I’m lucky. I’m not going into this Whole30 (or in my case Whole45) paleo challenge as a complete newbie. I’ve been dabbling with this diet for a few months now. I successfully completely the Whole30 challenge in October. I know what to expect, but that doesn’t mean this won’t be difficult at times. Remember, as I said in my introduction post, this is a strict paleo challenge. The idea is to completely cleanse your body of the things that make it less healthy. No slip ups, no tiny tastes of sweet treats or nibbles of bread. This is an all or nothing deal. Rather than go into great detail, check out the Whole9 Life website and their Whole30 challenge to see all the rules.
Here’s my first word of advice: get all of the “no” foods out of your kitchen. Get rid of the soy sauce, the jar of peanut butter, the cookies and crackers, the bar of chocolate, the pasta and rice and popcorn. Savor that last bite of cheese, pour out the milk, and dump the ice cream. Hide the corkscrew and lock the liquor cabinet.
Next, restock your pantry with lots of paleo-friendly foods. Make swaps to make your life easier. Replace that peanut butter with almond butter (I like Justin’s) and the soy sauce with coconut aminos. Buy cans of coconut milk or a carton of almond milk to add creaminess to coffee and sauces. Stock up on nuts, dried fruit, and beef jerky for on-the-go snacks. Get olive oil and coconut oil for cooking. Fill your fridge with veggies and fruits and eggs. Go to your local farmers market for quality meats and freeze individual portions for easy defrosting. Be prepared and you’ll be less likely to eat the wrong thing.
Here’s one of the most important things to remember BEFORE stocking your pantry and DURING the entire Whole30 eating process. READ LABELS. You wouldn’t believe what sorts of strange, unexpected additives are lurking in seemingly benign foods. That jar of pasta sauce you see in the photo? Even at Whole Foods I had to check the labels of half a dozen brands of sauce to find one without any added sweeteners. I have yet to find bacon without sugar added, sausage often has maltodextrin, even that “plain” almond milk has evaporated can juice. So pay attention. Don’t make assumptions. Ask questions. Those are smart practices for all aspects of your life!