Whole30 is a great way to reset your eating habits and rebuild a healthy lifestyle. However, if you’re vegan, all of the meat can be a little off-putting. While there are guidelines for doing a vegetarian or vegan Whole30, you presumably won’t get the full health benefits.
Here are some tips for doing vegan Whole30 if you’re willing to set aside the plant-based proteins for a few weeks and give animal-based proteins a shot.
If you’re not so sure about the Whole30, here is information about the top 3 diets.
Whole30 requires that every meal be made up of a protein, veggies, and a healthy fat. Cooking meat for every meal to fill your protein quota can feel daunting, so don’t be afraid to use eggs as your protein whenever you want. Scramble them, hard-boil them, soft-boil them, and eat them on top of spinach leaves or sautéed veggies. Another delicious egg alternative is to make an egg salad- keep some in the refrigerator so that you can have it on hand for a quick meal or on the go.
Sometimes vegetarians and vegans find seafood a little easier to consume than meat from land animals. If this is the case for you, take advantage of it. Make a veggie stir fry with coconut aminos and shrimp, or throw together a tuna salad with compliant mayo, lemon, and salt and pepper. If you don’t like seafood but are willing to give it a try, a good tip is to grill it to give it a nice smoky flavor. Adding flavor in general will help balance out that fishy smell and taste.
You can’t eat eggs or fish every meal- eventually, you’ll get sick of it. You’ve got to face the meat, but it does help a little when you can change the texture or blend it with other ingredients. Try making a bean free chili with ground turkey, lots of veggies, and aromatic flavors. Shred chicken and mix it with spaghetti squash and buffalo sauce for a delicious buffalo chicken salad. Leaner meats like skinless chicken and pork loins are also sometimes a little more desirable for typical non-meat eaters.
It might be a little more expensive, but top quality meat could be a little easier to consume. You can also choose meat that has been ethically sourced. If you can’t afford organic, focus on pasture-raised, free-range, and all natural products.
Many recipes require that you cut meats, like chicken breast, into strips before cooking. This will be much easier if you have a meat cutting knife (it’s worth it!). You will also want a meat thermometer so that you know when your food is done and don’t under or, more likely, overcook it.
You don’t have to go overboard on cleanliness, but you do have to be a little more diligent when working with raw meat. Designate a cutting board to be just for meat so that there’s no chance of cross contamination. Wash your hands often during and after prep. Wipe down countertops and scrub dishes with soap and water. If you really want to be sure the bacteria is kept at bay, use a little hydrogen peroxide to disinfect.
This is your Whole30, so you should do what makes it enjoyable for you. If you find that eating meat just isn’t working out for you, try their Vegan Whole30 Plan. Don’t put pressure on yourself, and focus on making healthy choices and creating new, healthy habits. What’s important is that you’re taking control of your food choices, and you’re on your way to an even healthier version of you!