Hopefully you're gearing up for your Whole30! In an effort to continue to help you get in the best position possible to make this Whole30 work for you, we're continuing our five-part series of pre-Whole30 prep ideas.
Step #3 - Find Meal Ideas
Now's the time to start looking for meal ideas. By this point, you may be even less than a week out, and you're going to need a plan to make this happen. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL!
If you've purchased The Whole30 Cookbook or It Starts With Food, those resources can be great for meal ideas! You'll know those recipes are Whole30 for sure. Some other Whole30-friendly cookbooks we really like are Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam, Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan, and Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. These may not have 100% Whole30 recipes, but they are Paleo cookbooks, so use your judgment (which usually means leaving out any sugar - including maple syrup and honey - and skip any dairy or anything that seems remotely like a baked good or dessert, even if it's only sweetened with fruit).
Another option we use for finding recipes is the all-knowing Google. Just about any recipe can be made Paleo, and, chances are, someone out there in cyberspace has a recipe for it! Looking for a Paleo (or Whole30) lasagna? They're out there! Just google it, choose your favorite link, and make sure the ingredients are compliant. PLEASE, MAKE SURE! Just because someone says it's Paleo or Whole30 doesn't mean that it's true. Make sure it fits with what you know about the Whole30 rules! Caveat: if it's a food-with-no-brakes meal for you, skip it. Some people just crave lasagna, so if making Paleo lasagna will ignite your food dragon, skip it. It's only 30 days, after all.
One of my favorite (and easiest) ways to find meal ideas is to go back to what I know! No, I'm not condoning pasta, but if you like to eat spaghetti, why not grab a spaghetti squash and some compliant marinara sauce? Thrive Market has some good ones - and so does Aldi! (Always check ingredients. Yes, I do know that I sound like a broken record.) Another thing we love to eat is tacos. Take out the dairy and grains, and you have lettuce wraps, or taco bowls (made complete with homemade guacamole)! Really like to eat Chinese takeout? There are some awesome Paleo/Whole30 fried rice recipes out there - just use cauliflower rice! (There's an awesome recipe for this in the Whole30 cookbook, by the way.) Love chicken noodle soup? Make it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) or just with extra veggies! I like cabbage in mine. With a little creativity, you'll be well on your way to Whole30 success.
-Protein with Two Veggies
Honest talk. Sometimes you just don't have time for a recipe. Sometimes you just get home late, the kids have been crazy all day, or you didn't sleep well last night, and you are starving. This is when a little planning comes in so handy. During your meal prep times (we'll talk about this more in the next couple of posts), make a few extra veggies to have on hand. Some of the veggies I like to have on hand at all times during my Whole30 are steamed broccoli, boiled and cubed sweet potatoes, and dried kale. I also roast baby carrots on a regular basis, and love to throw roasted cauliflower and sautéed cabbage in the rotation. (PRO TIP: roasting just about any veggie makes it super tasty, and, when roasted on a baking sheet with parchment paper, clean-up is a snap!) We even have an amazing Whole30 Brussels sprouts recipe we like to make!
It's time to hit the books (or get your typing thumbs going)! Which of these ideas do you like most? What Whole30 recipes have you found that you can't wait to try?
*This page may contain affiliate links, which means if you use those links to make a purchase, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.*
Disclaimer: The recommendations in this post and on this site are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical professional when changing your diet, fitness routine, medications, and/or lifestyle.