My Whole30 Challenge

My Whole30 Challenge

Have any of you done a #Whole30?

For the uninitiated, The Whole30 is a thirty day detox plan, in which you basically eat nothing but vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken, eggs, fish, and nuts. (If you’re familiar with Paleo, this is Paleo Extreme.)

No sugar, no sweeteners, no grains, no peanuts, no legumes, no beans, no potatoes, no dairy.

You can find out more about the Whole 30 plan on the website, The Whole 30, and in the book It Starts with Food

My husband and I were talking last week about our health and weight loss goals (which always seem to go hand-in-hand) and decided to give this a shot. Starting on Wednesday (less than 48 hours — eeek!), we will be embarking on a Whole30!

I’m posting about it on the blog because, frankly, I suspect I’m going to need the accountability. (Yeah, I’m using you. But only a little bit. 😉 )


My goals for this Whole30 are three-fold:

1. Lose weight. Maybe this doesn’t sound very “holistic” of me, but I’m being honest. I’ve been losing weight (and not losing weight) for 18 months now. I’m down more than 35 pounds from my all-time high. But I still have 15 pounds to go. And if I can drop 8-10 of them in these 30 days, I think I’ll be all that much more motivated to just get ‘er done — for once and for all — by the summer.

2. Get some clarity on the relationship between my emotions and food. See, here’s the holistic part. 😉  Food is a crutch for me. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Even when I’m being “good”, that goodness is a crutch. But as I learned from going grain-free last summer, there is a direct relationship between what I’m putting in my mouth (and gut) and my psychological state.

3. To experience my body without dairy and without sugar. I never thought I’d be “able” to successfully give up grains, but I did it — for a good long time. And then I slipped. But even still, I learned a ton during that time about how my body responds to those foods in particular. Now, you should know that I love dairy. Love it. Melted cheese… mmmm… But I’ve long suspected that it’s not doing my body any favors. And who doesn’t love sugar?

(I actually have a 4th goal, which has to do with my, um, digestive processes. But it’s kinda embarrassing to write about. So let’s just leave it at that.)

To get ready for our Whole30, I’ve spent the last several days foraging for information from people who’ve done this challenge (there are hundreds of thousands of them!).

I found this blogger’s take on prepping meal components for a week at a time especially helpful. And I just started a Pinterest board — called, originally, My Whole30 — to pin all of these helpful Whole30 blog posts, recipes, and menu plans.

I’m making a massive shopping list today, and my husband and I will spend a few hours tomorrow night prepping our food for the next several days.

On Wednesday we’ll be starting. Thirty days, hard core. (If I seem especially grumpy to you over the next week, now you’ll know why!)

If you’ve done a Whole30, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve thought of doing it, I’d love for you to join us.

And if you think I’m totally nuts… well, you may be right!


  1. galileegirl says

    Best of luck!!! I’m rooting for you. I hope you realize how lucky you are that your husband does these challenges together with you.

  2. Good luck! My husband and I are on day 8. My sister and friends are doing too and we started a facebook group called Kosher whole 30….You’re welcome to join! 🙂

  3. Hi Mara,
    This sounds interesting. What are you doing about challah on shabbos? Just curious. I may do it– if my husband joins me!

  4. Hi Mara,

    My husband and I recently started a healthy eating plan that has similar restrictions (no dairy, etc.). I’m curious, are your kids also going to be doing Whole30 with you, or are they going to be eating differently during this time? If your kids are not eliminating dairy and grains from their diets, can you offer advice for how you prepare separate meals for yourselves and your kids? I’m having a hard time planning and prepping separately for my almost-2-year-old.

    For Shabbat, the health coach I’m working with said we should just eat the minimum amount of challah allowable to fulfill the bracha. Same goes for grape juice/wine.

    • Jenn – Much to my surprise, both of my boys decided to do this with us. My daughter is 4 and she’s still eating her typical diet. I wish she would eat more this way, but she is very much rooted in her steady diet of carbs, carbs, chocolate and fruit.

      It definitely helps that the boys are eating the same things we are. I think making a “regular” dinner would be so hard!

  5. Sounds like Pesach without potatoes (since I can’t get kosher for Pesach dairy where I live). I’m going to be paying close attention for menu ideas 🙂

  6. You inspired me to do the Whole30 by reading your post! I’m on Day 8 now, plugging away. Todah Rabbah!

  7. Are you blogging about the Whole30 along the way? Please!

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