I’m not going to lie y’all. I’m a little bit nervous to write this blog post because that means it’s actually happening haha…but, tomorrow is April 1, the start of a new month, and I would LOVE for you guys to join me in doing a Whole30 in April! Maybe you have no clue what Whole30 is. Maybe you’ve tried it before and couldn’t complete it. Let’s talk through all of those things today!
Here’s how I came up with this idea to do Whole30 in April.
Michael and I have attempted to do Whole30 2 different times now and didn’t complete it either time. A trip came up or a social event or…something that made us cave. We were out of the house, traveling, etc and sticking with Whole30 was too tough. So the other morning while I was working out, I realized this is kind of the PERFECT time to do whole30. Chances are, none of us have trips planned in April. Most of us are not going to weddings and we don’t have social events to attend. If there was ever a time to have a successful Whole30 – it would be now! We are all at home, cooking more anyway!
I also had the idea to do Whole30 in April because I feel like while we have all been in ‘quarantine’ or social distancing…I’ve noticed via social media I’m not the only one turning to excessive snacking when I’m bored or wine nearly every night of the week (#guilty). I’ve seen a lot of people posting (or received DM’s from you guys) about how they’ve started feeling sluggish during this quarantine period and not treating their bodies well. I’ve definitely felt that as well!
So, I want to do Whole30 this month because I want to fuel my body with good things and feel my best and have energy. I don’t want to turn to wine when I feel stressed or turn to ice cream to feel comforted. Yes, these times are WEIRD and can bring on a lot of anxiety, but excess snacking or alcohol or [insert your vice here] will not take that anxiety away. I want to fuel my body with really GOOD things, learn to not turn to food or wine when I’m stressed, and come out of this ‘social distancing’ time feeling stronger and healthier than ever! [Obviously dessert and alcohol are great and there’s nothing wrong with them! But, I think my mind and body could use a little detox right now].
I also want to do Whole30 this month because being stuck at home has a lot of downsides and it’s not easy. But, one silver lining we can find here is having more time to cook at home with our families! Let’s make the most of this season and find silver linings where we can!
Lastly, I’m wanting to do Whole30 in this month to build community with YOU guys! A little over a week ago I shared a “self care challenge” IG story template and you guys really enjoyed that, and I really liked having the accountability! I loved seeing you guys tag me and share that you spent time with Jesus that day, drank your water, moved your body etc. It really encouraged me to stick with the challenge as well. And I think doing Whole30 together will really help build community here and we can all motivate each other to stick with our goals and take care of our bodies and minds!
Okay, but what is Whole30?
Chances are most of you guys know what Whole30 is considering how insanely popular it’s become over the last several years. BUT! Just in case you have no idea what it is, I’ll briefly chat about what we’ll be doing over the next 30 days! To put it simply: we will be eating real, whole foods over the next 30 days – and sadly, no alcohol! (Trust me this pains me as much as it pains you haha). This is from the Whole30 website:
Yes: Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, and eggs; vegetables and fruit; natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with a simple or recognizable list of ingredients, or no ingredients at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.
No: Avoid for 30 days.
- Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. This includes (but is not limited to) maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, and xylitol. If there is added sugar in the ingredient list, it’s out.
- Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
- Do not eat most forms of legumes. This includes beans (black, red, pinto, navy, garbanzo/chickpeas, white, kidney, lima, fava, cannellini, lentils, adzuki, mung, cranberry, and black-eyes peas); peanuts (including peanut butter or peanut oil); and all forms of soy (soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy protein, soy milk, or soy lecithin).
- Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
- Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.* Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is missing the point of the Whole30, and won’t lead to habit change. These are the same foods that got you into health-and-craving trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.
- Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or breaking out the tape measure during the 30-day elimination period. (You may take photos and/or measurements on Days 0 and 31, however.)
So – this is pretty intense and might sound overwhelming to you. But, everyone I know who has completed a Whole30 has told me it’s changed their lives – after completing Whole30 they had more energy, were sleeping better, their cravings changed, they had less anxiety, felt better about themselves. A few more benefits from the Whole30 website: eliminating cravings, improving energy and sleep, reporting an improvement in allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, digestive issues, skin conditions; and losing weight healthfully and sustainably.
And, even if the “no” list seems really long to you…from my experience in attempting Whole30 is that, it’s actually not that complicated! Especially since we’re all eating at home anyway! Just buy / eat whole, real foods! Stock up on eggs, almonds, bananas, greens, chicken, almond butter, etc (more on grocery lists in a sec!).
What about the grocery store situation?
I know a lot of grocery stores are sparse right now and finding the right ingredients for things can be tricky. But like I said – the beauty of Whole30 is that you can actually keep things pretty simple if you need to! Maybe be intentional about finding simple Whole30 recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients. I’ll do my best to also share some of those recipes with you guys to give you some ideas!
OR. If doing Whole30 to you right now sounds so overwhelming because your grocery store seems totally empty…you 100% don’t have to join us! But I would encourage you to follow along this #whole30withLKS whether you’re actually DOING Whole30 or not, to challenge yourself to make some new healthy recipes and make an effort to choose healthy, whole foods over easy snacky processed foods when you can. Maybe challenge yourself to give up alcohol during the week. Or only have dessert twice a week. Whether you’re doing whole30 or not, I still want to challenge you guys in April to make healthier choices, however that might look for you!
And to be honest – maybe we will start this thing and discover it’s not doable because of the grocery store situation right now. I honestly don’t think that will be a hindrance and think this is totally doable…but if things change down the road, we can always reevaluate what is realistic for us right now!
How am I going to help you?
Like I said, I’d love for us to create community around this and all encourage + hold each other accountable! Let’s use the hashtag #whole30withLKS on any IG post or story you do about your whole30 journey! I will be doing weekly check ins with you guys on stories to help hold you accountable and give you some new recipe ideas as well! I’ll be sharing my grocery list with you guys, as well as what recipes we are making each week! I want to make this as simple for y’all as possible! And with the #whole30withlks hashtag, i’ll also be able to see what recipes you guys are making and loving!
I would recommend (whether you are doing Whole30 or not) buying these two cookbooks! Tons of the recipes I’ll be making will be coming from these two cookbooks. I’ve had them both for a while and LOVE the recipes in here and how simple most of them are!
Set yourself up for success
The first time Michael and I attempted Whole30….we made it 3 days lol and the #1 reason we failed is just because we did NOT prepare! If you are starting Whole30 with me tomorrow…set up a grocery delivery or run to the grocery store and stock up on food items you’ll need this week. Here are a few things I will for sure be stocking up on:
- almond butter
- as much fresh fruits + veggies I can find!
- chicken breast
- whole30 compliant turkey bacon
- sweet potatoes
Find several recipes you can make for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week and i’d encourage you to double the recipe when you can so you have leftovers! As we get into Whole30 I will share more specifics on what recipes I’m making. But for now, buy the two cookbooks I mentioned above, or just get on pinterest and look up whole30 recipes! There are SO many amazing resources out there these days! Here are a few whole30 recipes we make all the time that are easy go-to’s:
- Jalapeno popper chicken chili (we make ours in the instant pot!)
- Bowl of doom breakfast hash
- Chorizo and sweet potato frittata
- Chicken + bacon ranch bowls
You can also checkout the Whole30 website for TONS of amazing helpful resources – you can even set up to get whole30 approved meals delivered to you!
The ultimate goal
Basically, I just want to create a community with you guys during these weird times and challenge ourselves to treat our bodies and our minds well by fueling them with whole, healthy, nutritious foods. I know the premise behind whole30 is essentially to do it perfectly without cheating one time in order to reap the benefits. If you can do that over these next 30 days – that is AMAZING and definitely what I am striving for! But, if you mess up here and there, don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up! What’s important is that we are in this together, doing our best to take care of our bodies so we can feel and be our absolute BESTS!
What questions do you have? Comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions that pop into your mind!