Every January, Andrew and I do some kind of nutrition challenge. It’s usually a paleo challenge. We’ve been doing the challenges for a few years now. We like doing January challenges because it starts our year with purposeful and deliberate nutrition choices. It’s always been a nice cleanse after the craziness of the holidays.
Andrew and I had struggled with nutrition for a couple months. November was NaNoWriMo and all the holiday activities in December made nutrition and working out very difficult. Usually we do paleo in January, but for some unknown reason Andrew wanted to take paleo even further with Whole30. If I were to speculate without asking him (it’s not like we live together and talk every day or anything), we just went way overboard during the holidays. I did a lot of baking, which was awesome & delicious, but we didn’t have enough people coming through the house to share with. So, we ate a lot of baked goods during the holidays!
What was appealing was the strict rules for 30 days. We’re not going to eat Whole30 forever and it helps us to focus on what is important in our eating habits: cooking, vegetables, fruits and protein.
How did we prepare?
We knew going into Whole30 that we would need some external help and support. We signed up for two meal plan services: Real Plans and Real Simple Good. Because of the amount of cooking and lack of packaged foods we would be able to eat, I knew that we wouldn’t have the bandwidth to do a weekly meal plan as well.
In addition to getting weekly meal plans handled, we also cleaned out the kitchen. We went through the fridge, pantry and dining room table (where all the Christmas treats were waiting to be eaten) to sort out Whole30 foods from regular foods. Did we throw away everything that didn’t fit in Whole30? NO WAY! There was some really nice chocolate in that stash that I am only willing to part with through my mouth.
We decided to put all the non-Whole30 food in a bin in the garage. I bought a large storage bin from Costco and I bought some padlocks from Ace Hardware. I got the padlocks in sets of two. One padlock set was mine and the other was Andrew’s. We padlocked the lid onto the storage bin with our locks diagonal to each other. That way, if one of us wanted to cheat, you’d also need the other person to fully access the non-Whole30 food. I’m quite proud of my non-Whole30 food storage hack.
Some food wasn’t able to go in the garage. In the fridge, I had a shelf, drawer and door shelf dedicated to non-Whole30 food. These were things like sauces, cheeses, sausages and food for guests who were staying with us. All of our Whole30 food lived on the two largest shelves at eye-level. Every time we open the fridge, we are greeted with all our Whole30 meal prep!
I’ll be writing a couple more posts about our experience with Whole30 including an overall experience post and how we took a vacation while still eating Whole30.
Posts are written by both Andrew and Ed. This post was written by Ed. We hope you enjoyed it.