Alright you guys, here it is. My honest update on how this Whole30 thing has been going. (If you missed this post, read it first). It takes 30 days to push the reset button on your health and change your relationship with food, which is the concept behind the Whole30. I’m on day 20 of 30 and to be completely honest, it’s been so hard for me. I wouldn’t consider myself an extremely healthy eater, I’m just good with portion control and sticking to a regular eating schedule. It’s been a pretty big adjustment for me to eat some form of meat/veggies/eggs/fruit for all of my meals when I LOVE cereal, bread, chips, cheese, fries, rice, etc…

But, I’m the type of person that once I’m in, I’m all in. If I’m going to commit to something, I’ll give it 110% because #1 I’m an overachiever,  #2 I’m competitive, and #3 I really wanted to see if this lived up to all the hype. I love being challenged and doing things people think are “hard”. It’s always good to challenge yourself and to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, that’s how you learn, grow, and evolve. “Commitment is staying true to what you said you were going to do long after the mood that you had set it in has left.” – Inky Johnson

Benefits so far:

I do “feel” skinny.

I haven’t felt bloated and my clothes fit very comfortably (even jeans! and I hate wearing jeans). When you’re cutting foods out that make you retain excess water (dairy, carbonated drinks and refined grains, etc) you naturally feel skinnier.


If you read my first post about this, one of the main reasons I wanted to start this challenge was to see what effect food had on my migraine-like headaches. So far, so good and hardly any headaches at all which is HUGE for me because I’ve been dealing with these for years.

Better sleep

When sugar is out and protein/fat is in, you sleep like a baby. For those of you who know me personally, you know I’ve struggled with some pretty serious insomnia issues in the past so this is groundbreaking.

More Energy.. less mood swings

Waking up is easier and I’m noticing that I have more consistent energy throughout the day. You’ll feel more optimistic and alert. And there’s nothing better than waking up in a good mood.

Good hair + skin month

Sleep + water + vegetables + fat + protein + no sugar = clear skin & glossy hair.


There’s a huge community of Whole30 participants, so it’s a fun conversation to have with strangers. It’s been so nice to have ‘family’ dinners with my roomies almost every night in our new kitchen. And I love when I’m in New York with Conner or when we’re traveling together and can cook together.


The hardest part so far:

Don’t try this alone, kids:

There is NO WAY I would’ve made it past the first few days if I wasn’t doing it with other people. So, before you even consider trying this, my number one piece of advice is to do it with someone else. Thankfully, my roommates and boyfriend are also doing the Whole30 program and keeping me accountable. Plus, we can cook & complain together!

Black coffee:

I can’t.

It’s Time Consuming:

One thing we underestimated was the amount of time and preparation that goes into eating all “real” food. Since you’re eating-in almost exclusively, we’ve really had to plan ahead with recipes and stock up at the grocery store every few days. Preparation and cooking at home is the key to success with this program

The candy/sweets cravings after meals:

Sensitive subject right now..

Not going out to eat.

Or if you do, having to be the annoying person with the complicated order, who can’t eat the bread at the table, and can’t have wine with dinner. However, there are a few places in Chicago that I’ve found to be very Whole30-friendly [SweetGreen, Little Beet, True Food Kitchen]. You don’t realize how much your life revolves around eating and drinking until you do something like this!

Rude Comments

People making unnecessary and uninformed comments when you explain why you’re ordering a burger with no bun. “Why are YOU on a diet”..”Sounds like a fun life“…. I’m NOT DIETING but if you say anything else when I’m this hangry I’m gonna throw this chicken breast at your face. Sorry – sugar cravings talking.

What I’ve Been Eating

Here are some of the meals we’ve been making this month. Andrew is a saint and has helped so much in this process because he’s such a great cook and loves to do it! His recipes are all easy to make and we found a lot of them on the Whole30 website.

Harvest Soup:

(Added one sweet potato cut into chunks. Used stock not water)

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Peel and cut squash into pieces, scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on your prepared baking sheet. Whisk together your coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce), olive oil, and sesame oil and toss the squash in it. Place the squash in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until it’s tender. Sprinkle with crushed sesame seeds and sliced scallions, then serve warm.

Pumpkin seeds

  • Roast at 375. Arrange washed and drained seeds on a sheet and roast to dry, remove, toss in olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic powder and put back in oven 15-20 min.

Sweet potato garlic rosemary fries

  • Cut sweet potatoes into ¼ to ½ inch wedges. Toss in olive oil. Add salt, pepper, fresh chopped rosemary and fresh diced garlic. Bake 45 min at 400 degrees.

Sausage diced with onion, garlic, asparagus, and mushrooms

  • Use Aidell’s chicken apple sausage

Breakfast hash

  • Eggs, sweet potato, onion, red bell pepper, crushed red pepper.

Garlic Bacon Mushrooms, recipe:

Diced Onion/Bacon/Mushroom + Mushrooms over Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Banana Dessert – found this recipe here.

Or, just roast a banana in the over for a little bit with almond butter & cinnamon.

Apples with Cinnamon and Coconut Oil

So what do you think? Is this something you could see yourself doing? Have you ever tried the Whole30? If so, would you do it again? If you have any questions about the recipes send me and email! Thanks for reading you guys 🙂

Photography of Roomies by Aesthetiica

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Showing 22 comments
  • Andre

    There is no way I could do this, Liv. I am proud of you and Linds for sticking with it though. Nice article. Hope to see you soon. I am in Kentucky the next two weekends, WOOHOO!

  • Raven

    I’ve wanted to try Whole30 for a while now but I’m scared haha! I looove sweets, so it’s hard to think about going 30 days without them! I’ve heard there are no specifications for portion control with Whole30, so I’m concerned I would (intentionally or unintentionally) eat more than I should. What good is eating healthy food if you’re eating too much of it, ya know? Enjoyed reading your experience with it so far!!

  • Amy D

    The Whole 30 diet is so hard! I also tried the diet to help with migraines! I’ve since been able to cut dairy out completely with the diet’s help. But let me tell you I miss it everyday haha! Here are some of my favorite recipes that my sisters and I would make together when we were doing the diet.

    Turkey burgers:

    Buffalo Chicken and Sweet Potatoes:

    *We use Frank’s Red Hot Original as the hot sauce because it’s the only Whole30 compliant one we had found!

    Let me know if you try them and like them as much as we did! 🙂

  • Rosalind

    I have been thinking about doing it for a few days. I think the main thing that’s concerning me is drinking my coffee black. How are you getting your energy in the morning?

  • Lauren

    What did you do for breakfast?? I feel like if I don’t eat some type of carb I can’t stay full in the morning!

  • Katrina

    I am currently on day 5 of Whole30 and I can honestly say it has been an eye-opening experience. The things I thought I couldn’t live without ( hello cheese!) I really don’t miss that much. I will say I really miss real soy sauce! As someone who loves poke bowls, this is been one of the hardest things for me. For anyone considering this cleanse, I would absolutely recommend it! I haven’t felt many of the health benefits yet, but if anything it’s something to be proud of.

  • Allison

    Girl, you need to watch What the Health on Netflix…it will change your life!!

  • Michelle

    Liv, I’m doing a moderate Keto diet. Keto is low carb, high fat, and moderate protein (LCHF). Strict Keto is <20 carb grams per day. I'm probably doing about 50 since I don't really need to lose a lot of weight. But I have more energy and feel so good lately. I'm not a huge sweets person so it's easier for me than most people probably, but I made a sugar-free cheesecake last weekend and it was amazing.

  • Kristen

    What did you do with your coffee since you don’t like it black? I’m always searching for new things to use besides my coffeemate creamer but I never like anything at all.

    • Kristianna

      Hi, Kristen! I’m SO not a black coffee drinker. But there’s actually an almond and coconut milk blend coffee creamer called Nutpod, and you can order it from Amazon or Thrive Market! They come in original, hazelnut, and french vanilla, and ALL of them are Whole30 approved!! I’m currently on day 27 of Whole30 and the ONLY way I made it through was by finding this amazing stuff. Good luck!

  • Meredith

    Hi Olivia!

    I get migraines too and about two years ago cut out gluten permanently from my diet as receommeded from my nuerologist. It has been a HUGE game changer for me. I have rarely gotten a migraine or even just a headache sense and hope you get migraine free at some point too.

  • Maria

    Whole30 was by far the most mentally challenging thing I’ve done…but the most rewarding at the same time. So much, that I’m about to start my 3rd! It permanently changed the way I eat because once you are done and start introducing foods back into your diet, you immediately see the side effects and can tell what made you feel like crap, gave you headaches, made your brain cloudy, made you bloated, etc. Ultimately, the cravings of those foods didn’t out way the side effects, so I cut them permanently.

    FYI – try sweetening your black coffee with a scoop of cacao and a scoop of coconut oil/ghee and blending it up. It’s a great substitute for sugar and creamer!

  • Rachel @ Better LIVIN

    Mmmm… those meals look great! It’s funny how people can react so negatively to people trying to improve their health.

  • Carolyn Smith

    These recipes look amazing! Sticking to Whole 30 or any “clean eating” challenge is definitely tough for me, too. In your final update could you please address the following questions… 1. Do you feel like you’ll go back to old habits after the 30 days is up, will you stick completely to the Whole 30 guidelines, or try to find a balance of the two? 2. Do you think it’s realistic for a vegetarian to try Whole 30? Thanks! 🙂

  • Mary

    Two of my friends are doing it, and they absolutely look amazing! They feel so great, too! You go girl– don’t worry about the haters. People will always make rude comments!

  • Grace

    This is so helpful! I’ve always wanted to try Whole 30! I’m curious though, are you working out? I’ve heard people who do this don’t work out at all but wanted to know your thoughts on it as well!

  • Marie

    Hahahaha ‘I’m gunna throw this chicken breast in your face’ – love it! I don’t think I could do it – I’m so picky!

  • Ashli LaReta

    This sounds really challenging ! No wine or bread .. two of my favs.. lol But thanks for sharing.. This is something I definitely want to try.. Let’s see if I can convince my boyfriend to try it..

  • Bernice

    Hi Olivia!
    I just started whole30, I’m on day 5 and it’s going pretty good so far. I saw that you said you had relief from migraines while doing whole30, just wandering how it’s been going since you finished. Have you gone back to your old eating habits? If so, have your migraines come back?

    xo, Bernice

  • katie

    I totally hated black coffee before I did Whole30. After the Whole 30 I have not gone back to coffee with creamer! Major win for me. I loved my coffee a nice caramelly color. I now prefer it black. I tried creamer a few times months and months after but it just did not taste right to me. I also stay away from most dairy if I can. I consistently use coconut milk if I need to in smoothies or homemade almond milk (if I am not taking care of my 3 kids or cat which is rarely). I still can’t stay away from birthday cake or sweets at gatherings but sometimes I’m able to kick the craving with an RX bar (which they say NOT to do on Whole30). During my first whole 30 I cannot say that I felt better in general though, and a few weird things healthwise happened that made me wonder, ‘Im being healthy but now my body decides to give me problems?!’. Who knows though. I am going to start another round tomorrow, good luck to you guys!! Almost there!!!

  • Katie

    I also, did not have the support of my boyfriend kids or other family members, which made it super frustrating but also that much more of a competitive challenge for me to want to stick to!

  • MG

    In your opinion Olivia, is this possible for a vegetarian? I’m not a tofu fan either. Thanks. MG

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