Mom of one and Whole30 founder and CEO Melissa Urban says a January Whole30 requires a little planning, and prioritizing. “It’s January, and lots of folks are still under the incorrect assumption that making multiple New Year’s resolutions it the best way to create change. Habit research, however, shows that too many goals is overwhelming for the brain and requires far more willpower, which usually means none of your objectives gets completed effectively. If you’re going to do the January Whole30, let that be your ONLY objective for the month,” suggests Melissa. Here are four other smart tips from Melissa to make the most of the month. Plus, she shares one of her go-to recipes—Smoky Sweet Potato Chili—below!
Tip 1: Plan your meals. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people take our shopping list to the grocery store and just wing it. Meal planning saves you time, money (less food waste), and stress, and ensures you have some “emergency” food on hand for late nights at the office or quick lunches between Zoom calls. Plan a few days to a week at a time, build in an extra serving or two for leftovers, and add a few protein options (like eggs, roasted chicken, or shrimp) and extra veggies (like sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers) that you can roast and keep in the fridge for quick meals.
Tip 2: Keep it simple. You don’t need to cook from fancy recipes every single night, or make a unique dish for every meal. Cook a protein, add some veggies, mix in a healthy fat (or use it for cooking), and top it with a Whole30 dressing or sauce—boom, that’s a Whole30 meal! I call this “it’s barely a recipe,” and even after 12 years of Whole30s, this is how I still eat.
Tip 3: Talk to your support system. This is an often overlooked area of Whole30 planning and prep, but any habit change is easier with the support of others. Decide with your family how you’ll handle meal planning—will you cook one meal, and that’s that, or are they free to make their own side dish like toast or rice? Ask your spouse not to tempt you with wine, tell your bestie she’s your official butt-kicker if you need a boost, and ask your kids to be your cheerleader when you cross off another day with an X. Tell people specifically how they can support you!
Tip 4: Just put Whole30 food into your mouth. Literally, that’s it. Don’t think about creating the perfect Instagram-worthy dish, don’t stress about “eating the rainbow,” it’s totally okay to need a snack between meals, and not every meal will look like our template. Your only job for these 30 days is to put Whole30 food into your mouth. Is it Whole30? Eat it. If it’s not, don’t. Let it be that simple.
Whole30 Smoky Sweet Potato Chili
PREP TIME 30 mins
COOK TIME 8 hrs
WITH SLOWCOOKER ON HIGH 4 hrs
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) Whole30-compatible tomato puree
- 1 can (15 ounces) Whole30-compatible crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups Whole30-compatible tomato juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt or regular salt
- Finely chopped red onion (optional)
In a large skillet, COOK the beef over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.
DRAIN off the fat.
TRANSFER the beef to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, poblano pepper, sweet potatoes, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, vinegar, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, allspice, cayenne, and salt to the cooker. Stir to combine.
COVER and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
If desired, TOP servings with chopped red onions.
Interested in joining a January Whole30 community? Click here.