During my prep for my first Whole 30, one tip that kept coming across in my research was the importance of meal prep. Never let your next meal be a complete mystery; without something ready in your pantry or fridge, you’re more likely to reach for something non-compliant (compliant was a word I never used pre-W30, and now I can’t seem to get it out of my vocabulary). I already packed my lunch for work everyday, and cooked most dinners at home, but I still knew that Whole 30 prep was going to be a bit more intensive. For me, it’s easiest to plan out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week, and always have fresh veggies, fruit, and compliant snacks on hand. Most days, I’ll eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch for 7 days straight (if it’s tasty the repetitiveness doesn’t bother me, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone), and I’ll plan something for 4-5 dinners, and then have a couple “filler” options for nights when I want to switch it up. I’ll then spend a Sunday morning or afternoon cooking everything up for the week, and packing it up so it’s easy to grab and go.
My current week looks like this:
Breakfast-A yummy spinach, egg, and salt pork frittata. It’s easy to make the weekend before, cut up into six slices, and grab one to eat when I get to work. There are so many great Whole 30 frittata recipes out there, so really explore!
Lunch-Pizza Spaghetti Pie This AMAZING recipe from Juli Bauer could not be any simpler to make, and tastes almost exactly a carb-loaded “classic” spaghetti pie. If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, go try it now! And you probably have the rest of the ingredients in your pantry. Her buffalo chicken casserole is also super tasty.
Dinner-Chicken Tikka Masala
Every week, I have one wild card recipe; something I’ve never tried, and wasn’t recommended by a friend. This week it was Tikka Masala. While the flavor is good, if I made it again, I’d blend everything (minus the chicken) prior to cooking; even with a cup of coconut milk, mine is still runny, and I don’t find stewed tomatoes particularly appetizing. I serve it with a roast potato and brussel sprouts.
Dinner Alternate: As you can tell, I try to focus on inexpensive meats and readily accessible items (minus the Garam Masala that I literally walked a mile in the snow to get). But sometimes my body is just craving red meat! Instead of picking up an expensive steak, I’ll buy ground beef or burger patties to have a couple nights as a nice change from chicken. Serve with some ground mustard, sweet potatoes and a nice salad, and it’s a great alternative.
I also always have apples and whatever fruit is in season/on sale on hand, as well as some dried mango (not regularly), cashews, compliant fruit bars (I stash some at my desk for when I forget my breakfast), and last but certainly not least, prosciutto. Prosciutto is a perfect little snack for quick protein, and it’s fairly easy to find a compliant version (just make sure the ingredients are pork and salt). Beverages are important too! I find always having mint tea on hand as a lovely after-dinner alternative to dessert really helps. Flavored seltzer is also good, just make sure it is free of sweeteners.
Who out there is doing a January Whole 30? What are some of your favorite things to have on hand?