Whole 30 Prep

Adventures, Dinner, Whole 30

Whole 30 Prep

As you know, I’m on Whole30…also affectionally called (by me) Hell30.I’m not gonna lie, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard and that’s because I’m totally addicted to sugar and my body is really mad about it. I’m technically on Day 10 right now and I feel really good. But I wanted to discuss an incredibly important part of doing this program: Whole 30 Prep!

The good news is that there are so many things you can eat when doing Whole30. And you can have coffee, which is an absolute must in life for me. I can’t stress the importance of Whole 30 Prep, though. Before we begin, let’s talk about this!

Whole 30 Prep

The Guidelines Of Whole 30:

1. No dairy, no grains, no legumes (this includes soy sauce).

2. There is also a limited number of fruit servings a day (I believe it’s 2).

3. There are also no treats that are meant to resemble fun things, i.e., pancakes, cookies, French fries, etc., even if they use the approved ingredients from Whole 30.

And that’s sort of it. The point is to ween your body off of sugar and other unnatural, processed foods we’re typically used to eating.

As a way to cope with this, I think prepping some foods to have on hand each week is super important. Before I started it, I cooked up a bunch of food and some I used all the time and others I didn’t like.

Whole 30 Prep

Harissa Meatballs

Whole 30 Prep Items I Love!
  • Spaghetti squash – roast some spaghetti squash, face up (this will help with the moisture), for about 1 hour. Then shred it up and put it in some containers.
  • Harissa meatballs – I eat these ALL the time. I eat them for a snack, or will eat them for an entire meal on top of the spaghetti squash.

Whole 30 Prep

  • Hard boiled eggs – I love grabbing these to eat with my breakfast. And if I’m starving and feel like I’m crashing, I’ll eat this. When I’m having a sugar craving, I try to eat something high in protein instead. It instantly makes me feel better.
  • Sautéed mushrooms – I love to add these into stir-frys or simply on a bed of spaghetti squash with a hard boiled egg and some hot sauce.

Whole 30 Prep

  • Lemony sautéed artichokes – I cooked some canned artichokes in some olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper until they’re crispy and caramelized. And then right before I pull them, I’ll squeeze a quarter of a lemon. Super tasty with eggs.


  • Roasted sweet potato slices – I’ll eat these with some eggs or meatballs or mushrooms. They’re good to pull from because they’re savory and delicious and make me feel a bit full.

Whole 30 Prep

Not All Items Prep Well:
  • Roasted vegetables like broccoli. I found them to be AWFUL after they sat in the fridge for a day or so. I like my broccoli fresh out of the oven. And this actually goes for all vegetables, really, minus the squash and artichokes and mushrooms.


  • Peppers. I prepped some padron peppers, thinking they’d be delicious flavor to add…but NOPE. Awful after having sat in the fridge for a few days.

I would also argue and say to not prep TOO much stuff because you can’t eat THAT much.

Store-Bought Items That Are Great for Whole 30:
  • Broccoli rice from Trader Joe’s
  • Frank’s Red Hot (normal flavor is Whole 30 compliant).
  • Coconut aminos (I had no idea what the heck it was before I started Whole 30, but it’s actually a great soy sauce substitute; it’s made from coconuts and it taste AMAZING. And no, it does not taste like coconut but it is sweet, which isn’t my favorite part.
  • Party chicken wings. I love eating chicken wings so the fact I can eat them for dinner is a total treat and makes me happy.
  •  A hot sauce that doesn’t have sugar (Sriracha has sugar). I accidentally tasted a bit of Sriracha and it tastes SO sweet now that I haven’t had much sugar.
  • Fruit and nuts. I like having a slice of an apple with some almond butter as a snack.
  • Beverages. I love drinking other things besides water so I loved having iced green tea in the fridge, kombucha and La Croix. It made it nice to grab something to drink with some sort of flavor.

ALSO, if you live a life where you work at home all day, you might want to go out for dinner to you know, just get out of the house.

I found going out for dinner a nice break from sitting at home, craving sugar. It does take some work. I found that going to chain-type restaurants was the easiest because they’ll take your psychotic substitutions, where chef-driven restaurants, don’t like substitutions (not mad at them for this, Whole 30 is just not a time to eat at them).

Restaurants That Can Be Whole 30 Compliant:

1. Cheesecake Factory – the cheesecakes will look so attractive but don’t eat it. I ate a salad with ahi tuna on it. Just make sure the salad dressing doesn’t have any sugar. They also have proteins like steaks and chicken that you can have with vegetables.

2. Chipotle – the carnitas with guacamole, salsa and lettuce is Whole 30 compliant. Gonna be honest, the carnitas are way too fatty and salty for my taste. Probably wouldn’t eat it again 🙁 The reason why the chicken and other meats are not compliant is that they are cooked in rice-bran oil—who knew!

Whole 30 Prep

3. Houston’s/Alexander’s – Protein and vegetables is an option here. Fun fact: I worked at an Alexander’s in college. I was the WORST employee.

4. Pollo a la Brasa – Peruvian rotisserie chicken. If there’s a restaurant in your city, go! You can eat the yucca, too. Just be sure to call and ask if they put sugar in the marinade for their chicken; some do, some don’t.

5. KBBQ – go for the meat that isn’t marinaded. A lot of the meats are marinated with a mixture that sugar in it. I got meat that wasn’t marinaded and ate this tofu soup (just didn’t eat the tofu) and had the boiling egg dish and was super happy.

6. Sweet Green – I believe they’re only in larger cities but it’s my absolute favorite. I like the guacamole greens salad (I just leave out the tortilla chips). There are actually a ton of options on the menu, you just might have to have them leave out certain things, which they’re super happy to accommodate.

Sugar Is Hard to Avoid

The thing you do learn on this diet is that people put sugar in EVERYTHING. It’s sort of depressing when you find out all the things you had no idea had sugar in the, does.

The truth is, I do feel a whole lot better. I feel lighter and faster. I don’t feel bloated. I’ve been waiting for my sugar cravings to dissipate until I take on recipe testing baked goods that I can’t really eat. I think I have the will power now but totally didn’t in the beginning!

I hope you loved this Whole 30 Prep!

And want more Whole 30 Recipes, here are some favorites:

A Week of Salads

Crispy Sweet Potato with Green Shakshouka

Olive Oil Fried Eggs with Sautéed Garlic Kale

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Camarones a la Diabla (minus the rice) 

Golden Milk Tea

Peruvian Seco with Cauliflower Puree

Roasted Cauliflower and Turmeric Soup

Harissa Meatballs

Whole 30 Prep

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Sultanali Lakdawalla January 11, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Your effort to keep yourself away from sugar is appreciated specially because I too am fond on sweets as most Indians are

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

      I LOVE SWEETS. Definitely not one of those bakers who doesn’t love the sweet stuff that she makes 🙁

  • Reply Lori January 11, 2017 at 5:02 am

    I’m not doing Whole 30, but I love your artichoke idea and the sweet potato slices too. Good luck finishing out the month. I’m impressed with you and anyone who attempts this diet!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Thanks so much! They’re actually great to just have in the fridge. I might continue some of this prep long after Whole 30. We shall see!

  • Reply Lucy January 11, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I did Whole30 a few years ago. Your affectionate name of Hell30 made me lol mostly because you’re not wrong! It’s no joke! I did feel really good while doing it; although the first week/week.5 was quite rough. I found eating out was the most difficult so I usually just stayed home and cooked. And honestly, the thing I missed most throughout all of it was red wine! I think anyone who makes it through the 30 days is a champ so go you!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Yes, the first week is brutal. And after that it seems like it should be ok. I can definitely see how it can get super boring. 🙂

  • Reply Mollie January 11, 2017 at 7:47 am

    My Brother and sister-in-law just did the Whole 30 and absolutely loved it. They looked amazing after doing it too! Thank you for including Whole 30 choices from restaurants!

    xoxo Mollie

  • Reply Abbie January 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I attempted my first Whole30 three years ago and half assed my way through the 30 days and it was STILL so hard but also made me feel SO good. You’re a rockstar for doing it for real. Can’t wait to read your roundup at the end!

  • Reply Laura January 11, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Actually, the “rule” for fruit is that you can eat as much or as little as you want, so long as you aren’t eating it to satisfy a craving for sweets. The book says “We generally recommend starting with two servings of fruit a day, eaten with meals…but don’t stress if you end up with four or five servings”

    I’m going to start my second whole30 next week. The first time really helped bust my sugar cravings, but then the holidays came, and my birthday, and well, I am back to being a sugar fiend again. So Sunday will be day 1 for me!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Ahh that’s interesting and super good to know!

      It really does help with that sugar dragon thing they talk about. It’s brutal to be addicted to sugar…but man, do sugary things taste good! Good luck! x

  • Reply Jessica January 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I’m doing it right now as well (my fourth round in the last few years. . . granted two in the middle were slightly modified) and find it really does change how you view food. I eat way less junk now than I did pre-whole30 exposure. And as much as I thought I loved/needed beans, after my first round I didn’t miss them. Cheese, on the other hand, is a wholeeee other story (permanent fixture of my heart). Thanks for sharing your experience and I hope you keep posting behind-the-scenes IG stories of your food choices! Inspiration from others is the best. 🙂 Good luck!!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Dang, good for you! I actually have never been a die-hard bean lover. I like them just fine but pasta and cheese is the thing I miss the most. That is a way to my heart haha.

  • Reply Nicole January 11, 2017 at 10:36 am

    this sounds pretty hard to me, but if your motivated, then anything is possible! prepping, to me, is the key to sticking with any lifestyle change, so you’re already done the hardest part. best of luck, i can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

      It’s tough but definitely doable. If someone is a vegetarian (and doesn’t eat fish), I’d say it’s nearly impossible. :/

  • Reply Allison Throckmorton January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Right there with ya, I’m on Day 11! I am waiting for my Instantpot to come in so I can do more prepping too! Good luck —

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Everyone has one of those things. What are you gonna make with the instant pot?!

  • Reply Katie Crokus January 11, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Hats off to you! I did this last April and it was so hard. It got easier every day after the first 10 though, so downhill for you! I need to rework this into my life again. Thanks for the friendly reminder!!

  • Reply K January 11, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Once I started eating several meals a day, whenever my body tells me it’s hungry I dropped those last 5 lbs…..which I did not need to lose. My advice to anyone is load up fruits, veggies legums and grains and avoid animal products . We know how bad eating animals is for us not to mention all the crap they are injected with; gh,steriods, antibiotics and so on. Good luck

  • Reply Sarie January 11, 2017 at 11:23 am

    These diets never work. As soon as you start to eat normal again, you will put on the pounds quickly. Just watch calories and exercise. Simple as that. No need to put yourself through misery. People just don’t have willpower so they turn to fad diets and that is why the diet industry brings in billions of dollars.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 11:30 am

      I don’t work for Whole30 so I really have no reason to defend them but it’s definitely not a fad diet. The intention of it is to reset your body. A lot of people have rashes they simply can’t get rid of, aching joints, lethargy, etc. And this helps figure out what in people’s diets is causing this. The reintroduction phase is meant to tell us what affects our bodies in different ways. And the best part about Whole 30 (for me) is NOT having to count calories.

    • Reply M January 11, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Whole 30 isn’t a “diet”; it’s just 30 days of clean eating. The point is not to lose weight but to clean up your diet and break some bad food habits. The founders actually discourage you from getting on a scale. As she said in the post, there actually is a wide range of food you can have. And of course you gain some weight back when it’s over, but when I did it a few months ago, I was eating far less sugar and dairy months after I finished than before I started, largely because it taught me that most of my cravings were just mental.

  • Reply Alisa January 11, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I’m right there with ya, day 11! I’m doing it with 3 friends and it is so interesting how each of us approaches it. I’m the over planner 🙂

    I honestly cannot believe how sugar has been snuck into everything! It’s crazy!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 11:33 am

      My best friend is doing it with me and it definitely helps having someone to talk to about it! I’m definitely not the over planner. I’m much more relaxed haha. The sugar thing is crazy! And shocking. I seriously had no idea. The only time I thought I was eating sugar was when I was eating dessert…but salad dressings?!?! WHY!!

      • Reply Alisa January 11, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        My “there is sugar in this???” moment was when I was making soup and realized I hadn’t replenished my homemade stock freezer supply. I had a tetra pack of organic chicken stock in my pantry so I went to use and read the ingredients list. It had sugar. IN CHICKEN STOCK. I did learn that the same organic brand name vegetable stock doesn’t not contain sugar. But still. Blew me away.

  • Reply NB January 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Do you have a recipe for the harrisa chicken meatballs?
    Looks yummy!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      yep! the name above is hyperlinked. it’ll take you to the recipe 🙂

  • Reply Allyn January 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I was just thinking about Whole 30 and poking around websites today, and HOLY FUCK, people tell you to each so much fucking meat. I’m a total omnivore, but we only eat meat/fish a couple of times a week. I can’t even imagine how much it would cost to buy everything from some of the grocery lists I stumbled across. Plus, my husband is allergic to nuts, which is definitely another thing that people turn to on the plan.
    We’re about to head to Hawaii to see his family and I know we’ll eat horribly the entire time (and enjoy every salty, carby bite), but when we get back we’ll definitely work on at least cutting back sugar and booze again, if nothing else.
    Can’t wait to see your recap, just to see a seemingly more vegetable heavy version.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      this definitely might not be right for everyone. anyone who doesn’t eat meat, i think it’s nearly impossible. i’m not a huge red meat eater so i’m sticking to mostly fish, chicken and eggs.

  • Reply Mag January 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Going to be the devil’s advocate. I think the extra attention you pay to the ingredients of processed foods is a wonderful leap forward for you food knowledge, congrats. But… why the exclusion of perfectly healthy foods (dairy, grains & legumes)? Sure, like any food you want to make the right choices (i.e. low fat dairy, wholemeal/wholegrains), but these foods are extraordinary sources of key nutrients! I’m also concerned with the extra ‘anxiety’ this Whole30 causes around eating out. You mention asking about the sugar content of a salad dressing, and yes whilst it is shocking to some that salad dressing may contain sugar, however how much salad dressing are you having? and how much could sugar realistically contribute to that? In the context of a healthy and balanced diet, excluding a gram or two of sugar from a salad dressing is trivial. Primarily, I’m concerned with the ‘all or nothing’ mindset this diet encourages. So, you make it through the 30 days, its been a tough slog – hell30 some might say (haha!) – and then what? If some of the previous commenters are anything to go by, you leave with the best of intentions of putting your new skills into your daily diet, but one or two celebrations later and it becomes oh so easy to return to your regular eating patterns. Why? Because you have further ingrained a mentality of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and such black and white thinking does not lend itself to a middle ground, lets call it ‘moderation’. At its worst, this thinking will result in attributing those values to yourself. Have you ever rejected a dessert on the premise of “I’m being good today” or felt guilt upon eating said dessert? When you think about it, it seems a little crazy, right? Anyway, I really hope this post doesn’t come across as attacking, I really enjoy your blog, its just yours is the latest in a long list of food bloggers that has embraced Whole30 and I feel compelled to put forward a counter argument. If you so choose, finish the diet, at the very least for a sense of accomplishment. However, I would strongly urge embracing a diet that allows wholemeal/grains, low fat dairy and legumes, as well as allowing for ‘fun foods’ on social occasions. After all, what is a birthday without a slice of cake? All the best for 2017.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      No reason to play devil’s advocate because I’m not telling anyone to do Whole 30. Instead I’m just sharing a choice I made for myself.

      I never said I would never eat those things ever again. I’m a baker! I love all those foods. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with a slice of cake. I never will. Doing Whole 30, for me, has been about resetting my diet. In the month of November alone I baked a total of 15 pies. And I tried every.last.one.of.them. So I needed to reset my diet, to ween myself off of sugar.

    • Reply Kate January 14, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      If you read about it in the book “It Starts With Food,” they call it a Whole30 because they know it’s not realistic for most people to maintain such a strict approach forever – they just ask you to do it for 30 days and use it as a way to address your eating habits and make changes YOU CHOOSE to make. After my first Whole30, I maintained a mostly paleo diet, but had some ice cream once or twice a week. I also made exceptions for trail mixes that have dried cranberries in them (they have added sugar), and definitely made an exception for some salad dressings. There were some other occasional exceptions too, but I learned that processed soy and corn products make me feel pretty bad so I don’t eat things with those in them. The point is to not get caught up in the minutia for the long-term, but to make the changes that you feel food about and that are right for you.

      Sorry – it just bothers me when people think the Whole30 is something that you’re supposed to do forever and ever.

  • Reply Marissa January 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve been on and off the program for several years now and it really is a lifestyle change. Can’t live without Aidell’s chicken-apple sausage, Tessamae’s dressings and Primal Kitchen Foods products. Oh and Avocado oil has changed my life. Best of luck!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I love avocado oil! It’s so flavorful. I need to try Tessamae’s dressing and the aidell’s chicken apple sausage! 🙂

  • Reply Michelle January 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    You’re my hero! I’ve toyed with it, but haven’t done it. If you can do it, and you LOVE food, I think I could. Looking forward to seeing what you think/eat!

  • Reply Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands January 12, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Never heard of this program before. I totally believe that everyone’s body should take in as less of sugar possible. Limiting the daily intake of natural sugars, like fruit, is a good way of constraining that

  • Reply M January 12, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Love this post! I did a Whole 30 last September and loved the results, so my boyfriend and I are doing another one right now. Currently on Day 4. I think the first three days are mentally the hardest. I find that I really need to have snacks on hand. If I let myself get hungry, I’ll become a maniac. Sweet potatoes, avocados and nuts are major keys. Of course I gained some weight back when we got off the plan, but I did find that it encountered some long-lasting habits, like reading labels, making as much as I can from scratch and packing my own lunch everyday. I think it really is worth it in the end. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you think when it’s all over.

    • Reply M January 12, 2017 at 8:01 am

      That should say encouraged, not encountered.

  • Reply Amanda P. January 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Hi! I think it’s absolutely great that you’re doing Whole30! I’m doing my second round right now and it’s a ton easier- especially knowing which compliant recipes that I made and loved last time. I just tried it for fun, but I felt AMAZING afterward! Wait til you hit the tiger blood stage 😉 I know you’re not supposed to be promoting this (maybe slightly cheating?) but 2 sweet snacks that I really enjoyed were 1. mejool dates and 2. a frozen sliced banana blended for a few seconds with some cocoa powder = kind of choco-banana ice cream. Also, I actually made a shepherd’s pie (with cauliflower mash) and picadillo (over cauliflower rice) recipes from your blog last go-round! I love all of the recipes you post, so I’m excited to see any creative whole30 recipes that you might post! Best of luck! 🙂

  • Reply Carol cassara January 12, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Am on day 50…going for 90. It really is brutal.

  • Reply Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land January 12, 2017 at 10:34 am

    OH shnikey! My sis had the Whole 30 book up at our mountain cabin over the holidays so I read the whole thing. Luckily you love cooking and I know you’ll come up with some deliciousness to get you through! Hell30, hehe. They are such hardcore bastards with the “AND NO YOU CAN’T HAVE BLUEBERRIES IN COCONUT MILK FOR DESSERT, BITCH.”

  • Reply Ileana January 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Yass!! I only bothered to look into what Whole 30 was when I saw an earlier post from you about it. Grateful for this prep post! My husband and I are thinking about trying it after a trip to wine country in a few weeks.

  • Reply Bridget Wall January 16, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Just in case it helps you like it helped me: blame your sugar-loving gut microbes on the cravings and all the feels you get that first week. Their death knell can make one go a bit nuts, and feeling like I could scream at something helped. 🙂


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  • Reply Lisa January 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    So I decided tonight I’m going to start the Whole 30. Will you be writing any Whole 30 recipes??

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Yes, if you look at my latest blog post, you’ll find some links to whole 30 recipes.

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  • Reply musicpleer January 18, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I’ll be coming over straightaway for one. Thanks.