As soon as I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to change my lifestyle choices (#collegebudget) and start knowing what exactly I was putting into my body. That’s when I found out about this program called Whole30. After doing some research about what it included, everything to avoid and what I couldn’t have… I knew I was wanting to challenge myself and try it!

So what is Whole30?

Whole30 is a program that limits sugar, legumes, dairy, grains and alcohol for 30 days. After the 30 days is over, you are supposed to reintroduce those foods back into your diet to see how they affect you. Have a small cheat snack? You have to start over. Get on the scale? Start over. Yes, the program is very strict on their rules because they know you can do this! That way you can set your mind to completely reset your nutrition by eating 100% clean foods.

 

Why am I doing Whole30?

My bachelorette party is at the end of this month and recently celebrating our engagement with family AND celebrating my sister’s birthday, I probably had enough sugar in my system your allowed to have in a month. I knew I wanted to reset my body and get back on track healthy eating and the best way I knew how to do that was restart the program.

 

How was my first Whole30?

I did my first Whole30 last year and I haven’t looked back at my old eating habits. I grew up getting headaches and migraines at least 2 to 3 times a week and I thought that was normal.. it’s not. Once I saw that resting your body with no harmful sugars and chemicals could help, I was all in. Out of all the things I couldn’t have, the one thing I missed the most was dairy. Not having any kind of dairy for 30 days completely changed not only my body, but my taste buds too. The first time I had yogurt or milk, I thought I was about to puke. It tasted nothing but like pure sugar! Today, I try to eat clean as much as possible that way when I do go out to eat, I don’t have to stress as much about what I’m ordering. It’s so crazy to think that I thought I was making good meal choices before, but as soon as you start the program, you quickly realize how unclean you’re really eating.

 

What surprises did I find during Whole30?

There are so many different foods that contain sugar you don’t even realize. Have you looked at the ingredients that’s in the spaghetti sauce your using for dinner? That can of green beans? What about that glass of orange or apple juice? More than likely there is some small amount or even over the daily limit of sugar hidden in there. My biggest issue throughout the entire program was trying to find foods that didn’t include any type of sugar (yes, honey included). Everything I thought that was “healthy” turned into what could’ve just been a big pile of sugar.

Here are a list of foods items or pantry staples that I had no idea included sugar:

taco seasoning packets

chicken broth

canned tomatoes

ketchup and bbq sauce

protein bars

pretzels

nut butters

non-dairy milk

salad dressing

deli meat

 

How do you feel during Whole30?

If you have heard anything about this program from others that have done it, everything they say is 100% true. Today I am 9 days in and right now these are the hardest days of the program. It’s even called the “misery” days because this is the time people end up quitting. The first couple days are the easiest, but once day 3 hits, your body basically goes into shock because it’s adjusting to not having sugar. Days 4-6 I have felt super tired then some days have crazy amount of energy. This time around days 7-9 has been much different for me. The first time around I felt all sorts of emotions and different moods because my body is literally getting rid of everything bad in my system, but this time I have never felt better and ready to keep going! My experience so far has definitely been much different for me from the first round because I do try to limit the amount of sugar and processed foods that go into my body everyday.

 

My favorite recipes

The best advice I can give anyone who wants to do the program is to meal prep. That is one thing I wish I did my first round of Whole30 because it is so much easier to stay focused and make sure you are eating the foods that are compliant with the program. I listed out what I am going to eat at every meal for the next 4 weeks and it’s such a stress reliever! That way I already know what I am making for dinner and having for lunch the next day. Listed below are a few of my favorite go-to meals and snacks that are Whole30 approved!

(find these recipes & more on our Pinterest board)

 

Breakfast 

potato avocado “toast” with scrambled eggs 

southern breakfast bowl

sausage pizza egg muffins

frittata with spinach and tomatoes

 

Lunch 

ground turkey plantain nachos

avocado deviled egg salad

jalapeño turkey burgers

chipotle chicken salad

 

Dinner

white chicken chili

shepherd’s pie

tuscan chicken spaghetti squash

citrus grilled shrimp with zucchini noodles

 

Snacks

larabars (click here to see which ones are compliant)

guacamole and plantain chips

RX Bars

apples and almond butter

almond coconut perfect bar

 

Interested about doing Whole30? Click here for more info about the program and here for a complete Whole30 grocery list!