DO THE WHOLE30. I’ll go ahead and give you that advice even though I’m writing about Days 1-10 (when honestly, I may not have recommended doing it). If you’re not familiar with the purpose or rules, here’s the deal:
“Founded by Melissa Hartwig (and Dallas Hartwig) in April 2009, the Whole30® is designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”
What you can’t eat: gluten, dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol, or any technically compliant substitutes (like cauliflower crust pizza)
What you can eat: everything else!
There’s way more details than that so visit whole30.com if you’re interested!
Now that you know the basics, let’s kick off this little mini-series on my Whole30 experience! Each post will focus on a “trimester” of Whole30 (my husband told me that saying trimester is weird but I think it’s hilarious). In each post, I’ll give a general overview of those days, a funny story, lessons I learned, my favorite recipes, and some other fun stuff. I hope you enjoy!
WHOLE 30 DAYS 1-10
General Overview: The first ten days of Whole30 were absolutely the hardest. In fact, if I hadn’t told so many people I was doing it, I probably would have quit on Day 1. Thankfully, I was too stubborn to let people know I gave up. I had also been planning it for over a month, so I had to stick it out! My husband was out of town when I started, which I think made it a lot harder. When I feel sad or lonely, I want to eat—who doesn’t? I also had the flu the week before starting Whole30, so I skipped the whole “eat everything before I can’t anymore” phase. Fortunately, I think barely eating the week before helped me avoid the detoxification, withdrawals, etc. that come with the first week. It also jump-started the weight loss aspect because I had already lost several pounds from being sick. Of course, I don’t recommend getting the flu the week before, but it was an interesting perk for my own Whole30.
I was often asked “why are you doing this?” in the beginning and even before I started. It took me a couple weeks to figure out why I was really doing it, but I came up with a few reasons:
- I wanted simply to challenge myself in the kitchen and learn new recipes and cooking techniques.
- I honestly thought I was a sugar addict before starting Whole30, so I wanted to overcome that and learn new ways to fight cravings.
- I have some food sensitivities (mostly healthy foods, unfortunately) and I wanted to test how certain food groups affect my body.
- I was interested to see what all the hype was about!
I would definitely recommend asking yourself why you want to do Whole30 before starting. It gets your mind right beforehand and you can easily remind yourself why you’re doing it in the first place when it gets hard.
As you might imagine, it isn’t easy to stay 100% compliant to the rules, and unfortunately I had a couple of accidental (seriously though) slip-ups. They made for funny stories that I want to share in each of these posts as my “Oops” Moments!
“Oops” Moment: My mom visited during Days 2 and 3, which was a huge relief! She helped me cook, grocery shop, and prep meals I needed for the week. On Day 3, we went to my favorite coffee shop, because they have a blueberry latte that she loves. I didn’t order anything, so I just sat with her while she drank her latte. Without even thinking, I tried a sip of it (a tiny sip!), immediately realized what I had done, and said, “Why did you let me do that?! I just ruined my entire Whole30!” The latte had regular milk and vanilla syrup in it. I was so discouraged and felt like I had to start the entire thing over. My mom was just laughing at me, but she made a pretty good point: “Sara Clarke, you’re probably going to digest more shampoo than that latte during your Whole30.” I hope that’s not actually true (gross), but it did make me feel better. I am such a rule follower and hated that I slipped up, but it wasn’t the end of the world! Now I just look back and laugh (and still kind of wonder if I should go 3 days longer…)
Another funny thing about the first 10 days was my “cheat dreams.” These actually continued after Day 10, but I would often have dreams that I accidentally ate something and ruined my Whole30 (I wonder where that stemmed from?). Every time, I woke up feeling so relieved that it wasn’t real!
- No one can be 100% perfect.
- Some recipes that look really complex actually aren’t that complex with a little effort.
- I don’t need cheese and butter to enjoy my meal!
- Confidence is key when explaining to people why you can’t eat something.
Sloppy Joe Bowls: SO. GOOD. I grew to love plain baked potatoes on Whole30 so I was all about any recipe that involved stuffing something in a potato. This recipe called for some new tricks in the kitchen—like using dates to sweeten a sauce—but once I learned it, this became one of the easiest recipes I made!
Turkey & Egg Scramble: This is honestly the easiest breakfast ever and I made it almost every day. At the beginning of the week, I cooked a pound of ground turkey with seasoning and diced peppers and onions. Then in the morning I just threw some eggs in a pan and scrambled it all together! Most foods never sound appetizing to me first thing in the morning, but for some reason, this always did! I also found another breakfast food I loved that I’ll share on the next post!
Zoodles with Turkey Meatballs & Red Pepper Sauce: This recipe was a little more time consuming but I cooked it when my college roommates were visiting and they helped me! I made it again later and it was so much easier the second time. I felt like a total boss in the kitchen making my own noodles, sauce, and meatballs.
Steamed Broccoli: I know this isn’t even a recipe, but I had to give broccoli a shoutout because I learned it’s my favorite vegetable! Invest in a steamer pot, steam a big batch at once, sprinkle some salt and pepper all over it, and eat it all week! It tastes just as good reheated. Call me crazy but after a week without dairy, broccoli actually tasted buttery to me. I could eat it all day long now. I mean who am I?
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers: These were so easy to make and I loved heating them up with some veggies for a quick lunch! I wish I had discovered Tessemae’s Whole30 condiments earlier because these would be so good with their ranch or BBQ sauce.
Side note: I LOVE Physical Kitchness! The chicken poppers and sloppy joe bowls are her recipes and she has so many other great ones, too! She became my favorite healthy food blogger when I found her on @whole30recipes Instagram. Give her a follow! Also, that’s a killer Instagram account so give them a follow, too.
Products I Couldn’t Live Without:
- Nutpods Coffee Creamer (I’ll never go back to regular creamer!)
- Epic Hickory Bacon Bits (put these on everything)
- LaraBars, of course (these are supposed to be emergency food but I ate one almost every day…oops)
The first ten days of Whole30 were a huge learning experience, and it only went up from here. Check back on Wednesday to read about Days 11-20!