The Whole30 is simply a 30-day super-cleanse for your body and is the best introduction for a Paleo lifestyle. The Whole30 cleans and removes all the toxins from your body and leaves you feeling more energetic, healthy, and probably a few pounds lighter too. Here is a quick and easy way to start the Whole30.
Start the Whole30
Here are 9 quick and easy tips that make starting…and finishing…the Whole30 seem simple, attainable, and fun.
Clean out the Kitchen
The best way to prepare for the Whole30 is by cleaning out your kitchen now. You don’t want to open up the fridge or pantry and be surrounded by your old, unhealthy foods.
When making a change, ridding your home of all these foods creates a safe place for you to succeed through the 30 days.
If it’s in a box…toss it. If it’s in a bag…toss it. If it can live on your shelf for years…oh my, double bag it and really toss it.
Read ingredient labels carefully. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or don’t have a clue what it is…yup, you guessed it, toss it.
Grains and Processed Sugar
All grains, including wheat, rice, rye, barley, oats, corn, millet, bulgur and sorghum, are predominately made up of carbohydrates, which break down into simple sugars, or glucose, in the body. All forms of sugar, including natural forms are also processed the same way inside your body.
Be sure to read ingredient labels on all food items very carefully because many grains and sugars can hide within ordinary foods. For example, some grains like cornstarch or flour can be used to thicken sauces or soups. Sugar can go by many different names – sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, etc.
Legumes, including beans, lentils, peas, soy, tempeh and peanuts contain considerable amounts of phytates and lectins. Phytates block some nutrients within the legume from being digested in the stomach and small intestine. These food particles, as they continue traveling through the intestine, remain undigested, which causes inflammation, bloating and gas.
However, once the liver and muscle cells are full, the liver converts the excess glucose into saturated fat. Only this converted saturated fat combines together and forms triglycerides. To make it even worse, the increased insulin sent out to lower your blood-glucose levels blocks your body’s hormone, leptin, that tells your brain you are full. Once you have too much grains and sugar, your body still wants more because it doesn’t know you’re full.
Lectins are carb-binding proteins that cause the undigested food particles, now in your small intestine, to stick and bind to the small intestinal walls. This causes the walls to break down and creates a hole directly into the bloodstream. This allows the waste, toxins and anti-nutrients present in your small intestine to leak into the bloodstream, also referred to as leaky-gut syndrome. Once the waste, toxins and anti-nutrients are floating freely in the bloodstream, your immune system has to work overtime and try to clean the body and return it to normal.
Dairy contains casein, a protein that promotes the deterioration of your small intestinal walls, which can also cause leaky gut syndrome. A few people lack the enzymes necessary to properly break down and digest milk, which causes bloating, diarrhea and other indigestion problems.
If we want to forget about these foods, we have to get rid of them. The kitchen in your home should be the easiest and safest place to eat healthy – free from temptation.
Turn on your favorite tunes, read the fine print and get those foods out of the house.
Stock up on Whole30 Replacements
- Spaghetti Squash
- Zucchini Noodles – “Zoodles”
Hard to Find Sugar-Free Foods
I searched and examined almost every bacon, sausage, ham and chorizo that I could find at the grocery store. The ones I found to be naturally cured and Whole30-approved are:
- Pederson’s Natural Farms Bacon
- Pederson’s Natural Farms Ham
- Teton Waters Ranch 100% Grass-Fed Beef Uncured Beef Hot Links
- Homemade Sausage beats store-bought any day
Of the legumes, peanut butter is the most sought after replacement. Lucky for you, these are great replacements.
- Nut Butters. Almond, Cashew and Pistachio are a few of my favorites.
- Sunflower Seed Butter, for those with nut allergies. Be sure to get the organic one that is unsweetened and salt-free.
- Tahini Butter, made from sesame seeds and is also nut-free.
Don’t worry, Asian food is not lost forever. These sauces can be used to replace Soy Sauce in my Soy-Free Soy Sauce recipe.
You won’t miss dairy with these replacements:
The best replacements for butter are:
Redefine Your Macronutrients
If you’re looking to lose body fat, have more muscular definition, and still lose weight, macronutrients are going to be very important.
Loosing weight efficiently simply means the amount of energy taken in (or food) must be less that the amount of energy expended (i.e. exercise).
BUT…and a very important but, if you want to reduce body fat, increase strength, and show muscular definition, you MUST watch WHAT you eat. Hence, monitor your macronutrients.
Calculating your Macros
Macronutrients (or Macros) are comprised of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Your typical Macros for the whole day, when following a Paleo lifestyle, should be somewhere within the ranges indicated below:
- 10-20% Protein
- 20-30% Carbohydrates
- 60-75% Fat
One gram of protein equals 4 calories.
One gram of carbohydrates equals 4 calories.
One gram of fat equals 9 calories.
Total Daily Calories * % per macro element / calories per gram
This will illustrate the daily grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to strive towards each day.
Total Daily Calories = 1200
Protein Grams = 1200 * 0.20 / 4 = 60
Carbohydrate Grams = 1200 * 0.30 / 4 = 90
Fat Grams = 1200 * 0.50 / 9 = 67
You could also use fitness apps to track your food and macronutrients. Upon completion of your food log, check out your macronutrient percentages and modify them for the next day.
Listen to Your Body
Every BODY is different, so if you need to adjust your percentages, feel free.
After each day, take note of how you feel, how much energy you had throughout the day, and how well you slept.
Sometimes you will find that if you are outside your typical macro ranges, you will experience cravings the next day to make up for deficient nutrients.
Each day will be a slight adjustment, but after a week you will understand macros. It just takes some practice.
The trick is to find the right balance for you where you can eat the lowest amount of calories and provide your body with the exact nutrition it needs.
Find Whole30 Recipes
I can certainly help you with that!
My extensive list of Recipes will help guide you to more Whole30 meals.
Being a mother, I try to make all my recipes simple and quick, using ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.
I’m always adding more recipes so be sure to check back often and subscribe to my email list for great tips, new recipes, and other fun stories about living a Paleo lifestyle.
There’s a link to my email list at the bottom of this post, so check it out!
Master the Art of Meal Planning
- Start with 3-4 recipes per week
- Plan ahead for certain events
- Organize a single grocery list for all recipes
- Stick to you plan
Whole30 Meal Plans
For those of you just starting out with Whole30, I’ve created these meal plans just for you.
These Whole30 meal plans consist of four quick and simple recipes, a complete shopping list, and optional meal-prep advice to help get dinner on the table in under 45 minutes.
They are conveniently organized in a single, easy to follow document. Post it up on the fridge and be ready.
All the recipes feature simple ingredients that are either stocked in your local grocery store or can easily be purchased online through direct links provided within the meal plans.
Master the Art of Meal Prepping
If you’re creating your own meal plans, try adding in these simple, easy prep tips to reduce your kitchen time and get dinner on the table faster.
- Cook meals ahead and store in the refrigerator (i.e. soups, stews, and salads)
- Chop vegetables ahead and store in zip-lock bags in the refrigerator
- Instant Pot recipes
- Crock Pot recipes
Whole30 and Dining Out
This is the toughest part! If you’re used to eating out, the Whole30 can certainly throw a wrench in that routine, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to eat out while following the Whole30.
I’ve been around the block several times now and have found several menu items that are Whole30 compliant or can be if you ask the right questions.
- Poached eggs are your cleanest option.
- Order omelets without meat. Most meat like bacon, sausage, and ham contain sugar.
- Request omelets using real eggs not the egg-beaters.
- Verify ahead of time if meats are marinated. Chicken, especially, is often marinated as well as fajita meats.
- Substitute typical sides with fruit, sliced tomatoes, steamed vegetables, or side salad.
- Request hash browns or potatoes to be cooked ‘dry’ on the grill, without any oils or butter.
The good thing is, Whole30 is becoming more popular around the dining scene. Most notable restaurants will provide you with a lovely, Whole30-approved meal.
Final Tips to a Successful Whole30
- Read “It Starts with Food.”
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and have absolutely no clean-up.
- Always have “emergency” food available (Jerky, Vegetables, or LaraBars).
- Plan, plan, plan.
- Keep meals simple and add on later.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “No, thank you.”
- Paper plates will reduce the amount of dishes that will pile up.
To sum it all up…Eat…Real…Food! Everything else after that is simple.
Enjoy the Benefits
You are well on your way to reap the amazing benefits from the Whole30. Among the most notable benefits are:
- Eliminate your Sugar Demon
- Completely Free from Cravings
- Weight Loss (some of you, depending on starting point)
- Reduced Body Fat
- Increased Energy
- Efficient Immune System
- Improved Sleeping Patterns
Go ahead…start now!!
Share Your Story
Have you done the Whole30 before? Share your story and tips in the comments below. We can all learn from each other.