Whole30 – A Journal of the First Two (Really Hard) Weeks

You might be thinking “Whatttt…a food post on Domestic Imperfection?” Yeah, a food post. Actually, a post about a diet Adam and I are doing as our January New Years resolution called Whole30. You may have heard of it, it’s kinda the new “fad” diet…very similar to Paleo but even stricter. I know this is totally not the normal kind of post around here, so please feel free to skip it. I just like to write, and this is what I’m doing this month, so a daily journal just kind of emerged and I decided to post it. I’m sure I’m not the only one with a food related New Years resolution, and I bet some of you are even doing the Whole30. Anyway, hopefully you will enjoy reading it, or find it weird and entertaining in the least.

So what exactly IS the Whole30? Well, it’s an elimination diet that you do for a month. A cleanse really, to try to get cravings under control or figure out what your sensitivities are. Basically just a fun way to torture yourself for 30 days. Here are the rules –

  • No sugar, at all (even added ones like honey or stevia)
  • No alcohol (even for cooking)
  • No grains (including corn and quinoa)
  • No diary (even butter, use ghee instead)
  • No legumes (beans, peanuts, soy)
  • No carrgenenan, MSG, sulfites or ingredients you can’t pronounce
  • No recreating junk food with real ingredients (no coconut milk ice cream, no banana pancakes, etc.)

So what can you actually eat? Real food….meat, veggies, fruits, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils.

Your probably wondering why we would do this to ourselves. Well, it started in December when Adam said “I feel like crap and my pants don’t fit”, and I said “I’m exhausted all the time and just want to eat sweets all day”. Then he said “We should do some sort of diet because I’m not going to buy new pants”. Suddenly my ears perked up, because I am always trying to get us to eat healthier and he is always fighting me. So I said…”Like the Whole30 diet?.” and he said “Sure”.

GAME ON. I couldn’t believe he just agreed to that. I don’t think he has any idea what he’s in for.

We really don’t eat unhealthy overall, I home cook most meals and buy organic when I can. My kids mostly eat fruits and veggies for snacks, and they know better than to ask for a sweet unless they have had something good first. BUT, we are busy, I get lazy, and we are eating quick, not-so-great meals more and more. The kids and I really only drink water (sometimes I give the kids some super diluted juice and they think they’ve hit the jackpot, and I’ve started drinking coffee because I’m so tired), but Adam had a serious addiction to Dr. Pepper and sweet tea. We all share a weakness for pizza, macaroni and cheese, french fries and burgers, and sweets. I, in particular love sweets…I have a jar of chocolate chips that I keep in the panty and I have a habit of grabbing a handful each time the kids start making me crazy, which is a lot. Also, ice cream, pie, and pudding….Mmmmm.

So at the end of December, I started prepping for this Whole30 thing. I researched the Whole30 on their website, bought the book on Amazon, and made a meal plan for the first week.

Then I pulled all of our food out of the fridge and pantry and only put the stuff back in that we could eat, so basically we had no food. Y’all, EVERYTHING has sugar in it…and if it doesn’t have sugar, it has soy. So I head to Costco and buy a bunch of meat, veggies, eggs (10 dozen!) and the biggest tub of coconut oil for cooking that I have ever seen and spend $250, totally blowing Decembers food budget. When I get home Adam looks at my veggies and says “I’m not eating that, or that, or that….”. This is going to suck, I am convinced. I guess all we can do is start and find out.

Oh, and just so you know who everyone is (for any DI newbies) There is me, my husband Adam and our four sons, Elijah (6.5), Levi (5), Judah (1.5) and Abram (2 months).

So here we go with the journal –

Day 1 – Let’s do this. I head to the grocery store and get everything that Costco didn’t have and spend another $200. Great, I’m two days into January and have already spent $450 on food…good thing that Costco trip was in December’s budget. We decide to up our grocery budget from $500 to $750 because eating healthy food is expensive, and I’m hoping I can stay under that and not starve. Anyway, I get home and prep everything for diner, which is a simple chicken and roasted vegetables. Everyone eats it and no one complains. After dinner I clean up and start prep for tomorrow, which means lots of chopping veggies, making a big breakfast casserole to eat throughout the week, and making homemade mayo. HOMEMADE MAYO…just call me … some famous cook. I don’t know any because I hate cooking and watching cooking TV sounds just as bad. Also, the ingredients in mayo are kinda gross (it’s like 90% raw eggs and olive oil), but it turns out great. Go me.

Day 2 – I wake up starving and I dig right into the breakfast casserole (eggs, veggies, and chicken apple sausage) I made the night before and it’s not too bad. Levi and Judah eat it without complaint, and Adam and Elijah refuse, and eat normal eggs. Adam says he has a headache and all he can think about is Dr. Pepper. I make a chicken salad from the leftover chicken (and homemade mayo!) and we eat it for lunch on a salad, and it is delish. Even Adam agrees. I decide right them and there I’m going to make a huge batch and it will be my go to food for last-minute meals and snacks. Then my mom comes over and Adam and I  (plus the baby) head out to go run a few errands and cut the wood for our pantry. While we are out Adam talks about Dr. Pepper, dreading my dinner concoction, and Dr. Pepper. For Dinner I make zoodles (zucchini noodles) topped with shrimp in a mayo based sauce and veggies. Adam is in the kitchen helping me prepare and can’t believe I’m about to feed him zucchini covered in mayo for diner. Much to my surprise, when we sit down to eat this experiment it actually isn’t bad and everyone eats it all, even Adam and Elijah. I’m beginning to get weirded out…as is my mom, who is still there, and she snaps this quick picture to document the moment to show my dad.

Day 3 – Adam is grumpy. Before we even got out of bed in the morning he ask me to go get him an IBprofin because he has a pounding headache. Taking away sugar and caffeine at the same time has been rough on him. I eat hardboiled eggs filled with guacamole for breakfast, but I really want a bowl of cereal. It’s really hard to stick to this diet with my kids around, they aren’t doing the Whole30 and their food is always lying around. At least one (if not all) of them usually doesn’t finish their meal, so lunch is usually me eating scraps off their plate. Today I threw the scraps away, which was hard because 1) a peanut better and jelly sandwich sounds absolutely amazing, and 2) I hate wasting food.

Day 4 – Today I was grumpy. I can’t even pinpoint why (no headache, feel fine) but I am moody as all get out. I snapped at Adam and the kids all day…but in my defense all I wanted to do is be on a deserted island by myself with a boatload of cookies and pudding. A dessert island….haha.

Day 5 – Still grumpy, but not quite as bad as yesterday. I had a dream last night about breakfast…I had waffles covered in syrup, cheese, chocolate chips and pickles in my dream breakfast and it was delicious. Actually, it’s starting to sound pretty good in real life as well. When Adam got home from work this morning and said he had an upset stomach all night, and the only thing he had that I didn’t pack him was an unsweetened tea from a gas station (totally allowed). Weird…maybe tea is what has been upsetting his stomach for years. That would pretty much be the end of my husband as we know it.

Day 6 – Today Adam was off and worked on the pantry all day, and I went to a baby shower and somehow resisted all the delicious looking snacks and desserts and just drank water. Dinner was bunless, cheesless turkey burgers that were good….for bunless cheeseless turkey burgers. Everyone eats them and no one complains, but Adam looks like he’s given up on enjoying food for the month.

Day 7 – I decide it’s time to try on my pants, the pre-baby ones that I haven’t been able to get over my thighs. I can currently only wear one pair of jeans and I am tired of them, and I only have a few shirts longs enough to wear leggings with, and wearing yoga pants out in public too often makes me feel like an old tired mom (which I am, but whatever). So here goes nothing. Adam is in the closet with me when I pull them off the rack and say that it’s time. I step in, and they stop at my hips. But then I do a special wiggle dance, shimmying and thrusting all over the closet….and I got them on. I even buttoned them and quickly declared “Baby, my pants fit!” He looked unimpressed and just said “girls are weird…that looks so uncomfortable.” Whatever…I’m in my jeans. I decide to wear them to church that day, and afterwards Adam says he is tired of homemade food and wants to eat out. According to google Chipotle is pretty much the only place we can go, so we go get meals that are pretty much just carnitas and lettuce. Aren’t diets fun? Afterwards we decide to head to Costco because we are out of meat (and Adam is on the hunt for Whole30 compliant sugar-free bacon, which is nearly impossible to find) and spend another $140.

Week one recap – I have learned that Adam and I have completely different cravings on this diet. We both agree that the food has been really good and satisfying (I think we are both surprised by that), but he constantly craves something sweet to drink (Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, even milk or juice) and I couldn’t care less about drinks and just want a freaking cookie. Although we do both miss snacking before bed, and eating soup on a cold day just isn’t the same with out a warm loaf of homemade bread with butter.  I have been completely surprised by the kids, who have eaten every single dinner. They aren’t doing the Whole30 with us, but I’m also not cooking them a separate dinner so they are offered what we eat and that is all. But even my pickiest eater (Elijah) has eaten all of them (even a bowl full of zucchini noodles) and hasn’t complained. I think that has been my biggest surprise so far. Overall Adam and I both feel good, but it’s been a week of ups and downs. I’ve spent a ton of time in the kitchen this week too, which means I’ve slacked more than normal in other areas.

Recipes I cooked this week –


Week 2

Day 8 – I spent all last night meal planning, and I head out to HEB in the morning for all the veggies and stuff I need for the week. I spend $96 and wonder if we are going to be able to keep this up all month…forget will power, our budget may be the end of the Whole30. Dinner is cooked cabbage, potatoes, sausage and carrots, because it sounded like a cheap meal, and  Adam’s coworker described it as “peasant food” when he took it to work.

Day 9 – My plan all along has been to cook my big meals at dinner and send Adam with the leftovers, but we seem to be finishing all the food at dinner, even if I cook a ton. So when it comes time to pack his stuff I’m at a loss… It’s not like I can just make him a sandwich or something. I need to start either cooking bigger meals or cut everyone off at dinner. Today Adam and I are both bloated and fell not so amazing, which is weird since neither of us has felt bloated at all since we started. Must be all that cooked cabbage making us fat.

Day 10 – Man I am tired of eating eggs for breakfast. I’ve got to get more creative with breakfast. All the traditional breakfast foods are no-no’s on the Whole30, which pretty much leaves us eating eggs with chicken sausage, diced peppers and salsa for breakfast everyday. It’s actually delicious, but it gets old. I know we could just eat ANY food for breakfast, but eating a salad or dinner leftovers right when I get up doesn’t sound great either.

Day 11 – Adam says “I just want you to know that if you want to quit I support you 100%”. That boy is a wolf in sheeps clothing.  I tell him I’m going to keep going but he is free to do whatever, and he says “If you’re a bird I’m a bird.”

Day 12 – Adam looks miserable and completely bored with food, so we decide to modify his diet…it’s that or I can sense he’s going to quit. We decide to keep everything the same but add grains/bread back in (just for him when he is away from home). I’m a little disappointed because I want him to get to the “I feel freaking amazing” part that everyone raves about, but I’m also a little relieved that it will be easier to pack him meals when he goes to work (he works 12+ hour shifts, so I have to pack him more than one meal).

Day 13 – The kids and I had a movie night complete with pizza and ice cream and not eating pizza was the hardest thing ever…until I broke out the ice cream for the boys. I don’t think there is anything I have wanted more than that ice cream. I had cucumbers dipped in guacamole instead. Mmmm…it’s like the same, only not.

Day 14 – This weekend was hard. It was cold and rainy and we were all stuck inside, Adam worked all weekend, and the kids were so crazy whiney that I almost went insane. Usually I would dive head first into a tub of ice cream on a hard day after they go to bed, but I didn’t cheat at all. If I can make it through this weekend without cheating then I’m good to go for the next two weeks. I’m hoping that “tigers blood” awesome feeling is coming soon, because that is what I’m really after with this whole thing.

Week 2 recap – Another week of ups and downs, but I can sense it starting to get easier. I’m figuring out cooking a bit more and much to my surprise I’m actually kind of enjoying it. I like try out new foods and healthy meals, but usually when I make one my family grimaces and says “Why didn’t you just make spaghetti?” But now spaghetti and our usual easy meals are off-limits, and we are eating new stuff and liking most of it…I find it refreshing and kinda fun. I also found some compliant sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauces, and marinades from Tessamae’s) that we can have and that has helped a ton. Also, Adam eating grains while he is away from home has taken a huge load off my shoulders and still hasn’t complained about digestion problems, which is great (I think it’s dairy and sweet drinks that make him feel crappy, we will see for sure when we add them back in.) We have both felt bloated all week, but according to the book that is normal and is just our digestive system getting used to eating real, nutrient dense foods and zero sugar. It is totally against program rules to weigh yourself (because it’s not about weight, it’s about health) but we did anyway, and Adam is down nine pounds and I am down four. Also, the meals have been really satisfying too so we are never hungry. I’m still craving sweets like crazy, but I’m kinda excited to see what happens over the next two weeks.

Recipes from this week –



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  1. You are a hero for doing Whole30 with a 2 month old. I did it a couple years ago and still don’t eat grains at all (except very special treats) because i discovered they make me feel like crap (never realized it!) and also that if i just don’t eat grains, i can eat ALMOST anything else i want and my weight won’t get out of hand. Keep it up! It’s worth it and it totally does get easier!

    • Thanks girl, and I’m super encouraged to hear that you found out grains make you feel terrible. I’m very interested to get to the reintroduction part and see how we feel. I don’t ever really feel bad after eating, but I certainly don’t feel as good as I do now, three weeks into Whole30. Time will tell!
      Ashley recently posted..Baby #4 is here, and it’s a…My Profile

  2. charlotte says:

    Very interesting post ! Hopefully things will get easier. I quit refined sugar a couple months ago and I never (thus far) regretted it.
    Looking forward to your next post !

  3. Well done!! Looking forward to how it carries on.

    Thanks for all the recipe links, I was getting bored of my usual rota of recipe so this should make my meals more interesting, and healthy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Go you guys! Stilettosanddiapers blog has a lot of good whole30 ideas as well as emilyeatsrealfood (Instagram).

  5. I love this post. (I love all your posts) But this one gives me hope with my quest for a healthier diet & lifestyle. I eat very healthy but like you fall off the wagon periodically (darn nachos). I’m going to try that breakfast casserole & the chicken salad. Thanks for including the recipes. Good luck on your journey to better health.

  6. Pastor Suzanne says:

    I love that you are so open about your struggle to become healthy. You are blessed to have a husband AND children who work with you in this. You are also blessed to afford it. I pray your next two weeks will be easier and that WOW feeling good feeling comes to you both. Thank you for being willing to share the difficulties and the joys of doing such a diet. I’ll have to pray about it, too.

  7. Good job with the whole30. I’ve been wanting to try it for my husband and I when I feel ready to commit. Several years ago I went raw for a few months and felt amazing. I figure nothing can be harder than that. But it’s still hard to make the commitment to give up the dairy and sugar!

    I also have a large family that will eat everything I put on the table. 3lbs of potatoes, 5 Lbs or more -doesn’t matter. It will be gone. (Like I said, big family. Teen boys). I always make a plate for a next day lunch or for anyone that “misses” dinner for sports, etc. BEFORE dinner. No one misses it that way and you don’t have to panic when someone grabs the last peice of chicken when your back is turned!

  8. Oh the struggle! Loved this post.

  9. Thank you for this post!! My husband and I did Whole 30 months ago, we both lost about 25 pounds and never felt better! You are inspiring me to get back on the bandwagon! Please keep posting the recipes you make as knowing what to fix is the biggest struggle for me. Keep up the good work.

  10. Thank you for this! I have PCOS and have been trying to motivate myself for a while to do a Whole 30! I have been very intimated because I also have a three year old. I ordered It Starts with Food last week, so your post gives me lots of hope about the cooking and meal planning. I am grateful for your recipes, and look forward to more recaps!

  11. So, I have to tell you how happy it made me to hear that I’m not the only mom who grabs a handful of chocolate chips when the kids are out of hand….and I only have 2 kids! ha!

  12. A. Monterey Blair says:

    Sounds absolutely awful but also useful. I could probably benefit from doing something like this.

  13. Emily De Groot says:

    I thought I was the only one who has a jar of chocolate chips to be used when kids drive mothers into the crazy zone. Thanks a lot for the recipes, I will be using them as future references.

  14. Jan Elizabeth says:

    Haha, the jar of chocolate chips. I TOTALLY have one of those!
    This is so great to read. Sharon and I have been planning to do the Whole 30, but the cost has actually been what has stopped us so far. Still, it’s great to read your always-honest appraisal. I had WAY too much sugar over Christmas, so definitely need some re-calibrating. Last April I gave up refined sugar for about six months, and I really did feel better.
    I can just imagine you shimmying and thrusting all over the closet – too funny!! I was a teen in the 80’s, so that was a daily occurrence. I have used a hanger, pliers or have put my jeans on while in the shower then let them dry on!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sending you some recipes that we really like (honestly like!). They’re fantastic & paleo friendly I think. I make the soup often and found out if we blend them for the toddler grandchild it tastes even better, although not a wonderful color. Serve it in a plastic cup & lid with a straw to cut down the complaints about the color. I use broth in place of water for extra protein & sometimes I add leftover chicken. Here are the links:


  16. Michelle Walton says:

    My husband and I started the Whole 30 on January 1st. The first week was rough all the detox. I had to completely cut out coffee because a good cup was filled with sugar and creamer. I hated the taste of black coffee. The way to make this work is to plan ahead and prep! I do all of my meat cooking on Sunday before the week and just cook up the veggies each night. Saves so much time and helps me avoid falling into a bad habit of ordering take out. Only four more days for me and I know we will not stop. We are going to continue with the Whole 30 every day but have date night meals twice a month that will be whatever we want.

  17. It’s is SO FREAKING HARD to give up Dr. Pepper. I know. I LOVE the stuff. I have given it up so many times but I ALWAYS go back. That monkey just never truly goes away. Except, THIS time, I hope it has. I started the Low Carb High Fat WOE (way of eating) on Monday. I had so much Dr. Pepper on Sunday that by that night I felt like I was literally going to die without it because I know every time I give it up, I feel so sick for weeks. This time though, NADA! I haven’t even wanted it at all! I can’t even believe it!! I am positive it’s because I gave up most carbs and sugar, including fruits because sugar, at the same time as the Dr. Pepper. Carbs get turned into glucose in the body and that causes the cravings for sweets. And fruits have lots of sugar too, which causes cravings for more sugar. I actually haven’t had any cravings for anything except wings from Pluckers. But those are low carb compliant! I’m on Day 5 and going strong! And if this works for me I believe I can stay on this WOE forever. With the occasional trip to Chuy’s of course. You can’t live in Texas and not eat tortillas and chips & salsa/queso at least once in a while! I’m pretty sure it’s a law or something.

    Y’all are probably done with your Whole30 by now. Congratulations and I hope you found what you were looking for! :)

  18. I feel like I need to know the end result on this. Did you stick with it? Any big revelations in your final two weeks? What has your diet been like since the first 30?

Thank you for your comments!

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