Getting Saucy at The New Primal

One of the best parts of my recent trip to Charleston was the chance to hang out – and eat lunch – at the headquarters of Whole30 Approved superstar partner The New Primal.

As you may already know (because I screamed it from the rooftops last year!), I was one of The New Primal’s 2018 Whole30 Coaching Scholarship winners. Becoming a Whole30 Certified Coach and being able to officially share my passion for Whole30 with the world is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me!

Beyond loving them for the scholarship, The New Primal makes INCREDIBLE Whole30 Approved items, ranging from sauces to marinades to beef thins to salad dressings. Their products are true game changers in helping to get fast and delicious Whole30 meals on the table. (As a reminder, we have a generous group discount of 25 percent off online orders with the code “WHOLE30FACEBOOK” at checkout.

So, when I booked my trip to Charleston, I immediately got in touch with my friends at The New Primal. They invited me to join them for their monthly lunch series, which is part of their effort to have people “return to the table” and connect over healthy food and good conversation. I eagerly accepted!

Lunch was awesome…starting with the company! I got to see Jason, Melissa, and David from The New Primal, who I had met at the Whole30 Coach Summit in Utah last August. And I met Meredith and Carson, other members of TNP team along with Valerie Skinner from Whole30 Approved Personal Chef Service Thyme & Joy who I’ve been following on Instagram for a while! Val cooks the monthly meal for The New Primal team lunch – More on the food below!

Each month, The New Primal invites other local friends and community members so there were also a few more new faces at lunch for me to meet.

Now, onto the food! Val prepared a Caribbean Themed Lunch, featuring The New Primal products. On the menu: Jerk Chicken Breast, Island Tahini Sriracha Coleslaw, Caribbean Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Plantain Chips (hello, Food Freedom!) and Island Punch. There was also LaCroix galore, of course. Everything was DELICIOUS!

During lunch, I had the chance to ask Jason questions about the behind-the-scenes of running a business (it takes a lot of hard work and way more money than I imagined!) and get a little scoop on some new soon-to-be-released products. Are you sitting down? Later this year, The New Primal will release seasoning mixes, coconut aminos, and wasabi coconut aminos!

Once you catch your breath, I have more good news. Also in the works: Whole30 Approved meat sticks (they are reformatting their current recipe by removing the honey) and Whole30 compliant ketchup!

So, now you’ll basically be able to build your entire meal – from spices to finishing sauce — using The New Primal products. I don’t know about you, but I am doing a serious happy dance!

Before I left, Melissa loaded me with some sauces (including my two favorites – Medium Buffalo and Classic BBQ, beef thins, and super cool TNPswag. She also gave me some of their Snack Mates for my daughter. (Note: These are not Whole30 compliant due to honey but a great Paleo choice.)

And of course, we had to snap a group shot and a Boomerang video. Because if it’s not on Instagram then it didn’t really happen!

All in all, it was a lovely lunch and a great time connecting with one of my favorite Whole30 brands. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it on repeat: The New Primal team members are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Their products and customer service are top-notch, and they believe in Whole30 and this lifestyle wholeheartedly. And they believed in me as a coach – and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Have you tried The New Primal products? Which ones are your favorite?

Jeff – 47 – Port Huron, MI

This is my dream–I come home and tell my husband about Whole30 and he starts with me the next day. Jeff IS the example to use when telling your other half about Whole30! Will I be casually showing this post on my phone to my husband in hopes that it’ll pique his interest. Yes…minus the bit I’ve just written here! –Jenny

How many times have you done Whole 30?
I have completed Whole30 once and I am currently on Day 10 of my second round.

When was your first round?
I began round one April 2nd, 2018.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to do it?
I heard about Whole30 from my wife, Julie. On Easter, my niece brought up the fact that she just completed a successful round and my wife was hooked. Julie came home from Easter Dinner to tell me about it and we started the next day.

I was quite skeptical at first when she mentioned everything we needed to eliminate. But, after reading the book, which I highly recommend, it all made sense.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?
I have a couple NSVs – I have been on allergy medication to control my asthma and allergies most of my life. Astonishingly, I no longer need to take them. I also was having issues with my gallbladder and those symptoms have disappeared. I certainly have more focus and energy, too.

As far as a scale victory, I know it’s not about weight loss, but I have lost 30 pounds and really didn’t notice a big difference until I looked at some before and after photos on my phone.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?
Certainly my wife was one of the major reasons for my success. She prepared most of the meals for me and was extremely supportive.

Another big reason for my success was just thinking about how I felt prior to Whole30 compared to how I felt while on Whole30 that kept me motivated.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

My go-to meal is Sweet Potato Hash containing compliant prepared meat, jalapeños, basil, power greens, coconut oil, and onions.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?
My life has changed by being more educated about the role of sugar. Prior to Whole30, I was unaware how prevalent sugar was hidden or unhidden in many foods. Almost everything I consumed prior to Whole30 contained sugar in one form or another. I’m also able to fit into some clothes that I haven’t worn in years.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

More changes that I have made is getting out and walking on a routine basis. Also, making sure that I continue to keep myself educated on what is healthy and what is not. I devour any online or printed material on Whole30 or transitioning off the Whole30 Program.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?
Preparation is key, read the book plan out your weeks. If you wait to the last minute and your starving you may end up reverting back to old habits.

I always go back to what Melissa Hartwig says in the books. “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard…” and “The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy.

Mylene – 33 – Quebec, Canada

This week, we’ve headed up North to beautiful Canada to feature Mylene. Having an eating disorder is no joke and she put in A LOT of work to change her mindset and her relationship with food. Her commitment is both admirable and inspiring. Mylene, thank you so much for sharing your story.

–Jenny


How many times have you done Whole30? When was your first round?

I’ve only done the Whole30 once. I started on April 16th, 2018 and followed strictly the program for 40 days. After that, in social settings, I allowed myself to eat non-compliant, but I continue to follow the program and eat only compliant food 98% of the time. My husband joined me in the program but didn’t complete the Whole30 days, but he continued to eat what I would cook and therefore would follow the program with occasional cheating with non-compliant food. We haven’t done a proper, scheduled reintroduction yet as we want to continue to eat mostly Whole30 and I personally eat non-compliant only on special occasions or when I feel something is really worth it. Therefore, there is some types of food I haven’t eat since April 16th.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to do it?

The first time I’ve heard of Whole30 was in 2017 through a good friend who introduced me to CrossFit. At first I was reticent about the program as I suffered from eating disorders for most of my life and was keeping away from anything that looked like a diet. In the past 10 years every time I would get to a point where I couldn’t stand my weight anymore and would start to control my food and eliminate types of food, I would end up at the hospital in a special program for eating disorders. And every time that would happen, I would end up gaining even more weight than before I started restricting.

Following another treatment for eating disorders, in 2015, I and my husband got married. It was a lot of adaptation for the both of us and our health wasn’t that great which led us both to adopt unhealthy eating habits which included a lot of takeout and we gained a lot of weight. With the added weight came some more health issues, including low self-esteem, low energy, more inflammation, more heartburns, etc…

Therefore, when I started CrossFit in 2017, I was the heaviest I had ever been, which was making it difficult for me to do as much as I would have wanted while training. However, the friend with whom I was training with was eating Paleo and we would often have discussion regarding nutrition which was motivating me to be more balanced and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Being highly overweight for me and my husband, it was impacting a lot our life quality and we were both suffering from a lot of inflammation, me with my asthma and knee pain as I got to do more CrossFit, and my husband with his injury to his sciatic. Furthermore, being so in love with CrossFit, I was getting frustrated to be limited in my movements due to my weight and my inflammation and even more frustrated that despite all my efforts, I wasn’t losing any weight, nor improving my health that much.

At the beginning of 2018, we moved for work to a very remote location where we don’t have access to restaurant, fast food, take out, etc… I wanted a change for us, I wanted my husband to stop suffering so much from his inflammation, and I wanted us to be in better health. At one point, on Facebook, I saw a friend’s post mentioning she was doing a round of Whole30, that’s when I remembered that my CrossFit friend had told me about that program and I became more curious about it.

I started to make a lot of research about Whole30 and bought the Whole30 book that I read cover to cover. As I read about it, I loved the principles behind the program, I felt it was healthy, balanced, and made a lot of sense. I felt like I had found our solution to improve our lives and health and it was decided that we were going to do the program.

At that point in my life, I felt more in control of my eating and felt like I was ready to try the program without fearing too much that it would lead me to relapse into my eating disorder. Furthermore, being in such a remote area, months at a time, where a lot of temptations are non-existent, I figured it was the best setting to try the program. So for weeks, months, I planned the beginning of our first round and we had decided to start it on April 3rd, however circumstances out of our control made us postpone to April 16th, where we started for real!

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

There is so much to say about the results! One of the most obvious result is the weight loss. For me, according to the last time I weighted myself, I lost 36 lbs in about 2 months. As for my husband who didn’t weight himself recently, he had lost 25 lbs. Yesterday, he showed me that he can now buckle his belt 5 wholes smaller. I can now wear clothes that couldn’t fit me for years.

In my line of work I need to travel by plane almost every week. At first, I needed an extension to buckle the seatbelt, but about a month after the beginning of the Whole30, I could now buckle without the extension and this week I noticed, that not only can I buckle without an extension, but also I need to tie it up even more!

In terms of non-scale victories, both my husband and I have less downs of energy in the afternoon and I feel like I have more energy in general. I now sleep very easily and soundly. In addition, I no longer have constant difficulty with my asthma and my husband has less pain to his sciatica. We no longer have any heart burns and almost no gas.

I used to be very much into sugar, but I no longer have cravings for fast-food or sugar. The only cravings I experience now is of a great meal with protein and veggies. I feel more confident in the kitchen, taking a lot of pride out of doing everything from scratch, like mayo that I had never done before. I also learned to cook more with spices to my husband’s great joy.

My skin is clearer, breaking out very slightly only when getting my periods. We both feel more comfortable in our skins. I started to pamper myself more and look forward to shopping for clothes, whereas before I would avoid shopping at any cost. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to go to one class of CrossFit lately and despite not having gone for several months, I improved of 150% in at least one movement (wall climb).

And, probably, one of my dearest NSVs is that I can now wear my wedding ring again. I couldn’t wear it before, not because it wouldn’t fit, but because the metal would burn my skin, probably due to acidity, but it no longer does that.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

Planning. For the first 6-7 weeks, I planned everything. Every week, I would make a meal plan and it helped me a lot. Also, having my husband do the program with me helped me a lot as I wasn’t alone in this journey. I think that just realizing all the benefits that came with the program made it so much easier to continue. And, of course, the setting of where we live made it easier for us as the temptations are almost non-existent.

Reading the Whole30 book was a big help for me. I knew what to expect, but also I understood the ideology behind the program. The main concept I keep reminding myself of is the fact that it’s not because something is in front of us that we have to eat it, but rather, we have to ask ourselves if it’s really worth it when the food is non-compliant. Asking myself that question has helped me find balance and food freedom, something I had never achieved so far.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

Both my husband and I have found some very good recipes, some that are very quick and easy and others that take a bit more preparation, but are so good. One of the easiest and delicious one is now our Friday night tradition: Shrimps cooked in ghee and garlic on top of zoodles! So simple, but so good.

Another of our favorite one for weekday lunches is a salad nicoise. A bed of lettuce topped with half of a can of tuna mixed with mayo and a hard-boiled egg, surrounded by other veggies (often sweet pepper and cucumber), olives, and artichoke heart. Sometimes, I add some pieces of almond and we eat this with a homemade vinaigrette.

Another recipe I do often that is so quick is a piece of salmon on a cookie sheet topped with olive oil and garlic and surrounded by asparagus. It all goes in the oven and cook together.

Other favorites are all the recipes of bowls, especially the Mexican ones, like burrito bowl or spicy chicken on cauliflower rice, and another favorite is the walnut crunch pork tenderloin.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?
I would say I now spend my life cooking and doing the dishes! LOL. But more seriously, I feel it improved so much aspects of our lives. I listed a lot of the benefits when I talked about the scale and non-scale victories, but I believe on top of that, it completely changed my relationship with food. I now truly choose what I put inside my body. It’s not all guided by my emotions or by my mind, it’s a balance of both.

I’m also more aware of what is contained in food as I constantly look at the ingredient when I want to buy something new. Furthermore, I don’t dread going grocery shopping as I did before, because now going grocery shopping is synonym of putting together some great meals with amazing ingredients. I am no longer afraid of healthy fats. Most of my anxiety and guiltiness regarding food as disappeared because I know I truly make good choices now, even when I eat non-compliant.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes at the same time?
At this moment, I cannot think of any other changes. Being in a remote location and working a lot, I no longer train like I used to when I was doing CrossFit, however, as we don’t really have any means of transportation, I do walk more, especially when it’s time to do the grocery. Therefore, the main change in our lifestyle is keeping up with the Whole 30 even if we are not officially on a round.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?
Be honest with yourself. Changing our habits is difficult and it’s a process. Don’t rush the process, when you are ready it works and it sticks. Be compassionate toward yourself and find the help and support you need. No matter the outcome, make sure you take the time to be proud of yourself. Remember the program is not just about compliant or non-compliant ingredients, it’s about your relationship with food and beyond! Don’t ever give up on taking care of yourself, only you can do that for yourself.

Trevellya – 47 – Dallas, TX

Here we go again! It’s Sunday and time for another success story. This week we’re in Texas with Mrs. T! She had a rough time getting that second round going so if you’re in that boat, read on because she made it. She’s had great results and with her great outlook on life, she’s sure to keep rocking Whole30.

How many times have you done Whole30?
Twice.

When was your first round?
March 2017

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?
A friend told me about it and all the benefits of the program. I really needed something that was “not a diet”. I wanted something that was not temporary and then I go back to eating junk. Whole30 was exactly what I needed. Especially after reading the book, it gave me the foundation I needed, answered all my questions and I was ready to go.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?
The first round, I lost 11 pounds. I felt like a butterfly – of course I know that I am not………… lol!

I feel amazingly light and my thoughts are clearer. My energy level increased, which helped me exercise and then that helped me sleep better. It’s like all the dots started connecting.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?
The first time I was focused and ate the food whether it tasted good or not. When I tried to do it the second time I kept trying over and over (took at least another year). Then one day I saw a tip someone posted in the Whole30 Facebook group they said “make food that’s good, make a meal that you look forward to enjoying”. That helped me get started on my second Whole30 and the reason I have passed the 30 day mark and decided to keep going. I also learned how to make my own condiments, which made the food taste even better.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?
Hmmmm, so many…Buffalo chicken meatballs (using my homemade Whole30 mayo), carrots with dump ranch, garlic roasted broccoli, (literally I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and its so easy to make). Roasted yellow, red, and orange bell peppers.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?
I have enjoyed it so much that I have shared it with others and they have given it a try. I love the food on the program that even when I am not on it, I make the food anyway because it tastes good and I know its good for me. At work, when people see me eating cauliflower for breakfast they will ask “Oh, you are on the Whole30 again”? I reply “Nope, it’s a habit now and I enjoy it”.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

I decided to try something new at the gym. Normally, I walk on the treadmill and do a few weights. I got the courage to try a Zumba class…….. it hurt for a little bit….as a matter of fact, I couldn’t stay the whole hour for a few weeks. BUT, I enjoyed it so much that I kept going back until I could do two classes in one day and not be tired. It became fun, and then more weight came off – BONUS!

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?
Keep trying, you will succeed, no matter how many times you fail. Try the dump ranch, you will not be disappointed. Do something fun for exercise and it won’t even feel like work. I started dancing at home watching you-tube videos on different types of line dancing. I even taught a few classes at work.

Jay – 41 – Virginia Beach, VA

I love Jay’s grit and commitment to putting himself on a healthier path. It’s easy to look at the results on the outside and see what he’s accomplished but don’t discount the changes on the inside. We’re so pleased to bring you Jay’s success story! Enjoy and pass it along to those in your lives that may be inspired.


How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?

My first round was in March 2016. I stayed strict with Whole30 for 8 months.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?

I had been complaining of symptoms to a co-worker for a few months, like weight gain, fatigue, digestive issues, and cognitive decline. He explained to me that I ate terribly which was a shock because i thought I generally ate well. He told me about Whole30 and attempted to explain the science but I wasn’t having any of that. I told him just to tell me what to eat and I would follow it.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

Within the first five days the internal “bloating” was diminished significantly. After the first 30-days i felt so much better, my clothes fit better, I had more energy, and I had a much more positive attitude about eating.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

FOOD PREP!!!! Simplicity and efficiency were my keys to being successful, especially since I did it for so long. I ate the same thing everyday in the same amounts. This made shopping and food prep easy. I wasn’t sold yet on making meals for the whole week yet so i needed to make my meal fresh each time. Having my mobile “kitchen” with me saved me from straying more than a few times. I will also credit having found really good Olive Oil. The Olive oil was expensive but it made the food taste so much better.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

My power breakfast remains my favorite, after 2.5 years I still eat it the same way. 6-Eggs (3 yolks), 1-cup Spinach, 1/4-white onion, 1/4- Colored Pepper, 1/2-Avocado, 1- Jalapeño, 1- Tsp Olive Oil, 1- Sweet Potato.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

It has changed in so many ways that it’s hard to articulate. Aside from the weight loss (40lbs total in 150 days), my attitude towards food has become positive, I no longer “binge” and “regret” eating.

I am back to being physically fit, I am able to now do both Crossfit 5 -days a week and still complete a heavy weighting program 4 -days a week without any joint pain or inflammation. All of my labs and vitals are back in line, my cholesterol and BP were so far out of range my doctor was about to put me on meds!

Most significant for me is the repair of my gut, my digestive system was a hot mess. I was having to use the bathroom 10-12 times per day. It’s was annoying and embarrassing! This part of the journey took the longest, almost 8 months, but it was by far the greatest achievement of my Whole30 experience.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

As mentioned above I am back to working out at a level I was at in my early 20’s. I did do it slowly, I didn’t work out during the first 30 days due both to work schedule and trying to stick to the plan. At around day 60 I started lifting weights again 3 -days per week. At the 120- day mark I started incorporating running 1-day per week.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

Food prep!!! Or rather ingredient prep. You must have the tools with you in order to be successful. Buy a cooler or something that you can keep all the days food inside and have all of your utensils with you. I find cutting food with scissors is the easiest way to prep food.

Lastly, don’t get discouraged if you do not see progress right away. You will feel it, it may be slight but you will, just hold on to that and keep going forward. If you look at my progress pics, the major visual changes didn’t come until 90 days out and further, trust the process and trust the food!

Terri – 53 – Wethersfield, CT

Meet Terri! I swear that she told me that she was 53. Really! She put a lot of hard work into her rounds and, with exercise, is feeling amazing. We’re thrilled that she’s shared her story and, as a treat, I’ve saved the ‘wow’ picture for last. Drop her a comment at the bottom and show her some love.

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round? How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?

I have done 4 rounds, the first one being 60 days, starting in January 2017 as part of a weight loss/fat loss challenge at our boot camp gym. We figured if we were going the challenge, we would jump in with both feet.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

I lost 15 pounds the first round, which I have maintained with minimal effort since then. My most important NSV is that two herniated discs I have had since my 20’s, one in my lumbar spine and one in my thoracic spine, have not bothered me at all. I get out of bed without any stiffness or pain, and I can sleep on my back for the first time in almost 30 years. My other NSVs include feeling better, sleeping better, and though I did not really have GI issues, my whole body seems to function better, if that makes any sense.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

What helped me to succeed was having the original book, and I do believe we were in the right frame of mind to be able to do this the first time around. It also helps that I love to cook and was already in the habit of meal planning. I did not discover the FB community until late last year.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

Two of my favorite Whole30 meals are the beef and sweet potato chili and Melissa’s chicken hash.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

Overall, I do feel that my family and I are eating much better – I thought I was eating healthy before, but I have learned SO much about the preservatives and other additives that are in so many foods that I used to buy/serve. We truly eat so much better and are so much more aware of where our food comes from now, and we eat Whole30 about 90% when NOT on a round.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

We were already working out and did not smoke; this only complemented our boot camp regiment.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

It’s only 30 days; you deserve it and you are worth it, and you have certainly done things much more difficult than this. You have nothing to lose by committing to 30 days.

P.S. As an add-on, we did our most recent round in January 2018 and mentored 13 family and friends! It has been wonderful to help them to succeed and learn!

Katie – 26 – Sioux Falls, SD

There’s no doubt that Katie kicked some major butt on her rounds. I mean, look at her! Yes, that IS the same person. The first thing you might think of is how much weight she’s lost. Look deeper though because she’s gained so much more. Don’t forgot to print out that NSV list and check your victories off–they add up quickly and shouldn’t be overlooked!

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?

  • 1 Whole100

  • 1 Whole120

  • 2 Whole30s

My first Whole30 was March, 2017 and I failed on Day 22 due to eating homemade Chex mix! The next day, I started my Whole100.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?

I made a fake Instagram account to hold myself accountable for my weight loss journeys. I followed someone on Whole30 and started to do research and order the books and started within 2 weeks of getting the books. I was 25, 5’7″, 276 lbs., and pre-diabetic. My dad had diabetes and died at age 47 with complications from the disease. I had also been struggling with PCOS for a couple of years!

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

Scale victories:

  • 70lbs lost so far

  • Down 3 shirt sizes

  • Down 4 pants sizes

  • Down 3 ring sizes

  • Down 1 shoe size

Non scale victories:

Physical:

  • Fewer blemishes

  • Glowing skin

  • Stronger nails

  • Brighter eyes

  • Whiter teeth

  • Flatter stomach

  • Clothes and rings fitting better

  • Less bloat

  • Less joint pain

  • Regrowth of hair

  • Defined muscle tone

  • Fewer PMS symptoms/reg. Cycles (Lessened PCOS symptoms!)

  • Less back pain

  • Improve blood sugar

  • NOT PRE DIABETIC

Mood:

  • Happier

  • Outgoing

  • Patient

  • Less stressed and anxious

  • Fewer mood swings

  • Better self-esteem

Brain function:

  • Attention span, work and school improved

  • Memory

  • Clear thinking

Sleep:

  • Sleep more

  • Fall asleep easier

  • Awaken refreshed

  • No sleeping pill

Energy:

  • Higher, all day energy,

  • No need to snack all day

Sport and exercise:

  • More athletic

  • Longer and harder exercise

  • More coordination, confidence

Food and Behavior:

  • Healthier relationship with food

  • Mindful eating

  • Eating to fuel

  • Not a slave to sugar and carbs

  • Know the different between hungry and bored

  • No bingeing

  • No indulging but savoring

  • Food is not a REWARD

  • Not using food as stress management

  • Fewer craving

  • Being there for my students and playing with them.

  • As a Physical Education teacher and coach, I’m practicing what I preach

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole30?

I needed to change because I was scared for my future.

  • My future self being large with diabetes and other health concerns.

  • For my future family-not being able to have kids or having complications.

  • For my students-being a role model and an example for them. Setting my goals and not stopping till I reach it!

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

I enjoy the pork from Costco that is precooked and compliant

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

Well, along with the NSVs and weight loss, I would say just knowing I can set a goal and CRUSH IT!

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

I just upped my walking game up trying to reach 25,000 steps a day and got a group of teacher to work out after school with me. We did it every day and use workout DVDs.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

What message? Get out of your own head and take can’t out of your vocabulary. If you fail, like me, on your first round, DON’T GIVE UP! Set a bigger goal that scares you and don’t stop till you reach it. And, it’s just food…

Amy – 29 – Sherwood, OR

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?

This was my first time doing Whole 30! I started April 30 to May 29, 2018.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?

I went to a new doctor for a annual checkup and he suggested the Whole 30 way of eating to help with my pre-diabetes. Honestly, I left his office thinking there was NO way I could stick to it, but then a few days later I just DID it!

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

I’ve had MORE non scale victories that scale, and I am “A-OK” with that. I have more energy during the day, my clothes are looser, I’ve had no IBS issues, and my mind is SO clear. I also don’t have sugar cravings or dream about eating unhealthy foods! I lost almost 12 pounds in 30 days.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

My mother, and my partner helped me a lot! They didn’t do the Whole 30 with me… but my mom helped me buy proteins and veggies… and my partner was my guinea pig with all the delicious meals I cooked! (Eggroll in a bowl)!

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

My favorite meals are the Eggroll in a Bowl and Sloppy Joes in a Bowl!! And of course, Dump Ranch.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

I feel physically better, and have a healthier relationship with food. Simply put, I think before I eat!

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

I tried to incorporate some physical activity like walking my dog or lifting light weights a few times a week.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

Keep it simple! Don’t overthink it, and just take it meal by meal. You CAN do this!

Breketa – 34 – Louisville, KY

Keep an eye on Breketa, she’s one to watch! She’s focused, determined, and going places. Her positive attitude and million watt smile are going to carry her far and we can’t wait to keep you updated. Check out her success story and her NSVs (yep, better sex is one!).

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?
I have done 2 rounds of Whole 30. After I did the first round in the beginning of 2017, I returned back to the horrible habits I had created for 34 years. The difference between my round in 2017 and my round in April 2018 was my MINDSET! The first time I was obsessed with the end result of the scale instead of enjoying the process of feeling good in my own body for once.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?
I went to see an acupuncturist, who is now an amazing friend, to work on holistic healing. In our consultation we started talking about weight loss and the Whole 30 program that she and her husband did. After that meeting, I immediately ordered the Whole 30 books and read every page, because I needed to understand WHY I was about to give up wine and sugar for a whole month! The information and the results people were seeing had sold me to give it a try and see what’s the worst that could happen.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?
I can’t give you any scale victories as I refuse to weight myself. My relationship with the scale is a dysfunctional one and you can’t sum up all of this awesomeness in a number. My NSV however have been phenomenal–sleeping better, pain in my feet gone, inflammation reduced, smaller panties size (AYYYYYYYYEEEEEE), more sex, more energy, and clearer skin. Did I mention more and better sex?

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?
I would definitely have to say support! The first thing I did was add myself to a Whole 30 group, because I wanted to make sure I saw Whole 30 every time I came on social media. The next thing I did was get me accountability partners who checked on me, encouraged me, and reminded me that the change I desired was in my hands. Surround yourself with people, places, and things that remind you where you are going!

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?
My favorite go to is a fire and Ice salsa with plantain chips. This is my go to for gatherings as I wanted to make sure there was something I can eat that wouldn’t throw me of my plan!

3 cups chopped and seeded watermelon

½ cup chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon green onion

2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper

Combine ingredients. Mix well. Cover. Refrigerate one or more.

Serving size: 2 tablespoons, Servings per recipe: 24

How has your life changed since Whole 30?
I have become more aware of my dysfunctional patterns (i.e. Emotional eating, self-sabotage, etc.). Now that I am able to identify the dysfunctions I am able to make the necessary changes.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?
Most definitely! I worked out 5 days a week, but the key was I found things that I love. Monday and Wednesday, I do water aerobics and the steam room at the YMCA. On Tuesday and Thursday, I take a dance class. Friday, I do a Kettlebell workout on YouTube. I make sure I do something that gets me moving daily.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?
Find your WHY and don’t let your why be a number on a scale! You are more than a number; you are more than a size you are a phenomenal being that deserves the life of your dreams…So work for it. Fall in love with the process and the results will follow…. YOU GOT THIS, IT’S NOTHING TO A GIANT!

Lindsay – 37 – Mount Laurel, NJ

Here’s your Sunday dose of success! Going from multiple health issues and tragedy striking to having things just take a wonderful turn for her, Lindsay’s story is pretty amazing. We’re so pleased that she shared her story with us.

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?

I’ve done Whole 30 twice. My first round was September 2017 and I just finished my second in early May 2018. The first round, my fiancé joined me. The second round, I was flying solo. After round 1 – when reintroducing food groups slowly, as recommended – I found that gluten (and possibly dairy) seemed to cause some of my autoimmune symptoms (described below) to flare up, so I eliminated them entirely form my diet. I am planning on continuing to stay off gluten now that I’ve completed round 2, but would like to reintroduce some occasional dairy and see how that goes. When off a round, I also avoid added sugar and convenience snacks and have cut way back on the non-gluten grains and soy.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?

Weight management has been a lifelong struggle for me – including disordered eating when I was younger – but by late 2013, I was at my ideal weight after successfully losing pregnancy weight (and pre-pregnancy weight!) with calorie counting and a rigorous gym schedule of spinning and yoga. I felt like I had finally succeeded in being the healthy me I had always wanted to be.

Unfortunately I went through a divorce in 2014, and in August of that year, my best friend passed away suddenly. Food and drink became a comfort to me, and it got out of control. Before I knew it, I was wearing packed-away maternity clothes because I was so uncomfortable and nothing else fit. By 2015 I had gained all the weight back (and then some) and was nearly as heavy as I had been when I was 40 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I was ashamed and embarrassed, but worst of all, I felt like crap.

During summer 2016, I began having a lot of health issues: daily low-grade fevers that wouldn’t quit, horrible night sweats, debilitating pain hand pain, fingernail splinters, terrible rashes with any amount of sun exposure, and head-to-toe hives, to name a few. My doctor suspected several health issues, ranging from endocarditis to vasculitis to an autoimmune disease.

I was sent to an infectious disease specialist, a cardiologist, an allergist, and a rheumatologist. My symptoms and doctor visits continued off-and-on for the better part of nearly two years, and after so much time spent trying to get to the bottom of what was causing my symptoms, the best any of these doctors could tell me was that my lab work consistently indicated very high levels of C-reactive protein in my blood, which translates to non-specific inflammation somewhere in the body.

I was diagnosed with allergies, asthma, and “autoimmune disease, undefined”; prescribed an inhaled steroid to be taken daily, as well as a daily regimen of prescription antihistamine and prednisone; and sent on my way. Not ONE doctor I saw suggested that perhaps my condition could be improved with dietary changes. My primary doctor said I could stand to “lose a little weight”, but that was the extent of discussions about food with any of these healthcare providers. I was in constant pain, heavy, and miserable.

This felt so wrong considering the many blessings in my life at the time. I had a new partner who loved me to pieces, four amazing children between us who are pretty much the best kiddos anyone could ever hope for, we had just moved into a beautiful new home… yet, things had gotten to the point where I was looking in the mirror and had no idea who the person looking back was, or where she came from. Who was this big, unhealthy person? How could I reclaim my health without being sentenced to a life of medication? Why wasn’t I as blissfully happy as I knew I should be?

I convinced myself that there had to be a better way, and started doing research on how diet impacts autoimmune disease symptoms. I was reading a lot about the autoimmune paleo protocol (AIP) diet. My fiancé had also been dealing with a suspected corn allergy and recurrent hives on and off over the course of the previous two years, and I wanted to find a solution that might work for us both. I was just about to jump on the AIP diet train, when I came across Whole 30. I thought, “wait, what? I could have coffee?! And nightshades?! SIGN ME UP!” Whole 30 seemed like a more workable option for us. I decided I would try it – I could do anything for 30 days, right? And I decided that if it didn’t work, I’d try AIP.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

I’ve never felt better in my adult life. My autoimmune symptoms have all but vanished. My allergies (both seasonal and indoor) have improved greatly. I sleep soundly and have so much more energy. I no longer have a 3pm crash that makes me feel the need to take a nap at my desk. I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds and 28 inches since September, and have gone down several dress sizes. Case in point: I purchased my wedding gown in September 2017 at the beginning of this journey (I’m getting married in October!) and now I’m headed out dress shopping again this weekend because guess what? The darn thing is HUGE on me, and would be a complete reconstruction to alter! I’ll take it – it’s a good problem to have as far as I’m concerned! The greatest victory of all is that I recognize the woman looking back in the mirror again. She is the healthiest and happiest version of herself yet, with no end in sight! I’m determined to never look back.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

My fiancé. I honestly don’t think I could have completely my rounds or made consistently good food choices off-round without him. As the parent who works form home, he graciously does all of the grocery shopping and the cooking during the school and work week. When I’m on a round, he always makes sure there are plenty of delicious, compliant food available and he adjusts his meal prep to make sure I had a hearty enough breakfast and dinner each day. He prepares enough food at dinner time so that I have leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day. This is not an easy feat when you’ve got six hungry mouths to feed!

When I decided to continue to eliminate gluten off round, and would occasionally have the desire to have “just one beer” or thought “a cookie isn’t the end of the world”, he would gently remind me why I was on this path and how good I felt because of it. He is my biggest supporter and best cheerleader. Also, LaCroix. Thank you, LaCroix for existing. Discovering that LaCroix was compliant was a game changer for me as far as social events during a round were concerned. At band practice, out with friends, or at dinner parties… I just pop one of those bad boys open, pour into a glass and garnish with some citrus, and I am ready to cocktail with the best of them, sans booze.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

I’m honestly not sure I have a favorite. I’ve eaten so many good things during my rounds! I love the challenge of making the best-tasting food possible within the rules. I love to cook, so coming up with new recipes was honestly really fun for me. I constantly felt like I was on an episode of Chopped, using the compliant food on hand to create something amazing.

The most satisfying meals were oftentimes the simplest, like a nice grilled skirt steak piled with ghee-fried onions and Portobello mushrooms, served with grilled sweet potato wedges, avocado, and a spinach salad. I also became super fond of poke bowls this round and made a couple of really amazing ones, as well as a mango/avocado/salmon stack! Here’s my poke bowl recipe: Bowl: 1/2 c Shredded Savoy cabbage, 1/2 spiralized cucumber, 1/2 of a chopped avocado, 1/3 chopped mango, 4 oz raw & cubed sushi grade salmon (or tuna!). Arrange in bowl. Dressing (approximately, to taste): 1 Tbs coconut aminos, 1/2 tsp sesame oil (for a treat!), 1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar, dash of crushed red pepper flakes. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Pour dressing over top. Enjoy!

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

Besides the amazing NSV’s mentioned above, since beginning this journey our entire family has improved the way we eat, mostly due to my fiancé being so supportive and being on board with changing our shopping, cooking, and eating habits. While we don’t always eat 100% compliant off-round, we both agree that limiting non-compliant foods as much as possible (especially added sugar, and nasty additives and preservatives) is just plain better for us and for the kids. We consume so many more whole, unprocessed foods. We avoid added sugar and keep carbs in check. We eat healthy fats from ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, and nuts.

I don’t eat out at restaurants very often anymore or have my nightly glass of wine “to unwind” as frequently I used to, and that just makes it so much more of a “treat” when I do! I will admit that certain social situations can be challenging – like dinner parties or work functions. But I usually just offer to bring a compliant side and/or dessert (or just gluten- and dairy-free when off-round). This helps me feel not only like I’m helping out the host by contributing to the meal, but also relieved that I don’t have to worry whether there will be good food options for me. I’m less anxious about food and able to focus on a great visit with people I care about.

Another really incredible change that has occurred as an indirect result of Whole 30 was with my career. Because I felt so much better about myself after the first few months of dietary changes — both due to weight loss and overall improved health and feeling of well-being — I had the confidence to apply for an executive-level position in my field. I had gotten into a rut at my previous job and thought, “I’m making so many positive changes in my life right now, why not go all-out?” Today, dressed in a smart new suit several sizes down from where I was previously, I’m now happily employed in said executive role at my new company. Between my improved heath, my job, and my upcoming marriage, I’m so excited for what the future holds!

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?

Honestly, these past 8 months have been more about Whole 30 and focusing on healthy eating off-round than anything else. I feel like I’ve done some great work, and I also feel like I still have more to do. The next hurdle for me is to incorporate regular exercise into my routine. This is tough with four kiddos and our crazy schedules, but it’s important and I know I can do it.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

Figure out your “why” and hold on to that throughout your round (and beyond!). Remember that it’s not just about the weight, the inches, or the pant size. This is not a “quick fix” diet. Be committed to the lifestyle changes that come along with embarking on your first round, because that’s when you truly see and feel the real changes. Off-round is when you can honestly say that you’ve taken control of your health back. You will feel lighter not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Not only can you do anything for 30 days; you can do anything you set your mind to, for as long as you need to do it. Because you’re worth it. You deserve this. There’s nothing that can stop you once you promise yourself (and your family!) a healthier future.