Whole30 Approved: Avocado Sonoma Chicken Salad

So, this chicken salad is so good that I’ve made it twice in the span of a week. My goal was to create something that tastes like Whole Foods’ Sonoma Chicken Salad (you know, the one that costs like $11.99/pound?) but is Whole30 approved and not a pain in the butt to create. I have to say: mission accomplished.

You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):

  • 1.5 pounds cooked chicken (grilled, baked, boiled, whatever). I used pre-grilled TJs chicken, which made this recipe even easier to make.
  • a few bunches red seedless grapes, halved
  • 4-5 celery stalks, diced
  • about a cup of pecan pieces, toasted
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice from one small lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make it:

  • Make sure your pecans are toasted. It’s easy to do. Just heat your pecan pieces over medium heat until fragrant (no oil needed) and be careful not to burn ‘em!
  • Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.
  • Add grapes and celery.
  • Peel and pit the avocados and then mash them in the bowl with the chicken, grapes, and celery. Really smash them in there until they coat everything.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over everything.
  • Add pecans, salt, and pepper as you continue to mix the salad. Make sure to incorporate all the ingredients well.

That’s it! So easy and so delicious. It tastes so much like Whole Foods’ version, but no mayo and no $11.99/pound. Woo!

Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Whole30 Approved: Sweet Potato & Sausage Breakfast Pie

I was originally inspired by this recipe, but the idea of cooking eggs in the crock pot just weirded me out a little bit. Plus, I just love runny yolks. This breakfast pie is kinda like a deconstructed frittata, and I’m pretty sure I’m now obsessed with it. Thanks, PaleOMG. This ingredient combo is a complete and utter win.

You’ll need (makes 6-8 small servings or 4-6 large servings):

  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes or 1 really big one, diced
  • 1 lb ground pork breakfast sausages (watch the ingredient list! I discovered my local, pastured pork had evaporated cane juice in it. Whomp whomp.)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Make it:

  • Start cooking the sweet potato in olive oil over medium heat in a large pan.

  • Cook it for 3-5 minutes, then add the pork, breaking it up as it cooks. Cover the pan and cook until everything is 90% cooked (another 5-10 minutes).
  • Lower the heat to low-medium. Crack the eggs over the pot (as evenly spread out as possible).
  • Cook covered for another 5-10 minutes, or until the egg whites stop jiggling. Be careful not to overcook the eggs – they’ll continue cooking even after you turn off the heat, and you want the yolks to be runny!

THIS is why you want the yolks to be runny:

If you really can’t get behind runny yolks (you’re missing out, but I get it), you can actually turn this into a frittata by whisking the eggs together before pouring them into the pan. After the edges of the pan start to firm up, stick it in the oven at 350 for another ~15 minutes, or until the eggs are completely cooked.

I, for one, can’t wait to eat this throughout the week.

Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Get Ready for the Healthista Whole30!

For those of you participating in the Healthista Whole30 (Sept. 10 - Oct. 10), I’m going to try to post weekly meal plan ideas, grocery lists, and recipes on Sundays so you can prepare for the week. Planning is pretty key during your Whole30, so don’t be afraid to spend some time over the weekend really forecasting your meals for the coming week.

During the week, I’m going to be posting many of my meals, tips, and advice for those of you following along at home. It’s gonna be fun, I promise!

Week One Meal Ideas


  • Boil 10 eggs and plan to have between one and three for breakfast every day with a side of 2-3 oz. smoked salmon, berries, and almond butter (depending on hunger level). You can also make 6-8 strips of bacon in advance (bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes) to have on the side.
  • Consider making a quick frittata. My favorite combo of late? Pancetta, basil, onion, and tomato.

    This frittata clearly has cheese. Yours will not!


  • Make this quick and easy Chicken Basil Meatloaf from PaleOMG tonight. Saute some green beans on the side in olive oil, salt, pepper, and other preferred seasonings. Portion into tupperware for a grab-and-go lunch option. I modified the recipe to use turkey instead of chicken and added green pepper and onion for a bit more bang.
  • Throw together this Basil and Bacon Eggplant Stir-Fry with your leftover basil on Wednesday-ish.

  • Watch for an awesome chicken salad recipe posted this week and make it toward the end of the week (ingredients are on the grocery list already!).

Snacks (if necessary)

  • Coconut-Cherry Popsicles - substitute any other berry, fresh or frozen

  • Almond butter + berries
  • Platter of baby carrots + avocado

Week One Grocery List

  • 12-24 eggs (24 if you’re making a frittata, 12 if you’re just boiling eggs)
  • one package uncured, nitrite/nitrate-free bacon
  • one package wild smoked salmon (lox)
  • berries of your choice (include extra if you’re making the popsicle)
  • almond butter
  • one can coconut milk
  • baby carrots
  • three avocados
  • one large eggplant
  • two zucchini or yellow squash
  • two onions
  • one green pepper
  • ~two pounds ground turkey or chicken (NOT super lean!)
  • ~one pound ground beef
  • large bunch basil
  • pancetta
  • three large tomatoes
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast (grilled is ideal)
  • red seedless grapes
  • 4-5 stalks celery
  • 1-2 cups pecans

Staples to Keep on Hand During the Whole30

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond or coconut flour
  • ghee
  • salt, pepper, and lots of spices
  • curry paste (I have this one and it’s amazing)
  • I usually keep a jar of olives around for times when I need a quick bite
  • coconut milk - I usually have at last 2-3 cans on hand
  • coconut water for after workouts if you like
  • some kind of nut (no peanuts!) that you can munch on

Who’s excited for Day One?!

The Deal with Fruit

Whether you’re doing the Whole30 or not, you’ve probably heard something about fruit and how maybe it’s not one of those foods you can eat unlimited quantities of without consequence after all. One of the only questions I got yesterday was about fruit.

Fruit contains plenty of fructose, which is a naturally occurring fruit sugar. Naturally occurring is good, right? Well, yes. Naturally occurring sugars are certainly preferable to man-made corn syrup. But does your body really know the difference? Eh, not so much. Sugar is sugar is sugar. The amount in fruit, however, is a lot lower than say, the amount in candy, baked goods, or even savory entrees. And the other stuff you get with fruit (fiber, nutrients) is absent in other sugar-containing food. This helps slow your body’s absorption of that sugar – a sort of antidote to it, if you will.

Here’s the real issue with fruit, as I see it: It can act as a convenient and politically correct crutch/substitute when you’re craving something –anything– sweet. The idea of the Whole30 (or any low sugar diet, really) is to get out of the habit of needing sweet-tasting foods. Why? Because they’re super addicting and make you crave more sweet-tasting foods! Plus, eating hyper-naturally sweet foods dulls your ability to detect subtle sweetness in foods that aren’t saccharine-sweet… So you in turn need evenmore sweetness. It’s a vicious cycle!

So here’s my advice, in a nutshell:

  • Definitely eat fruit. DEFINITELY. It’s super delicious and obviously nutritious. That said, keep reading this list.
  • Try to focus on seasonal fruit.
  • Don’t get in the habit of eating fruit after every meal. Don’t use it in place of dessert or you’ll never get out of the habit of needing something sweet.
  • If you find yourself becoming dependent on fruit, cut back and limit yourself to lower sugar fruits (berries are a good bet).
  • Again, if you’re finding yourself craving the sweetness of fruit, try to avoid the highest sugar fruits: bananas, grapes, mango, pineapple, cherries, dried fruit.
  • But all that said: FRUIT IS STILL BETTER THAN 90% OF ALL OTHER FOODS, in terms of nutrition, etc. So please don’t ever feel bad about eating a few pieces of fruit, especially when it’s local and seasonal! The goal is just to make sure you’re not using fruit as a crutch.

I try to stick to 2-3 servings of fruit per day, tops. I include starchy vegetables in that count too (foods like sweet potatoes and winter squash). But really, if eating too much fruit is your problem… you’re doing pretty well!

Whole30 Week Two: Recipes + Grocery List

We’re almost done with the first week of the Healthista Whole30! Woo! That wasn’t so bad, right? In case you missed the recipes and grocery list from Week One and want to catch up, here it is.

I promised a reader I’d get the recipes and grocery list for next week up today, and I figured it will help you plan your week if you have some inspiration earlier. I have some yummy stuff up my sleeve this week, so get ready.

Week Two Meal Ideas


  • Bacon and egg cups. I’ve made these a few times and they’re super easy, incredibly tasty, and re-heat nicely.

    I recommend serving them with slices of tomato and fruit if you like.

  • Coconut milk breakfast smoothie: combine ~¾ C coconut milk with your favorite frozen fruit and blend (add ice if you want a thicker smoothie). Eat with a hard-boiled egg or smoked salmon for additional protein if needed.


  • I keep going back to PaleOMG for recipes because she doesn’t disappoint! I highly recommend this Enchilada Chicken Stew. I made it today, ate it for dinner, and can’t wait to continue eating it throughout the week!

  • Steak + veg: your choice! Pick any cut of steak and any veggie. Plan to saute the steak in coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee with plenty of salt and pepper. While the steak is cooking, saute your veggies right beside it! I picked ribeye + baby zucchini. Mmm.

Snacks (if necessary)

  • Here’s my snack lineup for the week:

    Marcona almonds, plaintain chips with guac. Plus fruit and random extras. Note that the plaintain chips do contain sunflower oil, which I believe is technically a Whole30 no-no – but this isn’t my first Whole30 rodeo, so I feel okay about it. Better to make your own if you can!

Week Two Grocery List (doesn’t include necessary dry spices, so check the recipes to make sure you have all that’s required!)

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 (4 oz) can of chopped jalapenos
  • 1 (4 oz) can of chopped green chiles
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (7 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • bundle of cilantro
  • 1-2 avocados
  • steaks of your choice
  • side veggie of your choice (zucchini, green beans, spinach, etc.)
  • almonds for snacking
  • plaintain chips or baby carrots if you want to avoid sunflower oil
  • pre-made guac (check the ingredient list!)
  • 1 package bacon
  • 6-12 eggs

And don’t forget the staples listed in this post! Make sure you have an arsenal of dry spices, too.

I was also asked about Whole30 vegetarian options (allowed some legumes along with proteins like tofu and tempeh). Here are some great recipes you can peruse!

Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

When I say I don’t like wasting pots and pans while cooking, this is what I mean.

When I say it’s actually really easy to make (grass-fed, local) steak and vegetables (literally 10 seconds of prep consisting of seasoning the meat and zucchini with salt, pepper, and olive oil, ~seven minutes on each side), this is what I mean.

When I say don’t be intimidated by cooking, this is what I mean.

Healthista Whole30: Who's In?!

Reblog or comment on this post to publicly pledge to be a part of the Healthista Whole30 from today (September 10) until October 10. Feel free to grab the image above for your own use!

First, get a refresher on what the Whole30 is all about in my intro post and on the Whole9 site. Then, check out the basic meal plan I created for your first week here. Finally, read these tips and get ready for some awesome changes.

  • Clear out your kitchen of anything that’s not Whole30-approved. If you don’t want to throw it out, give it to a friend, freeze it, or just put it out of site in a cupboard you’re deeming off limits for the duration of the Whole30.
  • Tell your friends and family what you’re doing if you feel comfortable. This might help in situations where you can’t eat what they’re eating.
  • Make sure you have a general idea of what you’re eating this week. Don’t try to wing it your first week!
  • Start a list of easy meals for when you get stuck. 
  • Don’t be afraid to say “No, thanks.” Don’t feel obligated to explain yourself if you don’t feel comfortable starting that conversation. You’re an adult and you don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to eat, and you don’t owe anyone a reason!
Whole30 Day Three + Cinnamon-Coconut Roasted Nuts

We’re three days in! Woo! Somehow, it feels longer than that, right? But nope, only three days down. And 27 more to go. No biggie – we got this!

I’m still working on finishing my giant batches of frittata, turkey meatloaf, and chicken salad (luckily, I’m not bored of those foods yet), but I did add a couple fun snacks today.

I munched on some frozen mango after dinner. It tastes just like mango sorbet, I swear! I also baked some flavored nuts to eat as a snack today. I sampled a few and they’re pretty awesome.

Cinnamon-Coconut Roasted Nuts

You’ll need:

  • Any amount of almost any kind of nuts. I used a mixture of almonds, cashews, pecans, and macadamia nuts (just the last bits of a few different bags I had).
  • Lots of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Coconut oil

Make it:

Preheat oven to 400. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and cover lightly in coconut oil (a few tablespoons will probably work.

Season with cinnamon and nutmeg, then stick the pan in the oven and stay close. The nuts are done when you start to smell them, and it should only take 5-10 minutes. Let them cool and then enjoy! They have a lovely toasty, carmelized flavor and scent that reminds me of fall/holidays.

Roasting: taking ordinary nuts to extraordinary.

How’s your Whole30 going so far? Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Healthista Whole30 Week Four: Recipes + Grocery List

One more week! That’s NOTHING. You can do anything for seven (now six!) days, right? Right. So for those of you playing along at home, this is the last week of the Healthista Whole30. Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

I have some delish recipes of my sleeve, but in case you missed them, here are the recipes/grocery lists from previous weeks:

Week One Recipes + Grocery List

Week Two Recipes + Grocery List

Week Three Recipes + Grocery List

Week Four Meal Ideas


  • Bacon, green onion, and red pepper frittata. Use the frittata demo here (and use whatever ingredients you have on hand if you don’t want to use the above!).

  • Almond butter + dippers. Try banana, apple, carrots, celery, or any other fruits/veggies that strike your fancy.


  • Creamy Chicken-Tomato Crock Pot Soup. I made this over the weekend, and it’s the perfect “weather’s just starting to get cooler” dish.
  • Kale & Spicy Sausage Saute. The recipe will be posted tomorrow, but the ingredients are on your grocery list below!

Snacks (if necessary)

  • Smoked salmon or roast turkey
  • Mixed nuts and dried fruit of your choice.

Week Four Grocery List (doesn’t include necessary dry spices, so check the recipes to make sure you have all that’s required!)

  • 1 bunch kale
  • ~1 pound sausage of your choice (I got pre-cooked turkey kielbasa) 
  • 2 14 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • dozen eggs
  • almond butter (unless you have some leftover from last week!)
  • 1 red pepper (for frittata)
  • 1 bunch green onions (for frittata)
  • 1 package bacon (try to find some without sugar)
  • smoked salmon OR roast turkey breast
  • nuts of your choice
  • dried fruit of your choice
  • 1-2 pounds boneless chicken breast
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • fruits/veggies of choice for breakfast/snack almond butter dippers

And don’t forget the staples if you’re out of any!

Alright, you got this! Now go forth and eat good food.

Kale & Spicy Sausage Saute

I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this recipe. I originally bought the ingredients to make a soup, but I just didn’t feel like another tomato-based soup since I had already been eating Creamy Chicken Tomato soup all week.

I decided to take the ingredients and make a saute instead, and I’m glad I did! This recipe turned out much more awesome than anticipated.

You’ll need (makes 4-6 servings):

  • ~1-2 pounds pre-cooked spicy (or non-spicy, if you don’t like spice) sausage. I used turkey kielbasa from Trader Joe’s.
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4-5 pieces bacon
  • salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

Make it:

  • Place bacon in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until desired crispiness is achieved!
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, but leave the remaining grease.
  • Add onion and saute for a few minutes, then add kale.
  • Once the kale cooks down, add sausage and tomato.
  • Crumble bacon and add it to the pan.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (for added spice!) to taste.

For whatever reason, this flavor combination was totally great: smoky, spicy, fire-roasted – a lovely and warm fall dish.

Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Healthista Whole30 Week Three: Recipes + Grocery List

Congrats! You’re just about halfway through the Healthista Whole30. I hope you’re hanging in there. I’ve had a couple snafus (finding out something had sugar in it after the fact, for one), but otherwise am having an awesome Whole30 experience. Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

For those of you who’ve asked about if you can still join the Healthista Whole30 even if you didn’t start on Sept. 10, the answer is OF COURSE! Start whenever works for you, just make sure you get 30 days in. And these should help you out:

Week One Recipes + Grocery List

Week Two Recipes + Grocery List

On to Week Three!

Week Three Meal Ideas


  • Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Pie. The recipe will be posted on Monday, but the ingredients are on the grocery list below.

  • Unsweetened applesauce swirled with almond butter or whole almonds. Have a hard-boiled egg on the side for extra protein if desired.


  • Crock-Pot Curry with Cabbage. I always forget about cabbage, but it’s a nice fall/winter veggie! This recipe is flexible in terms of protein and type of curry (I used beef and green curry), so feel free to experiment!
  • Fish + veggies: your choice! Similar to last week, pick any kind of fish that appeals to you or is affordable (shoot for wild-caught if possible), and pick your favorite veggie to eat on the side. I’m going with halibut and kale. I’ll probably make kale chips (no cheese) and just saute the halibut with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Snacks (if necessary)

  • Your favorite olives+ raw veggies
  • “Baked” apples with almond butter: cut an apple into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with almond butter if desired, and add cinnamon. Microwave for 1:30-2:00.

Week Three Grocery List (doesn’t include necessary dry spices, so check the recipes to make sure you have all that’s required!)

  • a dozen eggs
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large)
  • 1 lb. ground pork breakfast sausage (check for sweeteners!)
  • fish of your choice (figure ~.5 lb per person)
  • side veggie of choice for possible roasting (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • unsweetened apple sauce
  • almond butter (make sure to get unsweetened)
  • 1-2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, stew beef, etc. (whatever protein you’d like for the curry)
  • curry paste (red, green, yellow, etc.)
  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 green peppers
  • 1 red pepper
  • green onions (if desired for curry garnish)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • olives (look for the fancy olive bar at your local grocery store if they have one!)
  • apples (Pink Lady or Honey Crisp are awesome for snacking)

And don’t forget the staples if you’re out of any!

Whole30 Day Two: CHECK! + Tips for Surviving Your First Week

My Day Two looked a lot like Day One. I had the same frittata for breakfast, chicken salad (plus some extra avocado for lunch), and meatloaf + zucchini for dinner. I also had a few servings of fruit and some coconut water after my workout. Today will probably look very similar, since I still have tons of chicken salad and meatloaf left. I’m gonna keep eating ‘em until they’re gone!

By now, you might be experiencing one of the side effects of switching from a sugar/carb-fueled diet to a fat/protein-fueled one: fatigue. It’s okay if you’re more tired than usual, and it’s definitely okay to take some 20-30 minute naps when you/need to.

A few other pieces of advice to get you through the rest of the week:

  • Don’t expect to beat any personal bests in the gym this week. Your body is still adjusting to a new way of eating. You need to take it easy and not expect a huge energy boost just yet (it will come!). Try to keep your regular workout pattern, but lower the intensity or duration.
  • Being cranky about what you can’t eat is normal. No, you can’t have those office bagels or partake in your friend’s bday cake. Scream and cry if you must, but then get over it. Those foods weren’t your BFFs, and come to think of it, now’s the time to focus on your real BFFs – your actual BFFs! Distract yourself from all the stuff you can’t eat by planning lots of non-food related activities with friends and family you love being around.
  • GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Trust me, you’ll be miserable if you go through this first week sleep-deprived. Your body is already dealing with unfamiliar stuff. No need to deprive it of sleep as well.
  • Keep planning those meals! I can’t stress this enough: failure to plan = failure to eat well, especially when you’re just getting used to this way of eating. Whenever you start thinking about stuff you can’t eat, start browsing delicious recipes you can eat. My favorite Whole30*/Paleo-approved food blogs:

*Note that some of these blogs have recipes that aren’t totally Whole30 compliant, so just double check before you start cooking.

What are you waiting for?! Go look at some food porn and plan some meals! Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Whole30 Day One: CHECK

Hi, all! Hope your respective Whole30s are going swimmingly. My Day One was just fine. Here’s a rundown:

Basil, pancetta, and tomato frittata

Avocado Sonoma Chicken Salad - Recipe coming soon. For now, all I have is this blurry phone pic. I also had some fresh strawberries.

Modified version of PaleoOMG’s Chicken-Basil Meatloaf (mine was made with ground turkey and I added onion and green pepper) with sauteed zucchini. I also had some grapes.

So, what did you Whole30ers eat?


Oh heyyyyy, day 16! How you doin’? We’re doin’ just fine. Juuustttt fine. Today, I want to talk about Sex With Your Pants On foods. Please, allow me to explain.

The Hartwigs discourage re-creating your favorite junk foods so they’re Whole30 compliant. They call this “SWYPO” (Sex With Your Pants On) because, as they say, “It’s good… but it’s not that good. You can tell yourself it’s okay, it’s still pretty good, you’re totally satisfied… but that’s kind of a lie. Because you know exactly how good pants-less sex feels.”

It’s difficult for some people to understand why these foods might be not such a great idea on the Whole30. I’m pretty on board with their rationale, which is this:

  • Sad Paleo-ified versions of amazing foods like pizza, pancakes, ice cream, etc., are just that: sad. Why waste your time eating a lesser version of a great food? You can pretend to be satisfied eating that food, but the truth is, nothing can satisfy you like the real deal.
  • SWYPO foods are a gateway drug. When you eat Paleo pancakes, you’re inevitably going to crave the real thing eventually. Why set yourself up for failure?
  • Eating sweet foods can still promote an unhealthy psychological/hormonal reaction, even if you’re using “approved” foods to sweeten. Sweet foods are sweet foods, and if you eat a Paleo dessert after your Whole30 dinner every night, you’re always going to crave dessert. You’ll never get out of the habit.
  • Some foods are okay to substitute: spaghetti squash for spaghetti, lettuce for a tortilla, etc., but think carefully about whether you’re just prolonging a long-time addiction by eating these foods.

But these are PALEO pancakes!

I understand these arguments for why SWYPO foods are a no-no, but I have a slightly different perspective:

  • SWYPO foods don’t make me feel like crap. When I make my banana pancakes with egg, banana, and coconut flour, they do taste enough like real pancakes, but they don’t make me feel like real pancakes (bloated, sluggish, etc.). That’s pretty awesome.
  • Paleo-fied junk food is still a lot better for you than regular junk food. It’s just a better choice, period. And sometimes, in the real world, we have to learn to make the better choice, not the perfect choice.
  • SWYPO foods promote learning how to modify recipes and getting better at cooking. I’m all in favor of people becoming more skilled in the kitchen!

But the bottom line is, during your Whole30, you should just stay as far away from all forms of junk food as you can, Whole30-compliant or not. It’s not hard to do for 30 days. After your 30 days, I encourage you to experiment with SWYPO foods as long as they don’t become aneed. They should still be considered a treat even after your Whole30. You can abstain from junk food for 30 days. You really can.

Find out more about the Whole30 program on the Whole9 website!

Day Four Down + Whole30 on the Weekend

So you almost made it through your first workweek of the Whole30! Look at you go.

My Day Four looked eerily similar to days one through three, including all the familiar elements (frittata, chicken salad, meatloaf). I snacked on nuts and some fruit, including my quick version of a baked apple – cut up an apple, top with almond butter + cinnamon, and microwave for two minutes to soften.

Now that you made it through the week, all you have to do is make it through the weekend… which is, unfortunately, the hard part.

Having been through the Whole30 once before, I can give you a few pieces of advice:

  • Eat beforehand if you don’t know what’s on the menu. Don’t count on there being food you can eat at an event or friend’s house.
  • Bring your own food. If you’re not sure what you’ll be able to eat and it’s appropriate to bring your own food, don’t hesitate to do it.
  • If you’re going out to eat, look up the menu beforehand. If there’s nothing on it you can eat, you better see the first bullet!
  • Practice saying “No, thanks.” Most of you WILL be offered some kind of non-Whole30 food this weekend. Mentally prepare yourself to say, “No, thank you!”
  • Use the good ol’ club soda with lime trick at bars. Don’t try not ordering anything because you’ll feel sad. Order club soda with lemon/lime/olives and pretend you’re drinking like everyone else. No one will bat an eyelash, and honestly, sometimes just being around people drinking/holding a drink in your hand can give you a sort of placebo effect.
  • Schedule lots of non-food-related activities. Weekends will be easier if you plan activities not based around food you can’t eat. Fall is a perfect time to plan some hikes, bike rides, apple picking (because apples are 100% Whole30 compliant!), and long walks in the park/around town.
  • Don’t even think about bites, sips, tastes, etc. I know how tempting it is to want to just try foods or drinks the people around you are eating that aren’t on the Whole30. You just want to taste it so you know if it’s good for later. AVOID THAT TEMPTATION! Trust me, it will just make everything harder for you.
  • Plan to cook some meals on Saturday or Sunday for the week. Spending time preparing food you can eat is a great food-related activity you can take part in with vigor!

Your first Whole30 weekend is coming up – You can do this! Stay focused, don’t let yourself come up with excuses, and eat some great food. Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

What to Expect When You're on the Last Week of Whole30!

T-7 days until this Whole30 thing is complete. If you’ve been following along for the past three weeks, I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email or comment on this post and let me know how things have been going. And find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Your meal plan and grocery list for this last week will be posted tomorrow morning, but until then, I wanted to give you some tips about how to really round out your Whole30 experience. Some things to think about over the next week or so:

  • Pay attention to the source of your food. If you haven’t been paying attention to where your meat/eggs/etc. come from, start paying attention. Try to find places to get local, pastured animal products if possible.
  • Think about sleep. To get the full Whole30 experience, you have to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Make sure your room is COMPLETELY dark, and try to turn off the computer/TV/anything with a blue light at least an hour before you plan to go to bed.
  • Explore new spices. Now is absolutely the time to make sure your spice collection is fully stocked! Experiment with unique spices by ordering samples from sites like Atlantic Spice Company (totally not being paid to promote them, but I’ve ordered their stuff in the past and like it!).
  • Get some at-home/no-equipment workouts in your arsenal. It’s great to have a few simple workouts memorized so you can do them when your options are limited. A few ideas: 10 rounds of 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats; 4 rounds of sprint 400m + 25 pushups; burpee/situp ladder to 10 reps (1 burpee, 1 situp, 2 burpees, 2 situps, 3 burpees, 3 situps, etc.); 21-15-9 reps air squats/pushups. You get the idea!
  • Start thinking about how you want your meals to look AFTER the Whole30. The Hartwigs recommend adding one banned food group at a time (e.g., dairy for the first four days but none of the other Whole30-forbidden foods). You can use that method if you want, but you may want to structure your diet differently. Just START thinking about it now – you can finalize plans later!

For those of you that have been Whole30ing along with me, what’s next for you?

Day 11: Exercise During the Whole30

We made it to Day 11! Almost halfway through and pretty painless, right?

I promised you all a post on working out during the Whole30, so here it is.

I believe that my workouts only benefit from a clean diet, but I also know that if you’re spending a lot of time and energy focused on overhauling your eating, spending energy on workouts isn’t feasible. That’s okay.

Just do one thing for me during these 30 days if nothing else: MOVE. Just move. I don’t care how you do it or where you do it. Just move. Walk to places you’d normally drive. Set the timer for 30 minutes and dance around your house. Do some power cleaning. Set a timer on your work computer that goes off every 30 minutes and take a 5 minute walk around the building, or up and down some stairs. It really doesn’t matter. You just have to move your own body weight around.

If you already work out regularly, go easy on yourself during the Whole30, especially if it’s a marked change in your diet. Don’t expect to beat any PRs, and go a little lighter in general if you feel low-energy. I make a point to eat more fruit or starchy veggies on workout days and I think it genuinely helps my performance. Definitely don’t eat too little. That will make your life harder in lots of ways.

As for me, I’ve been doing Crossfit throughout this Whole30 and the last. I know, I know, I’m totally drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid like everyone else, but the reality is, I knew I’d love Crossfit before I tried it. It’s just my type of workout. You know I love shorter, intense boot camp-style workouts, and Crossfit is that x 10. So the fact that I dove head first into Crossfit doesn’t surprise me or anyone who knows me

Many people think Crossfit is just a dumb fad workout, and while that may be true, it’s also undeniably just a great form of exercise. Functional movement, intensity, community, etc., etc. All the cliches about Crossfit are true. My little Crossfit community is accepting, diverse, and not cult-like. And they’re uber-supportive of the Whole30 (a few even joined me!).

TL;DR: During the Whole30 (or just in general), practice moving your body in whatever ways you can manage. Try intense exercise if you want, and make sure to fuel yourself well.

Find out everything you need to know about the Whole30 on the Whole9 website!

Nice article/interview with Melissa Hartwig. My favorite Q&A:

It seems like there’s been quite a bit of backlash lately against the Paleo lifestyle. What do you say to the critics?

If people started looking at the actual recommendations of ours and other Paleo programs—if we just told you what we ate, without sticking a label on it—I don’t think anyone would even blink. We eat a modest amount of high-quality meat, seafood, and eggs. We pay attention to where our food comes from, choosing animals responsibly raised in their natural environment and fed their natural diet. We eat lots of vegetables. Everyone knows vegetables are healthy! We eat fruit, especially when it’s fresh and in season. And we eat healthy fats, like avocado and olive oil. None of that sounds so crazy, does it?

We think it also comes down to education. Despite the fact that scientific research has proven that dietary intake of saturated fat does not cause heart disease, people are still afraid of a little bit of butter or a few eggs. This is changing, but slowly. It Starts With Food promotes these healthy eating concepts in a way that isn’t radical or threatening.

Open Call for Whole30 Questions!

Aaaand we’re already a week in. No problemo, right? Just three more weeks and you can say you’re a graduate of the Healthista Whole30! Not bad, not bad. I checked off days five, six, and seven pretty effortlessly. Some highlights: Thai green curry (no rice, obv), Indian Rasam soup (it was just broth but SO GOOD), and the Enchilada Chicken Stew I tested over the weekend for this week’s recipe suggestions. I probably won’t give a rundown of every day of eats moving forward, but I’ll try to capture my food one or two days a week to share with you all.

This post is an open call for questions about the Whole30, whether you’ve done it in the past, are participating now, or are intrigued and want to try it… Ask away! I’ll be answering from my own perspective based on my experience with the Whole30.

Topics I’m already planning on covering over the course of the month: working out during the Whole30 (yes, I’m doing it!), Sex With Your Pants On (SWYPO) foods (I promise, I’ll explain!), and life after the Whole30.

For the more technical/science-y questions, you’re better off getting yourself a copy of It Starts with Food and/or reading the Whole9 site.

So… What do you want to know?!