Life After the Whole 30

Yesterday, my husband and I finished the Whole 30.  If you're unfamiliar with what that is, go here and read all about it.  
Basically, the short-short is, it's a full-body dietary re-boot--eliminating all sugars and sugar substitutes {no honey, maple syrup, agave, stevia...NOTHING}, alcohol, grains {including corn, corn products, and any grain by-products}, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, and most preservatives.  Throughout the 30 days, I often told people that it was easier to tell them what I could eat, rather than list what I couldn't eat.  What you can eat are fruits, veggies, minimally processed meats, and a few nuts and fats.  That's pretty much it.

The Whole 30 website stresses the fact that this is not a "diet."  In fact, they tell you not to weigh yourself during the 30-day-period.  Weigh yourself before, weigh yourself after, and note your results. But they don't want the focus of the Whole 30 to be weight loss--they want the focus to be on learning new HEALTHY eating habits, healing the body from the inside out, ridding it of the toxins that build up from all the junk that's in our "normal" diets.

So now, down to the nitty-gritty, keepin' it real sorta stuff.
Yes, I did the Whole 30.
No, I didn't cheat.  Not even once.  Not a bite, not a sip, barely even a whiff.  I DID deeply inhale the aromas of some homemade apple turnovers that I couldn't have.  And I also may have given my best friend the cold shoulder for a few moments when she made Vanilla Texas Sheet Cake {{I'm a sucker for ANYthing with a boiled icing}} for card night.
But no, I didn't cheat.

Yes, I totally did this hoping to lose weight.
I'd be flat-out, straight-up lying if I said differently.
I don't know very many people who would do this and NOT think about the weight-loss factor.
That said, I also did the Whole 30 for the other stuff.  The stuff they want you to learn.  The stuff they want you to experience.  And truly, it's changed my life forever.
I don't know that I'll ever be able to eat Velveeta cheese again.  Like, ever.
But it's changed me in many other ways, too.

My husband did the program with me, too.
Bless his heart, God love him...and all that good stuff.
I am so incredibly thankful that he did this with me.  It would have been infinitely more difficult doing it on my own.  And he did it, knowing full well that both St. Patrick's Day {{we always have a traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes--that was out, obviously}} and Easter fell within our 30-day period.  Yep.  He still agreed to do it with me.  I asked him about it at 6:00 on a Sunday evening.  We began on Monday.  He didn't even have time to get used to the idea.  He just jumped in with both feet and joined me.  I'm so glad he did.
{{And for the record, he didn't cheat either.  Not once.  Not one little bit.}}

So, now we're done.
Today is Day 31.
And this is what breakfast looked like...

Not really.
But I had you there for a second, right?

My husband and I spent a lot of time talking, plotting, and planning what we were going to do once our 30 days was up...what changes we were going to keep, what foods we were going to re-introduce back into our diet, and how we plan on implementing moderation into our "cheats".

My husband said it best...
"'s not like I've been holding my breath for the last 30 days, and now I can finally breathe, so I'm gulping in as much air as I possibly can.  That's not what the Whole 30 is like."
You don't finish the Whole 30 looking forward to a cookie, to cheesecake, to five-cheese pepperoni pizza.  You finish it looking to carry as much as possible forward with you.  

Yes, there is life after the Whole 30...
And today, mine looks like this...
Three weeks ago today, I started juicing.  Let me be clear here.  Juicing is not promoted on the Whole 30.  Nor is it forbidden.  I juice in moderation and that's that.  I don't think I missed out on any of the "lessons" I was supposed to learn, just because I juice a bit.

So, I started out my day today with my daily beet juice blend {{beet, carrots, apples, pears, and today I threw in a cucumber because I felt like I was retaining a bit of water from last night's salty dinner}}.  
And yes, I had a cup of coffee.
I didn't have coffee for the entire Whole 30.
Coffee is allowed.  But sweeteners are not.  Neither is cream.
Therefore, coffee is out for me.  Black coffee? No.  Not happenin'.
So, yes, I had a cup of coffee this morning.  Creamed it with a splash of half and half.  Sweetened it with a glug of pure maple syrup.  
Perfect? No.  Whole 30 compliant? No.
A heckuvalot healthier than the chemical-laced-non-dairy-but-looks-like-dairy-artificial-flavoring-filled creamer I was using 30 days ago? YES!

And that, my friends, is truly what I believe the point of the Whole 30 is.  To change the way we look at food.  Geez, to just get us to look at our food!  To know, to really know what we're putting in our bodies.  I mean, what in the world is citric acid?  What about potassium sorbate?  What are sulfites?  What is carrageenan?   You should know.  We should know.  

So, did I lose weight?
Yes!  I lost 14 pounds.
My clothes fit {way} better, and I'm very pleased with the body changes I see.
My husband lost 23 pounds.  I'm so proud of him...and what's great is that he is proud of himself.
What both of us loved is that this was special drinks, no powders, no pills, no drops.  It wasn't no-carb, count calories, count fats, write it down.  It wasn't any of that.
It was healthy eating.  Plain and this, don't eat that, be healthy.  And we both feel GREAT.  Honestly, it's amazing how fabulous your body feels on the inside when you've fed it with premium fuel for a month straight.
And it was free.  I mean, obviously the food itself cost us, but the program was free.  We didn't pay a penny to participate.
So yah, when I grab two sticks of butter out of my fridge, and realize that that's what I shaved off my body on a daily basis?...yah, I'm pretty thrilled.

A lot of people have asked what our plans are moving forward.
We plan to use the Whole 30 plan as a guideline, but not as a law.  We will be working in moderate amounts of dairy, grains, legumes, and even some sugars into our meals.  Our aim is for minimally processed foods.  So, while I may eat my morning eggs on a corn tortilla {{containing corn, water, and calcium hydroxide}}, I won't be eating them on Pillsubury canned biscuits with a side of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage.  See what I mean?  It's the intent.  The overall outlook.  The corn tortilla? Not an after-Whole 30 "cheat".  The biscuit and breakfast sausage? Definitely a "cheat".
 We will be limiting our sweet/treat/bad food "cheats" to one day a week.  We've talked about this...and both of us, knowing ourselves, agree that if we allow ourselves small daily cheats, we will soon be back right where we started.  Whereas, if we allow ourselves one cheat day a week, we will eat more healthy on the whole.  I'm sure that, ideally, we just wouldn't cheat at all.  But that's not where we're at right now, and I'm okay with that.

So that's that.
Life goes on.
Back to normal.
Only not.
And that's a good thing.

{{P.S.  Feel free to shoot me any questions.  I am so far from an expert, it's laughable.  But I'll certainly do my best to answer you.  This is really worth looking in to, friends.  It is.}}


  1. soooo proud of you, girl!
    it's amazing what we learn when we limit ourselves and read labels, isn't it?
    there's just SO much trash out there and its so easy to pump that into our bodies, but we FEEL so much better eating the good stuff!
    loved reading this!

  2. You deserve a medal. 14 pounds girl!!! I need to do something like this soon. I'm off the wagon and I turn 40 next month... Eeeek!!

  3. way to go, Erin!! huge accomplishment and glad it was so life-changing (and done with a husband too!)

  4. So because of your whole30 journey I have begun looking into this for me and I have a few questions. Do you have a source for recipes that go along with the whole30? How time consuming was it for you to prepare your meals? Did you cook one meal for you and your husband and another for your children or did they pretty much eat the same foods? Were you able to have a variety or did you eat the same few things most of the time? Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

  5. Awesome! My husband and I go back and forth through diet changes. Never a diet, just healthy eating paired with exercise, the right amount of sleep, etc. He travels for work, so has to eat out half of the week...which is a challenge.
    You did an awesome job and inspired me to look at my diet the next 30 days...

  6. Hi Erin, I'm an IG follower and fellow vintage lover! I am curious what you did for your kiddos during this process? I am taking baby steps toward eating more "wholly" - and I have two girls 6 and 4. We eat pretty healthy overall but still have a lot of processed foods in our diet and I'd like to move more in the whole foods direction. Just wondering how you handled cooking for the kids and if/how you're incorporating the lifestyle change for them.

  7. I'm on Day 10 of my whole 30 adventure. Just wondering, did you keep the 14 pounds off?


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