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Whole 30 Week 1: Meal Prep Recipes, Thoughts, And More

Whole 30 Week 1: Meal Prep Recipes, Thoughts, And More

Hola Mi Gente,

It’s officially been a full week since we started Whole 30, and I wanted to spend some time today answering some questions I’ve gotten over the week, as well as some insight on how we’re feeling + what we’re eating.

So How Am I Feeling?

I want to be careful here to say that I’ve not had any miraculous break-throughs with my health since starting Whole 30 last week. But I have had a couple of small changes in my day-to-day eating and overall health. You should know that the first three days of Whole 30 I felt unsatisfied, and hungry ALL THE TIME. I was having a hard time figuring out whether this was me being legitimately hungry, or just craving grains, gluten, and dairy. I got to the point where I was thinking through what it would look like to quit Whole 30 if my body just was NOT feeling it. I decided to give it a whole week to either balance out, or to make the decision to stop doing it. I’m a firm believer that this process shouldn’t be torturous, and if your body is telling you something is off I encourage you to listen to it! After the first few days I was able to realize that I was having some withdrawals from certain foods, because I’m feeling really satisfied with my food after each meal now.

Here are some of my observations from this past week:

  • I’m drinking more water. Like, the recommended amount for my body (half your body weight in oz). I’ve found myself subconsciously reaching for my water bottle at times when I would normally snack .
  • I have more energy in the mornings. Ask Ben, it usually takes me like an hour to get out of bed once I wake up in the morning. The last few days, I’ve had a hard time lingering in bed because I have a lot of energy when I wake.
  • Regularity. Promise not to gross you out here (or do my best), but lets just say my body loves all the extra fruit and veggie fiber.
  • Hunger. Before Whole 30 I had been having such intense heartburn and acid reflux that I wasn’t feeling hungry. In the interest of full disclosure, I am on a prescription to help my esophageal lining heal, BUT  I am feeling and experiencing being hungry clearly now. After the first few days of weaning from a few cravings, I’m feeling really full after most meals. Also, if I start feeling hungry, I’m letting myself snack (that way I don’t fixate on cravings).



Fridge, Sink, And Wallet Talk

One of the things I think has been MOST helpful in doing Whole 30 this second round, has been to be over prepared when it comes to having a stocked fridge. After meal prepping for the week most of my vegetables are chopped and in the fridge ready to throw in a salad, soup, or stir fry. This cuts down on cooking time because Ben and I are typically pretty hungry at meal times. This also means that our fridge is a never ending array of food containers. Before Whole 30 I completely recommend making sure you have a good stock of food containers.

We have these and love them because they are BPA free & are easily stackable:


Okay, now let’s talk dishes.

I need to be really honest with you. I suck at doing dishes. I really do. I used to be pretty good at it, but then I married Ben, and he’s spoiled me rotten because he does alllllllllll the dishes regularly. And I’m not going to even paint it pretty : Whole 30 is going to fill your dishwasher and you WILL wash mountains upon mountains of pots and pans, because how do you even cook without using every single item in your kitchen? After meal prepping our kitchen is as close to a disaster zone as I everrrr want to be. So there its is. Full disclosure.  Stock up on some Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap and roll up your sleeves, the dish pile is not for the faint of heart.

Is Whole 30 Expensive?

I get asked this a lot when I’m talking with friends. Short answer: yes and no. Sorry, you’re going to have to keep reading. Whole 30 can be more expensive if you switch to buying everything organic. However, Whole 30 does have the flexibility to NOT buy organic goods, and it can be affordable with a good amount of meal prep/planning and a good stock of grocery stores.

I have been grocery store hopping and haven’t gotten all my food at one place. Last week our grocery bill was $120, and this was with a good stock of tropical fruits, avocado, and a lot of meat. This week it was $70 because I tried out two new grocery stores that are a little further out, but slightly more affordable.

So what do I buy Organic?

Meat whenever possible, fresh berries, apples, tomatoes, and eggs. These foods tend to have the highest exposure to chemicals, hormones, and fertilizers so I try to get them organic whenever I can.

But here’s the bottom line: you can make Whole 30 meet your budget. A lot of the non-compliant foods that we tend to eat (beans, dairy, wineeee) add up, and when you’re not buying them, it gives you a little extra room in your budget. And it is COMPLETELY up to you what foods you choose to eat organic. It isn’t the end of the world if you can’t buy something organic: the main goal is to cut out super processed foods.



Meal Prep Recipes


Foods I keep in stock and prepped to eat at any point and time in a salad:

  • All Natural Beef Hotdogs (no added nitrates, sweeteners or preservatives). I slice these up and pre-cook them. They are excellent in salads or in the morning for breakfast.
  • Potato Bites: I cut and slice russet and red potatoes into small cubes and lightly season them with salt, italian seasoning, and a little bit of olive oil and bake them at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. These are AMAZING to have on hand and enhance every breakfast they touch.
  • Chicken Meatballs: I bought 2 lbs of ground chicken at Trader Joes (each lb was $3.50) and seasoned with 1 TBSP of salt, 1/4 TSP of cayenne, 1 TSP of Italian Seasoning + 4 garlic cloves minced. I cooked the meatballs in ghee until they were browned on each side and cooked until the internal temp was  at least 170 degrees F.
  • Whole Roast Chicken: I season my whole chicken liberally with salt, and sprinkle on a mixture of lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and minced garlic. I roast for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees F for about thirty minutes or until it is cooked to an internal temp of at least 170 degrees. I chop the chicken up, and keep the carcass for bone broth for soups.
  • Bone Broth: In a large put I add my chicken carcass and cover it with water. I add two carrots, half an onion, and fresh herbs like sage and thyme. Bring to a heavy boil for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to a simmer for at least two hours. If you want a really hearty broth, remove your bones from the broth and broil them on high for about 10 minutes, and return them to the pot. This will loosen the marrow in the bones to maximize the nutrients you get in your broth.


After this first week, I feel really good and confident we can finish this Whole 30 cycle strong! But if I start to hate it, I promise to let you know 😉 This is meant to be a transparent space, so I’m not trying to make Whole 30 sound like a quick fix or miracle diet (it’s not a diet). If you’re wanting more recipe inspiration, hop on over to my instagram as I’m sharing at least one meal every day from Whole 30. Also, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment if there’s a recipe you’d like to see Whole 30-fied! I always love to hear from y’all.


Love & Messy Kitchen Living,



Mary-Beth is a creative, food-obsessed, Georgia transplant living in the PNW. She is proudly and fiercely Latina. You can usually find her wandering her house in pajamas staging the next social justice revolution in her head, or eating her way through Portland with her favorite people. Her life is a constant juggling of chasing joy, learning about rest/work balance, pursuing justice, and loving her crew deeply. Also tacos. Her life is full of really good tacos.

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