As we’re prepping for another Whole30, we wanted identify the Top Ten Whole30 Essentials that helped us succeed last time with the task of clean eating for a month. If you haven’t heard of it, read all about the Whole30 Challenge here. Because we’re in Canada, some of the items listed in other Whole30 roundups are hard (or impossible!) to get, so the items here are all available in the True North. The affiliate links below will lead you to the Amazon.ca site, so be aware of that if you’re reading this roundup from other places in the world! I’ve listed some of the items and products that made our Whole30 easier, and more exciting that we expected. It truly is a privilege to eat this way.
Of course the book is the most useful item, but that almost goes without saying. We loved our results, so that was plenty motivation enough, but we learned some tricks along the journey that helped in a major way.
Julienne Peeler – Our fall-back no-fuss meal was piping hot Bolognese sauce over raw zucchini or carrot noodles–there’s a good Bolognese recipe here. We made big batches and stored it in Mason Jars, and when meal time comes and we were out of steam, we simply heated the the sauce and spend half a minute with our julienne peeler, and had a gorgeous meal that was hearty and satisfying. Tip: A julienne peeler is also perfect for cucumbers, jicama, and all those broccoli stalks you’ve been throwing out.
Larabars – I didn’t want to lean to heavily on these, but let’s face it, there are times when these Cocoa Larabars can make the world a better place. Try and eat them with your balanced meal, but also throw them into your bag for emergencies. These saved me on several occasions–once when I was miles away from a healthy meal, and once when I left my breakfast on the counter. Tip: Don’t count on these for that out-of-the-ballpark PMS day. You’ll need every Whole30-approved morsel in the city ready at your fingertips for that day. You’ve been warned!
Mason Jars – They’re the ultimate in vertical storage, and I also love that they’re transparent so you can clearly see the leftovers lurking in your fridge. Mason Jars are perfect for portable soups and stews at lunchtime, too, and a million other storage uses around the house. Tip: A mason jar is also a really pretty and motivating way to tote spa water–keep reading.
Fancy Water – Refreshing, filling, and good for you–we drank sparkling water with sliced fruit from wine glasses and that felt luxurious. If you’re not a fan of bubbles, make spa water by adding apple slices and a cinnamon stick to a jug of water. Other great combos are cucumber and mint, lemon slices with blueberries, and orange slices with raspberries.
Travel Thermos – I rave about this amazing travel thermos all the time, but this was so useful to me during the Whole30 days when I was lower on energy. A quad long espresso in this thing can last 6 or seven hours, piping hot. Tip: A Starbucks Doppio Long with a sprinkle of cinnamon was my excuse to go for a mid-morning walk on at least 15 of the 30 days.
Lunch Containers – You’ll need to bring your lunch to work (or prep it ahead if you work from home), and you’ll also want to bank some leftovers. We prefer glass; these Lock and Lock glass containers by Starfrit are see-through, air-tight and much more swish than tupperware. Tip: Put glass lunch containers in a padded lunch bag if you’re on your bike, or wrap it in a napkin for charm and protection.
Spices – We used Frontier Garam Masala on baked sweet potato wedges, Simply Organic Cayenne Powder for Chili and omelettes, and Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste is amazing with vegetables and chicken–add it to coconut milk to make sumptuous soups and stews! Tip: Using different spices is how we mixed it up when we were getting bored with repetition.
Immersion Blender – Essential for Whole30 mayo, purées, and dips, and the occasional smoothie, hand blenders make cooking quicker and easier. Also super handy for making scrumptious soups like Curried Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup. This hand blender is inexpensive, and comes with a handy-dandy whisk attachment. Tip: Rinse blades right away after each use to make cleanup easier.
Parchment Paper – I seriously dislike cleaning cookie sheets. We lined our baking trays with Parchment Paper when roasting veggies, and voila, very little mess to contend with. Tip: Parchment paper is necessary for cooking en papilotte, which is a particularly delicious and easy way to prepare Whole30 compliant fish and vegetables!
Social Media – I took a photo of every meal, then uploaded a compilation each day on Instagram, then later blogged them here at Big City Bucolic. It did wonders for our accountability, and made us take the extra time to make meals beautiful, which in turn resulted in greater enjoyment of the experience. I also shared recipes with friends on Facebook, and saved countless hours planning with the help of Pinterest. Tip: Follow my Whole30 Board here!
If I’ve missed any Whole30 life-savers here, let me know in the comments. It was certainly a challenge, but we loved the results, and these Top Ten Whole30 Essentials made it a really satisfying success story for us!