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Rho's Excellent Whole30 Adventure


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Hey there from Colorado! This is my 2nd Whole 30. I took part in a "Whole40" back in April with great success! Since then, I've stayed on track...for the most part... I love to imbibe in adult beverages and try new restaurants and eat all things sweets/desserts/delicious. That periodic indulging set me back a bit and the "periodic" started to become "habitual" again so here I am! Ready to slay the sugar demon! Also, I've been a vegetarian and a vegan since the age of 14. I started eating fish and dairy 4 years ago and just recently started eating meat again (only grassfed, pastured, natural). WILD!

I am very active. I work out about 5 days/week. Lifting heavy 3x a week (big 3 compound movements & some assistance exercises), sprinting 2x a week & hiking as often as I can! I also took on a 10,000 kettlebell swings in a month challenge, but now it's turned into a 10,000 kb swings whenever, sooner rather than later, challenge.

My main problem area is sleeping. I don't get enough of it and don't sleep like a grown-up. I'll fall asleep on the couch at 11:30PM, wake up at 3:00AM, get ready for bed then wake up at 7:30AM. Can you say dysfunctional?!?!?! OK so I am working on that.

Here are some stats:

Age: 26--my b-day is in September so I'm gonna try to ride this out 'til then!

Height: 5'2"

Weight: 119lbs.

Chest: 32"

Waist: 27"

Hips: 34"

Side note--I do intermittent fasting. I eat in a 8-10 hour window starting at around 1:00PM. I know, I know it's not ideal for the Whole30, but I've been eating this way for a long time & I like it. The end! I will not count macronutrients & calories, nor will I weigh myself.


-10 slices of Applegate Farms Genoa Salami

-1 Applegate Farms chicken sausage

-1/2 a large carrot

-2 duck eggs scrambled in coconut oil

-1 awesome peach from a farm by my house!



-1 natural chicken breast, pan-seared w/garlic in coconut oil

-1 plantain, pan-fried

-2 pink turnips from my CSA share, pan-fried

-1 Big A** Salad--2 big handfuls of CSA share lettuce & a few cherry tomatoes, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/3 avocado & 3 stalks of celery; dressed w/olive oil & balsamic vinegar


Today's Workout: Heavy Lifting! Reverse pyramid style...


-Jump rope for 5 minutes & dynamic stretches

-20 air squats

-Barbell back squats warm-up sets

-Barbell back squats working sets: 90# max 1X6, 85# 1X7, 80# 1X8

-Barbell good mornings: 45# 1X8

-Walking lunges w/14# medicine ball overhead 1X20

-Split lunges w/25# dumbbells 1X20

-Walking lunge twists w/14# medicine ball

-100 kb swings w/35# kb & some one-armed swings w/25# kb

Ok...I think that's enough for now. Nice to meet you!

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Hmm. Did you know that your sleep patterns may be related to your intermittent fasting? The timing and spacing of your meals influences what happens with your hormones which has a lot to do with sleep.

The Whole30 asks you to eat 3 meals per day, ideally spaced 4 to 5 hours apart, and beginning with breakfast within an hour of waking. Such a pattern is most supportive of our bodies natural hormonal rhythms.

I practice intermittent fasting myself occasionally. It has its uses, but it is a different eating protocol than the Whole30. Combining them into a hybrid means you are not doing a full Whole30. You can get some good results, but it is not the full package.

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I'm exhausted just reading about your sleeping pattern :o

Maybe try the W30 by the book and see if you feel better. Give it a fair shot for 30 days and sure you can always go back to IF if you don't feel better.

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My sleep pattern was dysfunctional pre-IF...

The thing is, I stay up late to wait for my husband to come home from work (he's a chef) so I can spend a modicum of time with him. Of course, he's still wired from working & just wants to relax on the couch and, subsequently, fall asleep. This has become a habit over time.

I know what I should be doing is just going to bed before he gets home! Last night, I waited up for him then went straight to bed. Better I guess...

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DAY 2 & going strong!

Thanks for the replies and theories on why my sleep schedule is screwed up. I won't deny that my penchant for IF could be a culprit, but I assure you that my sleep schedule was sketchy pre-IF. Old habits die hard! Anyhow, I decided to go right to bed at 11PM last night & woke up at & 7AM this morning. Not optimal, but better!

I'm in the process of selling my house & buying a new one in Denver. I spent all of 5PM to 8PM house hunting. That means no time to work out and no time to cook dinner when I got home. Boo hoo! Luckily, my husband brought me a delicious Whole30-compliant meal from his restaurant. My hero!


-1 pork loin

-2 chicken eggs scrambled in coconut oil

-1/2 red bell pepper

-1 local farm peach YUM!

-a few slices of wild boar salami (nitrate free!)

-a few slices of Applegate Farms Genoa salami (not pictured)



-1 rib-eye steak (Teton Waters 100% grassfed)


-cherry tomatoes

-dressed w/olive oil & basil

-a few slices of nitrate-free salami (not pictured)


Hope your Whole 30s are going awesomely!!!

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Whole30 day 3 was rather weak for me!

The night before, I managed to get into bed & go to sleep at around 11:00PM. I woke up at around 6:30AM to get ready for work & get my house ready for a showing.

For lunch, I was running around & didn't have enough time to cook something up so I stopped by Chipotle & ordered a carnitas salad with pico de gallo, hot salsa & guacamole.

For dinner, I was in a big hurry to go out dancing with some friends. In my haste, I ate some Applegate Farms Genoa Salami & a microwaved sweet potato with coconut oil, cinnamon, salt & pepper.

Not the most nutritious day for my tastes.

My workout was also brief, I warmed up with about 5 minutes on the jump rope, some dynamic stretches then went into 400 kettlebell swings. I also added in some easy ab exercises: hanging knees to chest 3X7, incline leg raises 3X8, 2 minute plank on the stability ball.

When I went dancing with my friends, I managed to not touch a single drop of alcohol despite it being a rather lackluster night. It feels like the Whole30 is so much easier to do while in "hermit-mode."

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Whole30 day 4 was quite a bit better than day 3. On day 3, I managed about 5 hours of sleep. The night before (errr...that morning), I got home from Denver at around 2:00AM and got to sleep around 3:00. I ended up waking up at about 8:30AM and just could not go back to sleep. Bummer!

I decided to cook some breakfast at around 9:00 AM. Breakfast! Revolutionary (for me)!


-1 Applegate Farms chicken sausage

-2 chicken eggs scrambled in coconut oil

-1 local farm lemon cucumber


Unfortunately, I did not eat lunch because I just wasn't hungry enough! This 3 meals a day thing is no picnic (literally).

For dinner, I made stuffed bell peppers with a recipe from The Rogue Cookie: http://theroguecooki...tuffed-peppers/ Delicious! I stuffed 'em with organic grass-fed ground beef, spinach, onion & tomato.


-1 Big A** Salad: local farm lettuce mix, local farm cherry tomatoes, local farm green beans, celery, olive oil & balsamic vinegar

-1 stuffed bell pepper w/Tabasco sauce (YES!)



While Preparing Dinner, post-workout:

-A few slices of Applegate Farms organic turkey w/herbs

-1 banana

-1/2 spoonful of Sunbutter



-1 carrot cake LARA bar, I know...I know...

I went into the office yesterday (Saturday) to workout:

-Treadmill walking warm-up for 5 min

-Dynamic stretches

-Bench press warm-up sets

-Bench press working sets (reverse pyramid):

75# 1X5, 65# 1X9, 60# 1X10

-Assistance exercises: resistance band pulls for shoulder girdle 3X10, inverted rows 3X8, about 4 assisted pull-ups

-400 kettlebell swings, alternating between 35# & 25#

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Going into day 5 (yesterday), my sleep got messed up again. The usual, fell asleep on the couch...went to bed at an ungodly hour, woke up way too early & couldn't fall back asleep. This week, I am going to make an extra effort to go to sleep early (earlier, at least).

My plan to go hiking on day 5 was ruined because my in-laws came over with my niece right after I woke up. I had to entertain them & lost valuable "hiking-in-sub-boiling-temperature-weather" time! When they left, I decided to use the rest of the day to run various errands. I ended up not working out at all!

My meals were even more dysfunctional. My breakfast & lunch were way too meager and/or snack-oriented. By dinnertime, I was ravenous! Ooops...

Breakfast...if you can even call it that:

-3/4 banana

-A few slices of Applegate Farms organic turkey deli meat

-1 pecan pie LARA bar (they were on sale for $1/each & I wound up buying 3--NO MORE)

Lunch...if you can even call it that:

-1 buffalo jerky bar

-1 packet of Artisana coconut butter

-2 spoonfuls of guacamole

-More Applegate Farms turkey slices

-1/2 TB Sunbutter


-2 local farm lamb t-bones


-1 packet of Artisana coconut butter

-2 wee plums from the farm

-Who knows how many spoonfuls of Sunbutter

-1 stalk of celery

-A couple handfuls of root veggie chips, which I'm worried weren't Whole30 compliant. DUMB.


Trying to get back on track for day 6, but I've already missed breakfast! Stay tuned...

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Day 6 went a bit better than day 5. I think it helps when I am not at home all day long left to my own snacking devices.

I ended up going to bed at around midnight last night. Didn't fall asleep on the couch. Woo hoo! I wanted to wake up at around 6:00AM to do a morning workout, but ended up getting out of bed at around 7:15AM. No woo hoo...

I completely forgot to eat breakfast this morning before work so that was another failure of the day, in case you're keeping a tally at home.

For lunch, I had my 2 leftover stuffed bell peppers. Soooo good! I need to start cooking batches of food to eat throughout the week. I might be able to do breakfast a bit easier that way.


-2 stuffed bell peppers: grass-fed organic ground beef, spinach, onion & tomato

-a few slices of Applegate Farms pepperoni

-2 big spoonfuls of guacamole: avocado, tomato & lime juice

-1 local farm peach (not pictured)

-1 packet of Artisana coconut butter (not pictured)


My post-work workout was a bit easy today. I did treadmill sprinting intervals or as I like to call them (secretly, in my head, don't tell anyone) SPRINTERVALS. I do a combination of speed walking/easy jogging for about 5 minutes to warm-up then go HAM for 15-20 seconds & walk for about 30 seconds, then repeat about 10-12 times with a 3 minute jogging/walking cool down. I also did a 2 minute plank and 1 minute side planks. I had to cut my workout short (no kettlebell swings) to pick up my CSA share before the farm stand closed. #WHOLE30PROBLEMS

I went a little overboard on vegetables for dinner. I had some rainbow chard & red cabbage in my fridge that needed to be cooked ASAP. I saved a lot for leftovers and also ate a lot because I was HUNGRRAAAAY.


-1 Big A** Salad: lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, green beans, celery, olive oil & organic homemade banana vinegar I smuggled back from Costa Rica


-Rainbow chard, garlic & white onion sauteed in coconut oil

-Red cabbage, garlic & white onion sauteed in coconut oil


-2 local lamb t-bones

-Green beans




And I am spent! Going to try to get to bed at around 10:30PM tonight. Good luck, me.

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Your food looks awesome! Maybe you could make a breakfast casserole or frittata so you can just heat it up real quick for breakfast.

You have a very busy schedule. Try to take time during your Whole 30 to prioritize your sleep, maybe train a little less? I think I was over training before my whole 30 and definitely wasn't getting enough sleep (which really messes up your hormones). This past week I have made sleep my #1 and my food #2 and I feel awesome.

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Thanks Derval & Laura B!

I agree that a breakfast meal that can be reheated would be ideal for me. I'll definitely look into some recipes!

You're so right that sleep is a huge factor when it comes to regulating hormones. It's just a matter of getting my priorities straight! I'm glad that switching it up has made you feel better.

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Day 7 and feeling awesome! Haven't really hit a slump. I think it helps that I was eating about 90% clean before I started.

I, unfortunately, did not make it to bed early last night. I think I fell asleep around midnight or so and woke up a little after 7:00AM. All I want is 8 solid hours!!!


I think I've been so ravenous and sugar-crave-y lately because I am about to start my period. I totally missed it in July (it's usually regular) and I have no idea why sooo this is definitely a good thing. I was hospitalized for rhabdo from a Crossfit workout in May so that could've affected my cycle. I was also experimenting with VLC eating in June so that could've done it too. We shall see!

Today's workout was extremely hard, but extremely satisfying--

-Warmed up w/5 minutes of jump roping, dynamic stretches, 20 air squats

-Deadlift warm-up sets

-Deadlift working sets: 120# max 1X8 (going up to 125 next week!), 110# 1X10, 100# 1X12

-400 kettlebell swings alternating between 35# & 25# ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN BUY A GOOD KB FOR CHEAP???

I missed breakfast again today. Sorry, me.

Lunch: My dude brought me food from his restaurant last night to eat today...awesome!

-Grass-fed rib-eye steak


-Roasted Cauliflower

-A couple slices of pepperoni


Dinner: I made SB&J burgers a'la Melissa Joulwan (love her blog!) http://www.theclothe.../25/sbj-burger/

-2 Pastured buffalo burgers

-A lot of Sunbutter

-1 C strawberries reduced w/balsamic vinegar, ginger powder & lemon juice

-1 sweet potato sauteed in coconut oil

-Fresh green beans

-1 lemon cucumber

-Lettuce mix


Gonna try to get to bed at 10:30PM tonight...I can do this...I can do this...

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So much for getting to sleep at 10:30 last night! I think I ended up falling asleep IN MY CONTACTS & waking up at 2:30AM to get ready for bed. BIG SURPRISE, right?! I ended up waking at around 7:00AM all bloated and gross. Could it have been the Sunbutter? I forgot to add that yesterday for lunch I had an apple pie Lara bar because I am super smart. Maybe that caused the bloating? Maybe my whole TMI cycle thing? Who knows...

Besides that, today felt good.

I had a somewhat easy workout today. Drove into the mountains for some "moderate" level hiking. I got some great pictures and a great sweat. I even ended up doing some light trail running. Fun!

In a meager attempt to balance out the omega-6 bomb I unleashed on my body, I decided to make a tuna salad for lunch.


-Sea Snax!!! So good!

-A few slices of pepperoni

-2 chicken eggs scrambled in coconut oil

-2 spoonfuls of guacamole

-Lettuce mix


-Tuna Salad: canned skipjack tuna, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, salt & pepper

-1 UNRIPE (bummer) peach (not pictured)

Sorry, this picture kind of sucks...


Dinner: I continued with my omega-3 theme with a nice, crispy filet of salmon

-Wild-caught Sockeye salmon

-Lettuce Mix

-Salad of strawberry, cucumber, basil & mint from my herb garden, garlic, olive oil

-Leftover red cabbage & rainbow chard

-A few slices of pepperoni (not pictured)

-Sunbutter (not pictured) WHY WHY WHY



I figured that if I eat the entire jar of Sunbutter, there will be no Sunbutter left in my pantry to tempt me...until I go out and buy more. But I won't do that. I'll buy coconut butter instead... Self sabotage, much?

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Day 9 and still going strong, still sucking at sleep. Ended up falling asleep on the couch yet again. I'm not doing this whole sleep reform very well. I'M SORRY, MY BODY! Despite my awful sleep pattern, I am feeling good during the day.

My workout was a bit strenuous today, but very productive. I lifted heavy things and put them down! I've been feeling a lot of pain in my left ring finger & I suspect it has something to do with my hundreds of kettlebell swings regimen so I am taking a few days off from that.


-Warm-up w/5 minutes of jump roping, dynamic stretches

-Back squat warm-up sets

-Back squat working sets: 90# 1X8, 85# 1X10, 80# 1X10

-Walking lunges w/14# medicine ball over head 1X20

-Split lunges w/25# dumb bells 1X10 each leg (1X20 altogether)

-Step-ups w/25# dumb bells 1x10 each leg (1X20 altogether)

-Cool-down walking on treadmill

Lunch: My husband brought me food home from his restaurant last night so I had that for lunch today. Hooray!

-2 local farm lamb t-bones

-Roasted cauliflower


-2 plums

-1 banana (not pictured)


For dinner, I made a ground beef & sweet potato hash. When I finished cooking it, I thought, "Damn! I should've put an egg in this!" So I did...

-1 lb. lean grass-fed ground beef (YES I ATE IT ALL!!! RAAAAAAAAR!!!)

-1 small sweet potato

-1 white onion


-1 chicken egg fried in coconut oil

-cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt & pepper



Hope your Whole30s are going magically!

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Hey Rho! Love your journal and food pics!!! How do you come up with your workouts? I need a new routine. I totally don't sleep well either. I always wake up for day between 3:30am and 4am. I'd say in general I sleep about 6 hrs a night which isn't too bad but so wish I could sleep until at least 6am.

Anyways, just wanted to say hi! Great job on your progress!

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Hey Rho! Love your journal and food pics!!! How do you come up with your workouts? I need a new routine. I totally don't sleep well either. I always wake up for day between 3:30am and 4am. I'd say in general I sleep about 6 hrs a night which isn't too bad but so wish I could sleep until at least 6am.

Anyways, just wanted to say hi! Great job on your progress!

Hey Kelly! I'm glad (and sad?) that I'm not the only one who can't sleep 8 hours. What is wrong with us?! Haha

For my workouts, I kinda follow Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint (marksdailyapple.com) which is lift heavy stuff 3X a week, sprint 2X a week & hike/play outside/etc for a few hours a week. For lifts, I do the big 3 compound movements (squat, deadlift & bench press) with the barbell & different assistance exercises. Hope that made sense! What's your routine like now?

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Day 10 (yesterday) went pretty well.

I managed to go to bed the night before without falling asleep on the couch first, but I didn't get to sleep until around midnight. I had to wake up early on day 10 to look at houses in Denver so I got around 7 hours of sleep. Not great, but it could've been worse.

We looked at a house that was absolutely perfect, just everything we wanted & in the perfect location. We got super excited and decided to put an offer on the house only to find out on the drive home that it was already under contract. What a mega disappointment. Before I headed to work, I decided to eat my feelings.


-2 chicken eggs scrambled in coconut oil

-2 chicken & turkey roasted red pepper sausages

-1 lemon cucumber

-Sea Snax (not pictured)


I had a dinner date with a friend at my husband's restaurant. I decided to take the day off from working out (and I totally didn't have time if I wanted to!). Dinner was incredible! Pretty much everything we were served was Whole30 compliant. Treat yoself!

After Work:

-1 packet of almond butter

-1 medium iced Americano


-Green curry mussels w/coconut milk

-Ahi tuna tartare w/cucumber & melon

-Heirloom tomato salad w/watermelon, basil & haloumi cheese (I obviously didn't eat the cheese!!!)

-Medium rare grass-fed ribeye w/cherry tomatoes, broccoli & eggplant (made paleo just for me!)



It was a good night despite the awful day.

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Day 11 and still going strong! Err...as strong as I can be, at least. I feel like I lose my eating structure on the weekends. This is a lot harder for me since I decided to stop counting calories & macronutrients to be more Whole30 compliant.

My sleep went about the same as the night before. I got to sleep at around 12:30...1:00AM and woke up at around 8:00AM. Not perfect, but I didn't fall asleep on the couch so that's great for me.

I went for an awesome hike at Four Mile Canyon this morning. The weather was overcast so it wasn't crazy hot and it even drizzled for part of the hike. I sprinted whenever there was a large stretch of trail that wasn't rocky & ended up doing quite a bit of running. I did the hike/run fasted so I was pretty hungry by the time I was done. I went to the grocery store after...big mistake! I was hungry for everything and ended up buying snack-y stuff like a bag of plantain chips (which I realized contained palm olein, not palm oil after eating 5 chips. DAMN!). Ay!

I don't have any pictures of today's lunch because I didn't really eat a real meal (ugh). I just kinda snacked for a bit (double ugh):


-1 Granny Smith apple

-A couple handfuls of blanched almond slivers


-5 FAIL plantain chips

-5 slices of nitrate-free Sopresatta

-1 sweet potato fruit leather

Dinner: I whipped up a quick & easy buffalo chicken meatloaf courtesy of the awesome PaleOMG! http://paleomg.com/b...-mini-meatloaf/ I had that along with my red cabbage and onions leftover from earlier in the week.

-Buffalo chicken meatloaf (ground chicken, celery, onion, garlic, spices, Frank's Red Hot sauce)

-Leftover red cabbage & onions

-Some Marcona almonds (not pictured)

-1/2 cantaloupe (not pictured)


I'm aiming for full meals & zero snacks tomorrow. MAYBE EVEN BREAKFAST! I have an insane sweet tooth today. I'm guessing it's from my ridiculous snacking. I'm going to eat some melon & almonds and hope that it goes away!

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Yesterday was all right, Whole30-wise. I ended up actually getting over 8 hours of sleep which was awesome, but I slept through my alarm clock which wasn't awesome. Alarm clock on Sunday? Yes, I had to wake up early to deep-clean my house because the people who bought it were coming by to see it for the first time. They put an offer on my house without even looking at it so there was just a wee bit of pressure to make sure they liked it. After waking up, I immediately went to work cleaning the hell out of my house.

While waiting for them to peruse the house, we took the dogs to the dog park and chilled out a little. I decided to take the day off from working out because of the hectic, busy morning.

Lunch: We went to Chipotle and my husband ordered for me while I hung out with the dogs in the car sooooo he accidentally got me the fajita veggies (cooked in soybean oil) with my pork carnitas salad. Bummer!

-Pork carnitas salad from Chipotle w/a few bites of fajita veggies (oops), guacamole, pico de gallo & hot sauce.

-1 rainbow carrot


-Grilled ribeye steak

-Grilled summer squash

-Grilled radicchio

-Cherry tomatoes in olive oil & basil

-Big A** Salad: lettuce mix, rainbow carrots, radish, lemon cucumber

-1/2 c. sprouted trail mix “mango goji fire†(not pictured, delicious)

-Coconut butter (not pictured)

-1 bottle of cherry chia seed kombucha (not pictured)


Kind of a blah day, but at least the buyers ended up loving my house. That alleviates a lot of stress for me!

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