Some of you may know that I'm in the middle of my second Whole30 - a food journey that involves cutting out all gluten (I'm gluten-free anyways), dairy, legumes (including peanut butter!), soy, grains, alcohol, and a few other additives. When I first completed the Whole30 (see more of that adventure here!) two years ago in January, we found out that Nathan cannot eat gluten (and thus, I quit as well) and dairy bothers my stomach a whole lot!
I never intended on starting another one, but when December came around I found myself itching to try it again. I wanted to see how far away I had gotten from the way of eating I had learned the first time, and I knew that my cravings for Coke Zero were starting to get out of control. For the most part we are pretty much 'clean eating' people, but an occasional soda had turned into a treat more than once per week, and I wanted to get it under control.
The second time around has been completely different, and it has honestly felt like a breeze. I do have cravings on and off, and when I get Nathan an incredible gluten-free pizza last weekend I was a little sad. But this time I knew what to stock up on and I realized that my eating habits hadn't actually changed that much. So for those of you new to Whole30 or struggling to find what you CAN eat, here are my MUST HAVES that I stocked up on before January rolled around!
Artisana Organic Cashew Butter - this is my obsession. Year round. I pair this with dried apple slices for a snack, and sometimes I'll sneak a spoonful by itself. Other cashew butters are great, but this one absolutely takes the award for the BEST. Try it - you won't regret it!
Califia Farms Unsweetened Creamer - I don't think this was even available last time, but one of my saddest things to give up was milk in my coffee. With this creamer I don't have to! It's dairy free, sugar free, soy free, gluten free...Nathan jokes that it doesn't even exist :) But I love adding it to my coffee and I think I will continue to buy this even after Whole30! I found it at Whole Foods, but it may be available elsewhere.
Almonds - I use almonds for everything. While several almond milks are actually allowed, I prefer to make my own anyways. (Click here - it's not as hard as you think!). I buy almonds either at Trader Joe's or in bulk on Amazon. After making almond milk I roast the almond meal to use for other recipes, and I snack on raw almonds throughout the week. It's definitely a must-have!
Larabars, Epic Bars, and RxBars - it's essential to have a go-to snack around for times when you're hungry and can't just grab something on the go. Most Larabars are allowed (these are my favorites!), Epic Bars are allowed, and RxBars are great (though pricey). You can also go a little cheaper and make your own trail mix with nuts and unsweetened fruit.
A support group - This time around when I expressed an interest in Whole30, I immediately got to join an accountability group on Facebook with others doing the same thing at the same time. It's been immensely helpful to get recipes and tips from them and to know that I'm doing it WITH other people! If you're thinking of conquering a Whole30, get people around you to help you out.
If I ever do another Whole30 (and who knows?!) these are the things I will make sure to have around me before day one. What about you? What do you have to have in order to finish your Whole30?
Note: Some of the above links are affiliate Amazon links.