I’m doing it again — the Whole30. It’s my third go-around on this 30-day, detox-y, paleo challenge, and I’m on day six right now.
Coming from someone who has attempted to start Whole30s and failed many other times (always in the first few days), I can say definitively that there are a couple things that make it stick.
- Social willpower. You have to be committed to saying no to a glass of wine when your friend offers you one, and passing on a pizza night because you know you won’t be able to pass on the actual pizza once you get to the restaurant. It sucks a little bit. But you know what helps? Coming out and telling all your people that you’re doing this thing and that the only thing they need to do to support you is to not put wine and pizza directly front of in your face for a few days.
- Social camaraderie. Do this thing with other people. It becomes a whole lot easier when you can throw Whole30 dinner parties, potlucks, recipe swaps and just hang out together drinking LaCroix while everyone else is drinking Moscow Mules.
- Over-preparedness. You’ve really, really got to over-prepare for everything. You need to meal plan and grocery shop like you’ve never done before. Buy cookbooks. Bookmark blog recipes. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables. It’s a pain at first, but it really does set you up to get through those 30 days without slip-ups.
To help with the over-preparing step, I’ve prepared a list of nine easy recipes that work extra hard during Whole30s.
This recipe is my Chipotle carnitas hack. It’s probably the most popular recipe on this website, and one of the easiest. When it’s finished in the slow cooker, you’ll have a bunch of very delicious pork to put in and on anything.
One of my favorite things to do is to cook for friends, and make things like this that are easy and don’t require any paleo substitutes that are too obvious. I love zoodles as much as the next guy, but these lettuce wraps are naturally occurring paleo food!
Nom nom nom. There’s a reason this keema is one of the most popular recipes on this website. It’s my go-to for ground beef. Peas are out for Whole30 and some people avoid potatoes too, so I usually have my veggies on the side or increase the spices and mix the whole thing with a ton of spinach for Palak Keema.
Sneak all the vegetables you want into these little nutritious Asian meatballs. They taste like the inside of a gyoza, and you’re going to enjoy that.
My girl Nom Nom Paleo’s cookbook is one of the best out there, and this chicken recipe is one that’s in heavy rotation at our house.
I legit make this about 1-2x per week.
Again, make a big batch and then eat it with everything.
Without wine/beer/bourbon/lattes, you need something to keep you going, amirite? Bulletproof coffee combines coconut oil and ghee to create this super creamy latte-like beverage that I love on chilly winter mornings. The rest of the year, I subsist on cold brew from Bizzy (it’s a MN-based brand that ships super smooth and tasty concentrate). Or I make my own with this Toddy system (which I originally thought would be an unnecessary kitchen gadget, but now love).
In addition to these nine Whole30-saving recipes, I also rely heavily on this ol’ trick: grilled boneless-skinless chicken thighs with rotating spice rubs + whatever-vegetables-are-in-the-house.