Tuesday, December 30, 2014



That's a buzz word right now, in agriculture, in environmental sciences, in many other areas.

Sustainability (noun): The ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed.

Sustain (verb):
1) to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2) to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3) to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4) to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5) to keep up or keep going, as an action or process; "to sustain a conversation."
6) to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
7) to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds

(Definitions from Dictionary.com)

Did you read that up there? To keep from giving way, to keep up or keep going, to supply with food, drink and the other necessities of life? Right now, I'm all about finding things that are sustainable. That help keep me in balance. Because while the last year has had it's good moments, it has not been pretty in so many ways, and one of them is my health/fitness. And that is one thing that I do have control over.  However, over the past year, I've also come to realize that there are some things that I need for this process to be sustainable. Because clearly, what I did before is not sustainable, otherwise this graph:

would look very differently. So this year, rather than making any resolutions to make big changes to my lifestyle, exercise or diet, I'm focusing on small changes that are hopefully more sustainable. So here they are:

1. Eat mindfully. This means being aware of what I'm eating and consciously making decisions to eat/not eat as well as what to eat.  I am tracking my intake/journaling because it keeps me honest and forces me to consider what I eat. Eventually, I hope i don't need to rely on a journal, but that's in the future. 

2. Increasing movement. This means so much but again, I am not taking huge swings. There's a lot going on in my life right now and some of that means that I either don't have time or don't have the energy to make time to work out every day. So the goal is one run a week, and buying a fitness tracker to make me mindful of being active during the day (thinking about a Garmin Forerunner 15, but not sure yet). 

3. I also signed up for JillFit's Moderation365 course, which I hope will help get me started this year. 

So here's to starting my journey again. I've walked this road before, and can do it again. My hope, prayer, and dream is that I can do it in a way that is healthy (physically, mentally, and spiritually) and sustainable. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miscellaneous thoughts

Just some random thoughts from the first week or so...

1. Weekends are hard. Especially weekends that include fairs. Or parties. Or other fun things that include food. BUT, even with those things, I can still add in exercise and meet my goals while enjoying a LITTLE bit of those things. This weekend, I managed to do well at listening to my body one day and not so well another day. But it's a step forward.

2. I'm getting more exercise than I had planned. No, I'm not running much. Or working out.  BUT, I forgot about all of the animal handling and walking I do at work. After being sore much of the week, I realized how much I really do that is active at work.  Plus, we've been building a big swingset/playset for Adi and I've been painting/drilling/screwing/carrying heavy boards around. So bonus points for that.

3. Gotta keep working on getting in the water.  I can really tell when I haven't had enough water (dry lips and all).

4. Lost 2.5 lbs! Go me!

Onward and upward (or downward??)!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Ok, this started as an email to two really close friends. But the way it ended up, it felt like a blog post. So I'm putting it out there.

_ _ _ _ _

Warning: this is going to be a long vent/rant. And may be TMI in some places (although, maybe not for you ladies, since you both know so much about me already). But I'm really frustrated and really need to get it out there and knew the two of you would understand. 

So my weight has been slowly creeping back on. I've known this for the past 12 months or so and I've intermittently worked to do something about it but haven't stuck with anything for longer than a few weeks. If I was doing a Whole30, I wasn't watching portion sizes or exercising. If I wasn't, it alternated between a free-for-all, eating whatever I wanted, or being miserable and feeling like there were all of these things that I "couldn't eat" and then overeating things I felt like I "could."  And coupled with the crazy stress of my job in the last four months, everything has just gone to hell in a hand basket. 

The first thing I noticed is that I wasn't waking up hungry for breakfast in the morning. Ding, ding, ding! Clue #1! But what really set it off was that my chest is getting bigger (sorry, maybe TMI for some of you out there). And the last place on my body that gets bigger is, well, by chest. CRAP. Couple that with a size up in pants, which fit loosely but are more comfortable than my 10's. And then I got on the scale this morning. 158. @&#%(@#%&@(%^ That was my weight when I started losing everything TWO. YEARS. AGO. Last summer, I hit 138, the lowest I've been since high school. Since then, it has slowly (and not so slowly) crept back on. My acne is back. My knees hurt. And I'm grumpy because I feel fat and old and sore. 

So please forgive my frustration and my venting, but it's cathartic to write. It helps me release all of that so I can actually channel the frustration and come up with a plan. Because let's face it, the way my schedule is right now, and is going to be for the next 6-8 months, planning exercise in to my day is not likely to be a feasible daily/every-other-day activity. But what I can control is the food that goes into my mouth, right?  So my plan is to work hard on my portion control, eating good, whole foods. I'm not going to be terribly restrictive. Some dairy is okay, very limited grains, trying to avoid refined sugar if at all possible. Because eating veggies and meats and fruits is what makes me feel better. And if I work hard at portion control, some of this weight should come off. I've also been really bad about my water intake as my schedule has gotten increasingly busy. 

So goals for this week:

1. 60 oz of water per day

Plan to reach this goal: Fill water bottle the night before, bring with lunch. Keep second water bottle full at work. Drink all before leaving or on way home. 

2. Portion control

Plan to reach this goal: Purposely pick small portions of everything at each meal. Go back for more only after finishing and sitting for a few minutes. Work to recognize and appreciate the feeling of hunger. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Catching up

I've been absent for awhile. Blogger says my last post was March 23, where I set out a plan for getting and staying on track.  I wish I could say that I'd carried though, that I'd followed my plans, that I'd been successful.  But I didn't.  I did survive the spring semester, which was my hardest one yet due to my increased teaching load (a voluntary decision).  I ran a 5k in April and a 10k in early June.  I struggled through the 10k but finished. I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. I was 10lb heavier than when I ran it in 2013.  The only reason my time was close to last year was because it was 20 degrees cooler. So, am I glad I did it? Yes. Am I proud that I did it? Yes, to that too.

But since then, I've allowed myself treat after treat, so much so that treats were no longer treats but were almost every day occurrences.  Oh, Dunkin Donuts, how I do love your coffee rolls. But they give me coffee rolls of my own and once I start, I can't stop. And I've come to accept that I really don't like to run in the heat.  I'd MUCH rather run in the cold. So after I finished the 10k in June, I have run very little.

But I'm not happy.  I've put on weight that I don't want. I've lost fitness and strength that I wish I still had. I've been grumpy because I'm not happy and the food I was eating was making me feel bloated and upset, yet all I seemed to think about was where the next treat was coming from.  So after a few weeks of on-and-off travel, Jared and I decided to start another Whole30.  We're 5 days in. I'm not feeling 100% yet (it's still early) but I have come to appreciate that I already feel a little better.  The sugar dragon is still there. But the things I'm having are less harmful than what I would have before. A handful of raisins vs a handful of chocolates.  A piece of fruit and some almonds vs. a coffee roll. Better choices. One choice at a time, and there is still room to improve.

I'm hoping my attitude will come around, too.  I'm still stressed out about a bunch of things at work, which is contributing to the desire to eat poorly AND to the grumpiness. And I need to add exercise back in, in some form.  I'm going running with some friends tomorrow, which is like double therapy - running and adult time with good friends.  And, as pointed out by a wonderful friend (and someone who holds me accountable), blogging is also wonderful therapy.  So for those of you reading, thank you.  And if I whine, or complain, or am generally annoying in some other way, please forgive me.  I'm grateful that you're here, that you're reading, and I hope you find some help in these pages, but this blog is ultimately a tool for me to bring together my thoughts.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moving Forward

After my last post, a good friend sent me a text message, the gist of which was "move forward." (of course, she put it much more nicely :) ).  It was appropriate and was absolutely what I needed to hear.  It never fails to amaze me how the Lord works through my friends and family to get me the message I need to hear (but that's a whole other blog...).  But I have been thinking and working through some of this mentally.  I have not been eating well and I have been slacking on my exercise. Honestly, while I'm not thrilled with this, it's also been a nice break from being SO concerned with what is going in to my mouth every minute and have I worked out yet today and am I doing X, Y, and Z? I think I've just needed a break. This isn't a sprint. I have time. Whatever I'm doing needs to be sustainable and clearly what I was doing wasn't sustainable for me.  So I've come up with a few things to try. Back to my n = 1 experiment, right?  So here's the plan, subject to refinement and/or change at any point in time. :)

Mon/Wed/Fri - some form of yoga or Pilates. These are two of the workouts that I really enjoyed from P90X3 so I'll likely continue these. I may do the AbRipperX workout one of these days in place of, or in addition to, yoga or Pilates. I may also throw in one of the other workouts every once in awhile to change things up.

Tues/Thurs/Sat - Running! Yay! This just makes me happier.  I'll likely do one day of intervals (treadmill), try one day of sprints (treadmill), and on Saturday or Sunday, do a longer run (4-5 miles) outside. I have a race the end of April with a friend that I need to get ready for!

I'm going to stay mostly Paleo, but not strictly Whole30. So what does that mean? My food will mostly look like this:

Notice that it says Often, Sometimes and Rarely. Not Always and Never. Not Yes and No.

In addition to that, I'm going to start tracking what I eat with MyFitnessPal again. I need the accountability of a food journal and want to watch calorie intake as well as the type of food I'm eating.

Stress Management:
Survive until May. Just kidding (but not really).  Take it easier on myself and others about the little stuff. Running will help with the stress relief. Remind myself that 100% isn't necessary. Perfect is not the goal. Loving life is the goal, and that's hard to do when I'm searching for perfection.

So that's the plan. Life lessons, right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Checking in

Once again, I'm not sure what to write here. Or how to start this. There are a lot of thoughts swirling around my head so I'm just going to try to get them all out "on paper."

First, my nutrition has not been great lately. I've definitely been making some poor decisions. In fact, today I had an apple fritter and some thin mints. Most days, my meals are okay, but I have been snacking and those have not been healthy choices. The other thing I've been struggling with is feeling like a role model and feeling "pressure" from others, even though I'm sure they don't see it that way at all.  There are several friends I've introduced to the Whole 30/Paleo type of eating and although I have no doubts that they know I'm not perfect, I feel like every time I'm eating something not Paleo, that someone is going to catch me. Yes, it's a little ridiculous. I can hardly imagine what it must be like for "real" Paleo bloggers who have a much, much, much larger following than me. One of the things I need to consider is what Paleo looks like for me, and for our family.  What do we include? What don't we include?  And I need some more variety - as much as I love chicken salad and tuna salad, I'm really tired of having that for lunch.  I can't wait for summer veggies/salads!

My exercise has been so-so. I really miss running. I'm not 100% in love with P90X3 but I am feeling guilty considering stopping it with just a few weeks to finish. Running and doing the P90X3 on the same day isn't feasible but doing a combination of the two within a week is a possibility.  I don't know what to do about this. I felt GREAT after running on Saturday and the daylight and warmer temps this week have me itching to get out and run. I like the idea of cross training by adding in the P90X3 workouts. I feel badly about ditching my group, though, so may stick it out until the end of the 90 days. 

Stress. Ugh, stress. This is a big one for me. Work is really, really busy right now, and will only get busier until the end of April. We're busy at home, too. And honestly, the stress of trying to keep up with P90X3, the nutrition, and everything else is becoming overwhelming and not helping my productivity in ANYTHING. So again, not sure what I'm going to do or where to go from here, but I feel the need to make some sort of change. It's just going to require some more thought/consideration before I do it. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love more, Worry less

I was in the shower after working out this morning (sorry for the mental picture), thinking about this workout program, my diet, and life in general. I've been a little disappointed in the way I've been feeling physically - the numbers on the scale aren't moving and my clothes aren't feeling any looser.  So as I was in the shower thinking this morning, I was running through my mental list of things that could possibly be keeping  me from loosing that last 10 pounds. 

Is it what I'm eating? Probably not. I've made some pretty significant changes to what and how much I'm eating. Green veggies with almost every meal, fewer root veggies, rare dried fruits or other sweets, careful consideration of portion sizes. 

Is it how I'm working out? Probably not - I'm exercising 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes (P90X3). Adding some extra workouts a few times a week (treadmill or the P90X ab ripper workout). 

Is it stress? Maybe. I'm working very hard to respond better to stress. Some of that has been through exercise. Some has been just through forcing myself to take a step back and take a deep breath. Distance myself from things for a few minutes (time out for mama!).

Am I sleeping? Yes. Like a rock. 10pm - 4:45am every week day, 10pm - 6ish on the weekends. More on nights that I fall asleep on the couch. Could I sleep more? Not without cutting out my workouts, so no, not really. I'm sleeping well, not waking up, not tossing and turning. 

Spiritual life? Pretty good. We have a great church family, we are involved, we are active in our walk. 

Etc, etc, etc...

As I mentally ran through this list as if I was talking to a friend, something hit me. Maybe I'm just too worried. Too caught up with everything. Maybe, just maybe, if I try to love everything a bit more, relax a bit more, enjoy a bit more and not be so caught up with the details and what ifs and the hows and whens and whys, maybe then I would be happier. Maybe I am stressing about this more than I realize. Because I really do love where I am in my life right now. Is it hard? Hell yes. But it's also pretty awesome. I have an amazing husband and little girl. I love my job, even if it does have days that make me question my sanity. I have lost over 20 pounds since starting this journey and am at a weight I haven't seen since my undergrad days when I was working in a barn 8-10 hours a day.  So maybe, just maybe, what I need is to love more and worry less.

I'm still working out what that looks like in my life, but I do know one thing. I don't love the scale. Or the tape measure. Or thinking about the size of my jeans. So those things are banished from thought right now. I'll think about them later. Right now, I want to focus on me. On feeling good. On my family. On my job. Right now, I want to love more, worry less.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving forward

Okay, I promise this blog post won't be as whiny as the last one. I won't say I'm over the whiny-ness, but I'm trying to move on, think more positively, and come up with an action plan.  I don't think I ever actually wrote out my goals for the P90X3 challenge, which I'm 30 days into (out of 90). So let's start with that:

1. Target weight: 135 eventually, below 140 in this 90 days (I started at 146).
2. Work out 6 days a week; Sunday's are rest days.
3. Whole 30 for the first 30 days, and then very close to Whole 30 for the remaining 60.

So now that the first thirty days are over, I'm ready to make some extra changes. I went back and read through my blog from last fall, when I was successful in getting weight off and was at my lowest. What was working for me seemed to be 1) running a few times a week, 2) portion control, and 3) lots of green veggies (mostly salads then). Not rocket science. Not anything crazy. Pretty straight forward.  So I'm going to check in with my trainer on my goals and the changes I want to make to make sure he's okay with them, but here's my plan going forward:

1. Nutrition: Increase the green veggies and salads, decrease the amount of root veggies (typically higher starch/carb)

2. Portion control: I've been having appetite issues. Some days I'm just not hungry. So one of the things I want to really work on is eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. I don't have that bloated, stuffed, overeating feeling when I'm done eating, but I'm also not hungry at the next meal time, which suggests to me that I may be eating too much overall.

3. Running: I want to add running back in, both because I enjoy it, and because it has helped my body in the past. I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to do this - maybe 15 minutes before or after each workout? Or three 30 minute sessions in evenings/weekends throughout the week? I need to think about it a little more, but want to incorporate it. I also want to run a few more races this spring/summer, so don't want to lose all of my conditioning (although the cardio workouts in P90X3 are definitely good and helpful for that as well).  There's also the option to do the "Doubles Schedule" for P90X3, which is two of the workouts each day (or a few days a week), which I'm also considering.

4. Stress relief: Okay, so honestly, this was an afterthought for me. When I went back and re-read my post it struck me that I should probably put this in. Because stress is a big deal for a lot of reasons. And while I'm not under any traumatic sort of stress, I do have a lot of things going on this semester (lots of teaching and keeping up with the research at work, keeping up with things at home, etc).  So I should have some sort of stress relief plan, right? and that's where my brain fails. I'm bad at this part of it. I have a massage gift certificate (Thanks baby!!) that I need to use. And I need to just remember to take some time for me once or twice a week to "refresh." Maybe that's running time? or riding? But there has to be some sort of stress relief built in to my schedule.

So there. My less whiny, planning post. Now it's time to put it into action. And remind myself to stop comparing myself to others. Repeat after me: "n of 1, n of 1..."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Warning: this post may contain whining. Read at your own risk!

I'm trying to stay positive. Really, I am. Trying oh so very hard.

If you had asked me yesterday how I felt about the past 30 days, I would have said positive things. I would have said in the past 30 days, I have gotten up every weekday morning at 4:45 am to work out before Adi and Jared get up and I'm proud of that commitment to myself. That I like my workouts - they are interesting, fast paced, and challenge me. I would have said that I am stronger and definitely more flexible. I would have said that my W30 eating has made me feel better, that I have more energy in general (still no tiger blood, but I didn't get that last time either). I would have said that I feel less bloated. That I am enjoying my food.

If you ask me today, you will probably get a less enthusiastic response. Why? Because today was my day 30, so I measured and weighed. And saw very little change in anything. I am down 1 inch around my hips and a total of 3/4 of an inch from both thighs. I have not lost any weight. And I am not okay with that. I want to be someone who doesn't care about the scale. Really. I do. But I'm not that person right now. I do care what the scale says. And it says almost 10 pounds higher than I was in September. I was 138 then (SO FREAKING CLOSE to my goal of 135). I'm 146 now. I am NOT okay with that.

I am trying very hard to be patient. Telling myself that I didn't put this weight on in a month and that it will not come off in a month. That the last 10 pounds is the hardest, that my body will fight me because it hasn't been this thin in a VERY (very) long time (like, since high school, people). But I am failing at being patient right now. I am frustrated. I am angry. And, truth be told, I am jealous of the success of others. Please don't misunderstand, I am thrilled for my friends that are losing because I know they are working SO. HARD. at this too. They deserve it! And I'm happy for them! But I am also jealous and that is not a productive or Christian thing to be. But I also think that admitting it is the first step toward overcoming it and finding a way to be productive, to change, to reach the goals that I have set for myself.

I have a lot of thinking to do. I need to think about my goals, and how I plan to reach them. I need to think about how I got below 140 last year - what did I do? How did I do it? What do I need to do to make it happen again?  I need to get over my jealousy and get my head in the right place, back in the game.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tired....but happy

I am 18 (ish? I think? I may have lost count already) days into my 90 day P90X3 challenge. That means 18 days into workouts and 18 days into my Whole 30. I've been getting up early (4:45am) to get the workout and my shower in before Adi wakes up. Most mornings, this is successful. The other mornings, Jared is sweet enough to take care of her until I'm out of the shower. Then we swap so he can shower and get ready for work. I still like the workouts. Some more than others, but the mix is good for me. The way the program is set up, you perform a different workout each day of the week (including one rest day). This is repeated for three weeks (same sequence) then there's a "rest/preparation" week with a different sequence of workouts. Then a new set of six workouts for the next three weeks, etc, etc. I like repeating the workouts once a week - I haven't gotten bored, but I know at least a bit what to expect.

Nutrition has been good; I've been on plan despite church potlucks, lunch mishaps, and other temptations. I still won't let Jared bring raisins into the house, but that's okay. He can have them at work if he wants them! I added extra protein to breakfast last week and it has helped tremendously with getting hungry before lunch. The sweet potato hash was a little heavy, so this week, I made it without the sweet potato and I like it much better. I've been focusing on getting veggies in at every meal as well.

I'm a little frustrated that I'm not feeling results yet - my pants aren't feeling miraculously looser, etc. I'm expecting a lot out of this and need to remember that 1) I'm at the lowest weight I've been at in almost 10 years, so my body has a lot of adjusting to do and 2) this didn't all come on to my body overnight, it's going to take some time to get it off. I am feeling stronger, which is somewhat comforting. I'm sure it'll be more so when I can start seeing some definition. My scale has been away since we started, so no cheating and checking in to know numbers for sure. I'm sure that part of my issue is that right now my stress level is up, so that doesn't help, and I'm not sleeping the greatest (again, probably due to stress). Hopefully, things will get into a routine soon and I'll be able to manage it better!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One week down...

Eleven or twelve to go. Not bad, right? :) Week one of P90X3 is in the books. I like the workouts. They're challenging but not crazy difficult. Fast paced enough that they hold my attention (SQUIRREL!) but not too fast for me (I could never keep up with those dance aerobics videos). They get my heart rate up and I'm definitely sore later, so all good!

Nutrition has been good, too. One thing I've found is that working out in the morning makes me HANGRY (Clara's word - hungry + angry) by about 10 am, so this coming week, I am focusing on more protein and fat in my breakfast to keep me held over until lunch time. I made egg muffins and a pork/sweet potato hash (recipes below) to prep for breakfasts this week. Lunches will be left overs most days. We have a few new recipes on the menu for dinner, so I'll hopefully share those later. Also had my first food related dream last night - about a molasses cookie with this amazing icing that was SO. GOOD. So good that I woke up all panicky and guilty because I thought I had actually eaten it. Haha. Probably just anxiety about making it through the church potluck today (which I did, successfully!)

Goals for this week:
1. Better breakfasts to minimize snacking mid-morning.
2. Water, water, water! I do pretty good with this during the week but need to do better on the weekends when we're out and about.
3. Up the intensity of my workouts - 100% beast mode for ALL of them! No excuses!

Okay, here are the recipes:

Egg Muffins

11 eggs, beaten
Veggies, diced (whatever I have on hand - I used steamed broccoli and cauliflower, raw carrots, and diced tomatoes)
Shredded Chicken (I used one can, drained)

Mix together, put into a muffin tin, bake for 30ish minutes at 325*F. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack. These keep in the fridge for about a week. I warm up 2-3 for breakfast with whatever else I'm having. You really can use any veggies you have on hand and they don't have to be steamed first (unless it's something like sweet potato - may want to soften that up a bit). Eyeball the proportions and play around with it. I've also added spinach (torn up), salsa, and mushrooms to different versions of these.

Pork/Apple/Sweet Potato Breakfast Mix

1.5 lb ground pork
1 apple, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp-ish
Cinnamon, 1-2 tsp ish
Ground cloves, 2 small pinches

Boil sweet potato cubes for 5-6 minutes until slightly softened. Brown the ground pork. Add spices, apple, sweet potato and cook until apple is soft (3-4 minutes).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ready, set, GO!

And we're off! The 90 day P90X3 Challenge I joined started on Monday. We're starting with a Whole 30, so I'm on day 3. Yes, I know it's been four days since Monday, but I screwed up on Monday and there were beans in my chili (a no-no for W30!). So I'm technically a day behind with that. And this is going to be a short, probably not very exciting post because I'm sitting here falling asleep as I type. Remember that timeline I posted about awhile back? Yeah, I think I was in the KILL ALL THE THINGS stage yesterday and have passed on to I JUST WANT A NAP. It's kind of crazy that even though I was eating fairly well before starting this W30 that I'm still having these symptoms. Hopefully I'll pass through the stages faster this time around.

Anyways, can't really remember why I started this post, other than to check in. If you haven't checked out Whole 30, do it. And I'll let you know more of what I think about P90X3 as we get a little further into it. So far, it's good. I like the 30 minute workouts, they're very different and focus on different parts of the body (which means my entire body is tired/sore right now) and they will help my agility and flexibility in addition to my strength.

Goals? You want to know about goals? Okay, here they are quickly:

Weight: 135 lb by March 30th
Improved strength - able to do both a pull up and a chin up on the bar (without assistance)
Better flexibility - able to really stretch my hamstrings (this should help my knees and heels for running, too)
Improved agility - able to keep my balance while moving/changing direction (also good for running!)

Running is hit or miss right now because of this dang polar vortex we're stuck in that makes it either -72*F outside or 72*F and raining. Neither is good for running! I'll probably do a 5K around St. Patty's day and will plan some more races for this summer.

Well, so much for a short post. Now I'm going to take a nap...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Resources for a Whole 30

Since a number of my friends are starting Whole 30's, I thought it might be useful to post some of the resources that I use/have used to come up with meal ideas, for support, etc.

First, if you're going to do a Whole 30, I highly recommend that you read the book "It Starts with Food". This sets forth all of the program requirements/expectations and is pretty readable (I think it took me 3-4 sittings to read it).  At the very least, read through their website, including the Program Rules.

Second, the two biggest keys to success in doing this are 1) planning and 2) support. Plan, plan, plan your meals. Have a prep day. Cook dinner the night before.  Have something in the fridge or freezer for those unexpectedly late nights, when you get home from work, the kids are cranky and all you want to do is order a pizza or Chinese food. Trust me. You'll have those nights. I'm not going to re-write the book on planning, but here are some resources for how to plan and recipes:

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan: This is a Paleo cookbook all but one of the recipes are Whole 30 approved. She also has a big section on how to do prep work for the week - great for planning and figuring out how to make this work in a busy life.

Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan: A follow-up to the first cookbook with more awesome recipes.

The Whole 30 website. Lots of good resources, whether you're a beginner or have done this before. Also has a large forum for community support and questions!

The Official "Can I have" Guide. Check here first if you're not sure!

Blogs - Note that not all of these are Whole 30, most are Paleo. BUT, most Paleo recipes are okay or can be modified very easily to be okay. LOOK AT YOUR INGREDIENTS! Remember:

The Clothes Make the Girl

Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Parents


The Paleo Mom

Pinterest can also be a great resource. I have a Whole 30 board (again, check your ingredients - these are things I've linked to and may or may not have made and/or modified the ingredients to be compliant).

For support, there are lots of online options (Facebook groups, forums, etc). If your family isn't doing this with you, it can be tough, but you can do it! I really encourage you to look to some online support from folks who have done this before - let me know if you need some help!

I hope this is helpful to at least some of you! A Whole 30 is tough, because it seems so restrictive at first. But trust me, YOU CAN DO IT! And it's totally worth it. You can do anything for 30 days!