Whole30: One of the best decisions I have ever made.

On January 6, 2014 I started my first ever Whole30 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. (If you aren’t familiar I suggest checking this out www.whole30.com and the book It Starts with Food By Doug and Melissa Hartwig). Starting my whole30 challenge was tough, but it honestly has launched me into an amazing journey that has inspired BIG changes in my life.

Okay, my soap box has disintegrated….Moving on! Here’s my first whole30 experience including what I had every meal and my results! Side note: I wrote these down daily as I did my whole30, but then compiled it in one post for all of you lovelies. By the end of my whole30 I began to reconsider some of the choices I had made even during this whole30 and probably would omit some of these foods the next time around. (Sausage, I’m looking at you…)

I would LOVE to have all of these recipes ready to go and post, but at this point I don’t. It’s a goal of mine to do, but it’s a work in progress! Please let me know if there are any specifically you want to see right away and I’ll do my best to get it ready!!

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Day 1: First day down!!

Breakfast: 2 pieces of turkey bacon, avocado and my pretty much daily smoothie  (ps..its pineapple, banana, mango, spinach, kale, splash of organic, unfiltered apple juice and water)

Lunch: Spaghetti squash, peppers, onions and ground turkey mixed with tomato sauce.

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Coconut chicken with pineapple mango dipping sauce and a salad.


Day 2: I probably had too much fruit today, but today more than yesterday I felt much hungrier than yesterday.

Breakfast: Same smoothie as yesterday, hardboiled egg and 1/2 c grapes.

Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken, egg, and topped with balsamic vinegar

Snack: Walnuts midafternoon and apple slices

Dinner: Kinddd of the paleo nachos. The sweet potato was sliced a little thick and didn’t really turn into a chip so we had more of a Mexican salad which was really yummy! I made fresh guacamole and salsa, added grilled chicken and topped with the sweet potato, peppers, and onions.

After dinner snack: After dinner I had some raspberries as my boyfriend sat next to me and munched skittles…(yeahh).


Day 3: Ps. The whole30 says smoothies are okay, but not great because you “should chew your foods”. Seems to work well for me though, especially in the morning!

Breakfast: Smoothie and Walnuts.

Lunch: Leftovers from last night’s dinner

Dinner: Pulled pork, red cabbage “slaw” (red cabbage, onion, jalapeños, lime juice and vinegar) and half an avocado.

Snack/dessert: Prunes! Hehe I love them! They are just pure organic prunes without any preservatives.


Day 4: Bad headache today starting around 3 or so today, but thinking it may be because of water?

Breakfast: Smoothie, Cashews

Lunch: leftovers from dinner.

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Sausage, eggs, and cooked peppers


Day 5: Uh oh!! Time to take this “on the road”

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and peppers, an egg, and 2 chicken breakfast sausage

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Piece of smoked Sausage dipped in organic mustard (yup, I brought a packet!!)

So this was the first time I had a “social outing” since starting. We went to the 76er’s game and unfortunately due to timing I was unable to make a dinner ahead of time. I ended up finding a place that had “smoked sausage” and although it wasn’t exactly within the guidelines for the meat quality (meaning not organic or pasture raised) I was happy I was able to still eat within the guidelines! Also, in a vending machine I found apple chips…I took a gamble and bought them without being able to see the ingredients and it turned out the only ingredient was organic granny smith apples! Also, got a “Hint” water which the ingredients are water and fruit.

Day 6: Just keep telling myself…only 30 days! And now…24 to go!!

Breakfast: Green juice from a place nearby; Banana, and Iced coffee

Lunch: Salad with half an avocado and poached egg (actually super good with salad!)

Dinner: Chipotle! Only combo you can make: Naked salad with Carnitas, Guacamole, Mild and Medium salsas (others have corn). Everything else is cooked with soy bean oil!

Overall, I didn’t eat nearly enough today and I’m totally feeling it. I’m making a smoothie now, but if I didn’t have stuff in my apartment to make it I think today may have been the breaking point!


Day 7:1 week down!!

Breakfast: Black coffee (turns out super good with a little sprinkle of cinnamon); banana.

Lunch: Avocado, 2 eggs, snap peas and pieces of organic sliced turkey with organic mustard, apple slices with almond butter

Snack: Small pineapple, strawberry, spinach and kale smoothie from Pure Fare.

Dinner: Salmon diced over spinach, green beans and half an orange.


Day 8: No need for a snack!!

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, Smoothie

Lunch: Leftover salmon over spinach, snap peas, and an orange. Water and lemon to mix it up too!

Dinner: Frittata with spinach, red peppers, mushrooms, jalapeños, and chicken sausage and strawberries on the side. Also, had some sparkling water just to mix it up!

Today was a yummy day and definitely did better with portions. I feel like before I would prematurely snack without being hungry. It sounds silly but meals taste so much better when you’re actually hungry!


Day 9: Ho hum…the novelty is wearing off…

Breakfast: Smoothie, 2 hardboiled eggs

Lunch: Leftover Frittata, snap peas, orange slices

Snack: Larabar (whole30 says only for emergencies!)

Dinner: Taco salad with salsa verde and fresh guacamole.

After dinner: Organic, sulfide-free dried pineapple


Day 10: Dear Avocado…what can’t you do?

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Lettuce wraps with organic sliced turkey, uncured turkey bacon and guacamole

Dinner: Chili with avocado on top and strawberries on the side.


Day 11: Yeahhh about this…

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Leftover chili with avocado, apple with almond butter.

Dinner: 2 fried eggs (with lots of black pepper!!), chicken breakfast sausage, and cooked peppers and onions.

After dinner snack: Chia seed bar

Today hit me like a ton of bricks. Honestly, such a hard day!! I was looking at the whole 30 website and found a timeline. Turns out it’s the hardest day for lots of people!! Glad to hear that! Today was tough for fatigue and cravings. Gosh, there was a whole mine field of temptations today…ugh chili dip with cheese, cupcakes, cheese cake…cruel test! Fortunately I made it through!


Day 12: Today my snack will be some zzz’s!

Breakfast: Smoothie, Black coffee

Lunch: Leftover Chili with avocado, apple with almond butter

Dinner: 3 spicy lime chicken wings, salad and cup of red grapes

Feeling better today, but so tired! Came home from work and passed out for about 2 hours. Still a few cravings today, but so much better than yesterday. Amazing how it even seems like flavors change. Grapes are candy!!


Day 13: Meals look a little silly today…I’ll explain…

Breakfast: Banana

Lunch: Pulled pork, Cooked green beans, and fresh Orange juice

Dinner: Leftover chili with avocado on top

So woke up and headed to the gym. Didn’t want to eat a bunch before I worked out so I just had a banana. Suddenly time got away from me and I wasn’t able to make breakfast before a 10am appointment. My poor boyfriend tried to get me a cup of coffee but unfortunately added creamer out of habit. Oh well! No coffee for me! Before heading to another appointment I stopped into a big market (Reading Terminal Market for you Philly Followers…oh man love that place!) that makes lots of fresh food. PA has lots of Amish farms so I found a place that had all local pork. Had some shredded pork that I added fresh hot sauce (made without sugar!) and cooked green beans. Since my day was a little off I grabbed a fresh orange juice (also from Lancaster, PA!). Not super whole30 to have juice, but sometimes gotta do what you gotta do!

***Now, I feel like I totally could have found a better choice. All of those fresh fruits and vegetables? But hey! I was still newish to this. 


Day 14: Crazy that I haven’t had chocolate in 2 weeks…believe me. I haven’t forgotten.

Breakfast: Mint tea, Fritatta-ish creation on the stove top with mushroom, spinach, onion and jalapeño.

Lunch: turkey slices rolled with bacon, spinach and tomatoes.

Snack: A few cashews, walnuts and yellow raisins.

Dinner: Roasted Turkey, steamed broccoli, and pineapple. Had some tea when everyone had dessert

We went to my boyfriend’s parents’ house for dinner. Lucky for me his Mom knew I was doing the whole30 so had dinner planned accordingly. Lucky me!


Day 15: Coconut cream *enter stage left*

Breakfast: Eggs with mushrooms and spinach, avocado and strawberries. AWESOME coconut cream coffee with cinnamon.

Lunch: Turkey wrap with spinach and avocado, apple with almond butter

Dinner: Buffalo chicken stuffed pepper with guacamole, banana 


Day 16: More than halfway! YES.

Breakfast: Smoothie, Coffee with coconut cream

Lunch: Stuffed pepper with avocado and side of cantaloupe

Preworkout snack: 2 slices of turkey, apple slices and almond butter

Dinner: Chicken sausage, snap peas, peppers and strawberries

Day 17: Welcome “new” taste buds!

Breakfast: Coconut coffee, Lara bar, and apple

Lunch: Stuffed pepper, half an avocado, snap peas and strawberries

Preworkout Snack: 4 sweet mini sweet peppers, 2 pieces of turkey

Dinner: Homemade Jambalaya!

After dinner:  “Sorbet”; Blended frozen mango, frozen banana, spinach and a dash of water.

Note on my Larabar: Had to head into work early so this was convenient, but I did miss my smoothie! Also, I had the cashew cookie bar (dates and cashews) and I was shocked that I felt like it was wayyy too sweet. I’ve had it before and don’t remember thinking that at all!


Day 18: I did a bad thing today.

Breakfast: Smoothie; Coconut coffee

Lunch: About a 1 1/2 c. of Jambalaya, Strawberries, Snap peas and apple with almond butter

Preworkout snack: Turkey slices with peppers

Dinner: OUT for dinner!!

1st course: Spinach salad with pears, beets and walnuts
2nd: Steak with brussel sprouts and asparagus
3rd: Mixed fruits (strawberries, raspberries, black berries and blueberries!)

The story of my no good, very bad thing…So, we went out for Restaurant week which is a big week in Philly where a lot of great restaurants do a 3 course meal for a set price. Typically the meals are smaller than typical portions, but also about 1/3 of the price! Win win. So typically I would totally frown upon this and I definitely felt guilty doing so, but most restaurants are very strict about swapping sides or changing the dish at all during this week..sooo I told them I had a gluten and dairy allergy (don’t hate me!). Side note: Looking back on it now…I don’t feel as bad because I truly think I have sensitivities for gluten and dairy and I’m in charge of what I eat because hey! I’m paying for it!!


Day 19: I could do this forever!! …maybe…

Breakfast: Smoothie, Black coffee

Pre workout snack: Larabar and apple

Lunch: AWESOME Salad from a nearby place that is all local and organic. Made with free range chicken and eggs!

Dinner: Turkey breast, green beans, and strawberries! 


Day 20: 1/3 of the way!

Breakfast: Banana on the way to cycling! Totally did the whole “exercise in the morning before your brain knows what you’redoing.” It was so great! SO fun and wonderful to get my workout of the way before the rest of my day. Also had some coconut coffee when I got home. YUM!

Lunch: Had an early lunch with friends at a pizza place…I’m getting pretty clever with menus as eating out seems to somewhat of a big part of our routine as we live in the city. I got a grilled steak salad. SO good.

Dinner: Kind of a mash up; Chicken sausage, avocado, apple, cooked spinach and peppers.


Day 21: I think I’m in love…with breakfast.

Breakfast: Paleo “oatmeal”; 2 eggs blended with a banana and a good amount of cinnamon. I poured it into a pan and cooked it like scrambled eggs then put in some blueberries and cooked for a few more minutes. So yummy!

Lunch: 3 slices of turkey, half avocado, half a sweet potato mashed with garlic and strawberries

Dinner: Thai Curry chicken over spinach with pepper on the side.


Day 22: Totally in the groove of this!

Breakfast: Smoothie, Coffee with cream

Lunch: leftover curry chicken over spinach, handful snap peas, 4 sweet peppers

Snack: apple slices, almond butter

Dinner: lettuce wraps with turkey and bacon, sweet potato and some tomatoes!


Day 23: Brinner please!

Breakfast: Smoothie, black coffee

Lunch: Turkey slices, peppers, snap peas, strawberries and cashews

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Scrambled egg/banana mixture with blueberries, Chicken Sausage, and cooked peppers and onions. YUM!


Day 24: Soo hungry today for some reason!!

Breakfast: Cinnamon banana egg scramble; small smoothie

Lunch: Sweet potato, grilled chicken, green beans, apple

Snack: Cashews and raisins

Dinner: Mexican chicken and vegetable soup (made it the crockpot!) and avocado.


Day 25: Only 5 days? Hmm I see a glimmer of light.

Breakfast: Smoothie, Walnuts

Lunch: Leftover soup, Apple, Avocado

Snack: Snap peas

Dinner: Cinnamon banana egg scramble (can’t get enough!). I added raisins this time. Yum!

Day 26: Had today off so I did lots of cooking and prep today!!

Breakfast: Really needed to go shopping…2 slices of turkey bacon, coffee with coconut cream and apple with almond butter

Lunch: Same salad from the nearby place that uses organic/free range/etc. so yummy!

Dinner: Steak, brussel sprouts, strawberries


Day 27: Day 27 and still want some chocolate.

Breakfast: Coconut cream coffee and 2 Egg muffins. Made a whole pan of them yesterday so yummy!

Lunch: Turkey slices, apple with homemade almond butter, few olives

Dinner: Chicken sausage with hot sauce, sweet potato, cooked peppers and onions and blueberries.
Had some tea after to quiet some cravings.

Day 28: Super bowl and only 2 more days? Oh mannn…

Breakfast: 3 egg “cupcakes”; 2 were savory with pepper and onion and one was sweet with cinnamon and blueberries.

Lunch: Salad with steak, tomatoes, olives and cauliflower from a restaurant nearby
Snack: seriously craving chocolate etc. which I know I’m supposed to avoid on the whole30, but honestly. It was either I get somethinggg or throw in the towel. I made this smoothie with coconut milk, avocado, banana, unsweetened chocolate and coconut.

Dinner: Turkey burger over spinach with homemade guacamole and brussel sprout “chips” (use the separate leaves…sprinkle with salt and pepper…and bake at 350 until crispy)


Day 29: So closee!
Breakfast: Smoothie, Walnuts, and raisins

Lunch: Turkey burger over spinach with homemade guacamole and an apple

Dinner: Crockpot Lemon garlic chicken, steamed green beans and brussel sprouts.



Breakfast: 2 egg blueberry banana cupcakes; small smoothie

Lunch: 3 savory egg cupcakes, sweet potato, apple and homemade almond butter

Preworkout snack: Dried pineapple, walnuts

Dinner: Crockpot pulled pork, red cabbage, jalapeño, and lime mixed all together.




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Stay tuned for my Results, Wrap Up, and final thoughts post!

Posted in Eats & Drinks, Whole 30

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Colleen O'Connor - Keep It Real Clean

About Me

Hey! I'm Colleen and I'm a healthy lifestyle blogger living in Philadelphia, PA. Join me on this adventure to lead a healthier lifestyle including clean eating and fitness, all while enjoying the real world!

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