Whole30: Why I’m Doing It Again + The Rule I’m Breaking

August 9, 2017

Whole30 might be restrictive and challenging, but here’s why I love it and am doing it again.


Back in 2014, I did my first Whole30. And I was hooked. I had a really positive experience, I felt amazing after the 30 days, had increased energy, learned to be more careful reading food labels, cooked more and depended less on processed and packaged foods, felt less bloated and overall just felt great (you can read the full recap here).

The rules of Whole30 are pretty strict and not something that can be easily maintained for more than the 30 days (for me anyways). After that initial Whole30, I dropped many of the rules but stayed mostly Paleo. Every so often, I get the itch to do Whole30, and since that first round, I’ve done it a handful of times.

Why I’m Doing Whole30 Now

About two weeks ago, I decided it was time for another round. For the past few months, I’ve been very free with my eating and drinking, and it was starting to get to me. I was feeling low on energy, a bit bloated, and just not like my best self. Even though Whole30 is very restrictive, I like it because as an all-or-nothing health nut, it’s the only thing that really keeps me accountable. Whenever I tell myself I’m going to do 80/20 eating (healthy 80%, not so healthy 20% of the time), I never stick to it. It’s hard to track that 20% and it creeps up and up until I’m eating whatever I feel like nearly all the time.

Since I’ve had success with Whole30, whenever I feel like I need a hard reset, this is my go-to. I usually end up feeling this way about once a year. I decided to do Whole30 now because I had a month coming up with very little travel and events. It’s tough to do Whole30 when you’re on vacation or have fun events like weddings or bachelorettes. Since this month is free of all that, it’s the best time to jump back in. Plus, I have a wedding and a bachelorette shortly after Whole30 ends, and I wouldn’t mind feeling a bit leaner and stronger by the time those events roll around.

The Rules of Whole30

Like I said, Whole30 is extremely restrictive. The major rules: no alcohol, sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes (read the details here). I’ve heard people say “I’m going to do Whole30 but I’m going to drink wine” or “I’m going to do Whole30, except on day 10 I have a party so I’m going to take that day off.” And really, not to be a stickler for the rules, but that’s not Whole30. Maybe it’s being healthier and changing your habits for the better for 30 days, but it’s not technically Whole30.

The Whole30 Rule I’m Breaking

Whole30 means following every rule for 30 days with no days off or rule breaking. So am I being a hypocrite by telling you I’m going to break one rule? Maybe, you be the judge. One of the rules in Whole30 is you cannot recreate non-Whole30 recipes with Whole30 compliant ingredients. Like Paleo pancakes, muffins, pizzas, chips, etc. Even though every ingredient might be compliant, because it’s imitating a food that might be a trigger for overeating, it’s not allowed.  One of the points of Whole30 is to understand your food triggers and things that might cause you to overeat, these are “foods with no breaks”.

To a certain extent, I’m not keeping this rule. I’m allowing myself compliant wraps, homemade baked goods (if I get around to making any…) and pizza crusts. These foods aren’t triggers for me. If I eat a wrap, I’m eating one, and if I’m eating a paleo muffin in the morning, I’m eating one. I rarely make and eat these foods, paleo or not (for example, I probably eat pizza once every two months), so I don’t feel like they get in the way of my experience. I will not allow myself things like store bought chips (Siete tortilla chips for example) that are compliant because those are a “food with no breaks” for me and I will eat the whole bag. I’m not breaking any of the food rules in terms of ingredients, but if I feel like whipping up a paleo pizza with an almond flour crust, I’m going to.

Is this technically Whole30? Maybe not, but for me I consider it to still be in line with the food rules. Because this is not my first round, I’m okay with the adjustment. However, if you’re taking on your first Whole30 and want to get that 100% legit experience, I say stick to every single rule, even the one I’m breaking.

Whole30 certainly isn’t for everyone. And some of you lucky people are way better at the 80/20 rule than me, so maybe you don’t need this when you feel like you’re off your game. For me though, I love how I feel on the program; two weeks in and I’m feeling awesome (though I could go for a glass of wine right now). I’ll give you a recap after my 30 days are complete, coming your way in two weeks.

Have you done Whole30? Are you doing it now? Hoping you have a good 30 days!

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  • I’ve never done the whole 30, but I’ve definitely thought about it. I think if the whole 30 with one little change works for you, godspeed. good luck!

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