I’m sure there are some people who can succeed on the Whole30 without meal planning or meal prepping, but not me. Unless I spent $$$ at Whole Foods every day? Despite wanting to clean up my diet I’m still on an extremely tight budget (about $125 per week for everything for my family of three) and just can’t afford not to cook at home and buy all the things. Wouldn’t it be great if organic/additive free/sugar free food was the norm and the conventional extra processed stuff was the exception? Yes, yes it would!
That’s not to say I didn’t buy anything for my Whole30, I need bacon after all! So here’s what I’ve got stocked up:
- My organic csa basket: this baby has netted me a lot of produce to get through. I’ve got two bunches of asparagus, two bags of spinach, two bags of grape tomatoes, 2lbs of yellow onions, two spaghetti squashes, one butternut squash, two heads of cauliflower, 1lb of broccoli, three green peppers, 1lb Brussels sprouts, two sweet potatoes, avocados, and 1lb of snow peas. (Yes, we can and will eat ALL the veggies)
- Costco: I get my non-perishables at Costco as much as possible so that includes coconut flour, almond flour, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and canned tuna (nothing added in there). I also buy canned chicken but this will be out for Whole30 since they add “Food Starch” which can be from anything. Eggs in my house are practically non-perishable since we can easily go through three dozen in a week which means those are a Costco food as well. Since nut butters, nuts, and dried fruit are out for emergency food I needed meat. Thankfully Costco has some great options with 0 junk that I stocked up on included Aidells chicken and apple sausages, smoked pulled pork, and chicken basil meatballs. Once home, I repacked all of these into smaller servings so that I could stash the extras in the freezer for later.
- Sprouts: Sprouts is the store where I fill in the gaps… and shop like I don’t know what I’m doing. This time around I picked up sugar-free Pederson’s bacon, a bag of kraut, some cashews, lemons, green onions, cilantro, and shallots. I usually buy my coconut milk, coconut aminos, tapioca starch, and arrowroot powder here too but I’m all stocked up on these essentials already so I didn’t need more.
Now to the meal prep! I can’t follow a strict meal plan because on Saturday I have no idea what I want to eat each day for the entire week. Instead, I make a checklist of meals I have the ingredients for and am interested in and then as I cook them I check them off the list. Often, I add things to the list that weren’t already there (for example there is nothing Mexican/Latin on my checklist this week and I already can tell I want some taco-meat in my near future so that’ll have to be corrected)
This meal plan really should be called a “dinner plan”. When prepping only for myself I generally make a jar salad to take to work for lunch and egg muffins to take for breakfast. However, I’ve been meal prepping for family and friends the past month and got way fancier. My lunches this week were made on Sunday (when I made 96 meals in total) and include:
- Cuban pork lettuce wraps with mustard dipping sauce and cilantro-lime slaw
- Buffalo chicken cobb salad with avocado ranch
- Chicken shawarma with cauliflower tabouleh and tahini dipping sauceI’m about as prepared as I can be… now let’s just hope I can survive the ups and downs during the first two weeks and stay strong.