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


For the last six months a common question I've asked myself is this:

What lies need to be uprooted today?

I'm realizing the more work I do to work towards wholeness the more I have to come face to face with my own unhealthiness, with the lies I've always believed and the parts of me I would rather not focus on. It's not always enough to just acknowledge these've gotta roll up your sleeves, grab a shovel and do the work to uproot them.

Author Sarah Bessey tells a story about how her family moved to a new house and they kept noticing patches of grass dying and mold growing. They would dig that part up and plant more, but it would just happen again. Come to find out from an old neighbor, a tree used to grow in the yard and after it was cut down the stump was left underground. It was killing the grass above. The grass couldn't grow in a healthy way until the whole tree stump was uprooted.

I think this is how lies work in our life. Even if we know they're there, they're still going to be destructive unless we do the work to uproot them.

At some point we believed that we would never be good enough so every day we seek and strive to show that we are.

At some point we believed that we weren't pretty enough so we live every day avoiding mirrors or buying the next thing that will make us look better.

At some point we believed that we always had to be strong so we live every day pushing away any weakness that comes up and putting on a happy face.

At some point we believed that one life matters more than another whether that's because of a difference in skin color, socioeconomic status, birthplace, sexuality or religion so we live every day thankful we're not like "them".

At some point we believed that there's not enough for everyone, that scarcity is the way so we live every day making sure we get what's ours.

At some point we believed that in order for me to belong someone else can't so we live every day glancing side to side, trying to stay relevant and not finish last.

At some point we believed that life is black and white and there's a set of rules to live by so we live every day in shame if we don't stay on the "right" side.

The lies could go on and on. These lies make us live in fear, they make us live in shame, they make us think we're not enough and the more time that goes on the deeper they take root.

It's not good enough to just know they're there. We have to uproot these lies that have grown deep into our souls.

My prayer every day is that God would uproot the lies that have taken root in my soul and that freedom and truth would bloom in their place. It's hard work, but it's the best work.

Uprooting these lies and replacing them with truth allows growth to happen. With the lies cleared out, the truths can be planted and actually take root.

So instead...

We believe we are enough and live every day ceasing the striving and resting in our God-breathed worth.

We believe we are beautiful and live every day in confidence that we don't have to meet any beauty standards, but we're beautiful because we are who we are.

We believe that no one can be strong all the time and live every day knowing it's okay to be weak sometimes.

We believe not one life matters more than another and live every day disarming any talk of "other" and do our part in writing a better story.

We believe that there could be enough for everyone and live every day looking for abundance and how to live with open hands.

We believe that we all belong, we belong to each other and live every day connecting instead of comparing and realizing where I am is not where you are and that's okay.

We believe that in life there are a whole lot of shades of grey and live every day ripping up our checklist, saying goodbye to shame and living into freedom.

Can you see the new, fresh sprout growing? Can you see the new life that comes when we uproot the lies that poison our souls?

Don't get me wrong, it is hard, hard work, but it's the most rewarding work.

It's soul work. It's "your Kingdom come your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven work." It's wholeness work. It's worth it work.

uproot the lies that have taken root in my soul and that freedom and truth would bloom in their place

Photo courtesy of

When where I am is not where you are.

My life looks nothing like I thought it would. I struggle with that sometimes. I don't know where we learn that our lives are "supposed" to look a certain way. I don't know why we think we need to take a measuring stick to other's lives and see where ours measures up. I don't know why we get so lost in the comparison game.

Blame it on social media, society, movies, friends, family, whatever it is, it's there...this feeling that maybe I'm not quite where I'm supposed to be, or those people over there really have it figured out. Sometimes I feel like there's a benchmark to meet. I look ahead and see everyone keeping up with the expectations and I'm just a little bit behind, always playing catch up.

I've had to let go of how I think my life should look. "Should" can be a dangerous word for me. It usually means I'm motivated by guilt or shame and those aren't the healthiest motivators.

I've had to let go of my measuring stick.  I can't look at life like a race or a competition where people are either ahead or behind me. Instead of choosing to see a line of people ahead of me and me trying to play catch up, I see people around me. Each in their own place, each with their own life, not ahead or behind me, but beside me. All in different places, all on different journeys, with not one being right and another wrong, but just being.

Because where I am is not where you are and that's okay. It's a beautiful thing actually. Everyone is on their own journey. Everyone is just living their story and like Shauna Niequist says, "With people, you can either connect or compare, but you can't do both." I can look at what others are doing, I can wonder what I need to do to get where I think I should be, or I can just let go and connect where I am and with those who I am lucky enough to be surrounded by.

So I'm choosing to let go of the shoulds in my life. I'm choosing to let go of the measuring sticks and the side-to-side glances calculating who I'm ahead of or behind. I'm choosing to connect instead of compare. I'm choosing to see people where they actually are. I'm choosing to look down instead of around, focusing on my journey and where I am rather than where I thought I should be.

With these choices I've found there's a whole lot of freedom to be had.

Because where i am is not where you are and that's okay


Out of Sorts.

Have you ever felt like you had it all figured out and then you didn't? Maybe that you knew exactly what you believed about that one thing and then you realized, wait, maybe I don't know what I think? Or that at one time the world was really black and white and everything you believed made sense...and then it didn't? Have you had doubts, felt more like you're wandering in the wilderness every Sunday morning rather than sitting in that comfortable church pew? My answers to all these questions? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. My faith has always been a part of who I am, but it has changed and evolved over the years. Sometimes it has made sense to me, other times it hasn't. Sometimes I welcomed the changes and sorting out with open arms and sometimes I clenched my fists and fought against the feeling that I need to let go of these ideas that I always thought were right. Sometimes I felt really alone, other times I felt like just when I thought it was just me out here wandering, I would see Jesus and a friend would come alongside me too. In her new book, Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey is that friend.


Sarah Bessey is one of my most favorite authors and her new book did not disappoint. I think every other line is underlined and I've lost count of the number of times "yes!", "amen", and "me too" fill the margins. It's packed full of so much truth. It's her story of how her faith has evolved and how she has made peace with that, but through her story you are confronted with so much truth. Truth that makes you dig deep, that makes you reflect on your own story. Her words remind us that we're not alone and that God is oh so present in the sorting out. I see my story in her story.

It's hard for me to articulate all the goodness found within Sarah's writing so I think I'll have to do a series of posts about it, but whether she's writing about the Kingdom of God, community and friendship or the Church, her words drip with truth, life and light. It's clear her writing is Spirit led and this writing is necessary and important to us all. It made me feel less alone and has helped me make peace with my evolving faith and I think it will for you too.  Sarah explains what the book is about, "Really, it's a book about not being afraid. This is my way of leaving the light on for the ones who are wandering."

Sarah also says, "There are many of us out here sorting, I think. This might be a small candle, but I'll set mine on the lamp stand and you can set yours there too --- and maybe our glow will light the path of others." So join us on this lighted path so you can join your candles with ours and we can remember that we're not on this journey alone.

{I was lucky enough to be on the launch team for Out of Sorts, which means I received an advance copy of the book in order to review it and spread the word about it. I didn't receive any compensation for this, just the benefit of reading it so I can tell everyone how great it is and that you should buy it! You can find it on Amazon here.}


I was so excited to get the book! Seriously...go get your copy!!!




And just in case you need any more reason to love the book, there are the cutest printables with some of the themes from the book that you can find here.


Today I hit a milestone and I am really excited about it. It's not like the jumping for joy, look what I did excitement, but more of a I feel at peace and feel like I can kick back and relax and it enjoy it kind of excitement. It took a lot of work to get here and it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. Almost a year ago exactly I started counseling. I wrote more about that here, but it has been quite a journey. I'm not shy about sharing my experiences with counseling and how beneficial I think it is for anyone and everyone and that it's been one of the best decisions I could make for myself. I highly recommend it.

About six months ago I started a type of therapy called EMDR, it's kinda hard to explain, but it's a process that helps you let go of painful memories, experiences or beliefs and helps remove negative cognitions that one has always had through stimulation resembling REM sleep. This stimulation helps your brain process things and resolve feelings and beliefs not yet resolved. Sometimes I just explain it like magic because of how effective it is and I don't really understand how it works so well, your brain and what it can do is cool, you guys!

Today I finished EMDR and boy, has it been a long journey! I'm not quite sure I knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to try this. At times I thought I was going crazy, other times I never knew I could feel so many things, at other moments I wanted to quit, and most of the time I knew it was exactly what I needed.

One day within this process my counselor told me, everyone desires to be...I thought she was going to say happy, but she didn't, she said...everyone desires to be whole. And I thought, yes! That is so much better than just being happy. That is what I want, I want to be whole. I want to live my life making healthy choices that contribute to my wholeness. Yes, I want to be happy, but I know that's a fleeting feeling that is based on circumstances, but being whole is not. Being whole is knowing who you are, loving who you are, knowing that you're someone who is always growing, evolving and learning, showing yourself grace, acknowledging all that you feel, and the freedom to claim and live into your story and out of your wholeness loving others well. I want to be a whole person, that is what I desire.

Today's milestone of completing EMDR in counseling in no way says, hey I made it! I'm whole and that's it! I will always continue to improve myself, to continue to be healthy so that I can continue to be whole, but today I am excited that I have hit a milestone on this journey. I have shed a lot of tears, done a lot of work and gone through a lot of crazy to get here, but it's worth it.

I think if we asked a lot of people what they want it really can come down to wanting to be whole. Whole people, complete people, knowing who we are and staying true to that. I am so incredible thankful that this process has been such a huge part of my life and my wholeness.

So as I sit here, kicked back and relaxed, excited about this completed milestone, I'm thankful for the fact that it is because of this that I can continue to be the person I want to be on this great journey of life creating and living the story I know I am meant to live.