What I Gather About Whole 30

If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever drastically change my eating habits, I would have laughed.  I probably would have laughed the way I do now when people ask me if I plan to start exercising.

I love food.  I savor every bite of quality food.  Restaurants are my happy place, especially if we are talking Indian restaurants, authentic Italian, or hole-in-the-wall heavens.  If you ever find me sitting at Mediterrano Cafe during a weekday lunch buffet, you will find a glowing Rachael.  Don’t even get me started on desserts and chocolate.

But when my husband came home with news of pre-diabetes and a warning to lose belly weight, I knew something had to change.  Just because I was never overweight did not mean I didn’t have a problem with food…. more specifically, an addiction to sugar.

So we began Our Wheat-Free, Almost Paleo Diet.  Our friends joined in with us and the results were immediately noticeable.  As we progressed in the changes in our eating habits, I began researching The Whole 30 program.  It looked like something that would be beneficial to our families, especially right before the holidays, so we jumped on board and are now on day 24.

I don’t like to focus on weight, but to give you an idea of the transformation, I will tell you that I have lost 25 pounds since July (13 since we started Whole 30), Jimmie has lost about 30 pounds, and even Ava has lost 10.  I find myself with a substantial increase of energy that typically lasts throughout my entire day.  I have noticed a difference in mental clarity… I don’t feel like I am ever walking around in a fog anymore.  I also think I have fought off illnesses in a shorter time frame than typical of this time of year.  Jimmie is also completely off of his medicine for diabetes.  The crazy thing?  I don';t miss the foods I used to eat.  Occasionally I will have an emotional desire to eat ice cream or pizza, but physically I am satisfied with the foods we are eating.  And the recipes are GOOD!

I never want to push a lifestyle onto anyone.  If you want more information about the Whole 30, see the link above.  I am frequently asked, however, about why we are doing it.  More than that, I am asked…

What do you EAT??

So I want to give you our actual meal plans from our first four weeks.  I have provided links where available.  Anything with an * next to it refers to a recipe from the NomNom Paleo app for iPad.  I highly recommend this app, whether you are a Paleo enthusiast or not.  Every single one of her recipes has been fantastic.  We aren’t so scheduled with our breakfasts, either, so first I will give you some ideas for healthy, Whole 30 approved breakfasts.


Bacon and eggs

Lara Bars (apple pie, cherry pie, or cashew cookie)

Coffee with Paleo creamer

Egg muffins

Deviled eggs*

Hardboiled eggs

Avocado baked eggs

Egg and veggie scramble

Coconut balls

Sweet potato and chorizo hash


Week 1:

Lunch 1: Tuna salad salad, nuts and sliced peppers

Dinner 1: Garbage stir fry*

Lunch 2:  Tuna salad salad, deviled eggs

Dinner 2:  Mahi Mahi, sweet potato fries, salad

Lunch 3: Pastrami and pepper roll-ups, guacamole and pepper slices, fruit

Dinner 3: Bacon burger with sautéed onion, mushroom and green pepper, salad

Lunch 4: Chicken salad salad, Paleo trail mix*

Dinner 4: Beef and tomato stew*

Lunch 5: Leftover stew

Dinner 5: Cobb salad (hb eggs, grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, cucumber, tomato)

Lunch 6: Pastrami and pepper roll-up, cucumber salad, trail mix

Dinner 6: Asian meatballs*, mashed cauliflower*, salad

Lunch 7: Leftover meatballs

Dinner 7: Grilled chicken, roasted broccoli

Week 2:

Lunch 1: Crab BLT salad*

Dinner 1: Chocolate chili, sliced avocados

Lunch 2:  Leftover chili

Dinner 2: Pork burgers on greens*, sweet potato fries, roasted zucchini

Lunch 3: Spicy tuna cakes*

Dinner 3: Grilled chicken, salad

Lunch 4: Pastrami and pepper wrap

Dinner 4:  Pork roast* tacos

Lunch 5: Leftover pork, cucumber salad

Dinner 5:  Broiled salmon, roasted broccoli, sautéed greens

Lunch 6: Bacon and guacamole “sandwiches*”, slices peppers, fruit

Dinner 6: Frittata muffins, sweet potato hash, bacon

Lunch 7: Leftover frittata muffins

Dinner 7: ?

Week 3:

Lunch 1: BLT egg salad

Dinner 1: Garbage stir-fry*

Lunch 2: Spicy tuna cakes*, sliced peppers

Dinner 2: Chicken sausage skillet meal

Lunch 3: Leftover chicken sausage skillet, trail mix

Dinner 3:  Shredded chicken taco salad

Lunch 4: Pastrami and pepper wrap

Dinner 4: Spicy Tunisian shrimp*, roasted broccoli

Lunch 5: Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, sliced avocado

Dinner 5: Chipotle chicken soup, sliced avocado

Lunch 6: Leftover soup

Dinner 6: Pork chops, roasted zucchini, roasted mushrooms

Lunch 7: Brunch, bacon and fried eggs

Dinner 7: QDoba,( meat, lettuce, guacamole)

Week 4:

Lunch 1: (Brunch) Chicken sausage and peppers, fried egg

Dinner 1: Crispy smashed chicken with salsa*, bacon topped Brussel sprouts*

Lunch 2: Leftover chicken, cucumber salad

Dinner 2: Big O Burgers*, cabbage steaks

Lunch 3: Cobb salad

Dinner 3: Chipotle chicken soup, salad

Lunch 4: Pastrami wraps, tomato salad

Dinner 4:  Crock pot Italian beef over spaghetti squash

Lunch 5: Leftover Italian beef

Dinner 5:  Chocolate chili, sliced avocados

Lunch 6: Leftover chili

Dinner 6: Tilapia, baked sweet potatoes, salad

Lunch 7: Prosciutto muffins

Dinner 7: ?


Whew!  If you are counting, that is 28 days.  We haven’t decided on our last two yet.  This is just a glimpse into how we eat.  We have eaten at QDoba a couple of times, but otherwise haven’t eaten out at all.  For snacks, we eat nuts, fruit (I especially like dates), veggie slices, fried eggs, or avocados.  We are also able to drink coffee and tea, as long as there are no added sweeteners.

What do you think?  Could you ever do this?  Have you ever tried The Whole 30?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you have any questions about recipes or about my experience, please contact me or ask in the comment section!



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  1. Belinda says

    I am so jealous of those of you who can do healthy eating and esp as a family. I am afraid my husband and kids would starve. I would prob do fine even if I made some things I don’t like but would eat anyway because I made it and don’t want it to go to waste. But my issue is time and organization. I absolutely hate HATE to cook. All of my cookbooks have 5 ingredients or less, 3 ingredients or less etc. And my thinking on any recipe is if there are more than a few ingredients I won’t even keep reading eat. I try so hard at the beginning of the week to sit down and plan all meals and snacks. I have used pen and paper, computer, recipe cards, buying a meal planner subscription which gives you all the meals and a shopping list…I either go to the store and get all of the food necessary and stuff comes up during the week where I can’t cook what was planned and can’t shuffle it to different day or I just don’t get that far as buying groceries. Food spoiling is another issue when I do plan and can’t make it work. I’ve even tried cooking and freezing which does help but I don’t always have time to do consistently. I’m a mess!!! I wish I had a budget that could afford a cook. That would be heaven to me. Meals are frustrating for me. I do a lot of convenience stuff although not all of the time. I do try to cook real food I just can’t seem to be consistently healthy about it. I will look at your recipes though for inspiration. I showed it to Kenneth and he rolled his eyes haha. I can’t even get my family to let me change our pasta to whole wheat ugh!

    • Rachael says

      Belinda, thanks for the comment! It is so helpful having a husband who is on board and who also likes to cook. That makes a huge difference. I also had a good friend who did the Whole 30 with us. We would menu plan every Friday, grocery shop on Saturday, and even prep some foods for the week together. Do you have a friend who may join you in a similar effort?

  2. Wanda says

    What kind of dressing do you use on salad? I looked at the list of what you can eat and it is not bad. But what kind of condiments, I understand no sugar, but what have you found to replace mayo?

    • Rachael says

      This is such a great question! I have three options that worked well for me. First of all, we often use vinegar and oil if we don’t have anything else. Sometimes I add lemon or herbs, but often the vinegar and oil is all I have the time and energy for! I have also found a couple of gluten/sugar/dairy free bottled dressings at Earth Fare (a health food grocery store nearby). I’m sure other stores would have them, too. Finally, I make a ranch dressing from scratch that is really good. It is a time commitment, so be warned. I start by making this paleo mayonaise and then use the mayo to make this easy ranch. Hope that helps!

  3. Belinda says

    Possibly but not on a committed basis which one would need to be in this kind of effort. I just have to try and make small healthy choices. I feel so guilty that I make hamburger and chicken helper when in a pinch but hubby loves them and he’s not home enough to help a lot with anything that requires a lot of time. It seems very hard for me and the one friend who would be interested to make a committed time. Something always comes up like sick kiddo, last minibus try commitment for us or our husbands that require our help.etc. that’s exactly why my menu planning doesn’t work either a lot of the time and food I’ve bought to prepare goes to waste or stays frozen too long. I envy organized families. I need to join a support group :). Maybe as you run across fast small ingredient list ideas and recipes and crockpot recipes you can make a folder for those of us (at least I hope I’m not the only one who can’t get their act together)

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