Whole30: Overall Review (Part 2)

May 30 I completed my first Whole30. This involved 30 full days without dairy, sugar, grains, gluten, soy, processed foods, MSG, GMOs, and on and on. While last week I shared some overall thoughts on the details of my Whole30 journey, today I want to share with you some broader lingering thoughts.

Be sure to also check out my weekly recaps: week 1week 2, week 3, week 4.

Overall Review

Without hesitation, Whole30 is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. The connection was so tangible during this process between what I ate, what I was able to give, and how I felt. Truly, it starts with food is such a fitting phrase for this journey and our bodies, in general.

I believe something is shifting in people in their late 20s to 40s. I believe life is catching up with all of us. Years of abuse and misuse of our bodies is finally starting to kick us in the face. We are a generation who survived on bagel bites, pizza rolls, microwave dinners, processed cheese, GMOs, hormone-filled milk, and medication after medication. As a result, we are now living with the consequences. We are a generation with serious gut issues and massive inflammation. No matter what we look like on the outside, we are wickedly unhealthy on the inside.

However, I believe we will be the catalyst for change in this nation. It will take us changing what we eat, how we eat, and the companies we support to change the landscape of food in this country for ourselves, and most importantly, for our children. I strongly believe we can prevent this type of generation-based sickness from happening to our children. In fact, I believe we are the only hope our children have as lobbyists and politicians are more interested in the bottom line than the long-term health of this country.

Roughly 70-80% of our entire immune system is based in our gut. When our gut does not function properly, our immune system is suppressed and cannot do the intended job for our body. I’ve talked with at least a dozen friends in recent weeks, mostly those in their 30s, working to solve their gut health issues.

  • Two friends are dealing with Hashimoto’s disease, one with a massive thyroid cancer scare.
  • A good friend was given a nasty pharmaceutical protocol for H Pylori. He instead decided to try essential oils. After day one of oils, he woke up and told his wife, “something is happening.” Following 10 days using oils alone, he was again tested for H Pylori and the test came back negative. The bacteria was gone, but his gut started hurting again. He is realizing the massive amount of inflammation from years of harm to his body has caught up with him. Now that the H Pylori is gone, he is determining the best plan to heal his gut.
  • A friend stopped having terrible stomach aches when she switched from “regular” ground beef (corn and soy fed, likely GMO), to grass-fed beef from a local farmer. Stomach aches just gone from one small food-based change.

I could tell you at least 12 more stories of friends or acquaintances who are starting to realize something is not right in their system. Some are making changes, and some are too scared or too overwhelmed to change, but I believe they will. We are too young to feel this sick.

Look, I’m not an expert. I’m not a dietician nor a doctor nor medically trained in any way. I am simply a mom and a wife who wants to be the healthiest I can be for me and for my family. And I want that for you, too. I know that most doctors poo-poo the link between food and health, and I simply cannot stand by any longer and be told what we eat does not impact our health. It does. I believe it is where health starts and sometimes, it is where it ends.

I was tired of stomach aches after most meals. I was tired of breakouts in my 30s. I was tired of dermatitis plaguing my skin. I was tired of knowing something wasn’t right, and only being offered a steroid or other prescription to “fix it,” instead of any medical doctor willing to help me determine the root cause.

I get nothing out of you trying Whole30. I have nothing to gain from encouraging you to say YES to this process. I simply want us all to be the healthiest we can be so we can change the landscape of food and health in our country for ourselves and our kids. You are worth feeling good, resting well, and living nutrient-filled and medication-free. Whether that’s Whole30 or another plan or other changes, just jump. However I can help along the way, I am happy to do so.

For those wanting to start Whole30, be sure to read It Starts With Food and dig into the Whole30 website. Also, please join the facebook group our initial group started as we went through Whole30 in May.  You can also read more Whole30 posts about my journey. Let’s do this together.

We are better together!

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My Mommy Mind


  • We joined some of our best friends, Christian and Jessi, for Winefest Des Moines Friday night. These 3 crazy cats all went to college together. I thankfully married into the party. It never fails the 4 of us laugh until we cry when with one another. We meet again this upcoming weekend for a karaoke party. Justin is ready for his go-to song: Jump Around. Ahhhh Lordy!!
  • I’m so thankful for all your feedback about Whole30. Your emails and questions have been incredible. So many of you are looking for healing in your body. I do believe Whole30 is a great place to start. I’ve compiled all my Whole30 posts on one page. Several more posts are coming, which will be added.
  • We spent last week and will spend this week at the pool in the morning for Finn’s first round of swim lessons. He asks every 3 minutes in the morning when it’s time to go. I think we named him appropriately.
  • I sing “My Girl” to Evie before she goes to bed. Sassy pants has started singing along! I must somehow manage video of this. I likely won’t share with anyone because it will include my singing which would make you want to bleach your ears (is that possible?), but it might be the cutest thing she’s done to date. Sad for her, she has my voice.

What was the cutest/funniest/weirdest thing your child has done lately?


Whole30: Overall Review (Part 1)

Last week I completed my first Whole30. This involved 30 full days without dairy, sugar, grains, gluten, soy, processed foods, MSG, GMOs, and on and on. While I’m really proud of what I did, and so proud of the handful of you who also went on this journey, it’s not over for me. This truly is just the beginning of another journey in health and eating for our family.

As I’ve said before, upon completion I felt better than I have in a very long time.

Today I want to share some overall thoughts on my experience and things to think through if you are contemplating if Whole30 is right for you. (For the record, I think it’s for everyone.)

Be sure to also check out my weekly recaps: week 1week 2, week 3, week 4.

Overall Review

Water: Water consumption is huge on Whole30.  I am a fish anyway, but I made sure to up my intake while going through Whole30.  In addition to helping flush your system, it keeps you full and distracted. Before Whole30, I drank 60-80 ounces every day and made sure to maintain (and some days increase that) while going through my 30 days. My easiest days with Whole30 usually fell in line with the days I drank more than enough water that day and the day before, especially if I was working out that morning.

Energy: I’ve never believed more that food is fuel. Pour in good fuel, your body will work as intended. Pour in garbage, your output matches. After the initial shock to my system was over, I woke up easier in the morning, fell asleep faster at night and slept better. Food was not only giving my body the necessary energy for the day, but allowing me the optimal recharge time at night.

Kids Eating: I noticed quickly that the kids snacks went alot farther when I wasn’t taking a nibble everyday with them at afternoon snack time. (Morning snack time is always fruit.) I also noticed that as the month went on, I was less and less interested.  Had I ate at that time, usually 3p, it would have been out of habit or boredom, not hunger. As a result of my dinner prep, our family – by default – ate less bread and pasta. And you know what? They didn’t ask for it or seem to mind. (I will share a separate post about how I did meals with my family not participating in the process.)

Dreams: I used to be a vivid dreamer. It’s been years since I consistently had dreams I remember. However, while on Whole30 I woke up often remembering my dreams. And, no joke, it usually involved a bakery and pastries and cookies and goodies. I am certain there were at least 7 nights I woke up fully aware I had been dreaming about food. As the month went on, however, those things seemed less and less appealing to me. I’ve heard such dreams are fairly common while on Whole30, but I didn’t think they would really happen to me. Sure enough, I dream in color and I dream about sugary carbs :)

Weight: From day 1 to day 30, I lost 6 pounds. Is that good, bad, common, abnormal? I’m not sure. I believe everyone is different: how we carry weight, why we carry weight, where we carry weight, etc. I do believe the loss was in conjunction with consistent work outs, so toning as well as losing. Frankly, my workouts were better during the last 2 weeks of Whole30, so the loss makes more sense when I take that into account. I notice the change the most in my mid section. While I don’t really notice looking smaller, I notice looking less bloated. I felt better working out and have been more focused on what I am doing overall than “sucking in” as most females are ever-so-aware of doing.

Skin: The main area of skin concern for me has always been my face. I will have random break-outs and splotchy, itchy temples. This has plauged me for the last year, many indicating something similar happened to them when they hit my age. During Whole30, my skin did get better, but it didn’t completely heal like I thought it would. My skin is crazy sensitive, so the wind blowing can make me react. That being said, I am going to continue with most of the Whole30 principals until I can get this under control. I have some other things in mind I will be using and doing in the next few months, as well. While my food seems to intensify whatever is happening (a symptom), I’m not sure it’s the root cause. There is another missing link I will be working to identify.

Post Whole30: The day after (the 31st) I stayed true to the Whole30 plan. It was familiar, I felt good, and I didn’t want to jump ship. In all honesty, I was scared. Scared of not feeling great, scared of rocking this smooth sailing boat with which I’d finally found rhythm. That weekend I tried out a few items (namely the fudge I’d stored in the freezer all month from a neighbor). Without giving you too much detail, I didn’t feel well. Like, at all. I also ate some of the kids crackers. This is what the book refers to as “no brakes” foods. Foods with little to no nutritional value that are impossible to set aside. As the book explains, this has nothing to do with willpower, it has everything to do with our bodies. I recognized what was happening almost immediately. I recognized how I felt about the food and eating and how I felt physically. I’m working to find my “new normal” for eating Whole30 in the real world moving forward. For at least awhile, I do believe I will error on the side of a Whole30-focused diet.

Book: If you haven’t already, buy the book It Starts With Food. It doesn’t matter if you have done Whole30, plan to do Whole30, or are simply interested in health and food, you need to own this book. I borrowed the book from a friend and ended up purchasing my own copy to highlight and scribble notes. If you do plan to complete Whole30, I strongly encourage you read the book in total before beginning.  I hadn’t finished the book when I started Whole30, and it would have been helpful. Again, buy this book if you have any interest in how food impacts our health! The link between food and our bodies has never been more connected to me.

Moving Forward: I know eating 100% Whole30 will be virtually impossible in our day to day life. I also know I control everything that goes into my body. I don’t have to eat XYZ no matter where I am. I have that choice. Finding that balance will be what’s next for me. I do know something shifted in me.  I recognize how I felt and what I was able to do when my body was fueled by life-giving nutrients. My energy was higher, I slept better, my workouts were stronger. I also believe my body has more healing to do, namely based on my skin reactions/dermatitis. Because our skin is our largest organ, it is one of the best indicators of what is happening internally. My face started healing during Whole30 but flared up almost immediately the weekend following when I started dabbling in non-Whole30 foods. Because of this, I know there’s more work to be done.

Next Time: I plan to do a full Whole30 once a year, and perhaps a Whole10 every few months to just regroup. I can’t tell you how much I learned about food and myself during these 30 days! Without a doubt, I will re-read It Starts With Food in full before I Whole30 again.  I will also prepare better.  I prepared well for breakfast and dinner, but not always lunch. There is so much going on at lunch time with the kids and toys and noise and yada yada yada that I came last. I need to do a better job of changing this. I also think I will branch out a bit more.  While doing Whole30 in May when the weather is perfect for grilling, I kind of stuck to the same mix of meals. I had good intentions of mixing it up, but didn’t try new meals as often as I’d liked. The convenience and yumminess of the grill was too tempting to pass up! :)

I have some final thoughts, but I’m going to save those until next week as this post is long enough!

What else are you curious about?

For those wanting to start Whole30, be sure to read It Starts With Food and dig into the Whole30 website. Also, please join the facebook group our initial group started as we went through Whole30 in May. Let’s do this together.

We are better together!

Strong Enough