Hey babes! Stacy here, with my first official Whole30 check-in complete with advice and tips to successfully complete your Whole30 journey! I am SO excited to be doing another round of Whole30 and to share my experiences, advice, tips and recipes with you all. I’ll also be sharing (slash over-sharing) daily on our Instagram stories so be sure to follow along with us @hashtagsandhandbags on IG.
Today is officially the end of day 3 for me (I technically started Tuesday, January 2nd). This will be my third round of Whole30, which may seem crazy to you but I’m so obsessed with how I feel when I eat this way! My husband Kyle and I actually try to live mostly Whole30 all the time. We call it “Whole30 Plus”, because ya know, it’s like being on Whole30 plus you get to drink wine…haha Or we add in Chipotle, because Whole30+Chipotle=life. J
I want to tell you all the many reasons why I ever did my first round, but I will save that for it’s own story time later on! In this post I want to share with any of you beginners some of my advice as well as my Whole-y Grail products! (hehe see what I did there?!)
For those of you unfamiliar with the program- you cut out certain food groups like sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes. Removing these foods, that negatively impact your health, for 30 days serves as a “reset” for your body. After the 30 days, you re-introduce the food groups one by one and you see how your body reacts. Your body literally tells you what it doesn’t want you to put in it, and because you have been eating so clean for the 30 days prior, you can actually HEAR what it’s telling you. Our bodies are so freaking amazing.
Things to Know Before You Start:
- Whole30 is NOT a diet. It is truly a lifestyle. You will discover all these things that your body has been trying for DECADES to tell you that it doesn’t like or shouldn’t be consuming. Symptoms that you experienced so often that you got used to them, such as a midday headache hitting you like clockwork every single day, will suddenly disappear. And then YOU will actually choose not to incorporate them into your diet, because who wants to take Advil every day at 2pm at work?!
- Whole30 will help you find your “food freedom”. This sounds insane. I know. BUT you all have a mental relationship with at least one type of food. And frankly, it’s not healthy. We’ve become so accustomed to the notion that it is the norm to have a “sweet tooth”, when in reality it’s an addiction to sugar. Or you may not be a sweets kind of person, but instead you eat an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting (yeah Dad, I’m lookin’ at you haha). You might even be like me, someone who is an emotional eater, who finds comfort in food and so you eat when you’re sad, mad, bored or even happy! No matter where you fall on the spectrum, if you finish an entire round of Whole30, I promise you WILL find your food freedom. The freedom to deny yourself a cupcake because you know the sugar will give you a headache and it’s not worth it, or the freedom to accept a plate of delicious cheese at your friend’s housewarming party because the fact that your face may break out as a result is a risk you’re willing to take!
- Do Your Research! If you can get your hands on the book (I linked it below), read it before you begin. I know plenty of people who have tried the program and have been unable to complete it. I strongly believe that reading Melissa Hartwig’s book and understanding the “why” behind what you are trying to accomplish will give you the extra push when things get tough. If you don’t read the book, at least do your homework ahead of time. There are a ton of amazing resources on the web, and the Whole30 forum is a great place to ask questions and get inspired!
- Plan Ahead! I know this seems cliché but if you don’t plan ahead you will “kill all the things” if you didn’t thaw the chicken the night before. And then you will order pizza. And then you will regret it. However, planning ahead doesn’t mean buying 30 day’s worth of food on day one. Personally, we like to plan weekly. That way, we know what we’re having and we can grocery shop accordingly. Your bank account will also appreciate you spending a little each week instead of draining your life savings on compliant condiments before you begin.
- Have emergency meals on hand at all times! We all have those days where we worked too long and we got home late and we didn’t any have pocket almonds left to tide us over until dinner. (“Pocket almonds” is a term my father coined after he began to carry almonds in his pockets at all times in case of hanger-emergencies). These are the toughest times because habitually these are the times that most people just give in and order a pizza. Emergency meals are those quick, easy items you can throw together when you’re starving and on the verge of a Whole30 breakdown.
- Read your labels- sugar is in EVERYTHING! Once you actually learn ALL of the super-secret names for “natural” sugars, artificial sweeteners, petri-dish creations, sugar alcohols etc. you will realize that sugar is legit in like everything you used to eat. Even the things you once revered as “healthy”. So read your labels, and then prepare yourself for many “but why do they need to put sugar in that?!” moments.
- Don’t do Whole30 alone! At least not your first round. The Whole30 lifestyle is SO common these days. I’m sure you can find a friend, family member or co-worker that either has done it, wants to do it, or is in the middle of the program as we speak. Even finding an internet buddy to help keep each other motivated will make it a lot easier! The program isn’t easy at first, so having a little support system is super helpful.
Shop My WHOLE30 Must Haves:
I’ll be doing a weekly check-in every Thursday and I’ll also be posting advice, tips or recipes every Sunday! So check back in for your #JanuaryWhole30 inspiration and motivation!