• 5 Tips for a Successful Whole30

    doing-the-whole30I’ve pulled five of my favorite tips for having a successful Whole30 (or just eating clean Paleo) into one place! Check them out and tell me how it’s going with your Whole30 in the comments below.


    On getting your kitchen ready…

    On batch-cooking…

    On the buddy system…

    On handling social drinking…

    On having a contingency plan…

    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    25 thoughts on “5 Tips for a Successful Whole30

    1. I failed at my first attempt. I’ll try agian, on the 27th. That’s when trash day is, so I’ll clean out the kitchen. Do you have any tips on making vegetables interesting? I’m so not into them right now, but I know in order to do the whole30 I need to eat them. Last time I tried I didn’t eat vegetables as much as I should and was very dizzy. Green leafy vegetables just seem so boring to me… 🙁

      1. Hi Jackie…what went wrong? It’s important to try to drill down to the reason(s) you didn’t get to day 30 and be aware of them so that you can have a plan the next time. One of my favorite ways to prepare veggies is roasted in the oven. It brings out their natural sweetness a bit and is so much more tasty than steamed veggies in my opinion. I usually roast them at 400-425 degrees on a baking sheet after I’ve tossed them in coconut oil and salt/pepper. The time will depend on what type of veggie it is but look for slightly browned edges. Most veggies take about 15-20 minutes at that temperature.

    2. Hi, Steph! I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the Whole 30. I have been seeing a chiropractor 3x week since March, and since my body is not healing itself, she suggested I cut out dairy and grain from my diet. I was horrified but desperate, so I took a shot at it. At this point I was willing to try anything to relieve the pain that has been ruining my quality of life. But although my doctor gave me the Whole 30 website and encouraged me to read it, I did not. My thoughts…I know what dairy is, I know what grains are, I simply won’t eat them. Yeah, that’s me, Miss Smarty Pants. I was partially compliant with the dairy…refused to give up milk in my coffee in the morning, (how much damage can a half a cup of milk do every day?) and I would sneak little bites of cheese, ice cream, and sugary things. I didn’t know I had to cut out sugar as well…all of it? Nooooooooo!!! And halfway through the 30 days I ordered a personal size pizza and ate it all in one sitting. Yup.
      So I’m whining to my chiropractor that it just not working! She asks me if I have eliminated ALL grains and dairy. I said, well, no…….She asked if I had read the information on the website and I said, ummmm no…..She told me if I would take the time to do that it would make all the difference. So I did. And it did.
      Now I understand the why’s of the Whole 30 and why it is essential to stick to it closely. I also learned that I can’t eat soy, corn, or quinoa, and that there is soy and sugar in nearly everything. There is even soy in my fish oil capsules! But here’s the good news…I started over (or I should say “extended my 30 days for another 30 days) and I am now in the middle of Day 4. I guess you could say that I did a “partial whole 30,” and now I’m doing the complete Whole 30 and I’m feeling the results already. My pain is lessening and I slept through the night last night without taking anything for pain before bed. Another quite remarkable change is that the cravings are GONE. And as if that wasn’t enough, because I don’t enjoy coffee without milk and haven’t been able to find an acceptable substitute, I have been drinking my coffee black, which I really don’t like much either. So I’ve cut my coffee consumption down drastically. Coffee has been my drug of choice for as long as I can remember. To not care very much about it any more is nothing short of miraculous!
      By the way, I am a 61 year old grandmother. But they tell me that 60 is the new 30, right? Is there anything I should do differently, considering my age? I want to be healthy, pain free, and live long enough to see my grandchildren’s children. Not to mention enjoying my life!
      Any information you can give would be appreciated.

      1. Hi Eileen! Thanks for checking in.

        Have you read the book “It Starts with Food” yet? It’s written by Dallas and Melissa from Whole9 and is packed with great information about how and why eating real foods make us more healthy.

        I had a similar experience where I was eating about 80% paleo but still feeling effects from grains and dairy until I got rid of them 100%.

        I am SO happy you’re on day 4 (well, more like day 6 now) and feeling better. That is very good news, and I hope that you continue to improve as the time goes on. Keep up your great work! I’ve got a tip on the coffee situation here if you’re interested: http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/06/26/coconut-milk-latte/. A lot of people choose to take a 30 day caffeine holiday when they do their Whole30, too, just as a way to take a break. Just wanted you to know you have a few options.

        You’re amazing!! 61 and wanting to get the most from life. I love your spirit. As far as age, there shouldn’t be many modifying factors, just make sure you don’t quit any meds you may be taking without a doctor’s okay.

        Thank YOU for being here.


        1. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I don’t have the book, “It Starts With Food” but am planning on getting it. In the meantime, I am reading my chiropractor’s copy when I go in for my adjustments. She is the one who told me about the Whole 30.
          I’m on Day 8 and this was the worst day so far. I woke up feeling like I could, as the timeline says, “Kill all of the Things.” I was SO ticked off about everything…every nerve was on edge, and oh, the thoughts that were running through my mind…(Thankfully, I didn’t act on any of them!)
          One reason, I think, is that I didn’t plan well today. I left the house early, had a chiro appt and a lot of errands to do, and didn’t bring any food with me. The original plan was to go home after the doctor, gather some food together, and then go out again. But when I was out, I decided to just try to get everything done without going home for food….not a good decision. I was ravenously hungry but was pushing myself to do everything I needed to do. I will not make that mistake again.
          I’m home now and have decided to stay here for the evening. I ate a great meal and am feeling much better, but still not up to par. Kind of sad, depressed, ticked off…Don’t think I could handle being around happy people drinking margharitas and eating Mexican food tonight. Waaaaah. Can you tell I’m having a pity party? This too, shall pass. Right???

          1. Hi Eileen…they have lots of good stuff on their website, too. I highly recommend you check it out in the meantime.

            I know EXACTLY how this feels, because I’ve been there. Days 5-11 seem to be the tough window for a lot of folks. It will pass. Stay the course and stay strong. You’ve already come a long way!!

    3. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. At day 2 I could barely stand, saw spots, and was dizzy when sitting down. My body felt weak. I quit on day 3. I think what I did wrong was maybe trying to diet, I’ve been following a low carb diet prior to trying the whole30 and I don’t think I was eating enough.

      For breakfast I had 2 eggwhite, lunch was 2 hardboiled eggs, and dinner was chicken, and steamed veggies. I’m also still breastfeeding. So I definitely wasn’t eating enough.

      I usually sautee my veggies but they taste so bitter. Yeah thinking about it I know what I did wrong. Just not eating enough. I guess I built a habit from the diet I was doing. When I try again I’ll be eating more, and not “dieting”.

      1. I’m on Day #8. I would highly recommend trying the roasted vegetable route. I roast almost everything now because they just seem to taste better. I hadn’t eaten brussel sprouts since I was a child and now I have them like popcorn (halved, tossed in olive oil and salt/pepper and roasted in the oven). I’ve also roasted kale, asparagus, sweet potatoes (great with cinnamon), carrots and zucchini. This is a great change up to sautéed/steamed.
        So far, I’ve been staying strong and every time I’ve had a craving, I remind myself that I really don’t want to have to start over again and I can make it to July 16th (my day #30). I think this has been more difficult on my friends and husband thus far as I have focused more on getting my workouts in and saying ‘no’ to happy hours. Difficult for them to understand…especially during the summer time.

        1. Day 8…woohoo! You’re doing great!

          Roasted = so tasty. Way better than the steamed broccoli route!

          I hear you on the “saying no” part, but I think it’s awesome you’re taking time to do something for you. Plus, July 16 will be here soon enough. Rock on!

      2. Jackie! You were not eating balanced! Read The book, “it Starts with Food”. My daughter is nursing and has completed her Whole 30, and been following a clean paleo diet for about 90 days. She has lost 35 pounds and her energy and babys health is very good. Take care of YOU, and good luck!

      3. Hi Jackie…from your description of what you were eating, it sounds like nowhere near enough food. Your fat intake also sounds/sounded very low. Have you seen this awesome meal template from the Whole9 folks before: http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Meal-Planning-Template.pdf. It may help you get a handle on how much to eat for each meal. As a general rule, I eat 3-4 eggs at a time so it already sounds like you’re a bit low on protein, too. Nursing moms will need more calories as well.

        Thanks for taking the time to explain…I hope you are able to hone in for next time. Best to you!

    4. I’m so glad that I found your site! I’m on Day 5 of my Whole 30, and I don’t think I could go through this without my boyfriend also participating.

      I’m not big on eggs, so any suggestions you have for breakfast would be greatly appreciated! I’ve been eating a tomato & avocado salad each morning with a handful of berries on the side – and am admittedly missing my usual banana & sunbutter toast that I normally eat.

        1. All of the above – I’ve even tried super cheesy omelettes loaded with fresh veggies and pepperonis, hot sauce, etc. and just couldn’t get past the texture or the taste. I made the Pad Thai from Well Fed earlier this week, and found that I ate around the eggs after my first couple of bites of them.

          (The boyfriend is actually the one who got me on board, though I’m having an easier time with it because sodas and sweet tea were never a regular thing for me – he’s struggling!)

          I’ll definitely give the breakfast salads a try, because I need something different. I’m also super grateful for your iced latte recipe, because I could feel myself getting mean yesterday after a few days without coffee and a major caffeine withdrawal headache.

          One more question – tips on dealing with bad breath? My breath has been horrible the past 2-3 days, despite multiple brushings and flossing. I’ve looked it up and it seems like something normal, but if you have ANY recommendations for dealing with that when I’m not near a toothbrush, I’d appreciate it!

    5. I read somewhere to chew on some fresh mint. I tried it and think it worked ( although I wasn’t close enough to anyone to ask them!) I do know it freshened my mouth and that made me feel SO much better. Just be sure you don’t have any green pieces left in your teeth! 🙂

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