My Whole 30 Experience

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Summary and Observations of following the Whole 30 Program


I am excited about having completed the Whole 30 program on my first try, with near 100% compliance! I am especially proud that I was able to achieve 100% in key areas, total cuts of Alcohol, Sugar, Artificial Sweetener, Grain, Dairy, Legumes.

Week by Week Summary

If you have not had a chance, please take a look at my previous blog posts where I discuss preparation for the Whole 30, and then break down each week to include meals, tips, challenges, and benefits noticed.


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Before and After Comparisons

I did take some physical measurements before and after the program, just to see any progress or improvements.




  • Before: 209.6 pounds
  • After: 201.4

(Both photos and weights taken on a Friday, after a morning run, so I’m not inflating stats)

Best Deadlift

  • Before: 205 pounds for a set of 5 (best set of the workout)
  • After: 255 pounds for 3 sets of 2 reps (best 3 sets of the workout)

Best Pullup Set

  • Before: 4 sets of 4 reps
  • After: 4 sets of 5 reps

Best Run

  • Before: 4.5 mile run, about 3 walk breaks, about an hour total time
  • After: 4.9 mile run, no breaks, around 53 minutes total

A note about comparisons: I did not do the Whole 30 to lose weight, or improve my exercise numbers, these were side benefits. I do feel that benefits such as better sleep, more energy, and improved digestion contributed to my exercise improvements.

Program Benefits I Noticed

  • Energy and mental focus were greatly improved, I was able to dedicate a lot of time to the blog and posted much more frequently during the program. I also focused on personal development, educational podcasts, and reading.
  • Exercise markers improved, as noted above.
  • Sleep improved, many nights of 8 hours uninterrupted.
  • Digestion felt much improved as I moved through the program.
  • Elimination of sugar, grain, and alcohol made it much easier to avoid poor food choices.
  • Did not have “a case of the Mondays” due to benefits noted above/from not over indulging on weekends.
  • I got creative with food choices, combinations, meal prep, even a little cooking!
  • I learned how to make a Coleslaw!
  • Got great ideas for new themes and blog posts.
  • I was able to eat with out counting calories, or macro nutrient ratios, and feel good/have success.
  • Successfully completed a whole 30 beach vacation!

My Top Tips

  • Be involved with your food and meal prep!
  • Do preparation and planning before you start, do not just jump right in to a whole 30 with both feet, and no plan.
  • While doing your preparation, try to phase out non-approved food or drink you really enjoy, and find a substitution (example, cauliflower rice instead of rice).
  • Identify foods or food groups you have a hard time controlling portions of, even if they are healthy. I was overeating mixed nuts, so I needed to re-designate them as a treat rather than a dietary staple.
  • Remove any non-approved foods from your home before you start…why be tempted when you are making a lifestyle change?
  • Create a compelling reason (or reasons) you want to try this program. If you are just looking for a quick fix to lose weight, that reason is not going to give you the stamina you need to make the lifestyle changes of the program…and even if you make 30 days, what happens after?
  • Stay hydrated, make sure you have clean water (do not rely on tap water).

Favorite Meals

Power Salads
Whole 30 Omelets
Egg Dishes
Chipotle Beef Soups

My Compliance Grade

I give myself a solid 98% compliance for the entire program, which is pretty awesome for 30 days! Please take a look at the back links to the individual weeks if you want to see where I had 100%, and where some non-compliant food made it in.

Lifestyle Changes To Keep

  • Mixed nuts are in the treat category.
  • Legumes will not be a daily or weekly staple.
  • Dairy will be in the treat category.
  • Artificial sweeteners will be rarely consumed.
  • Intermittent fasting will stay as part of my routine.
  • Committing to another 30 days of no sugar, grain, alcohol.

Whats Next?

Glad you asked! I am going to continue my streak of no sugar, grain, or alcohol, and start an anti-inflammatory diet for another 30 days. I will have a blog post coming up about guidelines I will be making for myself related to the anti-inflammatory theme. Thanks for following along with me, until next time!

My Whole 30 Experience-Week 4

A Fresh Side Salad with Local Veggies!

Benefits Noted This Week

I feel a little bit leaner and lighter this week, compared to when I started the Whole 30. I am going to be interested to note any changes I see on the scale and in the mirror at the end of the program. I’m especially interested because I have not been counting calories or macro-nutrient ratios, really just trying to listen to my body and eat when I need to/how much I need to.

Another benefit I have been noticing this week is continued mental clarity and sharpness. I have been using this additional mental space and focus to zone in on areas of personal development, such as my health and our household finances.

Whole 30 vacation benefit noted was I stay much better hydrated on a booze free vacation, my go to ⛱ drink was ice water with lemon 🍋, yum!

Challenges This Week

Going on a 2 day vacation was a challenge and a test; it asked the question, am I really serious about doing a Whole 30? I knew this beach trip was coming, and consciously made the decision not to change my Whole 30 timeline to adjust for the trip. Why? I have done things like that in the past, and I found through experience that if you are serious about making a lifestyle change, you need to fully commit.

“Its the holidays, its vacation, its my birthday, I’ll start next week”…at some point you need to drop these excuses, decide whether or not you are serious about something and commit. I am committed, but I still recognize this as a challenge and shift in my previous way of thinking.

Tip of the Week

Be involved in your food prep! Make sure that you do have some aspect of responsibility for preparing your meals, and picking the ingredients. Even if you are not the primary cook in your house, I promise you will have more success on Whole 30 or any program if you help shop for ingredients, and prep the food you will eat. I have found myself more engaged in the process the more I helped chose ingredients, prep food, and think of ideas for meals myself.

Lets Talk About It [Video]



Morning, coffee, water, green tea with herbs.

Around 11 am: Coffee with MTC oil, 2 spoons of nut butter.

Around 2:30 pm: Bowl of Creamy Taco soup with green powder, avocado mayo, pumpkin seeds added.

Evening: Herbal tea.


Morning, coffee, water, green tea.

Around 11 am: Spicy Coleslaw, topped with avocado and hot sauce. This week, Spicy Coleslaw has: Broccoli slaw mix, scallions, garlic, local hot pepper, bacon; dressing with avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, salt and pepper.

*Of note: Sriracha lists sugar as an ingredient, but there is not enough to register any added sugar, or calories in a serving. Questionable perhaps, but I am allowing for myself.

Around 4:30 pm: Bowl of Chipotle Beef and Cauliflower soup, 3 handfuls of almonds, seaweed snack


Morning, coffee, water, green tea.

Around 12 noon: Salad with lettuce, greens powder, tomato, garlic, basil, avocado, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, spice coleslaw on the bottom of the bowl; sea weed snack.

Around 4:30 pm: Bowl of Chipotle Beef and Cauliflower soup, 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds, 2 spoons nut butter, seaweed snack.


Morning, coffee, water, green tea.

Around 12 noon: Salad with Lettuce, Tomato, Garlic, Basil, Avocado, Pickles, base of Spicy Coleslaw, Greens powder, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper; 1 can smoked Herring, seaweed snack.

Around 4:30 pm: Bowl of Chipotle Beef and Cauliflower soup; 2 beef sticks; seaweed snack.


Morning, coffee, water, green tea.

Around 10 am-Second cup of coffee (seeing if I can extend my fasting).

Around 3 pm: Salad with lettuce, tomato, garlic, basil, greens powder, pickles, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, based of spicy coleslaw, topped with sardines; seaweed snack, 3 spoons of nut butter, 2 beef sticks.

Evening: Herbal tea.


Morning: Coffee, water.

Around 11 am: Green tea with a spoon of coconut oil.

Around 4:30 pm: Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, green powder, garlic, basil, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper; bowl of Chipotle Beef and Cauliflower soup.


Morning: Coffee, water, Iced coffee with MTC oil.

Around 12 noon: Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots 🥕, lobster, shrimp, chicken, bacon, dressed with oil and vinegar; piece of roasted salmon.

Around 5 pm: Turkey pepperoni, Air dried Kale chips, coconut 🥥 milk.


Morning, green tea, ice coffee, water.

Around 11 am: Lobster Eggs Benedict. This is slightly out of compliance with the butter in hollandaise sauce, but overall a great treat!

Around 1 pm: Crunchy broccoli 🥦 snack, 2 meat sticks.

Around 4 pm: Iced Coconut 🥥 milk.

Around 6 pm: Lobster 🦞 no roll, coleslaw, beef liver and onions.

Favorite Meal of The Week

Lobster 🦞 Eggs Benedict

Even though this dish was slightly out of compliance because of the butter in the hollondaise sauce, it tasted good and was a great way to get in more lobster options on vacation! I took the dish off the English muffins to avoid grain, and ended up skipping the potatoes as well.



Bobby Maximus “Death by Pushups” workout. Made it to minute 8 on protocol, finished with reps I could for remaining minutes.


Morning stretch and roll, around 50 minutes walk, 2.5 miles total.


Deadlifts: Work Sets- 205×5, 225×4, 255×2,1,1, 205×5

Ab roll wheel, 6 sets of 6-8 reps; pull up bat hangs

Of note, deadlifts did not progress like last week. My only thought as to why is that my chest and lats felt fatigued and sore, likely holding over from my pushup workout Sunday. Deadlifts are truly a full body exercise, you need all muscle groups working together!


Total Gym Row and Curl combo: 4 sets of 10 each; Double Kettlebell push press: 35 lbs- 4 sets of 10; Pull ups- 4 sets of 5; Push ups- 3 sets of


Morning stretch and foam roll; run, same route as last week, 4.9 miles, 53 minutes. If you read my week 3 post, I felt like a slowed down a bit last week, felt fatigued, and needed to take a walk break after the hill towards the end of this running route. Today, I made it up the hill, no walk break needed (no walk breaks during my run) and finished 2 minutes faster! I did feel the general fatigue setting in as I approached the hill, but not muscle fatigue in my legs like I experienced last week. I relaxed my shoulders, slowed my pace slightly, and focused on my breathing as I climbed the hill. I did the same mental inventory as week 3 about reasons I may have felt better this week; the only difference was this week, I got a full, uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep last night. Sleep for the win!


Mowing the lawn, around 2.5 miles, about an hour total time; walking 9 holes of Golf!


Sun and sand, active rest!


A morning run with scenic views and salty breeze, more sun and sand!

Whole 30 Vacation Highlights!

We had a mini family vacation to Cape Cod Saturday to Monday, overlapping the end of my whole 30. The whole 30 vacation was fantastic! I set myself up by bringing some of my own food and drinks, and planning what I could order. Really, it was all about the experience, as vacation should be! Wonderful location, and beach time on Cape Cod. View from the room below…

My Compliance Grade this week

I give myself a solid 97%, because the use of Sriracha is questionable based on containing a small amount of sugar (see above, not enough to register on nutrition facts). Additionally, my salad on vacation had some likely non compliant bacon, and the hollandaise sauce had some butter. Overall, I feel great about compliance to the program, especially working in a mini beach vacation!

Finishing Strong-Final Week ahead

I stretched out my week 4 post so I can capture my meals and compliance while on vacation. My final wrap up post will be more reflective and a summary of the overall experience, rather than the day by day meals breakdown. I plan to include before and after stats and photos, summary of tips, favorite meals, and my next challenge you can follow along with. Cheers to the final week!

The Top 7 Tips for a Healthy Vacation

How to enjoy your vacations to the fullest, and come back healthier, well rested, and more fit!

Why We Love Vacation

Why do we all look forward to vacation? So many reasons! A few examples for you:

  1. Going to places we love
  2. Spending time with the people we love
  3. Time away from work
  4. A chance to be spontaneous and not have a schedule
  5. Delicious food (and drink)
  6. Making memories
  7. Do some activities that fulfill us, that we don’t have time for/can’t do at home

I picked 7 common reasons we look forward to vacation, what are some of yours?

As much as we love vacations, a common pitfall of them can be coming back from vacation feeling tired, sluggish, and maybe with a few extra pounds we did not intend to gain.

Why Do We Feel Sluggish and Unhealthy After Vacation?

Top 3 Reasons People come back unhealthy and sluggish after a vacation:

  1. Overeating and Drinking: You typically have a routine when you are at home and going to work, however on vacation this can shift dramatically. One of the great features we look forward to on vacation is great food and drink, and often we don’t have a plan or set a limit.
  2. Lack of Exercise: Unless your vacation is centered around physical activity (Hiking, Rock Climbing, Skiing), most likely you do not have high levels of physical activity. Even people who exercise regularly while they are at home will let this slip while on vacation.
  3. Lack of Sleep: A lot of us will tend to neglect sleep while on vacation, because there are so many fun things to do, especially late at night! Lack of sleep, or even a change in your sleep routine, can compound the impacts of other lifestyle factors above.

Let’s Talk About these Big 3 [Video]

Top 7 Tips for Success

  1. Make a Plan: It seems basic, but you need a plan for your vacation! Areas to consider making your plan: Where are you going? How are you traveling? How long is your vacation? What is your budget? What kind of experiences will you have? Why this vacation, what do you love about it? If you are a naturally spontaneous person, I understand this may stress you out. Never fear, you can plan unscheduled time in your vacation!
  2. Do Not Go Out to Eat for Every Meal: A lot of us love going out to eat as part of vacation, and this can lead to frequent over eating and contribution to that sluggish feeling. Portions when you go out to eat are usually on the larger side; even if you don’t eat all of it in one sitting, most likely you are hitting those left overs later. To plan, think about what food or restaurants are unique to your vacation, what can you get on this vacation that you can’t get at home? What is your favorite meal to go out for? If it is Breakfast, find some great Breakfast places around your vacation site. If you go out for one meal per day, and do some grocery shopping for other meals, your waistline (and your budget) will thank you after the vacation. Don’t go out to eat just for the sake of going out to eat or because you are on vacation.
  3. Plan Your Exercise: If you are going on a vacation that involves physical activity every day (hiking, rock climbing, skiing as examples) you can skip this step. However, for vacations that do not involve physical activity, you need to make a plan. If you are going on a 6 day vacation, decide in advance how many days you will exercise, and hold yourself accountable. Also, plan around the type of facilities and equipment you will have available. No gym at the hotel? Plan for body weight exercise, walking, jogging!
  4. Train for Vacation: What I mean by this, is spend 3-4 weeks exercising the way you will on vacation. For example, if you have no gym and plan to run and do body weight training, spend 3-4 weeks exercising this way BEFORE you go on vacation. Why? If you have not been running for months, and go for a 5 miler day one of vacation, your legs will be shot the next day, and you are much less likely to be successful on your exercise program for your 6 day vacation. Same idea if you have not been doing push ups, and run yourself through an intense body weight circuit day one of vacation. Train and prepare so you have a routine you can be successful with on vacation.
  5. Prioritize Your Sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep on vacation. Do not stay up late watching TV, go out every night etc, just because you are on vacation and you can. If nightlife and shows are part of the experience of your vacation, great! Just make sure you make up the sleep during the day, do not burn the candle at both ends. If you have a usual bedtime or routine around sleep, stick as close to that as possible while on vacation, and if anything, get more sleep. Parents, make sure your kids stick to their routine as well.
  6. Limit the Booze: If you don’t drink alcohol, you can skip this section. Drinking lots of alcohol adds extra calories, and compounds the issue of overeating. Excess alcohol will also mess with your sleep, and if your are hungover you are less motivated to work out…ask me how I know all this 😉 The tip here is to make sure that IF you have alcohol on vacation, that it enhances your experience and is unique to your vacation. Examples: going to a local Winery, Brewery, Distillery; enjoying a tropical umbrella drink; enjoying a drinking with friends and family. If you roll in to the local liquor store when you arrive onsite and stock up on cheap beer, wine, whiskey that you can just as easily get while you are at home…ask yourself if this is really enhancing your vacation experience? Same advice as with going out to eat, do not drink on vacation just for the sake of drinking.
  7. Make It All About the Experience! The theme in all of these areas is to really focus on your experience on vacation. Make sure the vacation is something you and your family love and will cherish, and that everything else enhances the theme of your experience! If you are going out to eat and having a treat, make sure it is truly special and enhances your vacation! If you find yourself going out for cheap pizza or fried food you could get at home just because you are on vacation and deserve it, ask why? If you stay up late, make sure it is for a show, late night walk on the beach, and not just flipping through TV channels like you could do at home.

Let’s Talk Tips [Videos]

If you like the video discussion format, follow along with me. I had a lot of fun shooting these videos, on scene at Cap Cod, MA.

Tips for Exercise on Vacation
Eat Healthy, and Enjoy Your Favorite Foods
Alcohol as part of your vacation experience-not post vacation hangover
The importance of sleep, and making sure you do not neglect it on vacation

Have a Healthy Vacation!

You can come back from vacation feeling fit, healthy, and well rested if you follow these tips above! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. So far, I have tried them out on a 3 day weekend vacation with great success, and look forward to the next time I am able to have a longer vacation to come back healthy, fit and well rested! Until next time, go find your beach!