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! 


My Whole30 Experience (Day 5)!

I wake up naturally and feel great at 6:00 AM.  Could this mean the Whole30 hangover stage is officially over?  Oh God, I hope so.  My Whole30 experience (day 5) is off to a great start!

As I walk into the bathroom I think about all of the years when my adrenal fatigue was at its worst and I couldn’t peel myself out of bed in the morning.  Within days of cutting sugar from my diet when I was on the high protein low carb diet, I started waking up at or before 7:00 AM naturally. I know I blogged about it in  The Pursuit of Ketosis – Day 4, but I don’t think I realized how life-changing it was at that time.  It’s amazing to think of what food can do to our mood and health, isn’t it?

I have to confess, I thought about getting on the scale a few times while I was in the bathroom. The words no one needs to know even bubbled up in my head. I decided since I have told you the truth every step of the way so far, I couldn’t start lying to you now, so I walked away from the almighty scale.

Whole30 Experience Day 5
Whole30 Experience Day 5

Time to reflect on my Whole30 practice with the Whole30 Day By Day

As I sit down at my computer,  with a cup of bone broth I crack open the Whole30 Day By Day.  It seems as though day five can be a “mixed bag” and some might be feeling better while others feel worse. Thankfully I am optimistic I am feeling better.

Last night I read a few more pages of  It Starts With Food and went to sleep a little disappointed in my type-A Superfreak self because I realized I had not been eating enough vegetables and healthy fat.  To make matters worse, this morning, I woke to a woman’s comment on a meal I posted on a Whole30 Facebook page calling me out in front of 100’s of people for not eating enough vegetables.  Ironically, in the Whole30 Day By Day for day five Melissa wrote that we shouldn’t try to do the “perfect Whole30” because it doesn’t exist and the Whole30 is just a step towards a lifetime of practicing healthy eating.

My favorite Whole30 breakfast isn’t exactly a breakfast

Around 9:30 I had my favorite non- breakfast food for meal 1.  After I ate it, I thought I should probably have a healthy fat with it, but I was too full to eat another thing! Oh well, I’m practicing the Whole30 and will get there!

Whole30 -Chicken Pot Pie Sou
Whole30- Chicken Pot Pie Soup


The Whole30 is a practice, just like yoga

As I stood at my yoga mat ready for my yoga “practice”, the phrase “practicing the Whole30” bubbled up in my head.  I remember a time in my yoga practice when I ……

Whole30 Practice - Yoga Practice
Whole30 Practice- Yoga Practice

Left the room in the middle of class to go to the bathroom when I didn’t need to so I could have a break Now, the class goes by so quickly I’m surprised when it is over.

Couldn’t make it through a class without taking child’s pose multiple times Now, I make it through almost every class without taking a single child’s pose.

Grimaced every time the teacher said jump to the front of your mat because I couldn’t even imagine how that was possible Now I jump!

Didn’t have the strength to do any other form of exercise the day of or the day after I took a yoga class Now I walk for thirty minutes to an hour after class and occasionally lift weights too.

Thinking about this and the process I went through in yoga helps me to gain perspective and I feel much better about my Whole30 practice.

Whole 30 Practice
Whole30 Practice

And sometimes the Whole30 practice requires a good compliant Whole30 snack

I don’t have time for lunch after yoga and I’m really not hungry yet but I’m going into a meeting with My Son, Drew’s therapists and counselors and I don’t want to go brain dead in the middle of the meeting, so I eat a quick RX Bar and I have to say it was pretty yummy!

Whole30 Compliant Snack

Lunch time

I had a late lunch around 2:30 and enjoyed a salad with a mix of spring mix and spinach, steak, red onion, avocado, olives, and strawberries topped with Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing.

Whole30 Lunch
Whole30 Lunch

and a few grapes…in a wine glass.  Just because :).

Whole30 Lunch
Whole30 Lunch

And lunch and dinner were rescheduled by this thing called life

And the rest of my day was crazy with kids’ activities, so I ended up having a “snack” of Performance Nut Butter at 7:00 PM so that I could hold off to dinner at 8:30 – ugh.  I’m “practicing the Whole30” – right?

Whole30 Day 5 Dinner
Whole 30 Day 5 Dinner

Tony made Chicken Tortilla-less Soup for dinner and it was good, not as great as the Chicken Pot Pie soup I’ve been eating for days, but good.  You can find both recipes on Pinterest.

Time to reflect on my Whole30 practice with my Whole30 Day By Day journal

And I am proud to say I made it to 9:00 before checking my box in my Whole30 Day By Day journal and calling it a night.

Whole30 Experience (Day 5) Reflections
Whole30 Experience (Day 5) Reflections

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