21 Things About Whole 30.

Things-I-Learned-About-Whole30 30 days ago I started whole30. Whole30 is basically a way of eating for 30 days that consists of eating "whole" foods...No sugar, no additives, or to put it simply - you can eat meat, veggies and fruits. It's not really a diet, but a way to eliminate foods from your diet to get back to the basics of food. They say to, "Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system."

Because I like to make lists and a lot of people have asked about my experience here are 21 things I thought or experienced while doing whole30.

21 Things About Whole30

1. You can't do it without accountability. I have to give credit where credit's due...Jenn did all the research and was the motivating force behind whole30. She got us started on it because everyone knows there's no way I would have stuck to this by myself...teamwork makes the whole30 dream work.

tina and amy

2. It makes you realize how dependent you are on food. It was just as much of a psychological struggle to break habits of eating not great foods and sugar as it is a physical struggle. You also realize how often you mindlessly eat something or eat just because you're bored.

3. The whole30 timeline was pretty spot on for me. The first day seemed like no big deal, day4-5 I really wanted to kill all the things and I had no energy for awhile. At one point I was at the grocery store trying to pull two carts apart and it's like my arms couldn't move. I had zero energy. A store employee walked over and pulled them apart with no struggle whatsoever, while giving me a look that said, what the heck is wrong with you? Why couldn't you do that?

bugs bunny

4. Just what you need. This became my mantra. I really was only eating just what my body needed, but it also applied to other areas of my life. I was able to take a step back to determine only what I needed and that served me well these 30 days.

5. Going to kickboxing on day 3 is a bad idea. Trust me, just don't do it.

kristen wig going to pass out

6. Food is fuel. Another mantra I had. Realizing food's purpose should be to give us the energy and fuel we shouldn't be a reward, a way to appease boredom, or to make us feel good. Also, sugar definitely doesn't fuel our bodies. I've had way more energy without it than I ever had with it.

7. It's a privilege. Whole30 takes a lot of time and resources. I realize that it's definitely a privilege to even be able to choose to do it in the first place. I know that being annoyed that I have to make my lunch again or spend time meal planning for the week is not an option everyone has. I'm very thankful I had the opportunity to do this.

8. So many things revolve around food! I didn't think about how many social gatherings and activities revolve around food and how I wouldn't be able to do as much. This just made me get more creative about how to see people and also take the 30 days to slow down and focus on that mantra of just what I needed. But it also made me feel like a little bit of a hermit.

not a part of society

9. Sugar is toxic and everywhere. Seriously...I never realized how sugar is in EVERYTHING. Think the chicken from Panera is safe? Think again. It is cooked IN SUGAR! And how good I've felt without consuming sugar the last 30 days makes me realize just how bad it is for us.

10. You can get angry. Angry because you're tired of meal planning forever, angry because you're tired of cooking all your food from scratch, angry because you forgot your lunch, or angry because you just want to go out to eat but there's literally nothing you can eat out except salad with no dressing and who likes salad without dressing...

leslie knope 1

11. I really didn't have cravings for too many foods. This surprised me the most, but I was also really glad about it. I craved the act of going out to eat, meeting up with friends for meals and not having to be so prepared all the time more than I craved any specific food.

12. It confirmed that I'm really not a huge fan of meat. On whole30 you eat A LOT of meat, like all the meat. And I just can't do it. Also,  did you know canned salmon can come with all the bones in it...well I didn't and then I learned. It was disgusting and I just can't.

can't do it

13. People are nice about it. I didn't go around broadcasting that I was doing this because who likes people that go on and on about all of their dietary restrictions (especially when they're self-imposed), but when I had to let people know because it affected a meeting or plans people were very understanding and nice.

14.  I had crazy dreams. I already have pretty weird and vivid dreams on the regular, but this took it to a different level. I also had dreams that I would eat something I wasn't supposed to and wake up feeling nervous or guilty. Most of my dreams revolved around french fries. Weird.

15. Realizing you can have something you didn't think you could have is so exciting. And so is finding whole30 approved items at the grocery store. Including, but not limited to almond butter, unsweetened applesauce and bacon.


16. You become part of "the group". If I told someone I was doing whole30 and they have done it too all they had to ask was, "what day are you on" and we had an instant connection. Solidarity.

17. It takes a lot of self-control. I mean this is obvious, but you don't know how much it's tested until you're at a video shoot and there's cookies, donuts and candy on a table that you walk past every five minutes. You either avoid eye contact or stare them down while chanting no, no, no in your head.


18. On day 5...I love that I can eat so many potatoes and eggs! On day 20...I am so sick of eating potatoes and eggs. You do get food boredom and have to get creative in what you eat, but it's basically the same variation of the same foods over and over again.

19. You get tired of chewing. It's possible to stop eating not because you're full, but just because you're tired of chewing. Eating all whole foods often times means more chewing and eating more food to get full and sometimes you just get tired.

20. I feel great. I can't believe how good I feel and how much more energy I have. My brain isn't fuzzy, I can focus and my body just feels good. There's lots of crazy stories about how eating this way has eliminated health problems and other cool stuff, but I think everyone should at least give it a try if they can. I'm glad I did!

21. This was supposed to be a list of 30 things about whole30. But I got tired of thinking of things and I want to celebrate this 30th day by going to bed. Also, a list of 30 is a long list. So I leave you with this whole30 haiku.
Whole30 is hard
But it is worth it and good
You should do it too
thumbs up leslie knope


I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Washington this month. My whole family was there and we celebrated Jake and Leah's graduations from graduate school and then spent some time in the mountains at an awesome cabin. It was wonderful.
I realized that week that my soul needed to breathe. It needed room to have a nice long exhale without being rushed back to routine. The minute the plane took off I felt lighter and lighter. It's not a reflection on my life in Nashville, but just a reminder that my soul needs room to breathe. I need to make room for my over-thinking mind to rest, my over-empathetic heart to take a break and my always achieving soul to stop. It was a chance to be reminded that I do not hold the world together and that it keeps going when I'm gone.
My soul took a nice long exhale and I was able to rest. I was able to think about things that I usually just push away and cover with busyness. I was able just to be. I was able to exhale and inhale rest, peace and joy.
With every fit of laughter, every game played, every beautiful scene taken in, every short nap in the car, every page read in my book, every breath caught on the hike, every talk with one of my family members, every thought that with these people I am completely known and soul exhaled.
The hard part is not to feel like you're choking when it's time to get back to reality, to not feel like your soul is getting stuffed back down after experiencing that breath of fresh air. How do I make room for my soul to breathe in the everyday and the ordinary? How do I allow myself to feel that freedom and rest in the middle of the busyness and routine?
This was supposed to restore my soul and give me rest to start again and it did, but it also just made me long for more, long for more room to breath, more room to rest and more room to be restored. So, how do I create the space for my soul to exhale in the every day?  I guess it's something I'm still trying to figure out.