Whole30 Week 1 Recap

Friday, October 06, 2017

This week was our first week of another Whole30. If there's anything I've learned from doing Whole30 in the past, it's that planning is key. We've started on a whim before, and it has worked out okay, but it always goes so much easier when you have a plan in place. As someone who loves to make lists, this isn't a difficult task for me. In fact, I'd much rather make meal plans and grocery lists than make the actual food, lol.

I've broken down our week #1 meal plan below, along with a grocery list of some of the Whole30-compliant brands I like. Before we get into the meal plan, I think it's important to mention that a vital part of Whole30 is being prepared for the bad days. Unless you're a magical Whole30 goddess, not every day will end with a mouthwatering chef-level creation. Some days the motivation and energy just isn't there and leftovers are as fancy as it gets. I like to think that I'll whip up a nice meal every day of the week, but that's just not reality. To solve for this, I'll either heat up leftovers or put together a salad using whatever's in the fridge. Breakfasts are often a repeat throughout the whole week and I'll switch it up (maybe) next week. Meals don't always need to be fancy, just functional.

Week 1 Meal Plan
B: Apple with cinnamon and almond butter, hot tea
L: Slow cooker stuffed cabbage casserole
D: Leftover cabbage casserole over top of pan-fried potatoes

B: Hardboiled eggs, bacon, grapes, avocado, hot tea
L: Tuna salad (tuna, Whole30-compliant mayo, diced dill pickles, jalapenos), homemade trail mix (pecans and raisins), banana and apple
D: Scrambled eggs and bacon with cucumber salad (cucumber, tomato, avocado, green onions, lemon juice)

B: Sliced apple and banana drizzled with warm almond butter, hot tea
L: Tuna salad, leftover cucumber salad, apple
D: Leftover cabbage casserole with sliced avocado, tomato, and broccoli

B: Hardboiled eggs, bacon, apple, hot tea
L: Last of the leftover cabbage casserole
D: Stuffed potatoes (baked potato topped with scrambled eggs, green onions, diced tomatoes, bacon), zucchini squash

B: Hardboiled eggs, bacon, grapes, iced coffee
L: Leftover potatoes, zucchini squash, tuna, raw broccoli
D: Stir-fry (chicken sausage, red-skinned potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower florets, scrambled egg)

B: Hardboiled eggs, bacon, grapes, spinach, hot tea
L: Tuna salad, avocado, tomato, pecans, raw broccoli
D: Leftover stir fry

B: Omelettes over baby spinach with sliced apples
L: Chicken lime fiesta soup
D: Leftover soup

Week 1 Grocery List
I did most of my shopping for the week at Kroger and Sprout's Farmer's Market. What I couldn't find there, I ordered on Amazon Prime. Week 1 usually requires more shopping than any other week since you're picking up pantry staples that you can use throughout the whole month. If you're just getting started, there are several online stores, like Thrive Market, that sell Whole30 starter kits. I've never tried one, but I've heard good things about them.

Vital Farms Pasture Raised EggsPederson Farms No Sugar bacon, ground meat (we had several pounds of deer meat on hand, so I didn't add this to my own list), Aidell's Chicken & Apple Sausage, pre-chopped cauliflower florets, canned crushed tomatoes, dill pickles, plantain chips, green tea, Tessamae's mayonnaiseJustin's almond butter, grapes, bananas, apples, avocados, onions, green onions, red skin potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, baby spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, Safe Catch tuna

What Worked
- Making grocery shopping fun. We don't have a good whole foods store near us, so I drove to the next town to go shopping. As someone who works from home and hardly ever goes out shopping, it was a fun excursion to go to a different town and try out a new store. If driving to the next town doesn't sound fun to you, though, use something like Instacart and have your groceries delivered. Just switch it up in some way that makes it more fun! You'll be grocery shopping a lot the next few weeks, so you might as well find ways to enjoy it.

- Planning crockpot meals for the weekend. Let's face it, Whole30 requires a lot of time in the kitchen. I'm trying to embrace that this go-around instead of being so focused on convenience, but the weekends are one time when I would rather be doing something else. Enter the crockpot. I'll usually turn it on first thing Sunday morning so we can have a ready-made meal for lunch after church. Also, doubling the recipe helped a lot since we could eat the leftovers later.

What Didn't Work
- Planning a different meal every night. I'll admit that I went a little overboard with my original meal plan. (The one above has been altered to more accurately reflect what our week looked like.) Not only would we have not been able to eat all the food I had planned, but it would've required a lot more cooking. In reality, several nights this week turned into "help-yourself-to-leftovers" night. And that's fine. Sometimes repetitive meals are the only way to get through the week. If I'm getting sick of leftovers, I'll try to find a new way to eat them, like on top of a baked potato or over a salad.

I hope this is helpful to anyone out there doing a Whole30 or thinking of doing one. This round isn't any easier, per se, but knowing the why behind it is definitely making it click. I highly recommend reading some of Melissa Hartwig's books like It Starts With Food and The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide. Both have been enormously helpful to me during this round.

More Whole30 resources: 

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  1. Are you feeling much better after doing Whole 30?


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