Hello & Welcome! I'm Megan, a true Aquarian with a free spirit and creative soul. Wife of a computer nerd, mom of Ms. Lily Bean. Lover of natural products & college football (Go Canes!) 90% Paleo, 10% Alcohol. Come for the content, stay for the sarcasm.
One of the biggest realizations of Whole30 is the amount of commitment you’re making. It’s a commitment you make to yourself to treat your body kindly for 30 days. It’s a commitment to plan your food, and prep your food. It’s also a commitment to your budget. Eating clean is not cheap, like not even a little bit. However with planning, and a little prep you can treat your body right without totally killing your paycheck.
Once I decided to do a Whole30, the first thing I wanted to do was go to Whole Foods – I love Whole Foods, my bank (and my husband) hate Whole Foods! Shopping at Whole Foods during a Whole30 is amazing because there are so many options, and most are already prepped for you. However, that for me is not sustainable – I will have to stop paying my mortgage, and yeah, that’s not an option.
So here comes the biggest commitment: planning. Get your tush on Pinterest. Find Whole30 recipes that look delicious, and then pair up recipes that call for similar ingredients. Pairing up similar ingredients will ensure you don’t have food waste, you wont have to buy as much, and your menu will always be fresh. Look for meals that call for ground meats, eggs, and veggies. I plan meals 2 weeks at a time, this way I can go buy in bulk and I can make sure there is no food waste. Food waste is like throwing away cash – no thanks.
Ground meats are usually cheaper and go a long way, eggs are the cheapest source of protein and can be added to any meal, and veggies are pretty interchangeable and can be purchased frozen or on sale. Also look for meats on the bone, they are cheaper and taste better!
My favorite Whole30 stores to shop are Costco and Trader Joes. The options and prices kept me at about $130/week for a family of three.
One of the things I did end up purchasing right away were “convenience condiments” like mayo and salad dressings. Little did I know how simple it could be to make this stuff myself, and how much cheaper. There are some primal dressings that are more than $8.oo per bottle! Those same brands make $10.00 jars of mayo. With the amounts that you may use for plated fats – you’re going to be spending some serious cash for condiments. Dump Ranch by Whole Sisters is ahhh-mazing, and so easy to make!
Weekly prep – don’t skip this! Meal prep is essential for a compliant and “easy” Whole30. This is where you are putting your plan into action. Whole30 calls for a lot of cooking, so do yourself a favor and get all your ducks in a row. Pick a meal prep day. I get those chicken breasts on the bone seasoned and roasted for easy salads during the week. When I buy fresh veggies that are on sale, I season and roast those too. You can add them to a recipe, and you’re lowering the chance of them going bad in your fridge. Make your condiments! I also chop and dice the essentials like: onions, peppers, garlic, lettuce, carrots, etc. Mid-week I am so thankful that I have everything diced, so when I don’t feel like cooking its not that daunting of a task because everything is prepped. Wash your fruits and put them front and center! This way if you’re hungry you have something ready.
Something I learned at about day 16 was having a “go to meal.” My go to meal was chicken on a sheet pan with brussels sprouts. My husbands go to meal was chicken wings in the air fryer. These we a lifesaver when we really didn’t “feel like it”.
Whole30 is so worth it, and for me was life changing. My relationship with food was a nightmare – after Whole30 I felt in control and the results were amazing! We have transitioned to Paleo and we aren’t going back. If you stick to the plan that you have set up for yourself, you will stay on your budget. You will also realize how much money you were spending eating out – that you can now spend on other things like better fitting clothes.
Remember, this is a commitment for you, because you are worth it. You are strong enough to make this happen. Is it easy? No, it’s a serious adjustment. Is it hard? No, its just food – and once you get your mind around that nothing will stop you!