Whole30 | What to Expect

*disclaimer: I haven’t read the book, nor do I own it. I’ve heard it’s a great resource and goes into the “why.”

I decided that the day after Valentine’s Day I would start Whole30, so I’m a little less than one week into the “program” (or “diet,” as many call it).

There are a few friends at work who wanted to start too, but they wanted to wait until after their respective vacations (and I don’t blame them!). I, however, don’t have any real reason not to start so I decided to jump in head-first.

Here we go – the good and bad (thankfully, not much ugly) of my first week!

What is Whole30?

Most people would call it an elimination diet. I like to phrase it in a positive way, meaning that I call it a way to cut out all of the things that make my body unhappy for 30 days. With Whole30, you’re cutting out a few different food groups that are known to cause sensitivity in some people.

Here’s what is cut. 

  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Added sugars

Why do peanuts have to be legumes? Why are oats and quinoa grains? Make sure to look at the official chart of what to eat and what not to, as there are some things I wouldn’t have thought of.

While some of the groups listed above don’t seem to affect my health (alcohol and legumes, namely), I don’t know this 100%. I do know that grains make me feel sluggish, dairy hurts my stomach, and added sugars make my face breakout, but I also know that I eat them all the dang time.

Why am I doing Whole30?

As I mentioned above, I know that my body doesn’t love grains (like bread and pasta), milk, cheese, or added sugars. 

I wanted to hit a bit of a “reset” button on my health. My face feels all clogged up, I don’t have much energy, and I just don’t feel good

So how are things so far?

I have a lot more energy already.

I’ve had random cravings for things I haven’t eaten in years.

While my face isn’t completely cleared, it’s getting there.

It has definitely given me a new appreciation of veggies and how good they can taste.

The people behind Whole30 recommend not eating too many fruits (as they can contain quite a bit of sugar) but when a craving for chocolate arises, a mango tastes pretty good.

I’ve also found a new routine for both reading labels. I was so excited to receive a bottle of the new Classico Organic Marinara Sauce (gifted), but it has added sugar so it has to wait. I don’t read the labels for calories or other numbers-based things – just the list of ingredients.

Because I’m trying to not snack as much (per the “diet”), I’m drinking a lot more water. Am I actually hungry, or just thirsty? I’ve grown a lot more in tune with the cues my body is giving me.

The hardest part for me is that I eat a fairly vegetarian diet. I typically add grains (like quinoa) to bulk up my meals and keep me full, but I’m having to reintroduce meat in small quantities. You can modify the diet to (for example) add back quinoa to fill that void, but I figured that I’d try to strike a balance. I’m making sure to eat lots of veggies and not eat too much meat.

What have you been eating?

Here are some ideas of what I’ve had for breakfast:

Here are some ideas of what I’ve had for lunch/dinner:

  • Spaghetti squash with chicken, mushrooms,  tomatoes, and kale
  • Salmon, veggies, and salad

Unfortunately (fortunately?), the Whole30 method recommends having three filling meals and limit the snacking (unless you’re working out, etc). That so far hasn’t worked for me. Here are a few ideas for snacks:

  • A handful of almonds
  • Apple slices, with or without almond butter
  • Cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower (tip: take some of these and add them to a pan to bake a whole bunch of veggies!)
  • Kale chips

I don’t love salad or anything too plain, so I’ve relied heavily on my silicone baking mats, spices, and cut up veggies to keep things interesting.

Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful during the first week of Whole30:

  • If you’ve got something coming up (within the next few days, etc.) where you know you’ll want to eat allllllll the pasta and chocolate and you want to wait to start, I don’t see much harm in that. I started the day after Valentine’s Day because I wanted to be able to eat pasta and Reese’s eggs and drink red wine. Granted, don’t make this a reason to push off starting!
  • Do enough research, but not too much. While I believe that it is good to be informed and make sure that you’re putting good things into your body, there is such thing as too many YouTube videos of people complaining about how much they miss bread.
  • Take measurements before! The Whole30 people recommend not taking measurements again until the 30 days are over.

What happens after?

You (hopefully) don’t just binge all of the bad things in one day. It is recommended that you slowly reincorporate these items back into your life in hopes of directly seeing their impact (or lack thereof) on your body. 

I don’t know what will be my first meal post Whole30, but I do plan on at least having a little bit of fun!

Do you have any other questions for me? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them in my wrap-up post after I’m done!


This post contains affiliate links. I am not a doctor or nutritionist. Please consult them for specific or health-related questions.

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