Lies I no longer believe about myself | Cincinnati Documentary Family Photographer

Here’s me being vulnerable and transparent: I am an emotional eater. I’ve struggled with emotional eating and self-loathing and an unhealthy relationship with food for as long as I can remember.

It’s not awesome. Or easy. To be in my head sometimes. 😉

Enter Whole30. Cue the heavens opening up and the angels singing.

I completed my first round about a year ago, and last week I finished my third round. And it really clicked with me this time.

Whole30 is a 30 day program designed to nutritionally “reset” or “recharge” your body by eating only whole or clean foods. Is it Paleo? Mmmmm, kind of, but not really. Whole30 is less about replicating a caveman diet (Paleo) and more invested in helping the body heal from the inside out. You can find the program details here.

Basically, you eat only these things for 30 days: meat (grass-fed or pastured is best), seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Yup. Those things only. No sugar, alcohol (keep reading, my like-minded friends who think you can’t go 30 days without wine. I know.), grains, legumes, or dairy. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? I know. It is. It isn’t.

From their web site: “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written.”

Whoooooa dude. They mean business. And, um, they’re right. If I can do it, anybody can. And I mean anybody. I’ve had several people ask me about it, and I thought I would put together a list of what has worked for me. If you try it, it just might change your life. 


*A little side note: the links below are Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you buy any of these items from my links, I receive a small commission. But no pressure. I’m just promoting what has worked great for me.*

I started with these two books, and they’ve changed my relationship with food forever. Really.

[It Starts With Food] This book is a must-read. It’s a quick, easy read and after you read this, if you don’t want to try it, I’ll eat my shorts. It’s that convincing. Since I did my first round of whole30, they’ve since come out with this book, which I don’t have yet. I’m sure it’s equally as great.

[Well Fed] Seriously. Alllll the heart eyes for this book. It’s packed with easy recipes, not to mention, super delish. Who knew a healthy, whole30 complaint version of Pad Thai would make me geek out?! Not to mention, the homemade mayo blender recipe. Girls, get this book and be amazed at how good real food can taste.

[Against All Grain] by Danielle Walker I don’t have this book yet, but I follow Danielle on her blog. Every recipe I’ve made of hers has been so, so good (last weekend it was her Pumpkin Pancakes, and I thought I’d died and gone to Whole30 heaven. Hello, crispy bacon pieces served on top?! You can skip the honey and vanilla if you want to be 100% Whole30 compliant. But I didn’t.)

[Rx bars] My favorite is the Chocolate Sea Salt, but Blueberry and Pumpkin Spice are next on my list to try. You can get a variety pack if don’t want to commit to one flavor for a whole box.

[Lara Bars] These bars are have less protein, but are less expensive than the Rx Bars and great for on the go. My favorite is the blueberry muffin, but I also like the cherry pie, and the carrot cake is next on my list to try (note: all flavors are not whole30 compliant, so make sure you read your labels).

[Spiralizer] Seriously, this thing is a life saver when you’re not a huge fan of veggies (waving hi! that’s me!). The Spiralizer can help you turn vegetables and fruits into imaginative, healthy dishes that taste awesome. It’s great whether you’re eating Paleo, gluten free, Whole 30, or you’re just trying to make better food choices. My favorite thing to spiralize is probably zucchini, but sweet potatoes and butternut squash work great, too. My kids like for me to spiralize cucumbers and apples. Because it’s fun. Yay for fun.

[Spiralizer cookbook] This is the only spiralizer cookbook I use, and I really like it. Not only does it include recipes for spiralized “noodles”, but also “riced” sweet potatoes and cauliflower dishes (and so much more).

If you scroll through this sweet girl’s Instagram feed, you’ll see how easy it can be. Really. Emilyeatsrealfood is super inspiring. She posts tons of ideas and recipes. —->

So. There you have it. Whole30. It has changed me.

Am I perfect every day? NO WAY. But do I see and feel the benefits of clean eating and balance? YES. And I’ve never felt better.

Wanna join me on my next round? I would really love that! Contact me or email me here: The more, the merrier, right?xoxo