We’ve UPDATED our famous “pack a cooler” article just for July Whole30 participants gearing up for their summer vacation plans. The post originated last summer, when Dallas and I spent three months (and drove 15,000 miles) across the US and Canada, while completing the Whole30. We faced plenty of challenges staying Whole30-compliant while on the road – the same challenges our readers face when life requires lots of travel, socializing or just a a super-hectic schedule.
So today, we’ve updated the contents of our theoretical Whole9 cooler – what’s in it, what’s in the travel bag next to it, and how we put things together to make delicious, Whole30-approved meals and snacks while traveling. We’ll break it down by food groups, and hope by passing these along to our readers, you’ll have an easier time Eating Good Food under any circumstance, whether at home or on the road.
What’s in the Whole9 Cooler
- Deli turkey/chicken/roast beef. Look for certain Applegate Farms versions, where the only ingredients are organic meat, water and salt.
- Albacore tuna. Whole Foods brand contains only tuna and water – no soy!
- Hard boiled eggs. We always have a dozen of these on hand.
- Smoked salmon. Wild-caught Alaskan (never farm raised), unseasoned.
- Shrimp. Buy pre-cooked wild-caught shrimp (or cook and peel them yourself) – portable and delicious served cold.
- Your local market’s brand of pre-cooked “simple” chicken breast or salmon, where the only ingredients are chicken/salmon, salt and pepper.
- Jerky. Primal Pacs makes the only Whole30-approved jerky snacks. Buy the whole snack kit, or just the protein.
- Sugar snap peas and snow peas
- Pepper slices (red, green, yellow and orange)
- Tomatoes (usually the small grape variety)
- Sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, sweet pea shoots)
- Baby spinach, arugula or other leafy green (for on-the-road salads)
- Jicama (peel, slice into thin strips and munch)
- Kale chips – we like Kaia Foods. Again, read your ingredients.
- Sea Snax (or some other form of seaweed snack). Read your ingredients – no soy!
- Fresh salsa. Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh salsa with 100% approved ingredients.
- Canned sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash (where the only ingredient is the vegetable)
- Baby food! Sweet potato, butternut squash or other vegetable varieties (where the only ingredient is the vegetable) – perfect for post-workout
- Whatever is fresh, local, in-season and not too expensive
- Unsweetened applesauce (we like Santa Cruz Organic brand, or make your own)
- Larabars (a dried fruit/nut combination, used only in food emergencies)
- Olives. Lindsay Naturals in the can, where the only ingredients are olives, water and sea salt.
- EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). We bring a bottle everywhere, and pour over veggies, salads, meat, whatever.
- Fresh guacamole. Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh guac with 100% approved ingredients.
- Coconut milk (full fat, in the can)
- Shredded coconut, unsweetened.
- Coconut butter (sometimes called “creamed coconut”)
- Macadamia or hazelnuts
- Other nuts and seeds (to be eaten in moderation)
- Sunbutter or other nut butters (to be eaten in moderation)
- Stronger Faster Healthier fish oil (use the code “Whole9” to save 10%)
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (for sweet potato, pumpkin, etc.)
- Salt, pepper
- Fresh chopped basil and cilantro
- Sharp paring knife
- Flexible cutting board
- Can opener
- Portable silverware and dishes
- One glass container, for microwaving on the go
Tips, tricks and adding variety to your Road Trip Food
- Protein is going to be the hardest to get in good amounts. Plan ahead and stock up – cook chicken or salmon the night before you travel, boil a dozen eggs, find deli meat and tuna packets that meet criteria.
- Smoked salmon is often overlooked, but the wild caught stuff is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Slice, roll around chunks of honeydew melon or mango, secure with a toothpick and go.
- Fruit is way too easy to overdo when traveling, so swap some of that fruit for portable vegetable sources. The flexible cutting board, sharp knife and plastic silverware help you branch out from just carrots and celery.
- Fresh salsa and guacamole are life-savers. Roll deli turkey around pepper slices, secure with toothpick and top with salsa and guac – delicious and totally portable.
- Frozen root veggies may also be a good idea, especially if you’re training on the go. Sweet potato and squash varieties from the can or jar are just as good hot or cold.
- Nuts are also easy to crack out on when traveling. Try olives instead! They’re portable, don’t need refrigeration and you can eat an awful lot for the same amount of fat as an ounce of nuts.
- Spices and herbs are an easy way to add flavor and variety to your meals, and don’t take up a lot of room in your bag/cooler.
- Planning and preparation are key! Take time to purchase, prepare and pack your cooler before a trip and you’ll have good, Whole30-approved meals and snacks at the ready.
We hope this peek inside our cooler (and, below, our hotel fridge!) helps to give you fresh ideas and inspiration for your own travels. Got a road-trip-worthy snack, meal or food idea? Post to comments!
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Dallas @ Whole9 says
In advance: if you don’t know what the big, potato-looking thing in the fridge is, go immediately to your local grocery store… and buy a jicama. It’s a great, refreshing treat (and you can eat a bunch compared to using fruit as a “refreshment” all summer). Slice it into strips/sticks, or into small cubes and add it to your fresh salsa. Y.U.M.
Hey guys, I wanted to know your thoughts on protein powder. My kids have dairy and gluten issues, so we have eliminated those types of protein powders. We have started using Hemp protein powder. What are your thoughts on Hemp as a protein supplement in foods? Thanks again for taking the time to stop in and visit us in Fort Collins. Enjoy the rest of your road trip…LUCKY!
Dallas @ Whole9 says
Hemp is an incomplete plant protein, like soy protein or gluten. Besides being processed (which we don’t dig), it’s not going to be as useful of a protein source as, say, eggs or fish, so if there’s a way that you can stick to Real Food (meaning fresh, unprocessed stuff), you’re WAAAAY better off. Thanks for the kind words.
Would you let me know what your advice on salt is? I know the strict Paleo people say no added salt, but on the Whole 30, what is your idea about it? I saw that you recommended coconut aminos, and packaged meats, olives, smoked salmon, etc.
Thank you for your support!
First off, my hat goes off to both of you for an excellent seminar at Emerfit this past Saturday. You presented the material in a very neutral way that really sunk in with me! I know you will be happy to know that I decided to start the Whole 30 today. After a weekend to really think about why I choose to eat certain foods when I do and how they make me feel, I realized that I have an “addiction” to some bad foods that just needs to be broken. So I am ready to ROCK this!
Second….As I was thinking about what you told us about our brain not knowing the difference between artificial sweetners and plain sugar, and that insulin spike can actually take place before we even swallow our food! We don’t necessarily have to swallow the food for the effects to take place. (For example, gum) So taking all of this into consideration….How does cinnamon work? I think cinnamon is very sweet. How is it that this is ok to eat without it effecting our insulin levels? I noticed you have this spice in your travel cooler and I was under the impression that I should be staying away from this sweet spice?
You guys are very inspiring! My new goal is to try and eat A LOT MORE! Thanks for the words of encouragement:)
Is jicama a legume?
Melissa @ Whole9 says
Google, son! Jicama is an edible root, similar to a turnip. It’s our new favorite snack – crunchy, sweet and great on salads.
I take your word for it. Cant believe everything you google then.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-jicama.htm (second paragraph down)
“Jicama is actually a legume…”
I’ve been a long time lurker and reader, found Crossfit/Paleo about the same time a year or so ago and have never been fitter, happier and more energetic. I’m also not normally one to nit-pick (wait for it..the but is coming) but…aren’t peas legumes?
Don’t get me wrong…we would have an awfully sexy fit country (and you two qualify) if everyon’s fridge looked like yours, but I’m curious to the inclusion. Again, not judging…it’s not like you’ve got 6 go-gurts and some blue #6 dyed monster back there…just curious.
Scott…the pea questions answer you seek is in the Whole 30 2.0 article I believe. My confusion lies with the jicama, arent they a hi starch/hi density food? My husband and I love that there are other cooler people out there! He takes one to the fire station every series and he gets ribbed pretty good sometimes, although no one can dispute the results!
@ nick, Melissa:
I did some googling of my own, mainly because we don’t have Jícama were I live and I was curious. Turns out the plant itself (Pachyrhizus erosus) does belong to the legume family. But as you’re eating the tuberous root and not the pods, no worries. I found a paper from 2006 (Noman et al: Nutritional and anti-nutritional components in Pachyrhizus erosus L. tuber) that states that “[v]ery negligible contents of anti-nutrient components were observed” in their study. They compared them to potatoes and sweet potatoes for their content in lectin, tannin, phytin, and other anti-nutrients. The abstract is free.
As a followup (or perhaps a prequel) to Kim’s question about salt, what’s with all the sea salt? It seems to turn up fairly often in your things-to-eat. But sea salt is still salt–high in sodium and sort of addictive. What’s up with that?
I was happy to see the sweet apple chicken sausage since I get it sometimes during my many stints in Manhattan (where it’s surprisingly hard for me to find “legal” meals). Thought it might be taboo due to the added sugar (in the guise of apple juice concentrate), but if YOU guys eat it …
Thanks for the lists.
This may be slightly off topic – yet still on the Paleo topic –
I just read an amazing book called-
The Unhealthy Truth
by Robyn O’Brien
She talks about chemicals and genetically modified foods and how we should buy organic….and how to do that.
You guys have GREAT articles, and I thought this might be semi/sort of along the same lines. =) Although she doesn’t talk about dieting/Paleo, I think its still important to eat organic. I thought I was eating as close to Paleo/organic as I could being a vegan, but this really opened my eyes.
Hope its okay to post this.
PS- what are the mushrooms stuffed with? They look delish!!
i don’t have a problem with my food intake when i am driving to a location. For instance, my partner & i teach at an annual event in the DC area, driving from NJ. Easy, we just throw the cooler in the car and go. We can stop at the grocery store anytime, since we have the car.
The problem i have is when we have to fly to an event, we’re usually picked up at the airport by volunteers. We don’t get a rental car, because we can’t afford it and the event producers can’t afford to pay for one. The time constraints are huge at these events. We literally hit the ground running and don’t stop for 4 days. Classes are often scheduled through lunch hours, dinner is given a half hour block of time before classes start up again. So, we’re at the whim of the event, if there’s time we can stop for supplies, great, if not-we’re just screwed. (believe me, it’s tiresome and aggravating) There’s an inevitable “banquet” (brunch, dinner, BBQ, whatever) where the food is dubious at best. Even the salad is suspect because i have no idea what kind of oil is on the salad. The hotels also run out of mini fridges…i’ve even tried the old “but i need one for my medication!” ploy and still, it’s 50-50 on whether one will be available.
OK, so now that we have established that i know very well how to whine, here is what i am doing on my next trip:
i actually own one of these: ebags crew cooler. http://tiny.cc/auqmz Unfortunately, it’s discontinued but it is my all time favorite travel cooler. If you click thru and look at the pictures, you can see how much food you can cram in to one of these. (all be it, they show it filled with crap food.)
i’m going to carry that on the plane instead of a purse. i’ll fill it with whatever food i can that is paleo approved & TSA approved. You gave me the idea of using frozen root veggies as ice packs, since gel ice packs are out of the question on an airplane. (but officer, it’s just a frozen yam!) This way, i will have a cooler in the room that i can put any perishables in to when/if i can get good food when there. (bringing gallon zip bags for ice so no leaks)
i’ll be making up a batch of home made jerky so i can have a good protein hit to keep me going. There’s a local restaurant that is very accommodating where i will be having most of my breakfasts for the weekend, except for one brunch which is at the event and is mandatory for me to attend. (giving a speech. it would be in bad form for me to not be there. *grin* but i don’t have to eat there if i have food in my room. There should be fruit available at the brunch so i’ll stick to that.)
i’ll be cleaning out my hanging toiletry bag and making that in to a “kitchen utensil and wet stuff bag” (knives, forks, tiny cutting board, etc plus olive oil, coconut oil, maybe fill a small container with sunbutter) that can go in my checked luggage since TSA would frown on all that stuff being carried on.
i’ll bring 1 or 2 empty snap lock food containers and take my leftovers (or ask them to make me something to go) from the afore mentioned accommodating restaurant.
And the most important thing is: i will own my crap on this trip.
i will not whine. i will make it work. i will be careful and i will nurture myself. i will be crafty in figuring this out. i will make notes on what worked and what didn’t so that i can do it better next time. i have 8 more days to get ready (and finish my speech! Yikes!)
I am also a big fan of Jicama…. slice it, then top with fresh lime juice and chili powder. Amazing!!
Melissa @ Whole9 says
That will teach me to post a short and sweet reply from my iPhone. In summary, regarding things like jicama and green beans and snow peas, we’d like to encourage people to not lose themselves in the “Paleo” label.
Jicama is technically a legume, like peanuts or soybeans. However, the part of the legume that contains anti-nutrients is the seed. The peanut is the seed. The soybean is the seed. In the case of jicama, the seed (pod) is the plant portion, which we throw away. We eat the ROOT, which is not the seed, which means it doesn’t contain the same anti-nutrients that make other legumes such an issue. Which means that, despite the fact that it’s technically a legume, we’re GOOD with consumption on the Whole30.
Regarding the nutrition content, a whole cup of jicama contains only 2 grams of sugar. The rest is essentially fiber. Which means it’s even less “sugary” than carrots. And you know how we feel about carrots.
The same argument can be made for snow peas, green beans, and sugar snap peas. They’re nutrient-dense vegetables that also technically happen to be legumes. But the “seed” (bean) portion is small, and enclosed in a pretty big pod, so we’re good with including them in your Whole30.
We understand the need and desire to do this RIGHT, and we appreciate all the questions that ask about various food choices. What about vinegar? What about mustard? What about sea salt? All good questions if you’re trying to do a really good job following our Whole30 “rules”, so we’re happy to answer all of them here. But please, read Dallas’ comment (below), and don’t lose yourself so far into the “Paleo” label that you fail to see the big picture.
Look at it this way… If snow peas are the worst thing in your diet, you’re in damn good shape.
Dallas @ Whole9 says
@Kim and Gary,
First of all, let me make the point that our Cooler Post was simply an example of what you could eat while on the road, not necessarily a presentation of “optimal” eating. In fact, we’ve found (and I suspect you have, too) that eating clean while traveling sometimes forces you to make some concessions on food quality. For example, I’d much rather you eat fresh, wild caught Alaskan salmon than smoked Alaskan salmon, but I’ll take what I can get while on the road. So… if the olives and smoked salmon contain some salt as a preservative, I can deal with that. I just don’t add any additional salt to my diet on purpose.
I think you might have missed the forest for the trees, folks. We are not “strict Paleo people”. We make food choices based on how food affects us, in real time, and in real-world scenarios. So… stop focusing on whether salt (or the root of a legume plant) is “Paleo” or not, and ask yourself: does this make me healthier? I’d answer that smoked wild-caught sockeye and all-natural olives do, in fact, make me healthier. We are not interested in debating the minutia of Paleolithic nutrition (other people already do that very well), but we are interested in sharing practical, real-world advice on making good food choices. We hope this site can be a resource for that kind of information.
Dude, simmer down with the sugar paranoia. We still eat some fruit, having not (yet) succumbed to the Fructose Is Evil mantra. In the Whole30 program, we had to draw the line somewhere with regard to sugar, and we drew it at no added (processed) sugar. 100% fruit juice, though we rarely drink it and discourage people in general from drinking it, is still technically “fruit-ish”, so we allowed it during the Whole30. In general, though, don’t get so wrapped up in the pursuit of Complete Sugar Elimination that you make yourself nuts, or (worse) fall of the wagon entirely and eat something REALLY bad. Like Melissa mentions above with the snow peas, if your worst dietary source of sugar is the apple chicken sausage, you’re doing just fine. Stay sane, brother.
Good question on the cinnamon. The cool thing about cinnamon is that it can actually enhance insulin sensitivity in moderate doses. We like it in our post-workout sweet potato mash and in our (otherwise black) coffee. (A 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp per day is a good “dose”, but more is not better. Keep it at or below 1 tsp per day.) So, no, you’re good to go with the cinnamon (in moderation). Now, GO EAT SOMETHING :)
Thanks for doing such good research. We encourage people to learn for themselves and not to just “take our word for it”. So… solid work. The Whole9 Community needs more people like you!
The portabella caps were stuffed with some chopped peppers, onions, and some herbs. They work great in a hotel microwave (but not in plastic wrap or styrofoam, of course!).
You are working HARD to do this right, and you have our respect for that. It’s hard, but THE STRUGGLE IS WORTH IT. Now go write your speech ;)
Day 17??! Really? I haven’t even been keeping track anymore. Love it. Do not miss the ‘paleo pancakes’ either :)
Looking forward to meeting you both in person at CrossFit Body and Fuel!
As far as sparkling mineral water goes. Can it be flavored or just straight up PLAIN? I grabbed some from Whole Foods the other day and it doesn’t say it has sugar, but it’s citrus flavored.
Sorry if I seemed simmered. That’s just me trying to be methodical. It might have been this that tossed me:
“4. Do not eat or add sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.”
Thanks for the clarification. Now if you can just find a way for me to squeeze in a hot fudge sundae.
…ok so I understand quality over quantity, but what about frequency? Assuming you have access to high quality (or as best as you can find) proteins, carbs, and fats, is it better to constantly graze on these real foods over the course of the day, or is the typical western diet of 3 meals a day, with light snacking sprinkled throughout the day provide a better way to fuel the engine?
Melissa @ Whole9 says
@JFlood: We can’t wait either. It’s going to be a rowdy (and fun!) group over at Body & Fuel!
@Tracee: As long as it’s just water and “natural lemon flavor”, you’re good. Or you can buy the plain stuff, and squeeze your own citrus or toss in some whole berries.
@Gary: We appreciate your methodical nature. We just had to draw the line somewhere, based on our own experiences, and those of our clients – and we’re constantly re-evaluating our own recommendations, based on participants’ results. It’s a constantly evolving process – but don’t hold your breath on the “green light” for hot fudge. ;)
@Eric: Either of those plans would work just as well – it’s more what works for your hunger and lifestyle. That concept of NEEDING to eat every 1-2 hours is tied to insulin sensitivity – the more that improves, the less you’ll get those regularly scheduled crazed hunger sensations (or that super cranky “I haven’t eaten in 2 hours!” feeling). So you may not need to graze as much as you used to – but if that still works for you, thumbs up. In summary, don’t stress about timing or frequency – really. Don’t skip meals on purpose, and don’t force it every hour if you’re not feeling it. Anywhere in between will do you just fine.
Samantha Aurelio says
I’M SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS! I am taking a cross-country trip via Amtrak from Philadelphia to Chicago, Hayward (Bay Area) and Agoura Hills (Los Angeles) – then flying home. The train travel is about 2 1/2-3 days and I’ll be in Chicago for a solid day all by myself (I’ve tracked down their local Whole Foods!) – once I get to CA I’ll be with friends but this will SO HELP on my train travel with both food quality AND budget. CAN’T WAIT – and I never even heard of avocado oil – neeeeed to find!
Hope you all are doing wonderfully! I just cooked my food for the week – yayyyy :)
Samantha Aurelio says
(trip = July – so I have time to plan!)
Audrey B says
It was great to meet both of you at Emerfit on Saturday! I started June 1st and I found that my brain has been getting the best of me. Because I know that I cannot have sugar (which is my downfall) I feel constantly hungry. I did incorporate good fats, vegetables, etc. It is getting a little better but it’s just funny what your mind can do. There have been many times before where I don’t have any type of sugar for days and it never bothered me; but now that I know I CAN’T, I want it even more :)
Another great post! It would be neat if Whole30 community could post pics of their fridge, eating now, shopping etc…
Could you guys comment a little on how much fruit is too much? During my first Whole30 I got in the habit of having a banana with breakfast every morning, an apple every afternoon, and another piece of fruit for dessert after dinner — something tells me this is too much. Moreover, I feel really tied to these habits… like if I don’t have my afternoon apple at work, I feel crappy. Should I just go cold turkey and replace those calories with fat/protein/veg? How much fruit is the right amount? I’m a fairly petite regular CFer so I’m less worried about weight loss etc than about smoothing out the blood sugar/insulin spikes.
Adam Kayce says
… which reminded me completely of Kelly Starrett’s video clip where he urged people not to think so much about muscles – piriformis, hamstrings, and gemellus, but instead on movements – hip flexion, extension, and rotation. Much more useful, practical, and applicable.
It’s one of the things I appreciated and took away from the Whole9 seminar I attended. Instead of getting wrapped up in macronutrient ratios, legumes vs tubers, and such (even though we did get into plenty of nitty-gritty to satisfy that part of me that appreciates it), the focus was on real food, in real situations, and from a perspective that’s both relaxed and very effective.
Whenever I find my body getting tight, I know it’s time to breathe into a stretch and let go. It works the same way around food. :)
Thank you for this! I am going car camping for a few days in Yosemite Valley–my first time as a paleo eating person. I’m gonna use this list to help me stock up and keep it for my upcoming road trips as well. Thanks for the inspiration.
I have a two-day outdoor tournament this weekend, and no access to a fridge, microwave or any type of power outlet. It’s going to get really warm, and on top of that, stores are closed on Sunday. Talk about a challenge! :)
I don’t want to live on canned fish alone, but most other things that come from a can are out. So I decided to can my own meat in tomato sauce. I know exactly what’s in it, and it will survive a couple of days in the tent. I’ve also frozen some sweet potatoes for after our matches, thanks for the tip.
You are absolutely right, it’s all about being prepared.
A great addition to the vegetable column is a jar of kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage). It’s totally delicious, and full of great live bacterial cultures.
Whole Foods sells it, albeit a sort of wimp version that is vegetarian (no fish sauce). I recommend getting to an Asian supermarket and buying a more authentic version. Probably start with the mild version to begin with. It can pack quite a punch.
Primal Toad says
New here… someone linked to this page from MDA. Love the site!
Thank you for the LONG list of stuff to fit in a small cooler. This is great for people who love to travel (like me). I will definitely be referencing to this often as I bookmark it.
Just to clarify, the Whole Foods version is probably a good entry to kimchi, and then work your way up to a more pungent variety.
Not only is this post good for you that travel, but it also works for us that live at work. I spend more time at my own business than I do at home. This has perfect ideas for my little fridge I brought in. Nothing worse then being stuck at work with no food!
I’m not going to sweat the small stuff. Is jicama a legume? I don’t know, but I do know it is better then the Twizzlers I was eating 2 years ago. Maybe we should all read the “Carrot to Crazytown” post to remind us all what is important.
Keep up the good work. My biggest accomplishment so far…19 days GUM FREE!! Graduating college with double major was easier then giving up my beloved gum:)
Mark Miller says
This is great! I’m printing it out to help with my regular shopping. Do you guys ever eat canned sardines/herring?
Sometimes I grab jars of baby food for traveling. Most baby food labels I’ve looked at don’t have any added sugar or forbidden ingredients. And they are super cheap. I really like the sweet potatoes & apple kind (Beechnut). The label literally says, “sweet potatoes, apples & water.” You just have to make sure you are picking up the veg/fruit only jars. They have a bunch of crap like bananas & cereal. You get some weird looks if anyone sees you eating it … but I guess most of us are used to weird looks by now.
Ruth S says
This post was so timely and helpful. Today was a 12-hour drive across 4 states…and for the first road trip ever, I don’t feel bloated and gross from the greasy fast food and my stomach doesn’t hurt from the glutten in the “snacks” I usually ingest. Packed grilled chicken, avocado, carrots, olives, baby tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs. I also stayed awake the entire trip – I’m sure the good food contributed to that as well!
Melissa @ Whole9 says
@Sam: We like avocado oil for cooking – especially eggs. It adds a nice flavor. Glad to hear the post will be helpful in planning your trip. If you come across any other foods we’ve forgotten about, post ’em here.
@Audrey: We TOTALLY understand what you mean. We’ve found ourselves looking at foods on billboards – Arby’s burgers, giant hunks of truck stop apple pie, stuff we’d NEVER eat under any circumstances – and thinking, “That actually looks kind of good right now”. When you tell yourself you “can’t” have it, your brain rebels and wants it even more. But I’m pretty after enough time Eating Good Food, you won’t even WANT that sugary treat anymore… which is the beauty of the Whole30 program.
@Nathan: Not sure how you can post photos to comments, but additional traveling food suggestions are always welcome!
@Emily: This has been discussed extensively… lots of people have issues with fruit as a sub for their sugary treats. If it’s become habit, if you “need” a piece of fruit as “dessert”, if you reach for fruit when you’re bored/tired/cranky/craving, then you’re eating too much fruit. Try swapping out fruit for portable veggies like carrots, snow peas, red pepper strips or jicama, and when you find yourself craving the sweet stuff, reach for a handful of fat instead – 1/2 an avocado, some coconut shreds or a can of olives. Break that connection, because it’s standing in your way of kicking the sugar habit once and for all.
@Adam: Totally good comparison – we’re glad you got that out of the workshop, because that’s exactly what we’re laying down for you. Focus on the big picture, especially in the beginning. Thanks for the insight!
@EMZ: A few other tips – actual ice works better than those freezer packs. Use frozen butternut squash and sweet potato chunks as “ice” until they’re thawed enough to cook and eat. And bring a bigger cooler than you think you need – because things like fish oil need to be cooled too. Have fun!
@Christine: Awesome innovation! And remember, OLIVES in a can are a great fat source and don’t need to be refrigerated. Good luck with your tournament.
@MGood: Haven’t tried kimchi yet, thanks for the tip. I also like broccoli slaw – it’s cold, crunchy and great to eat with your fingers (raw) or with a little balsamic as a base for a salad.
@Primal Toad: Awesome! Thanks for dropping in.
@J Spice: Excellent point. Many of us don’t have access to a full kitchen and fridge at work, so a cooler packed with good snacks is the way to go. And you are ON POINT with the small stuff… you’ve been doing this long enough that you totally get the big picture. Congrats on kicking the gum habit – I know how serious that was for you. As you said in your text last week, “This is the hard core sh*t”. Good girl!
@MarkMiller: We don’t, but you totally can. (I just don’t really like them, but they’re a great protein source.) You can often find them in a tomato sauce, Whole30 approved. Just scope the ingredients in detail.
@Allison: I’ve heard this before! Yep, if the ingredients are kosher, they’re a great, portable, no need to keep in the fridge source of veggies. Weird, but as you said, we’re used to weird around here. Thanks for the tip!
@Ruth: Great to hear. Your cooler contents sound fantastic – glad to hear your 12 hour drive was a Whole30 success!
@ALL: One thing I forgot to mention that we’re packing once in a while is Santa Cruz organic applesauce. Comes in a jar, no added sugar, lots of flavors and it’s totally portable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until you open it. Throw in some pecans, stir and enjoy as a good fruity snack!
I am proud to say I am on day 9 of the Whole 30. Every single thing you have said so far is ringing very true. It’s amazing to me, to say the least! I’m curious to see what this week brings…it is, for me, the week before Mother Nature hits me with her curse. Before beginning Whole 30, I would have indulged in handfuls of Reese’s Pieces, Coconut M&M’s, some ice cream, cookies, etc. I have been around all of these and not been tempted at all, so far. I’m staying strong, don’t get me wrong, but I’m very curious to see if my body has learned this trick like my brain has!! Have you ever had any feedback about cravings around this time for a female?
And also, I LOVE jicama!!!
Thanks for this! Just got Robb Wolf’s book last week, just found your site, and started the whole 30 TODAY! Whoo-hoo. This will be a huge help. Again – thanks and I look forward to following you all. Hope to attend your seminar in Blacksburg in January.
I love these olives! The green canned ones, ingredients are pitted ripe olives, water, salt
@Sarena – thanks for the tips on olives, I’m having trouble finding clean ones.
Also, noticed today that my probiotic capusules have this little disclaimer at the end: contains milk & soy. So I am not taking those anymore. Anyone know a good brand that is clean? Or have an opinion on probiotics? Maybe I don’t need them anymore. I thought they really helped my gut and my immune system when I started cleaning up my diet and I haven’t been sick in ages…????
This challenge has been an eye-opener. I thought my diet was really clean but after double-checking EVERYTHING I now realize that they were more sneaky-little bits than I realized and I suppose they add up, huh? Before, I thought they were too insignificant to matter. Now I am more determined than ever to truly do 30 days CLEAN.
I still have a long way to go and already I am a bit anxious about being patient enough to re-introduce things slowly enough to tell if they make a difference. To change one thing at a time and give my body a chance to respond.
@ Dallas & Melissa – thanks for the cooler refresher. I’d read this before – I’m heading out of town Friday and after re-reading this & the comments I know I’ve got things covered :-) I’m actually going to eat well while I’m gone and it may be easier being away from the home kitchen … I’m a notorious snacker and since I couldn’t throw away my chocolate … it’s still in the house…
Thank you for this!! Last summer I loaded a cooler in the car just for playing around town. My boys are 4 1/2 & 7 and I love that when we are hungry they ask to find a farmers market so we can stock the cooler! I am printing this post to share with friends! You two are truly awesome! Thank you =)
Annette–hope you love those olives as much as I do!! They are available in most health shops including WH and what I like most about them is they come in a poptop!! The probiotics I use are costly but from my research, are the best on the market. I have cut back some though on usage as I now make my own probiotic rich fermented veggies!
oh and I have a connection to get them at cost! And I ONLY use the professional line.
Beth Currie says
I have an epic 2,800 mile drive this summer with dog and kid. Just found myself a plug-in car cooler cheap! I will be using this post as a bible for surviving! Thanks!
Melissa @Whole9 says
Beth, that sounds like fun! Good luck with your trip – the plug-in cooler will be money. Melissa
gel ice pack says
My brother recommended I may like this blog site. He / she used to be fully proper. This kind of release really built my day. You can not picture just how the ton moment I did expended for this facts! Thanks a lot!
Grassfedjerkychews.com only ingredients are grass fed beef & unrefined sea salt. Not a fan of beef jerky but my niece is so I’ll be ordering some for our whole 30 which begins Aug 10.