January Whole 30

Whole 30. A healthy whole foods eating craze that has been swirling around the past few years. 30 days of unprocessed clean eats to recharge your body and get it loving you again. It's also more than just a reset, it's a lesson on how to get to eating more whole foods and see how easy it can be. It's a way to influence your eating habits to show you how great you feel when you eat foods your body enjoys. 

I did my first Whole 30 back in August and loved it. Reflecting back on that experience I've compiled all of my tips, ideas, feedbacks and thoughts about Whole 30 for anyone who is interested in giving it a go. I'm doing January Whole 30, join me! 

Let's start from the beginning and get out there what you can and can't eat.
*this is a simplified list created by me, get the official program rules here.

What you can eat:
Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, citrus
Vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, potatoes (white and sweet)
Vegetable chips (no additives): sweet potato chips, plantain chips
Protein: beef, chicken, sausage, bacon, salami, nuts, nut butter, eggs
Fish, shellfish
Non-dairy milk (no sugar added)
Oils and clarified butter or ghee
Vinegars: white, apple cider, balsamic (no sugar added) 
LeCroix, Green tea and coffee (black, bulletproof or with non-dairy milk)

What you can't eat:
Grains: bread, oats, quinoa, rice, crackers, chips
Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts (no pb either), soy, soy sauce, tofu, corn :(
Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, creamer
Sweets and added sugar: cookies, cakes, ice cream, sugar, brown sugar
Sugar: honey, agave, maple syrup

Don't think of it as an elimination diet or something where you can't eat anything fun. Look how much longer that list of CANS is than can'ts!! Click here for a list of Whole30 approved brands. Great products for mayo, salad dressings and snacks.

The experience is different for everyone. Each week is also different. I found some weeks to be really easy and some weeks to be more challenging. For me, the first two weeks were the easiest. I was so gung-ho and committed I never wanted to cheat. My energy was a little down with the lack of grains and dairy, but I took that as an excuse to sneak in a few extra naps. The third week was fine as far as eating and my energy was normal. The last week was the hardest. This is a little backward for most, because typically things are supposed to get easier. But by week 4 all I wanted to do was bake and eat ice cream. I admit I cheated a bit. I'm only human.


On that note, I have another thing to admit. Alcohol is off limits during Whole 30. Not drinking alcohol is hard. So I didn't follow that rule. I restricted alcohol to just a couple drinks and only on the weekend. Fair warning, being social while on Whole 30 hard. I found myself wanting to stay in more so I wasn't tempted by treats at friend's houses or parties, or dealing with the struggle of ordering off menus. If you are eating out, cut yourself some slack because their is no way you can be for sure what someone is putting in your food unless you are making it. Just order a protein and veggies if you can, a bunless burger or salad and you should be fine. In a pinch, the hot bar and salad bar at Whole Foods are a great option if you are out of food or not wanting to cook. Chipotle is also compliant if you stick with carnitas, guac and salsa. Here are more eating out tips.

My first round I didn't notice a huge change in the number on the scale, but that's not the point. The way I felt on the inside was very noticeable. I felt comfortable in my skin, I felt healthy, I felt like my body loved me back. I felt like everything was moving and grooving the right way in there. Not like the way I feel after I gorge on chips and queso...

Meal prep
Have a buddy do it with you
Include protein in every meal so you stay fuller longer
Keep small baggies of raw nuts or a larabar in your purse for those hangry moments!

Some of my go to meals from Round 1 Whole 30:

Smoothies: using my basic combo of almond milk, greens, berries or fruit, almond butter and cinnamon
Chia Pudding (but it never filled me up, so not again)
Banana with almond butter
Eggs with fruit
Larabar (for something quick)

Lunch board
Cobb style salad
Taco Salad no chips or cheese
Prosciutto wrapped apples & veggies with guacamole 

Breakfast for dinner (eggs, sausage, fruit)
Loaded salad with protein
Roast chicken with roasted veggies
Spaghetti Squash

Snacks: (Whole 30 doesn't advice snacking, they want you to stick to 3 whole meals, but sometimes you need a little something something mid day)
Veggies and homemade guacamole
Veggie chips and salsa (check ingredients)
Apple and almond butter

Meals I'm excited to make for Round 2:
Butternut Squash Soup (minus the granola)
Potato Soup
Tomato soup
Veggie Chili
Slow-Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce (AMAZING!!!)
Spiralized veggies with meat sauce (I got a spiralizer for Christmas!!)
Sweet Potato Crust Quiche
Egg Baked in Avocado (good for breakfast or lunch)
Sweet Potato Toast
Cauliflower Rice

Take a Bite recipes that are Whole 30 compliant:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Figs
Baked Egg Sweet Potato
Acorn Squash Salad Bowls (minus the feta)
Carnitas (serve in lettuce wrap instead of tortilla)
Perfect Green Smoothie
Lunch Board
Easy Butternut Squash Soup

Whole 30 Inspiration:

@emilyeatsrealfood (my fav) Known for #emilysbreakfastbowls and #emilyschiapudding

Blog Posts:
The Lazy Girl's Guide to Whole 30 
Every Last Detail

30 Trader Joe's Approved Foods

My Whole 30 Pinterest Board

Comment below if you are doing January Whole 30. We are in this together!