The number one question (complaint?) I hear from people in regards to the Whole30 is that it’s too much work. To be totally honest, it is a lot of work, but I don’ know if I’d say too much. I will tell you the one lesson that I learned the hard way: the amount of work you put into it before you start will determine how much work you have to put into it later. Meaning, the more work you put into prepping and planning, the less work you have to put into the every day thoughts of your eating.
Since there’s so much work to do to get ready for these 30-days, I’ve split this information up into 4-posts, each one breaking down how I approach planning for a Whole30 and giving you a little assignment to tackle to help you get ready to have a successful round of good and wholesome eating.
Let’s get started with Part 1: Coming up with your Prep-Work Battle Plan.
From my experience, I have observed 3 ways to approach the Whole30:
Weekly Plans and Mega-Prep
In this approach, the Whole30-er will both plan for the meals of their week and also prepare many of them, having cooked food in the refrigerator readily available for a quick reheat. People that use this approach will often precook meats (like chicken and ground beef) and may even make whole meals and portion them out, like breakfast frittatas and soups.
Who is this for? The Whole30-er that wants to put in more work one day a week to make it easier on the rest of the week.
Weekly Plan and Baby-Prep
This approach is the little sister of the first and the whole30-er will do some prep-work on the weekend but will also cook daily. Prep-work might include making dressings and 1-2 items, but for the most part, cooking happens daily.
Who is this for? The Whole30-er that wants to put in slightly more work one day a week but also doesn’t mind cooking full meals on a mostly daily basis.
No Prep and Wing It
This approach is for the Whole30-er that isn’t much of a planner. There’s no prep-work and every day requires thinking about meals and possibly grocery shopping.
Who is this for? The Whole30-er that doesn’t mind not having a plan and doesn’t mind frequent trips to the grocery store.
It is worth noting that this is not how I roll but I know it’s how some people get by. I have a close friend that called me every other day from the grocery store while she shopped for that night’s Whole30 dinner. I teased her of course, but it worked for her and she stayed on track all month! If you like to go to grocery stores, this could be the approach for you!
Personally, I am a Weekly Plan and Baby-Prepper….on Sundays I make sauces and dressings, grocery shop, and portion meat out for the week ahead. I don’t make a lot of food in advance because I don’t mind cooking daily. That’s what works for me and my lifestyle!
Your Assignment: Decide what approach (or combination of approaches!) you want to take to navigate you through this month. How often do you want to grocery shop? Cook? Are there any meals in your day you are less likely to stay on plan if you have to make a meal? Maybe you are good with cooking dinner nightly but for lunch it would be easier for you to have something prepped that you can easily grab. Make this work for your life!
When you have finished this assignment, you are ready for Part 2: Creating your perfect Whole30 menu.