The Lazy Girl's Guide to Surviving Whole30
Hello, my name is Liz and I’m a lazy girl. In my laziest moments, I can often be found eating a bag of chips for dinner. One optimistic day, I decided an intervention was necessary, and I bravely pursued a Whole30 journey.
If you’re already familiar with the Whole30’s rules, you know it’s not for the faint of heart. For those that are unfamiliar, it’s a strict elimination diet where you cut out alcohol, added sugars, soy, grains, dairy, and happiness. OK, OK - sorry, that was a little dramatic. I just really love my cheese, alright? (If you want a full breakdown of what’s allowed & what’s off limits, check out this post.)
If you’re shamelessly lazy like me, you’ll need some tips to survive Whole30 with minimal whining and crying. Don’t worry, girl. I’ve got you.
Keep It Simple
Yes, I know. You’ve been browsing Pinterest for hours, and you have your sights set on elaborate Whole30 recipes with spiralized zucchini and a cashew cream sauce. But when it comes down to it? Allow yourself to keep it simple.
There will be times when you can’t be bothered, so make it less complicated and have a go-to of some protein with your favorite roasted vegetables. Look up “Whole30 Sheet Pan Recipes” and eat your heart out.
The Crockpot is Your Friend
Oh, hell yes. Hello, crockpot. This is the crockpot I purchased more than a year ago, and I haven’t regretted the decision even once. Every lazy girl should get to know, and love their crockpot. It’s the ultimate lazy girl tool for any diet. Throw in a bunch of goodness, and have lunch ready for the entire week. Easy.
I modified this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Recipe for my crockpot, and it was goo-ood. Simply brown the meat, add the rest to the crockpot, cook up for 6-8 hours on low, and add the coconut milk when you’re about to serve.
Whichever day you’re feeling most energetic (or less be real - least resentful), schedule your meal prep. I’m not the best at meal prepping, but my plan was to make at least one big batch recipe to have something to take to work for lunch throughout the week. For breakfast, a simple duo of hard-boiled eggs and veggies or a piece of fruit tended to do the trick (see above - Keep It Simple).
When we’re on the topic of meal prepping, don’t forget to prep your basic sauces like a good dipping sauce for veggies, and a solid salad dressing. (Because eating baby carrots at your office desk with no dip is kind of sad. Trust me.)
Know Your Options
You know, for those days when you are feeling impossibly lazy and can’t bear the thought of preparing another meal. It’ll happen. For me, my favorite compliant option was a local chain called Sweetgreen. I’ve heard rumors that Chipotle also has some great Whole30 options.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask local restaurants what’s in their food. They usually don’t mind. Or if they do, at least the employee will have a good story to tell later… “She told me she couldn’t eat dairy, gluten, grains, sugar, and soy, so I handed her a single piece of romaine lettuce and sent her on her way. She seemed happy.”
Eat Your Carby Vegetables
Your mileage may vary, but… I have a more active lifestyle than what’s considered to be average. I log 4 miles walking round trip on my morning commute, and I often spend hours at a time on my feet at work. The kiss of death is when I’m feeling drained - it feeds into my laziness, and makes me feel like a dementor’s just sucked out my soul.
My solution for this is: don’t forget to eat your carbs. Roast up a big batch of squash, eat your potatoes, get a compliant sweet potato mash from Trader Joe’s… then enjoy the burst of energy that broccoli doesn’t always provide.
Emergency Foods (AKA Don’t Abuse Lara Bars)
Real talk: I abused Lara Bars during my Whole30 experience. Oops. My advice to you - and to myself for the future - would be to brainstorm “emergency snack” ideas that aren’t Lara Bars. Maybe some raw almonds and berries? Err, I don’t know. I still have to think about it.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Even if you’re abusing Lara Bars… even if you slip up and have a serving of dressing with an unapproved ingredient in it… if you’re anything like me, you’re still better off than before Whole30. Before Whole30, you could find me on the couch eating a giant bowl of movie butter popcorn topped with a shower of parmesan cheese.
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