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Hello, fellow Whole30 folks!


I am on Day 8 of my first Whole30, and I'm feeling confident and proud of myself. I'm still struggling with feeling a bit bloated and pimply (I've never had issues with acne, so I can't really call it that; but I have several pimples which is a lot for even my former teenage self), but I am pushing forward!


I let a couple friends know that I was starting the Whole30, but I was very hesitant to discuss it. Call it insecurity, fear of failure, or something I may not have even been aware of; but I didn't want to be "that person". See, a long time ago, I overheard someone bitching as they scrolled through their newsfeed about how "no one wants to hear about the fat girl who's obsessed with her latest diet craze that we're all sure she's going to screw up." Harsh, right? That comment stuck with me in the worst way, even though this was a person I didn't even like or respect--ugh! I was afraid to share my new journey in a public way, though, because I didn't want to open myself up to that kind of negativity.


However, I'm SO GLAD I listened to the Whole30 Daily Emails and the support of my very close friends and changed my mind!

  • I shared my journey via an online journal, and the support and encouragment that I received from friends, acquaintances, and even friends of friends was overwhelming!
  • I started posting pictures of my amazing creations on my Instagram and Facebook, tagged with #Whole30 (and #nomnomnom, of course!  :D ).
  • I told my coworkers about my efforts and shared some of the great food I've been making. 
    Sure, sometimes the questions can be a little annoying, but answering them provides me with an opportunity to discuss what I'm doing with others AND reinforce why I'm doing it internally!


Thanks to my bravery:

  • I had a fun-filled weekend full of friend-time and social events, and I got absolutely no pressure to go off-plan. In fact, I was met with hugs, offers of support, and "proud of you, kiddo" 's by most of my favorite people!
  • My friends strategically placed themselves between me and the platter of chocolate chip cookies and laughed with me on Day 5 when I was irrationally angry at everyone and everything, telling one of my buddies that I could tackle him to the ground right then as he drank his ice cold Coca-Cola! :P
  • I even had a few friends step out of the woodwork and clue me in on their Paleo lifestyles, excited to trade recipes and have me over for dinner!
  • One of the guys I'm seeing offered last night to stop back at my house to pick up "Abi-friendly food" when we hit the road for takeout.
  • And just today, my colleague came into my office to compliment me on how delicious my breakfast smelled (leftover filet mignon with 2 scrambled eggs over a bed of steamed kale and cauliflower with fresh herbs and tomato & garlic bruschetta -- NOMS!) and let me know that he changed the location of his birthday lunch to Chipotle because he's never been there (WHAAAAT) and he knows I'll be able to easily find something to enjoy.


Needless to say, I am feeling empowered, supported, and encouraged! Thank you, Whole30 Team, for your awesome advice!


All the love,


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I wanted to share a few of my creations here, and a sweet story. Years ago, I was living with a friend during a brief period of homelessness after I returned from studying abroad but before I could move back into the dorms. She was an excellent chef, and we spent many evenings cooking and laughing together. One night, we enjoyed a relaxing late afternoon of wine and opera as we tried a few new recipes together. When we were ready to eat, I carefully plated her food, using leftover ingredients as garnish and making sure it looked as lovely as I was sure it would taste. I served her before returning to the stove to throw some food on my plate. When I sat down to eat, she grabbed my wrist before I could take my first bite, saying "What is that about?" I was totally puzzled. Gesturing to her plate, she said, "Abi, anything you would take the time and energy to do for someone else, you absolutely deserve to do for yourself--because you're worth it."


I absolutely love that memory, and I've carried it with me as a daily protocol since then. Even if I'm just making something small, I take the extra moment to make my plate pretty, because I'm worth it. This has been especially important for me, and I've been reminded of that time again and again as I ventured into this, my first Whole30.


Check out some of the great stuff I've been making:



Roasted lemon chicken, garlic-seared zucchini, and steamed, spiced cauliflower with sliced almonds.



I used leftover filet mignon to make my own version of a steak salad bowl from Chipotle: red and butter lettuce, kale, sautéed red onion with sweet bell peppers, steak, and fresh salsa (minus the sad avocado that got all gross).



Homemade sun-dried-tomato-pesto-and-spinach-stuffed chicken, spaghetti squash with tomato and garlic bruschetta, and roasted Brussels sprouts.



Ground beef with cilantro and homemade taco seasoning over a bed of fresh spinach, topped with sautéed onions and peppers, avocado, salsa, and fried plaintains.



Turkey meatballs with sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach with roasted garlic, and red-skinned mashers with coconut milk and caramelized onions.



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