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My First Whole30

Let me start by saying, I did not complete the 30 days. Womp womp, what a letdown, right? No! This blog is just to inform you of what I learned and how excited I am to try again! For those of you unfamiliar with Whole30, it is an eating plan created in 2009 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. Whole30 is explained in depth in their book, It Starts with Food. I HIGHLY recommend reading the book FIRST. You eat vegetables, fruit, protein, and fats for 30 days. You skip sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol.

At first I thought this sounded easy. I was a vegetarian and a vegan for many years. I know how to stay disciplined and enjoy the “right” kinds of food. BUT I have been pleasantly surprised at all of the challenges that arose during these 30 days.

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

My First Whole30

I wholeheartedly believe that food is medicine and you are what you eat. I know from studying nutrition that food plays a huge part in how we feel and how our bodies perform everyday. At home I have coined the phrase, Food affects your Mood. My husband and son constantly roll their eyes when I say this. Until recently.

Please note that I am not saying this is a blanket fix for everyone, nor do I think that it’s something everyone should do. However, I do recommend checking out the book and/or website if you’re curious.

I kept a log of how each week went. Successful or unsuccessful, this was going to be for me. I also added in some of my favorite recipes at the bottom. I hope you enjoy!

Days 1-7

I spent most of these days hungry. My stomach just continuously growled. All day long. On the positive side of things, around day 3, I noticed I wasn’t exhausted like I normally am. I have a long work week, but I also have a baby girl who doesn’t sleep. Most days I would come in to the office looking and feeling like a zombie. I used to be a vegan for many years, so cooking was a fun experience. I couldn’t wait to try some of these recipes. I listed my favorites at the very end!

Days 8-14

This was the hardest week by far. I could feel my body changing. I can’t really pinpoint what it was though. The hardest part of this week were the three out of seven days I had to go out for dinner for events. I resisted cheesecake, macaroni and cheese, and wine. Really good wine at that. I was pretty “miserable” this week. I was in too far to quit. So I was annoyed that I needed to keep going. Anyhow, I made some AMAZING recipes this week.

Days 15-21

The beginning of this week I was feeling REALLY good. The best I had felt in the last year. I wasn’t tired. None of my joints ached at all. My skin was perfectly clear. I had a lot more energy. I was feeling so good, I decided to break one of the rules. It is not recommended to weigh yourself through Whole30 but I did anyway. To my surprise I had lost 9lbs! Wow! I was on top of the world. As I was nearing to the end of this week, knowing I had another 2 events to attend, I started to get grumpy. I really wanted to just cheat a little bit. But I held off. I was feeling so proud of myself.

Days 22-30

The holding off to give into the urge to cheat was starting to consume me. All could think about was pizza. My favorite kind of pizza is Casey’s Taco Pizza. (Don’t judge me) I told my husband that to celebrate finishing Whole30, I was going to get a taco pizza. Well, Day 23 rolled around. We didn’t have time to meal prep that weekend because we were so busy. I figured since it was the last week, it would be fine; I had groceries for all of my favorite recipes. The night of Day 23, I broke down. I just wanted to eat pizza. It’s so strange looking back how desperately I wanted pizza. So after 23 days, I bought a pizza. It was the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten. I also had wine and ice cream.

Yes, I went all-out on going off of this eating change. I wasn’t the least bit upset. I had made it 23 days of a lot of temptations, avoiding poor food choices, and feeding my body the exact fuel it needed! I feel like the first go-around, I looked at this all wrong. I saw a lot of the negatives instead of the positives. I focused on everything I couldn’t have versus everything I could have. Yes, it’s hard, but remembering exactly how I started to feel is so worth doing it again. I lost 9 pounds, which still remains gone. I understand how food really affects my body. In March I plan to try Whole30 again. I think having this test run under my belt, I’ll go through it with flying colors! Wish me luck!

Favorite Meals

Taco Burgers & Homemade Guacamole


  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 8 ounces diced green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

How To Prepare

  1. Chop cilantro. Add eggs to a large bowl and lightly beat.
  2. Add all other ingredients and combine with a fork or with your hands. Be careful not to over mix.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper, and using a 1/3 measuring cup, portion the burger mixture into equal scoops.
  4. Form each scoop into a patty, spacing them out equally on the cookie sheet.
  5. If desired, patties can be frozen at this point by placing the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour until frozen. Then place burgers in ziplock bags. When ready to cook, thaw in fridge.
  6. To cook: Grill burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Buffalo Ranch Grilled Chicken Wings


  • 20 chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

For the ranch dressing:

  • 1/8 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk, full-fat
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2/3 cup hot sauce

How To Prepare

  1. Place wings in a gallon ziplock bag. Add garlic powder, cayenne, and chipotle powder. Drizzle in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and smush the chicken wings around so they are all coated with the seasoning.
  2. Put the wings in the refrigerator to marinate for 12-24 hours.
  3. While wings are marinating, make your ranch dressing by juicing lemon and chopping fresh herbs.
  4. Combine lemon juice and herbs with mayonnaise, coconut milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place in fridge to chill until ready to use.
  5. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat your grill to low-med (between 300F and 400F). Saturate a folded-up paper towel with olive oil, then use grill tongs to wipe it across the grill grates, greasing the grill.
  6. Remove the wings from the plastic bags and place on paper towels. Pat the tops of them until they are as dry as possible, so they get nice and crispy on the grill. Cook the chicken wings on the grill for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so and moving them around every so often if your grill cooks unevenly. You want them to get nice and evenly browned. A word of caution: chicken wings have a lot of skin, which hold a lot of fat. They can cause flare-ups while grilling, so be careful.
  7. The wings are done when an instant-read thermometer registers 165F, or the meat is no longer pink. Remove the wings from the grill and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet or serving plates. mix up a quick sauce using hot sauce and the ranch dressing. Toss or brush the wings with the sauce mixture and serve.
Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

For the Taco Meat:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or fat of choice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

For the Dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 limes
  • 13 1/2 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more to thin

For the Salad:

  • 1 large romaine lettuce
  • 2 avocados
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups plantain chips

How To Prepare

  1. For the taco meat: Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add ghee or fat of choice and saute ground meat with salt and spices until meat is cooked through. Remove from heat.
  2. For the dressing: Peel and pit avocado. Peel garlic. Juice lime. Scoop the thick stuff from the top of a full fat coconut milk can, discard the liquid, and add to food processor or blender. Combine all other dressing ingredients and process until creamy smooth. Adjust for salt and pepper. Thin with additional water to desired consistency.
  3. For the salad: Chop lettuce. Peel, pit, and slice avocados. Chop green onions. Dice bell peppers.
  4. Combine salad ingredients in bowl. Add cooked taco meat, toss with creamy avocado dressing top with crushed plantain chips, and enjoy!
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