say that I went grocery shopping is an understatement. I went to 5 different grocery stores to stock up on meat and veggies and to find replacements for many of the non-compliant staples I was used to (like soy sauce and salad dressing). I’m sure that this was overkill, but to put it plainly I am cheap and needed to find the best prices on the things I was not used to buying (like bulk almonds and canned coconut milk). The good thing about shopping for the Whole30 is I didn’t have to go down every aisle (shop the perimeter!) The bad is that when I did buy prepackaged ingredients, I had to read every label! It was an awesome learning experience and gave me a my first opportunity to apply everything I learned from ISWF…not to mention it was a fun afternoon with my BFF! I won’t lie to you, it was overwhelming at first. But honestly, the shopping is simpler now because the food is simple and pure. There were only a few ingredients I bought that I was not used to.
- Homemade staples– To replace some favorite ingredients in my house (and to save money) I had to get creative. I have never been more grateful for YouTube and Pinterest in my life! I learned how to make my own almond milk, coconut butter, clarified butter, and mayonnaise! I can honestly say that I like every one of those better than the store bought stuff! Don’t worry, I’ll link you up to the instructions I used soon!
So even though my Whole30 is just starting I have already made huge changes. My grocery staples used to be things like granola bars, cereal, milk, and yogurt. Now it’s avocados, sweet potatoes, coconut, and almonds! As the anticipation for today grew, I had plenty of up and down moments from feeling like I am on top of the world and can handle anything to feeling overwhelmed by the lists of do’s and don’ts. I feel a little bit like the pressure is on to succeed and have amazing results to share with you at the end of the 30 days. But, the truth is that when it comes down to it, this experience is about my health and my relationship with my food. I can’t wait to see where the next 30 days takes me…
Want to know more about the rules of the Whole30 program? The creators of the program have a great description here!