Getting Ready for your September Whole30

Posted by Haley DeWilde on

By Judith Forman
Whole30 Certified Coach

September is almost upon us – and for many, that means a return to routine and to Whole30.

Although life looks pretty different this September, you can still swing a Whole30! This year’s national September Whole30 begins later than usual (accounting for various back to school schedules) giving you more time than ever to prepare for a successful round.

Simple will be the name of the game for September 2020. Give yourself grace and remember that Melissa Urban always reminds us to “let good enough be good enough.”

Five years ago, in the fall of 2015, I did my first round of Whole30. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about the program – and myself. Below, I’m sharing five of my top tips to help YOU prep for your September Whole30.

1. Get a jump start on your meal planning. While it may be too early to actually prep food for your round, you can start planning your meals now. Spend time on the @Whole30Recipes Instagram feed for hundreds of recipe ideas and inspiration. Order a new Whole30 endorsed cookbook as a treat – I really love The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook and Whole30’s Friends & Family cookbook. Set aside an afternoon and browse through recipes from Whole30 bloggers; some of my favorites for their amazing recipe collections are Whole Kitchen Sink, The Defined Dish, The Delicious Antidote, and I Heart Umami. Get organized and map out different proteins, vegetables, and sauces you want to try during your round. As you choose your recipes, make sure they’re not all complicated. Choose one or two harder ones to make each week (only if you want!), and then fill in the rest of the days with more basic food (burgers, grilled chicken, an easy taco casserole, etc.) and batch roasted vegetables. You don’t want to burn out in the kitchen! (And #2 below will help you with that as well!)

2. Pre-order your meals from Cooked. Look at your calendar and figure out when you might need some extra support in the meal prep department. Since the Cooked menus are out in 4-week blocks, you can get your order in now. When things get busy, it’s so convenient to have premade Whole30 Approved meals ready to heat and eat. Need suggestions on which Cooked meals to try? Feel free to reach out to me ( and I’ll be happy to share my favorites.

3. Stock your pantry! When I first started Whole30, my meal prep was primarily based on recipes. I used to spend a few hours each weekend making sure I made enough to get me through the week. These days, I do more ingredient prep: I roast sheet pans of vegetables, make a variety of proteins, and mix and match them during the week with added fats and sauces. The key to my success with this method is a well-stocked pantry. I often find myself making easy one-pan meals with ground meat, whatever veggies I have on hand, and a Whole30 Approved sauce. My favorite sauces are the ones from The New Primal and Saucy Lips. I also have a variety of seasoning blends, like the ones from Paleo Powder, on hand to change up the flavor profiles of my food. And I am always well stocked on Whole30 essentials, including coconut milk, avocado oil, raw nuts, ghee, and almond flour. I order my pantry staples regularly from Thrive Market – it’s so easy and convenient! I have a “Discounts” page on my blog if you’re interested in checking out any of these Whole30 products for your upcoming round.

4. Communicate with your family. Use these few weeks before the start of the September Whole30 to communicate what you will be doing with your family. As many families are home more now than usual, make sure everyone understands that you’ll be spending more time on meal prep and cooking – and why you’re doing it! Lay down some ground rules so they know what’s off limits to them in the kitchen. There’s nothing worse than reaching for the last portion of your Whole30 buffalo chicken casserole for lunch only to find out that someone else ate it! If you live alone, use this time to clearly spell out your “why” to yourself. Write it down, put it on your fridge, and get comfortable with it! Focus what you’ll gain from Whole30, not what you have to give up. The pandemic has caused many of us to slip back into bad habits and if that’s the case for you, commit to following through and giving yourself a chance to reset emotionally and physically through Whole30. It will be so worth it!

5. Get into a routine. These past few months have been unlike any other – for all of us. So, getting into a September/ “back to school” routine may be harder than ever this year. In advance of your September Whole30, start easing back into your routine NOW! For me, that means getting up extra early to I have enough time for my coffee, workout, meal prep, and a head start on my work before my daughter wakes up. It’s dark now when I rise so I have been easing into it over the past few weeks. I don’t want to feel extra stressed or rushed once her remote schooling starts so I am practicing now! If you’ve been away from your movement routine, or haven’t been meal prepping, now is the time to get back to it. Use these few weeks wisely so that once September 14 comes along, you’ll be ready to rock and roll into your September Whole30!

Judith Forman is a Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at

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