Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Prepping for January: Going back to a Modified Whole 30

When we did the Clean 14/Whole 30 diet back in September, I thought it was awesome, hard and never wanted to do it again. But after two months of birthdays, holidays and eating like total crap, here we are about to start one again. Come January, the Zinns are going back to a Whole 30 diet, with some modifications.

Let's talk about the "why". Diets and changes like this aren't easy and often times it's the "why" that keeps you going when you want to just give up. My "why" is that we've slowly slipped back into old eating habits. I still do a few Whole 30 or Paleo meals per week, but the rest is back to how we used to eat. Don't get me wrong, my favorite pasta meals and cakes aren't going away for forever, but they also don't need to be in constant rotation.  We've also done really well with giving up sodas, but I've basically replaced them with sweet tea and iced coffee. My other "why" is that after three months of my weight not moving, I'm hoping for a nice boost.

Now that the whys are out there, let's talk about modifications.  Basically, the Whole 30 plan says this:
  • No dairy
  • No legumes (includes peanuts, peanut oil and soybean oil)
  • No added sugar or anything that mimics sugar (like stevia)
  • No grains
  • No alcohol
  • No MSG, sulfites, or carrageenan
  • Don't try to recreate baked goods
  • Eating organic, local veggies and grass-fed, local meats when possible
For us, this was doable for two weeks. For a whole month and moving into a lifestyle? Good lord no. This made breakfast next to impossible, food prep was incredible and lunches were hard. Eating out was also really hard. So we talked about it and these are the modifications we are going to make:

  • Breakfast: 
    • Almond milk - I'm sticking to my Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk and the Califia Farms Iced Coffee Almond Milk. Yes, it has some non-compliant ingredients like added sugar. But it doesn't have carrageenan or dairy in it. This allows us to have a little more control (and my coffee) in the morning.
    • Baked treats - I'm going to try and avoid them, but I'm also going to allow gluten free and compliant baked goods for breakfasts.  Since I'm the one doing all the meal prep, this makes my life easier. There are only so many days that you can eat eggs.
  • Alcohol:
    • I'm allowing wine for cooking, vanilla extract and other extracts and one glass of wine or beer a week. Cause I can.
Everything else will be the same! I'm hoping that these changes will help us keep this up for a whole 30 days and not wanting to die at 14 days. I'm already mourning cheese a little, though.

We start back next week on January 3. This week I'm using to help prepare for starting the diet.  We're starting to make some of our compliant meals and I'm doing the shopping. Thrive Market is a huge help in preparing for the diet.  Thrive Market is an online market that allows you to buy diet-specific foods at prices lower than the grocery store.  That was my main complaint when we did the diet last time - it was so expensive! I'm hoping that by purchasing some items from Thrive Market we can reduce the initial cost.  Here's what's on my list:

  • Flours - Since you can't use regular flours with Whole 30 or Paleo, I'm stocking up on compliant flours such as almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut flour. Those can get pretty expensive when bought in a regular grocery store, but they are between $3 and $8 on Thrive Market
  • Muir Glen Tomato Sauce - Finding tomato sauce without added sugar in a regular grocery store is really hard and I don't want to make a trip to Whole Foods, so I added these to my list.
  • Avocado Oil Mayo - Last time I made our mayo, which was really easy, but I thought I would try one that is pre-made this time!
  • Ghee - Clarified butter or ghee is allowed on Whole 30. There are only so many times you can cook with coconut oil, so I'm happy to be adding this to my ingredients!
  • Snacks - Snacks were really hard on Whole 30. I'm picking up some sweet potato chips and other chips and snacks that are compliant. 
By purchasing from Thrive Market, we're saving $35! We've been getting our meat from a local meat share and will continue to do that as well.
I've also started gathering all my favorite recipes and checking out my new cookbook my sister- and brother-in-law got me for Christmas, Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker.

Not all Paleo meals are Whole 30 compliant, but most are or are easily adapted.

I'm pretty excited to try this again. I felt great when we did it the first time and I'm hoping that with some prep and modifications, we'll be even more successful this time! What about you, are you doing any diets or cleanses after the holidays?


  1. I've never tried either a paleo or whole 30 diet, but I think a more simple, natural diet is best for our bodies. Your tips have totally inspired me, thanks!

  2. Ive wondered how that whole30 worked. Thai explained it very well. I do not think I could survive it. Although I need to.

    1. It's rough. The first time we did it, we did it with my gym and it was only for 2 weeks. I think I would die for a whole 30 days. I will say, that you feel amazing afterwards and you learn what does and doesn't work for your body (hence the modifications). Trying it for 2 weeks the first time is much easier!

  3. Awesome! I just started a meal plan this morning, which sounds similar to yours.

    1. That's great! Good luck on your new meal plan!