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We all know that I have been a huge Whole30 advocate for awhile now and most likely, the majority of you reading my blog are, too. Great! However, I recently realized that those things that are now second nature to you and me…well, some people have no clue what we are talking about. Within the fabulous Whole30 community, so many of our catch phrases, products, and daily habits that we do is only understood by those that have completed a Whole30. We throw out the words “nutpods”, “SWYPO”, “tigerblood”, and “homemade mayo” like everyone gets it…they so don’t. But, hey! If you’re reading this and don’t know what those terms mean, I am here for you! I have compiled 5 of my favorite tips for getting started and getting familiar with everything Whole30. These are some of the things I wish I would have known my first round to make it easier and more enjoyable:
- “GOOGLE IT”. Ah, the old phrase comes in handy once again and it is as reliable as ever during your Whole30 Challenge. Seriously, if you are questioning something, ANYTHING regarding Whole30… just google it. 95% of the time, you’ll find your answer. Don’t know if that brand of hot sauce is compliant, try googling “is tabasco buffalo sauce whole30 approved”. Worried about how to dine out during your challenge, try googling “Whole30, dining out”. Hum… there is Guar gum in this salsa…WTF is Guar Gum? Is that compliant? Yes, you guessed it.. google “Is Guar Gum Whole30 Approved?”
- EATING OUT. Okay, so eating out is one of those things everyone freaks out about when starting their first round of Whole30. Relax. Let’s talk about it for a minute. Before you start your challenge, you need to read this article from the Whole30.com website, it has all of the things you need to know and all the best tips for dining out. I also want to give you my own words of wisdom and how I manage to navigate restaurant menus. First off, you can almost always find something compliant at a restaurant. At good quality restaurants it won’t bother you so much because they have fresh produce and good protein.. and you’ll leave satisfied; however, you might get dragged into some funky restaurant with friends, it happens. If that is the case, you might leave feeling like you ate 2 week old lettuce and a dry chicken breast. Those aren’t my favorite moments but it’s not the end of the world. Just try your best to avoid those situations and if you do get stuck in them, make the most of it. Here are my go-to tips for dining out:
- Two words, Bun-less Burger. If there is a burger on the menu, get it bun-less with extra lettuce, tomatoes and onions. I always ask for a side of fresh jalapenos and some lemons to top it off for extra flavor since the condiments are typically not compliant. Oh, and don’t forget the side of avocado!
- Pick a salad. Tell them to take out the non-compliant stuff, which usually involves a cheese or crouton of some sort. Ask for no dressing and instead, ask for a side of olive oil and lots of lemon wedges. Top it off with your choice of protein and ask for them to cook it in olive oil and not butter.
- See if they have a roasted/grilled chicken, a grilled steak, or grilled fish on the menu. Get it with a side of veggies. Politely ask if they can steam or saute the veggies in olive oil, (most are cooked or fried in butter/vegetable oil.)
- Homemade Mayo: If you are reading this and thinking “ew, I don’t like mayonnaise” then shut up and listen! Just kidding. But really, this is IMPORTANT. I still cannot believe that I went my first whole30 without making my own mayo. What a waste! Homemade mayo is not only way better than store bought mayo, it is also a key ingredient that goes into so many compliant recipes that make your Whole30 way more enjoyable and successful. “Like what?” you say. Here’s what:
- Use it in Tuna or Chicken Salads for delicious, easy grab and go lunches. (Try my Curried Tuna Salad or this Pesto Chicken Salad).
- Use it to make salad dressings (You can make Ranch and Caesar by using Mayo as a base).
- Change up the flavor of the mayo to make an Aioli to use as a dipping sauce for roasted sweet potato fries, veggies, and for steamed artichokes! You can also drizzle aioli sauces over lettuce cup beef tacos for an extra umph!
- Make a tarter sauce to elevate your everyday fish!
- COFFEE. One of the biggest complaints for first time Whole30ers (myself included) is “I just can’t do this whole black coffee business”. Yes, its a huge change for us and nobody wants their coffee routine messed with. I will say that this was the hardest thing for me and I still to this day do not put dairy in my coffee because I realized it was upsetting my stomach. That is not the way I want to kick off my day! If I can do it, so can you. Here are a few things to help you with adjusting your morning coffee routine and remember: IT WILL NOT TASTE LIKE YOUR OLD COFFEE. You’re going to have to get passed that.
- Buy better coffee. Cheap, black coffee has the most bitter, nasty taste ever. Since you’re saving money on all that dairy and wine you used to buy, why not put a few extra bucks into some better quality coffee? I love Illy coffee so much that I can drink it black, which is something I never thought I could do.
- Nutpods. I’ve tried a lot of different compliant nut-based creamers and nutpods is definitely my favorite! Buy yourself a hand milk frother, froth up your nutpods and top it off with good coffee.
- Own your Whole30. You can do your Whole30 one of two ways:
- Complain everyday about how you hate your coffee black, gripe about how much you want that bagel your co-worker is eating, or whine about how hard it is to cook all of the time and meal prep. Not only is this holding you back from your best whole30, its also annoying AF to everyone around you. Your coworkers are going to want to slap you in the face the next time you gasp and say “ugh, I would kill for that creamer in my coffee today.”
- OR, you can choose a positive mindset. Your mindset can make or break your Whole30. If you go into it with a self-pitying attitude or believe it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be hard. If you embrace the challenge with an open heart and mind, it will become easier. Before you start your Whole30, try writing down the reasons you are taking on the challenge and keep it around during your challenge to remind yourself what all the hard work is for. And never forget, you got this!
So there you have it. Some of my top tips for Whole30 beginners. I could go on and on for days with little tips and tricks, but these are the ones to get you through round one. You’ll find your own ins and outs as you get comfortable with navigating your new lifestyle. Enjoy it. Own it. You got this!