By Judith Forman
Whole30 Advanced Level Certified Coach
It’s almost September – and for many people this year, that means a return to school, the office, and Whole30. After a summer of fun and treats, the September Whole30 is a great chance to reset your body, mind, and relationship with food. You won’t be alone – the national Whole30 kicks off on September 1 so you’ll find lot of helpful resources on the Whole30 website, social media channels, and throughout the community! And my Whole30 Facebook group remains an ongoing place for support – If you’re not a member, request to join here. (It’s free and filled with tons of helpful people, guidance, recipes, and more to help you rock your Whole30!)
Six 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. I’ve also coached hundreds of people through Whole30 and cheered them on as they’ve made long-lasting change in their diets and their lives. And now, I’m here to help you! Read on to check out some of my top tips to help YOU prep for a successful September Whole30.
- 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, The Defined Dish Cookbook, 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 All the Healthy Things, Whole Kitchen Sink, Metemgee, The Delicious Antidote, and I Heart Umami. I’ve also featured some delicious original recipes from Whole30 Coaches on the Cooked blog – you can find them here and here. 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 (baked fish, 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!)
- 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. Your future self will thank you! When things get busy, it’s so convenient to have premade Whole30 Approved meals ready to eat. The Oyster Mushroom and Butternut Squash Frittata, the Moroccan Chicken Salad, the Salmon Dill Cake with Aquaponic Greens, and the Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, and Pomegranate Salad are some of my favorite Cooked meals. Which ones do you love?
- 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 – and this holds true even though I am not on a round – I 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 (I love keeping my freezer filled with Butcher Box meat), whatever veggies I have on hand, and a Whole30 Approved sauce. My favorite sauces are the ones from Good Food for Good, 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 nutpods for my coffee – read more on my fave ways to drink Whole30 coffee here! I regularly order pantry staples from Thrive Market – it’s so easy and convenient!
- Communicate with your family or yourself. Use the time before the start of the September Whole30 to communicate what you will be doing with your family. 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. Commit to following through and giving yourself a chance to reset emotionally and physically through Whole30. It will be so worth it!
- Get into a routine. Summer days filled with the beach, ice cream, and later bedtimes can throw even the most disciplined routines a little off kilter. In advance of your September Whole30, start easing back into your “back to school and office/general fall” routine NOW! It may mean you get up a little earlier to exercise, meal prep, or enjoy your coffee before the chaos of the day begins. Or you set aside weekend mornings to grocery shop or meal prep. 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 1 comes along, you’ll be ready to rock and roll into your September Whole30!
Need some more support for your September Whole30? Drop me a line at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to help!
Judith Forman is an Advanced Level Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at www.everydaywhole.com
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