2017 Wrap Up, and January Whole30 Prep, 2018 Version!

Hello friends! I honestly cannot believe it has been a year since I started this blog, and wrote my January 2017 Whole30 blog post. This year has flown by, and really delivered a ton of changes. You know when you see a movie or read a book and it isn’t as exciting as you expected, but you’re cool with it, because you know it was just setting up for the next epic chapter? That’s exactly how I feel about 2017.

This year marked the year I finally said enough is enough, decided to stop relying on my disappointing endocrinologist who never had answers, and went outside my comfort zone to go see a functional medicine doctor. This part of my journey is still not over, but I’m definitely well on my way. I’m not sure if it’s the change in my thyroid medication (Synthroid to Armour), going strictly gluten free, the supplementation I’ve been taking per my functional medicine doctor’s recommendations (although I’m not as good at the daily routine as I’d like to be), the conscious effort I’ve made to reduce the stress in my life, finding a fitness routine that I love, or a combination of all of these and more, but this year marks the first that I’ve finally started to feel better.

I don’t think I realized just how wonderful that was until I typed it out like that. After years of struggling and getting no answers from my doctors about why I still felt terrible, I finally feel better and have the energy and desire to set and meet goals. I’m almost overwhelmed with all of the things I want to accomplish in 2018, and need to remember to not overdo it.

Which leads me to my first goal — my January Whole30! Last time I checked in with you, I was in the midst of an elimination diet per my FM doctor, and I was NOT happy about it. Now, I am so pumped and excited to start this Whole30 and absolutely crush it. It’s amazing what a difference mindset makes. Here are some steps I took to prep so far, and tips I have to help if you’re starting a Whole30 as well! Some of this overlaps my 2017 post, but it bears repeating.

  • CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY: I cannot overstate this enough. I cleaned mine out, and organized it shelf-by-shelf, dedicating a whole shelf to very well organized Whole30 compliant food/snacks/etc. This shelf is at my eye level so it’s the first thing I see, and set up for me! In the pic below, I have grab and go emergency snacks (Chomps and Epic bars, Larabars and RxBars, other compliant fruit/veggie bars and pouches, etc), and have all my cooking supplies and ingredients organized as well. My go-tos: compliant pasta sauce, Primal Kitchens mayo, coconut aminos, coconut and almond milks, tuna, a stash of Nutpods, and fun seltzers and coconut water. Click to see photos.

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  • CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE: Pretty much just like the pantry, I cleaned out my entire fridge, wiped it down (so satisfying), and organized it side-by-side — right side is Whole30 compliant, left side is not. Just like putting my pantry shelf at my eye level, I’m a righty and made my side of the fridge the right side. Now I don’t have to to think twice when I run in to grab something in either area, and know where to go. After completing a few Whole30s, I cannot stress enough about how much convenience and planning plays a role in kicking ass (and not hating your life) on your Whole30.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE: For week 1, I am going to meal prep as I usually do for the week. My strategy is never to pre-package every meal – what works for me if to prep a bunch of ingredients and then put together the meals as I go along, so I can eat what I feel like (you just gotta find what works for you). So to prep for this week, I’m going to make a big batch of soup, prep a few proteins, boil some eggs, and roast a crap load of veggies – and that’s it. Just keep it simple so I have stuff ready to grab. I also went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on my freezer veggies – I like to have emergency back-up.
  • RECRUIT FRIENDS: Doing a Whole30 is so much more fun with friends, and this month I’m pumped some of my friends are doing it too! (Shoutout to my husband, Taylor and Denee!) No IRL friends doing it? No problem. A ton of my favorite food bloggers (who inspire me every day) are doing a January Whole30 too! Some of my favorites who are on board the January Whole30 train or are great Whole30 resources are The Defined Dish, Physical Kitchness, Danika Brysha, The Whole Smiths, Paleo Bailey, Against All Grain, just to name a few. Seriously, there’s so many wonderful social media accounts to follow out there, folks. Also, the Whole30 and Melissa Hartwig’s (Whole30 superboss) Instagrams are so active and fun and the Whole30 Recipes instagram has a new guest host every week, and I’ve found some of my favorite bloggers/recipe developers/kickass people on there. I channel all of this inspiration, both in my life and on the internet, and it gives me great ideas!
  • TRY A NEW RECIPE: Whenever you’re bored out of your mind (the whole “If I eat one more egg or avocado I’m going to lose my mind” feeling is very normal, don’t worry), go find something else fun to cook. I just got the new Whole30 Fast and Easy cookbook and I’m pumped to dive into that. Most of the accounts that I follow above regularly post amazing Whole30 compliant recipes, and I also love PaleOMG and Fed & Fit for tons of compliant and super tasty recipes (and they’re also fun social media follows too!).
  • WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME AND STOP BEING A PERFECTIONIST. That kind of speaks for itself. As queen of the perfectionists/beating myself up robots, it’s something I have to work at every day, but it’s worth working on. Because we’re all awesome.

That’s it for now! I will be checking in as we get started, and sharing a post soon about my non-Whole30 2018 goals. I don’t use the word resolutions, because it doesn’t work for my Obliger self (see Gretchen Rubin’s framework if you don’t know what that is – it’s life changing). There’s just some things I’d like to try out without any hard and fast rules/regulations, so I’ll be sharing those soon too! And keep on my Instagram for daily updates on my Whole30 in January!

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