Aug. 1 Whole30 + Whole30 Daily

I eat Whole30 style almost all the time, so I always feel kind of weird when I say “I”m doing a Whole30.” In the last three years, I’ve done several super-strict Whole30s, but now that eating this way is a habit, I’ve promised Melissa and Dallas of Whole9 that I won’t make myself nuts by trying to be “perfect” all the time.

During a normal week, I cook all of our weekday meals at home, and I don’t prepare anything that’s not Whole30 approved in our kitchen. When Dave and I eat out on the weekends, I avoid grains, dairy, legumes, and added sugar, but I know the neighborhood restaurants where we usually eat may be sneaking factory-farmed meat and non-Whole30 ingredients into my food. I’m OK with that because I eat so clean at home.

On August 1, Whole9 is launching another official Whole30, and this is my announcement that I’m participating for a variety of reasons:

(Disclaimer: My Whole30 will actually be a Whole 24 because I’m traveling on August 24. I allow myself this leeway because I’ve completed full, totally strict Whole30s in the past and have definitely sent the sugar demon to the depths where he belongs.)

1. Moral support
A bunch of my favorite people are taking on the Whole30: Holly of Holly Would If She Could, Kathleen at Jeremy & Kathleen, and my kickass PR team at Bread & Butter PR. I’m jumping into the fray with them in solidarity.

2. We’re traveling at the end of August.
Travel means I happily indulge in yumminess when I get my hands on something edible that’s worth it. Melissa H. did a brilliant job outlining smart travel guidelines in her recent post Anatomy of a Vacation, and I follow a similar set of guidelines. I like to put deposits in the Good Health Bank before we fly off to adventures to ensure I enjoy myself when I indulge, so now’s a great time to start building up the Good Health Bank Account.

3. Science! (Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful!)
I’m trying a new thyroid hormone protocol for the next month and the best way to ensure that (a) I don’t collapse into a weeping, fatigued heap on the sofa and (b) we know how the thyroid medication is working is to eat very clean, rest, and listen to my body. I can’t hear my body over the noise of crappy food, so Whole30 it is.

The Whole30® Daily

If you’re thinking about trying a Whole30, think about this: For the last few months, Dave and I have been collaborating on a project with Melissa and Dallas of Whole9. It’s called the Whole30® Daily, and it’s totally badass.

Have you ever wished that someone would check in on you every day to see how you’re doing with your goals? Someone to ask… What’s your motivation like today? Did you sleep OK? Are you having trouble with cravings, or are you kicking ass? Someone to offer just the right piece of advice — or a kick in the keister — when you need it?

That’s just what the Whole30 Daily is designed to do. If we want to get all official about it, it’s like this:

The Whole30® Daily is a newsletter and daily check-in system to prepare you, motivate you, and ensure your success, every single day of your Whole30 adventure.

The content in the daily emails goes beyond the rich information already found on the Whole9 website (for free), the Whole30 Success Guide, and the brilliant new book It Starts With Food, although — who are we kidding?! — you should really get yourself all of those resources, too.

Here’s what Melissa H. says about the Whole30 Daily:

The idea for the Whole30 Daily came from science — habit research, to be specific. Studies and trials show that when trying to commit to a new habit… daily check-ins foster twice the success rate, reduce “slips” caused by lingering cravings, and lead to greater success long-term.

But it’s not just about the daily check-in… the type of message matters. In a study of overweight teens, positive messages proved to be the key to weight loss success… Which is exactly how we designed our Whole30 Daily: daily check-ins full of positive messages.

I’m immensely proud to have been a small part of the team that brought this project to life. Melissa and Dallas (and their Whole9 team) busted their butts to make the content relevant, fresh, and original. My husband Dave toiled countless hours to make the technical magic happen and keep the project on track.

If you’re ready to take on a Whole30, I encourage you to learn more about the Whole30 Daily and add it to your arsenal. When you sign up, you get 32 robust emails — one every day of the 30 days, plus a kick off and close out message — and it costs less than 50-cents a day.

Learn more about the Whole30 Daily, see a sample newsletter, and sign up here.

My Whole30

And now, questions for you! I’m wondering how much of my Whole30 you’d like to see documented on The Clothes Make The Girl. Do me a favor and share your thoughts in comments, please.

1. Are you interested in a recap of what I eat each day?
2. Are you interested in a recap of my workouts and amount/quality of sleep?
3. Do you want to know about non-Whole30 stuff I eat, or is that demotivating for you?
4. Is there anything else you’re curious to know about my Whole30 experience?

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  • Alisha says:

    1. Yes!
    2. I’m neutral
    3. Sure, especially if it was super delicious
    4. Maybe some of the prep work you do each day or week

  • Magess says:

    I’d definitely like to see a log of what you’re eating, with recipes or links. Inventive cooking is key, I think. It’s only going to be 2 weeks between one Whole30 and another for me. (Wow, that weight came back fast.)

  • Kelly says:

    Yes I’d like to hear all about it! I’ve considered doing a Whole 30 since I first heard about it a year ago, but it looks daunting. It would be cool to see how someone weathers it day by day, even though you’re a pro by now! 🙂

  • Dana says:

    Thanks for the link to “off-roading!” we just did that for a few days at the beach, but we’ll be doing it for even longer at the end of August/beginning of September. (We will actually be traveling with a copy of It Starts With Food!)

    BTW: Totally recommend seeing Thomas Dolby live if you ever have the opportunity, y’all! (Also, his latest album, A Map of the Floating City, is fabulous.)

  • Sara J. says:

    What a coincidence, I decided to try my first whole30 starting today. I look forward to reading about how you do it.

  • Megan says:

    Yes, I’d especially love to see a recap of what you eat everyday. I’m planning on doing a whole30 within the next few months (once my schedule settles down) and it would be helpful to see how it’s done. Actually, it’d be really great to hear how you plan ahead/cope with unexpected eating situations.

  • Kirk says:

    I’d love to read about someone’s daily mental struggles to make a healthy eating change in their life and how they deal with them day after day.

    What does one think and do when they’re out with friends? How does one handle vacations and staying healthy? What is the mental process one works through to successfully fight off the temptations of junk food or convenient pre-packaged food?

  • Andrea says:

    1. YES
    2. YES
    3. YES

  • Meghan says:

    Mel –

    My nutrition challenge people are always asking for a) bulk meal ideas and b)stuff that is easily portable for long days away from home. I always point them here for recipes, would love to see some bulk cooking ideas with the Whole30 in mind (for my knowledge too!)

    Can’t wait to see you in Philly soon!


  • Anne says:

    Yup, what every1 else said. Bulk cooking is genius, though ‘special’ recipes are very welcome too. I told the bf last night that I am adding you to my list of ‘recipe people I trust 100%’ after trying your Bora Bora Fireballs. (I burned my hand flinging sweet potatoes into a pan of hot oil, but I tell people it’s from making fireballs, hehe – well it happened while they were in the oven)

  • Jenn says:

    Yes to all of it, but I’m especially interested in the exercise/sleep component. I’m on Day 28 of my first Whole 30, and I haven’t had any cheats or setbacks. Well Fed was a huge factor in that, as I’ve tried several of your recipes this month! I’m jumping right into another Whole 30 in August, but now that I have the eating part down, I want to also pay more attention to the other Whole 9 factors. I know I don’t get quite enough sleep, and I’m just starting to work out again after being a lump for the past year. Unfortunately, Crossfit isn’t in my budget, but I’m going to Planet Fitness, which is a good start. I also agree with the others who asked for more info on bulk cooking. With the kids going back to school and all their activities in September, I’m going to have to get a lot more organized if I’m going to continue to put great meals on the table.

  • Tricia says:

    I’m doing whole 30 in August too. And I love, love, love Holly Would if She Could.

    I’ll be posting some recipes and some updates as it progresses on my blog as well, if anyone wants to check me out. (crappy boring name, I know!)

  • noblepower says:

    1. yes please.
    2. yes please.
    3. yes please.
    4. count me in with your other respondants – I am interested in hearing about prep, bulk cooking and cooking for transport (long days away from home).
    Isn’t eating Whole30 with the Olympics going on kinda make you feel like you are part of that super healthy crew?

  • Linda Sand says:

    I want to know more about your “piles” so telling us what you are eating everyday would help me imagine that better. I also want to know more about your fruit eating. And snacking. I guess I’m saying any additional details you can give us about what you eat when would be very appreciated.

    We’re getting better at batch cooking proteins but need to work on the vegetables.

  • Kymba says:

    1. Are you interested in a recap of what I eat each day?
    Yes, this is my first and I’m desperate for those “what do I do when I have X” ideas, or how things come off the page into real life.

    2. Are you interested in a recap of my workouts and amount/quality of sleep?
    I’m curious but don’t want you to feel like you have to track every detail of your workout, or feel that you’re confessing if you stay up for a movie marathon.

    3. Do you want to know about non-Whole30 stuff I eat, or is that demotivating for you?
    I need to know how to mix-in the few things I’ll probably slip up with, I think it’s good to know that no-one is a perfect machine; that thought is more demoralizing. Also when I’m f’ing exhausted and hungry and work was a bitch and there’s no way in HELL I’m working 30 more minutes for a MEAL – what can I do?

    4. Is there anything else you’re curious to know about my Whole30 experience?
    Shopping trips; how you buy, when you shop, ballpark of what you spend. For me eating “right” begins with what’s in the house; how do I clear it out and what (most important) do I bring in and when?

  • De23 says:

    Hooray! I am planning starting Aug 1 as well – it’s the beginning of my new job and I want to be as healthy as possible to deal with the stress and to establish good routines from the get-go. My target is sugar — since starting paleo 1 1/2 years ago grains have been easy, and I’ve learned to live without dairy (coconut milk to the rescue!). Alcohol can be a temptation, but that’s just a social situation thing, not a crazy uncontrollable physical shove-stuff-in-my-face craving like sugar. I’m hoping the additional accountability can help me through!

    To answer your questions:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes. Going to bed early enough is a big challenge for me.
    3. To tell the truth, to me it is a little demotivating.
    4. As others said, bulk meals, crockpot meals, and keeping things simple and quick.

    Back to watching USA women’s volleyball. The Men’s team Archery today was unexpectedly thrilling and suspenseful!

  • lisa says:

    YES! All of the above! I also struggle with portion sizes (not enough= hungry, too much = bloated…ug!) and snacks (or no snacks). If you tell us what you eat for meals, I’d also love to know what else you eat each day or just the 3 meal/day plan.

  • Megan says:

    All of the above? Mostly, though, I would love to see what you’re eating, preferably that falls within the limits of the Whole 30 challenge. I started mine today, a few days early, but this is my first one, and the only reason I’m at all excited about it is thanks to your cookbook! So keep the recipes coming!

  • barb says:

    Hi definitely want to see what you are eating and if possible – amounts – ozs of meat, cups of veg, quantity of added fat.

    You are always inspire me!

  • Amanda J. says:

    I love that you generally include all 4 points in your posts anyway. I agree with many of the comments posted here. Batch cooking is such a help for the buys work week. Do you ever freeze meals? I look forward to your spunky comments during this W30!

    I do plan to join you on Aug 1st.

  • Kathleen says:

    1. YES.
    2. YES.
    3. YES – I’m especially curious about this. Because you’re so super clean with what you eat most of the time I want to know what you eat when you “off-road” and how often that happens. Because pretty much I want to model myself after you.
    4. Is Dave doing the Whole30 too? Do you guys always off-road together? Jeremy is in it with me about 90% but still enjoying a beer or some chocolate here and there. I don’t want to hold him back but he also doesn’t want to hurt my feelings by consuming these things in front of me. So I guess I’m curious about navigating those sorts of issues with partners.

  • Mel says:

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I’m surprised you want to know about what I eat, but I’m glad to share.

    As for bulk prep and shopping, have you read these previous posts?

    There’s also a lot of helpful shopping and bulk prep info in Well Fed.
    Kathleen –> Dave tends to off-road more than I do, but almost never at home. When we eat out, I stick to my guns and orders whatever he’s in the mood for that day. Sometimes he’s paleo; sometimes he’s not. At home, I do most of the cooking, and we almost always eat Whole30 style, except for holidays or a pre-determined treat meal. Dave and I have a long history of me “dieting” (thank goodness those days are over!), so we’re comfortable with him eating different stuff than I do. But 99% of the time, he eats the same things I do. Very supportive. But his eating occasional treats at home doesn’t bother me now that I’ve learned to eat this way long term.

    • De23 says:

      Re: bulk prep — I guess I’m looking for a magic bullet, but when I have tried to do a weekly cookup for my family of 4 I’m in the kitchen for 4-5 hours and still not even getting half of what I need done for the week. I’m thinking about taking your idea of the same snack per week and making it the same lunch per week and packing it all on Monday. And stop trying new recipes! Simple, simple, simple has got to be my new mantra with school starting. But simple veggies are not always all that appealing over the long haul.

  • Kymme says:

    Have just finished my very first Whole 30.. it was awesome.. tough, thought provoking and fun all at the same time!!
    Did fall off the wagon on Day 27.. a scoop of homemade chocolate ice cream.. but dusted myself off and finished out the last couple of days.. not bad for first attempt..according to my gorgeous support network!!
    Thank goodness for Well Fed it got me started and kept me going!!
    I am taking a couple of weeks off to refeed a few things and listen to my body and hear what it has to say…and back into in mid August in preparation for Tough Mudder on 23 September 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    4.Goals for the 30 (or 21) and your results.

  • Heather says:

    Ok…I’m terrified, but you’ve inspired me to do a Whole 30…I want all the updates you’ve got!!

  • Heather says:

    I am startin the whole30 for August as well. I have a pretty clean diet our family eats paleo the majority of the time. I am celiac so I do not eat wheat. Although this summer I have been having terrble allergic skin rashes so I am really looking forward to tying up the lose ends and really cleaning up my diet 100% especially since I have had to be on steroids and meds most of the summer. I am really hoping this helps with my skin condition. I have been looking for information on Paleo articles on when a person is sick and has to take medication. I have been wondering if certain foods are better for you if ones you should avoid like maybe eggs with inflammation I think someone mentioned?? And how to handle when you can’t put in a full workout I am normally super active but that came to almost a stand still with being sick this summer. If you know of any links or where I might find any articles on this I would appreciate the feedback thanks so much ~Heather

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Heather. The Whole9 book It Starts With Food has sections on special populations, including autoimmune, etc. You might want to check out their book.

      Robb Wolf has this on his web site:

      Paleo For Autoimmunity

      Emerging research has made clear the link between Neolithic foods (grains, legumes and dairy) and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and a host of other less well know conditions. Many people have found significant improvements in autoimmune disease by eliminating the Neolithic foods and building a diet around nutritious Paleo options. If you suffer from an autoimmune disease we highly recommend you start a Paleo diet and let us know what your results are. To give your body its best chance to heal we recommend that you initially limit the following foods:

      Tomatoes & eggplants
      Peppers including bell peppers and hot peppers
      Spices such as curries, paprika, and chili powder.

      Some of these otherwise Paleo-friendly foods have been shown to be problematic in individuals with autoimmune issues. We recommend you fully remove not only these foods but also all Neolithic foods (grains, breads, potatoes, beans and dairy) for at least a month to see if they pose a problem for you.
      Sample Meal Plan: Weight Loss


      Shrimp scramble with basil and steamed spinach. ¼ cup blueberries. Espresso.


      Chicken salad with red onions, romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts and mixed bell peppers. Dressing: Lemon/Olive Oil with a hint of garlic. Green tea with lemon.


      Grilled shrimp & veggies with a hand full of macadamias.


      Baked pork loin with ginger cabbage and olive oil. Desert: shaved almonds over 1/4 cup mixed berries.

  • Holly says:

    I am in! I know this might be a challenge some days but I think it will significantly help the stomach issues I have been having. I just bought “It all Starts withFood” last week and it is full of great information!

  • 1. Yes!
    2. Definitely!
    3. Sure. I’m nosey 🙂
    4. Did you have bad headaches when you started? I think I may be addicted to sugar!

    • Mel says:

      4. YES! You might get headaches, aches, fatigue, grouchiness, stomach upset… but it will go away and then, as long as you eat clean 80% of the time, those symptoms won’t return. But the beginning can be rough.