A Whole30 Review From Two Perspectives (#WIAW)

Rather than sharing the same meals I have been showing you all month, for today’s “What I Ate Wednesday” I’ll be reviewing the Whole30, interview style. I came up with some general questions about the experience which I will be answering. I also had Rob (my husband, who also completed the Whole30 with me) answer the same questions. 

whole30 review

I’ll start with my own review. A little background in case you’re new here: I’ve been eating mostly paleo for about 6 months but was still enjoying wine regularly up until I started the Whole30. I went a little overboard with treats (sugar, wine, etc) around the holidays and was looking to clean up my food a bit. I wasn’t having any food-related issues but was interested to see how I felt after 30 days of no sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, and legumes.  

Why did you decide to do the Whole30? I wanted to clean up my diet after the holidays. I also wanted to push myself to try eating more nutritious, whole foods than I had been before. Also, I love a good challenge:)

What was your favorite part of the Whole30? I learned to really look forward to certain meals! As I talked about here, I learned to really love my breakfasts. I also think it was really good to get out of the habit of eating “dessert” every night like we used to do.

What were some of your favorite foods/meals during the Whole30? I have been sharing them on here along the way, but I definitely enjoyed these Bison Bacon Burger Sliders as well as these Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes. Also, plantains chips and apple chips!

What was your least favorite part of the Whole30? Not being able to drink wine. We also avoided eating out as much as possible over the 30 days, which meant cooking every. single. day. And hours of meal prep on the weekends. 

What did you miss the most? At first I really missed peanut butter, but then I grew to love the freshly ground almond butter that we started buying at Whole Foods and Fresh Market. There were times that I wanted a “treat” (even a paleo baked treat would have been fine) but that seemed to get less frequent as time went on. Of course I missed wine, but I think it was really good to take a 30 day break from alcohol. 

Did you notice any changes as you progressed through the 30 days? I noticed that I never experienced any stomach aches, bloating, etc which happened occasionally before. My skin was clear, but that’s not usually a problem for me…however, it’s been really dry this winter and that didn’t really change. I was really hungry between meals during the first two weeks, but when I started eating bigger breakfasts and lunches I was able to stay full for much longer.

Is there anything you will continue from the Whole30 once its over? I’ll continue eating mostly paleo as I had been doing, maybe even more so. I have found a few new recipes that I will make again, and I think I’ll stick with almond butter over peanut butter most of the time. 

Were there any negatives about doing the Whole30? It would have been really hard to do this if we had any social obligations or plans to eat out. As I said before, it was also a bit time consuming. I also found it to be more expensive. However, since we weren’t eating out at all I think that kind of evened everything out. 

If you were to give some advice to someone starting the Whole30 next week, what would it be? Plan ahead and make sure you will have time to meal plan and prep! It’s really tough to “wing it” when you’re doing the Whole30. Also, eat lots of fat!


Ok, so now for Rob’s perspective. He also enjoys wine as well as beer. He likes to be spontaneous with his eating, although I do most of the cooking around our house. He was eating alot of grains for breakfast before- Cheerios, Honey stinger waffles before a run, and occasionally a bagel when available. He also loved eating a huge plate of pasta on Friday night before a Saturday long run. 


 Why did you decide to do the Whole30?  Couples bonding?  To say that I did it?  Try something new?  (maybe a mix of all those things) ….  Lisa said she was going to do this and that if I wanted to I could also do it.  I figured dinners were taken care of and just had to figure out something for lunch….I’m also pretty sure she told me I was going to be able to run through walls … but I have not attempted this.

What was your favorite part of the Whole30?  … the real answer is “when it’s over”….if I have to say something positive… I found that almond butter tastes pretty good.

What were some of your favorite foods/meals during the Whole30?  Homemade ketchup and  almond butter (I can’t remember any specific meals except I ate them all and probably had seconds most nights!) 
What was your least favorite part of the Whole30?   Any craving I had was definitely not whole30 and the costs of buying whatever stuff we were buying at the grocery store were more.   Also, the day Lisa said I could quit…once she said that I knew my stubbornness would take me to the final day:)
What did you miss the most? No wine, beer, and other drinks….I also surprisingly had cravings for party mix and Starburst (I rarely eat either of those things, but instantly wanted them once I started on this 30 day endeavor). 
Did you notice any changes as you progressed through the 30 days?  Pants felt a little bit looser, but also had less energy on long runs.  I feel like I drank more coffee to make up for not be able to grab certain quick foods for breakfast (typically honey stingers).
Is there anything you will continue from the Whole30 once its over?  Ask Lisa…if she’s continuing it for dinner so am I:)   I’ll probably continue to eat more fruit and healthy stuff, but if I want a snack at work I’m not buying an apple or banana.  I’m also probably going to go back to eating Cheerios in the morning. 
Were there any negatives about doing the Whole30?  Grocery costs, a little bit limiting for going out, and not being able to have quick unhealthy snack. 
If you were to give some advice to someone starting the Whole30 next week, what would it be?  If you have someone that’s organized planning most of your meals for dinner it’s relatively easy.   Make sure your calendar is free from any big events that have organized meals…most likely anything there isn’t whole 30. 
I felt like it was really important to show another perspective because I think those of us that are doing the Whole30 and blogging about it tend to be pretty positive. It’s not for everyone. Also, it’s not easy! It could possibly have been cheaper than we made it but that was just one part of it that I couldn’t figure out. Either way, it was a good experience for both of us! 
Cheers! (Because tonight, we drink wine:))
Thanks, Jenn, for hosting the link-up!
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48 thoughts on “A Whole30 Review From Two Perspectives (#WIAW)

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I think its so important to be honest about the experience. I want to let people know what they could potentially be getting into!

    • Haha yea he kept complaining that he couldn’t get whatever snack he wanted! Like he even craved stuff that he NEVER usually eats!

  1. Yay, you did it!! It sounds like it was a great experience and it’s so great that your husband did it along with you. I don’t think I would try it at this point in my life because I like cheese way too much, but maybe some day when I’m more disciplined.
    Enjoy your wine tonight :)
    Sam @ The Running Graduate recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

    • I think you just have to find the right time…and if you don’t have any reason to do it (or the desire) you probably won’t get as much out of it!

    • Glad that you’re listening to the book! I can’t wait to follow your journey when you try it out!

  2. OH Rob. His response is HILARIOUS and I’m sure similar to what mine or Alex’s would be. I think that parts of Whole 30 would be great for me, but I know that it would be terribly difficult for me because of my digestive issues with fats. But I think that I should embark on some sort of eating shake up in the near future for the heck of it. After the marathon 😉
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Super Bowl Weekend Food: Camel, Wagyu, Bacon #WiawMy Profile

    • I think its good to do some sort of “reset” once in a while but the Whole30 is definitely not for everyone! And I would think it would be really difficult during marathon training.

  3. Adam said many of the same things as Rob so not sure what that says about us! He didn’t do it at the same time as me but tried it a few months after when he saw I was still eating that way, mainly as a challenge. He actually lost weight from it that he’s never put back on interestingly even after mostly going back to old habits (except dinner) Guys are odd that way!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Snow-Day Eats and a Birthday Treat – WIAWMy Profile

    • I know that any weight that Rob lost was due to not eating enough. I had to try to get him to eat breakfast everyday and most days he only had a banana or other fruit. Some of my suggestions he just didn’t take which I think ultimately made it harder for him. But he also didn’t read the book or know anything about it, so I’m not surprised- he had no real motivation other than to complete the challenge!

  4. Looks like we were on the same channel today, letting our other halves post for us :) This was interesting to read about, I love seeing posts like this where yo reflect on a change you made. Glad it worked for you! You should check out the podcast I recorded with a harvard professor for runners connect which will be out in a few weeks. He talks about paleo, it was REALLY interesting, and surprising to me. I can let you know when its out if you want? :)
    Tina Muir recently posted…Life as the Significant Other of an Elite RunnerMy Profile

    • I would love that! I really enjoy reading and learning about nutrition for runners, especially paleo. There are some parts of paleo that I really like relating to running, but there are also challenges that I continue to face.

    • Thanks! Yes, there are challenges but it was a good experience and we definitely got alot out of it!

    • He didn’t wait very long to get back into his regular ways of eating:) But I think we are both glad we did it!

  5. I love the double perspective! I did a Whole30 back in 2012 when I wasn’t running much, and I found it much easier then. I actually tried this January to do another one, but with increasing mileage I found it very difficult (e.g. kept feeling dizzy) so I purposely added back in some grains and other carbs to help with my energy levels. I look forward to seeing what your meals look like moving forward! Most of our meals are naturally gluten-free and paleo, but none of my running fuel is.
    Jess recently posted…Sweet Potato Pad ThaiMy Profile

    • I plan to continue with mostly paleo but add some other things back in. I would imagine it would be really hard to do while running high mileage!

  6. Thanks for doing this. I really liked the chance to read about some of the frustrations of doing something like Whole 30. Your writeups of it made it clear that it wouldn’t be for everyone, but it was nice to read exactly what those frustrations were for Rob.

    Enjoy your wine tonight :)
    Lizzy recently posted…Training Tuesday – Groundhog Day!My Profile

    • Thanks, and glad you enjoyed it! I was hoping that people would be able to understand what the challenges were for me so they could be prepared if its something they decide to try.

  7. Congrats on finishing! You’ve definitely earned a glass (or two) of wine! I think that beer was the main reason I stopped eating paleo…but when I finally stopped I went too far in the other direction (ie HUGE plates of pasta during marathon training). I’ve finally found a better balance…toast every once in awhile and dessert about once a week…I’ve found it really hard avoiding grains while running long.

    Thanks for sharing all of your meals and preparation tips! I want to try those bison sliders!

    • Thank you! I figured it would be good to share a different point of view since it was relatively easy for me:)

    • Haha he is definitely a trooper (but also very stubborn)! I would do it again! I have no regrets about doing it and I don’t feel like I “missed out” on anything. Like I said, it was really helpful to do this when I didn’t have social obligations or any traveling to do- that would make it really hard I think!

  8. Love that you shared 2 points of view on this! I hated the hours of meal prep each weekend as well. I still meal prep a little bit, but definitely not to the extent I did during my Whole 30. & I found a love of almond butter recently- I wish I’d known about it during the challenge!
    I had to laugh at a few of Rob’s responses-mainly that it’s easy if you have someone else to organize the meals. Wish I had that last year :)

    • I hope my meal prep will cut down alot now that its over! And yes, I’m sure it is much easier when you have someone else prepping all your meals:)

  9. Wow!! I’m so impressed with you guys! :) Seriously, you make me wanna try it! haha… your hubby is so funny! The best part is that it’s over! :p haha…I would love try try some of that fresh almond butter from Whole Foods! I agree, I think that planning would be the most important step!
    Cailee August recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday!My Profile

    • Haha yes he was so excited for it to be over! I thought it went pretty fast but during the first week I thought it would never end! Definitely try the almond butter from Whole Foods!

  10. This is a really great review…and the twice baked breakfast sweet potato sounds really good! I have thought about going the Whole30 route for a month a few times–I think you made a really good point about planning ahead and social obligations. Definitely not going to try around the holidays!
    Allyson Brandt recently posted…Eat and RunMy Profile

    • I’ve heard that people who try it around the holidays have a really hard time with it. I would also make sure you have time to reintroduce the foods you eliminated after its over….I’m gonna try to not start eating everything again all at once!

  11. Congratulations to the both of you for completing the whole30 challenge. I bet you guys were so excited to be having that glass of wine. It does sound like it would be very difficult to eat this way when you travel, which I do all the time.

    • I was pretty surprised that my husband did it, but I’m really glad he did! It would have been hard to do it if he was eating and drinking whatever he wanted!

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