I don't know about you, but the thought of dedicating an entire day each week to cooking multiple meals sounds... well, it honestly sounds terrible to me.
But Madison, the Whole30 books say "Prep, Prep, Prep!"
Yes the books encourage meal prepping. And, I agree that you have to be prepared to complete a successful Whole30. So, seven years after my first round of Whole30 here's how I tackle a strict round without giving up every Sunday to meal prep.
Just call me the Casserole Queen.
Every Sunday I make a breakfast casserole that lasts the entire week. As we all know (or are learning), breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day and it's also typically the most skipped meal, or rushed meal. So, let's take the stress out of breakfast and make that the one meal we prep for the week.
This is my go to breakfast casserole (I double it) and I also add some fresh slices of avocado each morning. I am not a recipe creator (yet) but I will promote the heck out of the recipe creators who are making my life easier and more delicious.
Okay, so breakfast is covered, but what about lunch, dinner and maybe even a pre/post workout meal?
Alright, here we go. Stay with me. I cook dinner almost every single night and I don't dread it. It's how I unwind. Cooking and chopping things have become extremely therapeutic for me and it's something I look forward to. So, here's my approach in case it might work for you too. I double, even triple my dinner recipes so that I (and my entire family) have lunch ready to go the next day.
Here are 5 meals that my entire family (including two toddlers) devour and are excited to eat for lunch the next day too.
*Soup can be a tough sell for toddlers, but if you serve this in a bowl that has a straw, your little may just surprise you and give it a try.
Now, I realize that not everyone lives on the same schedule. Maybe you work the night shift like I used to? In that case, I would recommend doubling whatever you are making for lunch and bring that to work for dinner each night.
The best part about doubling so many recipes in one week means you will have leftovers well into the weekend before you start planning your next week of meals.
When it comes to pre/post workout meals. I keep Whole30 compatible lunch meat on hand as well as veggies that I enjoy eating raw. No cooking involved. Fruit and Whole30 compatible nut butters are also great to keep on hand for mini meals and toddler snacks.
Here are some helpful Whole30 approved items that I keep on hand for mini meals, or when there's no time to cook, or no leftovers to enjoy:
Applegate Lunch Meat & Hot Dogs
Ranch (for dipping veggies/or for salads)
Lara Bars (read your labels)
I hope you found this approach to Whole30 helpful. I have been living this way for so long that it's just a normal way of life to me now, but I know it can seem overwhelming when you are first starting out. Feel free to drop your questions in the comments. I'm happy to help you on your Whole30 journey!
And, I'm always sharing Whole30 tips & tricks alongside all kinds of self care information over on Instagram @themadisonvandyne