Tips for Busy People, How to Make Your 30 Days Successful
So you are thinking of doing Whole30 and your wondering as a busy person, how do you make your Whole30 days successful. It seems overwhelming and let's face it you're busy and you have so much on the go between work and home.
How do you fit in healthy eating to make 30 days successful? In this article, we will go over some tips and tricks to keep you on track and provide you with Whole30 success tips for the busy person.
- Tips for Busy People, How to Make Your 30 Days Successful
- 1. Find a Buddy for Accountability
- 2. You Have to Eat Anyhow, right?
- 3. Prep and Get Help
- 4. Stay Away from Fancy Recipes
- 5. Add a Grain for Your Family
- 6. Planning is key
- 7. Eat the same things
- 8. Inspiration as a Reminder
- 9. Stick to what you know and sub
- 10. One pot meals
- 11. Slay Breakfast
- 12. Make Large Batches
- 13. Have Approved Pantry Items Available
- 14. Leftovers Make the Best Lunch
- My Story
- Ready for Food Freedom?
- Whole30 Series
1. Find a Buddy for Accountability
Having the support you need is the best tool to be successful while doing Whole30. Search for a friend or a cousin to do a round with. Having someone to talk to not only keeps you accountable, but provides you with someone to talk things through when you are not sure you're on the right path.
There are also tons of support groups out there that you can join to keep you accountable, share ideas and get ideas. Join a Facebook group to get ideas and learn from other's experiences. Get motivation, get ideas, share ideas and post to stay accountable.
This article has got you covered with Whole30 Success Tips for Busy People. All you need now is support and accountability.
And if you are to shy to post to a group of strangers, don't worry. Sit back and read the posts of others while you get familiar with program rules. You can also use the Facebook group's search feature to search for answers. I'm sure that your question
Whole30 Recipes, Meals and Gentle Support Facebook Group
By the way, if you need real-time support, join me here in my Facebook group along side 52K group members that are ready and willing to provide gentle support.
2. You Have to Eat Anyhow, right?
One way of looking at it is to psychologically think about it as it's just cooking! You need to eat anyway, so why not cook and eat Whole30? Just find things that you like to eat that use complaint ingredients.
It will take a little time to get used to swapping out ingredients, but after a while, it will come as second nature.
3. Prep and Get Help
Let's face it, we get super busy. But the best advice for you is to make sure that you are planning and prepping for the week ahead. You will need to spend time each week to prep your food.
Get ahead of the game and hard boil a dozen eggs for the week. Cut veggies or buy them already cut, cook some chicken breast, have nuts on hand for snacks. Make a big pot of vegetable soup and when all else fails, call UberEats, DoorDash and have Chipotle deliver a Whole30 chicken bowl.
You can also count on local retailers and buy compliant items from Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe, Walmart, Whole Foods, or Nature's Emporium. Keep compliant meals on hand or in the freezer for a rainy day when you're not in the mood to cook or prep.
These tips for busy people will keep you on track for Whole30 Success.
4. Stay Away from Fancy Recipes
The best advice to make your Whole30 days successful if you are busy is to keep it simple. Stay away from fancy recipes. When I did Whole30 6 years ago, I had 2 kids, well 3 if you count my husband, and worked full time.
It's hard enough trying to plan dinners if you have a busy career and family life. Why complicate things with fancy recipes. Follow simple recipes from books like Whole30 Fast and Easy book. Or follow your own recipes that are simple and can be adjusted to be Whole30 compatible. Fancy recipes are so time consuming.
Throw things in a crockpot or on a sheet pan. Keep it simple when you cook - just think about what your protein, vegetables, and fat will be.
Buy frozen precut veggies that you can throw onto a sheet pan or crockpot. Double or triple your recipe so you have leftovers for breakfast and lunch. And eat lots of eggs. Have a go to meal when you don't know what to have.
5. Add a Grain for Your Family
You might be doing Whole30 and maybe your family isn't so keen on doing it with you. It's hard planning and prepping meals. It's even harder if you have to do it twice for the same period.
If your family isn't going to do Whole30 with you, maybe the answer is to plan once, and just add a starch you know your family likes. Like pasta or rice.
Adding a grain to your meal plan for your family might be the answer if they don't want to do Whole30 with you. Just remember, no taste testing!
6. Planning is key
Since you’re super busy, it depends what part of the food process takes so much time. Is it the planning, grocery shopping, prepping.
Planning what you are going to make in advance is the key. This way you can put together a grocery list.
You can then pep your meals. You'll have all your ingredients ready instead of being in the middle of a recipe and notice, your missing an ingredient.
Have staples on hand such as:
- spices and herbs
- tapioca starch, olive oil, ghee, coconut aminos
- protein like chicken, beef, pork, salmon, mince meat
- a lot of vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes
- healthy fats
Prep things in advance like: Salads, boiled eggs, cut veggies. Make extra for dinner and freeze it for later and soon you'll have a variety of things to take as a lunch. Soups are easy and last a few meals.
Take time at the end of the week, like a Friday night, to plan meals for the following week, and which meal you are going to have on each day.
Do your groceries on Saturday and take time on Sunday to prep your meals for the week. Write on your container lids which items go together and organize them according to the day of the week. Then when you get off work you can grab the containers that go together and make that meal.
If you need help meal planning and putting recipes together, look at this meal plan and meal plan template or read my article on Whole30 Meal Planning and Prep.
7. Eat the same things
If you don’t mind eating the same thing a lot, cooking big batches of things helps. If you have a busy career this helps for preparing lunches. Or alternating pre-prepped meals on weekdays. For example, you could make a big pot of chili with whole30 ingredients (cook 1 lb ground meat of your choice, put in ½ can tomato sauce, cubed sweet potatoes, chili powder, oregano, ½ tsp cumin, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 10 minutes) and tomorrow you could make Butternut Squash Soup or Whole30 Italian Meatballs.
If you do not mind eating the same thing for a week, try making a breakfast casserole for your morning meals like one of these Whole30 Breakfast Recipes.
8. Inspiration as a Reminder
What is your reason for wanting to do a round of Whole30? Is it motivating enough to push you through the inevitable moments when you want to quit? Maybe a note in the kitchen, in the bathroom at the door reminding you of why you’re doing it in the first place might be helpful?
Remember that the first step to loving others is loving yourselfAnonymous
How about a pair of your favorite jeans left on a chair and thinking how much better you are going to feel wearing them after your 30 days?
These are just a few motivational tricks to get you through. I bet you can think of a few more that will inspire you to be true to yourself and make it all the way through.
Remember that you are not allowed to weigh yourself for 30 days. Plus, this isn't a weight loss diet and many people don't loose weight on the Whole30 program. It's not about loosing weight, it's about your relationship with food, feeling good and resolving food allergies.
9. Stick to what you know and sub
Members of Whole30 Facebook group say that when they get sucked into all the different recipes they failed. Stick to what you would normally eat and just cut out the non compliant stuff. For example, if you make pasta with meat sauce all the time, just make sure to have tomato paste without sugar and include a lot of veggies to eat it with it.
For recipes that call for butter, substitute butter with ghee or take it out completely. Make large batches of food, freeze it and take it out for lunches or dinners.
Make your own taco seasoning. Stick to what you know and try to substitute the non-compatible ingredients with ingredients that are compatible.
On the days when you do have the time to make an elaborate recipe - go for it. But keep it simple most days - you'll thank yourself later.
10. One pot meals
Some members of the Whole30 group swear by Crockpot meals all day every day tbh! Or one pan/pot meals on the stove with limited prep needed.
If you are busy you have zero time to deal with meal prep and one pot meals are sometimes the only way to successfully do whole30 without loosing your mind.
Examples of one pot meals:
- Vegetable Chili
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken with steamed vegetables
- Chicken Cacciatore over spaghetti squash
- Meatballs and Tomato Sauce over spaghetti squash
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Egg Casserole
11. Slay Breakfast
A lot of Whole30iers find breakfast the hardest meal of the day because traditionally people are eating jam and toast, muffins, bagels and drinking orange juice.
With Whole30, breads, baked goods and juices are off limits. So what's left? If you think of breakfast in a traditional way then you'll be thinking: bacon, eggs, hash browns.
And, you will also be tempted to re-create pancakes - but don't!.
Some advice is not to think of breakfast as "breakfast". Just think of it as another meal. You could have a dessert salad. A mixture of spring mix salad with some berries, nuts and 2 eggs.
Another idea is to have an egg frittata filled with spinach, peppers, prosciutto and other goodies.
Meal prep on the weekend and know what you are going to have for breakfast. Find things that you like to eat and eat them for breakfast even if they aren't traditionally a breakfast item.
Once you find your go to breakfasts, the rest of the meals will be a piece of cake.
Here are some ideas for Breakfast.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!...Benjamin Franklin
12. Make Large Batches
Try to make large batches of foods, like sheet pan dinners or large batches of chicken breast. Meatloaf, grilled vegetables, soups to last you the whole week.
Since you are already meal planning and prepping it makes sense to make large batches, that way you have an extended period of time covered and you know exactly what you are going to eat each day.
This will avoid you coming home hungry and immediately reaching for foods that are not compatible for lack of planning.
Consider making double batches of meals and freezing them. The more you take time to meal plan the easier it will be for you to get through your 30 days. Make more than you will eat. Leftovers are your friend!
Before you know it, you will be done!
Just remember that when you are defrosting items to take them from the freezer and defrost them in your refrigerator overnight. Even this requires planning.
Note that the storage guidelines provided on this page and site are estimates from personal experiences. We are all adults and as an adult you are responsible to ensure that the food you eat is safe to eat. Since, I'm not a food safety expert, you are responsible to review your local guidelines on food storage prior to storing any food left-overs.
For Canadian Guidelines check Government of Canada's Food and Safety Guidelines for further information and resources.
13. Have Approved Pantry Items Available
There are going to be those times, when you just didn't eat enough and an hour after dinner you will be starving. Or times, when you are on the road, or on a hike and don't have access to "whole" foods.
Always always have approved deli turkey, ham, chicken, lettuce and other salad fixings in the house. Buy some RXBars, compatible nuts and snacks.
You might say that snacks aren't compatible with Whole30 and your right! But in an emergency, a compatible RXBar or a Laribar is 100% better than buying french fries and a burger.
Just make sure that the emergency snacks you buy are compatible and that there isn't an "emergency" every day.
14. Leftovers Make the Best Lunch
This one is so simple to understand and really needs no explanation! Make enough at dinner so that you can eat last night leftovers for lunch the next day. Then the question of what you are going to have for lunch the next day is never an issue.
I have to confess that I haven't done a round of Whole30 for about 6 years. But here's what I remember. It was hard! But I had a goal. That goal was to get my sugar dragon under control.
I stayed strict to the program. I tried to find support groups, but failed and was actually kicked out of a few for posting "SWYPO" re-productions of food. Blocked without warning! But I didn't give up. I could have, but that would have been too easy.
Upon completion of my round, I felt amazing! I wasn't really doing it to identify food allergies so I didn't fuss a lot on re-introduction. I did loose about 10 pounds. That was great!
I came to discover through the weight loss that I had a health issue that needed immediate attention because while I had slimmed down I still had a lumpy stomach.
My opinion - a hard core Whole30 isn't a sustainable lifestyle for me. So I've adapted some of the lessons that I learned from doing the program, e.g. substituting compatible foods in may favorite recipes.
It has worked for me. I've been able to sustain a healthy weight, through good food choices, exercise, water consumption and being kind to myself.
Today, I don't deprive myself of that pasta, cookie or dough nut. You'll see that through my website - I'm more than just about Whole30. And, I'm happy and feel good!
This is the fourth installment in my Whole30 series. I'd love to hear from you on what you'd like me to talk about next.
Leave me a comment and feel free to make a suggestion or tell me how you are doing and what you have found helpful to get you through a round of Whole30.
Some Food Freedom Tips:
Follow Whole30 principals without digging deep into additives. So on days you don’t have time, order in compatible foods and salads, pair it with a sweet potato.
Then continue with 100% compliant days. Check the ingredients of products before you buy them to make sure that they are not filled with additives and hidden sugars.
Meal Plan and Prep in Bulk for the whole week. Make your family love your meals by giving them a little extra (rice, pasta), while you stay compliant.
Ready for Food Freedom?
Ready for Food Freedom?
Join me here in the Facebook Group - Whole30 Food Freedom, Recipes and Ideas.