It Starts With Food - Whole30

I have never been better at numbering my days–

Day 20 of Whole30; Day 8 of 18 sessions of Boot Camp.

Neither is easy for me and there are days I am ready to quit ALL of it.

But I won’t and here’s why: compelling motive, accountability, fun (are you kidding me?) and ripple effect. 

I discuss those things over at The Art of Simple on Thursday, but it occurred to me I’ve been presuming “everyone” already knows what the Whole30 is. Based on the number of times I’ve had to explain it to friends in real life, I thought it would be helpful to elaborate here.

Whole30 is the program based on the New York Times Bestseller, It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. It got on my radar last year after my husband discovered it. Cute story: He stumbled onto it searching “how to cook a sweet potato” when I was out of town one weekend.

I looked at him like he had grown another head when he, excitedly, started telling me the ground rules. Thirty days without:

  • potatoes or pasta (potatoes, boil or baked, were added in August of last year but not when we did this in April)
  • sugar or sugar alternatives, added sugar or did I say SUGAR yet??
  • dairy including cheeses, yogurt and ice cream
  • grains including corn (I will not do Whole30 when Silver Queen corn is in season)
  • legumes
  • carrageenan, MSG, sulfites
  • alcohol
  • gum
  • basically nothing with ingredients you can’t pronounce

And while that seems like you can’t eat anything “good,” in essence, that’s all you can eat!

  • meats
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • veggies
  • fruit (not in smoothies, but whole or sliced)
  • “good” fats from fruits, nuts, oils and seeds

I told him I could never do it.

And then we did it.

Rather than me plagiarizing the Whole30 Program Rules, pop over to their site and skim the details (and then buy the book. Seriously. Its appeal to logic, sound reason and physiology just makes SENSE).

What the Whole30 Program is NOT about is calorie counting; never once did I worry about how many calories I was consuming in a day.


Because everything I put in my mouth was unprocessed, fresh food, calories were never an issue.

Doing the Whole30 is not about weight loss (though I lost 8+ pounds during the month); my personal goals were jump-starting an anemic metabolism and trying to get better sleep. Apparently my food choices were sabotaging both and I was amazed to learn how much what I eat is adversely affecting hormone levels. And while I didn’t feel great while I was on the program (many people do experience that), I could tell I felt worse after returning to some of my favorite junk foods. For me, afterwards was when I could tell the difference.

Anyway, it’s really worth five minutes of your time to find out more. This is NOT a sponsored post in any way, shape or form; I sincerely want to be a cheerleader for good health and better lifestyle choices.

Are you already a subscriber? If not, please do by clicking here & adding your email!! 


One of Whole30’s goals is to encourage trying new foods; and while I’ve always loved cauliflower, my favorite way to prepare it was steamed then bathed in a creamy cheese sauce. Because of Whole30, now we eat it roasted, a much healthier alternative. There’s not much to it, but I can’t believe I never tried it until a year ago.

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients for roasting cauliflower



  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, washed, patted dry and cut into florets
  • 2-3 Tblsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Toss florets in a large bowl together with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid of the browning, it adds a rich buttery taste to the florets.

You can add garlic or your favorite herbs, but I’ve found I like it simply prepared best. Remember, no cheeses on Whole30 so Parmesan is a no-no.


Roasted Cauliflower



I’d love for you to share your favorite Whole30 compliant recipes. Tell me your stories, too, about how you’re pursing better health. It helps me to remember I’m not in this thing alone… 🙂

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