My January Eating Challenge – Whole 30



I know we’re in the midst of the Christmas season when Elf food groups reign supreme – candy, candy canes, candy corn and maple syrup.  Oh yes, and fudge, cookies, hot cocoa, pie…  But I want to talk about January stuff now – healthy food, resolutions, changes for the better.

I have never been known as a health food nut.  I fall into the camp of “everything in moderation”.  Except ice cream, which should be eaten as often as possible.

But starting January 2, I’m going to be doing a Whole 30.  Jim is going to do it with me.  And my sister is going to do it too.  I’d love for you to join us!  But first, let’s talk over a few things.

What is Whole 30?

Whole9’s original program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food. Since 2009, thousands of people have used our program as a jump-start to changing the way they eat for the rest of their lives.

The best way to understand the philosophy, science and more importantly  what you can and can’t eat, is to read the book It Starts with Food.  I bought this book the Sunday after Thanksgiving and read through it during that next week.  I think that trying to do the Whole 30 program without reading the book first would be very hard.

Basically, the Whole 30 plan eliminates all sugars, grains, dairy, beans and legumes for 30 days.  It’s designed to reset your nutrition and help you know what foods may be causing various symptoms.  Truly, the program is a bit longer than 30 days, because there are several days at the end of it where you strategically reintroduce foods back into your diet.

Why I’m doing the Whole 30.

Migraines.  I’m sick of them.  Although my headaches aren’t as intense in pain as they were several years ago, they are coming much more frequently.  I’m to the point where I’m actually willing to give up some well loved foods in an effort to see if it will end the migraines.

There are a lot of other health conditions that people have found improvement with after doing Whole 30.  You can check out some of the testimonials from people who’ve done the program here.

One reason that I’m not doing Whole 30 – weight loss.  I don’t care if I lose any weight or not.  It’s not a goal for me for doing this plan.  It wouldn’t hurt me to lose some, but I’m happy with the size I am.

What does this mean for Eat at Home?

First, it means that I’ll be sharing some of my prep work with you.  I tackle any new project by reading about it and prepping.  That’s exactly what I’ve been doing with this.  During December you’ll find posts on:

  • A list of Whole 30 compliant recipes that can be found on Eat at Home.
  • 30 day menu plan that I’ll be following for dinners (and hopefully lunches and snacks too).
  • Some foods I’ve purchased that I don’t normally buy, but that will be helpful during this 30 day challenge.

However, I want this plan to fit into our normal family routine.  I have four kids, none of whom will be doing the Whole 30.  I’m not inclined to cook two dinners every night.  My kids still want to eat cookies and bread and sugary treats sometimes.

I intend to make this a fit for all of us.  I’ve already gone over my recipes to find Whole 30 compliant ones.  And there are plenty!  I’ve also made a list of new recipes to try that will fit in the guidelines.  I’ll be sharing those recipes as we go along.

You’ll likely see some “regular” people recipes too during January.  Like I said, not everyone in my house will be doing Whole 30 and I also have recipe writers that aren’t planning to join us.  I don’t have any intentions of turning this into a health food/paleo blog.

Want to Join us?

I’d love to have you join us for our Whole 30 starting January 2.  Leave a comment if you think you might come along for the ride.  And be sure to subscribe to the email list so you get the list of Whole 30 compliant recipes and other tips and resources I’ll be sharing.

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  1. Count me in. I am sick of headaches and am determined to adjust my eating habit in January one way or the other!

  2. I’m in would like to lose and have no more headaches.

  3. I am reading this book too! I’m looking forward to your recipes!

  4. I have been getting headaches everyday for years and NO doctor can figure why! I’m so willing to try this with you-count me in!

  5. My husband and I wanted to do something similar after the holidays, count us in!

  6. Lauren Bunting says:

    I am definitely interested in going on this adventure with you!! I need a reset badly!

  7. Count me in. Signing up on Whole9 website now and buying the book. I did Paleo for 30 days last summer and NEVER felt better. Stopped Paleo lifestyle, and the headaches were back within 2 months 🙁

    • I didn’t know you could sign up on Whole9. I’ll have to check that out!

      • It’s $14.95 (one time charge) but you get a ton of helpful information! You immediately get a “Day 0” email that contains preparation lists, suggestions, and such. Once you actually begin the 30 day program, you receive daily emails. Very cool!!

  8. I’m “all in” on the whole 30 diet change. I have also been eating the elf diet plan since thanksgiving. My diet could use some vegetables and fruits that are not deep fried okra and fruity pebbles.

  9. I think it sounds like a plan. I will be looking for the book and get prepped.

  10. Sounds awesome! While I haven’t read the book and don’t cut out sugar/dairy/beans I do my best to eat a healthy, whole foods, non processed diet! Very excited to see how this works for you!

  11. Sounds like a challenge. I’m in.

  12. I am ready for the Whole 30 starting January 2! Sounds like we all be in this together. I look forward to the plan. Thank You!

  13. My hubby has migraines something awful too! wouldn’t mind trying a few recipes to see if it changes for my family as well…

  14. Count me in!

  15. Yes, please! I would love to receive whatever you have to share to put me and my husband back to a place where we’d have renewed energy and excellent health. I’m game to try anything!

  16. I just want to encourage you in this journey:) I did a whole30 last spring and have done a second whole 30 this fall. WITHOUT A DOUBT my health (physical and mental well being) improved more than I hoped for. Stomach issues-gone! Insomnia-gone! Headaches-gone! I will also be starting fresh in January after making poor eating habits during the holidays that have left me with old health problems. It really will make you feel better overall-and as an added bonus, I lost the muffin top and pudgy middle that I get when eating bread/sugar/junk:) Best wishes!!

  17. My husband and myself plan to re-start the Whole30 in January. So glad to hear you are as well. Look forward to it.

  18. We’re in!

  19. We did whole 30 for the 1st time in Aug 2012! The health benefits are phenomenal! My husband lost 30 lbs in the first month and no longer needed BP meds and no longer had issues with blood sugar AND we had way less joint pain. We remained paleo for a year more 80/20 , but fell off the wagon during a high stress family illness (not related to diet). We started back last month and feel better already! I really felt the changes while eating junk… So glad to be back on the clean meat and vegetable train! Looking forward walking through this the beginning of the year and hearing your results.

  20. Teresa Evin says:

    I have been having a lot of headaches and no energy.
    I need to eat healthier and take care of the one temple God granted me!

  21. I plan in starting to eat clean after the holidays and this would be a great way to start!

  22. Count me in!

  23. Count me in also………….sick of not feeling good anymore.

  24. Lacie Horman says:

    Can’t wait to try it!

  25. Will be good to have company and some more ideas as we have already made the commitment to start it Jan 2nd. I would say the 1st but we will still be on vacation and I know it will not happen. Any chance of getting a list of what recipes fit the guide lines so we can start to meal plan your recipes are always great so I know my hubby will love them!. Also anyone who is looking to go Paleo there are a ton of free ebooks on amazon. As with all free things some are good..some not so much.

  26. Definitely interested. I really believe our obesity epidemic is related to all the processed food we eat !

  27. I’ll be following but I don’t know if I have the discipline to do it. Been in a boot with foot elevated for over 3 weeks and will be that way until the new year (and maybe after). Cooking has been extremely limited. But it’s something 3 of the 4 in our house need to consider.

    • I’m so sorry about your foot. What a hassle and pain! Praying for quick healing.

      • Thanks for the prayers. You may want to pray I don’t kill the family LOL. It’s a torn leg muscle. It’s getting better. I’m big time confused about what to do about Christmas food. It may all be heat in the oven items that I can click and pull from Sam’s Club.

        • How about a ham in the crockpot (buy boneless, already sliced), baked sweet potatoes, store-bought salad, and fill in with things from the store. That would keep it easy. Tell your family I said they should do the easy cooking and dishes 🙂

  28. I’ve been thinking about it, and you convinced me to order the book. Having your recipes and meal ideas would really help out, too! My husband is the one who really should try it…he is gluten intolerant and has migraines…I’m hoping to entice him to join me.

  29. Count me in 🙂

  30. OldNuffToKnoBtr says:

    I would like to be in but I am diabetic and learning to deal with the food issues involved with that disease. I’ll be following your reports to see how it might apply to my needs.

  31. Yup…I’m a chronic migraine sufferer too…so I’m on board! Thanks for leading the charge 🙂

  32. I want in. Sounds like a great way to start out the new year

  33. My hubby and I are IN and my 2 girls too – we were already planning to to this and Craig is getting the book for Christmas! I’m excited that you’ll be supporting us in this with your recipes – WHOOP WHOOP!

  34. I am in. Thanks for the inspiration! I bought the book the day your post arrived in my inbox. I am 2/3 way through it. Looking forward to your recipes and food plans! Thank you.

  35. Count me in! I have an autoimmune disorder and frequent migraines. I’ve tried doing a paleo type diet and I felt so much better. Hopefully following along with your plans will help me stay on track this time!

  36. I’m in too, can always use a nutrition reset after the holidays….Love you’ll be doing lists and recipes to help us along.

  37. Count me in too please, I haven’t read the book and I guess I won’t by then, don’t have it! But I will do my research before starting. Looking forward to it!

  38. I am so glad to have found your website and that you will be doing the January whole 30. I have been trying to wrap my head around changing my diet because of my health issues while feeding my family and not feeling my best has made getting food on the table a true challenge. I learned about the whole 30 program and am excited to jump in but the fact that you are organizing meal plans and participating in the challenge too will make this journey much more doable for me. THANK YOU!!!

    Do you happen to know if the whole 30 actually provides meal ideas or has suggestions for an autoimmune diet protocol?

    Looking forward to Jan. 2 🙂

  39. I love reading and trying your recipes! Our family went Paleo last July, so since then anytime I read your newsletter, I was hungry!! 🙂 I am so so so excited to try your new recipes, and join in this journey!!

  40. Count me in!

  41. I am doing this! Unhealthy relationship with sweets/sugar and caffeine, two small children (9 mos., 2.3 yr old toddler) who I would like to witness good food choices, minor headaches and chronic allergies are my motivation! Looking forward to visiting page often for inspiration and encouragement!

  42. I’d love to join this with you! I also suffer from migraines and have done a elimation diet and it helped a lot! Looking forward to seeing what recipies you have lined up!

  43. Aimee Walter says:

    Sounds like it will be a good compliment to my 30-day Fitness Challenge.

  44. Misty Hawkins says:

    Count me in!! I’m ready to get rid of the headaches and to jump start my weight loss.

  45. I’ll give it a shot. I’ve had arthritis since a young age. Some days are more painful than others – would be interesting to see if some food eliminations are connected.

  46. Beth Moore says:

    You know I’m in! I started the whole 30 in October & have added a few natural sugars on occasion, but I seem to do better with the basics. I have DEFINITELY had a difference in the migraines, energy level, focus, sleeping ….. I’m so excited that you are doing the leg work to make this more interesting for us 🙂

  47. I want to join. Out with the old, in with the new.

  48. count me in too!!

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