Whole30 is intended to be a 30-day “reset” of bad eating habits. I’ve had such amazing changes in my health, however, that I decided to stick with it for…wait for it…a year. Yep, I’m probably insane. Even if I’d not decided to stick with Whole30, I’d be staying Paleo, because I feel like this diet style gives me the best chance at healing my gut from food intolerances. I’m in it for the long haul, because the type of repair I’m talking about takes years to happen. Since I’m also trying to lose weight, the extra restrictions of no alcohol and no added sugars have been helping give me an edge.
But, being on a restrictive diet for extended periods of time is a total drag. I had a mental showdown over a pack of Pop-Tarts yesterday. So if what you intended to be a short-term thing and turn it into a lifestyle, you’re going to need some hacks.
*Note: If you’re just doing Whole30 for, you know, 30 days, you should just stick with it through the thick and thin, and go back to normalcy afterwards. It’s really worth it, and I did complete the first 30 days sans any hacking.
HACK 1 // KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you’re usually a “bowl of cereal and go” kind of girl, Whole365 will get super old, super fast. ALL THAT COOKING GOSHHHHHHHHHH. And I usually like to cook! But not for every meal.
Have 2 or 3 breakfasts and lunches that are easy to make, and then switch once you get bored. You’ll get used to making them quickly, and your wallet will thank you too.
HACK 2 // FIND A BREAD RECIPE
I use the term bread incredibly loosely, because you honestly can’t make bread without bread ingredients. (Insert crying laughing emoji) But sometimes you just need carbs gosh darn it. I love this AIP flatbread recipe, and it’s my go-to. AIP is a great search term for Pinterest, btw! It stands for Auto-Immune Protocol. It’s a diet used to help heal inflammatory illnesses, and the recipes will usually be compliant!
Yes, I know on Whole30 you aren’t supposed to have things like “bread” or “smoothies. Basically, you aren’t supposed to replicate the foods that are banned. So this one would be one to skip if you’re just doing Whole30 for the 30 day period. But this topic leads me to the next hack…
HACK 3 // IF THE INGREDIENTS ARE WHOLE30, SO IS THE FOOD
Okay, right off the bat, this hack is only for those of you doing this as a lifestyle. It defeats the purpose if you throw out all the rules. (Including the newly added “no chips” rule.) Bear with me here. The whole point of the rules is to get you out of addictive or destructive food habits, and reset your intentions with eating.
BUT. If you’re doing this as a lifestyle, you’re going to have to go places and live your life. Smoothies are sometimes your best or only option when eating out. Sometimes you’re hungry and guess what! There are plain potato chips at the party and it’s the only thing remotely okay to have! Eat. The. Chips.
I have two mornings a week that are busy and rushed. A smoothie is my easiest option to make sure I actually get to eat. It’s packed with protein and fruit, I never hit the hanger phase, win win.
HACK 4 // HAVE A GO-TO TO-GO OPTION
When I’m packing a lunch for myself, it’s always a giant bowl of salad, topped with a can of tuna, an avocado (yep, the whole thing), smoked salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Simple, quick to make, and I also don’t eat it at home so I don’t get bored.
HACK 5 // HAVE NON-NEGOTIABLE TREATS ON HAND
You have to have some fun and enjoyment in life. Again, if you’re doing this for just 30 days, you might not want to adopt this hack. But LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Frankly, I’m astonished I’ve survived this long without daily chocolate. Part of that is owed to the fact I buy dried dates and SunButter every week. They never get booted from my budget or my grocery list. I buy more as soon as I run out. I do ration them to last the whole week though.
Maybe it’s your daily La Croix, maybe it’s your kombucha. (Or both. I won’t judge.) Whatever brings you joy slash keeps you from eating your husband’s Pop-Tarts.
HACK 6 // KNOW WHERE YOU CAN EAT A BURGER AND FRIES
This is one of the easiest things to get when you’re away from home, and it helps to know where you’re safe. Lettuce wrap, tomato, burger. You can add other condiments too, pickles are okay I think? Maybe mustard? I don’t know about that, sorry, guys. I’ve always been a no-condiment girl, and yes, Luke does think I’m nuts.
Okay, you can get a burger AND fries at: In-N-Out, Del Taco, Freddy’s, and Five Guys. Five Guys does use peanut oil, so you can make your own decision there.
You can get a burger by itself at: Burger King, Carls Jr/Hardees, Wendy’s, and Jack-In-The-Box.
HACK 7 // HAVE (VERY) RARE CHEAT DAYS
Last but not least, you will have times you want to cheat. That. Is. Okay. If you’re celiac, you’ll quickly learn that cheating doesn’t mean all-you-can-eat pizza buffets. I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago and still regretting it. So for me, cheating looks like sushi or the gluten and dairy free pizza at Pieology.
Cheating is sometimes just having a little added sugar or eating mostly compliant foods. For instance, a cashew roasted in peanut oil (or the aforementioned Five Guys fries) isn’t compliant, but sometimes it’s your best option for on-the-go protein. Grace, people. And again, I’m talking about rare occasions. But don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s just food. :)
Have a piece of cake at your kid’s birthday party. Let your husband treat you to sushi. Eat a taco, because TACOS. Just not all the time, or even a regular cheat day once a month. Spread it out, be judicious, and pick only the things that bring you the most joy.
Me? I’m “saving up” for the Night Market, which is an Asian street food festival. Sushi Burrito, I’m coming for you.
What are your hacks?
Since I’m doing this for a while, I’d love to hear what you guys do to keep yourself sane!