The Whole 30 Diet!- What is it All About?

Sep 24, 2018

Hi Friends!  You have all traveled with me though my many diets and attempts to lose weight. I have gained and lost 45 lbs. so many times in the past 10 years. I have found I am definitely a stress eater and after year 45, weight for me had become a constant battle. I have moved from my past goals of looking good to now just wanting to feel better….. although being able to dress with confidence certainly would be an added plus!!  I want to have more energy to enjoy all that can be accomplished and experienced in this wonderful life, and be here to enjoy my next chapter-grand-kids!!


My daughter Kirby has been on a health kick and gave me the Whole 30-Starts with Food- book to read when I went to Peru.  She said it had changed her relationship with food!!  Although it is not ranked high on the diet sustainability list, the benefits on getting a crash course in clean eating and detoxing from sugar-I feel like I got mine from a chardonnay bottle—seemed like it would be good for me!! I bought the book and the cookbooks as they have lots of good recipes, but you can download most of the information from their website for free!

Source-Copyright : lightwise

The idea is, says Mellissa and Dallas Hartwig, authors of the Whole 30 plan, to remove all processes foods and foods that have been linked to systemic inflammation, skin issues, allergies, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances and digestion issues by staying away from sugars, grains and dairy. They say that you will sleep better, have more energy, enjoy better skin, and have less bloating to name a few! Sounded great to me!!! I felt like no wine, no milk or sweeteners in my coffee and no diet cokes would be the hardest to do without. Surely I could abstain for 30 days!!

They do not want you to weigh or track calories on the diet.  No scales, no measuring. The Whole 30 wants you to change your habits and your emotional relationship with food.  Your brain doesn’t know the difference between an almond flour brownie and the one from your favorite restaurant, so even though all the ingredients may be approved, eating deserts of any form will not help squelch your sugar cravings and thus are not permitted.

What you can eat: Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.

  • Meat.
  • Poultry.
  • Fish.
  • eggs
  • Veggies.
  • Fruits.
  • Fats.

What you can’t eat:

  • No sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.
  • No alcohol or smoking.
  • No grains.
  • No beans or legumes.
  • No soy.
  • No dairy.
  • No processed additives.

How did we do?

I did tell my husband that he had to do the diet with me.  Yes and I did tell, and not ask-sorry hunny!!!  So many of our nighttime habits we do together, sooooo…. I really needed his support.

The biggest challenge for him was not having pastries or breads.  I found some recipes for egg or vegetable muffins that seemed to carry him through.

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Honestly we ate better than we have in years and both felt better as well.  After we became empty-nesters, he cooked dinner having more time than me.  It consisted of something he grilled, a can of baked beans and a potato, unless of course I wanted to make a side. I didn’t complain, dinner was ready!  Now I do most of the cooking, but he does help choose recipes and clean the kitchen.  There is lots of cooking and prep to this plan.  This was probably the most overwhelming part of it all, especially when first looking over the recipes. It did get less stressful as the weeks went on as the ingredients were not so foreign, and I became able to make up my own recipes.

Source-Copyright : Olga Miltsova

This was a welcome distraction for me as I was replacing my two glasses of wine each night with sparkling water in a wine glass. Put limes, berries or herbs with your drink to make it feel more special.

Eggs daily just isn’t my thing so these sweet potatoes made with coconut milk and cashew butter, garnished with fruit was a yummy easy meal that could be made in advance.

Copyright : tashka2000

I also fell in love with chi pudding.  Just by the name I am not sure it is whole 30 approved.  You just mix one can of whole organic coconut milk with a bit over a fourth of a cup of chi seeds. Add more seeds if you like the pudding thicker.  Put it in a container overnight.  I like to put fruit, almond and coconut shavings on top. You can also mix the milk with fruit or cashew butter in the nutra-bullet, before the seeds are added to give it a different taste. I did have a 25th birthday dinner for my daughter Sammy and I made little parfait desserts, layering different combination of mixtures.

I loved all the foods-honestly! This was my families’ favorite. I made sweet potato mash in the nutra-bullet(can’t live without mine), mixing  whole fat coconut milk from a can, salt, pepper, and either coconut butter or ghee. Then I sauteed some onions and julienne carrots in a small amount of coconut oil.  When soft, I added the scallops and a minute before ready put large amounts of fresh spinach on top.  The plate was layered, mash-then spinach, scallops and carrots.


A few helpful tips:

  • I ordered three breakfasts and lunches a day from Snap Kitchen.  They delivered them to my office and prevented me from driving though somewhere and picking up something not on the list.
  • There are lots of slow cooker recipes available that are delicious.  The next day or for dinner later that week, I would roll the leftovers in jimcima tortillas(HEB sells them), or butter lettuce.
  • My kids told me about Instacart!  I am sure you have other shopping services in your area. It is a game changer.  I can shop for groceries on my computer at night and have them delivered at my convenience. For $149 per year or $6.99 a trip it is a time-saver and a bargain.
  • Trader Joe’s has many whole 30 and organize items that are reasonably priced!  There are lots of blogs on what to buy for whole 30 from Trader Joe’s-just ask google!!
  • My house staples-coconut milk and flakes-sweet potatoes-ghee-olive oil-avocado-frozen cauliflower rice-fruit, almonds, favorite veggies, chopped mushrooms and onions, cashew butter, favorite protein.
  • I purchase as many items as I can already chopped, this cuts my prep work in half, allowing me to prepare most dinners in 30 minutes or less.

recipe from damn delicious

This was also a great recipe and super easy to make!!!

I made a spinach open omelette the next morning for a Sunday brunch!!

I must say we both ate better and felt great!! Neither of us were ever hungry or felt deprived. John lost 10 lbs and I lost 14!  First time I have lost more than him!! I did start weighing everyday again which is not a good idea–it takes my mind, from enjoying my meals to thinking about food all the time-what not to eat– and actually causes me to want to eat more. We both no longer have unhealthy cravings and will definitely stick to many of the clean eating habits.  You can see what is on my road-map next!!  Feel free to email me with any questions, or to share your experiences. For recipes, go to my healthy eating Pinterest board.  I have lots more food ideas to try!! Here is to a healthier mind, body and soul!!

Exciting Event!! I am joined by and expert panel to discuss home makeovers for the Baylor Women’s network of Houston. Paisley house is graciously hosting the event and is donating a percentage of all sales during the event to Baylor!! She has lots of great furnishings and those velvet pumpkins we all crave for fall decor!! I hope to see some of your friendly faces there. xo  Leslie


  • Lizbeth Fox
    Posted at 07:16h, 24 September Reply

    Leslie, I am so proud of you. I have read so many articles about Keto plans and healthy eating my head feels overwhelmed with information. At least you dived in and did something besides read. Happy for you.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:52h, 26 September Reply

      Hi Lizbeth! there are so many diets out there and it gets so confusing because they all say different things. I must say I do like the food and I do love to eat. I no longer have sugar or carb cravings which is amazing. We will see where this leads!! xo

  • Pam
    Posted at 07:39h, 24 September Reply

    We started eating a whole food plant based lifestyle last February and feel great. It is a great anti cancer, anti heart disease, anti diabetes, anti immune disorder lifestyle backed by years of scientific study. No counting points or calories or carbs. In fact, we eat lots of satisfying carbs, but no oil, sugar and very low to no salt. Watch the Forks over Knives documentary for info. It was hard getting started, but is easy once you eat this way for awhile. So much cheaper too.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:50h, 26 September Reply

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the tip on the documentary! I will watch that for sure!! You have really made it a way of life! That is my hope for me. I haven’t found the cheaper yet. Think it is because i am still collecting the staples!! thanks for your comments and inspiration!!

  • Susan S.
    Posted at 07:44h, 24 September Reply

    So funny I read this today. We have decided to do a ‘reset’ of Whole 30 beginning TODAY! My hubster and I did our first round (R1) of Whole Thirty last October 2017. I lost 15 lbs and my hubster lost over 20 and went down almost 2 suit sizes. He was a naysayer…was humoring me about following this eating plan with me…yet now is one of its biggest cheerleaders. I don’t own a scale and have only been on one once…June in the doctor’s office. Why a reset? My hubster realized yesterday he gained back 5 lbs. After one year I’d say that’s pretty good! Five lbs can so easily lead to 10 and my hubby has a nice investment in a new wardrobe so….a reset is in order! That being said, even after the initial 30 days, we stuck to this way of eating during the week…and ‘cheated’ on weekends. Yes, we still kept the weight off. The downfall for my husband was our Coronas, chips and generally consistent crappy eating at the beach this past summer. Neither one of us are surprised. I haven’t been on a scale but I have no doubt that I am up 1-2 lbs, as well. When we ‘partied’ on the weekends with ‘junk’…we paid the price in the days that followed. Intestinal bloat was the biggest culprit. Getting rid of the added sugars is definitely a good thing in my world. I love the Whole30 recipes…many have become constants when it comes to my meal planning. The joke in my home is we will no longer be able to resell our house with a ‘brand new’ stove, lol! That baby has received a nice workout this past year 🙂 Round 2 (R2)…here we come. Wish us luck!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:47h, 26 September Reply

      Hi Susan!! I loved your comment! I do agree the food is yummy, they will always be staples in our house! I lost 20 lbs but have been at a bit of a standstill for the last three weeks. I know have an occasional glass of wine but am not a nightly drinker which has been great!! Feel so much better. I am also cooking all the time–I forgot how fun it is!! Cheers to you my friend–and to your husband!!

  • susan
    Posted at 09:37h, 24 September Reply

    leslie….you are beautiful inside and out…i’m so proud of you and you have inspired me to take a look at “whole 30″…i would love to visit with you about it….hope all is well with you! xoxo

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:43h, 26 September Reply

      Hi Susan!! Haha we have talked about so many haven’t we. I would love to visit about it anytime!! xo

  • Barbara
    Posted at 20:25h, 24 September Reply

    Whole 30 is the only diet that’s worked for me, in middle age. I also find that I am better off avoiding cheese and carbs, long-term. Although, wine remains on the menu! Best of luck. It’s worth it!

  • Deborah
    Posted at 20:57h, 24 September Reply

    Proud of you, Leslie! Check out my friend, Marcia Smart’s website, Smart in the Kitchen. She is a chef/recipe developer who does weekly meal plans and is doing a month of Whole 30 right now. 🙂 XO

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:43h, 26 September Reply

      I love her!! Her blog is so great–I have linked ot it before–I know have lots more recipes from her!!!–thanks

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