Thursday, January 1, 2015

How to Not Suck at Whole30

Many of you have read my post and results from my first round of Whole30 in September. It was amazing. I felt incredible, lost weight, had so much energy (insert all the happy emojis). You can read about it {here}.

  But, did you know I did another round in November? And. It. Sucked.  I am writing this post so you don't make your Whole30 as pitiful as mine was in November.  Why even do it if you aren't going to do it 100%?  Because if you aren't first, you're last.

Read the Book, It Starts With Food (or re-read it)
Do not try to *wing-it* through a Whole30 by googling, Pinteresting, and forum reading. I don't mind answering questions from newbies at all. It's just the questions that can be answered by reading the book are the ones that might make me want to roll my eyes (*eyes currently rolling*).  For instance, "Can I have quinoa?"  No you can't and if you read the book, they would tell you that. :)

I really think that the program is successful because you understand the reasoning behind it.  The book is an easy read and it's not too science-y (but just enough so that I can have a fierce debate with the haters out there and know all of my science-y terms- #kiddingnotkidding).  It Starts With Food has been my favorite book I've read in a long time. I have it in a hard-copy and the Kindle version so that I can have it on my phone and refer to it when needed.  It has just the right amount of heart-pumping fun... almost like the Hunger Games. I also love their new book just titled The Whole30 (it has recipes and more guides!).

First Week=Think Simple
Less is more here.  You are already changing your life and taking the step toward a healthier you.  But, news flash!!! You shouldn't try to be Bobby Flay in the kitchen.  Now we all know my husband is the chef in our home... but- I laid out the meals, bought the ingredients and kept everything SUPER simple for the first week.  For example, we just had salad and steak or Aidell's chicken sausage and steamed veggies.  We didn't try any crazy recipes just yet because we were overwhelmed with the fact that sugar was no longer in our coffee.

Buy a Cookbook
This is my suggestion for week 2-4. I JUST bought Well Fed and there are a few other cookbooks that they suggest in It Starts With Food as well. They don't call for exotic ingredients or kitchen tools you might see Edward Scissorhands use.  It's simple ingredients with great seasoning combinations and it will be delicious.  This round (that started today) will be the first we have used a cookbook.  I wish I would have had it during my half-assed Whole30 I did in November.  I literally ate the same thing every. single. day. (which leads me to my next tip)

Don't Get in a Food Rut
If you eat the same thing every single day (egggggggs for dayyyys), you will get sick of eating in general and you will dread every meal.  You don't want to live this way and you don't have to!  Put some variety in your diet and use a cookbook to light the fire under your butt!  You don't have to eat eggs every morning.  Remember, if you read the book- they suggest you think of your meals as meal 1, meal 2, and meal 3.  Think outside of the box and don't be afraid to mix it up. And no... a Larabar does NOT count as meal 1.

"Slay the Sugar Dragon" by Starving it Out
I tried to slay the sugar dragon with fruit in November. Yes, you can eat fruit on Whole30.  But, they suggest not using it as your nightly fix for a "dessert".  I ate dates like they were going out of style during my sucky November Whole30 and once I was done with that round, I immediately went back to eating whatever I wanted because I was still craving sugar.  The ONLY way to slay the Sugar Dragon is to STARVE IT OUT.  You cannot feed the Sugar Dragon sugar or you will not rid yourself of that addiction.  So, eat your fruit with your meals, but don't satisfy your cravings of sugar with bananas topped with almond butter.  Or by eating 17 dates.

Meal Plan and Prep
If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.  It's SO TRUE!  You must be prepared and be over-prepared.  I meal prep hard-boiled eggs, Aidell's Chicken/Apple Sausage (I buy mine at Costco), sweet potatoes, and ground beef (ground beef can easily be turned into any meal at any given time).  My husband also makes a Paleo soup that we freeze in case of emergencies (you know, when you get hangry and you just got home from work and you still have to grade papers but dinner needs to get cooked but you are sooooo hungry right now). I LOVE all of the downloads from to help me prep and grocery shop, too! I also ordered some RX Bars and Primal Pacs for the days I'm in a pinch.  When we make a dinner, we always make lots extra so we can take it for lunch the next day at work. If we don't have leftovers, I take tuna fish (from Costco) with avocados, pickles, and celery mixed in.  Or, I get some of that emergency soup out of the freezer and take it.

Eat Enough
Remember, food is FUEL. You aren't tracking calories (praise the Lord) on Whole30 and I found that when I first started I was not eating enough each meal.  You'll find that once you balance out your hormones and detox from sugar, you won't be constantly thinking about food.  You might not even feel hungry (GASP!).  But, you do need to eat and you want to make sure that each meal follows the Whole30 Food Map.

Know Where You Are on the Timeline

Of course this is different for everyone, but I found it to be helpful as well. Read the whole timeline here.

Watch out for SWYPO
Just read about it here. You're welcome.

Use your Resources
Whole30 Daily Email Subscription <---- YOU MUST SUBSCRIBE
Whole30 Resource Roundup
Surviving Whole30
Whole30 Downloads <----- YOU MUST DOWNLOAD ALL OF THEM
Whole30 Forums <---- IF YOU AREN'T SURE IF A FOOD IS COMPLIANT, JUST GOOGLE THE FOOD NAME AND WHOLE30 (for instance: type into Google "Is sesame oil whole30 compliant?"
Instagram Whole30
Instagram Whole30 Recipes

Tough Love
Honestly, I read the tough love part of the book over and over.  You can do this! You can do anything you want! It's NOT easy, but it is so worth it.  It's hard to be un-healthy, overweight, pre-diabetic, and depressed. You pick your hard.  So... don't "slip-up" or "cheat" or "take a break" or "quit early".  Do the WHOLE 30 DAYS because you love yourself and you want to take care of the only body you are given.

You can do this! Now go be a unicorn or a sexy beast or a kitty-cat that purrs out glitter! Just go be awesome!


  1. Thanks for the words of wisdom! I think I am ready for this first week! Have a plan! I also had fun cooking and prepping! I am pretty excited! I start on January 4 (I found a friend here in town to do it with!). Need to clean out some cupboards today! I am really excited! Thanks for all of your support and help!

  2. Woohoo! Working to be just as awesome as you <3

  3. Love it! This is going to be awesome. I'm so glad we are all doing this together.

  4. Such great tips, Rachelle! Glad to have your guidance through this process!

  5. The more I think about the sugar dragon, the more scared I get...ahh! So glad you put together this post as a reminder and so glad I have my Whole 30 friends to keep me on track!


  6. I read IT STARTS WITH FOOD last year and cooked some meals from PRACTICAL PALEO and also got the NOM NOM PALEO book - though I am not living the Paleo lifestyle and I never did a Whole30 - is that weird?!

    Since I do have a few health issues and want to change my lifestyle and diet, I guess a Whole30 would be the best thing to do.... thanks for the awesome tips and links ;)

  7. Ok so I saw this post after hopping around different blogs (I've followed you for a while) and finally bit the bullet and got the book on my kindle. I have not put it down yet!! 68% through and the only reason I'm stopping is because it's welllll past my bedtime!
    I've needed (read desperately needed) to slay my sugar dragon for a LOOOOOOOOng time. I'm now spending this week planning and prepping to get started on my first whole 30. Right when school start again for the new year - hmmm not sure if that is the worst, or best decision I've ever made!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!!

    Learning to be awesome

  8. this is so true! I did the clean in April and LOVED it. lost 9 pounds, felt wonderful, and started being preachy to anyone who would listen about the evil of sugar and how could they not get it?!! and here I am, about 6 months later, eating junk. :( I tried to get back into it many times, but was not 100% in, which as you said, just doesn't work. It's all or nothing. try try try again!