When Pigs Fly (Let's talk about Whole30)

Well friends, I drank the Whole30 koolaid. Today is day 20. I'm still alive.

(Let me back up.)

Two years ago, I bought the Whole30 book after seeing a dozen people raving about the program on Instagram. I was intrigued by the miraculous list of ailments it could allegedly cure, and, to be frank, I was also desperate to lose the last 10 pounds of pregnancy weight. The only problem? I was still breastfeeding. And not just breastfeeding, but breastfeeding an underweight baby. I was on fenugreek, lactation cookies, the works -- trying anything to increase my milk supply and help my tiny baby grow.

After reading the intro to the book (and receiving encouragement from a friend!), I decided it would be wise to wait to put myself on such a strict food regimen until after I finished breastfeeding. And so, I continued eating four lactation cookies per day and surviving on a mix of cereal, pasta, and in-n-out cheeseburgers that first year of Carson's life. 

While I've never been much a health nut, there's no denying that I've felt myself falling into a downward spiral the past couple years. I'm going to go ahead and blame Carson for this because he didn't sleep through the night for fifteen months and needed to be held all of the time and when you're in survival mode, of course eating half an entire pizza in front of the television sounds like a great idea. I deserve this, I'd tell myself, polishing off my sixth slice in the middle of our eighth time binge watching The Office.

I wasn't a terribly unhealthy eater, per se, but on average, I was probably eating more unhealthy meals than healthy meals. And had I not been actively chasing two kids around the house, breastfeeding like crazy, and occasionally eating nothing but a granola bar for lunch (because the fridge was empty -- have I mentioned I'm a horrible meal planner?), I certainly would have gained 20 pounds in the aftermath of adjusting to life with two kids.

Which brings us to: 2017. 

A couple months ago, Brett and I were taking our evening walk around the neighborhood when our conversation turned to health. Both of us agreed that we felt really unhealthy. He complained about his ailments: tiredness, joint pain, allergies, digestion problems, and I complained about mine: exhaustion, insomnia, lack of energy, bloated-ness, headaches, moodiness. I threw out the idea of us trying Whole30, and much to my surprise, Brett said, "I think we should do it."

Knowing what I know now about this program, it would have been completely impossible to do without Brett. I have needed the accountability, the commiseration, the help, the encouragement. Also: can you imagine if Brett were eating burritos every night while I was roasting vegetables? I would have wanted to stab him. Our marriage might not have not survived.

A few weeks ago I re-skimmed the book, printed off some Pinterest recipes, and we took the plunge. For reference: the week before we started Whole30, I was regularly dipping animal crackers into a can of leftover rainbow chip frosting. As a snack. So. That's the "before" I represent.

We did a complete fridge and pantry clean-out two days before we started. Bye bye pasta, risotto, salad dressings, coffee creamer. Goodbye ice cream. Farewell bread. Hasta la vista cheese. See you never, rainbow chip frosting.

Three weeks in, I have learned a ton about food. But, to be honest, I think I have learned more about myself.

I'm planning to do a full recap at the end, and I'll be sharing a few more posts in the next week or two about our favorite recipes, brands, stores, and items. Don't worry, this isn't turning into a food blog (lol can you imagine?)! But I owe a lot of my Whole30 knowledge to various blog posts I found on Pinterest, so I'd like to return the favor to the Internet. 

Have you ever done Whole30? How'd it go? I have 10 days left so if you're hoarding any good recipes, plz link below! Here's to good health, eating your vegetables, and getting my coffee creamer back in 10 days. 


Ashlee Gadd

Ashlee Gadd is a wife, mother, writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, Ashlee loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith.