Whole30! We’ve all heard it, some may have tried it, loved it and hated it! This is my second time to complete Whole30 and I want to share my thoughts and results about this 30 day change that lead me to a complete lifestyle change!
As you know, my eating lifestyle is “clean” with the occasional treats. No depriving here. I promise. I am 37 years old, mom of three boys, so getting older isn’t as fun when it comes to eat what you want! I am not that eat a big bowl of cereal for dinner girl anymore, well she is in there I just have to not buy the cereal she likes. LOL! I mean don’t get me wrong, I wish I could but nope can’t happen. But I did enjoy those days when they were here!
So the first time I decided to try Whole30 was after I had stopped nursing my last baby! I needed a jump-start and something to get me back on track and to help motivate me to start exercising again. I didn’t work out at all during the first Whole30 and just focused on the program. I feel sometimes we incorporate too much at once and it leads to unwanted results. I have learned if I am implementing a new plan of any kind, I do one thing at a time, so I can focus 100% of my energy on that.
After the first go around, I felt great! With a baby under the age of one and two older boys, I am usually drained everyday! But, sticking to Whole30, by the end of the month I was feeling great and had a lot more energy.
So, with that being said Whole30 helped me get on track and get focused when I had slacked off and enjoyed way to much food…especially after the holidays. I decided to start Whole30 again January 2nd. I have the Whole30 book, (it’s also available on Amazon and most book stores carry it. Plus I purchased the cookbook for extra meal ideas. What is great about Whole 30 recipes is they are actually really good. What is great is the meals don’t have to be time consuming with 25 ingredients. My husband and boys have enjoyed most of the meals as well. On a side note, I don’t make my boys eat Whole30. For example, if I am making lettuce wraps for dinner, they will have the prepared mixture on a bun or hoagie roll. And they get Cookies and Cream ice-cream after they finished all their dinner! 🙂
Newer cookbook that is available.
What Is Whole30
Whole30 is a 30 day “reset” that can lead to more energy, a jump-start on weight loss, and a helpful way to figure out what works best for you and your body. This information, is from the Whole 30 book which is where I started when I first started researching Whole30. “Think of the Whole30 like pushing the “reset” button with your health, your habits, and your relationship with food.” During a Whole 30 you will eliminate these food groups for 30 days. (alcohol, dairy, peanuts, soy, beans, gluten, grains, and added sugar). You want to eat clean proteins, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats and drink lots of water.
Preparing for Whole30
Preparing and planning for Whole30 is extremely important. Making sure you are prepared and have the right mental mind-set before you start. Then decide on a start date. Don’t pick a month where you have a trip planned or a weekend getaway with the girls. Yes, it is hard to find a month where not much is going on, but planning ahead here can be so helpful.
Clean out your pantry and fridge of all your trigger foods and snacks that are not part of Whole 30 and will temp you during your 30 days. I promise you will be so glad you did this!
My husband usually participates when I do Whole30. It doesn’t bother me what he eats when he is away, like his breakfast is usually on the go and lunches are at work. He often has dinners out as well, so his Whole 30 contribution is when he is at home and eating with us. This can be extremely helpful, and I suggest either talking to your spouse, significant other about ways they can help. Or finding a buddy that wants to do it with you. You can help hold each other accountable. Doing daily check-ins, texting what you’re eating, and sharing recipes can help with your success. I had some girlfriends this past month that shared recipes and it was so nice to try new things.
Schedule your grocery store trips, or try curb side pick-up if you are busy or have a full day at work. I recommend not going crazy and buying tons of fruit and veggies, because fresh produce and fruit will go bad, so I personally like to plan out about 3-4 days of meals. I write everything down, double-check my calendar to see what days will allow me to cook or what days I should get up early and prepare a crock pot dish because my day is filled with obligations. Planning out meals is extremely important, but doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Like I said, I plan out about 3-4 days, I write it all down and then make my list for the grocery store. Also, pick meals that fit your lifestyle. I rotate between quick easy meals to maybe 1-2 more extensive recipes a week.
All of these things can help lead to a successful Whole30. During your Whole30 there are so many different feelings and emotions that you and your body may experience. Some are not so fun, but will be rewarding in the end.
MY WHOLE 30 RECAP
WEEK ONE – The excitement is high AT FIRST, you are focused and ready to get going. After about 2 days, The Whole 30 book calls it a “hangover”. Yes, this does happen! It is sort of like a detox. Your body is wanting all the things it is use to and going through sort of “withdrawals” of not having it! BUT….you can make it through this week! Staying prepared and on top of your meal planning helped me emensly. Overall, I usually feel pretty good after the hangover effects diminish.
WEEK TWO – Tiredness can set in when you are finishing out week 1 and starting week 2. This is normal, so maybe try to schedule a little nap when you can or a massage at the spa to reward your first week of commitment. Being tired is the main reason I only focus on this eating plan and rarely workout when I am starting Whole30. I am thankful for my black coffee during this week, as well as Spindrift drinks (found at Trader Joe’s)! They give me that afternoon kick when I am tired of drinking water.
WEEK THREE – This is when your “high” will kick in! You have conquered two weeks, even though it hasn’t been fun you are 1/2 way there and the end is in sight! Keep planning and focusing on what is working for you. I like to try a few new meals during this time. Or take a break from cooking and research restaurants around you that offer a Whole30 menu. They are out there, it just takes some research! I found that Zoe’s Kitchen in my area, offer a Whole30 option! Such great news!
WEEK FOUR – You are almost done, but at the same time OVER IT! I felt this way both times, like the last week is so hard, why can’t we just stop at 21 days. BUT! You will be so glad you pushed through, because now you are in a routine, craving less and feeling better! The cravings are really gone. Even though you may want to dive into it all at the end, it will be a choice…..not something you feel you need. You will think twice about what goes into your body.
WHOLE30 Favorite Meals
I have a lot of meals that I put on repeat throughout my Whole30 and have continued to cook them when I am not doing Whole30. The cookbooks really do have a lot of easy meals to prepare for you and your family. There is a new cookbook available too, that is supposed to be fast and easy recipes. I am anxious to order this one.
BREAKFAST: Eggs are a big part of my breakfast. I personally love scrambled eggs with a side of avocado and salsa! **Clint’s salsa is my favorite. (most local grocery stores carry this brand) I also make a lot of eggs because my boys enjoy having them for breakfast too, so this makes my mornings easier. I am not preparing 3 different meals in the morning. If I don’t have eggs or am limited on time I make a green smoothie! This usually consists of 1 cup almond milk (I only use the MALK brand), 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach, strawberries, sliced green apple, 1 scoop of protein peptides, 1 tbsp flax seeds and/or chia seeds. I adjust this to sometimes what is in my fridge too……You can create any smoothie with less fruit, more greens etc….Pinterst has a lot of smoothie recipes too.
LUNCH: I am a huge leftover person during Whole30. This makes my life a lot easier, so if you are at home, or headed to the office you can have easy leftovers for lunch. I also make this egg salad recipe a lot, just exclude the toast. I make a lot of lettuce wraps and salads for lunch too! Click here for recipe.
DINNERS: My goal is to cook 5 out of the 7 days during the week. The other two days I usually eat leftovers or have a large salad with protein for dinner. Salads are an easy go to when you don’t feel like cooking. Adding cooked shrimp, chicken or beef helps get your protein in too. I use Tessemae’s salad dressing all the time. It has replaced all my dressings. Tessemae’s offer Whole30 approved flavors and it can be found in the produce section at most grocery stores. The vinaigrette is my favorite. If you are purchasing the cook books you can find so many excellent recipes! This is my most used cook book.
Sheppard Pie – I have a similar version on my blog but added some more veggies and tweaked it a little for my liking. Click here for my recipe. What is great about this recipe is you can really add and take away based on your likes and dislikes.
Sloppy Joes – This is a weekly dish for our family. My kids love this on a bun. Since I am not eating the bun, I serve it Whole30 style in lettuce wraps or on a sweet potato, but you can use any potato of your choice. Click out my Instagram “highlights” video for this recipe.
Lettuce wraps – This is my newest favorite! We had dinner during Whole30 at a sweet friend’s house and she cooked Whole30 for me. These lettuce wraps are from 40 Aprons and they are soooooo good! Click here for her recipe.
Sundried Tomato Chicken – This dish is a little more time consuming but so worth it! You have to try it at least once while doing Whole30. Click here for recipe. It is also linked in one of my clean eating blog posts where I talk about 4 favorite clean recipes.
Salmon – An easy 20 minute salmon dinner. I like to serve this with roasted broccoli or any veggie of your choice. Click here for recipe.
20 minute Orange Chicken – is another easy and quick favorite. Click here for her recipe. Physical Kitchness has some really good recipes that are easy to fix. This is important for me, since evenings are my busy time with kids coming home from school, doing home work, watching my little guy and having fun all at the same time. 🙂
SNACKS: I do feel like Whole30 meals keep me full, but having snacks ready and on hand are also key to being successful, especially if you are on the go or at the office. I wrote a snack blog post recently about my 10 go-to snacks that are Whole30 approved (excluding the RX bars….they have chocolate in them, so I save them for my after Whole30 life. :). Click here to find my snacks post.
- sliced veggies
- banana with raw almond butter
- raw nuts
- boiled egg
- 1/2 avocado
Results of my Whole30
After completing both Whole30’s I have felt 10X better both times. My energy levels go up and I can dedicate more time to my exercise routine. Again, when starting Whole30 for the first time, I don’t recommend adding anything else in at the same time, if you aren’t use to it. If you are already working out, keep your routine and do what you feel is best for your body. My second go round with Whole30, I started working out during week 3. I felt good and ready, so it was a good time to start. But, listen to your body and do what works best for you!
Everyone always asks, so I will share. My first Whole30 I lost 7 pounds, and this last time I lost 5 pounds. Although weight loss is always welcomed especially after baby #3, but it is something I don’t count on. Everyone is different and I have heard so many different numbers when it comes to weight loss. For example, my husband can drop 10 pounds just by reading the Whole30 book. 😉 LOL! I didn’t measure this time, so not sure on my inches, if anything was lost and where. BUT, inches usually are, so if this is something you are interested in you should take before and after pictures and take all your measurements. I did this the first time and was very pleased with the results. Also, my clothes just fit better. That is hard to explain, but they do! It can be the best feeling! 🙂
Also, they recommend not weighing during the Whole30. I weighed both times like after two weeks, and I remember feeling discouraged because after two weeks nothing had happened to the scale. I also read that it might not happen right away, so I just focused on that and kept going. If you think this will affect your mental game, don’t get on the scale!!! 🙂
Other things that I notice is a higher energy level, no bloating, and I sleep better! The Whole30 book explains all the benefits of doing this reset. It is pretty mind blowing what your diet can do to your body.
The final part of Whole30 that most people don’t talk about is reintroducing foods into your diet. You are supposed to bring back one thing at a time to see how your body responds. Sometimes I think this part is harder because let’s be honest, I want a glass of wine, chips and salsa, all the Mexican food and a big piece of carrot cake to reward my hard work. I will say my second go round, I have done a lot better reintroducing things into my diet. One thing I learned from my first Whole30 was beans aren’t the best thing for me. (good-bye hummus). Beans can make me feel bloated, so I have left those out of my diet completely after learning this. I also do not eat dairy, and if I do it is very rare! I personally don’t feel like my body needs it, so it is something I have chosen to eliminate. But what is great about a Whole30 lifestyle, is they talk a lot about “food freedom”. So, yes I have the option to treat myself with things I normally would not eat, an I also can choose what foods are best for my body.
Now, Whole30 is not be for everyone. I say that because not everyone needs a strict reset like I personally do. Not everyone needs a structured designated amount of time with things you can’t have. I feel like we all can learn different things from our eating patterns and habits and Whole30 for sure helps me. So, if you have been interested in Whole30 or giving it a shot, I hope this post has helped with the details of doing a Whole30. For me, this has become a lifestyle change and I now have the “food-freedom” to eat the Whole30 way, but also enjoy the things I love. 🙂
If you have any questions at all about Whole30, I would be happy to help. I personally enjoy doing Whole30 and feel like it helps me make better decisions about my food choices on a daily basis, and what is right for my body. Have you tried Whole30? If so, what was your take away? Would you do it again?
You can also follow my Pinterest boards for Whole30 recipes.