Mini Guide to Whole30

You guys…2018 is 3 days away. When the heck did that happen?!?! We had some pretty exciting things happen in 2017 and it seems like it flew by!

With those exciting things, came lots of “treats” that I need to detox from. I fell off the bandwagon but now I’m hopping back on!! I didn’t go too crazy for Christmas, but a cookie here and there has left me feeling bloated and gross and I had a major migraine yesterday. Which is why I’m SO EXCITED to start a Whole30 on January 2nd.

I did my first Whole30 in August 2014 (geesh that’s a long time ago!). At the time, I was eating what I thought was healthy for my body…you know, oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch with some fruit on the side, and dinner was usually a grilled meat with veggies and brown rice. Nothing horrible, but not what my body needed. I was also struggling with hypothyroidism big time. My weight fluctuated constantly, I was perpetually tired, I had constant headaches and I was always bloated. Not just a little bloat…I felt like I was 3 months pregnant by the end of the day. I was also having flare ups of my endometriosis. Throughout the day I would get debilitating cramping pains that would last 5-10 minutes, EVERY DAY. So I was desperate to find a solution. I had tried different diets in the past but clearly nothing was working for me.

Around that time, I started listening to a podcast called Underground Wellness by Sean Croxton. On one of his episodes he was talking about the Paleo diet and how it could help with inflammatory conditions.  I had never heard that before but it sounded exactly like what I needed, so I went to good ‘ol Google and started searching. The first thing that grabbed my attention was a program called the Whole30. I loved the idea of it, because it is more than just a diet. It is a lifestyle change! It is a 30 days nutritional reset that focuses on creating a healthy relationship with food (killing the sugar demon) and it helps you find out what works best for your body! Essentially it is an elimination diet for 30 days. You cut out all inflammatory foods for the 30 days and then it takes you through a reintroduction period so you can see how your body reacts once you have a clean slate.

I immediately ordered the book It Starts With Food by the Whole30 creators, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. The premise stated in the book is, “The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.” The thing I love about this book is it tells you the why. I love the sciency stuff so it was important for me to understand why I was cutting out all of the foods I loved to eat, and I truly believe it made it so much easier for me. When I crossed paths with something off plan, I could easily say to myself “I know what that is doing to my body and I don’t want it”.  If you aren’t into the sciency stuff, they have a follow up book called The Whole30 that gives you the basics and more recipes 🙂 Another option is to head over to the Whole30 website and read the program rules there.

After reading the book I knew I had to do it! Next step was to convince my mom to do it with me! I was living at home at the time and my mom and I were always doing these diets together (it always helps to have some backup and accountability). My mom had also just gone into remission from breast cancer after a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. I knew that she, above anybody else, needed this. She was very resistant at first and kept telling me she didn’t think she could do it all the way. So I pulled a trick right out of the book and told her “committing to this  for 30 days is not hard. Beating cancer is hard. This is not hard.” That got her!!!!!

So I started meal planning and prepping. We cleaned out the pantry of all the things we wouldn’t be eating (my poor dad!) and we went grocery shopping! We used the Whole30 shopping list to help us out but that first trip was LONG!! Trying to find tomato sauce without sugar in it was going to be the death of me, but it got easier! The key to the Whole30 is always being prepared!

The Whole30 made up a calendar of the usual timeline of how you feel during the 30 days and it was so true for me! I’m not gonna lie, the first few days can be a little rough. But it was helpful for me to be able to look forward and see, okay there are only 10 more days until Tiger Blood!!!


We successfully completed our first Whole30 and we were feeling great! One of the rules of Whole30 is you aren’t allowed to weigh yourself, that way you aren’t obsessing over the scale, so we did before and after measurements and weights and the change was pretty profound. These are my results:

Beyond the difference I was seeing, I felt amazing!! My energy levels were WAY up, I was sleeping like a baby, I wasn’t getting daily headaches, and I was not bloated after eating!! I also stopped getting endometriosis pains, which is a big deal!!! The results were so amazing that my mom and I decided to keep eating Paleo after the 30 days. We allowed ourselves some natural sugar and SWYPO (Sex with your pants on- read the book or program rules and you will understand!!!) as well as some white potatoes (which weren’t allowed on Whole30 when we first did it, but they are now).

Like I said before, I treated myself a little too much around the holidays and I want that Tiger Blood back!!! So I’m starting on January 2nd, who’s with me?!?!?! I will be sharing my meal plans with recipes and shopping lists starting tomorrow so everyone can prep over the weekend. It is always easier to do this  with help and accountability so I need your help too! Please comment if you have any questions or to let me know that you are joining me!! Or if you have a favorite Whole30 recipe you would like to share 🙂


A full list of Whole30 resources can be found here, but the basic PDFs are listed below:

Program Rules

Shopping list

Meal Template 

  1. Hi Leigha! Bill and I are joining you in this adventure. We will be a few days behind but will start never the less… Question: What is Tiger Blood?

  2. Yayyyy Deb!! I’m so happy to hear that! Tiger blood is the feeling you get towards the middle of the plan. You feel amazing, with tons of energy, no bloat, and your mood improves 🙂 Makes it all worth it!! I posted a week one meal plan, if you would like something to follow with recipes and a shopping list.
    Keep me updated on how it goes!!

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