You're Doing a Whole WHAT?


I'm sorry, I thought you just said that Rachel was going to do a Whole 30 challenge. Most bloggers end their year with an interesting recap documenting the year's most popular posts. While that's an entertaining enough thing, you've read all those posts so rounding them up again isn't going to do much toward growing this little community. I mean, we could talk about how my post about hostessing failures has more page-views than almost any other post this year (even some of the old ones) and yet not a single comment. Or how a post about becoming a better coffee shop customer has hundreds more page-views than even that. Latte drinkers be advised: your manners are being considered. No, rather than round up these posts, I'm looking ahead. More specifically I am looking ahead to January when I've agreed to do the Whole30 challenge with a couple of friends. I know, right? Keep laughing - I am too. Miss Gingerbread & Cake, Queen of the Kingdom of Brie, is giving up dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, corn, soy, and a host of other convenient foods for an entire thirty days. Believe me, it took several days of severe convincing before I agreed. Unlike a lot of people, I don't want to make any resolutions come late December. I didn't want people to think I was making any resolutions. Everybody starts January with the best laid plans to lose weight, whip their eating into shape, and then generally fail. So joining the Whole30 challenge isn't about weight loss or eating reform for me. Instead, it's half a way to jump start my year by taking extra interesting care of myself in the first thirty days and half a way to challenge my cooking in a way I've only challenged myself once before.

Of course I have concerns. Of course I still enter these plans grudgingly, holding onto a bitterness about the fact that when I go to DC next weekend to see the Vermeer exhibit, I'll have to skip out on the strawberry cheesecake that has been promised me since November. I don't know. Maybe there are blogs written about people who actually like food successfully doing the Whole 30 challenge. I have a couple of friends who share these worries that keep me up at night - what about snacks? what about variety? what if I am hangry all. month. long? These friends whose commitment to food that tastes good is as determined as mine have assured me that it can be done without totally sacrificing everything we love about food. So I've decided to drag you along and document the process. We all know that I'm not the best at sticking to challenges, right? It's okay. Agree with me there. I mean, I started a 30-day yoga challenge and though I did complete it, it took me 45 days. In addition to my tendency to start thing I don't finish, we know this blog isn't about diets, or restrictive eating, or trying to get skinny. So why am I doing Whole 30 during the month of January? Well...simply because I'm afraid I can't. So in the spirit of Getting A Head Start and proving to myself that I can and will soldier through a month of Whole 30 without dying of low spirits brought on by lack of bread and cheese, I'm doing it. Ashley, Emily, Joanna, Maryanna...if I keel over dead by the time February rolls around...you can raffle off my Kitchen-Aid mixer. I mean, I even made a Pinterest board about how terrible it's going to be and everything. As with anything, a challenge must have rules and these are the ones I am going to play by:

do not go broke
I can't shop for all of my groceries at Whole Foods. I can't afford giant piles of specialty replacements for common groceries. This means that I am going to have to find variety without completely cleaning out my finances. Meat and nut proteins will be the largest expense but I hope to compensate for that by finding deals on produce at places like Aldi.

do not go hungry
I refuse. I absolutely refuse to go hungry in the name of health. I firmly believe that you can eat in an extremely healthful way and still be full after every meal. But my schedule is busy and I am often gone from 8:30 in the morning until 9:30 or 10 at night and working that off a Whole 30 meal plan is going to be interesting. Yet I'll do it. Someway, somehow, even if that means bringing half the fridge with me.

do not get bored
Okay, so I know this one will be hard to achieve when most of what I'm eating are packed lunches that don't involve the trifecta of bread, cheese, and grains, but I am determined to stave the wolf, Boredom, off with a load of research, other peoples' recipes, and a little native ingenuity. I am already tired of the idea and it isn't January so this isn't necessarily a good sign. Don't worry. I'll be fine.

do not stop
And of course, the last one. Because if I stop before my thirty days are over, I will have proven the point I hope to disprove: that I, Rachel Heffington, can't manage to liven up a dull eating challenge or, you know, complete it at all.


So yeah. That'll be me at the end of 2017. Determined. Somber. Wary. Spending New Year's Eve casting some serious side-eye at my choices, eating cheese, and thinking about the long farewell.

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Wow. So depressing. All joking aside, I'm excited to spend my first thirty days of January taking extra good care of this body and stretching my culinary creativity. It can't be that bad...can it? Happy New Year, friends! Stay safe and sound. <3

8 comments

  1. You can do this! I, for one, have always been interested in the Whole30 challenge but never nearly so interested as to actually do it! I'm very interested to see what recipes and other ingenuities you come up with, and you just might convince me to try it myself soon! :) If I can handle losing bread and cheese. Eep.

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    1. Haha! Thank you for the vote of confidence - I hope you will do it soon! Feel free to wait till I've finished. There will be recipes, updates, and very real confessions. XD

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  2. you got this girl! I myself have embarked on the whole thirty and crashed. lol.

    My hubs and I are now doing a simplified version, like ya girl needs her ketchup lol. Anyways good luck! I know it's tough but you sound like you have a pretty solid plan. :)

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    1. Haha! I love the honesty, Jana! I am sure I will unwittingly break it in a few places (like the breathmint habit? I will probably accidentally consume at least one). Also - who knew organic chicken broths had sugar in them?

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  3. I love the reason behind it!! I would especially love to follow what you do for breakfasts! I'm looking forward to changing that up cuz a lot of mine are so bready!

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    1. Thanks, Rhea! I will try to talk a lot on Instagram about breakfasts since I know you camp out there pretty often! <3

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  4. You can do it lady! And so far you seem to be crushing it. ;) I actually ate much more interesting food on Whole30 than I had before because it required me to be more intentional. I eat much more boring meals most of the time now hahaha. Gotta get back on track! Can't wait to hear your thoughts along the way and at the end.

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