Whole 30: The Second Time Around

Lots of things in life get better the second time around: leftover Chinese food, running a 10K, Wed Anderson’s entire collection.

And here’s hoping for one more: Whole30.

That’s right, folks. Today I begin my second Whole30, or 30 straight days of clean eating. Or if you didn’t follow along the first time, that means 30 days sans gluten, sans dairy, sans legumes, and sans sugar (including, gasp, alcohol). Or, for those glass half-full readers, it means 30 days of plentiful veggies, fruits, high quality meats and fish, and all the avocados you could ever desire.

I did my first Whole30 in April when I found a year of wedding planning had me reaching for a chocolate escape nearly every work day. I was a pretty healthy eater overall, but mindless snacking and occasional binges left me feeling constantly full, bloated and not quite in control of my own habits. So I committed to 30 days of clean eating, and it was eye-opening: I realized how emotional my eating was and put an end to it, cooked some amazing dishes and (apologies in advance for sounding like an afternoon special from the 90s) realized that I don’t even need a glass of wine to enjoy a night out. Preach!

When my first Whole30 ended, I decided I was still going to eat Whole30-ish, but between summer travel and weddings and life, that started to slip by the wayside. And then at my cousin’s wedding this past weekend, I ate 14 fried clam cakes in the span of 36 hours and my aching belly decided it for me: It was time to get back on the Whole30 wagon.

And apparently I’m not alone. According to the founders of the program, 85 percent of people who do a Whole30 come back for more. They warn that one in four repeaters find it harder the second time, but that’s half-empty talk: that means a  whopping seventy five percent find it easier. And, my god, I hope I fall into the second category.

And I think I will. That’s because going into round 2, I already know what works for me and what doesn’t, making grocery shopping a breeze. In fact, last night, I roasted a chicken, made stock and cooked up a week’s worth of breakfasts, since I know from experience preparation is the name of the game here. I ate my clean food all day long, and I didn’t feel even the least bit deprived. Of course, it helps that my meals were so delicious and filling.

For breakfast, I ate a swiss-chard and onion frittata, plus compliant coffee and a peach.


For lunch, I had roast chicken and carrots that had been cooked in the drippings of the chicken itself. i.e. vegetable heaven.


For dinner, I made buttercup (that’s correct; not butternut) squash soup, and sprinkled it with roasted squash seeds and pomegranate.


And now it’s bedtime, and I feel full and satisfied and ready to take on 29 more days. I may eat my words in a week’s time, but I think this time around is going to be easier.

At least, it’s going to include more roast chicken.


Have any of you done a second Whole30? Any tips?



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