The idea of cutting dairy, sugar, grains, beans, alcohol, and processed goods from your diet can feel a bit… suffocating. Granted, this a big change from how most of us regularly eat, but I’m often surprised to find how freeing the Whole30 process feels. Anyone who has struggled to come up with a weekly meal plan or who has stressed over what the heck to cook for dinner tonight will likely appreciate these feelings of relief. When you drastically limit the number of options, it makes the decision process simpler. It’s like trying to select an outfit from a closet packed to the brim with hundreds of pieces versus picking an outfit from one of those cool, minimalist capsule wardrobes. When you keep a closet stocked with only versatile pieces you love and that actually fit, picking an outfit is a cinch.
I spent the NYE weekend eating my weight in bagels and cheese and talking to friends about Whole30, and I realized one of the biggest Whole30 concerns was WHAT to cook. To return to my wardrobe analogy, it’s as if everyone really wants a capsule wardrobe (I do, I do!), but they’re just not sure what pieces (recipes) make the the cut.
Good news. This January I’ll be sharing some ideas for weekly menus, in an effort to get those Whole30 juices flowing. Rather than a restrictive, all-inclusive 7-day meal plan, these menu ideas are meant to serve as a jumping off point.
In my last post, I laid out some of the differences between regular Whole30 and Vegetarian Whole30, including all the good stuff Vegetarians get to swap in place of meat. No matter what type of Whole30 you do, planning is crucial, and batch cooking over the weekends will make life much easier. Things get a little more complicated when you have a variety of eaters in one house. Say, for example, you’ve got a meat-eater and a vegetarian. Vegetables and fats can be shared by all, but some things that are OK for Veg Whole30 (beans, tofu, tempeh, etc.) are not allowed for regular Whole30.
In my house, we have a meat-eater who likes to regularly eat meat-free and a part-time pescetarian who prefers a veg-based diet with occasional seafood (1-3 meals per week). So, our version of Whole30 is a blended one: Veg Whole30 plus occasional seafood (meat for the carnivore).