Whole 30: How It Did and Didn’t Work For Me {Review}


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have ended my Whole30 journey early.

The Whole30 plan says if you slip up even once, you must start all over again. I completely understand why, but for me my Whole30 journey needed to come to an end.

I really love the intention of the program, which is “a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”  Cleaning out the foods in your diet that may cause some serious health issues by cutting them out and possibly gaining some added energy and a healthy gut sounds perfect!

I have always encouraged others to try out the Whole30 plan, especially if they need to really clean up their diets and/or have experienced some major gut issues. I thought it would be a great idea to try it for myself and get my own opinion about the program. Granted I didn’t finish, but I know for my phsyci 15 days was good for me.

Why I enjoyed Whole30:

1. It got me back on track with eating more whole foods. 

I typically eat pretty clean, but now with a one-year-old and an unknown schedule most days, I started to dine out for lunch more often while running errands or meeting with clients. Not only was I spending more money than I needed, I was eating more processed foods than I should have. Whole30 helped me get back to doing true meal preps and having more healthy whole foods on hand to enjoy.

2. It help me quit my toddler snacking. 

I try and give RJ fruits and veggies to snack on during the day, but she does enjoy the occasional Annie’s crackers which then ends up me doing the ‘one for you, one for mommy’ thing. Not that they are bad for me by any means, but I was mindless snacking with RJ. I wasn’t enjoying them for nourishment, but more out of habit.

Now I enjoy more almonds, avocados, mini carrots and almond butter on the go. Glad to be back on track.


3. It gave me back my balance. 

I think through the summer I got in the groove of drinking wine more than normal and having more desserts than I have had all year. I don’t really have a ‘sweet tooth,’ but somehow I got sucked into having ice cream and/or chocolate almost every night of the week.

Yes, there is nothing wrong with enjoying desserts as a treat once in a while, but my waistline is not a fan 😉 This mama wants to have energy and feel great inside and out.

4. It helped me feel great while on vacation. 

Normally when we go camping, I eat way too much sugar and junk food (but it’s vacation… I give myself a pass). However, this past camping trip I stuck to the Whole30 and left feeling lighter and less bloated. It was hard to say no to the s’mores and drinks every night, but in the end, it was what I needed at the time.

What I didn’t enjoy about Whole30:

1. I didn’t have a ton more energy. 

I was hoping that by following the plan I would start to feel like I had more energy, but honestly I had way more energy doing the Crazy Sexy Vegan Diet.

Now, granted, I know I didn’t do it for the full 30 days, but there wasn’t a big change even for the first 15. Maybe if I would have done the full 30 days I would have noticed a big difference, but I think that because I eat pretty clean now, that it didn’t have as great of an impact on my energy levels.

2. I started to think that whole grains and legumes are bad for me. 

When thinking about adding back things like grains and legumes to my diet, I started to think these foods were “bad” for me. I personally don’t have any issues with these foods and they are part of my healthy diet.

I know for some people they cause inflammation or an allergic reaction, but as I slowly added them back I started to have a negative connotation about them and I realized that I don’t want to label these foods as “BAD.”

3. My relationship with food began to become unhealthy. 

I don’t believe (for me) that the Whole30 Plan is a sustainable lifestyle (and it is not meant to be), but I think it is a great reset, which IS their intention.

However, food started to take over priorities in my life and becoming an unhealthy obsession. I like to eat for nourishment and not obsess over every meal, snack and treat. I want to enjoy food and not feel like I may be making a wrong choice. I know this is not Whol30’s issue… it’s mine. I know for me sticking to clean eats and enjoying a treat once in a while, is something that I do well with and has been the best way of life for me.

4. I had more meat than I would have liked to.

During this, I heavily reduced my veggie intake. I mean, I had veggies, but because I could have bacon and other meats, I didn’t always have room for my salad.

I wasn’t ever ‘hungry’ except a few nights that I would stay up later and would crave a dessert, but I was still eating more meat than I would have liked to. I think that is what I loved about the Crazy Sexy Diet. It taught me to be more creative in the kitchen with veggies, grains and beans.

I think for me, I am more of an herbivore than a carnivore… but I do love me some BACON!


My Thoughts:

My conclusion is to TRY IT! It may not be the right way of eating for you forever, but it is a great RESET!

However, if you have struggled with eating disorders in the past (as I have), it can be difficult and may not be the best plan (in my own opinion). For now, I am glad to be back to eating oats again and enjoying the occasional adult beverage. More than anything, I am glad that I am eating for nourishment and getting back to the clean eating that I love!

For those of you who are interested in my Whole30 Meal Plan that I took on for those two weeks, I will be posting later this week.

Questions: Have you done Whole 30? What did you think? 


10 responses to “Whole 30: How It Did and Didn’t Work For Me {Review}”

  1. The Tiger Blood doesn’t come until day 20+, so you definitely quit too soon to feel the awesome energy. I agree with your thoughts on the grains/legumes though, couldn’t wait to add back quinoa and black beans after my Whole30. I think those people that think “there’s no way I could do that” are the ones that probably need the reset the most!

  2. I’ve never done a Whole 30 before. Based on your review, I don’t think it would be the best thing for me to try. I love my sweets and treats in moderation! For some crazy reason, I do think it would be interesting to try a 3 day juice re-start or cleanse to see how that was. A much shorter time!

  3. I agree. I would have given up too. Not worth it and I always have to remind myself that food is fuel, not something to obsess over! Glad you realized how it was effecting (or not effecting) your body.

  4. Thanks for sharing your review; it’s incredibly helpful! My biggest vice is your #2, which I’m afraid has only gotten worse as she’s get older=( In fact, there are certain snacks I just no longer buy bc I couldn’t stop, “one for you, one for me.”

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! While I’ve read the book, I knew right away it wasn’t going to work for me–don’t tell me oatmeal is bad for me! Ha!

  6. proud of you for trying it, love! very proud! and i am proud of you for knowing when to stop, too. for me, the whole 30 made me focus LESS on food and improved my relationship with food, so for that i’m grateful! very grateful!

    loved this post! miss you lots

  7. great post! i don’t think that i would do the whole 30 because i love going out with friends and enjoying junk food every once in awhile. i also don’t have any digestive issues when eating grains and legumes and would be sad to cut them out – or label them ‘bad’, like you said.

    thanks for the insights!

  8. I agree that it’s not a great fit for everyone but love that you recommend it and gave it a try! I did it about a year ago and have been contemplating doing another for a few months now. I didn’t truly notice the extra energy until well into the third week and have heard many say they don’t see it until close to the end. Like you said it’s a great reset and no matter what I think definitely helps people to get back on track (or in some cases begin) to eating cleaner and healthier!

  9. I tried the Whole 30 for 3 weeks, just to see if I would like to do it for the whole 30 days. I, like you, am not a huge meat eater and that was the biggest thing that I had trouble with, eating so much meat! I also got to the point where because I was so lazy/tired, I didn’t want to actually make a full meal so I would just be hungry. It was great to help with major snacking issues and listen to my body, but I think preparation was a huge part of it (prepping meals/veggies ahead of time).

  10. Thanks for sharing your insights! I am about to start a 10 cleanse on October 1st…followed by another 14 days of clean eating that follows the whole foods eating! Definitely indulged a little this summer and needing to hit reset!