Category: whole30

Whole30 Review

We made it! If you’re on the fence, I definitely recommend the program.


  • Take photos and measurements! We weren’t sure if we’d changed physically, but comparing photos in the same location in the same clothes we both look much less puffed up. We lost over an inch in our guts, natural waists and hips.
  • Willpower. This is less tangible, but we’re way more comfortable passing up mini snickers or junky beer than we were before.
  • Shopping/kitchen habits. We don’t let produce go bad anymore even though we buy a lot more veg and fruit. I’m also reading all the labels and throwing back anything with unpronounceable ingredients or unnecessary soy/corn products.
  • Mental Health. I think my anxiety has simmered down a wee bit. Frustrating circumstances don’t make me jump to break downs quite so fast.


  • The book says there’s no such thing as a perfect Whole30. Try as we might there were some things that had confusing ingredients lists – a bag of nuts that listed cashews, almonds and sea salt as ingredients in large font, and then in teeny font somewhere else said ingredients: almonds, peanut oil, cashews, sea salt made me soooo mad that I’d accidently broken the rules.
  • Meals. Whole30 stresses no snacks. Have five meals if you need to, but don’t just snack. I was terrible at this rule. I definitely like to have a piece of fruit when I wake up, get dressed and then make breakfast. Once I’m at work I have coffee, and an hour in my second cup of coffee usually gets some prunes and almonds with it. I supposed I could call each of these times I eat a tiny meal, but I’d end up with nine meals some days.
  • Miracles. I’d read so many amazing transformation stories I was a bit disappointed when my skin didn’t clear up, my hip pain remained and my IBS symptoms stagnated. We were already closer to Whole30 than to the S.A.D. when we started, and I’ve outlined a couple little ways I didn’t totally follow the plan, so I’m not shocked it wasn’t a cure-all, but still a little disappointed.

Next Steps

We are taking baby steps. One day I had milk in a latte. Justin had cheese. We’ve tried oats, popcorn, rice and scotch without major issues. I’m trying to do 80/20; mainly stick to Whole30 but allow for 20% of life to be coloring outside the lines.

Whole30 Week 3


Highlights of the last week were salmon cakes in the waffle maker, salads for breakfast, and a dinner party. We don’t even host dinner parties when we can eat and drink everything. It was a bit intimidating, but between the two people who came over we needed to keep it dairy-free, gluten-free, sober and low salt. Pretty perfect pairing with Whole30 actually.

Our menu:
Babaganoush, olive tapenade and veggies (all homemade!)
Salmon simply baked with rosemary and lemon
Roasted Kale and Brussel Sprouts
Poached Pears from It Starts With Food

We of course served La Croixs, and they brought a great smokey tea that was a nice “cocktail” to have pre-dinner. It was all delicious and didn’t feel too much like a crazy diet plan.

I also started an Instagram to keep me motivated. It’s fun to see what other people are making, and I really do think it helps me make full meals so I have better photos to take.

Whole30 Week 2

We’ve gotten in to the groove. I rarely have to ask “can I have…?” when I’m at the grocery store or standing in my kitchen. I know what to eat and have started cooking more and more. Here’s this week’s overview, onomatopoeia style:

Oops. The only (known) slip ups was some canola oil (which is technically allowed, but just barely and we were trying to cut it out) in some canned herring and brewing tea that had stevia leaf in it. The book actually says something about sucking on the leaves being ok, but it’s sort of a facetious point about eating real food and not processed crap. We dumped the tea.

Drat. I feel like everyone is inviting me to free food events. There’s been galas and restaurant openings and samplings oozing out of the woodwork. I’m currently just declining them all. Part of me wants to go and practice not automatically eating whatever is free, but if the focus is on eating I’d feel awkward watching friends/coworkers eat.

Uff. Still having some gut issues. I’ve tried to up the cooked produce over raw produce, which I’ve read is easier to digest. I just like the crunch of raw and not having to do any prep. I’ve also tried to swap in more veggies in the morning for fruit. I had Brussel sprouts for breakfast yesterday! Who am I?

Ca-ching. So far my monthly spending is down. Eatting out really adds up quickly. That plus buying alcohol and buying processed foods at the grocery store (I’m talking pre-made vegan sandwiches at my co-op grocery) is a large chunk of my spending.

Brrrr. It’s windchill of -33 Fahrenheit here. That kinda puts a damper on everything. We’ve been drinking tea and cuddling under blankets and not doing much beyond washing dishes.

Week 2 was way easy compared to week 1. I’m hoping Week 3 flies by. The point isn’t to dwell on what you’re missing but live in what you’re able to enjoy, but I’m pretty excited for a mocha in a few weeks. I have been thinking about limiting myself to only “real” ingredients for my guilty pleasures – no Milky Ways, just real, good, chocolate. I got this, right?

Whole30 Week 1

After hearing about Whole30 all over (coworkers, blogs, friends, physicians) I’d been meaning to try it. When you starting researching the plan, it seems pretty impossible. There’s many resources explaining all the rules, but in brief; no dairy, grains, legumes, sugars… really nothing processed at all. We found soy or sugar or corn products snuck in to most of our pantry staples. As a vegetarian who sometimes eats fish, this limits me to vegetables, fruit, eggs and … some fish. Not much. Last winter we thought “let’s wait for summer with more fresh produce available and farmer’s markets!” but come summer the siren call of gin and tonics and barbeques meant there was never the right time. January seemed as good a time as any. One week flew by.

What’s worked:
Egg bakes – good way to use up left over vegs
Curries – can of coconut milk and more veg is super easy!
Breakfast bowl – chopped fruit, nuts, coconut flakes, chia seeds and almond milk in a bowl, sort of like cereal but fills you up more and feels healthier

What’s hard:
Planning – so much shopping, chopping, prepping, cleaning
Empty calories – I’m not filling up rice or pasta so I get hungry
Habits – what do you do on a Friday night after 9 without alcohol? How do I not get a muffin at a café or popcorn with a movie?
Aches – head and body are feeling sluggish

There’s many reasons to do the program, and most of them appeal to me. The breaking of habits is a pretty big one, and actually reading the ingredients list of everything you consume is pretty mindblowing. Of course there are some amazing before-and-after photos that I wouldn’t mind happening to me too. And then there’s my continual GI issues, so if I can find something to ease any of my digestive issues that’d be pretty great too.

Only three more weeks.