{My Whole30 Journey}

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'm officially done with the Whole30! Praise the Great Lion of Judah. That was some serious crazy for 30 days, but I'm honestly so grateful for all that it taught me. I actually plan on not straying too far from the Whole30 moving forward. After all, how can a girl give up her new found love for coconut milk and almond flour?

Below is my daily eating journal and Whole30 reviews. (Here's a list of what you can / can't eat). Feel free to email me if you have questions or just need encouragement. I will do my best to talk you off the ledge when all you want is creamer in your coffee and evening bowl of Blue Bell ice cream with Magic Shell.

Day 1
: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Mango, Avo, Bacon Bison Burger, Sweet Potato Casserole, Apricot & Grapefruit Toffee.

Day 2
: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Mango, Justin's Almond Butter, Bacon Bison Burger, Mango with Raw Coconut.

: So far, I'm much more aware of when I'm hungry. I've also had headaches all. day. long. (dern sugar detox), and yesterday evening I was ready for bed at 8:30pm. Here's to hoping I have more energy today! I'll also be sharing some of my favorite Whole30 recipes on the blog over the next few weeks. Feel free to email me your favorites as well!

Day 3: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fruit Smoothie, Roasted Chicken & Pickles (office lunch at Spring Creek BBQ), 2 Mangoes, Roasted Almonds, Cinnamon Steak & Veggies, Grapes.

Day 4
: Fruit Smoothie, Roasted Almonds, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Kale Chips, Justin's Almond Butter, Bacon Bison Burger, Fresh Fruit, Burrito Bowl at Chipotle, Banana Ice Cream.

: Days 3 & 4 were headache free! I also had lots more energy (even felt up for a run last night w Tim Tam). I'm learning that sticking to Whole30 approved foods is already testing my discipline and integrity. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to eat a handful of jelly beans or roll around in a piece of chocolate cake with butter cream icing. This "no sugar" thing is A LOT harder than I thought it would be. Thankfully I have a husband who's willing to eat the Whole30 foods I prepare. He also encourages me to eat frozen blueberries instead of banging my head against the wall while I watch him eat gelato. Much respect to anyone who has completed this craziness!

Day 5: Sausage, Egg & Spinach Casserole, Fresh Fruit, Jazz Apple, Mango, Spicy Kale Chips, Roasted Almonds, Salad, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 6
: Fruit Smoothie, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Strawberries, Chili Lime Cashews, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.

Day 7
: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Justin's Almond Butter, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Pulled Pork Lettuce Wrap with Purple Cabbage Slaw, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 8
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy Tea, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, leftover Pulled Pork, Banana Ice Cream.

: After day 6 my body started to curb cravings for all things sweet. Seriously. What the heck was I thinking starting the Whole30 in April? (Insert deep & fond affection for Cadbury Eggs rrrigh hurrr). Tim said he started noticing a difference in my skin around Day 5. His words: "Your face is starting to glow like a Christmas tree!" AWESOME. I'm also sleeping much better. Having crazy dreams, but sleeping. Btw, the Spaghetti Squash Carbonara has by far been the best Whole30 dinner we've had yet. Here's to week 2 and taking this shiz one day at a time.

Day 9: Strawberries & Pineapple, Mexican Omelet (no cheese) & Sweet Potatoes from Cafe Brazil, Strawberries, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Banana, BLT Salad, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 10
: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Spicy Kale Chips, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Cowboy Breakfast Skillet, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview: This week I've learned that a second trip to the store is worth the exchange of having fresh produce and meat. I've also learned that diced mushrooms are a great substitute for bread crumbs, a can of coconut milk solidifies in the fridge, and if I'm not around a bathroom at 10:30 each morning I'm in trouble. Five dollhairs says I'll sheet my pants before this thing is over.

Day 11Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Strawberries & Pineapple, leftover Pulled Pork with lettuce, tomato, lime, salsa and plantain chips.
Day 12: Fruit Smoothie, House Salad (no cheese) from Brother's Pizza, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Banana Ice Cream, Chili Lime Cashews, Salad, Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy Tea.

Day 13
: Fruit Smoothie, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies (sans brown sugar and butter), Grilled Chicken, Shittake Mushroom Chips.

: Before starting the Whole30 I had grown accustomed to expecting certain meals without even thinking about it or evaluating it. Now, I'm much more mindful about what I eat and how much I eat. I've also noticed that I've become hungry less often, and that my desire for sweet things is no longer holding me captive. But maybe that's because of all the Banana Ice Cream I've been eating? I guess it's better than eating a gallon of Blue Bell bedazzled with magic shell and toffee bits.

Day 14: Fruit Smoothie, Chili Lime Cashews, Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Spicy Kale Chips, Dehydrated Mango, Smoked Turkey, Brisket, Green Beans, Guacamole.

Day 15
: Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Dehydrated Mango, Grilled Chicken with Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 16
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Roasted Almonds, Grilled Chicken, Justin's Almond Butter, mas Pineapple, Salad, Baked Coconut Carrot Fries.

: Lately I've been having crazy dreams. I don't know if it's because I'm finally sleeping better or what, but last night I dreamt that Macy's was selling peach pies for $1.25. I remember circling the dessert table four times before finally walking away. I woke up thinking, "Victory! I have slayed the pie dragon!" And last week I dreamt that I crashed a car full of my co-workers into White Rock Lake. Oddly enough, I came out of the water wearing a name tag with a picture of beef stew on it. What the what? Someone get this girl some freaking cheese and a hot buttered roll!

Day 17: Banana Bread LÄRABAR, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Dehydrated Mango, Grilled Chicken with Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 18
: Strawberries & Pineapple, Roasted Almonds, Grilled Chicken, Justin's Almond Butter, mas Pineapple, Salad.

Overview: A few things I've learned 1) If you're going to do the Whole30 you have to have access to a blender. I've used my Magic Bullet at least twice a day since I started this gig 2) Get your knives sharpened (your avos will thank you) 3) You'll spend more money on groceries but save money on eating out ... it all balances out in the end 4) Saturday afternoons will be spent prepping food for the week. Listening to a James Taylor LP can make this time much more enjoyable 5) Try not to trade one addiction (Blue Bell) for a another addiction (Banana Ice Cream) even if it's healthier! (I'm totally guilty of this) 6) Eat to live, not live to eat 7) Buy spinach for your Breakfast Smoothies in the bulk lettuce bins. It will stay fresh longer and only cost 50¢ instead of $3 for a bag 8) Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste in your satchel. Gum is no bueno and your co-workers will thank you 9) Try new recipes (often) and 10) The Whole30 is not about weight loss. In fact, I've been intentional not to mention my weight out of a heart to honor our readers who may struggle with body image and / or eating issues. My prayer while documenting my Whole30 journey is that it wouldn't trigger any sort of unhealthy eating habits for my readers. Often I've had to remind myself that this cleanse is more about growing in discipline and establishing a healthier relationship with food than it is about physical transformation. A helpful book I've been reading is Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas. Be sure and check it out!

19: Fruit Smoothie, Almonds, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Pork Chops & Peaches (we used pears), Bacon Brussels Sprouts, fruit from Yummilicious.

Day 20: Strawberries, Pineapple, Blueberries, Chili Lime Cashews, Banana, Odwalla Smoothie, In-n-Out Burger animal style (no sauce), protein style (no cheese), 2 scrambled eggs.

: I made my first Whole30 friendly muffins today. I wanted to cry they tasted so good! Learned that you can buy Almond Flour / Meal in the bulk section of our grocery store. Only cost $2.20 for 1 1/2 cups instead of paying $14 for a 1 lb bag!

Day 21: Three Banana Muffins, Strawberries, Banana, Roasted Almonds, Sweet Potato & Leek Soup, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, Spaghetti Squash.

Day 22: Fruit Smoothie, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Roasted Almonds, Jazz Apple, Apricots, Banana Muffin, Snappy Salad's Sweet & Smokey Salad (no cheese).

: Week 3 definitely flew by the quickest. This week I hope to finish strong even though I know I'll be tested like crazy as Tim and I road trip it to the Hill Country. No alcohol, no chocolate, no donuts from Gordough's in Austin and no ice cream from the Gruene General Store. Wah. On a more encouraging note, several of you have emailed saying you're starting Whole30 this week. I'm so proud of you! Trust me, if I can do this shiz, anyone can. You're gonna do great!

Day 23
: Strawberries, Bananas, Salad w Salsa, Turkey, Apricots, Justin's Almond Butter, Salad, Naked Burrito from Chipotle (barbacoa, grilled onions, pico, guac, lettuce), Banana Ice Cream.

Day 24: 2 Eggs, Juice, Chili Lime Cashews, Noble Pig's Smoked Chicken Salad, Dehydrated Mangoes, Gristmill's Blackened Salmon with Steamed Squash & Zuchi.

Overview: Yesterday I felt pretty crummy. Not sure if it was the acidity from the tomato paste I introduced 3 weeks into my diet, but this girl could barely stand up straight. I've started to realize that it's not going to be easy to re-introduce grain, dairy, and sugar into my diet once I'm done with Whole30. I honestly don't have much of a desire to return entirely to the way I was eating before anyway which I'm thankful for. I think for the first time in my life I have no desire to eat an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids. What is wrong with me??

{Jazz Apple + Justin's Almond Butter}

Day 25
: Egg & Bacon Omelet, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Chili Lime Cashews, Gristmill's Bacon Wrapped Fillet with a Side Salad and Steamed Squash & Zuchi.

Day 26: 2 Eggs, Bacon, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Mellon, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Banana Ice Cream.

Day 27
: Justin's Almond Butter, Banana, Cafe Brazil's Vegetarian Omelet (no cheese) with Sweet Potatoes, Jazz Apple, Dehydrated Mango, leftover Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Banana Ice Cream.

Overview: Sticking to the Whole30 while on vacation is definitely harder, but NOT impossible! Be prepared and pack lots of snacks that you enjoy (dehydrated mangoes, nuts, apples, etc).

Day 28
: Strawberries, Blackberries, Apple Pie LÄRABAR, Chili Lime Cashews, 3 scrambled eggs, Fruit Smoothie, Banana, Pork wrapped in Bacon Woobies, Baked Carrot Fries.

Day 29: Two Banana Muffins, Strawberries & Blackberries, Justin's Almond Butter, Cherry Pie LÄRABAR, Grilled Chicken, Salad.

Day 30
: Fruit Smoothie, Three Scrambled Eggs, Jazz Apple, Justin's Almond Butter, two Banana Muffins, Avo, Chili Lime Cashews, Baked Sweet Potatoes and Bacon.

Conclusion: Would I do this again or recommend that others do it? DEFINITELY! The Whole30 completely changed my view of food, how much I eat, what I should eat, and how to be more comfortable with hunger. Like I said before, moving forward you won't see me straying very far from this primal way of eating. The benefits far outweigh the restructuring of a newly learned discipline!

Favorite Whole30 Recipe Websites
: Health-Bent | Foodee | Pinterest

Breastfeeding and wonder if Whole30 is right for you? Read this article.


Melissa Jackson said...

Thanks for the detailed daily log and periodic overviews. If I decide to embark on this, I will definitely be using this post as a resource for encouragement as well as some great recipe and substitution ideas! Congratulations on finishing strong, especially with a vacation in there. Impressive!

Scout said...

This is awesome! Honestly, before I kind of glanced over all of this, but for some reason today I read it all, and now I think I want to try it! It's because you said your skin looked different. I think I'm going to take the plunge! I'm glad summer veggies are available now :)

kate said...

I was just thinking this morning I hoped your recap was coming soon! Thanks for the info.

Nicole said...

Day 12 for me! Thanks for posting this. I'm most def going to get on the banana ice cream train.

Amber said...

I am seriously so impressed you could stick to this! I am such a picky eater that when I see someone accomplish something like this I wish I loved all fruits and veggies and could attempt it. You are a great example of self control and discipline over desire. Thank you!

Hollie said...

I just finished too! Did the whole month of April as well after learning about it from you last month...I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Seriously by doing the whole30 I have a completely different outlook on food and how I should be eating it and how I should be respecting my body with it. I was completely wrapped up in sugar addiction/food addiction, emotional eating, etc but after doing this I am really feeling freed from that and ready to stick with this lifestyle of eating because it isn't a "diet". I am more mindful of what I eat and why I eat it. I have had no cravings for the old foods (junk) I was always eating and I get excited for trying new recipes now and for continuing to plan out truly nourishing meals for my family. Hope you continue to share recipes here and there! Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration: not just in food, but in your marriage, the type of friend you are to people and as a woman of God...it really comes out in your blog and so many people are blessed by it.

Today's Letters said...

mjackson, if i can do this anyone can!

scout, got your email. if i remmeber right the night before i started whole30 i ate an in-n-out burger, fries, and a milkshake (insert comfort food right here). i have never been a big soda drinker, so that wasn't hard for me to give up. i quit everything cold turkey before i started. know that the first 3 days will be the hardest (and day 18 for some reason). but you can do it! get some good friends around you to celebrate and encourage you on your journey.

kate, glad this post was helpful!

nicole, banana ice cream = your new best friend. mark my words.

amber, this made me grow so much in discipline and integrity. i can't tell you how many times i was tempted to cut corners. but victory is so much sweeter.

hollie, congrats on finishing! loved reading your thoughts and lessons learned. if i could get a comment like that every day i'd quit going to counseling ;)

Alysa said...

Way to go Em! I will be interested to hear how it goes as you introduce things back into your diet. If something really bothers you, it's probably a good sign that your body doesn't want it!

krys said...

sooo many recipes in this post - amazing! i hadn't seen the banana ice cream recipe before, but will try it after my whole30 is over :)

i really with nutella was paleo. argh. probably the only thing i realllly miss.

MLM said...

Congrats Em! You rock for completing the Whole30 without cheating! I am super impressed. I attempted the Whole 30 but was already sneaking creamer in my coffee by day 3. But reading the overview of your 30 days makes me want to try again and this time just take it day by day instead of focusing on 30 days and getting discouraged...which is a lesson I should probably apply to all areas of life as well haha.
Anyway, thanks for sharing you recipes too! I appreciate it!

Olivia said...

LOVE the recap! Am on day 4 and I've already tried at least one of these recipes! For some reason days 1 and 2 were junk food craving free (maybe b/c I had that newbie determination going for me). Day three I wanted bad stuff all day long! Hoping those cravings subside. Today I have more energy and seem to be more focused at work. Also the past two night, slept like a bebe. Waiting for my glowing "like a Christmas tree" skin :)

Nervous about this weekend as we will be out of town but i am arming myself w/ larabars and some other approved foods.

One question for you - the chili lime cashews...do you make those or buy them? they sound delish.

Thanks for your example and encouragement!

Scout said...

Thanks! I'm already getting started - I can't wait to make those banana muffins! Although, I do wish I had an In-N-Out Burger to eat as a sort of last hurrah ;)

leemeandthegirls said...

Love this! Very helpful. THANK YOU for being so detailed! And I know you're NEVER supposed to ask a woman about her weight, but did you lose any? Certainly not why I'm participating, but I'd be lying if I said that wouldn't be awe-to-the-some.

Today's Letters said...

al, you're going to be my food sensei this summer! can't wait for our trip.

krys, the banana ice cream is whole30 friendly! it's what got me through the past 4 weeks. try it!

mlm, try coconut milk in your coffee. i know it's not the same but some people really like it.

olivia, chili lime chashews = bulk bins at central market. whole paycheck probably has them as well.

scout, good luck! you can do it.

lmatg, weight lost, but again, not a one of my reasons for doing the whole30. i would encourage anyone to not make this their focus for eating better. it's about establishing a better and healthier relationship with food and being more in tune with what your body needs.

Molly Roberson said...

BANANA MUFFINS! That cowboy breakfast skillet looks legit. Impressed by you Em.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the informative post! I am considering doing this and I am thankful for your run-down. I am curious, though, how long it took for you to learn about the program and then start it? Did you do a ton of research beforehand or did you take the plunge quickly? Is one weekend enough time to prepare? I have a feeling a rather large grocery shopping trip is in the works, plus sitting down and planning weeks worth of meals at a time. Also, did you do 3 meals a day, or snack more often? I noticed that during a lot of your days, you had only one "meal," plus a lot of smaller snacks, etc. Thanks for the info!

Today's Letters said...

mrob, you have to try these muffins! #sogood ... although something tells me you'd sneak crumbled bacon into them. #obsessed ;)

kathy, i quickly took the plunge into whole30 after picking a friends brain for an hour at work. (she did whole30 in march). she shared with me a couple of her favorite recipes but most of my research was done online. i did NOT buy the e-book, simply because i felt that i found most of what i needed to know through my friend and the internet. that said, i'm sure the e-book would still be helpful for some. i wouldn't start until you have your recipes laid out for the first week. i also would try and start on the 1st of a month (much easier in keeping track which day you're on). you'll notice that you'll get much faster at planning meals and preparing them as the weeks go by. like anything new, it takes more time to get your bearings. meals is a word that is relative to how you define it. you'll quickly realize that a large jazz apple and almond butter feels like a meal once you get a couple of weeks into the whole30. i did not do a good job of eating enough protein the first two weeks. make sure you eat eggs in the morning. my fruit smoothies tasted great but left me hungry by 9am (i typically get up at 6am). as your appetite decreases you'll find yourself snacking more. a handful of almonds here, a lara bar there ... just try to add chicken / protein to your salad at lunch and eat meat during dinner as well. let me know if you have any other questions!

Kathy said...

Super helpful - thank you! Great point about the definition of meals being relative. I will stop bugging you after my last question: What the heck is a jazz apple??!! Is it any different than a regular apple? I feel so silly asking :)

Today's Letters said...

k, not bugging :) jazz apples = uhmazing! similar to a honeycrip apple but not as expensive. a win win. whole foods should have them. you can eat any apple really, i just choose jazz apples bc they're my fave.

Anne said...

Thank you so, so much for sharing all this info. My husband and I are on Day 12, and I never would have had the courage to start if you hadn't been posting what you were eating, which helped me to realize that this is possible. I've already noticed a change in how my clothes fit and how I feel. I'm hoping by the end that my body will want to eat healthy food and not crap.

Also, keep us updated on how it goes re-introducing foods into your diet. I am curious to see how that goes.

Brianna Soloski said...

I am super impressed that you did this. Fist pumps and leg kicks for you! Happy Friday!

Renae said...

I found your blog and Whole30 through Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and have been kind of obsessed with doing a Whole30 ever since (*almost* plunged right in, probably should have but am taking my time to plan -- three kids and a picky but gracious husband make me think I have to have all my ducks in a row first :)). I thank you in advance. I just know it will be great when I do it (June 3 to July 2).

Anyway, my question is how picky were you with bacon. Did you get the Whole30 approved bacon, or did you not worry about it?

Today's Letters said...

renae, congrats on setting a date to officially try the whole30! we bought our bacon from central market (kind of like whole foods but better). we didn't stress that it wasn't 100% sugar free ...

Lyndsey said...

Thank you for your post! I had called my husband just before you posted your overview to tell him I am completely addicted to sugar. I had our first baby in February and have been eating sweets non-stop since. We are starting our 30 days on Monday!

Today's Letters said...

lyndsey, encouraged that y'all are goign to start on monday! if i can do it, anyone can. honest! sweets are my achilles heal. now i don't crave them near as often and also have grown in the area of self control when all i want to do is bathe face plant into a bowl of chocolate pudding! good luck, and let me know if you have any questions along your journey.

Scout said...

So, I'm adapting this for myself so a) I don't majorly stress myself about it and b) I can find foods to eat. Anyway, I found this recipe a while back and I love it, and it fits (or is easily adapted to) the Whole30 guidelines, if you are interested :)

J said...

Em, this is amazing! I've enjoyed following along on your Whole30 journey, and you've inspired me to embark on one myself! Thanks for sharing so many details and recipes.

One question I have: do you feel that you were getting enough calcium while eating this way? Osteoporosis runs rampant in my family, so I'm trying to do all I can now to take care of my bones. Just wondering if you had any thoughts on this.

Thanks again for sharing your life with us day in and day out. I love reading your blog!


Today's Letters said...

julie, great question. i know almonds, spinach and broccoli all have calcium in them ... also brussel sprouts which we eat often. if you're concerned about not getting enough calcium i would consider taking a women's one a day or another multivitamin. let me know how your whole30 adventure goes!

Rachel said...

I love this compilation of your reviews - I am going to save it for the day I decide to take the Whole 30 plunge!

nicole said...

I did it...just finished the Whole 30.

I forgot to make the banana muffins...on the to do list for tomorrow!

Snicci said...

The link to your Cowboy Breakfast Skillet isn't working and I am DYING to try it :(

Today's Letters said...

snicci, hmm ... just checked and it seems to be working just fine. here's the direct link: http://www.health-bent.com/pork/paleo-cowboy-breakfast-skillet

DesertOrchid said...

I do not think you were at all compliant with the Whole30 ethos. You mention several things which the book states should be avoided eg fruit smoothie, trying to paleo-ize muffins/ice- cream etc.

Today's Letters said...

desertorchid, totally aware that whole30 does not encourage making desserts or breads. being new to whole30 i did the best i could to be compliant with their ethos but fell short. i think i'll always be a girl who loves ice cream and muffins.

Kelly the Happy Texan said...

Day 2 for me so I love reading about your experiences and the recipes.

Hill Country? Gruene?! LOVE it there. ANd yes, it's hard to stick to anything but indulgence when visiting the hill country.

Jennifer said...

Just found your blog. I'm starting my Whole30 on Monday. I'm a little nervous but this post has helped a lot!

Angela said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I started whole 30 on August 1 but stopped after 10 days because I didn't prepare well. I plan to do it again in September, but this time I will be more prepared. Thank you again.

allie said...

Great post! I am currently doing the Whole30 (successfully on Day 8!) & stole some of your recipes that I can alter since I am a vegetarian!

I was told not to eat almond milk while on Whole30 because of the processed ingredients found in the label. Did you hear different? I'd love to know, since almond milk is in a lot of the recipes.

Thanks for sharing your journey - proud of you & can't wait to join you!

Allie at alliewears.com

Elizabeth said...

Emily! Thanks so much for your recipes and posts. I am on day 14 and surviving thanks to your yummy ideas! I have (now had) a serious sweet tooth and so surprised to not be craving sugar. THANKS for your ideas!

The Real Me- TLF said...

I don't think I could do it! Not that I am not familiar with giving up food. I am almost too familiar with it. I lived an entire year as a vegetarian. And I am going back to being a pescatarian (eats seafood). I veered off the vegetarian path but couldn't bring myself to eating a lot of proteins. I would literally get sick. :-/

EVV said...

Stumbled across this while perusing your blog (which is one of the most awesome things I've seen!) and I'll be starting this 2 days after Christmas! Nervous and excited at the same time.

Courtney said...

Hi! First off, I love your blog, I've been following it off and on for a few months and it never ceases to bring me joy - thank you!

Second, I recently read your journey through the Whole30, which inspired me to buy and read the Hartwigs' book, "It Starts with Food." I am planning to start a Whole30 next week, and I was wondering if you've found long-term success with the plan? As you initally posted about it last year, would you still recommend this plan today? Thank you!

Today's Letters said...

court, last year i did whole30 for 5 months and loved it. slowly i started adding grains, sugar, and dairy back into my diet. i still don't drink alcohol very often. this may i'll be starting whole30 again. hoping to stick with it through the end of the year! xoxo

Ayla Tanercan said...


My fiance and I are tackling the Whole30 TODAY! send some prayers our way as cutting out sugar will be so hard but so worth it in the end! Inspired by your recipes and logs of what was happening with you! We are having the Bacon Bison Burger tonight! Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing all this helpful stuff!!

Today's Letters said...

Ayla, how's your first 48 hours been? sugar was the hardest thing for me to quit too. you can do it! hope your bacon bison burgers turned out d-to-the-licious. xoxo, em

EVV said...

Loved doing the Whole 30 in January! Thanks for posting so many good recipes on your blog.

I found this recipe you might like - it's not exactly Whole 30 but it's Paleo and AMAZING!!


Today's Letters said...

EVV, thanks for the recipe! looking forward to trying it :)

Ayla Tanercan said...


So sorry it has taken me this long to respond...I just realized you wrote back! Whew the first 48 hours were craziness. I would have done anything for a cupcake or a cookie! We are almost completed though and our bodies feel amazing! And the surprising thing is I don't want sweets what I want is a nice buttered up hot roll!! Oh carbs! The bacon bison burgers were delicious--i prefer them on the grill over in the oven but still yummy each way! We are happy to get to celebrate in a couple days-i'll finally have that buttered roll and my fiance will have a beer-but still plan to keep it part of our daily lives!!

Thanks for your encouragement and your detailed tracking of each meal and recipes during your journey! We have basically just gone off your list and we are so thankful!!

Talk soon! AYLA

Today's Letters said...

ayla, i'm so encouraged by you! glad you have learned to have a healthier relationship with food. looking forward to getting back on whole30 next month. my body needs to recenter itself and be challenged. xo!

Anonymous said...

This is utterly silly, but I'm terrified (like heart pounding right now) to try this Whole30 thing, yet I've been looking for a "cure" of my sugar addiction and battle with cravings for the longest time. I'm tired of living to eat. First, I'm grateful to know that a year later you still feel the discipline and positive effects. I do have a question: I am a VERY physically active person, and I eat a lot of calories a day. Carbs are an important part of my diet as a result. I know you lacked energy at first and then gained it, but were you able to get the energy you needed without the bread carbs? (besides muffins, etc.) Thank you! And LOVE your blog.

Concerned said...

Do you plan on following the guidelines of the Whole30 program more accurately this May? I just finished my first Whole30 as of yesterday and traveled a completely different path...actually following the meal template and adhering to the official rules. No muffins, daily Lara bars, banana ice cream, etc. I only mention this because it looks like many people follow you and recreate your non-compliant recipes, short-changing themselves and the potential life-changing results they could receive from the program. I say, if you want to eat Paleo then go for it, but do not call it Whole30 when it is not Whole30. Read "It Starts with Food" check out the forums on the website and give it a real go. Or if not, at least put a disclaimer on your site stating this is your "interpretation" of the Whole30 program and does not follow it to a T. Sorry this seems harsh but I know I wouldn't want my efforts wasted because I chose to follow a blog who loosely followed the rules. Best of luck as you embark on another "Whole30".

BeckieG said...

Hey, well done on this! I've been looking into it and will start mine next week. Just reading the dos and don'ts on the website. I just wanted to check one thing though as I'm a little confused, from what I read the banana muffins and ice cream you made aren't actually allowed on the challenge - the whole sex with your pants on article that they write...the whole idea is to kick the habit of craving desserts - even healthy ones. Just wondered if I've interpreted that wrong? Any who well done on this and thanks for documenting it!

Today's Letters said...

beckieG, no you are correct. recreating breads / muffins and desserts is not part of the whole30 cleans, even if they do contain whole30 ingredients.

Kelsey said...

em- this post is invaluable! i just finished day 6 of this shiz. i mean, i accidentally put organic milk instead of coconut milk in my coffee on day four (it was 6 am), but am hoping that doesn't count as cheating. the sweet potato casserole is WONDERFUL. look up some zucchini pancakes if you need some brekky ideas. thanks for being awesome. : )

BeckieG said...

Ok cool thanks for that!

The Real Me- TLF said...

You knock my sock off! I did Whole30 in July and found out I have a gluten sensitivity. So like you I am trying not to stray to hard from the plan. But I was bored and jumped WAY off the band wagon! So I went pinterest hopping and it led me back to this post from you em! Love it! Do you REALLY still stick to this? What have you let go?

Katie Green said...

i just started following your blog...found you thru AWTW. i'm just right down the road from you guys. but seriously "dollhairs." my best friend and i thought we were the only people who said this on a regular basis. now i will follow your blog for life. :) thanks for the laugh and the recipes!

Anonymous said...

I've done the Whole 30 a couple times and am doing my third now. For any of you thinking about it...you should. But read their book, It Starts with Food first. You'll better understand why to limit nut butters, no Larabars, smoothies, paleo baked goods. I am having a much easier time after reading the book and understanding the way I feel!!

Anonymous said...

Found your blog after searching for 'Whole30 carbonara' I see you eat a lot of banana icecream (frozen bananas, blended, I know) but this isn't Whole30 neither are muffins, but you probably already know that now.

BethanyNoel said...

Wow! Just found this and thanks for posting such a detailed list with links to recipes for the Whole 30! I am so excited to start on February 18th and this post is such a helpful resource! Are you still following it almost 3 years later?

The Real Me- TLF said...

BethanyNoel, If you follow Em from TodaysLetters you'll learn she has a love for pie, doughnuts, and beer. A recent post said she was thankful for caramel whiskey lattes. So I think it's safe to say...no she did not stick with it...LOL

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