Whole30 Meal Planning and Prep


In my previous post, I gave my Whole30 story and the positive effects from reading the book and following the program strictly for 30 days. The next 30 days, I hope to continue as closely as I can with the program. I’ve gotten a few emails asking for Whole30 meal planning tips and some of my favorite recipes. There are a million blogs out there devoted to Whole30 and Paleo and I get everything from these amazing bloggers. Everyone has their own plans and favorite foods but I’ll give you my routine as an example.

My top 5 must-haves in the kitchen:


1. Cuisinart Food Processor – We have a 14-Cup but any size will do. You’ll need this for everything from making homemade mayonnaise to plantain tostadas.

2. Vegetable Spiralizer – This is an amazing little tool for only $20-35. You can make zucchini noodles (zoodles, as the bloggers say) or sweet potato noodles or even apple chips.

3. Avocado Slicer – Who else hates ruining the only ripe avocado you can find? This bad boy gives you a perfectly cut avo every time. It’s only $10 and worth it.

4. Potato French Fry Cutter – So, let’s be honest, this thing is kind of annoying because when I try to use it with sweet potatoes it gets all jammed up. However, I think it’s very useful for regular potatoes and if you can get some smaller sweets, it should work fine too.

5. Egg Poacher – Eggs eggs eggs. You will be eating so many eggs that you’ll need to get creative. This is when the poacher comes in handy. Try something new! It’s only $20.

Weekly Meal Planning

I picked up this awesome Meal Planning Notepad and the best part is, that it has a magnet! So I can stick it to the fridge to keep the “What are we having for…?” questions to a minimum.

On Saturday, I spend about 1-hour looking through recipes online and writing all of the meals that we have planned for the week. I use the first line on the sheet for breakfast and the second line for dinner. Lunches are usually just leftovers, salads or lettuce wraps so I don’t usually write what we’ll have for all of those. Then I look through the recipes, write a list of ingredients needed for each recipe and nothing else and then I hit the grocery store. Since there is no snacking or off-course meals, it is usually a quick grocery trip and a little pricey. (But remember, you’re not going out boozing so you’re actually saving money!)

My weekly meal plan usually looks something like this:

Meal Prep

Now that all of the groceries are put away and my weekly list is made, I enjoy my Saturday. On Sunday, I spend about two hours doing meal prep for the week. That will usually include the following:

  1. Make Homemade Mayo – I love this mayonnaise and will continue to make it instead of store-bought mayo, any day!
  2. Make Sunshine Sauce – This will be used for the Paleo Pad Thai but it’s also nice to have on hand as a meat/seafood dip.
  3. Roast 4-6 sweet potatoes – Pop them in the over at 400F for an hour and then stick in fridge for quick and easy breakfasts.
  4. Boil Chicken – Stick in pot of boiling water for 10 min or so and then dice and put in a container for easy chicken salad or top on a salad for lunch through the week
  5. Pork Roast in a Crockpot – This is awesome to have on hand through the week for a quick dinner with sides or to throw on top of the sweet potato in the morning
  6. Chocolate Chili – Another delicious recipe to make on Sunday and then have as an easy lunch or dinner through the week

After a few hours in the kitchen on the weekend, your weekday meals will take much less time.

If you decide to hop on the Whole30 train, let me know! I’m always up for swapping recipes.

Happy Prepping!
Janine Renee

Whole30 Complete!


Near the end of last year, I knew I had to make a change. With the wedding, honeymoon and holidays, I had my fair share of indulging. I was always interested in trying Whole30 because of how extreme the program is (no grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, sugar, at all, for 30 days) and I sure love a good challenge. I’m lucky because my husband wanted to join me on this journey so we got to do it together, which is always more fun than solo.

Today, I finished Whole30!

I feel awesome! Seriously. You know what’s funny? When I first started, I was annoyed by the things I couldn’t eat because it felt like I was playing by someone else’s rules. I don’t like someone telling me what I can and cannot eat and I really don’t like when people tell me that things I thought were healthy, are actually bad for me. After I got past some of that initial stubbornness, I read the book that goes with the program, It Starts With Food. I think it really helped me to understand why certain foods make me feel bad and others make me feel good. You see, I workout all the time. I have set routines that were designed by a personal trainer, I go to Barre3, I do yoga, I lift, I run and it seems like no matter what, I was missing something. I remember my trainer telling me once

“Fitness starts in the kitchen”.

I thought that meal prep seemed extreme and only something that body builders did. I mean, I figured that I was eating fine: I never overeat, I don’t grab a bagel or muffin in the morning, I hate fast food and my splurges were usually once a week for tacos and margaritas. As I continued the Whole30 program, I learned that I had A LOT to learn. One thing that stuck with me in the book is probably the most popular quote:

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”

Dealing with Boredom

There were a few days where I was just bored. Bored of eating eggs in the morning, bored of cooking, bored of doing dishes and bored of the same thing. Every. Single. Day. John and I tried to fill our time on the weekends with things we’d never done before, which was actually pretty fun. We went ice skating the first Friday night. Yeah, like, skate party, ice skating with all of the non-drinking teeny-boppers on a Friday night. We laughed at the beginning about being older than some of the parents that dropped their kids off to skate but when we got out on the ice, we had a great time circling around and trying not to fall down.

Another weekend, we had a date night at a fancy steakhouse and ordered filet mignon with roasted carrots and steamed broccoli, cooked with olive oil only. I was being a big baby about not having a glass of red to enjoy with it and not being able to order a cup of bisque to start but when I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious my plain healthy meal really was. For some reason, I felt the need to keep up with the same stubborn attitude through the last bite, although I really did enjoy our date night dinner. (sorry John)

One major thing I noticed during Whole30 is how slow time passes. I’m telling you, you think your life is whizzing by, try Whole30 for a month and see how slow those weeks go. Sure there are days of boredom and complete annoyance, but overall, the positive effects far outweigh the negative.

The Final Days and Positive Effects

By the last week, you know how I felt? Excited. Relieved. Energized. But not for the reasons you might think. I’m not excited to eat pancakes or relieved that it’s over. I’m actually excited to continue with this lifestyle. I’m relieved that my stomach doesn’t hurt every night. I now understand what I’m putting in my body and why. I’m energized! I’m focused, my mind is clear. I feel great. No highs and lows, no cravings, no crashes. I’m content, all the time. My workouts are meaningful. I’m sleeping soundly. I used to wake up several times in the middle of the night but now? I sleep straight through for nine or more hours… it’s crazy! My body is happy about my new healthy food choices, and even after all the griping about food prep on the weekends, I actually enjoyed learning so many new recipes and cooking meals with John. I can taste everything! Fruit is crazy sweet, vegetables are so savory. Alcohol is not even on my mind. Ever. If I want to relax, splurge and go all out, I bake sweet potato fries in coconut oil, crack open a Kombucha and lay on the couch watching Netflix. Whoa! Slow down there party animal…


So now you might be thinking “Thanks Janine for bragging about all of your great habits, while I’m over here with three kids, two jobs and no time to read a book about health, let alone spend a couple hours a day cooking and cleaning.” I’m sorry. I’m not trying to make you feel like crap. I know you’re busy. We all are if we want to be. So, it’s up to you.

If you want to make a change and take massive action to change your perspective on healthy eating, give it a shot. You don’t have anything to lose but some lbs, baby! Going forward, I’ve decided that this is going to be my standard. I will make healthy choices when it comes to eating out and you better believe I’ll be adopting these recipes into my weekly dinner cycle. I’ll continue weekly meal planning (future post with more details about this), Sunday meal prep (and this), Paleo-style eating and limited liquid calories. Because I have actually enjoyed life without them. And you know what? Life is what you make it.

Be present and enjoy today!




Tips and Recipes from Bloggers: