WIAW #35 – Cleaning Eating My Way


I had this plan that starting in March, I was going to join Arman and Amy in doing the Whole 30. If you don’t already know about this program, take a look at the chart below, which gives you a basic outline of the Whole 30. This dietary plan is meant to be adhered to for 30 days (no cheating) and then after the 30 days, you slowly reintegrate certain foods back into your diet.

As March fast approached, I began to have doubts about starting the Whole 30. Quite frankly, I started to get anxiety about starting the program and questioned whether or not this was the right thing for me.

My body just recently started being able to tolerate dairy again after years of being lactose intolerant…I’m really enjoying my Greek yogurt and cheese, so I didn’t want to give that up again!  Quinoa, oatmeal, wheat berries and brown rice are some of my favorite grains…I didn’t want to give them up either. Then I learned I had to give up honey…honey is one of my favorite sweeteners ever! I also learned that the Whole 30 program discourages snacking…well, I like my snacks! AND…I couldn’t make anymore pancakes and I’d have to give up peanut butter! I know a month is not that long in retrospect, but geez! THEN I saw Arman’s post about being on the “middle ground diet.” This post totally blew me away and really got me thinking…and thinking…and thinking. I want to decide what I want to eat when I want to eat it. I want to let my body dictate what foods are bad for it and what foods it can tolerate. I don’t want restrictions, unless my body tells me otherwise. THEN I was really happy to see Arman’s other post from a few days ago because it really helped validate all the feelings I was having about starting the Whole 30.

SO based on all of these things, I decided that I’m saying NO to the Whole 30!  I am by no means criticizing anyone who has been or is going to be starting the Whole 30. It’s simply not for me and it’s not what I want to do at this point in time. However, as I mentioned on Monday, I will be cleaning up my diet nonetheless, but in the way that I want to. I’ll be listening to my body and won’t be focusing on length of time and other restrictions that I don’t feel are necessary.

Here is my plan:

  1. I’ve noticed that when I eat a lot of gluten, my stomach becomes bloated and very uncomfortable. My plan is to reduce (not eliminate) the amount of gluten in my diet.
  2. I love beans, but my stomach does not, so I’ll be staying away from all beans for a while.
  3. I eat vegetables, but I want to add a better variety of veggies to my diet.
  4. I want to eat more fruit. I’ve been eating mostly bananas these days, as I’m not too crazy about the fruit this time of year, but summer is coming, which means lots of fruits will be in season.
  5. I want to eat a hardier, more well-balanced breakfast – sometimes smoothies just don’t cut it.
  6. I want to eliminate processed foods as much as possible (e.g. make my own granola bars, salad dressings, granola, etc.), and if I do buy processed foods, I will carefully read labels for items with few ingredients and buy organic.
  7. I want to add more lean protein to make my meals more filling.
  8. I want to cut out refined sugars and opt for natural sweeteners.
  9. I want to drink more water. 

This is my plan, but that’s just it…a plan. I’m not putting pressure on myself and I’m not going to freak out if I decide to have a piece of candy at work or if I have only have one or two different veggies during the day. I want to go with the flow and simply be more conscientious of all these things and see how my body responds. So with that in mind, here’s a look at an entire day of clean eats…Holly style! Thanks to Jenn for hosting!


Yes…this is my half eaten breakfast! As I was getting close to finishing, I remembered I wanted to snap a photo. Oops!

A crustless quiche (recipe coming soon), half an avocado and a side of fresh pineapple.

001A.M. Snack

No description need. ;-)


A kale salad dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a touch of honey and black pepper, pine nuts and dried cranberries topped with a Chicken Parmesan Patty with a side of baby carrots and Paleo Pumpkin Hummus.

031P.M. Snack

Sunbutter spread on whole wheat crackers and a couple medjool dates.


Salmon (courtesy of Justin), roasted veggies and Sweet Potato and Kale Balls (FYI…I made these with white sweat potatoes, that’s why they’re not orange).

036What are your thoughts on the Whole 30? Have you tried it before?
What’s your definition of clean eating?
What’s your favorite hardy, well-balanced breakfast option?

Disclaimer:  I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist; therefore, this information should in no way be taken as expert advice. What I have mentioned above is what works for me and my body.

59 thoughts on “WIAW #35 – Cleaning Eating My Way

  1. Holly, I am SO proud of you for sticking to your intentions and doing what works best for YOU!! I just got done telling someone earlier, how I feel like w/ all these diets everyone’s participating in, people are getting lost in what truly works and gives them the most satisification. I think you following your own plan is going to do wonders!

  2. Adapting the plan to what you know works for you right now instead of sticking with it just for the sake of it is a great way to go about it, Holly. Like you said there’s no reason to cut out foods you tolerate perfectly well and listen to your cravings and hunger cues rather than what’s on your ‘allowed’ list of foods. “I want to decide what I want to eat when I want to eat it.” <- Yes! Your plan sounds realistic and not beating yourself up if you can't stick with it all of the time is a good approach.

  3. So stoked that you’ve made the choice to do some testing for YOU and not what a book or advocate dictates- I’m not hating on whole30 either or being a hypocrite (I really admire those whom by following it, saw success) but the basis of it made me think (and you too!) why cut something out when you’ve never had an intolerance or negative side affect to it before?

    So let’s talk crustless quiche…I hope it gets posted before the weekend ;)

  4. I carried out Whole30 this fall… Prior to the beginning of this program I suffered from disorder food – too many sweets, it isn’t enough vegetables. But after end I forgot about it. Besides, I had more energy! But I too love honey to turn this program into a way of life ;)

  5. Yeah I don’t think I could ever do the whole 30, I love too many things on the NO list lol

  6. Great post! I thought about going on the Whole30, but I agree with you, it just wasn’t a good fit. I think we can go too extreme sometimes. I think it’s good to pull knowledge and what works for our bodies from different diet plans. It’s about balance and listening to our bodies.

  7. Good for you – listening to our bodies us so important and I’m glad you are doing what is best for you!

  8. I think this is awesome, Holly! I’ve considered doing a traditional Whole 30, but the most I think about it, the more unpleasant it feels, lol. it seems too extreme for me! Your approach however – makes a lot of sense. Focusing on healthy foods without unnecessary restriction – perfect!

  9. I have not done the 30 & frankly, I believe legumes, grains & dairy should be in our diets but in moderation. Your new plan is actually how I’ve eaten for a few years now & I feel great.

    • Yes, I definitely agree! In order to get all the proper nutrients, we need to eat from all the food groups. I don’t think giving up foods completely (even for a month) is the best idea when you’re not having an issue.

  10. So glad you tried out the sweet potato and kale balls! Hope you enjoyed them. I think they’d be a perfect side dish. :)

  11. I love that you put a lot of thought into this and decided some of it wasn’t right for you. So many people go into cleanses/diets/fasts semi-blindly and don’t realize that some of it just doesn’t make sense! I love legumes and grains of all kinds, so when I encounter people on Paleo I’m like ‘Huh??!!’, but if it works for them, great! :)

    • Every diet isn’t for everybody and I agree, people don’t realize that sometimes. Doing your homework and just plan old listening to your body before jumping into something is super important.

  12. I have thought about the Whole 30 too but in all honesty I think it just leads up to you binging on all the things you restricted for a month! For breakfast I have found egg white omelet with a side of oatmeal keeps me so satisfied and full!

  13. Mmm I spy kale haha. I’m obsessed :)

  14. I’ve never done the Whole30 eating regime, but it definitely looks like something PERFECT for me!
    And your chicken patties look GREAT!
    And dates are definitely my favorite snack too :) So versatile for gluten free baking too!

  15. Good for you for adopting whole 30 to your needs! I personally can’t go a day without grains and legumes (let alone a month) but I applaud everyone who can! Your whole-wheat cracker snack with nut butter and dates sounds SO dreamy right now. I too want to amp up the variety of veggies I incorporate. Spinach, cucumbers, peppers and broccoli are always my go-to!

  16. That quiche looks great! I am happy that you are treating your body right. I have also learned with beans/legumes that I need to eat them 4x a week or so in smaller portions to be able to handle them. If you cut them out completely, your body will still have the response it does now. But do what you need- I just couldn’t live without lentils/split peas :)

    • Beans/legumes are so heavy on the stomach, so eating them in smaller quantities sounds like a good idea. I’ll see how I do without them for a little while, then slowly add them back in.

  17. Everything looks pretty yummy!

  18. I totally agree that you should do what is best for you!! For me, it’s eating as little processed foods as possible – I really really try to make almost everything myself – from granola to bread, etc. I also try to keep the amount of sugar I’m eating to a minimum (which is really hard considering I have a crazy sweet tooth!) haha I could never go without grains and beans, etc and that’s okay! I hate the all or nothing approach that it seems like a lot of people push – there is a middle ground!

  19. Glad to see that you are listening to your body rather than following some generic plan! This is something I believe in so much! I really hate diet labels and think that we are all different and therefore should listen to our individual needs rather than following certain diets! You go girl, enjoy your clean eating :)

  20. I don’t think I could do the Whole 30, because it’s just not for me. I love experimenting with different foods to see what works best for my body. I wouldn’t want to have a plan, because it would get tedious and I like the variety.

  21. This is awesome. I feel so many are utilizing w30 incorrectly nowadays as a quick ‘diet’ when it should be a sort of allergy-discovery plan. I did w30 once (to support a friend and clean up diet!) and in a second try I quit a couple weeks in. It was stressful and ‘restricting’, an with my disordered/restricted eating past I concluded w30 was not right for me. Everyone has to find their own healthy eatin way of life!

  22. Your eating plan looks great! Isn’t it funny how our bodies change and adjust to certain foods (dairy). I def. wouldn’t give up greek yogurt, it’s so yummy and useful in different ways.

  23. yes, well said. I don’t think i could ever do a diet that is limited, unless it’s for a personal health reason. I’ve done that before. But everyone has their own groove, ya know? Maybe this whole30 is needed for them. We must evaluate our needs

  24. love your approach! :) i did a similar whole 30 once upon a time and it made me overeat on the foods that i could have… like i ate a whole jar of almond butter in less than a week. EEK!

  25. Holly, I LOVE your plan. While I never did Whole30, I basically did a very similiar diet plan with my clean eating detox for two weeks a few months back. It was a good experience and I did feel better, but it was not realistic to maintain for a long period of time. I love your goals. They are so health-focused, but tailored to YOU. I think that’s what diet has to come down to – what you are comfortable with and what will help you out personally, instead of following some thing that works for someone else. Best of luck with the clean eating! I really need to get back on track with this as well.

  26. I did the Whole 30 in hopes that it would clear up my skin and some digestive issues. For me, at least, it was not the miracle diet it’s often portrayed as. I felt exactly the same at the end as at the beginning. Sure, it’s a healthy way to eat, but I figured, why cut the other healthy things I love (like legumes and oats) if I feel exactly the same?

  27. Pingback: Easy Broccoli and Sausage Crustless Quiche |

  28. I’ve seen this Whole 30 diet pop in blogs, and after reading this post and understanding what it’s all about, all I can say is that good for you that you didn’t do it. I’m not an RD, but I am taking nutrition courses, and definitively this diet is cutting out so many macronutrients that you need! Whole grains are part of healthy diet, I know that certain things should be consumed in moderation (like added sugars), but this diet, as many others, are too strict, and will drive you crazy. I believe that each and everyone of us should try what works for ourbody. Healthy eating should make us happy, not miserable. I don’t think eating a snickers is healthy, but I think that eating some healthier versions of sweet treats is good for your body. Love your midset on this!!

    • I totally agree with everything you said! I was really put off about some of the nutrients that I wouldn’t be getting as a result of this diet. Even if it’s for a short time, our bodies need those nutrients and I didn’t want to deprive myself of that.

  29. I’m playing catch up and I want to comment and tell you that I felt the same way about this way of eating (Whole 30 style) a few months ago. I wasn’t ready to try it but I am so glad I began this journey and have learned a lot more about myself – I am still snacking. Good for you for not doing it if you aren’t “feeling it” and sticking to your principles. I know a lot of people commented about not getting certain nutrients and I am not going to flat out disagree but I know you like to read so I would suggest giving “Eat the Yolks” (by Liz Wolfe) a read. Sorry for the ramble and I hope I don’t sound preachy as I am obviously doing the Whole 30 but I have definitely felt the positive effects. Nonetheless, your day of eats looks really good :)

    • Thanks so much Amy! I’m definitely going to take a look at Eat the Yolks. I’m glad your Whole 30 journey so far has been successful. I look forward to reading how it all turns out for you!

  30. Pingback: WIAW #37 – Soft and Chewy Granola Bars |

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