We asked Cheryl Malik, the creator of 40Aprons, a blog dedicated to healthy, paleo, and Whole30® recipes, to give us some advice on completing a Whole30® month. Read on to get her tips and go-to recipes. As fans of her blog already know, her meals are always quick, family-friendly, and delicious. With her help, you’ll sail through the month and get 2020 off to a great start.
What kept you motivated to complete your first Whole30® month even when it felt impossible?
It’s really tough getting used to all the rules and guidelines, but I have a family member who had completed a Whole30 recently so I knew it was possible. Plus, I was highly motivated to do whatever I needed to do to feel physical and mental changes, but at the beginning—let's be honest!—I just felt tired and a bit confused about what I could and couldn’t have. After a couple weeks, though, the need for motivation totally disappeared. I felt so good that I wanted to keep going forever!
What would you tell Thrive Market members who are halfway through their first Whole30 month and need a little encouragement to finish strong?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on making it this far. By now, if you're not feeling great, you should, very soon. Completing the entire Whole30® is a seriously impressive feat, and I gotta tell you, I'm super proud. If you're struggling, keep in mind that so much of the magic happens after the first couple weeks. If you're anything like us, you'll start sleeping like a literal rock, your mental clarity will peak, and you'll lose all those aches and pains that you’ve just come to accept as normal. And the reintroduction period? Don't skip that. That's the greatest tool of the entire program! Learning what truly works for you and your body is invaluable information that will allow you to lead a healthier, more you-focused lifestyle that supports your own system.
Any favorite recipes or snacks that helped you make it through?
I actually traveled for work during my first Whole30®, so I was with people who did not understand or care about my food restrictions! Having a Larabar and Epic Bar in my purse saved me during that trip. But in terms of our core recipes during a Whole30®, we have a few favorites!
How do you prevent yourself from feeling deprived while doing a Whole30® month?
Honestly, the food I'm making is so good that I don’t really feel deprived—I mean, just look at my list of favorite recipes above! But, no matter how good the food is, it’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll look around and say, "Why can't I have just one glass of wine?! What's so wrong with dark chocolate?!" There will be a staff meeting with donuts or a girls' brunch with mimosas. It will happen. So throughout the entire 30 days, I try to focus on my self-care, which is why I'm doing Whole30® in the first place! I indulge in so, so many cups of fancy tea, I take baths, I go for runs, and honestly, sometimes I just sit on my butt and watch Netflix or sleep in. I listen to my body and do what it needs during the process, and honestly, after the first few days, the cravings disappear for me anyway!