First of all, do you say “distractible” or “distractable”?
I could get totally distracted trying to figure that out.
From my research, it seems that both are acceptable. But before we get carried away, let's dig into today's topic:
How can I stick with Whole 30 when I'm super busy and easily distracted?
I have a few suggestions for you since I fit into both categories, busy and distractable, but still managed to get through a few Whole 30s.
It kind of feels like a miracle (since it's difficult for me to stick with things like this), but it's really just a whole lot of work and some very specific strategies.
So, here we go:
Make it as easy as possible
Now is not the time to decide every meal should be gourmet! Keep things as simple as you can.
Buy Whole 30 approved dressings and marinades when your budget allows, and realize you don't have to cook a complicated dinner every night. Simple veggies with some protein and fat is perfectly acceptable.
If you want to make it extra easy, get the Whole 30 Fast & Easy Cookbook. It's a lifesaver!
A service like Real Plans is also extremely helpful! They plan Whole 30 meals for you in just a few clicks, plus, they create a shopping list and provide step-by-step preparation instructions. Everything is customizable and it's super easy to use.
Another way to make your Whole 30 as easy as possible to put some work in on the front end… that means food prep! This could mean making a couple of soups or stews, Shepherd's Pie, and so on and stashing them in the freezer. It can also simply mean cooking meat and chopping veggies so they are ready whenever you need to make a meal.
Prepare Meal Components Ahead of Time
Preparing meal components is one of my favorite forms of food prep. It is often easier than making full meals in advance and allows you to stock the fridge and freezer with lots of healthy food that's ready to be made into a variety of meals.
Some example of Whole 30 meal components that can be made ahead:
- Shredded chicken
- Seasoned ground beef
- Chopped veggies
- Tomato sauce
- Shepherd's Pie base
- “Pasta” sauce – I just use ground beef with homemade tomato sauce
- Sweet potato hash browns
- Chicken salad
- Egg salad
- Roasted vegetables
- Cauliflower Rice
These are the ones I do most consistently, but I'm sure you can think of many more!
Keep things in front of your face!
By things, I mean reminders, menu plans, encouragements and so on.
I am so distractible I could actually forget I am doing the Whole 30. No, seriously! I could. Someone else has got to feel me on this one? Surely!
A couple of ways to keep things in front of your face (and therefore, on your mind):
- Keep a list of meal components (or meals you've made ahead) in a prominent location.
I have mine on a large chalkboard
- Keep your menu plan in a visible location
Mine is on the chalkboard too! But it could go on the fridge, on a small whiteboard, whatever works for you.
- Keep the Whole 30 rules and meal template in an easy-to-access location
I have mine taped to the back of the spice cabinet door.
See the Whole 30 resource section for Printables.
- Write encouraging thoughts on sticky notes and place them in prominent areas of your home.
The fridge, bathroom mirror, and kitchen cabinets are great places.
- Set reminders on your phone for meal prep or other important Whole 30 tasks. Or uses it to send yourself encouraging thoughts throughout the day.
Implement Easier Food Prep Techniques
Once upon a time, I tried to cook a month of meals in one day. I just about did it, but I had no energy left to clean my kitchen and it took me days to recover!
Now I usually make meal components ahead of time instead, since I can prep a bunch of the same thing without a lot of hassle. But I also love to double or triple some meals I'm making, like Shepherd's Pie.
Here are some of the easy food prep techniques I use to save time:
Shred Cooked Chicken Breasts with Beaters
Just be sure you have a deep-sided bowl and use the mixer on low speed.
To make this even easier, I cook the chicken breasts in the crockpot, don't even thaw them out before cooking. Just toss in a cook!
Make Sweet Potato Mash in the Crock Pot
I love this because it means I don't have to peel, chop, boil, or strain! It's fantastic!
Add 5-6 sweet potatoes to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
Get a Food Processor for Shredding
I know a food processor can be an investment, but man does it ever make life easier!
I don't know that I'd even have sweet potato hash if I had to shred the potato by hand. And it's my favorite Whole 30 breakfast!
Bake your Bacon
Oven baked bacon is nice and crispy! cooking it this way means you don't have to stand by the stove to flip it every so often.
To prepare bacon in the oven:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lined a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay bacon evenly on cookie sheet. It's ok for it the strips of bacon to barely touch, but they shouldn't overlap.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
With a little planning and a few strategies to keep you on track, you can do the Whole 30 no matter how busy (or distractible) you are.