The Whole30 Challenge


What is the Whole30 challenge? It aims to reset and cleanse your body of all the foods that impact blood sugar levels, gut-damaging, inflammation, and cravings.

The second aim? To understand your emotional relationship to food, most of us don’t even realize! We often turn to food when we’re stressed, tired, cold, bored, happy – you name it!

Remove ALL of the below for 30 days:

  • Added sugar (real or artificial)
  • Grains
  • Legumes (beans, peanuts, peanut butter, chickpeas, etc.)
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods, baked goods, junk food, treats (even imitation healthier baked good options, like protein pancakes)
  • Alcohol
A week of my Whole30 groceries

A week of my Whole30 groceries

You will be able to eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, natural fats, seasoning, and some fruit. Learn more on the Whole 30 website program rules.

Why did I try the Whole 30? After the holidays I was feeling tired, bloated, and not my best self. I needed some afternoon sugar fixed almost daily and was bored of the food I was eating. I needed a reset!

I started January 2nd. I recommend the Whole 30 book, “The 30-day guide to total health and food freedom” by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig,  to help explain the diet and for guidance. It also walks you through the daily stages you’ll go through – which were SO accurate.

Whole 30_Jackie Riso

If you’re thinking about doing this, I want to help set you up for success with some expectations:

  1. You’re going to want to push off starting before you even begin!
    Be prepared for your mind to tell you all the excuses like you don’t have enough time, or you’re not ready, it’s going to be hard. Fighting your mindset will be your biggest challenge in the next 30 days.
  2. You’re going to feel worse before you feel better.
    The first week your body is going through changes. You feel irritable, angry, stressed, because you can’t have the foods you want.
  3. You’re going to struggle with cravings.
    Whether it’s sugar, bread, sugar, or rice – or anything you’re used to having, you’re going to want them as if your life depends on it! You’re going to think about it every day. I thought about pizza ALL the time and even had dreams about it!
  4. You’re going to want to quit.
    It’s much easier to say you don’t need to do it or you’ll start back up another time. Or a few weeks was “good enough.” Don’t!!! That’s quitting on yourself. It’s saying, “I can’t do this for 30 days.” The book explains people deal with much harder things for their entire life and if you can’t cut out these foods for 30 days, what is that saying?
  5. Don’t cheat!
    Your mind will tell you it’s okay to have that bite of dessert, a piece of bread, a glass of alcohol, but don’t listen to it!
I never made ribs before the Whole30 - these were delicious! I made them a few times.

I never made ribs before the Whole30 - these were delicious! I made them a few times.

I struggled every single day until about the mid-point or beyond. It taught me a lot about self-control in my life, how the foods I eat impact my body and my emotional attachment to food.

Although I didn’t do this for the physical results, I did lose about 8-10lbs. I generally felt a lot better, more energy, faster recovery from workouts, and less tired.

The change aftter 30 days1

The change aftter 30 days1

Following the 30 days, I still try to practice the guidelines of the whole 30 more often than not. When I do incorporate them into meals, I can feel my body respond, a bit more bloated than I usually feel.

If you’re looking for a “reset” with your body & the choices you make, this is a significant challenge! Feel free to reach out with any questions or share your Whole 30 experience!