Before starting the Whole30 lifestyle there are so many things to do to prepare. I read the book of course, “It Starts with Food“, that’s certainly step one for everyone. Then two months before even considering to change my life {in a super positive way} I pondered the thought… “How could a part time mom, foodie, wine lover & professional, craft beer lover & traveler, baseball game go-er, wife of a chef… possibly do this?

Well, it was all about planning, being educated on the life change and the foods, and preparing. There is nothing worse than feeling hungry and wanting to reach for something but having nothing Whole30 approved, so you fail. That will not happen if you plan ahead. It’s time consuming and I have to say I spend more time in the kitchen now than I did before this life change, but I am eating all healthy foods and introducing healthier foods to my family- even my boys like most of the dishes I cook.  I can still talk wine with people, I just don’t drink it right now, and I can still smell beer and be at my favorite breweries, or even travel to new ones, I just don’t taste the beers, but I can take photos of them :). And as far as being a foodie and being married to a chef, it’s only helping me out- my husband likes going out as much as I do to eat, but now we all spend more time in the house organizing, and eating together, and being healthy together. His expertise in the kitchen helps out too: he doesn’t bother me unless I ask, and will offer help with flavors of things when I am trying to mimic my favorite Thai dish or Indian food. He explains to me what spices will work well together and helps me get my hands on interesting foods and spices too! It’s working out quite well.

Before beginning Whole30 and even still, I browse Pinterest and pin all sorts of recipes and ideas for things I could substitute out certain ingredients to make Whole30 approved dishes. I read blogs about the lifestyle and look for peoples experiences to understand what will possibly work for me and what I potentially will go through during this experience. I have found several helpful posts but I have to say the few I came across who explained their actual experience and feelings each day, the authors cheated a little- they either drank a couple of glasses of wine a couple of times, and/or ate pizza {Pizza seemed to be a very popular craving across the blogs I have looked at}, making it tough for me to relate to this. I decided to document my experience both in recipes and in this daily diary. I’ll explain what I ate, how much time I spent preparing, and how I felt each day. It’s helpful to have a glimpse into someone else’s Whole30 life, so here is mine.

Eat well.

To get started:

After reading the book, download the shopping list and also keep it on your phone in your photos so you can access it anywhere you are, easily. The key to this working is to make it as seamless, and effortless as possible because so much of it is going to be work, save time where you can!!

Next: check out my pinterest boards both with only Whole30 recipes and also almost Whole30 recipes {recipes that need subtle substitutions like with coconut oil or milk}

Create a weekly meal plan that will work in your home. I make this on my yellow notepad on my Iphone. I take my 6 favorite recipes and buy those ingredients. Once those meals are listed out, you can take what’s left of those ingredients and begin to play around more- that’s where Pinterest is helpful, or you can check back at my recipes.

Set a start date and begin weeding out some of the foods that you have to cut out. I chose April 1st and I knew I was starting back on March 1st. I had all kinds of time to enjoy my favorite beer once more, go out to my favorite Thai restaurant for the last time, and also start eating less carbs and going from tacos to salad wraps. It was much easier, and I’m glad I did it that way.

The day before beginning, I threw out anything that only I ate, that was NOT Whole30 approved. No temptations. Then I made sure to pack a good lunch for work the next day….

To be successful I pack a bag {that I bring with me EVERYWHERE I go} filled with refillable containers of: cashews, cut strawberries, blackberries, a couple of cuties, and an avocado. I pack just enough of the cold foods to eat at work and replenish each day.

Here is a look at my first Whole30…

Day 1:

I packed snacks and lunch for work but when it came down to it, it was not nearly enough and by noon, I was starving. I think that the combination of weak coffee and not being able to indulge in my afternoon rockstar really kicked my bum more than I anticipated.

I came home and had to nap, I was cranky.

I was waiting for the produce to be delivered to my house so in the meantime, I went to the store and bought some avocados, lemon, chicken breasts, broccoli, and potatoes.

I made pepper spiced chicken breast and chopped that up, sliced avocados and some cucumbers, two kinds of olives, and an apple and put all of that in a bowl of lettuce with my homemade dressing.

I stressed the fact that being prepared is KEY, and I thought I was but the reality is, when you take out grains, dairy, legumes, soy, sugar, and alcohol, anything you are used to, your body goes into shock, not only just your body too, but your mind. This was just the beginning.

Day 2:

I treated myself to a fancier coffee: Peet’s Sumatra. I drink it black so the added flavors are really nice. It’s also nice to feel like you are indulging in a sense but it’s all approved :). I packed a bag {that I bring with me EVERYWHERE I go} filled with refillable containers of: cashews, cut strawberries, blackberries, cuties, lettuce, chicken, and a jar of my homemade dressing. I pack just enough of the cold foods to eat at work and replenish each day.

For dinner I made a chicken breast and veggie saute. This was incredibly delicious and filing. It was sliced seared chicken with rainbow chard stems, bock choy, red bell pepper, and onion with a nice cilantro, lemon, and sesame garnish.

I felt pretty good throughout the day at work and then had enough energy to make dinner. I had body aches, and a headache most of the day and around 5pm it was all around my head. I slept poorly that night.

Day 3:

My typical breakfast is just coffee, then once I get to work, I snack on a little fruit and will graze most of the day. I made myself some iced tea {unsweetened} to drink right around my rockstar craving time, and that was totally wise. I had my usual snacks in tote for the day.

For dinner we went to a Giants game, the first of the season for us and the true test for me. Part of the fun at the games is the tailgating, trying new beers, and eating the great {not for you, but delicious} foods in the ballpark. I did none of those things. I packed my avocado, a hydro-flask filled with spiced, iced tea, cuties, blackberries, nuts, and olives for a little salt craving.

I felt just OK. I had a terrible headache the entire night. I had some blurry vision, and I was horribly irritable. People around me were talking and I heard them but they were not speaking words. It was definitely an odd feeling. I felt very off, just within myself and then throwing myself into the ballpark with a bunch of garlic fries loving, hot dog eating, beer drinking fans- I was a bit out of place…Haha. By the 4th inning, I wanted to go to sleep, that may have been the worst part because I was there and trying to be positive but my body kept saying otherwise. When I got home I passed out and then woke up, and preceded to toss and turn throughout the night….my body temperature was way off- I was freezing cold when normally I run warm to hot.

Getting through the baseball game without any real hiccups was great, I knew that as much pain as the next week would hold, it would be somewhat breezy.

Day 4:

Breakfast has not changed much for me, my morning has been typical: coffee, then fruit and nuts around 10am.

For dinner I made an avocado, pineapple, and red bell pepper salsa. Then I made a slaw with red cabbage, cucumber, sliced apple, and drizzled with a little cider vinegar and salt & pepper. Then I chopped chicken and pulled out a heart of romaine and separated the leaves. I put a little of the salsa on, then sprinkled chicken, and topped with the slaw. It was divine.

I drank a LOT more water today so felt a bit better but the headache still was there and at night it became worse. The back pain was more evident, and the sleep was disturbed most of the night by feelings of hot and cold and tossing and turning. One of the things that has been odd for me is my body temperature- it’s way off. I am cold when I am usually hot and I’m hot not very often. My norm body temp {before Whole30} has always been on the hotter side.

Day 5:

My husband I took a road trip for Easter. We had plans to stay over night at an inn and we had dinner reservations at the restaurant {I checked out the menu ahead of time to be sure there was at least one thing I could order}. I packed two hydro-flasks of iced tea, plenty of bubble water, a salad I made, leftover avocado and pineapple salsa with romaine “chips” {just leaves of the heart to use as chips}, nuts, blackberries, olives, and a bag full of cuties.

We stopped at small diner along the way and I ordered an egg white omelette without cheese and added mushrooms and onions. I put Tabasco sauce and pepper on top. It was perfect.

Dinner was at a restaurant at the hotel in the Historic Benbow Inn. I do not usually eat a lot of red meat but I decided to go with the ribeye, roasted baby carrots, and fingerling potatoes. I asked the server if there was any sort of sauce on the meat or the plate, he said there wasn’t, just in the thyme and caramelized onions, so I asked for that on the side.The meat came out simply seasoned and the carrots were roasted with a touch of olive oil. I opted not to eat the potatoes.

My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary so we went over to the bar and had a drink: he had a beer and I enjoyed a San Pellegrino with a lime.

As we sat ad chatted, I began to feel pain in my arms and my legs. I rubbed my uppers arms with both hands as if I was warming myself up and man, I was sore! My head was throbbing, and my back sore, but my limbs starting to feel this sore pain was very uncomfortable. I could feel the toxins seeping out of my body. That night I was freezing, we turned the heater on, I fell asleep with and then woke up dying of heat, with a horrible headache, dry mouth, sore back and upset stomach. I slept the worst that night.

**By now the theme is evident: exhaustion early on in the evening, headaches at night, body temperature changes, body aches, and disrupted sleep or erratic sleep patterns. Staying positive during the day is extremely helpful. It doesn’t cure the pain but it surely helps keep ya going! Drinking a LOT of water throughout the day is key too, all day, every day. 

Day 6:

The ride back home, we stopped at a local pub like place and I ordered a green salad with grilled chicken. The chicken was clearly bought pre-cooked and thus had preservatives so I did not eat it. The restaurant did not have olive oil or any type of balsamic so I squeezed a lemon on top of the greens and ate that. It was meh, but it was food. I found a local coffee shop with cold pressed coffee and treated myself to that.

For dinner I had a Chinese style chicken salad without the won ton crisps. It was romaine, spinach, red cabbage, chicken, mandarin, and toasted slivers of almond. It was tasty.

I felt a lot more normal but still has the headache and sleep was still difficult. The soreness was less with my limbs but the pain in my back has yet to go away.

Day 7:

Coffee in the morning. I stopped at this amazing local strawberry stand and picked up a flat of fresh picked berries and snacked on those all morning.

For lunch I ate the leftovers of the Chinese chicken salad.

My husband and I went by Sur La Table and picked up a spiralizer so I could make zucchini noodles. We {my hubby helped me in the kitchen this time :)} seasoned the shrimp with “Uncle Timmy’s Spice Rub” {sorry this ones a secret recipe, but it’s paprika, salt, pepper, and some other things but you get the idea}, seared them in olive oil, steamed broccoli in olive oil and red pepper flakes, then tossed in the zucchini noodles and brought all the flavors together, It was absolutely fantastic!

My body was super sore most of the day and I was completely exhausted. Headache still present throughout most of the day.

Day 8: 

I finally felt a bit like myself in that I was not starving almost all day long. I brought my usual snacks, but didn’t eat nearly as much as I had been. My body finally adjusted to the whole30.

I had some weird energy about me, I kind of just sat at home and drank bubble water and had left over chicken and didn’t want to do anything else.

Day 9:

Woke up with more energy than ever before since starting the Whole30 program! I was alert and had more energy. Drank my coffee, packed my avocado, blackberries, cuties {4}, strawberries, and broccoli salad. I ate most of my snacks throughout the day.I was still not as hungry as I had been, similar to Day 8.

I got home and was a bit cranky but I powered through and prepped some snacks and then went out to be with family.

I was out and about all day and through the eve so I ate out and had a grilled chicken salad with veggies.

Body was still sore, headache only at night and bit of blurry vision to report but not too bad. My head was foggy as ever and  felt uncoordinated… I was taking a long time to articulate my thoughts and was running into things like doorways- almost like I was not giving myself enough space to get through the doors lol. Driving was a little off too- I was feeling like cars were more in my space than they actually were. It was an odd experience for the day. Sleep was better than it had been but still waking up a lot through the night.

Day 10:

Usual morning, coffee and then packed snacks. I woke with a good amount of energy, I was in a very positive mood right from the bat. I was perky all day long- I had to volunteer at a dinner after work so I knew I needed to eat and bring extra snacks, so I kept myself fed and hydrated. That helped immensely! I was in a good mood throughout the entire night.

I started getting compliments on my skin and how it was”glowing”. People were saying that they could see a difference in my complexion, it was clearer and brighter and my face was more defined.

My body temperature was way off- all day and night I was HOT. I was red and hot right up until about 8:30pm. I had a slight stomach ache in the evening. I was on the go so I ate an apple, 4 cuties, and avocado, then I had some warmed up broccoli, tomato and swiss chard when I got home. I slept pretty good- was still cold at night like every other day…

Day 11:

I woke up and felt like I was HUNG over… my head was in a fog, my entire body ached, it hurt to get up, it hurt to stand, my head was just pounding…  The horrible feelings went away mid morning and then around 3:30 {after eating 2 cuties and a few strawberries} my stomach just felt like someone stabbed me in the gut. It was a sharp and constant pain and came out of nowhere. Aside from the stomach pain, my heating up began to happen again like the night before. Just when I thought my body was adjusting {Day 10} this happens. Very uncomfortable, BUT the compliments kept on coming… skin, hair, glow…all great things a girl wants to hear!

Day 12 AND Day 13:

I spent all day {Both days} cooking and roasting peppers, making two soups, chili, and chopping veggies and fruit for the week. I felt pretty good both days but being on my feet in the kitchen and just chopping away, I got tired HARD and around 5pm. I really didn’t eat much all day but ended up grazing on the things I was prepping. Sleep was good, much better than the norm lately. Still low energy but I have been able to keep my eyes open past 9pm :). Drinking lots and lots of water to keep my muscles and limbs from being sore- it’s working. I find that I’ve had to drink much more water than I usually do {Usual intake is 70-80 ounces per day on a regular day} and I have been drinking over 100 ounces when I feel really good. I’m gathering that when I begin working out again, I’ll have to up that even….

Day 14: 

Nothing new- I have been testing out the coconut oil in my coffee, putting about 1 teaspoon in the vitamix and coffee and letting it go for 2 minutes. It’s pretty dang good! I didn’t have crashes today mid-day. Slept pretty well. Body temp is still a little wacky: some nights I’m really cold for a long time and some I’m warm….

Day 15:

Usual food… feeling the same as yesterday.

Day 16: 

Feeling great- lots more energy! Slight headache in the evening but otherwise really positive and feeling great Starting to plan my jogging routine for next week.

Day 17/18/19: 

Weekend away with pourings, family birthday parties, and meeting up with friends. Headaches, feeling a little tired, over doing it a bit. Not eating enough.

Day 20:  

Slept great for a long time. Jogged. Felt great. Did some food prep for the week. Went to a restaurant with some out-of-town friends and had a beautiful steak with some mushrooms, sun chokes and artichokes. Enjoyed the San Pellegrino with lime and also made some lemon + lime fresh juice cubes {these are GREAT in orange bubble water}. I stayed up quite late with my friends {they’re on East Coast time} but got up early to work out and felt pretty great. Though, I was yawning like crazy all night after dinner and I have to say, I scarfed down that Kobe beef steak like I hadn’t eaten in YEARS!

Had a baseball game and pouring. Brought some roasted beets, green beans, oranges, watermelon that I drizzled balsamic on, and an apple. Delicious.

Definitely thinking of doing the Whole30 for 60 days now. Or at least just continuing a healthy lifestyle with good, clean foods.

Day 21: 

Had a Giants pouring and I was next to Kosta Browne and had to taste the Chardonnay and Pinot from them so I did have a little taste. Otherwise, had a great time, was full of energy, and slept well.

Day 22: 

I woke up pretty tired from being up late and not eating very much. My body has been temperamental for sure with the lack of sugars. Sleeping has gotten easier and I have been able {well, not sure that’s a good thing} to stay up much later than usual. I wake up pretty well though it’s like my internal clock is super excited to get up when the sun peaks. I have started to run again and my body is liking that.

Day 23/24/25/26:

Cooking, cooking, cooking. Eating delicious foods but in an effort to not be board with my foods, I am spending 6+ hours in the kitchen at least every other day. I made my chili again and this time I roasted my own peppers and chilies because my hubby was working. Dang it’s a lot of work. I have been making the juice cubes with fresh fruits and straining the juice if I need to {for blackberries or berries with seeds}. And… when I have something made and prepped and I come home and it’s gone, I have been getting irritable. My son will devour the strawberries that I spend over an hour cleaning, or someone will eat the chicken that nobody knew I wanted to put in the salad for dinner… LOL, it becomes very clear why people do not eat clean forever, or cannot when you have a full-time job and life. But I am still trying!

Day 27/28: 

This last week has basically all been the same: good energy, jogging and doing some strength training at home, making a lot of food, trying to experiment with substitutions of soy’s and milks, and trying to keep myself satisfied with hot foods. I have lost 20 pounds since day 1. Water has been the biggest thing that I cannot stress enough to drink I go to the bathroom ALL day long but I don’t have the headaches as a result. Still getting those amazing compliments that I am glowing. Everyone around me is noticing, it’s pretty great.

Day 29: 

Snacks have recently turned into roasted beets and blanched green beans. I have been taking a little almond milk and blending it with some pineapple and strawberries as a sweet snack. I know you shouldn’t drink your food, but I, every now and then want a little sweet something so I’ll make a small little milk drink. Since jogging again, I have noticed that my body craves more sugars.

I HIGHLY recommend roasting veggies on the BBQ whenever possible, especially since its the perfect weather for it {in California}, the flavors will be amazing, delicious, and anything but boring no matter what it is you’re putting together. It’s a sure way to keep eating clean but good.

Day 30:

Life after Whole30… my plans are to keep maintaining my recipes and creating more to encourage myself and you to keep eating clean. How could I possibly stop altogether with all of the awesome support I have from my husband, boys, and friends! It’s fun cooking too! So stick around, there will be lots more great, clean, healthy recipes coming!