How to Prep for the Whole 30 and Meal Plan

Meal Planning has always been close to my heart and once I became a mom, it was a huge survival component, mommy brain is a real thing folks! Fast forward to July 2017 and I embarked on my first round of Whole 30, meal planning became even more clutch. Some people think I am a super woman being able to meal plan for a whole month at a time but honestly, it is the only way I can get it done. I am able to sit down one stretch of time and knock it all out. Then the only thing I have to worry about is the weekly grocery list.

The first thing I do is gather my calendar, favorite cookbooks, a notebook, and the computer for my Pinterest boards. And as you can see, it is usually done in a place of complete chaos and with much needed caffeine. And obvi, you need to use a Disney autograph pen, because it is literally the only pen you can find in the freaking house.

Then I write down how many days are in the month, so I have a running count of recipes I have and need. On days that we have plans or dinner nailed down, I put it on the date and place a little asterix so I know those are set. Then I put in dinners I know I want to have that month, most of the time, I will ask B what he would like on the menu. Next comes the recipe scouring through cookbooks, magazines, and Pinterest, until every number has been filled. Then all that is left is to plop the selections into an actual calendar to mix up what we are having so we don't end up having taco salad on Monday and pork tacos the next.

When I do a Whole 30, there is another layer, you will want to loosely plan out your breakfasts, lunches (when you don't have leftovers to devour), and meal prepped items for emergencies like, "If I have to honestly look at another pan, someone is gonna die tonight!" (That will totally happen and you will want to cook a little extra when you have the mojo to make up for those days)

I list a bunch of breakfasts that can come together easily with prepped items or using some leftovers from dinners you can just make a little more of. For example, if we are having taco salad for dinner, I will make 2 pounds of ground beef and throw in an extra sweet potato to roast so I can have a Bowl of Doom the next day. For lunches, I list what is lurking in the freezer from dinner leftovers, and ideas that are fast, easy, and we always have in the house for the times I don't want to use any brain matter, case in point, meat roll ups. There isn't a recipe but we will always have some veggies, compliant deli meat, salad, and hard boiled eggs lurking in the fridge, boom, lunch!

Then because I am a visual person, I pop all that shit into a cute calendar and tape it to my fridge with adorbs washi tape. Then, whenever someone, *cough, Brandon, cough* asks what's for dinner for like the 5th time today, I just point to the calendar and walk away in a blaze of glory.

Then each week, I look at the normal staples we need, add it to the grocery list, and see what is needed for the week ahead. I can usually knock that crap chore out in about 15 minutes which is the attention span of my beautiful children before they swarm me like a bunch of locusts.

Some of the items that are always in stock for the Whole 30 in the house are:
- carrots
- peppers
- cucumbers
- potatoes (multiple varieties)
- onions
- apples
- bananas
- seasonal produce (oranges are delicious right now but strawberries are purchased in 2 lb increments in the summer)
- coconut milk
- eggs
- compliant lunch meat
- almond and cashew butter
- cashew-gurt - I use as a snack and as a creamy component for recipes
- frozen burgers
- salad
- compliant pasta sauce
- avocados
- almond milk (I love the Califia Farms unsweetened Almond Coconut milk)

I hope that helps imaginary friends! I am no super woman, I "excel" at making lists but definitely fall short on many other aspects of my life!


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