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Going on the Whole30 journey (eliminating sugar, dairy, grains & legumes) could never be considered "easy," but there are a few things you can do along the way to ensure that you will get to the finish line successfully. Here are 5 simple tips that really help me stay on track!
1) Pre-chopped onions: I feel like almost every Whole30 recipe I make requires chopping onions! I don't know about you, but I have not figured out how to do it without crying! (If you know, definitely leave me a tip in the comments!). So, instead of having to break out the food processor, chop, cry, & clean, I just buy diced onions. Saves time AND tears. Best thing ever!!
2) Riced Cauliflower: Whole30 is ALL about using that cauliflower! We've eaten cauliflower soup, mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, steamed cauliflower, but the most insidious of all is cauliflower rice. (Don't make the mistake of telling your family it's actual rice like I did. They might hate you.) But once you get those little particles of cauliflower after all the peeling, cutting, processing, scraping out the food processor, etc -- they can be quite delicious in any dish that you might have used rice in before such as a Barbecoa Bowl or Paleo Paella. Instead of all the work of creating the "rice", save yourself some time and buy Riced Cauliflower. You will love using it so much more when you don't have to reduce a head of cauliflower to rice on your own! It's so easy!
3) Sparking water: I don't know about you, but I don't drink juice, so I get bored with drinking black coffee and water! That's where these sparkling, fruit-infused waters come in handy! It will give your tastebuds a little reprieve. Spindrift, Hint, La Croix are just a few of the name brands that come in a huge variety of natural fruit flavors (Blackberry, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Berry, Lime Lemon, and more) and have no added sugars. Grocery stories will often have their own brand as well. But, be sure to grab ones that only use natural fruit juice with no added sweeteners.
4) RX Bars: Sometimes you'll need to eat on the go and you MUST have a plan for those times. If possible, you can grab a hard boiled egg or banana, but sometimes, you might not have access to fresh ingredients. If I'm out of the house & find myself in that position, I just grab an RX bar. It's a protein bar made with simple ingredients: egg whites, dates, nuts, and natural ingredients. The label right on the front tells you exactly what is in the bar. (Genius!) There is no added sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, or B.S. (they promise!) I personally like the taste & they are readily available at Target, Walmart, Peet's Coffee, Trader Joe's and many other places. Note: The chocolate bars do have 100% cocoa, which is debatable on Whole30, so I choose to stick with the non-chocolate options.
5) Meal Planning: The entire key to having a successful Whole30 is having a PLAN. Without a plan, you will get hungry and devour anything and everything that is nearby. Or maybe that's just me. The one thing that has allowed me to be successful in Whole30 is meal planning with Real Plans. When I started eating this way 4 months ago, I knew I needed more recipes, so I signed up to spend $14 a month for Real Plans meal planning. It has been one of the best investments I've ever made. The recipes have turned out so delicious (except the kids didn't love the mashed potatoes...oops, mashed cauliflower. But that's probably because I told them it was potatoes.) I love getting my meal plan and shopping list all in one email and these meals have introduced me to so many new ingredients and flavors that I never knew I liked! Jicama, turmeric, jamaican jerk spice and cooking mussels and clams are a few of my new favorite things! I can honestly say that Real Plans is the main reason I have been successful at maintaining the Whole30 and one of the very best hacks. I would whole heartedly recommend it for anyone!
Have you tried Whole30? What was your favorite hack to help you finish strong? Leave me a comment and let me know about your journey!