Whole30 Round 4: Ten Things You Need to Know

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

So it's that time of year again for me and billions of others to embark on the annual January Whole30 journey. Ok, maybe not billions but a lot anyway. Even if it's not Whole30 I would hazard a guess that scores of other folks are going to be taking on some sort of fresh, new health challenge come January 1, 2018. And I also know that it's a bit cliche and many will fail, fall off the wagon, abandon their new lifestyles or what have you, but I still think making the attempt is something to be applauded. So be supportive of anyone you know who says "hey I am starting this great new thing on January 1 to attempt to improve my health", at least they are trying!

I will be kicking off the new year with my fourth, yes how has this happened, round of Whole30. I did my very first one in 2015 and it was a smashing success. I lost 20 lbs. and 11 inches. Read all about it here. I was in a pretty miserable place in my life. I got laid off right before the holidays and binged on food and alcohol right up until Jan. 1. It was the perfect time for me to do something that required a lot of control (when I couldn't control much else) and that was just for me and about me. There are so many things I could share about the Whole30 experience and I do hope to get back to some more regular blog posts in January because this is something I love to write about, but today I thought I would focus on a few things I think you should know before you start. If you are going to do this with me in 4 days you need to get it in gear now.

1. Get a copy of one of the books and read it. I splurged and purchased this new Whole30 Day By Day version so I can journal every day and have something to refer back to. I am a documentarian of my life in general so this is a no brainer. It also has the complete program rules in it so if you are a newb you'll be golden. Don't argue, you need to read the program and rules before you start so you understand the whys.

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2. Day 1 is probably going to blow. If you are anything like me you might be a tad bit hungover from NYE shenanny's and guess what? You don't get to soothe yourself with nachos and icy cold beers. Sorry. Day 1 is a bit of a shocker so get mentally prepared for that now. You will find yourself reaching for things and planning to eat things absentmindedly that are not Whole30. And then you will catch yourself and remember..oh shit... it's Day 1.

3. Plan your first week of food. You don't have to figure out the next 30 days before you start but you do need to take as much thought out of the first week in advance as possible. Take it from me. I did this little exercise yesterday. See... I know what I am going to be craving on New Years Day so I have built Whole30 Nachos right in. Side note... I absolutely love the Knock Knock Pads like this What To Eat version for writing your shiz down. Plan for it, write it down and refer back to it. You can always edit but if you start with a plan I promise you will succeed and it will be a little less painful.

4. You must follow the rules. I cringe when I hear people say "I am doing a Whole30 but with creamer in my coffee cause I can't give that up" or "I am doing a Whole30 but I am still going to weigh myself every day because I have to". Then NO, you are not doing a Whole30. You are not. I didn't make the rules so don't get mad at me but you can't half ass it. There are rules for a reason. It's science, it's chemical, it's emotional, it's about relationships and patterns of behavior. Trust the process and do this one thing for yourself 100%. You CAN. I promise.

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5. People will say you are doing something that is unhealthy and can't be sustained for the long haul. It is in fact extremely healthy and it can be sustained. Proven fact. Don't argue with them just keep it movin.

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6. Meal prepping is HUGE. Do this. Program it into your week. I like Sundays but I play winter tennis on Sunday afternoon so I know I have to be completely ready to meal prep when I get home or do it on Saturday. When ever you do it just do it. If you work out in the world every day invest in some containers so you have on the go lunches already done on Monday for the entire week. I like these.

7. You might feel sorry for yourself at some point. It's normal. There will be occasions you may skip altogether, like a gathering at your favorite sports bar where there will be a nacho mountain in your face. ( I feel like there is a theme here...) I haven't had birthday cake with my oldest child in 4 years because I don't eat sugar on January 7th. It kind of sucks in the moment but just deal with it. It will pass.

8. Follow all of the IG accounts and turn on post notifications. Whole30, Whole30recipes and Whole30approved are my favorites. Plus they do about a million product giveaways during January Whole30 so you could win some free goodies. Feel free to tag me in all of your entries so we can win together! There is a huge community out there and it is full of people, products and just general support. If you ever have questions just go there and ask away. Or DM me, happy to help.

9. If you must eat out you can do it and stay Whole30. I personally try to avoid it because you have to ask a lot of questions and be really diligent and I am just lazy like that. But it can be done so don't feel like you have to turn down every invitation or tell your boss you can't take that mandatory work trip and risk getting the ax. Go online and read menus first so you know exactly what you are ordering in advance. I always travel with a small cooler even if I am driving all over Atlanta for work in a day. Keep some basic things handy like LaCroix water, Chomps Sticks, Lara Bars, Rx Bars, fresh fruits and veggies or cut up pre-cooked proteins.

10. It will be over before you know it and you will most likely feel better than you have in a long, long time. Just think about how fast a month goes in your life. This one will be no different. Read up on the day to day timeline so you know what to expect. It's very helpful! Many have gone before you and come out unscathed but profoundly changed.

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I could go on and on about this topic and I very probably will for the next month so I'll say sorry right now. Not really sorry but... Good luck to anyone jumping into this with me. Do reach out and let's keep each other honest.



  1. You so got this girl!!! And I am telling myself that too. But on day 1 around lunch time...expect a hangry text from me asking why we thought this was ever a good idea.

  2. I have attempted this...twice? The first time I nailed it for the first 15 days, went out for lunch with coworkers, & pretty much threw it out the window. The second time doesn't even count... I barely got it off the ground.

    You seriously impress me with how dedicated you are to it & the fact that you're about to do it for the 4th time!

    I keep looking at my 2018 calendar trying to find a 30 day span where I can make this happen for real, for all 30 days, for once.

    I'd say good luck but you clearly got this!

  3. I love those What To Eat pads. I have mine all set. The only hard part for me is that I have a vacation planned on the 19th-21st. Here is to hoping I don't cave, but if I do, I will gladly start over, which is why I love Whole 30 so much.

  4. I don't have plans on doing the Whole30 program but give you kudos for writing a post that gives realistic tips and advice on what to do and what not to do.