Raise your hands if you’re feeling the need to be more mindful about the food you stick in your belly in the New Year.
Yep, you and me both.
But, if you’re like me, you need rules and guidelines, right?
Enter Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s awesome Whole30® program.
You know about the Whole30, right? It’s Whole9’s tried-and-true 30-day dietary reset that eliminates all the foods that could potentially mess you up. Rather than chowing on the bad stuff, you commit to a month of whole, nutrient-dense foods. Depending on what you’ve been eating up ‘til now, the first couple of weeks might get kind of rocky, but hey: It’s just a month, and you’ll feel incredible on Day 30. You’ll gain a better understanding of how different foods affect your body. And knowing is half the battle!
Plus, if you do it right, the food will be satisfying and delicious — and your kitchen skills’ll get sharper, too.
Need more reasons to do a Whole30? Here are THIRTY reasons, courtesy of my culinary soul-sister Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl.
In January, I’ll be posting a Whole30-related post every day, including classic recipes culled from my archives, awesome giveaways, and other goodies to help you not just survive the Whole30, but thrive.
Want to join in the fun? Then buckle up and do some prep. Here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success in January:
1. Go to the source.
There’s no better resource than the folks behind the Whole30.
Start by reading this post over at Whole9 to bone up on how to prepare for your month of clean eating. It’s packed with links to everything from the Whole30 program rules to the Whole30 Daily — a subscription-based newsletter with fantastic material from Whole9 and Melissa Joulwan. And don’t forget to sign up for the Whole30 Forum, where you’ll find free support from others who are on the same journey.
Last but not least, if you haven’t already, get yourself a copy of the Hartwigs’ It Starts With Food. It answers just about any question you could possibly have about the Whole30 program.
2. Get inspired.
If you’re surrounded by candy bowls at work and skeptical loved ones who are slurping up bowls of pasta at home, a bit of inspiration may be just the thing to keep you on the Good Food Path. If you’re new to Paleo — or a rookie in the kitchen — there are tons of great resources on the web that will fuel your commitment to this way of eating. Check ‘em out on my Resources page, and bookmark your favorites for easy navigation. Prefer a book? Here are some of my faves.
As I mentioned, I’ll be here to keep you engaged and on-track with Whole30 recipes and giveaways throughout January — and I’ll also show you what I ate each day on my previous Whole30s in January 2011 and January 2012.
Need more motivation? The fine folks at CrossFit Love will also be posting daily Whole30-related bon mots on their blog, written by Paleo chefs, bloggers, and Whole30 experts. Who knows? One of mine might even be in the mix.
3. Get ready to cook!
First things first: Chuck the crap from your kitchen and go grocery shopping. Need advice on what to buy? Download these free PDFs from Whole9, and read my recommendations about how to stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry. (And if you’ve got some holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket, this might be the perfect time to treat yourself to a new kitchen toy or two.)
Yeah, I know you spy PaleoKrunch bars in the freezer door — they’ll be gone by January 1st. *BURP!*
Once you’ve got your kitchen squared away, it’s time for the best part of the whole endeavor: Start dreaming up some mouthwatering meals!
If you’ve got an iPad or iPad Mini, download my cookbook app, which contains over 100 step-by-step Whole30-approved recipes and a 30-day meal plan. Right now, some of the recipes are only available via in-app purchase, but we’ve submitted a new update for approval — which will unlock all the premium recipes for FREE. Our fingers are crossed that it’ll be available by mid-January, but if you get it now, you’ll save a buck and get all future updates for free.
No iPad? No problemo! My gal Melissa Joulwan’s cookbook, Well Fed, is chock-full of delicious Whole30-approved recipes that you’re guaranteed to love.
This ain’t about 30 days of limp, overcooked broccoli and gray ground beef, people. If you keep your kitchen adventures fun and your taste buds excited, you’ll cruise through the Whole30 and wonder why it seemed so daunting when you began. Make this journey a delicious one, and it’ll become a lifestyle.
Ready to go? I’m all about hand-holding, encouragement, and most importantly, PEER PRESSURE — so find a buddy to take the plunge with you, and let’s do this thing!
P.S. If you have any other tips for your fellow Whole30 participants, please post ‘em in the comments!