My Whole 30 Review: I DID IT! My Experience and Results
I promised that I would give you rundown of my experience with the Whole30 program… I’m 10 days out and finally put down my thoughts on how it all went.
The Whole30 has been on my radar for well over a year now, as my sister had previously done a couple, and last spring, my mom did one with her. My mom felt so great after having done it, that afterwards, she went permanently Paleo. She’ll eat anything on Sundays, holidays, if she goes out to eat, etc. but for her everyday eating, she eats Paleo and has lost over 40 pounds!
That sounded great, but I was pretty convinced that I could not totally cut out so many things for an entire month. However, I decided to take the plunge in mid-June and… I DID! Also, I survived! I didn’t take any before and after photos, but below are my thoughts on the experience, along with my results. I wrote more than I intended, but I kept thinking of additional things to include!
Why I Did The Whole30
Thoughout the entire Whole30 book, the authors reiterate that losing weight should not be your primary goal when completing the Whole30. Well, full disclosure here… that was my main motivating factor. There were other reasons I wanted to tackle it (I’ll talk about those, as well), but getting a jump start on losing the rest of my pregnancy weight was number one on my list of reasons to give the Whole30 a go.
I gained a total of 36 pounds during my pregnancy (Thanksgiving and Christmas falling during my third trimester didn’t help!) and had lost 23 pounds within the first two weeks after Joseph. After that, however, I didn’t lose another ounce. I was not actively trying to lose weight at that point, though, so I assume that’s to be expected. Then, horror of horrors, I gained back five pounds. Ugh! We were eating a lot of take out, I was doing a lot of snacking, and I was eating at least one dessert everyday. I decided I really needed to do something to right the ship.
Improve My Eating Habits
I’ll be the first to admit that for as long as I can remember, I haven’t had the best eating habits. Ever since high school, I would routinely skip breakfast, snack for the majority of the day and make “meals” out of things that were most certainly not meal material (i.e. saltines with peanut butter and jelly). I’d eat some fruit or protein, hardly ever vegetables, but mostly carbs.
Having a baby did nothing but reinforce those old, bad habits. When you’re sleep deprived and starving, the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking. Grabbing some crackers with cheese or PB&J is so much easier. However, I wanted to nip that in the bud and get better about taking the time to make sure that I feed my body good, wholesome foods.
This desire to shift my eating habits goes hand in hand with my next motivating factor…
Joseph Starting Solid Foods
Joseph is just starting his journey on solid foods, but in the blink of an eye he’s going to be a toddler with real food, and I want to set a good eating example for him. I didn’t want to fall into the “do as I say, not as I do” trap and be goading him to eat his vegetables when he never saw me eating them. I want to be a better role model for him and not have him think that crackers with peanut butter is a suitable meal ;-)
What I ate During the Whole30
I ate A LOT, which was really surprising. I was absolutely expecting to be hungry pretty much constantly… I mean, how filling could fruits and vegetables and some protein be? As it turns out, VERY filling! More filling than anything I had been eating before I started the Whole30. Here are the basics of what’s in and what’s out on the program:
IN: Protein, Vegetables, Fruit, Healthy Fats
The cornerstone of the eating plan is for each meal to include at least three ounces of protein (or at least two eggs), two cups of vegetables, and one tablespoon of healthy fat (olive oil, clarified butter/ghee, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, almond butter, etc.). In addition, up to two servings of fruit a day.
OUT: Sugar, Flour, Dairy, Legumes, Processed Foods
The Whole30 plan calls for a removal of all gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes (peanut butter!) and processed foods. This was pretty much all I was eating before I tackled the program, so I was a little suspicious of being able to follow the program wholly, and truth be told, I was totally expecting to cheat, which probably wasn’t the best mindset to have going into it.
Did I Cheat?
So, did I break down and dive head-first into the peanut butter jar?
I didn’t! I did intentionally cheat twice during the last week because I made two desserts (the coconut cake and chocolate cake) that were new and everyone loved them so much that I wanted to taste them so that I could share them with you. I won’t post and share a recipe if I haven’t actually eaten it! I took a little slice of each, and that was the extent of my cheating.
Now, as far as following the plan to the letter of the law, I strayed a little bit. They really discourage snacking between meals, and I went into it thinking, “oh yeah right, there’s no way I can go without a snack!” Every other time I had tried to lose weight, while I saw results, I was always hungry. As it turns out, by eating a good serving of protein, veggies and some healthy fat, I was NOT hungry between meals. I was totally stunned… I never felt like I needed to raid the pantry in the middle of the afternoon or in the evening.
However, my days don’t always go according to plan with Joseph. Between missed or super-short naps, teething, and bedtimes, my schedule can’t be too rigid. As a result, sometimes I don’t get to eat lunch until 3:30 in the afternoon or eat dinner until 8:30 at night. I needed something to get me through until the next mealtime, so I would eat a little something, but it was all Whole30-approved foods (grass-fed beef jerky, dried apricots or fresh fruit, almonds, celery with almond butter, etc.).
While I still did some snacking, trying to stick to three meals a day made me realize how many times I would mindlessly wander over to the pantry throughout the day and nibble on something.
How I Felt
I was surprised that I didn’t have too many withdrawal symptoms, given how much of the “no” foods I was eating before I started the program. Within three days, I immediately felt less bloated around my midsection and when I put on my jeans, there was a significant decrease in the muffin top situation.
The biggest thing I noticed was that even though I would eat a large meal and be pretty full afterwards, I never felt bloated. Such a huge difference compared to how I had been feeling!
Within a week of starting the Whole30, I had a surge in energy without having adjusted my sleeping habits at all. In fact, on quite a few nights, I was getting even LESS sleep since at the beginning of the Whole30, Joseph decided to go through a phase where he wanted to be up hanging out from 2am until 5am. Luckily, that lasted less than a week and coincided with some teething and a growth spurt, and he went back to being a great sleeper.
Prior to starting the program, I was really struggling with being exhausted from mid-afternoon until bedtime. I was getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep at night (on a regular night), which isn’t awful, but I literally could not keep my eyes open from about 3pm until I’d go to bed, and usually couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9pm. After starting the Whole30, this is one area where I noticed a significant improvement. I had energy ALL DAY! EVERY DAY! Even when Joseph was up in the middle of the night. I’m not sure if the sleep I was getting was better quality sleep, or if by adjusting my diet, I was no longer experiencing sugar crashes throughout the day. Whatever did it, the quality of my wake time during the day improved a hundred-fold.
If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that I am totally guilty of the hangry phenomenon. You know, you’re so hungry that you’re actually ANGRY. I would be the absolute crankiest person if I got too hungry. I would get a headache, feel a little light-headed, and just be an all-around miserable person.
I never experienced this once during the Whole30. Yes, I got hungry, especially on those days where my lunch or my dinner was delayed by hours. However, I was just hungry. It was totally manageable and I didn’t morph into Oscar the Grouch.
So, what were the quantifiable results from my month on the Whole30 program? Here is the rundown:
I lost 7 pounds over the course of the 30 days!
The book really stresses not weighing yourself during those 30 days, and I stuck to it. Usually when I’m trying to lose weight, I weigh myself every day or every other day, which can be a downer if you think you ate well and the scale doesn’t budge or goes up slightly. To negate this and focus on all the other ways your body is responding to your new way of eating, you’re supposed to stay off the scale. I’m really glad I adhered to this rule, because I think if I would have weighed myself halfway through and not seen a high enough loss, I would have been discouraged.
[I should add that I did not exercise during the 30 days. I know, I know. That’s the next thing I need to work on!]
Even though the carpal tunnel I developed my pregnancy went away after delivery, I did also get a related case of tendonitis in my left wrist. It had been awful, and I saw a hand specialist who said that I would need minor surgery to correct it. My husband urged me to reconsider and try something alternative (at the time, we had been talking about acupuncture), so I put off the procedure, but never went to the acupuncturist.
The Whole30 book talks a lot about how the foods that are eliminated on the eating plan are inflammatory and by removing them from your diet, it can allow your body to heal and deal with a large list of potential ailments. Amazingly, the tendonitis is now about 95% gone, which is insane to me! It started a few weeks before Joseph was born and had showed no signs of going away or getting better. Now it has nearly disappeared!
Sugar and Dairy Sensitivity
The biggest thing I’ve noticed after starting to add foods back into my diet? Just a few bites of a sugar-laden treat has given me a headache on more than one occasion. CRAZY!
To a lesser extent, I’ve noticed that dairy is a little bit hard on my stomach.
So far, I haven’t seen any negative effects from gluten.
So, How Hard Was It?
I was totally surprised by the fact that cravings weren’t much of an issue for me. I was expecting them to be a lot worse, but it was definitely the hardest during the first five to seven days. After that, I felt like I was kind of on autopilot.
Even Sunday dinners with our huge spread of food didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge. I just stuck to eating the meats, vegetables and potatoes each week, skipping the pasta, bread and dessert.
The biggest hurdle of all was by far the food preparation time. Since I was actually assembling meals and not snacks I was passing off as meals, it took more time. Here is what I was eating most days:
Breakfast: Almost every morning I had scrambled eggs with onions/mushrooms/random veggies/spinach or fried eggs with avocado and fruit. Not too difficult, especially if you have bags of chopped onion and mushroom in the fridge.
Lunch: I would make 6 pounds of boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker (based on Gimme Some Oven recipe, but I add smoked paprika to the seasoning!), shred it and portion it out into packets and put in the freezer. Then, I would thaw for a minute in the microwave and make a huge salad with veggies, nuts/seeds and a simple vinaigrette. Depending on if I was still hungry, I would have fruit, as well.
Dinner: For the most part, I tried to stick to either slow cooker meals or easy, quick dinners that I could make in less than 45 minutes. I always made extra so we could eat leftovers and I didn’t need to cook every single night. Some examples of meals that I made: sautéed beef with cauliflower rice, slow cooker carnitas with sweet potatoes, roasted spaghetti squash with meat sauce, Thai zucchini salad with shrimp. I used quite a number of recipes out of the Whole30 book!
What About Breastfeeding?
When I originally mentioned that I was thinking about trying the Whole30 program, many of you asked how it would affect breastfeeding. Joseph stopped nursing around 4.5 months, so this wasn’t an issue for me, but there are sections of the book specific to pregnancy and breastfeeding and how the program should be modified. Of course, if either of these situations apply to you, I would definitely check with your doctor/pediatrician/lactation consultant before starting!
So, here I am, 10 days removed from finishing the Whole30 and I am basically still eating the same way because I feel so great! On Sundays, I have a little bit of everything and a little bit of dessert, but I’m not going crazy, I’m not eating dessert everyday, and I’m eating much more balanced meals. I’m much more cognizant of what I’m putting into my body and how it makes me feel.
I feel like my eating habits have done a complete 180 – I now think in terms of complete meals and fill my plate with vegetables! That alone has been worth its weight in gold in terms of the plan having been beneficial for me. In addition, I think I’ve become much more mindful of my eating – paying attention to when I’m actually hungry, versus thirsty, bored or tired – and then eating good, whole foods that will satisfy my hunger.
I still plan on eating a burger and fries every now and then, and having my desserts (OF COURSE!). I’m just going to be enjoying smaller servings of great quality (homemade) desserts instead of eating store-bought treats every single night, which was a bad habit that I’m glad I was able to kick during those 30 days!
In a nutshell, I’m so glad I did this and would absolutely do it again.
Resources – Books and Websites
If you’re interested in learning more about Whole30, these are some great books, cookbooks and websites to get started:
It Starts With Food
Well Fed 2
This was a great post. I’m starting a second Whole 30 tomorrow. I did it a few years ago and felt fantastic. Somehow everything creeped back in to my daily diet. I remember last time my pms was nonexistent. So here I go again. Hoping to alleviate hot flashes, insomnia and shed a few lbs.
Hi,I loved the feed back on your experience. I am just starting the whole 30 .My 30 year old daughter suggested it.Im about 40pds over weight. Maybe a little more. I’m almost 56 and battling high blood pressure etc..I’m determined to get this weight off,,!My joints hurt!Wish me luck!Sincerely
I started my most recent Whole30 on 1/1/21. First time was Oct. 2018. Motivation was controlling my life long sugar cravings/addiction. First week, first time was challenging. I say the biggest challenge is making sure your mindset is all-in. And I was. Each round was a bit easier. It’s likely been over a year for me and I knew I had to do this again.
My favorite part is the rules are simple. The “No list” is clear and plenty of options are YES! I’ve permanently changed a few things. No longer sweeten coffee or tea. Big change for me. Only use olive oil. Salad oil and vinegar only majority of time.
My blood work after a year of 4 rounds, blew me away! My doctor was very impressed and said just keep doing what you’re doing!
The first time I did the whole 30 diet I lost 19 pounds in 30 days.
The second time 15 pounds in 30 days.
The third, 17 pounds in 30 days.
I am so late to the Whole30 party and I’m basically in that phase where I’m interested, but also kinda trying to talk myself out of it (am I crazy??!). I was actually looking for negative reviews when I came across your post and it was so encouraging in a realistic way. Thank you!
I am on day 14, following it exact with only one cheat! I am so disappointed I am not loosing! I always loose when counting calories! I am not over eating because I am still watching the calories! Never go over 1200. Last three days 850! Any thoughts on why I would not be loosing! Ready to stop this diet because so disappointed! I am shopping at whole food and religiously following it!
Hi Diane, I am by no means an expert, and am not a dietician or nutritionist, but the book does specifically state that it should not be considered a diet, that you shouldn’t count calories, that weight loss should not be the primary goal, and that you should not even weigh yourself until the 30 days is up. The primary purpose of the program is to identify how specific types of foods affect your body after you’ve removed them for 30 days and then reintroduce them.
Thanks so much for the helpful run down!
Your review was just the right balance of fun-to-read and helpful!
So…it’s been a few years! Do you have an updates for us?
For example…How long did the weight stay off after the initial diet? Did you try other diets?
Are you still using the principles of this diet in your everyday life?
I used your search bar but didn’t find anything. I realize that you may be posting these details in your recipe explanations, but I’m afraid I always skip the explanations (Gasp! I hope you don’t mind).
I’d love to hear how you’re feeling about Whole30 now that some time has passed. :)
Hi Eve! So to answer your question, I didn’t really continue to follow it while I was pregnant with Dominic and Isabelle (for the first half of each pregnancy all I could stomach was carbs!). And through two subsequent pregnancies, my weight did NOT stay the same, ha! However, I’ve always found that going back to this way of eating makes me feel the best and works the best in terms of losing weight. I do a scaled-back version now and am not totally nuts about ZERO sugar or dairy, but I try to keep it really low and eat that way the majority of the time, allowing for cheat meals occasionally (and especially on Sunday!).
Do not weigh yourself. 800
Calories isn’t enough. Try to not
snack and keep to 3 meals of
protein, veggies and fat.
This was a great read, I am doing whole 30 and playing with the idea of making it a whole 60.
You are right the cravings are not bad the only problem was fining whole 30 recipes, but once I decided to get creative in the kitchen (sticking with while 30 ingredients of course) it got much easier.
If you have any breastfeeding readers I wanted to point out that whole 30 actually made my milk supply go up and my son has been responding better to my breastmilk (No more baby gas, yay!)
Thank you so much for sharing this information! I’m currently on Day 20 of my Whole30 so it was nice to read results from someone that has already finished this journey. I’m doing this mostly for health reasons, but would be very happy with similar weight loss results as you’ve had as well. Great results!
Thank you for the inspiration! I did Whole30 in April of this year “just to see if I can” and I felt 21 again. I am 62. I didn’t cheat once and was so proud of myself for the accomplishment. Only those who have tried it would understand the gratification. I didn’t do it to lose weight although that is always a bonus. Congrats to your Mom on her loss and yours! I need to get back on it as I have gained a few pounds since going off it. I am using your blog as motivation to get going again!
Good for you sticking with it! I see a lot of folks “doing” this diet…I did something similar..on my own, 2 years ago and dropped 30 pounds of fat and thru exercise, gained about 15 pounds of muscle. I also, thru my eating, discovered my sensitivity to dairy (which killed me as I love yogurt) and refined sugar and flour! Flour gives me major bloat and sugar sets my heart racing, with a huge nosedive and sleepiness within 20 minutes! It is absolutely amazing how when you cut that junk out and then try some of it..how your body reacts so violently..makes you wonder if your body is telling you something..LOL. Again, great job
My husband might be interested in Whole 30 for his health issue but Is this for only people who wants to loose weight? I don’t want to loose weight but I would like to eat healthier meal. Do you know??
Michelle answered your question in her post: “Thoughout the entire Whole30 book, the authors reiterate that losing weight should not be your primary goal when completing the Whole30.” She linked to their website and you can find more info there.
Sorry but I didn’t read her post well. Thank you Sally.
I can speak to the breastfeeding issue. I started Whole30 for the same reasons (mostly to lose the baby weight.) I didn’t think nursing would be an issue since the diet involves eating lots of healthy fat and plenty of calories, but it was horrid. I woke in the night to feed the baby and blacked out. Plus the baby was super cranky and screamed. As soon as I added some carbs, we both felt immediately better. I wouldn’t recommend trying this program while nursing or pregnant. Otherwise, I think the program’s a good thing. I hope to try again after my little guy is weaned.
No legumes? Or oats or anything like that? Getting your protein soley by animal products is not the healthiest or most sustainable practice. I try to eat vegetarian/vegan about 90% of the time. How would someone like me get my daily servings of protein accourding to this “paleo”(pseudo-sciency) diet? Just nuts and seeds?
They do have an option for vegetarians/vegans, though they stress that it’s not technically Whole 30. http://whole30.com/2015/06/veg-whole30/
I’ve been thinking of trying this and this may be the motivation I needed!
Your website has been my first stop for dessert ideas for a couple years now, but nothing has prompted me to write like your endeavor into the realm of whole food “pseudo-science” as some claim. This blog entry seemed to pose a problem. “What to do after Whole 30?” It’s a nice reset on the system, delivers good results, but is highly unsustainable in the long run. I’m only writing this to help and if it’s unwanted, please just ignore it.
I make and eat treats like your Copycat Levain Bakery Cookies, Buckeye Brownies, and even the amazing Peanut Butter Overload and Six Layer Chocolate Cake. BUT, I only have them once a week as much as I want. The rest of the week I’m eating good amounts of protein, fat, and veggies and almost no carbs. It’s called Carb Nite developed by a physicist and food researcher. You can look up the website and podcast, BodyIO FM if this seems interesting.
It’s a way of eating that improves energy, clear-thinking, hormonal health, fat loss, and sanity most of all, by way of weekly refeeds.
I believe that what we put into our bodies directly affects how we feel. I also believe that there’s not one single diet for every person. I’m not claiming that what I do will do the same for everyone. I just know it allows me to cheat one evening a week, while the rest of the time, I’m eating foods that are nutritious, anti-inflammatory and healing to my body. I actually have tendonitis in both arms from years of cooking professionally and ulcerative colitis which is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. I keep my condition in check with this lifestyle and I really enjoy it. Next Carb Nite, I’m making the Peanut Butter Layer Cake! I, too, love the peanut butter/chocolate combo most of all.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates
Thank you so much for your very thorough review Michelle! you told me exactly what I needed to know and I’m grateful!
After reading this i am sooooo happy for your and fun reading this. Almost the same exact experience I had. I never felt better and didn;t want to go back.
Thank you for posting this! I first learned about the Whole30 when you mentioned it a while ago, and now I’m on day 27 (July Whole30!). I’m enjoying eating healthy meals and I’m sure I’ve dropped a few pounds, but I still feel pretty much normal. No tiger blood of feeling amazing for me.
So right now I’m thinking of skipping my reintroduction. I don’t mind eating like this at home but eating out is starting to get really frustrating. Maybe I’ll do some sort of slow roll reintroduction.
I’ve been doing the whole 30 on and off for 10 months and I always feel great and then I just have that one bite of something sweet and everything goes out the window. Now I am back on another round, but I have been off sugar for two months because I came to the realization that I felt so much better without it. No more achy joints, lots of energy, sleeping great etc. And now those cravings are eliminated. Plus I have learned so much more about what food manufacturers put into our food to keep us addicted to sugar. Why do you need sugar in chicken broth or a can of black beans? It’s been great eating clean and my family is finally on board which is an added bonus.
I did the whole30 2 years ago in attempts to figure out what was causing some very debilitating health problems. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt, and now eat about 95% paleo. I can not eat gluten or corn at all. I’m hoping now this means you might start making more pAleoish meals. I always get sad seeing all the wonderful foods you make and I can no longer eat.
You inspired me! Starting today!
Congratulations on completing the Whole 30! Another great resource for the Whole 30 is Nom Nom Paleo. There is a daily meal plan on her blog that is chock full of ideas and meals. So glad you have had such great results!
I just called my local library to get The Whole 30 book, and the person in the research dept. just laughed saying, “Someone incredible must have just posted a great experience on their website as their phone has been ringing non-stop this morning.” THANK YOU for the very informative explanation. I’m definitely going to try this, yet I cannot imagine no pizza and no desserts for 30 days! THANK YOU also for your marvelous blog. Yours is the first I view each day (and THE BEST). I always look forward to seeing a new picture of your son on Fridays and to see what you have planned for your weekend meals. I enjoy so many of your recipes and your bookmarked suggestions. The coconut cake was OUTSTANDING along with the blueberry pie. THANK YOU for all of your creativity and baking advice!
Thank you for sharing!!!
I completed my first Whole30 in May. It was life changing! My biggest surprise was not having the 3pm slump. One of my favorite sites is nomnompaleo.com and her book!
Congratulations and well done, Michelle. I’m presently on Day 23 of my first Whole30. For me, this program was all about getting the crap out of my diet and lose weight. It has been said before that we should grocery shop around the perimeter of the store as there is nothing really nutritious in the middle aisles. When shopping, I’d look down an entire aisle of nothing by chips, cookies, crackers, cake mixes/frosting, cereals – nothing there for me, just empty calories. Feeding the body whole nutritious foods makes a body feel good. My aches and pains are disappearing, although not completely gone, but I’ve got probably 30 years on you. Hoping another week will do it. I think you are doing exactly the right thing for Joseph. Wish I’d paid attention to this years ago. Congrats to your mom as well. I agree that having food prepared ahead of time and meals planned out is a big key to this terrific and sound program.
I love hearing folks’ experiences with Whole30! I did it for the first time almost 2 years ago except that it was really Whole84 since it was one aspect of a 12 week challenge. Man, did I get tired of meat around week 8. And that first bowl of oatmeal a couple days after the end was heavenly.
I’ve done it once on my own since then and think it will be something I do every year or so just for the reset and mindfulness aspect.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It was great reading your post and seeing all the benefits you got from doing the whole 30. I have been reading the book and just started my journey today!! I first heard about the book a month ago from my cousin. She had done it and had great results. I was unsure if this was something I could do, but finally decided to take the plunge! My main goal is to stop taking my acid reflux medication, but I am looking forward to all the other benefits of eating healthy. Thank you for sharing again, and for all your great recipes…you are my go to when I need a recipe! :)
Congratulations! I had very similar success with a WHOLE30 style plan when I could *not* lose the pregnancy weight. It also cleared up the chronic back and hip pain I’d been having. I need to get back to eating more veggies/less quick stuff but life with a 3 year old has gotten in the way. I need to spend more time prepping and getting stuff ready to just grab and it should be easier. It is amazing how much your eating habits change after those first 30 days, isn’t it?
Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I have been doing a diet similar to the Whole30 program, slightly more restricted. I am amazed that I can finish a meal and feel truly full – cannot put another bite in my mouth – but without any of the discomfort, bloated, sluggish feeling I’d been accustomed to feeling after a typical meal which would included “no” foods. I could get up from the table and MOVE!! Hard as it is to keep this diet, the liberating feeling of eating and energizing my body keeps me from straying. Those times that I do, the discomfort in my stomach keeps me from falling asleep comfortably.
Perhaps you can share some recipes you’ve come up with that are Whole30 compliant?
I did something similar not too long ago and found it easier to follow the program than I thought. I agreed that I thought I’d be starving between meals, but when you eat enough, and it’s the right stuff, it’s amazing how full you can stay. I agree about the de-bloating and the energy – that was awesome! I heard I’d sleep better, too, but unfortunately that didn’t happen for me. But it was okay because I didn’t have the low energy in the afternoons that I was accustomed to.
Reading about your experience makes me want to do it again. But after we travel via plane next week with an 18-month-old and then move the next weekend – I’m pretty sure I’m going to need alcohol and pizza.
Hi Michelle! Today is my first day of the Whole30 plan, and I’m excited! I heard about it for the first time when you mentioned giving it a try. I ordered the book, read it this past month, and waited to start until I was past some “possible cheating hurdles”!
I am a healthy eater for the most part, and know I am gluten & dairy sensitive, more so as I’ve gotten older. I have a weakness for chips & salsa, and cheese of any kind. I think those will be a challenge, but I’m ready! :) I decided it was time to narrow down some foods that are inflammatory to my system, and get on a better habit of resisting those temptations. Wish me luck!
P.S. Thanks for sharing your story!
Great post, I did Whole30 as well a few months ago and reading your experience made me realize the changes that I’ve made since then. I haven’t gone back to cow’s milk, I’ve knocked my cheese obsession, and my snack attacks. For the most part I still eat compliant, doing whole30 really changed my eating habits. So happy I did it.
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been thinking about the Whole 30, but I’m really nervous about giving up sugar! Your story is inspiring though – especially the part about more energy and your tendonitis going away! Way to go!!
Good for you. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t listen to their bodies and realize what their food choices are doing to them. Put crap in your body=feel like crap.
I love reading experiences of real people trying certain diets, what really works, etc. It sounds like this was actually a really good fit! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this and am intrigued!
I’m aware of one source who believes the “Hangry” feeling comes from eating processed and low nutrient dense foods.
A source for Whole 30 appropriate recipes: http://goodcheapeats.com/recipes-for-a-whole-30/
So glad you had such positive results from the WHole 30. Its amazing how eating just REAL food can dramatically improve your whole well being. Food is power :)
So glad you posted this today. A friend of mine mentioned it yesterday and I was thinking about doing it in the month of August but did not know where to start and this was super helpful :)
I’m so glad you enjoyed your journey! I do this every January as I think it’s a great way to re-start the year, and I love it. I’m actually on a candida cleanse right now, even more strict than Whole30 because I can’t even have fruit, well, I’ve started adding back in berries. I think the best thing to learn from Whole30 is just what you said — rethinking the way you eat. It’s so important to base a meal off of what veggies you’re going to eat, then consider protein, and if you feel like you need to add in carbs, do that last. Great job! I feel like when you do this, it’s true, you don’t want to cheat, and when you’re done, you don’t want to just go back to the way you were eating before because it doesn’t feel right. What do I miss the most? CHEESE!
Thanks so much for posting your experience! I’ve spent all day feeling bad about myself because I have lately almost completely eliminated gluten and sugar but have seen no results whatsoever. And then I read your post and you’ve really inspired me to consider doing a whole30 and see if anything changes. It always helps to hear what real people have to say about how they did it, how they felt about it and what strategies they used to succeed. Thanks again and congratulations on your success!
Congratulations, I’m happy for you! Thank you for sharing your journey, it’s really inspiring! I try to eat well but I’m a huge sucker for desserts, and I’m constantly snacking. Reading your experience with this was really motivating, given I feel I share some of your previous eating habits. So, did your husband do this with you? Just wondering whether he was on board with this shift in diet. congrats again! PS – love your blog and your recipes :)
Hi Kim, My husband ate everything that I made (he LOVED the cauliflower rice!), but wasn’t officially doing a Whole30, so he ate other things that I didn’t, as well.
This is a great synopsis of a Whole 30 experience! I’ve been considering doing one for a while now. My biggest concern involves time. Not only the time spent prepping meals (I do much of that now, but there are some days when I just don’t wanna), but also the extra trips to the store for fresh fruits and veggies! Whenever I try to buy large quantities at a time (to save so many trips) we usually waste much of it. But going to the store 2 to 3 times a week isn’t always easy.
Before I plunge into the plan, I am hoping to build up a store of Whole 30-friendly freezer meals that will help with the meal prep anyway!
Congratulations on your success!
Hi Sara, I hear you! My mom works long hours a lot of the time, and she found that setting aside a few hours on Saturday or Sunday and prepping all of her food for the week is key. She portions it all out, puts it in the fridge, then she just needs to grab it and go. I really need to start doing this, but I agree – some freezer meals would help tremendously, too!
Great job! I’ve recently amped up my healthy choices due to a family illness and research that I’ve done. I was amazed that i don’t miss or crave some of the bad snacks I used to eat. I will still make desserts from your site for special occasions as they are my go -to for the best people pleasing recipes. Thank you for sharing your story and that beautiful bundle of love.
Re-setting a diet while following this kind of advice makes sense, but can you expand a bit on the science behind eating (or abstaining from) “inflammatory” foods as laid out by the authors? Apart from pseudo-science de-bunkers analyzing the actual benefits of food fads and purges and the like, I’ve never heard of such a thing. I’m glad to hear that this diet’s proponents don’t claim this program is “anti-toxin,” though. That’s a good sign.
Hi Saurs, Sure! The crux of the program is to eliminate foods that research has shown to do one of the following: promote unhealthy cravings and habits, disrupt metabolism, put stress on the digestive tract and affect your immune system. As for the inflammatory foods – it’s specific to each person. Something that affects me negatively may not affect you negatively. BUT, if every day I’m eating something that is causing my digestion system to flare up in some way, even moderately, then the body is working to repair that in lieu of working to heal something else.
By and large, these are foods that we have just begun eating, as a society, over the last century or so – foods that our bodies were not originally consuming. Things like processed foods, flours/sugars, dairy, etc.
The idea is not to eliminate these foods entirely long-term, but by eliminating them for 30 days, it allows your body to do a reset of sorts. It not only cuts cravings, but by reintroducing those types of foods one at a time afterward, you’re able to see if any of them are having a negative effect on you. You might notice, for instance, that you always get an upset stomach after eating dairy or that every time you eat bread you get a headache and so you could choose to limit how much you consume… or you might not notice any ill effects at all!
I have osteoarthritis and my doctor suggested I try eliminating the nightshade family of food as they can cause inflammation . Unfortunately, most are my daily go-to’s. White potatoes, tomatillos, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet & hot peppers. I am still trying to convince myself to give up some of my favorite foods so that I can stop taking Aleeve.
If you can add some tumeric spice along with flax and chia seeds in your diet it will help a little. Anything to get rid of the pain relievers, they are bad news in the long run. Hope it’s ok to recommend another site, here goes. Try wh foods.org This has been very useful and tons of good info. My mom suffered from osteo for years, I wish I knew then what I know now.Hope this will help.
Thanks Rochelle. I have been using fax and chia seeds and had thought of adding tumeric. I recommend “Against All Grain” by Danielle Walker. She has a couple of books and a website. She goes into more details about autoimmune diseases (which she has) and has some really great recipes.
Enjoyed reading this today. Congratz Michelle.
I am glad it all worked out xx
Congrats and what an amazing journey you took in 30 days! So happy for all the positive changes you saw from your tendonitis to having more energy. I think it’s awesome you found something that worked for you and thank you for sharing the blow by blow with all the details, loved reading it all!
Good for you loosing 7 pounds in 30 days, and the way you did it was so healthy. It’s all about balance right…. I mean who is really going to be able to say that they’ll never eat pizza again? Or have dessert. My wife did that for a while and got down to 106 pounds and then she kind of binged. But now she’s back to a healthy weight. But my mother in law lost 60 pounds on a similar diet like your moms. It’s good to work on things like this as a family. Makes you feel more connected and to stick with the program!!!