A Typical Day (Pre Whole30 vs. During Whole30)

I held a 10 week old puppy yesterday. That’s all.

First time here? Learn about Whole30 by starting with this post.

So just how different are my Whole30 eating habits on a daily basis from my my pre-Whole30 days? In celebration of Day 20 and the 2/3 way there mark I decided to do a play-by-play to find out.

A Day in the Life: Pre-Whole30 Typical Work Day

6:00am – Alarm goes off. I press snooze- many, many times.

6:40am- Okay fine, I’m up! Shower, get dressed and ready, pour a to-go mug of coffee with cream and stevia and rush out the door.

7:30am – Get in line for breakfast at the work cafeteria.

Typical Breakfast: Two eggs over medium, hash browns with ketchup. A side of fruit or Greek yogurt. A second coffee depending on the day. If it’s a crazier day I may sub in a peanut butter Cliff Bar and a banana instead.

10:00am – I’m hungry for a snack. I’d likely eat any remaining fruit from breakfast or possibly try to wait it out until lunch with a rumbly tummy. I might head to Starbucks for a skinny hazelnut latte.

Noon – Lunch time!

Typical Lunch: If I brought my lunch it’s usually leftovers from dinner the night before. This often means a taco salad, soup or pasta, but maybe grilled chicken and veggies in the summer. If I didn’t bring lunch I might go grab a turkey sub from Which Wich w/ a bag of chips or a salad and soup from D Brian’s. Lunch ends with something sweet. Usually a piece of Dove chocolate or another find from a neighbors candy dish.

2:45pm – It’s snack time for sure. I usually keep either Lara Bars, Cliff Bars, trail mix or Pirate’s Booty at my desk for emergencies. Other options include string cheese or a trip downstairs to the cafe for a cookie.

4:30pm – If I’m super energetic and Tim doesn’t have class I may have made it to a group fitness class after work. If not, I’m getting home and dreading walking the dog because I am SO dang tired. Tim and I call this “Elisa Crabby Time.” I try to avoid other humans as much as possible for at least 30 minutes.

5:00pm – Back from the walk. I might consider working out but its so hard to get motivated. I likely eat a small snack. Chips and salsa, cheese or the like.

7:00pm – Dinner time.

Typical Dinners: If I’m using a recipe, I’m probably making Lasagna Soup, Southwestern Pasta, or something similar from a blog like Skinnytaste. If it’s just me at home I might make scrambled eggs with cheese or whole wheat pasta w/ jarred arrabbiata sauce with frozen veggies (and lots of cheese on top). If it’s Tim and I and we’re lazy we might heat up some Evol frozen burritos or make a “homemade” pizza. About half the time a beer or glass of wine is part of dinner. We eat in the living room on the coffee table in front of the TV.

If we’re even lazier we will order take out. Favorites include a beet salad with any pizza from Pizzeria Lola, or else a plethora of Chinese dishes from Xin Wong. Other fast options include Chipotle burrito bowls or chicken pho. Regardless, dinner is always followed by a piece of chocolate and/or a few bites of gelato/froyo.

9:30-10:30pm – Think about going to bed… watch more tv and play on the iPad.

11:00pm- Bed. Toss and turn until 11:30ish.

A Day in the Life: Whole30 Typical Work Day

5:30am – It’s light out, should I get up? Nah, not quite yet. But I could if I wanted to.

6:10am- Usually up with my first alarm. I think I’ll take the dog for a walk before breakfast!

6:40am- Breakfast time! Tim has usually gotten up and cooked for us.

Typical Breakfast: Eggs scrambled with chard/kale/spinach topped with half an avocado and salsa- maybe with a banana. Or sweet potato hash topped with with fried eggs and a side of macadamia nuts. Breakfast could also be something “weird” like ground beef on a sweet potato topped with an egg, you never know. Eggs are almost always involved and black coffee in a to-go cup.

If I’m in a bind and can’t make breakfast before work I order a omelette from the cafeteria when I get there. Turkey sausage, spinach, bell peppers and hot sauce. No cheese. Side of fruit.


10:00am – Some days I still get a little hungry but I do my best not to snack. If I do it will be half a Lara bar or some fruit. Maybe a couple macadamia nuts if I’m in a bind.

11:30am – Lunchtime!

Typical Lunch Foods:  Huge salad with leftover chicken or steak and a hard boiled egg. Any veggies in the fridge are fair game for toppings and dressing is olive oil & balsamic vinegar. If it’s not a salad, it’s usually a protein like chicken sausage or lunch meat with a side of veggies with sunbutter/almond butter for dipping. I usually bring some fruit. Lunch could also be dinner leftovers such as sauteed zucchini with ground turkey.

3:00pm- Feeling like I want a snack. I usually resist, but some days I’ll end up with part of a Lara Bar or a few macadamias again.

4:30pm- If schedules allowed I’ve stayed at work to do either a weightlifting or yoga class.

5:15pm – Get home and join Tim and the dog on a walk if they haven’t already gone. I have a weird amount of energy post-workout… I just want to keep moving!

6:00pm – Dinner time! Tim and I almost always cook dinner together now. Sometimes we plan ahead (like when we made curry) but often we’re brainstorming in the moment based on what’s in the fridge and needs to be eaten. The key is to keep it simple. Regardless of what we eat we sit at the kitchen table together to eat it. No tv, no phones, no computers. It’s like a mini date every evening!

Typical Dinners: Rarely the same meal twice. Here’s a few examples:

  • Baked sweet potato topped with browned ground beef sauteed with onion and zucchini.
  • Grilled chicken breasts with grilled peppers/onions, half an avocado.
  • Steak with roasted beets and a small arugula salad w/ balsamic vinegar and macadamias.
  • Shrimp in a ghee garlic lemon sauce in avocado halves. Arugula greens on the side.
  • Grilled grass-fed beef hot dogs with broccoli slaw and guacamole.
  • Chicken spinach dogs with broccoli florets with almond butter. Maybe some obscure veggie that came in my CSA produce box.
  • Ground turkey with homemade taco seasoning. Usually as a taco salad, but maybe on its own.

We usually have some fruit with dinner and possibly a “mocktail”. This is either a La Croix or some soda water with lemon/lime wedges. With the exception of a few extremely difficult days we don’t snack at all after dinner.

6:30-7:30pm Lots of kitchen clean up and prepping food for tomorrow.

9:30pm Starting to seriously think about bed, even though it feels way too early.

10pm Asleep within 10 minutes of hitting the pillow.

Writing this made me realize just how much better I feel throughout the day during Whole30 than I did before. I sleep better, I eat better, my energy level is greatly improved and I’m way more productive. I watch less TV, read more books, get more done around the house and I actually converse more with my spouse. Maybe Whole30 really can transform your life. We’ll see how I feel on day 29 🙂


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