10 Best Foods To Meal Prep For The Whole30

A month-long clean eating challenge like the Whole30 may seem daunting, but planning ahead with the right foods makes it feel (almost) easy.

April 19, 2017
veggie noodles for whole30
Westend61/ Getty

So, you’ve decided to do a Whole30—that popular 30-day clean eating endeavor that shuns all grains, legumes, added sweeteners, dairy, alcohol. Good for you! This paleo style, whole foods approach to eating has helped loads of Americans hit the reset button on their highly processed diets and feel great as a result. (Just look at the more than 2 million posts with the #whole30 hashtag.) 

The downside, however, is that the Whole30 can be a pretty tough adjustment, even for people who eat a relatively healthy diet to begin with. In my personal experience with this dietary challenge, the first week is the hardest—I’ve dreamt of donuts and shed very real tears while observing a family member devour a sandwich. However, each time I do a Whole30, I have a secret weapon that sets me up for success: meal prepping

Having the right foods at the ready throughout your Whole30 won’t necessarily make it a breeze, but it sure does get you off on the right foot, giving you that good thrust of momentum you need to stay motivated throughout your month of clean eating. 

Here, check out our 10 favorite foods—and how to prep them—that make your Whole30 a whole lot less painful.  

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crustless quiche for whole30
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Crustless Quiche

Trust us: On the Whole30, scrambled eggs get old fast—and some mornings you just don’t feel like heating up a skillet and cracking eggs. So to make your a.m. a bit more exciting—and a bit less labor intensive—whip up a big crust-less quiche on the weekend loaded with various herbs, veggies, and maybe even some sausage or bacon for an extra protein boost. That way, a balanced breakfast is simply a matter of slicing and reheating. We love this Caramelized Onion Butternut Squash Crustless Quiche from Physical Kitchness. Egg muffins—basically mini quiches made in muffin tins—are another great option.  

Related: Prep A Week's Worth Of Lunches With This One-Pan Salmon And Veggie Meal

hardboiled eggs for whole30
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Hardboiled Eggs

If you gravitate toward protein bars to get through that 3p.m. energy slump, these little protein bombs are your ideal energizing, filling alternative—especially when paired with a piece of fruit. They’re also a quick breakfast in a pinch. Bonus: They’re easier to make than you think. Place your eggs in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover the eggs. Heat over high heat until just boiling. Remove the pan from the heat immediately, then cover and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Cool eggs under cold running water and store in the fridge for up to a week. (Here’s the best way to peel a hardboiled egg.) 

cauliflower rice for whole30
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Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile veggies out there, making it an ideal Whole30 meal prep food. You can toss it in oil and roast it, morph it into cauliflower rice or even turn it into a flour-free pizza crust. For both of these uses, the cauliflower should be washed, chopped, and then pulsed in a food processor until it reaches a rice-like consistency (you can also do this with a box grater). Store your prepared cauliflower in an airtight container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture, so it’s ready to use right when you get home from work. We like this Whole30 Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe from Little Bits of Real Food + Real Talk. 

sliced vegetables for whole30
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Sliced Crunchy Veggies

When you’re doing a Whole30, those salty crunchy pretzels and potato chips will be calling your name for two reasons: they’re addictively crunchy and insanely convenient (open bag, shovel in mouth). So, it’s important to make Whole30 compliant snacks like vegetables so convenient that you have no excuse not to eat them. Simply slice up a bunch of different crunchy vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, radishes, celery, green beans, snap peas, etc) so you’re fully stocked with healthy, yet still addictively crunchy, snacks. To make them extra enticing, pair them with a Whole30 friendly “dip”—carrot and celery slices are delicious dunked into crunchy almond butter or mashed avocado with a bit of salt.  

roasted vegetables for whole30
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Roasted Vegetables

You’ll be eating a ton of veggies on your Whole30—to make sure you don’t get sick of them, experiment with how you cook them. Roasting vegetables—especially root vegetables like sweet potatoes and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli—adds great texture and brings out the vegetable’s natural sweetness. Roast up big batch of 2-3 different vegetables on the weekend so they’re ready to pair with any protein throughout the week. They’re even great with eggs. This is our favorite method for roasting root vegetables. 

Related: 6 Mistakes You're Making With Your Roasted Vegetables

veggie noodles for whole30
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Veggie Noodles

Staying sane during your Whole30 depends on you doing unique and surprising things with a limited number of ingredients. So, if you own a veggie spiralizer (or even if you don’t), zucchini, beet, sweet potato, fill-in-the-blank veggie noodles are going to help you deviate from the norm—and scratch your itch for pasta. Spiralize a variety of veggies in advance so you can simply toss them in a skillet with a little oil, a protein, and some herbs and spices when you get home from work. (Here are 5 things you can make with a spiralizer besides veggie pasta.)

chicken thighs for whole30
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Whole Chicken or Chicken Thighs

Roasting an entire chicken is probably the most economical way to eat organic meat, delivering the most meals for your buck (chicken thighs are a close second). Pick away at it for dinner throughout the week, or add some to a snap-lid glass container with your roasted veggies for a handy Whole30 work lunch. Bonus: When you’re done, you can make a chicken stock with the carcass. Follow this recipe to roast a whole chicken and tweak the spices to suit your personal taste. 

almond milk for whole30
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Soup

Soup is your Whole30 meal prep BFF. What's easier than tossing some random ingredients into a pot with simmering chicken or vegetable broth and having it turn into a bowl of warm, comforting, nutrient-packed goodness? Butternut squash and apple soup made creamy with an immersion blender, and a simple combo of kale, Italian sausage, and sweet potato are two solid options. Once they’re cooked, load them into individual glass containers for easy reheating.  

Related: 4 Healing Soups To Boost Your Immune System

tuna salad for whole30
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Tuna or Chicken Salad

Tuna or chicken salad is a quick and easy work lunch. Serve it over a bed of greens, or even scoop some into Romaine lettuce leaves for sandwich “boats.” Since most mayo isn’t Whole30 compliant—unless you make your own, it often contains sketchy, ultra-processed soybean oil—consider mixing your tuna or chicken with some olive oil, vinegar, and spices of your choice. Add-ins like sliced grapes and pumpkin seeds will take it to the next level. 

almond milk for whole30
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Almond Milk

No dairy on Whole30 means you’ll probably be seeking out almond milk as a non-dairy alternative. But before you buy the store-bought variety, which can contain loads of added stabilizers and thickeners, consider making your own as part of your meal prep. We promise, it’s easier than it sounds. Follow this almond milk recipe and add it to your coffee or Whole30-friendly smoothies throughout the week. 

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