The Whole30 isn’t easy. It takes serious effort, planning, and work. Most importantly, it takes will power and determination. At the beginning you feel like you have no energy, you are doing like 10 times the cooking and dishes that you are used to doing, and you feel MISERABLE as your body goes through withdrawal. I swear the first seven days you wonder if you have gone insane because WHY, OH WHY are you doing this to yourself!?!
There are a lot of reasons you have made this commitment, most of them probably going back to trying to take control of your body and focus on your health. The good news is that it gets easier. When you turn the corner to feeling like a new and much improved version of yourself the feeling of misery is so very worth it. But how do you keep yourself motivated?
In the past if I ate (what I considered to be) perfectly all week long I would reward myself with some kind of treat on Friday night or Saturday. Maybe that was a happy hour with friends or a special dessert. During Whole30 this is not an option. There are no cheat days for the whole 30 days……but you definitely deserve a reward for your hard work and for not caving in during a week moment.
Here are a list of things that I used as rewards for myself during my first Whole30.
A new Paleo Cookbook- There are a lot of really great ones on Amazon for around $20, and what better way to keep you motivated than more fun recipes to try. I recommend Performance Paleo, Well Fed, Against All Grain (both books are good), Nom Nom Paleo, or The Paleo Kitchen.
A fun kitchen gadget- There are a lot of cool things to add to your kitchen collection. Last time I bought a spiralizer on Amazon for $15 so I could make zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiral sliced cucumber and sweet potato.
A massage- You can go all out at a spa or just get a chair massage. Our local mall has a great little place that does a 30 minute chair massage for less than $30 (plus tip). Hopefully you have also started exercising during the Whole30 so this can do double duty to feel great but also help sore muscles!
A manicure or pedicure. Who doesn’t love to be pampered a little?!?!
I celebrated the end of my Whole30 with some new running tights because I LOVE new workout clothes. On a smaller scale you could get a new headband or some good socks.
Obviously you it would be impossible to reward yourself everyday with one of the things above unless you have a serious bank account, but if you happen to have a particularly hard day in your 30 and you make it through without a cheat there are small things you can do for yourself as a reward. One might be to buy a magazine at the grocery store that you normally wouldn’t buy. This will only put you out $5 or so, and for me this would be a fun treat because I rarely buy magazines. You can also get cute grocery store flower bouquets for under $10 to treat yourself. I recommend displaying them in the kitchen so you can enjoy them during your food prep. I actually did this on Sunday because I knew I was in for a long day in the kitchen, and seeing my mini bouquet displayed in a simple mason jar on the counter made me happy!