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Whole30: Tips For Success!

Over the holiday several of my friends mentioned they were going to start the Whole30 program and use it to kick-off their health and wellness initiatives for the new year. I participated in this program four years ago and learned a lot about how certain foods affect my body---needless to say, I'm very excited to hear about their experiences!

Even though the Whole30 defines itself as an elimination diet, I don't consider it a "diet" in the way that a lot of us use that term. It doesn't restrict your daily calories or make you count them, they don't want you to weigh yourself over the 30 day period and you don't have to buy organic or grass-fed products. Its purpose is to educate yourself on the effects that some foods have on your body and to use the 30 days as a "reset". The one caveat is that the program is very strict about not "slipping up", if you do then you must start all over on day one.

Since I've been through this program and found it very insightful, I'd like to offer a few tips for any first timers. My biggest take aways are to be patient, do your research and share your experiences with others. You got this!

Tip 1: Plan What Your Meals & Snacks Are in Advance

One of the hardest things to do on this program is to figure out what to eat without doing the proper research. I strongly advise that you make your grocery list, do your shopping and prep all your meals over the weekend when you have the time to sit down and confirm that all your ingredients are in compliance.

Fair warning, meal prepping for the entire week will take up a lot of your time so make sure you set a side an entire day until you get the process down. Be patient, double check your ingredients and don't forget to plan out your snacks in addition to the meals!

Tip 2: Have a Back Up Plan!

Don't let a surprise client luncheon or a sudden after school student/teacher conference throw you off your game. You need to be prepared for those moments when something unexpected comes up and it keeps you from eating your planned meals. You may need to swing through a drive-thru a time or two so make sure you know what restaurants will have something in compliance for you to eat, with modifications of course.

One of the easiest places to swing by is Chipotle, they're sprinkled all over and have a few good options to grab. Here's a LIST of other chain restaurants and their items that you can grab on the fly.

Locally, my go to restaurants are Zedrics and Paloma Blanca. Zedrics has a ton of fresh, in store pre-made meals that come in two portion sizes that will cover breakfast, lunch and dinner. Paloma Blanca has a menu that is dedicated to gluten-free and palo compliant meals, these will also cover Whole30. My personal favorite are their beef paleo tacos, yum! Other local eateries you can try are Pharm Table and THE GOOD KIND.

Tip 3: Journal Your Feelings and Revelations

When I participated in this journey I blogged about some of the things I learned and felt over the 30 day period. I recommend that you write down your discoveries in a book, on your phone or in a blog to help track your progress. It's a great way to remember which foods make you feel good or bad when you start to re-introduce them into your diet.

Tip 4: Share Your "Why" With Your Family & Friends

When you start doing something new or different, especially with food, it's important that the people around you understand why you're making these changes. The evolution of your diet can affect others because you likely won't be enjoying the same foods as they are and/or your relationship with certain foods will change.

I noticed that I discussed my program at least once with the people I'm most around because it does change how your socially interact with them---it's not necessarily bad, just different. Getting their support early on will make this transition easier for everyone. Encourage them to ask questions and engage in conversations about it, you may inspire someone to make a change!