Whole30 is a 30-day challenge designed to re-focus your eating. On it, you eat nutritious, real food, and then see what you might feel better keeping out of your diet for good. For those of you doing Whole30 in Birmingham, we’ve put together a guide to where you can shop, eat out, and get takeout to make the month a fun excuse to explore some new places.
The main things to eat are meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and fruits.
No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sugar, and—the kicker for many people—no alcohol.
Unlike a diet, it’s really a shift in focus, and many people who do it report feeling much better (after an initial adjustment period), learning what things they feel better not eating, and making permanent shifts after the 30 days have passed.
Where to shop for ingredients when you’re doing Whole30 in Birmingham
Because Whole 30 requires a lot of cooking your own food, one of the first parts of “doing Whole30” is a shopping trip.
Realistically, you can do this anywhere, from Wal-Mart to Whole Foods. Some stores, like Trader Joe’s, have a Whole30 section all set up for your convenience, and in other places it’ll be a bit more of a scavenger hunt.
One fun option to consider is signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share from a local farm. Through Owls Hollow Farm, located in Gadsden, you can purchase a farm box for a family of four for $140 for four weeks, or a half box for $80 for four weeks. They deliver to three different Birmingham locations by noon on Thursdays. Click here for more information and to place your order.
Where to eat out on Whole30 in Birmingham ?
The real challenge a lot of people run into when they embark on Whole30 is where to eat out. Since you don’t know how foods are prepared, it’s hard to tell what’s “safe” to eat.
Virginia Bunting, a a local life coach and yogini, said “My trick for going out is a salad without dressing [or croutons or cheese] and traveling with Tessemae’s dressing!”
That said, a number of local restaurants are working to meet the need of folks doing Whole30 with special menus or with regular items that either fit the bill or that can easily be modified.
Local restaurants with Whole30 menus
- Real and Rosemary has prepared a full Whole30 menu for your dining pleasure. Check it out here. 1922 29th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35209. (205) 820-7100
- Zoe’s Kitchen has a full Whole30-approved menu. Check it out here. This would be a good choice if you want options someone’s already planned for you. Multiple locations.
Area restaurants where you can find some Whole30-friendly things to eat
- Eli’s Jerusalem Grill: they have enough grass-fed meats to make anybody doing Whole30 happy without much menu tweaking. Pizitz Food Hall: 1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203. Highway 280: 4673 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242. (205) 637-3658
- Farm Burger: your best options will be a build-it burger on lettuce or a farm salad, hold the cheeses, fried onion rings, and condiments. 707 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S. #204, Birmingham, AL 35233. (205)502-2588
- Urban Cookhouse has a few good options, if you make sure to ask them to modify your order to make it paleo-friendly, which is pretty similar to Whole30. Multiple locations.
- Ono Poké: once you’re familiar with how Whole30 works, putting together a Whole30-friendly poke bowl at either the Pizitz Food Hall or Edgewood location should be easy. Pizitz: 1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203. (205)730-1992 Edgewood: 934 Oxmoor Rd., Homewood, AL 35209. (205)238-5508
- Taco Mama: this one will require a lot of self-control, since you can order a burrito bowl, hold the chips, add some meat, and … you’ll have to say no thank you to a whole lot of things that will tempt you if you’re at the beginning or the end. Multiple locations.
- Farm Bowl + Juice Company: fresh juices, smoothies, and wellness shots will help jump-start your Whole30, or give you a boost when you need it. 1920 29th Ave S, Homewood, AL 35209, (205)848-2929
- Sprout + Pour Juicery and Cafe: stop by to get cold pressed juices or other plant-based foods at 2015 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203. (205)423-5543
- Organic Harvest downtown or in Hoover has a cafe where you can get fresh juices and a few smoothies that are Whole30 compliant. You can also pick up some groceries while you’re there. 1580 Montgomery Hwy #12, Hoover, AL 35216. (205)978-0318
- Katie’s Plates delivers freshly-made meals with a paleo option, to folks who live within the delivery range specified on their website. There you’ll find detailed menus and instructions for how to place your order.
- Nourish Foods Co. offers weekly subscription plans with clearly-specified paleo options. Menus and detailed instructions are available on their website.
- The Joyful Food Company offers a number of Whole30 Approved single-serving or family-sized meals. Order online and pick up in the store. More details are available on their website. 759 Shades Mountain Plaza, Bluff Park, AL 35226. (205)538-7967
- The Cajun Cleaver is a butcher shop off of 150 in Hoover that specializes in “providing quality specialty ‘Louisiana-style foods’ as well as All Natural Angus.” They have a number of paleo-friendly options to order from their website or by calling (205)444-0496. 2341 John Hawkins Pkwy, Ste 101, Birmingham, AL 35244.
Local spots where you can find tasty juices
Where to get takeout on Whole 30 in Birmingham?
If you decide to embark on Whole30, or if you’re already committed and are craving takeout, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are, in fact, healthy options for nights when you want to order something ready-made.
Whether this is your first time doing Whole30, or if you’re an old pro, there’s no need to feel like you have to stay cloistered in your kitchen for the whole month. With our guide to shopping, eating out, and getting takeout on Whole30 in Birmingham, you’ve got plenty of options to make the month healthy and fun.