My Whole30 Story

Buckle up my friends!  This gets a little long, but I cannot tell my Whole30 story without weaving it into the rest of my life.  I often say that the Whole30 changed the trajectory of my life, and it did. But I did not just do a round and POOF I am changed forever.  It was the first step in many many steps. It gave me the tools to change my life. The tools, not all of the solutions. I hope you enjoy my story.  

In September 2015 I was the mom of a two little girls.  One was 11 weeks old and the other was 2 ½ . That was when I completed my first Whole30, but that is not where my this particular story starts.  To unpack this I had to look back a bit, and then a bit more.



In August of 2013 (two years before my first round of Whole30) I had left my job as an investment accountant to pursue my love of teaching yoga and to raise my little girl (who was at the time an only child).  Over those two years I taught so many yoga classes, managed a yoga studio, went back to my old company to work as an accountant part time during busy season, and then finally found myself in the summer of 2015 as a full time stay at home mom.  I was also struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, and was back on zoloft for probably the 5th time in 10 years. Since high school I had been on and off medication for anxiety and depression, always feeling like things were just harder for me than they were for other people.  My anxiety and depression was annoying on its best day, and crippling when it was at its worst. It wasn’t until I read Kelly Brogan’s amazing book “A Mind of My Own” (anyone struggling with anxiety and depression needs to read Kelly’s book) that I can see my particular form of anxiety and depression was my body SCREAMING to me that it had some severely imbalanced foundations of health, particularly in my digestive system.


So in September 2015 I came home from a dear friends wedding and knew I needed a change.  I wanted to lose the baby weight (side note: While Whole30 is not a diet and focuses more on non scale victories, my original catalyst for trying the program was to lose weight.)  and take care of some bloating and digestive distress I had been experiencing for a long time (see above! I had no idea this was connected to my mental health, but it was).


I dove right in and really loved it right from the get go.  I was finally given permission to eat all of the things I had loved for years but thought were bad for me, like steak and bacon.  I ate with wild abandon, and felt incredibly satisfied for probably the first time in my life. When I was hungry, I ate. What a concept right?  I was breastfeeding at the time, so I added some snacks to this round of Whole30. My milk was so thick and fatty, it was really amazing.  I also experienced all of the negative side effects of the first few days.  The hangover, the hate all the things, the egg fatigue. I experienced the entire full spectrum of emotions and feelings as my body shifted its focus from carbohydrates to being more fat adapted.

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And then something happened.  On day 10 I woke up with a clear brain and an open heart.  Instead of feeling like I had to fight my way through life, like every step was a struggle, life became easier.  It became lighter. It felt more manageable. All of this just from changing what was on my plate? There was something powerful to this program, and I was really just getting started.

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I finished my first round and did not properly reintroduce.  During my first round I had also not addressed any of my issues with emotional eating and when my baby girl needed surgery on day 32 I ate and drank my feelings in the form of sushi, wine, and cupcakes.  I woke up the next day with a severe sugar hangover and SWORE I would start another round of Whole30 right away.

Spoiler alert.  I didn’t. Well, I did, but I quickly slipped.  Why did this next round feel so hard? Why was I unable to resist anything not compliant?  I knew how good I COULD feel, so why couldn’t I stop myself from physically putting the food in my mouth? I think that these failed attempts at subsequent rounds of Whole30 were why I saw so much change from the program.  These two failed attempts FORCED me to examine the questions I stated above. They forced me to address my issues with emotional eating and having an addictive personality. The biggest take away for me at this time was that anytime I allowed refined sugar back into my life my brain would once again slip into its anxious state, and whenever I allowed dairy to be consumed my digestive system would be torn up for days.  

Over the next two years I completed a few more successful rounds of Whole30, but it was really those times in between that helped me in my journey toward food freedom.  It was the times without the strict rules that I saw the most growth and change. Isn’t that always the case though? When we struggle the most is when we can shine the brightest.  Those times helped me see that I was using food and alcohol to buffer from life’s big emotions. I immediately started seeking the help of a therapist and with her help I unpacked and dove even deeper into these issues.  Through this journey I re-joined a church and started to see that the way we eat and the way we live is truly a spiritual practice. I began to live that everyday, and slowly overtime, things got so much better. Whole30 was the launching pad for me to do the work that would heal my life.

Unpacking these realizations is what lead me to stop drinking alcohol on November 5, 2017.  You can read more about my sobriety journey here.

I felt so strongly about this program, and saw how my physical and mental health were transformed simply by changing how and what I ate, that I decided to become a nutritional therapy practitioner.  In June 2018 I graduated from the NTP program from the Nutritional Therapy Association and then went on to pass my board exam through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Around this time I also became a Whole30 certified coach.  Using my own experience and the tools I learned in school I cannot wait to lead people through this program so they too can change the trajectory of their life through food.

As you can see from my story, Whole30 was not the magic bullet.  I was not broken on day 1 and healed on day 30. It is much more complicated than that.  The Whole30 was the catalyst that taught me that I am in control of so much more in my life than I thought I was.  I did not vanish into perfection, and still have not. I never will. Just like any practice, perfection is not the goal, consistency is.  I still have really hard days and really hard seasons, and the answer to those situations are not necessarily what is on my plate. However, when I feed my body and my mind what it thrives on,  doing the work to combat those hard times is so much easier.



This work is work worth doing.  Taking your vitality back into your own hands, and allowing yourself the freedom to thrive because you deserve to feel good!  


Five things you can do TODAY to improve your total body wellness

I have people ask me ALL THE TIME what they can do immediately to improve their health.  So much of this health journey takes time.  Time to heal damaged organ systems (especially the digestive system and the blood sugar regulating organs), time to make a behavior a habit, and time to give up some of the things you thought you could never live without (for me it was buffalo wings from any dive bar with LOTS of blue cheese ;-)).  This is a never ending process, which can feel really daunting at times.

But there are a few things you can do TODAY that are simple, actionable, and will help you feel better mentally and physically


Digestion of our food does not just start in the stomach.  This process is a beautiful north to south domino effect.  One process needs to lead to another, and without that falling domino the next process cannot properly take place.  Taking the time to chew for at least 30 seconds after each bite begins the physical break down of your food as well as gives your saliva the opportunity to begin to breakdown carbohydrates through salivary amylase.  When this first step of chemical and mechanical breakdown does not take place, the rest of the digestive organs need to make up for this lack of breakdown.  This puts undo stress on an already over taxed system.  Do your entire digestive system a favor, and chew your food!

I talk about the importance of chewing your food A LOT in my two week “Introduction to Whole Food Nutrition” group!


Water is one of the most vital nutrients in our lives, and so many of us are simply not getting enough.  Water helps with everything from joint hydration, to cognitive function, to helping maintain the electrical current in our bodies.  Use the below calc to figure out how much water you need to intake per day!  Then my favorite water tracking app, My Water (also works with the apple watch!), buy a cute water bottle and hit that water goal!

Current Body Weight / 2 = Minimum oz of water to consume


Diuretics (in oz) consumed per day (coffee, tea, alcohol) x 1.5 = additional oz of water to consume


Additional 10 oz of water for every 30 minutes of exercise



Also, make sure your water is filtered and from a clean source as to not increase the amount of toxins in the body!


At the beginning of every day, or the night before, write out your day.  This is how I do it everyday:

  • DIVIDE THE DAY INTO THREE PARTS:  I now do morning, afternoon, and evening.  It used to be BEFORE NAP and AFTER NAP.  But you could do before work, after work, and evening.  Or something similar to fits into how your day is structured.
  • ADD THE MUST DO’S: These are things like work, deadlines, school assignments, doctors appointments, workouts (THESE ARE A MUST DO!) and other things I cannot miss and that have time constraints on them.
  • ADD THE OTHER TO DO’s.  These are things that would be nice to get done, but do not absolutely have to be done that day or at any specific time of day.  For example, if my cleaning schedule says to do 2 loads of laundry that day I will write which part of the day it makes the most sense to get those things done.  Or if dry cleaning needs picked up and its totally fine if it gets pushed off until tomorrow I will write that in as well.
  • ADD THE MEAL PLAN: Every Sunday I plan out my breakfast, lunch, and dinners for the week.  I keep everything really simple by having the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday and utilizing left overs for dinner as often as possible. As long as I know the plan I will not find myself starving and running to Chipotle at 11AM between kiddo pick up and drop offs.
  • ADD KEY STONE GOALS:  These are the two to three things that I have written out either in the MUST DO’s or the OTHER TO DO’s that would make my day AMAZING if they got done.  Like if everything else goes to shit (which it sometimes does!) if these few things are done then it is still a good and productive day.  Sometimes it is my workout if I am really feeling the need to move, sometimes it is handing in an essay for school if that deadline is fast approaching and I have not gotten to sit down and concentrate on it yet.

This brain dump allows you to be proactive in your day.  Unexpected things will come up, obviously, and plans will change.  But when you have your day laid out like this you can make necessary changes and react appropriately.  When there is no plan for the day, the unexpected things that come up have a way of totally derailing us and make us feel like we are putting out fires all day long.  With the brain dump we can keep the goal in mind (a productive day) but be flexible in the approach.

Watch Mel Robbins Ted Talk for more information.  Since watching this and reading her book “The 5 Second Rule” I have done this everyday and I cannot express enough the difference it has made.


Fat is an essential nutrient in our lives, and just like water, most of us are not getting enough and we are not getting a balance of the correct kinds of fats.  Our society has taught us to be afraid of fat and it is time to put that fear aside.  Eating an array of fats from properly raised and slaughtered animals (EAT THE GOD DAMN CHICKEN SKIN!), plant sources (HELLO AVOCADOS AND OLIVES!!!), and nuts (BRAZIL NUTS ALL THE WAY!) aids in so many processes in the body.  It helps regulate our metabolism, helps regulate our ability to inflame and anti inflame, and we need it to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.  If you want to sleep better, look better, and feel better, then fat is your friend!

When I tell you to eat more fat, I am not talking about the french fry variety.  These types of fats (poly unsaturated that have been brought to a very high heat) are incredibly unstable, damaged, and introduce free radicals and rancid fats into your body.  This does not promote optimal health.

Mark Sisson has written an amazing blog post all about fat and your go to guide for utilizing fat in your everyday life.

All of the meals in the Simple 7 Solution have a proper balance of fats and incorporate the correct types of fats as well!


This is the most important point yet, and seriously the best bang for your buck.  Every morning when you wake up you have some super drugs at your disposal.  Even if you are NOT a morning person and you LOATH getting yourself out of bed, taking 15 minutes to do these things everyday will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

Fill a glass with 10 oz warm water.  Add 1/8 tsp sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.  While you drink it take 5-6 DEEP breaths, and then write down 3 things you are grateful for in that moment.

Literally thats it.  I could re-create the wheel and type out all the reasons why this is good for you, but I am not about that.  Just like in my Simple 7 Solution, I provide to you the best resources and I cannot even begin to pretend that I am smart or creative enough to come up with them.

And there you have it!  The 5 things you can do to jump start your journey optimal health TODAY.  In the Ayurvedic tradition they believe that our health (or lack there of) lies in our daily routine (again, or lack there of).  While the journey to optimal health and feeling really good can take time, we all have the power to harness our daily routine to bring us a little closer each and every day.  The time is going to pass by anyway, you might as well feel good while it does.

Why I will Never Post Another Before and After Photo

This is me the day I finished the Beachbody program Shift Shop.  This program was amazing, it is a 3 week speed and weights based program that uses a “ramp-up” method.  This method starts you off slow—then gradually increases the intensity week by week.  The program starts off with 25 minute speed and weight workouts the first week, 35 minutes the second week, and 45 minutes in the final week.
While completing this awesome program I read the book “Body Beliefs” by Jason Seib.  After reading this book I have committed to no longer sharing before and after photos that are centered on weight and aesthetics of myself or anyone else. I will still take my own progress photos for myself, and I encourage you to as well.   But this is just so I can see my own progress and compare ME VS ME, but there is no reason for you to compare YOU VS ME.  That goes against my entire message that HEALTH is more important than WEIGHT, and that when HEALTH is the priority (physical, mental, and spiritual) the weight will fall in line. As Jason says, your scale measures gravity’s effect on you, and reducing that effect only requires a loss of matter. You can cut off a limb and lose weight, so why is this the ultimate goal? Weight loss is a lovely side effect of getting healthy and adapting a healthy lifestyle, but this “smaller at any cost” mentality has GOT TO GO.

It’s perfectly fine to want to lose weight, to want to look good, or feel confident in your bikini or your skinny jeans. But when how we LOOK becomes too important, and how we FEEL becomes secondary it becomes too easy to become judgmental of ourselves. This judgement leads to punishment, restricting food intake, over exercising to make up for “falling off the wagon”, and a whole host of other destructive behaviors.

So let’s put HEALTH first, mental and physical. Let’s recognize that there will be set backs and there will be weight gain. There will be days where it feels like all we can do is win, and other days where we will need to try again tomorrow.  But lets not reduce this life long journey to a single before and after photo.  I know I do not plan to anymore.



I am in the middle of my fourth round of Whole 30, and actually attempting a Whole 90 this time around (You can read about my first Whole 30 HERE, and read what Whole 30 did for me and my life HERE).

I am currently in a direct messaging group on Instagram with a bunch of ladies who are tackling a January Whole 30 (look at the hashtag #whole30girlgang if you want to be inspired AF) and many of them are feeling bored.  We are all on day 18 and for the passed 18 days many of them have eaten pretty much the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  While this makes the planning aspect easier for Whole 30, especially for your first round, it can get boring really fast.  I am a huge fan of mastering 7 recipes (you can read about the Simple 7 Solution and example recipes here), flip flopping spices, and then mixing and matching them throughout the week and month to make a complete meal plan.  But this comes with time, a little effort, and does not happen during your first 18 days of Whole 30.  So little boredom hacks like this one are key to success in your first round.

One of the best things I learned while doing my first round of Whole 30 over two years ago was that breakfast did not need to mean “BREAKFAST FOOD”.  The typical American breakfast (you know, that “balanced breakfast” that is on all of the Frosted Flakes commercials and approved by the American Heart Association?!  EW.) includes LOADS of carbohydrates, refined sugar, and other “frankenfoods” that are eaten really quickly as you rush out the door in a totally stressed out state.  Pick up a sugary chemical laden latte on the way to work and you have completed the horrible picture that can lead to blood sugar dis regulation, will make you HANGRY again in a few hours (I explain what it really means to be HANGRY here), and down the line can lead to even scarier things, like type II diabetes and adrenal fatigue.  While the occasional pancake is fine, a high glycemic breakfast on the reg is a NO NO if you want to be productive, happy, and healthy (which I think most of us do).  Thinking of your breakfast as “meal 1” instead of breakfast has helped me in the passed.  It does not need to include a muffin to be breakfast, in fact, please don’t eat traditional muffins.  They are basically cake.  Cake for breakfast is not good, no matter what Kate Spade says.

To cut the boredom and to help with planning I often have leftovers from the previous nights dinner for breakfast (think a serving of protein, 2 servings of veggies, and 2 servings of fat.  Something like compliant pulled pork with mashed cauliflower), and then have :::drum roll::: BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!


The only reason I would constitute this as “breakfast for dinner” is the fact that it features eggs and bacon.  When you adopt a primal/paleo/whole food lifestyle though, you quickly realize that bacon is totally acceptable any time of day or night (no added sugar, properly raised, and properly butchered bacon that is.) but I digress.

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner? 

What are you favorite features?! 

How do you combat boredom in your eating?


My Last Drink

I am kind of sad to say that my very last drink was a mimosa made from cheap Andre brut champagne at a baby shower on November 5, 2017.  It could have been a really decadent red wine, or a delicious cocktail.  And if I had planned it out, it probably would have been.  But if I had planned it out, I never would have stopped.  So Andre it was.

I got borderline drunk at the baby shower, WITH MY CHILDREN, felt so gross on the way home (my husband was driving) and decided I needed a break from alcohol for a while.  I had decided this many times before.  Since 2015 when I realized I might have a drinking problem, I had placed many rules and restrictions on my drinking in a desperate attempt to moderate this seemingly insurmountable THING in my life.

For example, I was allowed to drink on Friday and Saturday but not Sunday through Thursday (ask me how many times that ACTUALLY happened).  I was allowed 1 bottle of wine over the course of the weekend (ha!  Again, seriously laughable!).  I could start drinking on Fridays at 4PM, but if I drank during the week (see ridiculous rule #1 above) I had to wait until 5PM.  And the list goes on.

There is a reason the lion at the zoo is caged but the peacocks are allowed to roam basically free amongst people.  The peacock is not a danger.  The lion is.  I was attempting to cage my drinking problem with a set of rules that could not contain it.

So I decided to take another break.  Six days into my break I felt a gentle tug.  A tug from the universe that said “YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO CHURCH.”  I had felt this tug before, and mostly ignored it, but in the last year I had been exploring it more.  This particular tug, this pull that happened six days into my latest break from alcohol, felt more like a desperate cry from something bigger to take massive action.  So I went, I went to church willingly for the first time in 15 years.  And what happened that day was nothing short of magic.

The homily that day November 12, 2017 was all about time.  About how it is NEVER too late in life to make a change, but we also are not given infinite amounts of time.  If you want to do something, you must do it now.  Just like that, a comfort came over me.  A comfort that felt like a warm blanket, a reassuring pressure, or a really tight hug.  I knew I would never drink again and I felt incredibly free.  To this day when I feel those cravings for alcohol the simple prayer I use to get through it is this.




Since that day I have never looked back.  There have been bone chillingly intense cravings.  There have been moments I have wanted to numb, and feelings I could not bear to feel.  But I pushed passed the cravings.  I did not numb.  I felt those feelings.  The work does not end the day you decide to quit drinking, that is when the work begins.

I am not quiet about my sobriety (I am not quiet about much, but you already know that;-) ), but I also do not have all the answers.  I am loud and proud and I move through this process in my own way on my own time.  In so many ways I am still a baby in this whole thing.  I have less than a year of sobriety under my belt while I write this and my feelings are still so raw.

We are all recovering from something, my recovery just happens to be from alcohol addiction <3