Whole 30 is possible, “fancy” tips within.

  • I remember the first time somebody told me about Whole 30. It must have been like 2009. Time really flies.

I swiftly told myself that such a program was simply not possible for me.

”I don’t have the willpower.”, I said.

”Must be nice.”, I said.

“That challenge seems like just what I need, but I won’t succeed.”, I said.

and so on… and so on…

Ten years later, the self-fulfilled prophecy thing is starting to make some sense.

It’s the same as one of my favorite mantras, “speak it into existence .”

It sounds wild, but the truth of the matter is, “if you can dream it, you can do it” is real and it’s time you give yourself a chance to experience life as your best self. Step one is to root for yourself and nip the self-deprication.

Whether it’s Whole 30, learning a new skill or another goal around self-development, I’m here for it. Today I’m on day 9 of the Whole 30 challenge and its my third time taking this on. Through each trial, I’ve learned a thing or two and I’m compiling my tips here because I want to apply them to my lifestyle beyond this challenge.


+ plan ahead! Take a moment to plan out a week of whole 30 compliant meals. I’ve been using the Lifesum app and love it because it gives you recipe recommendations that you can export right into an organized grocery list. This will give you the positive momentum you need to keep on pushing. No need to start on the 1st of the month (I started on the 2nd and it’s all the same). If you don’t start a goal on the first of the month, that is no excuse not to try and start it on the soonest day you can. I used to make the easy mistake of procrastinating my personal goals by saying I’d tackle it next month, and next month and so on, but these days I’m determined to persevere regardless of what the calendar year has to say about it. 

+ grocery go - to’s to stock up on. It really depends on you, but make a list of compliant foods you can get down with in case of hanger emergencies. This will prevent you from slipping in moments of desperation if (when) you have a non-compliant craving attack. Some things I personally recommend having on hand include: eggs, ground beef, ground turkey, baby bell peppers, white onion, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, yams, broccoli, coconut milk, nut butter, ghee, plantains and all of the seasonings and herbs. Cumin, curry, cayenne, oregono and garlic salt are everything. Frank’s hot sauce. Lara bars are frowned upon, but we live busy lives so stock up on those too; the coconut cream pie is my jam. Also, cashews.

meal prep is your friend! Take an hour to listen to a podcast, audiobook, or shimmy to your favorite songs while you chop a few veggies, roast some sweet potatoes, soak your overnight oats and the like. (No, overnight oats are not compliant, but they’re still good for you and I look forward to incorporating them into my diet after this challenge because it’s realistic.) Preparing all of your ingredients ahead of time will make it sooo much easier to throw together impromptu meals during the week. Consider recycling empty jars to hold ingredients or invest in some easily organizable glass (not plastic because sustainablity) reusable containers.

keep a log. By setting aside a few moments to jot down the way you feel as you experience big and small changes, you will remain fired up and motivated as you start to notice the benefits and results of the challenge. The effectiveness of this strategy is profound for how simple it is and it will improve way more than just your waistline. The way you eat impacts the way you live, feel and exist. A log like this is a helpful, personally curated daily reminder to get back on track in the future if and when we fail.

Above all else, the most important thing to remember is that nobody is perfect. Whole 30 is really extreme and dare I say cruel? I’m probably just personally scarred after trying to complete it for a third time in January and completely giving up because I because frustrated by the absurdity of some of the rules. It’s not easy for me to admit that I didn’t succeed to you right now, but I think it’s important that we stop using the internet to pretend and use it to actually connect instead. Good luck on your journey, you got this.

”Nobody plans to fail, they fail to plan.”

— Bill Donahue, a stranger I met on a flight from MDW to MSP

Ashley OchiaghaComment