Whole30 can seem intimidating to those who have never tried it before. Fortunately though, there are ways to make Whole30 easier for you to manage. This 30-day lifestyle change isn’t the next fad diet intended to drop inches. Rather, according to founder Melissa Hartwig, the intention of Whole30 is meant to rid and cleanse the body of certain food groups for thirty days that may be the cause of adverse effects to our health. There are no limitations on how much you can eat or when you can eat. You just need to eat the approved foods. But it’s not always easy to stick to the plan. So, we chatted with Nutritionist Melissa Eboli for her four ways to make Whole30 easier.
Mind Over Matter
It’s crucial to define the reason why you want to try Whole30 and change your habits. And it’s helpful if those reasons have more to due with feeling better and healthier than they have to do with losing weight or fitting into a bikini. Reset your mentality to focus on your overall health and what healthy results you’re hoping for. If you’re focused on your actual wellness instead of aesthetics, you’re more likely to stick with something because it won’t seem so fleeting. The ideology of Whole30 is to try and alleviate health issues. Some symptoms that Whole30 has been known to help heal include chronic pain, seasonal allergies, and skin issues. Whole30 may affect you internally and externally, which should make it easier to stick with. You’ll not only feel better but you may even see improvements in your skin brightness and texture as a result of cutting out processed foods.
It’s very common for us to fall off the wagon with our diet routines when convenience is factored in. Slam packed with meetings for the day? Run downstairs for a sandwich. Slept in? Just grab a bagel on the corner. The issue of time and accessibility play a big part when trying to stick to healthy eating.
According to Eboli, “When it comes to meal prepping, there are a few basic principles to follow. First, pick a day where you have one to two hours to set aside. Then make a few dishes that will last you for a few days. Prepping Sunday night, for example, might be a nice way to start off your upcoming week. Next, start by bringing together your four essential servings.” Eboli recommends selecting “1. A protein such as chicken, eggs, or tofu. 2. A package of mixed greens 3. A vegetable to cook, such as broccoli, peas, or zucchini. 4. A sauce or two, such as a vegan pesto.”
There are also many Whole30 recipes to follow that follow these guiding principles. According to Eboli, “All you really need to cook is the the protein and fresh vegetable. When you have the other ingredients on hand, you can repurpose them into a stir fry or a salad. An additional way to change up your meals [is] zoodling the zucchini to turn your dish into a grain-free pasta.”
Maintaining Your Social Life
Whole30, or any major dietary change, may impact your lifestyle and social interactions. But there are ways to make Whole30 easier when it comes to going out to eat or hanging out with those close to you.
“Many restaurants nowadays have become conscious of letting you know what is a healthier selection on their menu. They may have a V or VG for vegan or vegetarian, a GF (gluten-free) or a DF (dairy-free) on them, as well. These symbols will help you narrow down what you can or cannot eat on the Whole30. Then, you can ask a waitstaff what other items are included in a dish that catches your attention to see if it falls in line with [what] you can or cannot eat. It is safe to go with a broiled fish with greens and a vegetable on the side. Or a salad with protein and lemon and olive oil as your dressing,” says Eboli.
If you’re worried about dining out, be the one in your group to decide on the restaurant. This way you can look ahead to see if they can accommodate the diet limitations of Whole30. Additionally, if you find yourself at a bar and not able to drink alcohol, sip on a fruity sparkling water or herb infused drink. This way you’re able to hang out with with our friends and family without compromising your health goals.
Satisfying Your Cravings
There’s always the fight within ourselves when we’re eating healthy. Our cravings for sweet or salty snacks take over. Eboli says, “The best way to curb your sweet tooth is with any and all fruits that are allowed on the Whole30 program, such as berries, cherries, kiwis, or plums. But, it’s important to remember to keep the serving size to one on Whole30, to keep the sugar intake down.” If you’re craving something salty, try roasting your own nuts, like almonds, cashews, or pistachios. Or, jazz them up by creating your own seasoning. By keeping these ‘snack foods’ accessible in the house, you’ll make Whole30 easier and curb your cravings with healthy foods.
Whole30, like any dietary change, can be challenging, especially for first-timers. If you can commit to a major diet overhaul, though, you can definitely find ways to work these tips to make Whole30 easier into your planning.