The holidays are here, and I’m sure most of you are already thinking about the new year and new goals you want to crush. I don’t believe in having a new year’s resolution, but I do believe in making daily, weekly, or monthly goals that are attainable. With the new year around the corner, I know a lot of you will be participating in the January Whole30. It’s probably the biggest month to do it, and you’re going to be slammed (in the best way possible) with lots of support and resources. Whether it’s going to be your first round or you know someone who will be doing their first round, I’ve created this ultimate Whole30 gift guide for beginners just for you! If you checked out my Ultimate Kitchen Must-Have Gift Guide, you know I love practical gifts. How nice would it be to gift someone a basket of Whole30 compliant/approved products to make their Whole30 just a bit easier?! Whenever I hear that a friend or family member say they are doing a Whole30, I love throwing together a little gift basket of Whole30 compliant products just to help them out a bit.
If you’ve done a round of Whole30, you know how expensive and quite honestly how daunting it was to prepare for your first round. You had to clean out your cabinets, get rid of non-compliant foods and then restock with compliant items. (Raise your hand if you were shocked when you saw that very first Whole30 grocery bill.) Luckily, that was a one time thing, and now my cabinets are filled with compliant ingredients that I use all of the time. With this list, I wanted to cover the basic essentials when it comes to completing a successful round. You can gift resources or pantry staples that will be used on a daily basis!
1. It Starts With Food, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, The Whole30 Cookbook – I like to call these the Holy Trinity of the Whole30 program. The first book is the why, the second book is the how and the third book is a great resource for all the compliant recipes you ever want. This is a great start to any Whole30 round!
2. The Whole30 Fast & Easy, The Whole30 Day by Day – these are the two newest books and they are a dream! The newest cookbook has recipes that are …well, fast and easy. Who doesn’t love quick recipes that don’t require an extensive amount of time in the kitchen?! The Whole30 Day by Day would have been a dream when I did my first round. It pretty much breaks down the Whole30 timeline for you in more extensive matter. Super helpful when you’re feeling unmotivated or want to call it quits.
3. Food Freedom Forever – this has been my bible for life after Whole30. After my first round, I was lost and didn’t know where to go after I finished my round. After reading FFF, it was nice to know that I wasn’t alone when trying to navigate life after Whole30 and that slip-ups happen, but moving forward and figuring out what works for me would be a daily practice.
4. Cooking oils/fats – healthy cooking fats are a necessity when it comes to Whole30. You’ll be using them on a daily basis. In my kitchen, I always have the following: avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, and (for the fancy) duck fat.
5. Spice mixes – I usually like to make my own spice mixes, but there are so many great brands that do a great job for you. One of my favorite spice mix brands is Primal Palate. They have an array of combinations, but I love their true and tried Primal Palate Signature Blends package that comes with their meat & potatoes seasoning, adobo seasoning and BBQ seasoning. It’s a great start for someone who might be new to cooking. They also have spice mixes that fit different diets such as the AIP protocol in their Primal Palate Everyday AIP Blends.
6. Spices – you need good quality spices. I was shocked during my first round of Whole30 when I read some of the labels on spices. There were preservatives and color dyes and other crap that should not be in spices. I love getting the Thrive Market spices because they are affordable, organic and compliant. They come in a little bags and I just transfer them into little glass spice jars. When I start running low, that’s when I’ll place a new order to refill my jars. Also, if you place an order using my link you will receive 25% off your first order with free shipping!
7. Sauces/marinades/condiments – they are the liquid gold of doing a Whole30 round. I always have these in my pantry and fridge at all times: coconut aminos, fish sauce, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, paleo mayo, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. I feel like these are a solid foundation to have when you’re Whole30-ing. Obviously, there are more sauces and marinades, but these are the very basic ones that will get used most often.
8. Flours – NO, not your typical wheat flours. I’m talking about the following: almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour, arrowroot starch/flour, and tapioca flour. These are NOT to be used for baked goods, but rather to thicken soups and sauces or lightly “bread” chicken like in my paleo buffalo chicken tenders recipe. Someone once gifted me a basket of Whole30 compliant flours and I may have shed a tear because that ish can get expensive!
9. Dressings – let’s be real here, doing a Whole30 means eating a lot, and I mean A LOT, of salads. I turn everything into a salad, and dressings are a lifesaver when it comes to preventing food boredom. My personal favorite dressings are from Primal Kitchen: ranch dressing, Caesar dressing, green goddess dressing and Greek vinaigrette. Also, yes I know you can make your own dressings, but let’s make life a bit easier when possible. Plus, these dressings are great to keep at the office if needed.
10. Canned protein – there are so many days where my lunches look like this: canned tuna, mashed avocados, baby bell peppers, celery and whatever veggies I can cut up to use as a vessel. Canned protein is essential, and I would love anyone who give me a basket full of the following: Wild Planet Alaskan Pink Salmon, Wild Planet Organic Roasted Chicken Breast, Wild Planet Wild Tuna, Crown Prince Smoked Oysters, and Crown Prince Smoked Baby Clams. You can also throw in sardines if the person you know is a brave soul.
11. Emergency snacks – maybe the person you’re gifting these Whole30 compliant items are not brave enough to eat smoked oysters with hot sauce out in public (I may be known to do that quite often) so these emergency snacks are a little more socially acceptable and are great to have on deck. I prefer savory (and meatier) emergency snacks over the fruity sweet ones, but to each their own. They keep you satiated much longer, and don’t cater to my sugar dragon. These are my favorite: Epic Bars (not all flavors are compliant), Brooklyn Biltong, Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bar, RXBAR (not all flavors are compliant), Chomps, and Paleovalley Beefsticks. There are so many more out there, but these are quality emergency snacks that I swear by whether I’m Whole30 or not.
Bonus gift: an avocado saver! Yes, you need to get one for yourself and your Whole30 friend. I got sent one for National Avocado Day and life has never been the same. No more mushy avocados in my purse and no more brown avocados. Win-win all around! It seems silly, but you’ll be surprise at how often you use it!
Well, there you have it. I think I covered all of the Whole30 basics. Obviously, there are more products out there that will help someone doing a Whole30, but I wanted to keep this list as basic as possible. These products are things I use almost daily and definitely buy frequently. Be sure to send me a picture if you make a Whole30 gift basket for a friend or family member. I’d love to see what you add to it! I have two close friends doing a round for the first time, and I’m really excited to gift them a basket filled with a bunch of Whole30 goodies!
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