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Feb 17, 2020

On the Other Side of Whole30 // FAQ

i've officially come to the other side of my whole30!  it feels really good to have accomplished thirty days of clean eating.  i did take before/after photos, but since i didn't have the foresight to take web-appropriate photos (i took them in running leggings and a sports bra), i won't be posting them. but, read on as i answer some of the questions that i had when i first started my whole30, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions about my experience!

1 // what is whole30?  what made you decide to do it?
whole30 is a thirty-day cleanse.  you commit to a modified diet for 30 days, no excuses, no cheating.  essentially, you eliminate 4 types of inflammatory food from your diet:  grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes (including soy).  there are a few exceptions to those rules (you're allowed to have green beans and snow peas), but the goal is to completely axe all four of those from your diet.  you also agree to not weigh or measure yourself for the duration of the cleanse, except for once on day 1 and once on day 30.  i decided to do whole30 because i needed to reset my system.  you can read more about that decision here!

2 // was it hard to give all of that up for 30 days?
yes.  and no.  there were a lot of moments when i just wanted to give in and have the darn creamer in my coffee, but i went in with the mindset that i was going to commit to it, so i was able to talk myself out of the temptations that i had.

3 // did you lose weight?  how did you feel?
i lost 8 pounds and over twelve inches total on my body (eight of which were on my waist and stomach).  other than a short period in the middle of week two, i really didn't feel bloated at all throughout my thirty days.  i did have some headaches as i cut sugar out of my diet and i also went through a short period of feeling pretty tired.  once i got into my third week, however, all of the negative side effects i was feeling as my body adjusted were gone and i was feeling good.

4 // what other benefits did you notice about whole30?
the whole30 community is all about celebrating "non-scale victories", which is part of why you're not allowed to weigh or measure yourself during the thirty days.  other than not feeling bloated, i noticed that my skin was clearer and i just felt healthier and stronger.

5 // did you exercise?
yes!  i got into a bad routine of not working out regularly in the last few months of 2014, so making exercise a priority was something i planned on doing in the new year anyway.  i really wanted to get back to running and cycling, so i did a lot of that!

6 // how did you stay motivated?
you can't help but be motivated by how good you feel knowing that you're putting whole, healthy foods into your body!  but i won't lie, there will be times when you just want to quit.  here are a few ways i found motivation to keep going on those rough days
+ i downloaded the whole eating app, which proved to be a great way to keep track of where i was in the cleanse (it has a countdown), as well as offered daily motivation, a shopping list, recipes, and a quick reference of what i could and couldn't eat.
+ check out the #whole30 and #whole30results hashtag on social media...they're great ways to find others who are in this thing too and to find inspiration!
+ the biggest source of inspiration was the "tough love" section of the whole30 website.  when i first started exploring whole30, that jumped right out to me, and i repeated the phrase "i can do anything for 30 days" to myself over and over throughout the cleanse!
+ read the whole30 timeline, so that you know what to expect throughout your 30 days!

7 // healthy foods are expensive, did it break the bank?
not really.  yes, fresh, healthy foods can be expensive. but you shouldn't be doing a lot of snacking and you also aren't buying all of the not-so-healthy stuff that you're used to having in your pantry, so it evens out for the most part.

8 // did you still crave foods that weren't whole30 approved?
yep.  in fact, i broke my whole30 by splitting breakfast with aj for valentines day, part of which was the best french toast ever.  while i definitely find it easier to say no to foods that aren't allowed on the whole30, it doesn't mean the cravings totally went away!  in fact, my dad mentioned captain crunch to me in week one, and despite the fact that i can't remember the last time i had that cereal, i still craved it for most of the thirty days!  either way, it does get a little bit easier, and you feel really good knowing that you can say no to foods that aren't good for you!

9 // how will your eating change now that you finished whole30?
i felt really good on the whole30, and i want to continue eating this way.  it is definitely a manageable way of eating, and i have a goal that i'd like to be at for our wedding, so i plan to maintain this lifestyle.  aj adopted a paleo diet (which is largely the same as whole30) when i started my whole30, and so we both plan to continue eating a paleo diet.  i do plan to have non-compliant foods from time to time (paleo allows you to have two non-paleo meals each week), but for the most part, i will be sticking to the way i was eating during the whole30.

10 // would you do it again?
yes!  in fact, i think that i'd like to do another whole30 again soon.  as i said, i plan to continue eating this way, so i hope that it becomes a complete lifestyle and that doing another strict whole30 in the future will be easier.

have you done the whole30?  do you have any questions about it?


  1. I didn't make it through 30 straight days of the whole 30, however I did do 16 days and had great results. Those who started with me who were originally on board did not make it the full 30 so it made it a bit more difficult for me. However, I do intend to try it again and use some of the tips you shared. :)

  2. I think the hardest part of that for me would be the coffee creamer. I think I could handle everything else but that. I cannot drink my coffee black and I am too stubborn to give it up...I think whole30 and I would have some fighting words ;)

    Kristin // The Peculiar Treasure

  3. That's awesome, way to go on completing that! I've never done Whole30 but I've done a similar 21 day plan and it has definitely helped me to develop healthier eating habits!

  4. Congratulations!!!!! That's incredible. I need to try it sometime soon. I Just don't know if I can be as committed as you are!

  5. Congrats! What an awesome accomplishment! I am terrible with food commitments!

  6. Good for you!! The first 2 weeks were the hardest for me, but after that I didn't really crave anything unhealthy anymore.

  7. I haven't done this (and won't now that I'm pregnant), but I would love to try it sometime. It sounds like a great way to reset your body and get you away from those crazy cravings (sugar for me).

  8. Oh this is awesome! i was actually just thinking about you. What a great accomplishment! We didn't last. Too many church activities and trips going on that made it difficult. But I do want to continue to implement some parts of it.

  9. You impress me. I honestly don't know if I have the willpower to do this. Sugar is my downfall yet the known source of my feeling blah plenty of the time. I need to kick the habit somehow though. Kudos for you for doing this!

  10. Yay! I am so proud of you! I am so glad this was a positive experience for you! PALEO POWER!

  11. Wow! I'm impressed. As for me, I'm going vegan for 30 days and I'm half through already!

  12. awe thanks anne! sugar is so addictive, and i'm not completely sure that my whole30 broke my addiction. i might need another 30 days! haha. it's terrible!

  13. Thanks Meg! I will be honest...the past few days I have not been good at all! But I am getting strict again...I felt really good on it and even just a few days of not eating well, I can really feel it!

  14. Yes! I am such a sugar addict. I think you could probably implement some of these principles while you're pregnant, but I totally get not wanting to!

  15. Yes! I totally agree...once I got past the first two weeks, I felt good and it was so much easier to say no to things!

  16. Thanks Eryn! Me too normally, but there was something about the Whole30 that I just found I could commit to!

  17. Thanks Gennie! Let me know if you decide to do it! I'd love to cheer you on! :)

  18. It's amazing how little commitments can help shape your eating habits! I'm hoping to do another Whole30 soon...maybe a Whole21 would be good!

  19. Totally...it was difficult for me too! I added some Almond milk to my coffee...I couldn't drink it black! And mostly, I just drank a lot of tea.

  20. That's great to hear that your results were good! I think that having a support system definitely helps. I didn't have anyone here doing it with me, but AJ was eating similarly enough so we were able to encourage one another, and we're both motivated by our wedding. And I just kind of drew inspiration/encouragement from the Whole30 website and by searching different hashtags on Instagram!

  21. Right? The fact that everything that goes into your body is "clean" makes you feel better.

  22. Loved these answered questions! I think my hubs & I are going to start it in March after our NYC trip. Thanks for the inspiration!!! :) Congrats on finishing well!

  23. Well done on finishing it. I really want to do it because I know I'm allergic to lots of different foods, I just don't know what they are. They only thing is most of the foods on the list I don't like, and can't bring myself to eat, so i'll just be eating the same food for 30 days. Did you find that or are you pretty up for eating anything? I'm just going to really miss bread!! ha!



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