How to succeed on Whole30; 10 proven tips. My story and how I succeeded at living the diet for 30 days and the results that followed.

10 reasons I succeeded at the Whole30 challenge

Ruthie Health, Lifestyle 5 Comments

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I just lied to you with that title – I haven’t yet succeeded at the Whole30 challenge.

I’m on Day 30.

To me, that’s a success.  Also – now that I’ve come this far, there’s NO WAY I’m quitting!  One more day to total success!  YASSSS!!!

How to succeed on Whole30; 10 proven tips. My story and how I succeeded at living the diet for 30 days and the results that followed.

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In case you’ve been hiding under a rock or you don’t do Pinterest, the Whole30 is a primal way of eating that’s good for your gut.



What’s the Whole30 Challenge?

Developed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is exactly as its name suggests – 30 days of eating whole, non-processed food.

Think caveman.

So there’s a lot of chopping, yes.  #allofthevegetables.

Any type of meat is allowed – I’ll have a ribeye, please and thank you.

Healthy fats – olive oil, avocados, olives, coconut oil, and Ghee butter (say WHAT???), to name a few.

Fruits – yes.  Fruity drinks – no.  Legumes – no.  Grains – no.  Unsweetened coconut – yes.

LOTS of prep time in the kitchen and LOTS of cooking.

But food?  Absolutely fantastically deliciously sumptuous.

It sounds crazy if you haven’t read the book.  Actually, it sounds a little crazy even then, but guess what –

it works.

Y’all, my gut is so healthy right now, it should be a crime.

Also, my breath smells good!

(My hubby is SO happy about that.)

I could gab on and on about the benefits of Whole30 (and next week I’ll share helpful tips about the program)  but for now, I’m going to go ahead and share why I succeeded.


1.)   I had a partner

Thank God my daughter graduated college and moved back home because of the two other losers in this house like junk food.  She has been solid throughout this entire challenge because she wanted me to succeed.

It totally helps ensure your success with Whole30 when you have a partner in crime!




2.)  My family was supportive

Remember those losers I mentioned a second ago?  Well, they’re not really losers.

One of them (my youngest) loves to eat healthily – it’s just that she’s a baker at heart.  And the other is my husband, who has to have Chips Ahoy cookies and ice cream and caramel corn and that’s ok because he runs to the store every other day to get me more sweet potatoes and grass-fed beef.

Let’s just say we have a mutual appreciation for each other.


3.)  I did my research

I started reading about Whole30 when the book went on sale on Amazon last year for $1.99.  I’d already purchased Shaye Elliot’s Whole family cookbook and cooking videos and had begun testing the (equally tasty) recipes.

The Whole30 book says to plan your 30-day challenge when you’ll be home and NOT around a holiday. So naturally, I started on a Tuesday, February 22, and never looked back – even when taking an unexpected weekend trip to visit our son – the ultimate junk food junkie (like his father)!


4.)  I lost weight

After just one week, I noticed my clothes fit better.  A big no-no with Whole30 is weighing or measuring during the challenge because the focus is on getting healthy and noticing those benefits first.

Full disclosure:  I cheated on that rule.

(Next week I’ll share how much I lost – there will be photos.)


5.)  I planned meals each week

Having achieved lifetime status from Weight Watchers back in the day, I recognize the value in meal planning to succeed at healthy eating.  Each Saturday I made a list of recipes for the next week and then we went shopping.

…And then I went shopping.

(I wasn’t kidding about all that food prep.)

(It was worth every chop.)


6.)  I googled

Anything I didn’t understand or needed to know about the Whole30 challenge, Google divulged freely.  Simple!  Also, I found a first-timer Whole30 Facebook support group that was super helpful too!




7.)  The food is tasty!

Y’all.  I cannot tell you how many delish recipes we raved over.  Even the food rebels of the family can’t complain – this stuff is off the hook!  That’s partly because you use healthy fats!  It makes a huge difference.


8.)  The recipes are simple

Just buy the book.  It is worth every red cent and then some – even if you just want to cook healthier or you want to learn HOW to cook – the tips alone are worth the price!  This Gigi has been cooking for 32 years and even I learned a thing or two!  The Hartwigs know their way around a kitchen, y’all.

(I know I keep saying y’all.  I’m channeling my inner Paula Deen because she likes fat/lard/butter y’all, and she loves to cook!)

(You need to love to cook or be open to love to cook with Whole30.  Sorry.)


9.)  I remained accountable and people followed my story 

I shot an Instagram video story every day.  My kid (Whole30 partner) visited friends in Ohio and came back saying I was famous.  Every time they asked, “What’s up with you?”  She started telling them about the Whole30, only to be cut off by a, “Oh yes, I saw your mom’s Instagram story, the food looks amazing!”  To which she shut her dropped jaw and changed the subject.


Hey, I can’t disappoint my followers, right?!

(Also – I’m obviously cool enough that my daughter’s friends follow me on Instagram – you should too.)


10.)The swelling disappeared

On day 12 my husband said, “You’re losing weight” to which I said, “Yes, I am.”

(Because I cheated on that one rule.)

But that night in bed, I realized my knees were no longer swollen.


Y’all, I haven’t seen my kneecaps in two years.

And that swelling?  It was all over my body apparently, because my wrists, ankles, feet, and – ahem – other places were suddenly smaller on day 12.

And here’s the real reason I began Whole30 – I have battled Lyme Disease for nearly 10 years.  For the past two years, my legs and knees have been in almost unbearable pain.

And now?  Well, the pain is vastly diminished!  Not totally gone, but possibly enough that I’ll not need medication for the suspected Lyme-induced arthritis.


Whole30 is widely known for curing or diminishing symptoms of autoimmune diseases and other illnesses, such as Lymes. Click To Tweet


Is Whole30 for you?

I’m not sure.  If you like being able to see your kneecaps – yes.  If you love eating good, whole food – yes.  And, if you’d like to drop a few pounds, see your cholesterol levels drop, and sleep at night for the first time in twenty years – yes.

But if you hate to cook?

You might wanna rethink that, y’all.

(Although I’m sharing a secret video of tips, tricks, and quick recipes for Whole30 success next week…see details below on how to grab your copy!)

Here’s where to check out the book if you’re curious.  But seriously?  It’s fantastic!






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If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions:

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Have you ever tried Whole30?  Share your story in the comments below, or email me here!

Comments 5

  1. Great testimonial here, Ruthie! I love this. Way to go. You made me laugh about being famous on Instagram, girl. I just haven’t gone there yet. Because no time! I’d love to try Whole 30, except for no dairy. I just can’t imagine that. But I’ve been doing no carbs for a while and am seeing some good results…Not as dramatic as Whole 30, I don’t imagine.

    1. Post

      Thanks, friend – nice to see you today! Yeah – it’s hard to fit in time for all the social media channels we want. I’m not hard core dedicated to Instagram yet – taking it slowly while still growing Pinterest and Fb. I haven’t done dairy for a while and I’ve suspected it was one of the culprits. I’m thinking my issues are more grain related though. There is a reintroduction process next so I can figure out which food is to blame. I’m looking forward to that! And good for you! Keep up the good work, I’d love to know your results.

  2. Good for you Ruthie. Glad to hear it was a success. Now the hard part, not be a Debbie Downer, maintenance!! Yup, I see many fail after 30 days and go right back to their processed foods and bad habits. So I’ll look forward to seeing more of your healthy “famous” recipes on Instagram. Keep up the good work.

    1. Post

      YES. My goal is to keep eating this way with a few small modifications. Hayley wants to continue as well. We are going to take the week off because I’m going to Florida and want to enjoy my time there, yet I have a plan to keep as close to program as possible even then. When I get back, we’ll do Round Two!

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