15 Tips for Surviving the Whole30 Challenge

Happy 2018!!

Hope you guys are starting the year off with a bang, rocking and rolling towards your goals. Like many, I’m sure eating more healthy and exercising are on the top of your 2018 resolutions.

I know January is the popular month for many to complete the Whole 30 Challenge. I completed it in February of last year and learned SO much from it, I highly recommend. I myself will not be participating in the Whole 30 this month because…

A) Conor isn’t in to complete it and Whole 30 is NO fun when your partner isn’t on board and…

B) We’re working to really create a sustainable healthy lifestyle, so going to an extreme wouldn’t be conducive to either one of us.

But! Because so many of you are doing the challenge, I’d love to share some tips I learned from when I completed the challenge to help you complete it successfully!

Shall we?

1. Let’s start with your morning caffeine… If you are a big cream and sugar user for your morning cup of joe, try replacing those added sweets with a dash of cinnamon or Vital Proteins creamer. Don’t worry, they’re Whole 30 Approved.

2. Have a stash of Whole 30 compliant snacks in your car or at your office as an emergency snack. I know they say you’re not supposed to snack, but if you feel starved, that won’t be fun for anyone.

3. Instead of one huge grocery haul and meal prep for the week, split it up. The first two weeks, we bought all our groceries and made all our meals on Sunday and it literally felt like we were preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Make it easier on yourself and grocery shop/meal prep for 3-4 days at a time. This will also ensure you’re getting fresh ingredients.

4. For the sweet tooth, apples with cinnamon are your friend. This snack was the sole reason I made it through the challenge. If apples aren’t your thing, find something else that satiates your sweet tooth like RX Bars or Larabars.

5. Going out to eat can be a bit of a pain. I’d definitely suggest ordering a salad and bringing your own compliant salad dressing. If you’re not interested in ordering a salad, call the restaurant beforehand and ask what they cook their food with. Don’t feel too embarrassed to ask, just say you have a food restriction. It’s all good.

6. Get creative but don’t go overboard. I loved going through the Whole 30 recipe book and trying different recipes but I found that many of the recipes were a bit complicated with a ton of ingredients. For most of the challenge, I utilized Pinterest (and still do) for simple yet delicious recipes to keep it spiced up.

7. The crockpot is your friend. Speaking of keeping it simple, many crockpot recipes are super simple to make and cut down on time in the kitchen. Win.

8. Mentally prepare for the excessively long grocery trip. You’re going to be reading a lot of labels. Go to the grocery store with the mindset you’ll be there a while and that will help you keep your sanity while there. To make it a bit easier, print out the Common Additives Cheat Sheet and bring it with you so you’re not constantly Googling “Can I have ________ on Whole 30?” while in the store.

9. When selecting meals for the week and making your grocery list, try and stick with meals that have overlapping ingredients. For example, if you have one recipe that calls for cilantro and you know you won’t use the full bundle for the one recipe while it’s fresh, find another recipe for a different meal that has cilantro as part of the ingredients. This also makes your wallet happy.

10. Focus on the ingredients and not the nutrition facts. Drop calorie counting and forget staring at the nutrition facts. Also, remember many things with fruit will have natural sugar, so you’ll see that on the label. Just pay attention to the ingredients and as long as all are compliant, you’re good to go.

11. Be sure to get enough Z’s. The only thing worse than craving your favorite foods while on Whole 30 is craving them and feeling exhausted. Make sure you get enough sleep so feeling tired is the last thing you have to deal with.

12. Don’t be afraid to lay off the exercise a bit. Your body is going to be making some major adjustments. Focus on Whole 30 and don’t beat yourself up if you lose energy to hit the gym daily. I gained a ton of energy during the challenge but Conor, on the other hand, felt exhausted.

13. Take progress pictures! I know you’re not supposed to during the challenge, but make sure you take a before and after picture so you SEE the difference. Some people actually gain weight but lose inches off their waist. Having proof of physical change will entice you to continue the healthy lifestyle even once you finish.

14. Do your best to keep a positive attitude. Make sure you know WHY you’re doing this in the first place. It will get hard and trust me, there were many times all I wanted was one damn slice of cheese on my burger, but don’t give up. Stay positive and remind yourself that you’re doing something that your body will thank you for.

15. Use resources page from Whole 30. This is your bible to answer anything you’re confused about.

That’s all I got for you guys! I hope you found these tips helpful and by all means if you have any you’d like to add, drop a comment to help others out below! Good luck to those participating, YOU GOT THIS.