What is whole 30 and my experience …


After many requests I thought I’d share my experience on whole 30. If you’ve been following me on instagram, you probably know I did the whole 30 during May. I know some of you were in shock I was going 30 days without one bit of sugar. So was I! ;) I’ve done the whole “no sugar” before, but never this strict. I still had salad dressings that had sugar in them, yogurt and other things I never realized had added sugar. Everything has sugar in it! Holy cow!What is whole 30? Great post with tips, recipes and info!

I’m happy to report I completed the 30 days with not one ounce of sugar, grains or dairy. No cheats! I was determined to complete the challenge and was so happy my husband and friend came along for the ride. If you’re going to do it, I definitely recommend having someone do it with you. And seriously, if I can do this…anyone can! During the 30 days I went on a weekend trip with one of my best friends. I went to a baby shower. I went to BBQ’s and church events with lots of yummy goodies. I even survived Mother’s Day with no chocolate or yummy breakfast in bed. It was hard. REAL hard. But I DID IT!! And I’m happy to report I’m whole 30. And let’s be honest here… on day 31, I had doughnuts for breakfast. I’m a rebel like that. :D

I do plan on continuing to eat clean most of the time, but I’m definitely not going to be as strict. I’ve already added back in some dairy, grains and sugar and have had no problems so far. I plan to still make desserts on Sunday. If I go to a birthday party I want to be able to eat cake. And I love that it states that that’s okay in the book.



What is whole 30? Great post with tips, recipes and info!


So what is whole 30?

Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9), the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” – See more here. Basically you cut all sugar, dairy, grains and legumes. Once you strip those things from your diet completely you can see if any of them are having a negative impact on your health. I highly recommend reading the book It Starts With Food before starting the program. PS- no this is not a sponsored post and I was not asked to post about this. I’m just sharing my personal review for those of you who have been asking about it. :) 


Why did I do whole 30?

Well first off… I had heard so many great things about the book It Starts With Food. Supposedly you sleep better, you’re happier, you’ll eat more vegetables (and like them), you’ll say goodbye to digestive distress, you’ll slay the sugar demon, you’ll lose some weight, your skin will be brighter and most importantly you’ll stop dieting and just eat good REAL food. Since last November I had gained about 10 lbs. I think it had to do with the holidays and a little bit of the winter blues. I’m happy to report I lost those 10 lbs on the whole 30. And you’re not going to believe this, but my husband lost 20 pounds! Crazy, huh? I swear, men lose weight so easy!

During the whole 30 I also slept better, slayed the sugar dragon (after week 1), and had more energy throughout the day. I actually had more digestive problems on it though, which is weird. I found out that nuts were the main issue. After I cut macadamia nuts (the culprit) I was fine. One thing I loved about this diet (techically you’re not supposed to call it that), is that I was never hungry after a meal. I always felt satisfied. And if I got hungry in the afternoon, I would grab an apple or a larabar. I loved getting to try new foods, but I hated having to cook 3 meals a day. I was constantly doing dishes. Meal prepping definitely helped cut down on that. Overall all it was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone. I loved the way I felt eating only whole foods. I was also amazed that after the first week I no longer craved sweets. My taste buds started liking more vegetables. Now that I know whole grains and a little bit of dairy doesn’t give me issues, I will be adding those back in regularly because they are still healthy.

Whole 30 meal planning

Whole 30 shopping list

Here is the whole 30 shopping list I used from the whole 30 website. They also have lots of other downloads to help get you started. On that shopping list is everything you can have. Print it out and take it with you everywhere! Here are some of my favorite products that I found. Please excuse all the grainy photos in this post… they are courtesy of my iPhone. :)

whole 30 approved products

1. Tessemae’s Italian Dressing (found at Whole Foods) 2. Kelapo coconut oil spray 3. Avocado oil (found at Whole Foods -great for cooking veggies) 4. Almond butter salted (from Trader Joe’s) 5. Shredded coconut (Whole Foods) 6. Dried Mango (Trader Joe’s) 7. Guacamole minis (Costco -great for dipping veggies) 8. Yawp bars 9. Larabar (coconut cream pie, key lime pie, blueberry muffin and banana bread are my favorites)

These are also some of my favorite foods to stock up on at Costco. :)

menu planning for whole 30

We also went through lots of berries! I still laugh at this pic below. I asked my husband to pick up some strawberries at the store and he brought me this. Yes we did end up eating them all and this is officially the most liked photo on my instagram account. I guess you guys love berries too. ;)

What is whole 30? Great post with tips, recipes and info!

One of the first things I would do after heading to the store was wash all my fruit and vegetables and then cut them up for the week. This was a huge time saver and it was great for busy days on the go.

What is whole 30? Great post with tips, recipes and info!

Some days I would even buy pre-cut veggies. Yes I know they are more expensive, but some days it was just worth it. ;)

What is whole 30? Great post with tips, recipes and info!

Whole 30 breakfast ideas

So here is what I ate for breakfast. For me it was easier to stick with a few different recipes and rotate them. I don’t mind eating the same thing for breakfast twice a week. So one day would be sweet potato hash, the next would be scrambled eggs with a banana (sprinkled with cinnamon) and almond butter. Then the next day I would make an omelet with veggies inside. If I was in a hurry I would just make 2 fried eggs and a green smoothie. I probably only had 3 smoothies on the whole 30, because they really don’t encourage them. Some days it was just easier.

Sweet potato hash -whole 30

For the sweet potato hash, all I did was cook chopped bell peppers, a handful of spinach and shredded sweet potatoes in avocado oil for a few minutes. Then I would fry an egg and serve it on top.

Bananas and almond butter

These lemon coconut energy balls are also a nice thing to have on the go.

Lemon coconut no bake energy balls

Whole 30 lunch ideas

For lunch I usually rotated between some type of lettuce wrap or a salad. The only turkey you can have while on whole 30 is the Applegate turkey breast (found at Whole Foods and some other stores). I would roll it up, place it inside my lettuce and top it with mustard, avocado and sometimes tomato. I would also make BLT’s the same way. The only bacon I found that doesn’t have sugar is also from Whole Foods. It’s the Pederson’s brand and is really good!

Turkey lettuce wraps

I also made this summer berry salad with lemon dressing LOTS. It is one of my favorites. :) I also would just do plain salads with veggies, chicken and the Tessemaes dressing as well. It helps to grill a lot of chicken at the beginning of the week, so you can have it in your salads.

Summer berry salad

Whole 30 dinner ideas

One of my favorite dinners was this Mexican chicken soup that I posted about a few weeks ago. I made that about once a week.

Mexican chicken soup -whole 30 recipe

We also grilled a lot! We grilled steaks, hamburgers and chicken most of the time. We did a lot of shish kabobs too! I LOVED the lettuce wrapped burger.

Lettuce wrapped burger

I also love these taco lettuce wraps I posted last week.

taco lettuce wraps

This vegetable soup was another favorite.

Whole 30 vegetable soup

Another one of my favorite things to make was cauliflower rice with meatballs and marinara. I will have to make that again, so I can take a picture.

With pretty much every meal we had roasted vegetables. Not the best pic (sorry iPhone), but carrots and asparagus were my all time favorite! Just cut up your veggies and place in a zip lock bag. Then pour some olive oil in, add some salt and pepper and shake. Then bake at 400° for about 20 minutes. SO good!

Roasted veggies

Whole 30 snacks

One of my favorite snacks was carrot chips and guacamole. Sometimes I would use plantains too. Cut your carrots super thin and then bake the carrots the same way I listed above.

Carrot chips

As far as drinks go, I drank LOTS of water. If I was getting bored with water, I would make some infused water and that hit the spot.

Fruit infused water

So there you have it… how I survived the whole 30.  I even started a Pinterest board where I have more recipes pinned if you’d like more ideas. Three of my favorite bloggers to follow on instagram for recipe ideas are @whole30recipes @jennaskitchen  and @amazon_ashley. They are actually the ones that inspired me to start the whole 30 in the first place. You can also search #whole30 on instagram for TONS of recipe ideas and inspiration. Hopefully you found this post hopeful. Overall I think it was a great challenge and I’ll most definitely do it again! 

So let’s hear it… who’s tried the whole 30? Who wants to try it? Share your favorite recipes below.

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

of I Heart Naptime

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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14 comments on “What is whole 30 and my experience …”

  1. I tried the Whole 30 for about two weeks, because I had digestive issues and everyone swore it would make me feel great. I too got more digestive issues being on the diet. I ended up getting so sick to my stomach — nauseated every day, super sleepy, etc. that I had to stop the diet. I was taking more medications for my stomach on the plan than off. But, it could be a good diet for a lot of people. Instead in our house we have switched to a healthier, low carb diet. I still eat grains, but it is very limited. We do dairy, here and there. I did cut out a lot of my sugar though — no more sweets every night. Basically switched to all real, wholesome foods. Absolutely nothing processed if possible. Ha. I think it is great you made it a full 30 days though! That is amazing.

  2. I just started and it is so hard! I am a picky eater so it’s tricky…plus I’m addicted to sugar!

  3. I just started my first whole30 and am just over one week in. The thing I notice is how many junk calories I would normally eat, despite typically eating health! Like alcohol and desserts. I’ve had outtings since starting and even looking at the amount of beer I would have drank the one evening really encouraged me to keep going!

  4. You inspire me. I am thinking of trying the whole30. I don’t really need to lose weight but I have a horrible sweet tooth I’d like to ride myself of. Also my husband needs to lose 20 pounds and he has worked on the same 20 off and on for 2 yrs. Thankyou for you insights.

  5. I’m so impressed. Honestly, it all looks and sounds so good! I love vegetables and should totally eat more. I don’t think I could ever do this and still feed the rest of my family (5 kids) so good for you!

  6. I’ve done it twice and had good results both times. The first time I did it, I didn’t introduce foods once at a time, so I was never able to know for sure what kinds of things were affecting me negatively. The second time, I figured out that gluten and sugar would have to be very rare indulgences, but I could handle grass-fed dairy. If I had too much conventional dairy, I’d wake up the next day with sinus problems. I love having that information, but I’ve decided I’m not going to do another one. I learned what I wanted to know! And slayed the sugar dragon :)

  7. Great information! I just started my first Whole30 so I love reading about what everyone else ate. This first few days have been hard! I’m realizing how much sugar I usually are, hopefully it will be a good experience.

  8. Great post Jamielyn! I know it was super hard but you made it look so do-able and even made me kind of excited to do it! :) Thanks for sharing your experience and for all the awesome tips! And Congrats girl. I hope you have a wonderful & healthy summer! :)

  9. I’ve done the Whole30 before and LOVED it so much! I can’t wait to do it again!

  10. Hi! My husband and I did the Whole30 about two months ago and although the first couple of weeks were a little rough, by the end we loved the way we felt and have continued to eat mostly “Whole30”.  A recent trip to Little Italy in Chicago with some meatball indulging has left me anxious to find a compliant meatball recipe! You mention a meatball and marinara recipe in this article, however I cannot seem to find it anywhere! If you can help with a link to the recipe I would greatly appreciate it! Many thanks! 

  11. Bethany vVaughn Reply

    Thank you soooo much for the information. I just came across Whole 30 while on Pintrest and found it interesting. I began doing my own research and I can’t wait to start this un-diet. I’m looking for the same results that you achieved. Thanks again!!


  12. I am looking into starting this diet and your post has made it less intimidating. Where can I find full recipes as I went on Instagram but had no luck in finding full recipes:(??

  13. I have searched high and low for recipes that I would actually use!  I did the whole 30 two years ago and then my life got crazy and I let health go out the window.  I am so happy that I came accross your posts!  Your recipes look so yummy!  I can’t wait to start planing now!

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