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Planning to start soon. Questions/concerns


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I am planning on starting soon, with my cousin and partially with my five year old daughter (tho not entirely becuse: grand parents.)

Not 100% sure when I will start, need to talk to my cousin about what she wants to do.

Also I am a low income single mom so I have been slowly buying the "fancy" stuff I "need" like coconut oil and food without added sugar (good god! Everything from lunch meat to diced tomatoes to baccon has sugar!! What gives!?!)

I have also been trying to ease into it so I don't get a big head ache.

So before I start I have a few questions/concerns:

1). I am a low income single mom. I can not afford grass fed, free range anything. I currently have skinless boneless chicken in my freezer (2 dollars a lb), 91% lean ground been (4.99 lb), pork (2 dollars a pound). For a special treat I occasionally get fish (7.99 a pound) or beef (6 dollars a pound), or lamb (7 dollars a lb) but I can only afford this fancy over 5 dollar a lb meat a few times a month (maybe three) which I try to work in for variety so I don't get bored of chicken and pork.

Unless you know where I can get grass fed organic meat for under 7 dollars a pound that isn't chicken. Even so 7 dollar a pound meat is a 2-3 times a month sort of thing.

Keep in mind that I do not eat out and rarely (once a month) get Star Bucks. And the money I save on not buying a dollar ice cream cone or a 5 dollar coffee once a month will be more then offset by switching from milk at 2 dollars a gallon to coconut milk for 2 dollars for a little can, and not using very cheap carb filler like pasta and rice amd beans to bulk up meals and buying expensive stuff like coconut oil and avacado (an avacado costs the same as a fast-food hamburger anyway)

Will this be a problem?

2). I tend to eat four times a day or I am starving.

I eat:

Breakfast: 7:30

Lunch: noon

Extra meal: about 4

Dinner: about 7

I get home from work at 5 to a busy 5 year old clambering for my attention and a dog who needs to be walked. If I don't get a snack by then I am climbing the walls hungry! Even if I grit my teeth and muscle through till 5 I end up making a super quick dinner of instant food (see TV dinner, cereal, bacon and eggs) because between being super hungry, plus my daughter, plus my dog, plus having just walked in the door after a long day of work and wishing to unwind but not being able to I am just not up to making a "real meal" first thing I walk in the door, but am too hungry to enjoy relaxing or spending time with my daughter or dog.

So is the extra snack\meal gonna hurt me?

3). I have been doing weight watchers which works for me. (I am very over weight). I am tempted to count points but know I shouldn't. I am afraid if I don't I will gain or fail to lose.

4.). My daughter is ridiculously addicted to sweets! (So am I but I am already working on it with some success) I would like to break her of that but I know the grandparents are not on board and consider neon orange Mac and Cheese to be an appropriate meal for a child.

Even if I beg them not to indulge her they do (as in "one Cheeto won't hurt" or "peanut butter and jelly is a fine lunch for a kid, anyway I gave her an apple!") They are her primary babysitters while I am at work.

I really want to break us both of our sugar addiction and clean up our family's eating. What should I do?

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Hi there, Medowsweet. I'll try to answer some of your questions, and I'm sure some other folks will weigh in too.


1) meat. You don't have to buy grassfed or organic or any of that, buy the best that you can afford on your budget. You don't list where you are, so it may be different for you, but I have found grassfed beef at Aldi's reasonably priced (I even lucked out and got one-pound containers of the grassfed ground beef for, I think $2/lb once -- I happened to be there the last day they could sell them based on the date on the package, I bought several and took them home and froze them). Watch for sales and if you can figure out days when your store is most likely to have marked down things they need to sell immediately, try to go on those days.


Coconut milk isn't really for you to drink by the glass the way you might be drinking milk. It's for using in recipes or using in coffee or tea as a dairy replacement, so you probably won't be using nearly as much of it as regular milk.


2) meal scheduling. When you're eating meals based on the meal template, you'll usually go 4-5 hours between meals easily, so your breakfast and lunch are going to be about right for that. If you need to go more than 5 hours (or if you're truly hungry -- sometimes starting out people miscalculate how much food they need to eat and are hungry sooner than they should be), it's fine to have an extra meal/snack -- do try to make that a mini-meal of protein, fat, and vegetables. Probably something along the lines of a hard boiled egg, some mayo or olives, and some carrot or celery sticks or similar vegetable would be a good size for that, or it could be leftovers or whatever is convenient for you.


3) counting points. Read this Dear Melissa article, which addresses this, and see if it helps. We really, really don't want you to count points or calories or anything. It's really pretty freeing if you can embrace this.


4) grandparents. It's really up to you how to handle this, but since they're keeping your daughter regularly, it's probably in everyone's best interest to have a talk with them, if that's possible. This article has some tips on dealing with this,  Hopefully you find a compromise that works for everyone.

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Shannon, such good advice!

I also am a single mom of an adult with special needs. My other three are on their own. I work full time, and don't make a lot of money. I'm half way through My first Whole30.

I have found that my hunger changed dramatically so far during this program. At first,I was so full after each meal that I never felt hungry. I really had to work at eating my next meal. This has really surprised me. Now I find that I am hungry for my next meal, but it's a true hunger not a desire to eat.

Also find that I have so much food in my fridge that I still need to get to.

I've been able to do this on a budget. My best advice is to shop around and look for a great source of good avocados!I live half an hour from WinCo, and they have reliable, cheap avos most of the time.

Don't give up before you start. You can do this!

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Thank you, Shannon, that largely answers most of my questions.

I live in Roseburg, Oregon, if anyone knows a good cheap place to get quality meat.

I tend to shop Costco and walmart 99% of the time.

I think I will eat any meat I have (I shop Costco so I have a big bag of chicken, 4 lb of lean ground beef, and a big hunk of pork in my freezer currently so I can supplement with other meats but I am also "good". I also have a big thing of eggs.

About the snack:

If I eat lunch at noon and get home at 5 and deal with my daughter and dog and cook a nutritious meal the earlest i could possibly get it on the table is 6 or 6:30 which puts me at 6 or more hours between meals no matter what I do. So i will plan on a healthy snack around 4, like a skinless boneless chicken thigh and (I wanna say grapes but I am sure you would recommend carrot sticks or another veggie... avacado but that is so fattening... :/ (coming off of weight watchers).

Not counting points:

...okay but it -better- "work"....


Not sure here. As I try to clean up my diet she is refusing to eat. I know a kid won't starve themselves, but she knows she will get junk at Grandma's.

My mom's typical day:

Breakfast: sugary oat meal (like the strawberry kind)

Lunch: rice and spam, or Lipton noodle soup with egg, that sort of thing

Snack: peanut butter and jelly, pop tarts, that sort of thing

Dinner: fried rice

To drink: koolaide, sugared ice tea, juice

My mom said to me:

I can't feed her different then what I eat or she'll want what i am having and throw a big fit (which is true). And she doesn't like the kind of food I offered to send (but she will add canned veggies)


Dad's normal meals:

Breakfast:. Toast with peanut butter and fruit

Lunch: sandwich and potato chips with a diet coke

Dinner: cottage cheese and tomatoes. (Or a big bowl of home made pork and beans if he made any)

He is under the impression that what he eats IS healthy, tho he said he would cut back on feeding my daughter soda, chips, and cookies... (he said this... but hen gave her ice cream and potato chips in the same day...)

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... avacado but that is so fattening... :/ (coming off of weight watchers).


This is absolutely not weight watchers and avocado is not 'fattening'.  It's a nutritional fat choice that helps slow the absorption of protein into your blood stream which gives your food longer staying power. Your brain also NEEDS fat to survive.  If you allow the 'fattening weight watchers' mindset to follow you here, you will end up restricting your intake and avoiding the very nutrients that adult humans need to survive.  Please, just follow the recommended meal template for 30 days and allow yourself the freedom to eat nourishing food in sufficient amounts... it's how nature works, it's how our bodies are supposed to work and weight watchers is the antithesis of what the Whole30 is.


I'm not sure what to say about what your mom feeds your daughter except to say that she is setting her up for health problems, obesity, hyperactivity etc... with all. that. sugar... 

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