As promised (threatened?) a recap of our latest Whole30!I highly recommend doing Whole30’s in January. Not only do you feel so disgusting following the gluttony of the holidays that you have extra motivation to get through it, but everyone else feels likewise so you can usually con other people into doing it to. The sneaky secret to a Whole30 succeeding is having enough people on board that you can all have dinner parties where some roasted nuts are dessert and no one bats an eye. Decaf coffee instead of wine? Totally normal. No cheese plate or bread basket? Acceptable.
But even with a team on board, it is an eating plan that is very labor intensive. And frankly, the days of labor intensive dinners are over. So here were the rules for this round of Whole30, the laziest Whole30 designed to feel better, but not to devote all your energy to the philosophical perfection of the plan:
- Meals had to be easy or cheap, and preferably have leftovers. Carefully crafted meals that only made two servings and had complicated ingredients? Nope. Not happening.
- Meals did not need to be creative. I had a rotation of a dozen meals that I planned at the beginning of the month and then just rotated through them.
- Breakfast is no time for creativity.
- Neither is lunch.
- Condiments should be purchased, not made. Yes, I can make my own compliant mayo, dressings, creamer, ketchup, etc. But I could also spend just a tad more and buy them and not spend all my time in the kitchen. Yes please.
- Frozen and canned veggies should be embraced. Many are compliant, cheap, and can be stocked on hand so that meals can be thrown together at the last minute. The ones we kept on hand were canned green beans, canned tomatoes, frozen broccoli, frozen diced onions, frozen diced peppers. Just check labels first!
- If a shortcut is found, take it. Like when I grabbed a bunch of pre-roasted sweet potatoes and chicken from Trader Joe’s. Slightly pricier than doing it myself, but easier. Worth it.
- Keep the kitchen stocked with the frozen and canned veggies, a variety of potatoes (sweet, red, yellow), onions, fruit, peppers, prosciutto, greens, and nuts so that a meal could always materialize if needed.
- I would also roast a whole sheet of sweet potatoes, and then just reheat them as needed. This was helpful too as Henry loves roasted sweet potatoes, but asking a hungry baby to wait an hour… is not a thing.
Here is what we ate for the month:
Breakfast: Every week, I made one large spinach, sweet potato, and egg frittata. Then I ate a portion of it and a piece of fruit every day for breakfast. It was fast, filling, easy, and cheap. And I love repetition, so knowing the same breakfast awaited me every morning was wonderful. I used frozen spinach, one large sweet potato roasted, 8 eggs whipped with 1/2 cup coconut milk. Bake on 350 for an hour. On the weekends, I made a brunch of breakfast hash with bacon, potato, and kale
Lunch: Leftovers! In the sad absence of leftovers, I ate a lunch of “Whole30 Tapas,” (fruit, celery, nuts, almond butter, and mini sweet bell peppers wrapped in prosciutto) or a salad.
- Meatloaf+mashed potatoes + green beans (canned or roasted)
- Almond fried chicken + roasted sweet potatoes + broccoli (frozen)
- Chicken sausage sauteed with cabbage and onions
- Stir fry chicken and broccoli + cauliflower rice (I used coconut aminos for the sauce)
- Beef stew or potroast (as they two are really only divided by the size of the meat chunks)
- Steak + salad
- Shepherd’s pie
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup (and you can use frozen diced onions and peppers, which makes this an impossibly easy and fast meal!)
- Crockpot pulled BBQ chicken or pork +cauliflower mash + green beans
- Roasted potatoes, carrots, sausage + some green veggie (all tossed on one pan)
- Taco salad (pulled spicy pork from crockpot + greens + Trader Joe’s frozen fire roasted peppers + avocado)
- Burgers (Beef or Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Turkey Burgers ) + onions, mushrooms, spinach, avocado + sweet potato fries
And you know what? Even without spending forever in the kitchen, without creating ground breaking recipes, without making my own mayo or complicated dishes – our Whole30 was awesome. We feel great, ate great, and didn’t have to stress about it much.
The laziest Whole30 was a fantastic success.
If you have done more than one round of Whole30, what tricks did you find made them easier as you went on?
Well done! Sounds awesome…
Awesome post! We are on round 3 right now and with two small kids it was so helpful to adapt this mentality this time around. We are keeping our meals super simple and not making anything we wouldn’t normally make (just sans the rice, tortillas, etc). It has made cooking a no brainer and I don’t have to worry about shopping for fancy, expensive ingredients. Most of our meals look like yours with lots of crockpot meals or meals that can be cooked in one pan and then sometimes just adding some extra roasted veggies/potatoes on the side. I also love using frozen veggies! No chopping required 🙂
Super helpful, Hannah! I always feel like people are trying to make the fanciest stuff ever and I’m like “if I’m not eating chocolate, I’m going to need ease!”
This post is exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you!
I’m finally learning to repeat the easier less time consuming recipes more often. Who cares if not EVERYBODY in the family likes them? I’m the one cooking….I choose.
yes, i searched for this post on Dec 19, anticipating a jan *2018* whole30. this is exactly how i want ours to look with three little kids who also need to be fed well and quickly! thank you for laying out all these tips! it’ll be our first round and i’m eating christmas sweets while i plan. it’s time.
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