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A Day 10 rant...


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Hi all!


This is going to be messy, and if you are feeling a bit frustrated with Whole30, I'd actually recommend not reading this and moving on to a more encouraging thread.


That said- I need to get a few things out there.


I know, Day 10 is one of the hardest days, blah, blah, blah but I have few bones to pick with this program:


There are the superficial things. I feel like I'm eating too much meat (from an environmental stand point), eggs are driving me crazy, I just really want to have a salad dressing that actually tastes good, etc. But none of this is that big of a deal.


Overall, I've had tons of positives so far. I definitely went through a sugar detox, and I'm amazed I've went this long without chocolate. This is probably the longest I've done so in my adult life, actually. I'm eating tons of vegetables and loving it! And I usually don't miss bread and cheese (except at that NFL playoff party where everyone had pizza). My physical side effects were mostly on days 2-4. Best of all, my husband is making the best dietary choices I've ever seen him make.


But (and this is huge, ginormous but), I have a major issue with this program. And honestly, its also one of the reasons I chose this option. Yeah, I know. I'm a conflicted, confusing person...but here it is:


Legalism. The rules, the black and white, the "tough love". It's too much.


I think its warranted in many facets of the program. I agree with the basics of eliminating dairy, grains, legumes, added sugar etc. for 30 days and then seeing what the reintroduction does for you. I agree that there should be no scheduled cheat days and that there are no accidents. I even agree with restarting when it is clear that the rules have been violated.


However, SWYPO is where I believe there should be a gray area. For the most part, I accept the concept that you shouldn't recreate desserts, breads, etc. Using odd substitutions to recreate things doesn't usually pan out. However, there a few things that baffle me.


For instance (and I can see the eyes rolling already from all you mods and die-hard whole 30ers)- egg/banana pancakes.


No one would complain if I ate a banana, two eggs, some compliant chicken sausage and sautéed veggies. But heaven forbid I mix the egg/banana together! IT IS LITERALLY THE SAME MEAL! (nutritionally speaking...) Of course, if a person had a deep connection to pancakes, they shouldn't go there, but really...


Now I know, this is going to get a lot of response about how your brain lights up the pleasure centers based on how your food looks, blah blah blah...


Ok. Then tell me how banana-egg pancakes are any different/worse that LaCroix? It is a fizzy drink with an honestly yucky taste that comes in a pretty can....just like diet coke. How is LaCroix not SWYPO, but egg banana pancakes are? Just saying...


Anyway, I know everyone is going to focus on the pancakes here, but I just wanted to say that I'm going to continue my 30 days as compliant as I can- but if I bend the rules here and there, does it really matter if it leads to lasting healthier choices?

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Hey there!

You seem a smidgen riled up, but thank you so much for posting so respectfully.

The 'legalism' of the program is because it would be impossible to say 'no alcohol'... except for in vanilla... or if you really want that sip of wine... and please don't recreate any baked goods... unless you want a pancake made of compliant ingredients.

You already answered your own question about WHY we don't allow the SWYPO foods.... the idea of Whole30 is not only to change the food on your plate, but to change your relationship with that food... hence we remove all those SAD comfort things like pancakes and muffins and ask you to feel your feelings and eat the 2 eggs and banana as bites of egg and banana... not a mashed up mess cooked into something that resembles something you used to eat. If it's nutritionally the same meal, which it is, then why does it have to be shaped in a way that reminds you of something you (general you) used to eat?

The answer to your last question is, if you bend the rules here and there, does it really matter? Yes, it really does matter. You owe it to yourself to do the full 30 days (or none of the days at all). Doing it with your own spin on it is not a Whole30... A lot of people do their reintroductions and realize that they don't have a problem with... say.. pancakes... so they include pancakes in their life after whole30. But you don't get to that place of knowing how they affect you until you put them away for 30 days. It's only 30 days. If you need SWYPO type foods so bad in 30 days that you're trying to find ways around the rules, then that's a pretty good indication that you should probably look at that relationship and how you're using those foods.

Now, you didn't ask for this but I think we can help you feel better... if you want to, post a few days of what you've been eating, including portion sizes and we can see if there's anything we can tweak to help you feel better. Sometimes the wanting of.. okay, pancakes... is not because your body actually wants pancakes, it's because you're lacking starchy carbs or you've gone too low fat etc...

Let us help you finish this out strong and true. You're a third of the way there... don't give in to rule bending now!

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>but if I bend the rules here and there, does it really matter if it leads to lasting healthier choices?


If you bend the rules then you'll never really know if the choices you're making are fully informed ones or just based on old habits

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Another goal of the program is to get you thinking about food and your relationship with it. Sounds like you're doing just that, stepping back and thinking. :) And it's just 30 days. And it's a challenge. Challenges have rules and such.

But something else to think about, why does the pancake question seem to bother so many people. I sometimes think people get hung up on the gray areas because a part of them is trying to justify that food, like a subconscious mental trick their brain is playing. Not saying this is you, I'm saying it's something to think on.

Personally , those banana egg things are terribly unsatisfying. I'm not a pancake person to begin with, can't remember last time I ate real ones. Either way, I've tried the banana version and they are soggy, flimsy, empty, blah. I eat it and feel like I wasted perfectly good banana and eggs!

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Oh, and if people came here and said they had a major diet coke addiction, which people definitely HAVE, it's often our recommendation that they don't substitute a SWYPO type of drink in that case. Tea, plain water, water with fruit, water out of a fancy glass... all things that would be recommended.

It IS a little bit gray because for people who are just bored with still water, we would definitely recommend a fizzy drink like LaCroix (altho I also think they're yucky), but for someone who is trying to break an addiction, we don't recommend drinking the closest thing they can possibly get while still within the confines of being compliant.

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I get the black and white- I really do. I know it is a challenge and that is the point. I do think it turns a lot of people off, but for someone with a competitive streak, it is also appealing. My husband is a great example of that- he can eat like crap 90% of the time, but give him a challenge and he is all over it.


The pancake thing, fizzy drinks for people who have a diet coke issue, etc....I guess my point was that Whole30 can kind of point you in the direction of much healthier alternatives that are a better long-term solution than pure abstinence. I think so many people get wrapped up in the security of the rules and then you hear about people who turn their whole30 into a whole100 or longer and I just don't think that is a sustainable permanent way to be. I feel like the point is to detox/heal, then find a middle ground.


And at the moment, for me personally, it was probably the extraordinarily long day at work talking. I still don't see the real difference between either of the examples I cited, but I wasn't trying to make an argument for eating the pancakes either. I just take issue with the logic is all.


Anyway- here are my sample days, just in case:


M1: Two eggs, 1 spicy chicken sausage, couple handfuls of spinach, handful of mushrooms, all sautéed in ghee.

M2: Leftover beef stew (beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, compliant broth, garlic, mushrooms), cup of broccoli, cup of grapes, handful of almonds

M3: zuchinni, tomatoes, onions, peppers and shrimp in garlic ghee sauce, side salad (spinach, kale, etc.) with Tessamae's southwestern ranch, leftover baked sweet potato wedges (handful)


M1: 2 eggs fried in leftover beef, kale, mushroom arabietta sauce (SO GOOD) ; morning snack (I know, but I'm a teacher and I get up super early and sometimes I don't have enough time to eat and get to school) banana+ 1 tbs. almond butter

M2: ~ 1.5 cups Curried chicken with potatoes, carrots and broccoli, grapes

M3: aforementioned beef stew


Those are pretty representative- occasionally I have almonds/dried fruit or apple/banana with almond butter if I run late to or from work, or if I'm hangry and have to hit my workout before I can cook dinner. Making it from 11:20 AM lunch ( I teach the little ones) to a 6:30/7:00 PM dinner (I have to hit the gym most weekdays) is the toughest.

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Yes, some people can get wrapped up in the rules and extend their program. Sometimes people extend their program because they come from a place of extremely disordered eating or very severe health conditions. You are right that there could be some people who need to learn to ride their own bike and they're leaning on the rules to avoid doing that, but that's not you, right? There are a lot of people who do a lot of things for many different reasons, some of those reasons being confusing or dumb to us... but we only need to concern ourselves with what we're doing... I don't mean that to sound condescending at all... just that YOU are the only one you need to worry about in this 30 days :)

As far as your meals, they look pretty good except your M1 in the first day has barely any vegetables (greens when cooked or chewed down are hardly anything). If you need to have a mini meal between 1130 and 7, definitely do! We do NOT expect or want you to go 7.5 hours without eating. If you want to have a mini meal, try and compose it with at least two of the three macros (protein, fat, veg).

In the morning, if you need a snack, instead of doing banana and nut butter, try packing with you a hardboiled egg and a few olives or something similar. Fruit and nut butter can keep a sugar craving alive and you already do nuts with some of your meals so you might want to try changing that.

I completely understand that your previous post may have been a long day at work talking and it sounds like you probably needed to eat...

The logic of the program is helpful if you look at it that way. For you, who doesn't plan to stick to this forever, it removes the questioning around if you should bend this rule or that rule and then how much is too much etc... follow the rules, don't worry about the 'logic' of whether fizzy water is a fuzzy rule in your head and just let the program play out for 30 days... after the 30 days, re-introduce, ditch all the things that don't suit you, add things back that do and then carry on knowing that you gave yourself the respect of finishing something challenging that in the end, made you more healthy!!

Hugs for a long day! I'm giving you a prescription for a bubble bath and early bedtime!

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There are many many kinds of whole 30 salad dressings that taste amazing. In fact I can't remember the last time I had a non compliant one that wasn't disgusting.

What kind of dressing do you like?

What, really??


I make an amazing ceaser salad dressing... put 1 cup of evoo, 2 anchovies (packed in compliant oil or water), garlic, an egg, salt and pepper and lemon juice and buzz it in an immersion blender or magic bullet.


Check out Planks Love and Guacamole... her ranch dressing is, bar none, the best ranch dressing I've ever had!


I once made a vinaigrette with oil and lemon and then chopped up a shallot and a bunch of dill and let it sit all together overnight.  season with salt and pepper to taste... delicious! 


Okay wait... I just re-read your post because I was flabberghasted... and my reading comprehension is way off this am... I thought you said there 'weren't many kinds of whole 30 dressing that taste amazing and that you couldn't remember the last time you had one that wasn't disgusting'. 

Sorry about that!!!

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Your meals look pretty darn good. Nice work!


On the SWYPO, I totally get your angle. And there's nothing wrong with questioning.


Here's another view in addition to the good replies above.


Not only is it the way a banana-egg pancake LOOKS, the taste is definitely sweet. Whereas two eggs, plus a banana on the side, is not sweet. The banana is "sweet" but it is a known flavor to your tastebuds.


I have found, the longer I've been Whole30ing, that there are many things that won't reveal themselves until you're down the road a bit. Melissa and Dallas really nailed this thing. All of their rules and recommendations have a valid reason for being in the program, even if we can't grasp what the heck it could be until it hits us one day.


My husband has done Whole30 but used LARABARS as a crutch, for example. He never got away from craving sweets and snacking every couple of hours. He's on his second W30 now and still battling it.


My brother has done a few Whole30s but weighed himself throughout. He uses the program as a conventional diet, then goes right back to his old ways (and weight).


For whatever reason, going against any of the rules simply makes it less likely you'll have an effective Whole30.


Since you are going through this for 30 days regardless, spending precious time and energy cooking, label-reading, question asking, abstaining, no thank you-ing, treat it as a challenge to nail every single rule and recommendation. With all the work you are putting in, don't you want the BEST possible results?

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Another thought on the banana pancakes thing.....


After my first whole 30 - I did the eggs and banana thing plus added blueberries - I mean how much different was it from my 2 scrambled eggs and my vegetables of sweet potatoes in the morning?


Let me tell you the difference was huge.  


I had my eggs and banana pancake at 7:30 am.  I was hungry by 9:30 and ready to gnaw off my arm by ten.


Regular scrambled eggs and cubed, pan fried sweet potato - was holding me until 11:30 - no problems.


SWYPO items generally do not have all the macro components than a regular meal does.  Because of this you are generally hungrier later.

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Yes! It's no coincidence that almost all SWYPO is not template :)


SWYPO can also be a very emotional thing too.


Pancakes are not a breakfast food in Australia really, certainly not an every day food.

I love to see what other people around the world eat, as often these things are just pure habit.

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