Whole30 Meal Ideas and Essentials

The Whole30 Bandwagon (prepare for everyone being SUPER excited and a little cranky. And tired.)

January 6, 2015

Yep, this year I decided to do Whole30. Basically Whole30 in a nutshell is this:

… a nutritional reset designed to help you discover if the foods you are eating are making you more or less healthy, and how they are impacting your life overall. – Loubies and Lulu

30 days. Whole food. No sugar (- fruit).

Lots of cooking, and a lot of reading ingredients.

I’m on day 5, and I’d braced myself for how horrible this was going to be. Really though, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. I spent all afternoon on New Years Day prepping food, and we’ve had healthy variations on meals we love that might even be better than how we used to eat them.

Sam’s also doing this with me so it helps tremendously to keep me motivated.

Whole30 Meal Ideas and Essentials
Baked Eggs in Avocado Nests

I’d say 23 out of 24 hours in the day are good. I rarely miss bread, pasta, sugar, milk –

Then 8:30pm rolls around.

Allie Brosh / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Like a giant tanker full of chocolate, sugar, popcorn, M&M’s, donuts, and birthday cake all wrapped into one pulled up next to my car that runs on cucumbers and kale. Cravings so bad that it’s all I can think about. I must get up like 10 times to open the cupboard/fridge/pantry and search in vain for something, anything, that will fill this void.

Allie Brosh / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Am I hungry? Absolutely not. Am I craving junk food? Yes. Which is odd in a way, because we don’t eat a ton of junk food. But the restriction of it makes me want to eat it all.

Whole30 talks about this, and knowing it’s part of the process helps. Weaning myself from the added sugar that’s in almost everything we eat isn’t easy for this hour. I’m hoping as the days pass, this will have less of an effect on me.

Whole30 Meal Ideas and Essentials
Pulled “Pork Tacos”

We like doing this. Sam’s always been really into food and nutrition, and I like food. It’s my love language. So the past year as I grieve and find that horrible new normal, I’ve had food as a little plate of “You’re great. I like you. It’s all ok. Have some pancakes with butter.” Food makes me feel comfortable and happy. Food is a huge part of our lives – and it’s that way around the world. Most people’s lives in most countries revolve around meals and the preparation of them.

It’s just that in America, we’ve been seeing food love with a distorted view that “only junk can fill the void.”

I love seeing all of you participating in Whole30 too. Love the food posts for ideas, love the encouragement. I know – it tends to get old real fast for those of you who aren’t doing it or are over the resolutions thing. I get that – that was me too the past three years. Whoopee – you’re back at the gym and checking in every 24 hours along with an awkward wrist shot of your FitBit and the water bottle strategically placed. NO ONE CUR.

This year though, the urge to get healthier and make better choices surprised me. I felt – almost like a human again. I was looking forward to something, and I haven’t felt that way about a choice or decision that pertains to me/food/my body in a loooong time.

Whole30 Meal Ideas and Essentials
Pad Thai with Sunshine Sauce

I get a lot of questions on IG about where I find recipes, so here are a few of my faves so far:


The Clothes Make the Girl

NomNomPaleo – 30 Days of Whole3O

Meatified – 30 Days of Whole30 Breakfasts

Parks Place Paleo – Coffee with Cream (a must have if you don’t do black coffee)

And if you want to know the essentials for cooking and making life a little easier, here are some of my absolute must-haves in the kitchen: (these are affiliate links – things I love that if you buy at no extra cost to you, I get a small portion of the sale to put in our savings. Or buy the new Starbucks Flat White.)

If you’re on Whole30 or about to start, find me on Instagram and let me know so I can follow you for ideas and inspiration! Also check out my (slowly building up) Whole30 Pinterest board.


  • Claire

    February 23, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    How did your Whole 30 go???

  • The Big News | DianaWrote

    January 23, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    […] wait. Sorry. Day 22 of Whole30 and sugar is still my #1 kicker on […]

  • Andrea Parks

    January 21, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Diana! Thank you for sharing my coffee recipe! :). I'm so glad you enjoyed it enough to share my blog page!

  • Melissa Joulwan

    January 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Happy Whole30ing! Looks like you're doing great!

  • katbiggie

    January 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I did whole 30 last year and I’m about to re-start it. I was surprised by how good the food really was. You’re right – preparation and Jedi mind tricks from those evil white flours are really the only negatives. Those eggs in avocado nests look AMAZING! So going to try that! I’ve had the flu, so haven’t tasted anything in days – which, incidentally, has really helped me break the sugar craving, so as soon as I can taste again, I’m back on Whole 30! Great resources! xoxo, Alexa

  • Molly

    January 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I start on Monday and I’m nervous but excited. I am so bloated and sick and just generally feel pretty awful every day. Looking forward to feeling better and maybe having my summer clothes fit 😉

  • natalie

    January 7, 2015 at 7:32 am

    thanks for doing a write-up on this! I’ve enjoyed following your IG posts for Whole 30. we’re on our second round, and I’m thankful for any extra inspiration. also, bonus points for using Hyperbole and a Half graphics! 🙂

  • NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner

    January 7, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I did Whole 30 in October and am planning to do it again in Feb. We’re still not 100% through celebrating with Christmas parties which would make it super tough this month.

    I loved the way I felt in October. Seriously, I never felt better in my life.

    As for the 8 pm munchies- I found that a banana with some almond butter and coconut flakes did the trick.

  • Kati

    January 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Yay! So glad you’re doing this! This is my first “official” Whole 30 as well and I’m on Day 6. I’m enjoying the new recipes…and you HAVE to try Melissa Joulwan’s “Comfort Noodles.” I just blogged about them. OMG. Delish. Good luck Diana! 🙂

  • Blake

    January 6, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I really needed ranch dressing today…..duh. I knew I loved ranch, but didn’t realize how much I wanted to put it on until today….DAY ONE for me for Whole 30. I premade a large breakfast casserole and some soup last night, but that didn’t get me very far today!

    1. Melissa Joulwan

      January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Paleo/Whole30 Ranch Dressing here: http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2014/03/10/paleo-ranch-dressing/ Enjoy!

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