Thoughts from a 20-something stumbling through adulthood

The Whole30 truths no one tells you about

It’s time for some real talk.

When you begin to research Whole30, the whole thing seems so glamorous. The shiny hardcover cookbooks, the testimonials about how the Whole30 “will truly change your life,” the cooking blogs with professional photos of “paleo-tasty” recipes (how do these women manage to make a brown stew look SO appetizing?)

That’s all fine, but here’s the truth: Whole30 is really fucking messy.

And I’m not just talking about the onion-layers-all-over-your-kitchen kind of messy (though that certainly applies). The grocery shopping, prepping food, cooking new things, it’s all just complicated. And you’re not going to get it right all the time. Not even close.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, Whole30 does look like those shiny photos of mediterranean bison burgers. But most times, it looks like this:

Yes those are raw fruits on the floor. No the floor is not clean.
If someone could fill me in on how to cut vegetables without losing a limb or your mind, that would be much appreciated.

No, a bomb did not go off in my kitchen. That’s just what it looks like when I finish prepping three or four Whole30-approved meals.

No porcelain dinnerware, no spiral-sliced cucumbers, not even a well-placed parsley sprig. This, my friends, is what the Whole30 looks like 90 percent of the time.

It also looks like:

  • Me, up until midnight on a Thursday because we’re going to the lake, and I have to prep three days of meals to enjoy while my family drinks beer and eats hot dogs.
  • Me, discovering that my local grocery store sells items I didn’t even know existed, i.e. plantain chips and almond flour.
  • Me, driving my boyfriend to Sonic, but forcing him to speed-eat before I wreck the car in pursuit of a cheddar bite.
  • Me, trying to understand how ghee is basically butter, and yet not.
  • Me, googling “how to cut garlic”
  • Me, subsequently realizing that a clove of garlic is NOT the same as an entire bulb of garlic

But here’s the thing: Despite all that, I’m really loving it. On day 9, I have already learned so much – not just about food, but also about myself.

Even better, I’m cooking for the first time in my life. (Pro tip: If you’re lousy in the kitchen, start a diet that requires you to cook EVERY meal. That should do the trick.)

I am loving Whole30, because about 30 minutes after I photographed that train wreck of a kitchen, I had this:

Next up: Trying to explain to my grandma what plantain chips are.

Two bags full of healthy, whole food, most of which I cooked myself. (Not pictured: Another bag filled almost entirely with almonds.)

It definitely won’t be a typical lake weekend (as in, there won’t be any Fireball or off-brand Doritos – at least for me), but I’m hoping when I look back on these 30 days, it will have been worth it.