Thoughts from a 20-something stumbling through adulthood

Whole30, Day 18: Can clean eating make you sad?

I am officially past the Whole30 halfway point, and have some unfortunate news. 

This is actually getting harder. 

For the first two weeks, I was so gung-ho about my new eating habits. There were some close calls, to be sure (see this post about a harrowing trip to the lake), but overall, I was really motivated, felt great, and was able to avoid most tempting situations. 

Then I hit my third weekend on the program.

And “I can make it all month!” started to sound more like “Isn’t a Whole17 still REALLY good? I mean, before this I was eating fast food like three times a week!”

And the answer is, yes. a Whole17 IS really good. These have easily been the healthiest three-ish weeks of my life. 


You said you were doing Whole30. You committed to it. You told people about it. You started a blog about it. So quitting on day 18 makes the previous 17 days just a little less sweet. (Metaphorically, I mean. I would kill for a Thin Mint right about now.)

Which is why, after a long week at work, I found myself searching the aisles of Whole Foods for canned coconut cream (it’s by the Asian foods, FYI), and making a rather involved knockoff version of Caesar salad for dinner. 

You would not believe he blood sweat and tears that went into this fake Caesar salad. Especially when we discovered a bottle of ACTUAL Caesar salad in the fridge and just stared at it longingly.

And file this away in the category of Whole30 breakdowns: While I grocery shopped, I got so hangry and frustrated that I bought the one kind of Whole30-approved LARA bar and ate it while driving. 

Is snarfing a nut bar in your car Whole30-approved? Yes. Is it recommended? No.

All of this to say: Stay vigilant, my friends. Remember why you started this program, and how you’re going to feel when you finish. (Or as my therapist advised, just keep saying, ‘eh, I’ll have some of that tomorrow’ until you hit Day 31. It’s surprisingly effective.)

Because that one glass of wine or cookie really DOESN’T matter in the short term, but keeping your promise to yourself matters a lot more. 

When in doubt, do what I’m about to and take a nap (that’s Whole30-compliant, right?) Or get a pedicure. Or call your mom. Or chug a bottle of kombucha. Whatever you have to do to make it through. 

And remember: You’re not weak or crazy or damaged for having a hard time with this. You’re normal – but you’re striving for better