Kicking Off 2013 with Whole30

Two big things happened to me in 2012:

  1. I turned 40. O.M.Geeeeeeezy.
  2. I found 30. Erm, Whole30, that is.

These two things were the catalyst for a big lifestyle overhaul—seeing the BIG 4-0 coming my way, I decided to  rededicate myself to achieving optimal fitness. Along the way, I discovered Whole30, and it changed my approach to food and eating forever.  I went from being a mostly healthy eater, to a superaware eater, converting to organic produce and organic, humanely-raised meat; cutting dairy, beans, and wine from my diet; and feeling 100% better as a result.

Of course, if you’re a longtime G&G reader, you know this. If not, check out my post, Reflections on Whole30, to read more about my first Whole30 experience.

I’m a paleo girl—but even I fall off the wagon around the holidays.

Have I had no dairy, no sugar,  no grains, no peanut butter, and stayed away from alcohol since completing my second Whole30 in October 2012? If you follow me on Instagram, you can see that is not the case. While I do eat mostly paleo, with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, like many other paleo and Whole30 devotees, I did the human thing and just enjoyed things like peanut butter pie, because I believe life is meant to be lived, and rules are occasionally made to be broken.

caviar, champagne, and a bonfire
A scene from the holidays: caviar, champagne, fire.

Even the folks at Whole9 (founders of Whole30) have admitted that “…embarking upon a Whole30® during the holiday season may be exactly the wrong thing to do.” That’s another thing I love about the Whole9 crew—they’re realistic. They don’t expect you to decline Nana’s delicious buttery mashed potatoes if you only eat them once a year, and it would break her heart if you didn’t have any.

That said, when I fall off the wagon, I only fall off halfway. I may have the martinis and the pie and caviar and crème fraîche on blinis—but I’m still pouring almond (not dairy milk) in my coffee at home, I’m still eating just a couple eggs and some veggies or salmon for breakfast, and I’m still smashing it in the gym four-to-six days a week.  So I probably gain a couple pounds, but nothing crazy.

And that said, after all the indulgences, I’m totally ready to jump back into Whole30 and start 2013 right!

Will you also do a Whole30 in January 2013?

Because if you’re wondering, I think you should JUST DO IT! I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t raved about the experience. I’m just one of many bloggers and friends who are committed to doing Whole30 starting January 1st. We’re happy to include you in our tweets for moral support or just checking in—tweet me @gritandglamour.

Whole30 by Whole9

Here are some resources to help guide you through your Whole30 journey:

P.S.: At the end of Reflections on Whole30, I noted that I would be doing another Whole30 in October to support my mom. Well, I did, and she did—and she is a total convert! She stayed on a pretty strict Whole30 through November too, and has lost 17 pounds. She’ll be back on it again in January with me, and my husband is on board too. Stay tuned for an update about our experience.

P.P.S.: In the same post referenced above, I talked about getting a grip on my eczema, that I discovered I have sulfite sensitivity. Unfortunately, the no-sulfites-added wine trick did not last. I also discovered that pickled banana peppers and jalapenos, and dried fruit like dates and figs also cause major flare ups. I quit having all of the above, and my eczema really, truly is gone. No embarrassing rashes on my hands and inner elbows anymore.

Sure, I can no longer drink wine without some pretty uncomfortable consequences. But I can have my beloved martinis when I do feel like having a cocktail, and I can live without the rest. All this is proof that additives in food, and all the fake, GMO-laden crap we put into our bodies is probably the cause of 99% of our skin allergies/issues, and diseases like diabetes. We don’t need steroid creams, which don’t cure skin issues, and actually destroy the integrity of our skin. We need to stop eating inflammatory foods. We need to listen to our bodies and stop pretending there is no correlation between disease and our diets.

Hippocrates said,

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


He was right.

Thank you for your support this year, happy 2013, and good luck to those embracing their health and Whole30!


  1. At this point I can’t WAIT for January! I’ve been enjoying myself for the past week and while I know it’s ok to do that, esp around the holidays, it is crazy how fast the bad side effects start to happen. I try to convince everyone to do a Whole 30 now. Definitely the best thing I did in 2012!

  2. I love the picture of the champagne, caviar, fireplace and the nails, my God, the nails! I wish you the very best for 2013. You continue to inspire me with your commitment to Whole30 and your terrific writing. XO, Jill

    1. Hi Jill, thank you! The nails…yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with gels. I took them down a teensy bit since that photo, though. Love the long nails, but eventually I can’t tweet/type on my iPhone, and it gets to me!

      Hope 2013 is a super year for you. Wishing you all the very best!

  3. Ha! Oh, I’ll be right over! I think we love the same fine foods, blinis accompanied our Christmas Eve spread! It’s great to hear and see how much your healthy change has affected your lifestyle and inspired others. I agree with you and I did notice major changes with my skin in a good way when I simply took the carbs out from my diet for 4 wks. Have a wonderful and happy new year Vahni! ~Madison

  4. I fell off the bandwagon BIG TIME over the festive period, I still have loads of food left over I’m having to munch through.

    I always find starting a clean eating plan and work out again after a period of binging feels so damn good. It’s like your body breathes a sigh of relief and thanks you for it.

    1. Super, Valerie! Good luck! You have absolutely nothing to be terrified of. At the end of your 30 days, you’ll have a whole different approach to eating, you’ll see.

      Feel better. You can still have homemade chicken soup…just skip the rice or noodles and add extra celery and carrots!

  5. I am hoping to do the Whole30 in March (too much going on this month and next). I am just getting back to the gym now (yay!!) and I have 7 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (plus abs that need to be rediscovered!). I turn 30 in April and plan to enter that new decade feeling good!

  6. I found this post while looking for whether or not I can have caviar on my Whole30. 🙂 I’m in the middle of my second (the first was in October) after an equally indulgent holiday season. It’s been great getting back on the wagon, but I am looking forward to having my occasional glass of wine back. I’m doing this Whole30 while also attempting 50 Pure Barre classes in 60 days. A challenging start to the new year for sure!

    1. Wow, LOVE that challenge! Good luck! I’ve really been wanting to try Pure Barre…there’s one near me. Should I?

      PS: Whole30 definitely gets easier the more you do it. And it becomes more of a lifestyle too. This is my third, and it has definitely been the easiest.

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