The Whole30 is a LOT of things, and easy is not necessarily one of them. Changing the way you eat, your habits, and your relationships with food does NOT happen overnight with the wave of a magic wand (but if it did, it would probably be with a 11-inch, holly wand with a phoenix tail core from Ollivander’s. Curious, very curious…). Harry Potter references aside, there are a ton of tip and tricks you can use to make your Whole30 easier (and much more enjoyable!). Like getting down and dirty with some Whole30 Meal Prep!
Because spoiler alert: prepping some ingredients and food at the beginning of the week this will make your life sooooo much easier when that hangry monster comes out and you just want to KILL ALL THE THINGS. Shoutout to days 4-5, you stiiiink.
Not doing a Whole30 right now? No worries, all these recipes are still deeeeelish at any time of the year, and are ones I use as weekly staples whether I’m doing a Whole30 or not. They’re just THAT good and THAT easy. I have some extra, non-Whole30 ideas for you at the bottom of this post too!
My tried-and-true meal prep guidelines, whether I’m doing a Whole30 or not:
- IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FANCY.
- Come up with a rough meal plan for meals you want to make during the week. Need some ideas? Try out my post on 100+ Whole30 Recipes, the Whole30 Cookbook, or the Well Fed Cookbooks. Guaranteed you’ll find something there!
- Grocery shop on Sundays or Mondays.
- Clean and chop up veggies when you get home from shopping so you save on prep time during the week!
- Prep some single-ingredient recipes (like hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, roasted veggies), etc. that you can throw together in an easy meal in a pinch.
- (interlude): turn on some jams and dance in the kitchen. Ooobviously.
- Prep or (keep on hand) some of your favorite sauces and spices, so you can have some variation in flavors all week, even if you’re eating the same base ingredients.
Think of it this way – your life is stressful enough already, with everything you have going on. Even if you’re doing a Whole30, food should NOT become another huge stressor on your plate (pun totally intended), so make it easier on yourself by doing some Whole30 Meal Prep at the start of your week! You’ll thank me later. Ya welcome, friends.
So after I’ve done some meal planning and grocery shopping, on either a Sunday or Monday…
here’s an example of my Whole30 Meal Prep for the week!
- 1 large protein
- 1-2 veggies, roasted / steamed / sautéed
- 1 breakfast option
- 1 batch of a starch for post-workout goodness
- 1-2 sauces or spice blends that you can use on recipes later in the week.
- Optional: chop up some veggies for recipes you’ll need later in the week to save on prep time!
Then, I’ll use these ingredients to throw together easy meals throughout the week – for quick breakfasts, take-to-work (or heat up quick) lunches, or quick dinners if I know I’m in a pinch for time!
As an example:
Protein: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork OR Easy Balsamic Roasted Chicken
Breakfast option: 8 Hard-boiled eggs / Smoked Salmon Frittata
Veggies: Baked Zucchini/Onions/Peppers
Roast sweet potatoes (whole or wedges)
Chop cauliflower for roasting later in week
Sauce it up: Avocado green goddess dressing / OR homemade mayo
Spice blend: Homemade Paleo Ranch Seasoning
Make a GAME PLAN:
Throw the pork in the crock pot and let it go. Preheat the oven for the sweet potatoes and veggies, then boil some water for the eggs while you chop up the veggies, potatoes, and cauliflower. Put the eggs in (set a timer!), pop the veggies/potatoes on a baking sheet and then put them in the oven (set another timer!), then while everything is cooking, make your sauce/dressing and spice blend for the week. BOOM DONE.
I also ALWAYS keep on hand some of my favorite freezer staples,
…like Cauliflower Rice, Fire Roasted Red Peppers, and Chili-Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe’s, or frozen shrimp on hand that I can throw together in a flash in case I don’t have anything prepped and am effing starving. Which does tend to happen when life gets CRAY. Same goes for pantry stuff – I always have canned tuna and salmon for easy protein options, and some homemade mayonnaise or Primal Kitchen Foods mayo and Tessemae’s Dressings so I can make a quick (delicious) salad if need. Oh, and snack options too. Like RXbars, jerky, mixed nuts, and and fruit with nut butter. Because snacks = lifesavers sometimes!
PRO TIP: Take some shortcuts to save yourself time.
Buy pre-chopped veggies, pre-made sauces and spice blends, can even buy hard-boiled eggs at Trader Joe’s, or grab some salad/veggie stuff from a salad bar/hot bar like Whole Foods! Just make sure to double-check your ingredients.
So, following the formula (“they’re more like guidelines, anyway”…s/o to Kiera Knightley for that awesome line in Pirates of the Caribbean, ha!)…
here are a bunch of meal prep ideas for ya to mix and match!
Power Up with Proteins
No recipe needed!
Grilled or Sautéed chicken breasts or thighs
Cook up some ground meat in a skillet with your favorite spice blend! beef, pork, sausage, turkey, chicken…you pick!
Get your Veggies on!
No recipe needed – just cook and add your favorite spices!
Grilled or Roasted in-season veggies! (Favorite combo: zucchini + onions + peppers)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Cauliflower
Roasted Spaghetti squash
Roasted Fall/Winter Squash: Delicata, Butternut, Acorn, etc.
Make-Ahead Breakfasts for when “ain’t nobody got time to make breakfast in the morning”
Post-Workout Goodness aka GIMME DEM CARBS MMKAY
No recipe needed!
Baked (whole) sweet potatoes
Make a mix of roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and squash!
Condiments to add some spice in yo lifeee
Spicy Mango Guacamole
Tahini sauce: mix equal parts tahini, harissa, and a splash of lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper!
Pantry staple: Tessemae’s Buffalo Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Pantry Staple: your favorite Salsa
PRO TIP: Not all your meal prep needs to follow recipes (ex. bake some sweet potatoes, hard-boil some eggs, grill some plan chicken and veggies), and you don’t even need to COOK all the food. For example, if I know I’m going to be making Roasted Brussels Sprouts on Wednesday, I’ll chop them up on Sunday and put them in a resealable bag to save myself some prep time when I come home a hangry monster on Wednesday night. It’ll make your life so much easier!
Ok, real talk for a second – none of us are doing Whole30’s year round, 365 days a year (or at least, we shouldn’t be).
So when I’m not doing a Whole30, here are some of my other general meal prep favorites that get added into the rotation!
Not doing a Whole30? I love to work these into my prep too:
- a huuuge batch of Rice!
- Plantain Waffles (to freeze and heat up as necessary)
- Protein Power Balls
- Freeze some fruit and pre-measure it into plastic freezer bags for grab-and-blend smoothies
What are you favorite Whole30 Meal Prep tips and recipes? Let me know in the comments!