Yes, I am that crazy girl doing Whole30. But before you make your judgments, I was once thinking the same thing you are: “How could I give up bread?” “But I love wine too much!” And so on and so forth. Last year, two of my best friends did Whole30 and I thought they were absolutely batsh*t crazy. Fast forward to this past Thanksgiving, I drove back to Fort Worth from Kansas City and I felt disgusting. Thanksgiving had practically been a 5-day binge of the most delicious food and alcohol. My family eats relatively healthy, so it wasn’t like we were ordering Domino’s pizza every night, but it seemed like the carbs and sugar just kept ending up on my plate. It didn’t help that I already was (and am) self-conscious about my body.
On that eight hour drive back to Fort Worth, I decided I needed to do something drastic. Not dangerously drastic, but I needed to pay attention more to what I was putting in my body. I texted one of my best friends from high school, Jacklin, who runs an awesome food Instagram and has done Whole30, and I asked her about it. I think my exact words were, “I think I want to do a half-assed version of Whole30. Any tips?” She responded that yes! I should do it, but I should not half-ass it. She explained her experience with it and that it’s way easier to do it in a month where you’re not tempted (aka December was probably the worst time to start it).
Her response got me thinking about how empowered I would feel if I really went for it. No slip-ups, no cheating, no alcohol. I began to research the “diet” on Pinterest and in Facebook groups and was hooked. All of the Whole30 resources are free on their website, and you can find literally every recipe you could ever want on Pinterest, which made it really easy to understand the “rules”. I have a very obsessive personality, so if I’m interested in something, I will research it until it cannot be researched anymore, so naturally I bought one of the books by the creators of the program, It Starts With Food. As of when I’m writing this, I’m like 3/4 through it (I was busy okay?!) but I feel like I already have learned so much about how my body works, what food does to it and why other “diets” haven’t worked.
So what’s the point then? Whole30 essentially resets your body. Over time, we’ve put things in our body that are highly processed and not natural. Whole30 eliminates all of the “bad” and focuses on the “good” so that your body can train itself to enjoy the good. It also solves a number of health issues a lot of people have, like allergies, asthma, diabetes, and many many other things. I don’t have any serious health issues, but I’m interested to see if the change in diet affects headaches I occasionally get, my high cholesterol, and a few other things I deal with! Obviously this isn’t some miracle worker, but if I can figure out which foods make me feel not-so-great, that’s a win in my book! One thing that Whole30 stresses is that it’s not a weight-loss program. You don’t count calories and you absolutely do not step on a scale. I like to think of this reset as basically a cleanse of all of the nastiness I’ve consumed.
I started Whole30 on January 2nd, 2019. I knew December would be too tempting with office holiday parties, Christmas, family vacations and New Year’s Eve, so I opted to start it once all the craziness calmed down. I was honestly really nervous on how Week 1 would go. Would I be starving?? Would I give up? Would I be so totally cranky? The possibilities were endless. If you’ve done Whole30, you’ve probably seen this calendar:
I’m writing this on Day 7 and honestly… I haven’t even come close to this timeline. However, check out that little fine print in the bottom righthand corner. “Your health history and previous diet will determine much of your Whole30 experience, and it might not match the timeline perfectly.” DUH. If you were eating like absolute sh*t before you start Whole30, you’re more likely to feel these symptoms. I wasn’t eating the best before, but I certainly wasn’t eating junk food out the wazoo, so I think that’s why my symptoms have been relatively non-existent. (I’ll keep y’all updated on Instagram!
Instead of writing [even more of] a novel, let me summarize my first week of Whole30!
- I’ve already been to the grocery store three times (maybe four). To be fair, one of those was to pick up a few extra ingredients for a dinner I wanted to make, but dang I’m spending a lot on groceries. (but it could be more!! Read my most recent post on how I save money on groceries. This has been a lifesaver)
- I’m finding recipes I will 100% still make when I’m done with Whole30! I’ll def do a post on my favorites once the month is over but you can find a couple of my favorites here and here.
- In the book, they explain why you feel tired throughout the day (hint: its based on what you’re eating). I’ve noticed much less yawning at my desk at work and less of that its-3-o’clock-and-I-NEED-COFFEE-NOW feeling.
- Like I said above, I’m a researcher. Through and through. Because of this, I go balls-to-the-wall in things when I get obsessed with them. I decided to listen to some Whole30-based podcasts at work (using my Bose headphones, of course) to learn even
more,and learn from others’ experiences. I found a new favorite: A Little Salty Podcast. The hosts are so funny and have such interesting backgrounds with food. They’ve both done Whole30 and are very educated in nutrition and such! Definitely check this one out!
- Get immersed! I love to be constantly flooded with things that are motivating me, rather than pushing me to fail. I’m part of a few Whole30 Facebook groups, so I’m always seeing new threads pop up on my feed, and they always have interesting recipes and tips! I also love following some of the popular Whole30 hashtags on Instagram so that I’m always seeing other Whole30ers’ posts. They’re usually a mix of food preps, recipes, Whole30 compliant food giveaways (yes pls) or even just motivation. I love “saving” Instagrams (you know, that little ribbon to the bottom right of a post) for later. I have a food folder just for things I want to try myself!
- The hardest part? Being at work! I know, for most people this would be the easiest part (away from the fast food joints, away from the fridge, etc.), but I’m lucky to work at a very fun advertising agency and with that comes endless access to snacks, unhealthy meals, sodas, and alcohol. I’m constantly having to turn down offers from
coworkers, which leads to me having to explain what I’m doing. I like to use this as an opportunity to talk about the things I do get to eat instead of harping on what I don’t because so far, I would totally recommend anyone to try out Whole30!
Alright, that’s enough for today, but I have so many blog posts thought up regarding my Whole30 experience! Whether you’ve never heard of Whole30 (until today), or you’ve been wanting to start, let me know what questions you have! Obviously, I want to write posts that people want to read, so comment below or comment on my latest Instagram!