First time whole30, lots of questions


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Hi! My name is Erin. This is my first time doing Whole30. I’m so excited to start. I have so many ailments that I’m interested to see if they will be alleviated by this program.


I have followed some Whole30 recipes in the past, but never committed to the program. I didn’t realize what it was really about. I honestly thought it was a program for quick weight loss. And although I want to lose a significant amount of weight, I know that quick isn’t sustainable, so I wrote off the whole program as another fad diet. But a few weeks ago, something drew me to the program, and I started doing my research. I’m reading  The Whole30 right now,and I’m listening to “It Starts With Food.”

So I have some questions that I’m hoping some of you can share your experience to help me answer. 

First, I work at a breakfast restaurant. I get to work anywhere between 5am-7am, and my days are 10-12 hour days. I have figured out what I can and cannot eat at the restaurant during Whole30, and am planning to bring lots of my own meals. So that is not the issue. I usually don’t get a chance to eat until after 10am. The program says to eat 3 meals a day. I usually have a small snack and a latte before work (I usually wake up hungry, even at 3am), eat a meal sometime after 10, a snack on the way home, between 3pm-5pm, workout, then have dinner between 7-8, in bed by 9. On workdays I usually don’t get 3 solid meals. Would you suggest having a meal first thing in the morning? What would your suggestions be?

Like I said, I really want to start ASAP! But, I know I need to plan and prepare. I think I can start on Thursday January 4th as my day 0. I haven’t finished (nor will I by then) listening to or reading the books. Would you suggest waiting until I have finished the books, or can I just get started?

What specifically works for you before workouts? Most days I won’t have a ton of time (maybe 15 minutes) before a workout. What I’ve read so far says to have some protein and fat. But what is the best thing to have that would be readily on hand. Same question for post workout. 


Thank you for your suggestions! I’m looking forward to hearing from your experience!


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Hi @Erinmhess - we recommend that you eat breakfast within an hour of waking. You might have to get up a few minutes earlier to make this happen. If you have time for the "small snack and latte" before work, you have time for a template breakfast; it can be super fast as leftovers!. This should give you 4-5 hours before having to eat again. If you are up before 5am then your 10am window could be your second meal. Again, template; protein, veggies and fat. When you are on the way to your workout I would have the protein and fat combo and then a lean protein and starchy veggie post workout. Then your regular dinner.

Part of Whole30 is creating and protecting the time you need in order to properly feed yourself. If you're in food service, you're probably on your feet and hopping all day. You almost certainly will need larger meals than someone working a sedentary desk job. Until you get your meals composed so that they run you 4-5 hours between, you can have a mini-meal in between of protein & fat or protein & veggie. Don't rely on fruits or nuts to get you through. Your best bet is to eat actual food that will give you the energy you need.

Given your activity level, you should also be having both pre- and post-workout meals. Protein and fat for before and lean protein and starchy veggies for after. 

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18 minutes ago, Erinmhess said:

Thank you Ladyshanny!

Do you have any specific food recommendations for pre and post workout?

Not really. Just pick a protein (chicken, eggs, beef, pork, shellfish, salmon) and pick a fat (avocado, mayo, olives, ghee). For after, pick a lean protein (chicken breast, tuna, pork) and pick a starchy veggie (potato, beets, squash, carrots, sweet potato). It's totally up to you what to eat. What I like might not be what you like.

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