DAY ZERO:  We wanted to set ourselves up for success by taking out as much of the stress as possible. We bought the Whole30 books, researched, and read what seemed like every Whole30 article and forum out there.

I didn’t trust myself enough not to eat Trader Joe’s speculoos cookie butter by the spoonful, so we purged our kitchen of non-compliant foods and drove it to my parents house.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Per recommendation of the Whole30 program we planned ahead. “Plan? Organize? Lists?! Say no more.” The type A secretary in me didn’t waste anytime. I had google docs and grocery lists and meal plans all set.  We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner all planned two weeks in advance because that’s just how crazy I am. We made our own dairy/sugar free mayo, ketchup, ranch, etc. We also perused the grocery store and found things that were Whole30 compliant ahead of time to reduce some of the stress of shopping.

This Whole30 thing is going to be a piece of cake.

Actually DAY ONE  was deceptively easy. Breakfast was a sweet potato skillet (made on Sunday) with scrambled eggs and half of an avocado.

Sweet Potato Hash. Get the recipe here! (I had to buy plain pork sausage and make my own seasoning blend, because all the italian/breakfast sausage options had sugar in them.)

The first thing we noticed was that we felt satisfied throughout the entire day. We didn’t feel like we were starving around lunch time  (which was protein salads). Neither of us were even hungry around dinnertime. We ate slow cooker chicken tikka masala (a favorite in our house way before Whole30, recipe here) over roasted cauliflower instead of rice. And, rather than wind down with our usual night cap, we poured Kombucha over ice. By the end of the day we were feeling pretty smug. This Whole30 thing was going to be a piece of cake.

DAY THREE was a little bit tricker. We went to Aperitivo for their trivia night. The last one I went to was a few months before and my friends and I all feasted on charcuterie and a few glasses of wine, and dessert! This time it was club soda for me. I started to feel sorry for myself when my stomach started to growl and the bloomy rind cheese and flaky bread were just an arms reach away. I ordered some almonds and reminded myself that Camembert and Rose will still be around 27 days from now. Piece of cake? Not so much, but cake does sound good.

DAY FOUR – FIVE we were starting to run out of food. I ended up eating grilled chicken on sweet potato toast for lunch. Blah. In my journal I wrote “starting to get a wtf are we doing attitude.” I was also starting to get my first intense food cravings: a pint of milk, ice cream, and lots of cheese, please! The cravings led to crazy mood swings. I journaled that I was having a few quick moments where I wanted to punch random people in the face for no reason, but be super happy minutes later. I assured Clay that it wasn’t PMS, but I just really needed a chocolate milkshake.

DAY SIX back to feeling smug, mostly. Physically, both of our symptoms of bloating were gone and we felt great. We watched State game at our friends house, and instead of chipping in for pizza, we brought our own dinner (spaghetti squash with bolognese sauce. I can’t remember the exact recipe but maybe one of those?). When the cheesy bread arrived it was hard, I’ll admit. I asked our friend Bryan to pull the cheese up so I could watch it get all stringy like this:

Photo: Melissa Hom, Corbis


To which he rightfully replied “What?! No! You’re making me feel weird!’

That’s when I knew I had a cheese problem. Yikes.

DAY SEVEN – NINE, starting to have vivid food dreams. I remember one involved drinking beer at a bar and eating a handful of cocoa puffs straight out of the box. So. Random.

Our Sabbath felt lonely without being able to treat ourselves to guacamole and tacos at Donkey. I did start feeling bloated again.

Headaches came back one afternoon but then I had so much energy that night that I had no choice but to workout at 10:30pm. (Let’s be clear. THIS. NEVER. HAPPENS. I’m half asleep by 10:30 laying on the couch in my pajamas.) When I say workout I don’t mean a few reps of lifting 5lb. weights, I mean high intensity cardio. I was sweaty. By the time Clay got home from the Frightened Rabbit concert I was in bed happily awake, reading.

That bliss was short lived because the next day I woke up tired and grumpy. I choked down a sweet potato with broccoli and chicken for lunch while googling “WHOLE30 SUCKS” in all caps.

DAY TEN was mostly spent looking at restaurant menus online trying to find one that we could eat at with our friends. Surprisingly, Brewery Vivant. Monk Salad, with grilled steak/duck. We did have to ask lots of questions, and we were definitely “those people” but we tipped the kitchen for putting up with us, though we weren’t that bad.

While our friends ate burgers, and duck nachos, and charcuterie I almost gave up and ordered a beer. “Can’t we just commit to eating the Whole30 more often and call it good?”

Determination kicked in and I had to remind myself that we promised ourselves we’d finish strong. Boooo.

Day 11-20