-Whole30 Busy LifeTips-
It seems like these days we are all so busy with demanding schedules, leaving us rushing from one activity or commitment to the next. Do you ever feel like your drowning and when you do come up for air there is a cheeseburger staring back at you? I totally get this feeling and have been there, done that. I am a mother, wife, teacher, blogger and recipe creator. I literally go 24/7 and have forgotten to wash my hair for weeks at a time and am pretty sure that I have gone to school with my pants on inside out, on many occasions. This type of busy life and schedule can often lead to unhealthy food choices and little or no time for proper self-care.
Through 14 rounds on the Whole30 Program, I have finally figured out how to find balance and enhance the quality of my life by putting my health as a top priority. Yes, life is crazy busy for me, but I have trained myself to find balance through controlling what I put in my mouth. Not only does this give me peace, but it allows me to have full control over one aspect of my life allowing me to better focused on other tasks that need to be completed. Controlling my health and spending time for self-care has allowed me to have a calming balance among all the chaos.
When I first started Whole30, planning and prepping was the hardest obstacle because I couldn’t find the time to grocery shop, AND spend hours on meal prep. I could barely figure out what I was going to eat for dinner, much less what my other non-Whole30 family members were going to eat. I was totally overwhelmed but somehow managed to push through because I stopped worrying about pleasing everyone else. I decided that if I have the title as “the cook,” then everyone will just have to be happy with what I cook, or not eat…..seriously. Now, almost 4 years later, my whole family lives Whole30 and enjoys Food Freedom.
A lot of you are feeling defeated with a busy schedule, I get it, but let’s stop using this as the main excuse as to why we can’t get healthy. This blog post is dedicated to all you tired humans who want to take back your life and live healthy through all the flipping madness. Most families in America are in the same boat you are in, not enough hours in the day to get everything done, especially find time to cook a healthy meal, right? Not really, being busy doesn’t necessarily mean having to forgo healthy eating habits. It simply requires some planning and setting boundaries for yourself and family. Here are my 6 BIG tips to help you find balance and complete your Whole30 in a way that is enjoyable and easy, even with a busy schedule.
1-CLEAN UP YOUR ATTITUDE AND HOUSE:
The most important thing you can do before beginning your Whole30 is cleaning up attitude and tidy up a bit…confused, I’ll get there. Your life is already hectic enough, adding negative thoughts and comments about your shift in eating habits will only leave you feeling more overwhelmed and defeated. Don’t go into the program halfway, fully commit and mentally prepare yourself for an overall lifestyle change, not only for yourself but for the whole family. Have a positive outlook for the battle you are preparing for, it will truly make the process life-changing. This program isn’t 30 days of torture, it is simply 30 days of changing your lifestyle and habits, which can be confusing and hard at the beginning. It’s kind of like riding a bike, its a difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing. This program is like riding a bike, you have to have the motivation to peddle your way to food freedom.
Tidy up your life folks, that’s right, clean your dang house and get organized. I am serious, spend one day and decluttering your house. I am not just talking about cleaning out your fridge and pantry, I am talking deep clean your house. I have found that if I have a clean house I can take over the world. Mindset is everything and if you are living in a clean environment, your food choices will reflect. Think lifestyle here guys, overall health has so many more components other than the foods we consume. Clean your house, fridge, pantry and most of all, clean up that ATTITUDE!
2-MAKE GOOD ENOUGH, GOOD ENOUGH:
My husband HATES Pinterest…. like hates it. He thinks it is the worst thing for woman’s self-esteem because it allows us to have high expectations of life. Whether it’s cooking, DIY projects or throwing a baby shower. I agree with him to an extent, however, I do love me some Pinterest. Here’s the deal, Pinterest is a great resource for your meal plans and prep, but every night should NOT be a Pinterest worthy meal. I used to think that my house, meals, and clothes had to be perfect, like the pictures on Pinterest. FALSE-Once I got rid of that mindset, I changed and became a real, working mom who AIN’T GOT NO TIME FOR THAT.
“Simple” is going to be your friend in the beginning. As I reflect on 14 rounds, I am now able to be more creative with my meal options because I have a strong knowledge base of the program rules and recommendation. In the beginning, it is just too hard to try to plan a beautiful stuffed flank steak for a Monday night family meal. Don’t you dare do this to your self or family…got it?
Get ready y’all… here is my biggest tip when it comes to Whole30 meal planning. Buy a dang complaint rotisserie chicken and recreate that bad boy to serve as multiple meals during the week. I will slice and chop this beautiful bird to make all kinds of magical treats. I will use it to make compliant chicken salads, stuff it in sweet potatoes, add to stir fry or omelettes, the possibilities are ENDLESS. So save yourself some time and search for a store that carries compliant chicken. If you can’t find one, that’s okay, throw a chicken in the crockpot with some seasoning and you are good to go.
Recreate leftovers ALWAY. If you make a big pot of chili on Sunday evening, then recreate that into a new dish on Monday night. You could do compliant hot dogs with chili poured over them, or my favorite, stuff a sweet potato or baked potato with chili and add avocado. There really are a number of ways to recreate this simple meal. Try this with every protein or soup your make and get 2-3 meals out of one easy dish.
Another easy option that will leave your budget happy and get you out of the kitchen fast, is cooking breakfast for dinner. I love making protein omelettes or even a quick sheet pan breakfast for dinner. Not only is it my absolute favorite, but my family really enjoys it too. It allows for less cleanup time and more family time.
3. KID DRAMA
“Too bad you want pizza instead of my beautiful cauliflower mash…You ain’t getting it.” (Drop the microphone)
Boom, that’s right kids, you don’t make the rules. Your 3-year-old child should not have power over what they are going to eat for dinner every single night. In the beginning, Eloise would snarl her nose at my Whole30 meal and throw her body on the ground and act like a total drama queen. She would insist for chocolate milk to wash down her chicken nuggets. She really lost her mind for about a week, but guess what happened after that, she realized that she didn’t have the power of what she was going to eat. I refused to give in and I WON THE BATTLE. She ended up loving her carrot slices, chopped chicken with homemade ranch and of course her beloved blueberries. She got to the point where she would even ask for seconds.
Here is the problem with kids, parents get so busy in life, they want to put a band-aid on the problem so they don’t have to deal with it. Hey, I am guilty of this also, but we are not doing our children a service by giving in to their demanding ways. Once you set boundaries and train your kids to make healthy options, not only have you won the battle but you are setting your kids up with the knowledge they need to make healthy choices of their own.
Offering children choices is a great way to trick them into thinking they are controlling the situation. I will say this to sweet Eloise, “Hey baby, you want green beans or carrots with your chicken tonight?” She seriously gets so excited that I am involving her food choices and sometimes ask if she can have both. Don’t back down, involve your kid in their healthy food choices and overall be the PARENT. Don’t use the phrase, my kid is a picky eater…they will catch on, promise.
4-SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT:
Before starting your Whole30, sit down and with your calendar and review what events you and your family have coming up in the next 30 days. Map it out and plan your shopping trips and meal preps around your busy schedule. If you do this, come Monday when your kid has ballet or football practice, you won’t be overwhelmed. Being prepared is going to make this process so much easier…promise. Here is a great example, on Monday nights we have ballet, so we designate that night as eating out at a compliant restaurant such as Chipotle or Qudoba. It is super easy and it breaks up cooking and meal prepping at home.
Plan your grocery trips every 2 weeks and make sure to make a detailed list. I have created an easy FREE Grocery List Template that will help you outline your meals along with your ingredients all in one simple form. When shopping, buy exactly what you have on your list and don’t get sidetracked with the idea of buying snacks and other items that look delicious. Not only should you stick with your list, but build your meals around the budget you have set. I use the Dave Ramsey Envelope System because it allows me to physically see how much money I have to spend every two weeks on groceries. It supports the idea of being realistic in my meal planning efforts.
5-PREP YO SELF, BEFORE YOU WRECK YO SELF
This is the game changer friends. You can’t wake up on Monday morning and try to prep your families breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will lose yo dang mind. Here is a tip…always make a frittata on Sunday. Slice that beautiful pie into serving sizes and add to a glass container. Pull it from the fridge in the mornings and quickly heat up. You not only have a quick meal, but it will fill you up and leave you satisfied until lunch. Frittatas are so versatile and flavorful, they even serve as a great lunch or dinner.
On Sunday, I also love cooking a few protein options, roasting sweet potatoes along with veggies and storing them in the fridge for easy grab and go lunches. In the past, I would prep the same protein and veggie every single day of the week and come Wednesday I am gagging at the fact I have to eat spaghetti squash and meatballs again. By prepping different proteins, veggies, and carbs allow you to have the freedom to build meals based on what your body is craving that day. In addition to protein, veggies, and carbs, I always have complaint sauces on hand to add flavor to any meals. I love curry, homemade marinara, and compliant bbq and buffalo sauce. Tessemae’s Buffalo and BBQ Sauce are game changers at our house. In addition, we enjoy Yais Thai Almond and Curry Sauce. Before starting my Whole30, I will usually prep some homemade marinara and freeze or keep in the fridge for easy access. If you don’t feel like prepping, buy from Aldis or Walmart, just make sure you are checking your label. Rao’s and the organic brand from Aldi’s are my two go options.
Keeping emergency foods on hands is just as important. If your budget allows, I would always keep the following items on hand just in case you are in a bind and need a quick compliant snack to hold you over until your next meal.
6- MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR
Get your whole family on the Whole30 train. Sit down as a family and decide to make a lifestyle change together. This will empower and encourage your whole mindset and Whole30 journey. Additionally, it will take the pressure off when developing meals around your family life. This family journey can serve as a great bonding and learning experience. Not only can you grow together through reflection but you can also start shifting your whole family towards a growth mindset.
Encouraging and supporting each other through such a life-changing experience can be very powerful and allow you to take back your once busy and hectic life. It will allow you to appreciate the things in life you can control. Before you know it, this will all become second nature and your whole family will now be in sync and excited to live a new healthy lifestyle. I promise this will change everything. It did for my family and I am hopeful it will for yours too.
Now, stop making excuses and go get busy planning. I highly suggest purchasing all of the Whole30 resources, especially Whole30 Day by Day. In addition, I have designed an ebook called The Complete Whole30 Guide that includes a 4-week meal plan, 4-week shopping list, a success guide and over 30 compliant easy recipes.
You and your family are worth fighting for. Get on board, get prepared and begin supporting and encouraging each other for a life-altering experience.Don’t ever let busy life steal your overall health and welless.