Easy Whole30 Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less!

It’s a few days into January and dieters everywhere are trying to plan and food prep for the Whole30.  Soon they will be hoping to find a few easy Whole30 meals they can make.

There is a ton of information available and several great books:

The Whole 30- Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, Whole30 Fast & Easy, Whole30 Food Freedom Forever, It Starts with Food and Whole30 Day by Day. Oh, by the way, It Starts with Food and Whole30 Day by Day are my favorites and in my opinion, they are the best to start with.

Whole30 Books

Whole30 Books

There are podcasts, Pinterest pins, Whole30 coaches, meal prep services, shopping lists and recipes upon recipes…..

And let’s talk about those recipes. I have completed three successful rounds of the Whole30 and still haven’t tried a single recipe I didn’t like.  The food is fantastic!

Having said that, suddenly preparing three new recipes a day can be a tad bit overwhelming and I believe it can be one of the reasons so many people fall off the Whole30 bandwagon within the first few days of their first round.

Let me share the best piece of Whole30 advice I ever received with you.  A couple of days into my first round, a member of my Whole30 Facebook support group who had successfully completed a Whole30 round noticed several of the members were stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, and ready to give up.  She gave us these words of wisdom:

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Sweetie

Best Whole30 Advice
Best Whole30 Advice

She went on to suggest we only introduce a recipe or two a week, eat lots of leftovers, and keep the majority of our meals simple and easy.  This is the best Whole30 advice I ever received and it not only made it possible for me to finish my first round but to go on to complete two more rounds and eat Whole30ish on an ongoing basis.

So, with no further ado, here are a few of my favorite easy Whole30 meals that can be made in 10 minutes or less:

Shrimp, Vegetables & Fruit

Shrimp, salted cucumbers, red pepper, guacamole, and fresh fruit.  Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning tastes great on the shrimp and if you don’t have a Trader Joes’ nearby, it can be purchased at Amazon. Total prep time – 3 minutes!  This is one of my favorite easy Whole30 meals and it’s probably the easiest!

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

Baked Potato with Smoked Pull Pork Sauerkraurt, Applesauce, Carrots, and a Fermented Pickle

Baked potato with Cosco’s smoked pulled pork, Wildbrine sauerkraut, unsweetened applesauce, carrots and Bubbie’s fermented (dill not bread and butter) pickle.  Total prep time 7 minutes.

*I prep my pulled pork a little different than the instructions on the box.  Unwrap what you need for the day and moisten with bone broth to keep it moist while cooking or in the microwave.  For best results heat at a lower temperature so it doesn’t dry out.

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

Zucchini Zoodles with Chicken and a Spinach Salad with Fruit

Zucchini Zoodles with Raos Marinara sauce, spinach salad with chicken, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend, and Strawberries.  Accompanied by a spoonful of cashew butter.  Total prep time 8 minutes.

Whole30 Easy Meals
Whole30 Easy Meal

Chicken Burger with Guacamole, Vegetables, and Strawberries

Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burger with cucumber, red pepper, guacamole, and strawberries Total prep time 8 minutes.

Easy Whole 30 Meal
Easy Whole 30 Meal

Beef Chili on a Potatoe & Red Pepper and Carrots

Beetnik Paleo Organic Beef Chili and Sweet Potato on a potato with ghee and Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.  Best of all, the ghee and Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend can be ordered from Amazon!  Total prep time 5 minutes.

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

Chicken Sausage, Potatoes, and Vegetables

Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage, potatoes, and mixed veggies. Extra virgin olive oil for the potato and a little avocado oil for the veggies.  Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend for the potato.  Secret time-saving hack:  put the potato in the microwave for a few minutes before putting it in the oven with the other ingredients. You can buy the Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, and Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend from Amazon.  You can even get Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage from Amazon, but you have to order in bulk.  It might be a good idea to stock up anyways. These sausages are one of the only foods my entire family loves!  Total prep time 10 minutes.

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

Orange Chicken & Vegetables

I found this gem at Walmart the other day.  They also have a Rosemary and Vegetable meal that is good. These meals are admittedly my least favorites, but they are good enough and great to have in a pinch. Total prep time 5 minutes.

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

Baked Potato with Egg and Avocado & a Spinach Salad and Strawberries

This dish may not look pretty but it is absolutely delicious.  Baked potato with ghee and Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, avocado and egg and a spinach salad, tomatoes, and Green Goddess DressingCarrington’s Coconut Oil and Ghee, Primal Kitchen’s Green Goddess Dressing, and Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend can be ordered from Amazon.  Total prep time about 6 or 7 minutes.

Easy Whole30 Meal
Easy Whole30 Meal

I know the first few days can be overwhelming and I hope these easy Whole30 meal ideas help you with your Whole30 experience.  They have been great for me.   You’ve got this!



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weight loss supplements · Whole30

Should You Supplement During The Whole30?

If you asked ten Whole30ers if they should supplement during the Whole30, you would most likely get ten different answers.  I recently surveyed members from my Whole30 group and was very surprised by the various responses.  Let’s just say – they were all over the place.

Personally,  I’m very pro supplementation and believe just about everyone should supplement during the Whole30 or any other diet program.  And, I noticed that those who took the Whole30 compliant supplements while doing the Whole30 seemed to feel better and stay on track.  I’m not a scientist or a doctor though (and I don’t play one on the internet :).  So, let’s tap into the expert(s) perspective.

What the Expert Says About Supplements During The Whole30

Melissa Hartwig, co-founder, and CEO of the Whole30 program posted the below on Facebook on October 10, 2017.

It would be lovely to think we could achieve optimal health with a whole-food diet and healthy lifestyle…but in today’s modern world, that’s tough.  Environmental toxins soil depletion, imperfect food choices, life stress, long workdays, gut dysbiosis, and many other factors can make it hard to feel our best, even if our diet is on point.

Healthy Whole30 Food

If you are like me,  collecting all of your Whole30 compliant food, condiments, and spices may have been such an overwhelming task that you can’t even imagine searching for Whole30 compliant supplements. – ugh. And, oh by the way, here are a few helpful articles for you on making Whole30 grocery shopping made easier and easy Whole30 meals that take less than 10 minutes to make.

But, anyway,  back to supplementing during the Whole30.   It Starts with Food has a lot of great information on supplementing while doing the Whole30.  I highly recommend you take a read or listen. 

 So With No Further Ado Here Are A Few Recommended Compliant Supplements…….


It Starts with Food has a few important things to say about multivitamins.

Taking a multivitamin may not be a bad idea.  On one hand, we know the nutrients we get from real food interact in complex and beautiful ways in our bodies, providing us with a level of health that supplements simply cannot match.   On the other hand, it’s idealistic to think that we can get complete nutrition just from the foods we eat and our environments.  After all, we don’t always eat perfectly, and our modern world (the soil, the water, the seeds themselves) may not provide us with as much nutrition from our foods as it used to.

So even though you’re doing the best you can with real food, your health may still benefit from the micronutrient boost found in a good, balanced multivitamin.  Just remember that the micronutrients found in multivitamins are nowhere near as bioavailable as those found in real food- so make sure you always prioritize getting your vitamins and minerals from the plants and animals on the plate.

* Klaire Labs Ther- biotic is a Whole30 compliant multivitamin.  Pure Encapsulations Nutrient 950 with K is another great Whole30 compliant option recommended in It Starts with Food.


Essential Fatty Acids

It Starts with Food lists the many benefits of Omega 3 including;

  • Reduced risk of several lifestyle-related diseases and conditions
  • Protection from cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression,
  • Improvement of skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, arthritis, etc.

Omega 3’s are also anti-inflammatory.  And, I notice my hair, skin, and nails look better when I am taking a good Omega 3!

*Green Pastures makes a great Whole30 compliant and approved cod liver oil and It Starts with Food gives the general recommendation os 2-4 grams of EPA + DHA daily.  


According to the Washington Post’s article, nearly half of all American’s are magnesium deficient. Ancient Minerals published an interesting article detailing the many possible reasons why Americans are so deficient in this precious mineral. It Starts with Food refers to magnesium as the “magic white powder” because it is known for helping people fall asleep so quickly.  Magnesium is also critical for:

  • Bone health
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Heart rhythm
  • Immunity
  • Blood sugar regulations
  • Blood pressure

*The Whole30 recommends Natural Calm (unsweetened) and Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate.  It Starts with Food gives the general recommendations of 1-3 teaspoons (200-600 mg) dissolved in water shortly before bed every evening. 

And as a bonus,  you can always take in some magnesium while soaking in an Epsom salt bath! If the idea of soaking in the tub isn’t appealing enough, check out this article from PaleoLeap for more information about Epsom salt’s benefits.

Whole30 Supplements
Whole30 Supplements

Digestive Enzymes

It Starts with Food tells us that digestive enzymes help your body break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and maximize the amount of nutrition your body can absorb.  This is so important because if we don’t absorb the nutrients from the healthy food we are eating during the Whole30, the healthy food (and nutrients) don’t do us much good.  I know I feel less bloated and gassy when I take digestive enzymes.

*Pure Encapsulations Enzymes Ultra and NowFoods Digest Platinum are both recommended by the Whole30.

Vitamin D3

Mercy Medical Center published an article saying 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient and the percentages are even higher in several various populations within the US.  Healthline’s article outlines symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Getting sick or infected often
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Bone and back pain
  • Depression
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

Web MD published an article saying that vitamin D deficiency can be harmful and there are meaningful benefits to increasing your vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for many things including immune support, bone health, and the regulation of calcium. And recently, a Healthline article has reported there is mounting evidence that vitamin D can help you lose weight!

*Pure Encapsulations vitamin D3 is Whole30 compliant and has been recommended.

**Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, be sure to take it with a meal that is rich in fat.


Healthline’s article, Why The Gut Microbiome is Crucial to Your Health, shares:

The gut microbiome plays a very important role in your health by helping control digestion and benefiting your immune system and many other aspects of health.

An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders.

In It Starts with Food the founders of the Whole30 recommend reaching out to a functional medicine doctor for some testing before starting probiotics. For those that cannot do the lab work first, they recommend taking steps to restore a healthy balance of bacteria with fermented foods and drinks.

*Klaire Labs has a probiotic that is Whole30 compliant. 


The Whole30 Vital Proteins Whole30 FAQ provides a lot of great information about collagen:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s found in muscles, bone, skin, and connective tissue like tendons, and basically holds the whole body together, providing strength and structure. It’s important for healthy skin, hair, nails, and teeth; maintaining healthy joints and reducing the risk of joint degeneration, and helps to heal a leaky gut.

Did someone just say healthy skin, hair, nails, teeth, and joints?  I’ll take a double dose said every 40 something woman.- no just kidding.  The Whole30 FAQ also shares the below information:

  • We used to get collagen and these aminos in our diets in the form of bones and broth (eating the whole animal), but in today’s modern world, we’re highly unlikely to consume foods like bone marrow, or boil pasture-raised bones down for broth. The aminos found in collagen aren’t found in significant amounts in the muscle meat we eat or the protein supplements (like whey or BCAAs) we take post-workout. This means that today, we’re not getting a steady or adequate supply of collagen, glycine, or proline in our diets.
  • Taking a collagen supplement can help keep our skin smooth and supple, our nails and hair strong and healthy, our joints strong and flexible, and our guts healthy.
  • As a fitness supplement, it complements the protein and BCAAs we’re taking to ensure creatine production is high, muscles are strong, and we are able to maintain energy during training sessions.

For more information on Whole30 approved collagen check out Melissa Hartwig’s very first Facebook live!

*Vital Proteins collagen peptides are Whole30 compliant and approved.


Cheers to you and your Whole30 experience!

*This article is not intended to be medical advice.  Anyone considering a new supplement regime should consult their physician first.



motivation · Whole30

Tips To Stay Motivated During The Whole30

While Melissa Urban, the author and creator of the Whole30 program, said the Whole30 is “not hard,” many aspiring Whole 30ers find it all but impossible and are searching for tips to stay motivated during the Whole30.  I have successfully completed several rounds of the Whole30, was an active member of a few Whole30 groups, and lead a group through a few rounds and these are my best tips to stay motivated during the Whole30.

Tips To Stay Motivated During The Whole30

The Whole30 Books Can Be Your Best Motivational Tool

While leading a 150+ member Whole30 group, one thing was abundantly clear.  The majority of Whole30er’s who finished strong had read a Whole30 book or two, and sometimes more.

“It Starts With Food” is a great book to start with!  Honestly, if you’re only going to get one book – I highly recommend this one. It will make completing your Whole30 easier because you’ll understand WHY the rules are the rules and even more importantly why you are making all of the diet and lifestyle changes outlined in the Whole30.  Knowing why you’re cutting out grains and why sugar affects our hormones gives purpose to your Whole30.

I’m not promising that the first few days won’t still be difficult, but I know that after reading this book you know that it’s your food-addicted brain that’s making you feel that way and that it is chemically probable that you will be on the road to feeling great by the end of your 30 days!

“The Whole30 Day By Day” is also an invaluable tool and probably my favorite.  I don’t know about you, but for me, the idea of taking on the Whole30 all at once was just a little overwhelming“The Whole30 Day By Day” is a daily handbook and journal that keeps you motivated, inspired, and accountable.  I felt like I was getting a daily pep talk from Melissa Hartwig (Melissa Urban) myself! The Whole30 tips and hacks are very helpful and I loved Melissa’s daily motivation section!

Whole30 Books
Whole30 Books

Tap Into A Few Whole30 Success Stories –  Podcasts, YouTube Videos Or Possibly Pinterest

I found some great motivating Youtube videos and podcasts while doing the Whole30.  I tried to take in one a day for the first few weeks and it really helped me to stay on track.  There are a lot of them out there, and you may need to listen to more than one to find the one that motivates you, but it will be worth it!  This Pinterest board shares some great success stories.  And if you like to mix your Whole30 motivation with a little humor, you may also want to give Weight Loss Confessions’ Pinterest board a click.

Whole30 Coaches

Whole30 certified coaches are available for hire to help keep you motivated and streamline the Whole30. If you feel you would benefit from the additional resources, accountability, support, and your own personal Whole30 buddy, the coaching program might be for you.

Remember Your Why

There must have been a pretty compelling reason why you decided to do the Whole30 in the first place – right?  After all, most people don’t sign up for 30 days of NO alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, carrageenan, and/ or junk food because it sounds like a good time. They may be hoping to have more energy, less brain fog, a clearer complexion, fewer headaches, and better sleep, or to ditch the sugar dragon, balance their hormones or look better in those skinny jeans?. Whatever your why is.  Think about it often and remind yourself of it when you get discouraged or feel a craving coming on.

Weight Loss Motivation
Remember Why You Started -Whole30 Motivation

Join a Whole30 Group or a Few

There are a lot of great Whole30 Facebook groups and they are fantastic for sharing ideas and recipes. You may even turn to one for support or to vent occasionally. Be cautious though, some of them are known for getting a little salty (which can be the opposite of motivating). You are welcome to join the Weight- Loss-Confessions Whole30 group. We are not as active as some of the other Whole30 Facebook groups but it is a salt-free environment :).

Enjoy Every Minute of Your Self-Care

I recently successfully completed a Whole100 and self-care was a huge motivator for me.  40 Aprons published a great article titled “20 Self Care Ideas For A Healthy Happy You.”  It lists great self-care ideas. Epsom salt baths, podcasts, meditation and journaling (in my “Whole30 Day By Day”) were some of my self-care activities. What will yours be?

Self-care-Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom Salt Bath

Celebrate Those NSV’s

Since I have been diligently dieting, trying to lose weight for 16 years, and weighing myself daily, I surprised myself when I lost interest in the “almighty scale” during my first Whole30“The Whole30 Day By Day” introduced me to something that was much more fun to count than pounds – NSV’s (non-scale victories).  The Whole30 has a nearly two-page handout listing some of the possible NSV’s. In “My Whole30 Results Are Incredible” I shared over 20 of my NSV’s from my first round!  They were so amazing I actually decided to go straight into a second round!  Be sure to celebrate and track your NSV’s throughout the 30 days!

Tiger Blood

Have you ever gone on a vacation or trip and seen something absolutely spectacular and been unable to do it justice when describing it to a friend who hasn’t been?  This is exactly how I and most Whole30ers feel about Tiger Blood.  It is almost indescribable and it is a different feeling or experience for everyone.

I knew I had reached Tiger Blood when…

Even though I absolutely hate to grocery shop (it actually gives me anxiety) and typically need more sleep than a baby so I retreat to my bedroom by eight or nine o’clock every night,  I found myself in the grocery store shopping at 11:00 PM!  Not only was I not stressed, anxious, or tired, but I was dancing through the aisles of the store because I couldn’t help myself….And just for a moment, I thought I may have been channeling James Brown singing I feel Good!

From that moment forward, I had boundless energy, positive thoughts, and an overall feeling of #lifeisgreat.  I was able to tackle tasks I had been putting off, my workouts improved, and life was just good!

If you can imagine for a moment what Tiger Blood might be like for you, I know the pursuit of Tiger Blood will motivate you during your Whole30!

Whole30 Tiger Blood
Whole30 Tiger Blood


Wishing you an amazing Whole30 experience filled with Tiger Blood, NSV’s, and a splash of weight loss! 

Diet · Whole30

Whole30 Grocery Shopping Made Easy!

A few months ago, a friend asked me what the hardest part of completing the Whole30 was. I instantly answered: grocery shopping for Whole30 approved products.

Although I have completed 3 rounds of the Whole30 and continue to eat Whole30ish, I vividly remember my first few horrific grocery store hauls. I swear I must have read the label of EVERY package of bacon in the store looking for the ONE that didn’t have added sugar. It took three trips to the store to find Whole30 compliant salad dressing.  I was honestly envious of the toddler who was throwing a fit in aisle 5 because I wanted to be the one on the ground crying!

Luckily, I quickly found a few great ways to make Whole30 grocery shopping easier:

Thrive Market:

Thrive Market is an amazing source for affordable, healthy, Whole30 compliant groceries. It’s like Costco (wholesale prices) meets Whole Foods (organic, non-GMO products) meets Amazon (convenient online shopping shipped to your door!). And the best part is they have an actual Whole30 section on their website you can peruse for ideas!

whole 30 grocery shopping

If you click on this Thrive Market link, you can join today and get an extra 25% off your first order (plus a 30-day free trial)!

Whole30 Grocery Lists by Store:

There are a ton of Whole30 grocery lists floating around online that are specific to stores and they can save you time.  Here are a few:


Gotta love the convenience of shopping on Amazon especially when the items are prime! There are a ton of Whole30 favorites available on Amazon. Here is my shortlist:

Whole30 Grocery Shopping- Amazon
Whole30 Grocery Shopping- Amazon

Whole30 Compliant Supplements on Amazon:

I was able to get most of the Whole30 recommended supplements from page 405 of Whole30 The 30-Day Guide to TOTAL HEALTH AND FOD FREEDOM on Amazon:

As I’m sure you can tell, I love the convenience of shopping on Amazon.  Having said that, I do want to caution you.  If you search Amazon for “Whole30 compliant” or “Whole30 approved”, items may come up in the search that are not Whole30 compliant or approved.

Butcher Box:

ButcherBox has a really cool story.  The company was founded by a Whole30er who realized how difficult it was for most people to gain access to good quality meat. ButcherBox meat is humanely-raised,  GMO, hormone, and antibiotic-free, and their subscription model allows them to ship meat straight to your door in a convenient and cost-effective way!

Whole30 Grocery Shopping at Butcher Box
Whole30 Grocery Shopping

If you order from ButcherBox,  enter the code AP10 for $10 off and free bacon in your first box!

I hope these grocery shopping tips help you as you navigate through your Whole30.  The grocery shopping can be incredibly frustrating and I almost gave up because of it.  Luckily, I didn’t because it was SO worth it!  The NSV’s (Non- Scale Victories) are amazing and completing the Whole30 can be life-changing.  Once you put a few systems into place, the grocery shopping can be as easy as a few clicks on your computer.

Good Luck!


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weight loss journey · Whole30

Sticking to the Whole30 While Traveling!

I was happily clicking away at nearly 100 days of eating Whole30ish.  Whole30ish meaning I ate two Whole30 compliant meals a day in addition to the breakfast shake, that I absolutely love, with Whole30 compliant healthy ingredients.   The shake is gluten free, dairy free, soy free and doesn’t have added sugar. I add ½ an avocado, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of spinach, and 1 cup of cashew milk). **Shakes are not allowed on the Whole30.

Loving the Whole30 NSV’s

While my weight loss hasn’t been as substantial as I would like, I was thoroughly enjoying the way my body composition was transforming and loved to seeing myself shrink.  Most of all, I was loving the way I felt and the endless list of Non-Scale Victories (NSV’s).   I seemed like a “Whole30 new and improved” version of myself with better:

  • Memory
  • Mental clarity
  • Energy
  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Periods
  • Complexion

I was also enjoying my new life sans headaches, muscle pains, and acid reflux.

And Then Came the Travel Plans

Enter the Best Year Ever Conference.   The conference was rapidly approaching, and I was getting nervous.  There is nothing like a little business travel, coupled with twelve hour days, and a three hour time difference to throw a perfectly good diet off course.   To make things both better and worse, the conference was in San Diego, home of some of my absolute most favorite restaurants.

Whole30 Travel Snacks

I’ve never been much of a planner, but I found myself brainstorming and decided to pack some of my healthy convenient food for the trip.  I packed my protein shake, RX Bars, Performance Nut Butter, DNX Bars, and LonoLife bone broth.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Healthy Travel Snacks

By the time I boarded the plane for my five-hour flight, I was pretty impressed with myself because my snacks quickly came in handy. Instead of eating overly priced tasteless airline food, I was able to pull out my healthy food.

Healthy Gluten- Free, Dairy Free Travel Snacks

Healthy Gluten – Free, Dairy Free Travel Snacks


Four Days Later

Over the next four days in San Diego, I went out to eat for one great healthy Whole30ish meal a day and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I ate the food I packed for the other two meals.  I loved having my own healthy food and it left me feeling in control.

So, to answer the question, Is it possible to stay on track with a Whole30ish diet while traveling?  Yes! I did it and you can too!

gut health · weight loss · Whole30

The Best Diet and Weight Loss Advice

The Day had been marked on my calendar for weeks.  November 9th would be my last official day of the Whole30 for a while.  I had just done two consecutive rounds plus two additional weeks and felt like it was time to explore what the Whole30 creator, Melissa Hartwig, refers to as Food Freedom.  I also felt a little lost and unsure of what that Food Freedom would look like for me as well as nervous about giving up the Whole30 magic I have been experiencing  (aka endless NSV’s and tiger blood).  With still needing to lose fifty pounds, this was a huge crossroads in my weight loss journey and I was in desperate need of some sound diet and weight loss advice.


In my blog posts, My Whole30 Experience (Day 12)  and My Whole30 Experience – (Day17)    I’ve blogged about the numerous NSV’s I’ve experienced since starting the Whole30.  To be honest, they have been mind-blowing and seem to just keep coming.

I noticed one of my newest and most amazing NSV’s the other day.  I have been wearing a bathing suit skirt for the past fifteen years because I have had this chicken skin like skin on my thighs.  I just happened to glance down the other day and my thighs look about 80% better!  I wish I had a before picture because the difference is amazing!

Acid reflux has been a problem for me since I was in my twenties and without getting too specific, let’s just say that’s more than twenty- five years ago.  Anyways, the reflux has been so bad I coughed up blood daily for nearly a decade.  I have been able to control it for the last several years through diet, homeopathy, and by working on my gut health.  There are some things I just don’t dare do like drink lemonade, eat too rich of chocolate, or take certain supplements like milk thistle.  The other day, I was inspired by an article I read about the health and weight loss benefits of drinking lemon water and decided to try it.  This decision would have landed me in a nearby urgent care a few months ago.  I drank three glasses of lemon water that day and one every day since.  Thank you Whole30!

Whole30 Tiger Blood

And then there is what the Whole30 calls tiger blood.  The Whole30 timeline refers to it as:


Days 16-27: Tiger Blood. Goodbye cravings, hello Tiger Blood! This must be what everyone is talking about. You’ve hit the downhill slope of your Whole30 and life is beautiful. Your energy is through the roof, you’ve kicked the cravings, you’re experimenting with new, delicious food, and you’ve finally got the time to notice that your clothes fit better, your workouts are stronger, and you are generally more awesome.

The Whole30’s blog about Tiger Blood tells us that everyone’s Tiger Blood looks and feels a little different.  Mine has been truly magical.  I feel more energetic, enthusiastic and I find myself smiling all the time.  My brain is calmer and I rarely feel frazzled or frenzied.  My memory is amazing.  I crave healthy food like red peppers, cashew butter, avocados, and cashew chicken and have little to no sweet or junk food cravings.  I also find myself wondering why other people are tired and yawning all the time because the feeling seems foreign to me at this point.  I can also be found dancing in grocery store aisles and belting out songs at the top of my lungs while driving.

I know what you must be wondering.  Why would I give the Whole30 magic, Non-scale victories,  and Tiger Blood up?  Well, that’s a great question.  First of all, the creator of the Whole30, Melissa Hartwig, tells us the Whole30 should not be done forever and the goal is to move into what she refers to as food freedom.  I can’t say that’s my real reason why though.  In two words, the answer is weight loss.  While I have lost a tremendous amount of inches and toned up substantially since I’ve been on the Whole30, I have only lost five pounds in two and a half months!

My Weight Loss Advice

Please if you are thinking of doing the Whole30, don’t be discouraged by my lack of weight loss.  It’s me and my quirky body, not the Whole30.  Everyone I know lost between 8-20 pounds in their first round of the Whole30. I’ve mentioned some of my weight loss issues in The Weight Loss Resistance Test Results Are In And You Are Not Going To Believe The Results! and How I Gained Over 100 Pounds and My Best Advice To You.  With all that being said, I need to find a way of eating that will allow me to lose the next fifty pounds.

I muttered through my last day on the Whole30 and ate my Whole30 favorite foods like chicken pot pie soup, a delicious lunch from TrueFare, and my favorite nut butter. When I picked up my ten-year-old son from school, I decided to tell him my entire story about how today was my last day of the Whole30 and I was nervous about giving it up but needed to find a way to lose weight.  Drew very thoughtfully responded with, “Mom I have never seen you so happy or so healthy.  Why would you give that up? You just need to find a way to lose weight.”

And just like that, my new diet was formed.  I would remain Whole30ish and eat the Whole30 foods plus a morning breakfast shake.  Since I can’t tolerate eggs and need to take a few powders for gut health daily, I decided a shake would be my best bet. While shakes are not Whole30 compliant, the JJVirgin’s shake ingredients are.  I plan to start my day with a JJVirgin shake with spinach, blueberries, and avocado topped with inulin powder and leaky gut support to support my gut health.

For the here and the now, I’m going to do what creators of the Whole30 would probably deem as unthinkable and count my calories daily.  My goal will be to eat 1400 calories a day consisting of the healthy Whole30 approved foods and the JJVirgin shakes. Easy enough- right?

I’ll report back in a week.  In the interim, please wish me successful diet luck!












Diet · weight loss · Whole30

How I Fell Off The (Whole30) Wagon

The date had been clearly marked on my calendar for over a month.  Our friends were having a Halloween costume party that was sure to be a blast.  I spent at least a few minutes a day contemplating if I would drink or not.  I’ve never been one to turn down a cocktail but I was near the end of my second consecutive round of the Whole30 and didn’t want to be known as a diet deserter who fell off the Whole30 wagon.

The reasons why I would choose to fall off the Whole30 wagon and why I would choose not to rang through my head for several days preceding the party.

Why wouldn’t I want to go off the Whole30?  Well, I absolutely love and am honestly addicted to what Melissa Hartwig refers to as Tiger Blood and I think of as the Whole30 high.  For me, it’s a lot like a runner’s high only better because it lasts 24 hours a day!  In addition to the feel-good happiness that leaves me smiling while driving and dancing in supermarkets, I also feel comfortable in my own skin.  No headaches, acid reflux, or bloating – it’s amazing!

There’s also all of the Non-Scale Victories (NSV’s).  I’ve blogged about so many of them and listed several in My Whole30 Experience Is Complete and The Results Are Incredible!  Ironically last night I experienced one of my most memorable and funniest Non- Scale Victories.  I walked into the kitchen to talk to my family and my pants fell off literally!  Lucky for you, I just happened to have my camera in my hand and snapped a selfie.  Funny thing is, these pants were my skinny jeans less than a month ago!


I bet you are wondering why I would consider going off the Whole30.   Would you believe me if I told you it’s the scale?  It’s the truth.  I have not lost one single pound in 27 days of strictly sticking to the Whole30 and I am incredibly frustrated and exasperated.

I shared a bit about my weight loss resistance in Is Weight Loss Resistance a Diagnosis? Could You Or Someone You Know Be Weight Loss Resistant?  Even with all of this in mind, I can’t help but wonder if the Whole30 is the diet for me.  As much as I LOVE feeling great, I need to lose 50 pounds and if the Whole30 can’t get me there, I need to find a diet that can.

I blogged about the test results I received from my doctor regarding my weight loss resistance in The Weight Loss Resistance Test Results Are In And You Are Not Going To Believe The Results!  Getting the results were kind of a mixed bag.  On one side it was good to have confirmation that despite all of my dieting, exercise, and weight loss efforts my body was fighting my weight loss.  On the other hand, it left me feeling overwhelmed and like I needed a break from my weight loss efforts and potentially the Whole30.

I sometimes question if the Whole30 is right for me because I haven’t been shedding pounds.  Having said that, I have lost a tremendous number of inches and the Non- Scale Victories (NSV’s) have been incredible.

This dame was 1/2 way down the stairs on her way to the party when she knew exactly what she was going to do.  She was going to enjoy a few cocktails at the party and think of it as a New Year’s Eve or a Whole30 reset.  The next day would be New Year’s Day and then she would get started on a brand new Whole 12 with refreshed vigor and the supplements the Dr. suggested to help her weight loss resistance.



My plans to stay on the Whole30 wagon for my refreshed Whole30 (Whole12) would include:

Eating more veggies.  My goal is to FILL 1/2 my plate with vegetables at each meal.

Walking more.  I currently walk between 30-45 minutes a day and I would like to start walking a minimum of one hour a day.

Starting all of the weight loss resistant supplements with the next two weeks.  Because my body is so touchy, I will only start one at a time so it will take a while to introduce them all.

Practicing mindful eating.  Ugh.  This one is so hard for me I will probably read the blogs by Gwen Roth and  Liz Lang daily to remind me of how important it is.


Here’s to another 12 days of the Whole30!

Cheers,  Tanya


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Could The Whole 30 Have Changed My Eating Habits?


My kids were off school for a long weekend in October.  I thought it would be a perfect time to head for the mountains to catch some fall foliage.  They both wanted to go to the beach.  If you have ever tried to persuade a ten and fifteen-year-old, you know where we ended up – the beach.  Myrtle Beach was our ultimate destination.

I’m glad we did because the beach was absolutely beautiful and we all but had it to ourselves!


Whole30 Compliant Beach Trip
Whole30 Compliant Beach Trip

From the moment I thought about going away, I was a little nervous.  This would be my first road trip while doing the Whole30.  I have my local restaurant scene mapped out and know what I can eat at Chipotle, Zoe’s Kitchen, Clean Eatz and a few other restaurants but Myrtle Beach was unchartered territory and from what I could tell none of my favorite, safe restaurants were close to our hotel.

I packed a cooler full of my go-to Whole30 approved snacks for the trip.  RX Bars, Justin’s Nut ButterPrimal Kitchen Collagen FuelDNX BarsImagine Bone Broth, Applegate Farms Sausage, cashews, almonds, avocados, cucumbers, and apples.

Whole30 Snack- RX Bar
Whole30 Snack- RX Bar

We went out to lunch on our first day and I ordered as Whole30 compliant as I could.  When we left the restaurant I asked my daughter and Whole30 partner, Taylor, if she enjoyed her meal.  She told me it was ok but she preferred the meals we have been eating at home from the Whole30 Cookbook and Pinterest.  I was so happy to hear that because it was exactly how I felt.  Funny thing is, I know I would have enjoyed the restaurant meal pre Whole30!

We went out to eat two more times while at the beach and pretty much had the same experience as above.  I left two of the restaurants feeling overly full, tired, and uncomfortable.   I haven’t felt like this in almost two months and didn’t like it.  Funny thing is, I’m all but certain I wouldn’t have thought anything of feeling this way a few months ago.

I found myself wanting to get back to our beach condo so I could eat my healthy Whole30 snacks.

Whole30 Snack Avocado
Whole30 Snack Avocado

Could 52 days of the Whole30 have changed my eating habits and taste buds this much?  Based on my experiences this weekend, I would have to say yes.

I called my Husband, Tony, on the way home from the beach and all but begged him to have some Whole30 comfort food waiting for the kids and me when we got home. I suggested my favorite Whole30 Chicken Pot Pie Soup or a recipe for Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie I saw on Pinterest.  He outdid himself with the Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie.  It was delicious and absolutely hit the spot!

Whole30 Shepherd's Pie
Whole30 Shepherd’s Pie

My biggest take away from this for anyone who would like to eat healthily but feels like they can’t do it because they will feel deprived doesn’t even have to think twice about it.  Within a few weeks, your tastes buds will change and you and your family will crave the new healthy foods.



weight loss · Whole30

Can The Whole30 Become A Habit?

It’s Day 15 of Round 2 of the Whole30.  It’s hard to believe I’m already at the 1/2 way mark of the second round!  Dare I say this is kind of easy?  Well, not easy and not always convenient but the Whole30 lifestyle has definitely become a habit.

It is so much of a habit that I get annoyed when I am thrown off course by things like going out to eat.  It is ironic because 45 days ago I loved dining out and today, I would rather not. I prefer my own food cooked the way I like it with my newfound Whole30 compliant favorite spices, condiments, and dressings.

Now that the Whole30 has become a habit, I find myself in pursuit of more healthy habits.   I am walking more, exercising more, and researching supplements and health daily.  Feeling great makes me want to feel even better on a daily basis. Can feeling great be addicting?

I’m thrilled to say I started Day 15 out with the usual – Chicken Pot Pie Soup. 

Whole 30 Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Whole 30 Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Lunch was another absolutely delicious easy meal of avocado, baked red pepper and red onion, and Aidells Chicken and Apple Smoked Sausage – Yum!

Whole30 Lunch
Whole30 Lunch

After reading about the benefits of green tea in a few different blogs like blog one and blog two, I had to try it.  I stopped at Starbucks and for the first time in 46 years tried an unsweetened Whole30 compliant green tea.  I think I feel my metabolism revving already :).

Green Tea
Green Tea

For Dinner, I had Melissa’s Chicken Hash from TrueFare with cucumbers and a few macadamia nuts. I love how convenient and tasty the TrueFare meals are!

True Fare Whole30 Approved Dinner
TrueFare Whole30 Approved Dinner

I squeezed an hour of walking in today and look forward to checking the day 15 round two box off my Whole30 calendar.  I officially have 15 days to go until round 2 is complete.

Check out some more of my Whole30 Pantry Essentials!



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Could Alcohol Have Been Sabatoging My Weight Loss?

On Day 7 of my second Whole30 round, our friends invited us out for an afternoon of Wisconsin sports game watching.  This doesn’t happen very often when you live in South Carolina, so we quickly accepted the invitation.  Embedded in my friend’s text was a picture from the last time she was at the suggested bar.

Diet Temptation
Diet Temptation

You may know that I am a type-A Superfreak, self-declared diet expert and world-class daydreamer but what you may not know is that I am also a bloody mary enthusiast. I order them everywhere I travel and post pictures of them to Facebook with my personal review.  It’s become a joke amongst my friends and it’s not uncommon for people to ask me how my last bloody was when they see me.

Weight Loss Confession….

I have to confess, that bloody mary really tempted me!  I started to justify my drinking it.  After all, I’ve already completed my first round of the Whole30 and it is made out of tomatoes.  And since I’m reading Food Freedom now, I could just say it was my “worth it” item.  It would all make perfect sense right?

I remembered the way I felt when I wrote How Can I Resist You but this was different.  I wasn’t in pursuit of a party, I just love bloody marys and wanted to try it. I’ve never had one with crab as a garnishment before.

And food journals don’t lie…

I turned to my journal and MyFitnessPal and started reviewing the last few years of my weight loss journey. The facts were cut and dry.  Every time I drank, I gained between 2-3 pounds the next day, sometimes more!   Once I gained the 2-3 pounds, it took me 2-3 days to lose the weight.  You know that my metabolism runs on the very slow side because of How I Gained Over 100 Pounds and My Best Advice To You, so I only average a one-pound weight loss a week.

Could alcohol have been sabotaging my weight loss? 

Alcohol never seemed like a likely problem for me.  I don’t drink alone or in excess.  But looking at this information, I have to wonder, could alcohol have been sabotaging my weight loss efforts all this time?

With all this in mind, it was still a difficult decision for me.  I really wanted to try that bloody.  I ultimately decided not to drink.  The below motivational quote helps me to keep things in perspective and I hope it helps you too!

Weight Loss Motivation
Weight Loss Motivation






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