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Our Whole30 Experience

Whole30 Experience

Jim and I completed Whole30 within a few days of my mom. I thought it would be fun to have us all answer a few questions about our Whole30 experience.

My Whole30 Experience

Before we get into the Q&A, I wanted to share a bit more about my Whole30 experience. I started on a Monday to allow time to meal prep over the weekend. I’d do it the same way again. This may be TMI, but I started Whole30 the same day I started my period. Like both my pregnancies, this was unplanned. I wouldn’t recommend it (starting Whole30, not the pregnancies). I was a cranky, emotional, stressed mess.

However, it did have one benefit in that I was able to notice any changes after eating clean for a month. For the first time in forever, I didn’t have any PMS cramps and very little bloating. I did get my usual migraine and was more emotional than normal. Not sure if that’s related or not.


  1. The first two weeks meal planning was overwhelming, but after that it became more routine.
  2. My biggest mistake with week 1 was not buying enough food. I underestimated how much we’d need.
  3. I did all of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. TJs adds sugar to a lot of their products. I’ll be checking ingredient labels from here on out. I don’t need sugar added to my kalamata olives!
  4. Cashew milk is better than almond milk (at least in my opinion). Both are really easy to make at home!
  5. I’ve turned into a fan of salads.
  6. I am a big emotional eater. Tough day with Lawson and Sybil = a treat for me. I had to constantly remind myself those foods were off-limits.


How my body has felt post-Whole30 as I’ve reintroduced food groups has been more shocking than anything else. I didn’t finish Whole30 and immediately dive back into all the stuff I ate beforehand. I introduced foods slowly starting with gluten-free pancakes, waited a few days and then indulged in sushi, an iced almond milk tea and finally a burger and fries. My stomach was in so much pain. It almost felt like PMS cramps on top of I ate too much cramps. Terrible! Since I now know the impact the food I eat has on the way I feel, I’m trying to stick to 90% Whole30 foods.

Whole30 Q&A

Now to the Q&A. A little about each of us… my mom is 66 years old. This was her second time doing Whole30. Jim is 34 years old and I am 41. It was our first round of Whole30.

What was the biggest challenge for you?

Joan: Eating out. I could have a bun-less burger with no problem, but side salad dressing was not Whole30 compliant and fries were also non-compliant

Jim: After dinner/late night snacks while studying

Erica: At the beginning, the meal planning was overwhelming and stressful. Making almost 90 meals for 2 adults and 2 kids over 30 days was daunting and sometimes tiring.

How did you feel at the beginning?

Joan: Bloated and blah with no willpower

Jim: Lethargic

Erica: Tired, frumpy

How did you feel at the end?

Joan: Lost about 3 pounds, jeans fit better, committed to eating cleaner

Jim: More energy, I was impressed with my energy level throughout the 30 days

Erica: Light. Not necessarily weight loss light (I only lost 2 pounds), but overall I felt like a lighter, better version of myself.

Any withdrawal symptoms?

Joan: No

Jim: No

Erica: Dull headache for first 10 days

Favorite new recipe?

Joan: A tie between garlic chicken and potatoes and greek-marinated salmon

Jim: Different salads for lunch

Erica: Same as my mom plus chicken tenders (I’ll be sharing our favorite breakfast, lunch and dinners as well as our full 30-day menu next week)

Did you cheat at all?

Joan: French fries eating out and creamer in my coffee once

Jim: Donut hole on day 2 (I forgot), beer at a social event, pizza and cake after a stressful final

Erica: We had a dinner event with Jim’s class for Chinese New Year. I stuck to meat and veggies, but I’m sure they weren’t Whole30 compliant

What did you miss most?

Joan: Bread

Jim: Bread (and the 10 pounds I lost)

Erica: Bread

What was your first meal post-Whole30?

Joan: Cheese on my burger

Jim: Whatever Erica made

Erica: Gluten-free pancakes (and they were delightful!)

What, if anything, will you continue to incorporate?

Joan: Try to limit bread to once a while treat and only really good bread

Jim: Hopefully salads for lunch

Erica: I plan to keep eating salads for lunch and aim for 90% Whole30 snacks and dinners. I’ll add oatmeal and gluten-free pancakes into our breakfast rotation once a week.

Would you ever try Whole30? If you’ve completed it, what was your Whole30 experience?

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