I completed a Whole 30 and I didn’t die.

And that is the only positive thing I can say about it. Just kidding, I did lose a solid ten pounds, and I do plan to do one again in September. (It will take me all of August to get hype for it.) If you speak to me about any health issues whatsoever, I’m now going to be that annoying person who says “you should do a whole 30!” because if I can do it, literally ANYBODY can do it. The list of vegetables I like is about 5. Not joking- carrots, cukes, potatoes, lettuce, asparagus, and I’ve forced myself to get used to bell peppers, so that’s about 5 and a half. If you already like cauliflower and spaghetti squash, the w30 will be a walk in the park. And if you don’t discover exactly what it is that ails you, at the very least you will sleep better than a formula fed baby who’s not cutting teeth. You will have actual dreams. Before the whole30 I don’t remember the last time I slept deeply enough to dream about something. I would do it again just for the sleep.

Since I decided to start a whole30 basically on a whim, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I would do differently that would have made it a little easier.

1: Start searching for whole30 meals on pinterest and incorporate them into your regular eating now. Get a few recipes under your belt that you know well how to prepare and that you and/or your whole family enjoys (or tolerates). One of the most annoying things was trying to figure out a brand new recipe when everyone is cranky and hungry. The hubs commented (several times) that it seemed to just take me forever to cook. It was always when I was trying out a new dish- prep time was easily doubled. Start getting good at cooking up those weird dishes and sauces now, or figure out which of your go-to meals are compliant (or how to make them that way). Your future hangry self will appreciate it.

2. Also annoying: being at the grocery store every two seconds and also spending one billion dollars on food. If you run a very tight food budget my best advice is to start stocking up on pantry items a few weeks in advance. You may not need everything on this¬†pantry list¬†, but some staples are almond and coconut flour, arrowroot starch, coconut aminos and cans of coconut milk, oils and vinegars. It will majorly suck if you have to buy all of these things on Whole 30 Day 1, so grab some items here and there. If you follow tip #1, you’ll already be incorporating some whole30 meals into your budget by knowing how much meats and produce to plan for, and by picking up one or two pantry items each week, you won’t see a major jump in your grocery spending.

3. I would not have wasted time and ingredients on 5 minute ketchup. Seriously. There’s a great bbq sauce recipe out there but nothing will come close to the beautiful bottle of tomato-flavored high fructose corn syrup you know and love. Even the recipes that say “best homemade ketchup ever!!!!! Can’t taste the difference!!” No. These were written BY health nuts FOR health nuts. Unless you’re an existing health nut, just leave it alone.

So anyway, September. You should join me. The summer parties and happenings and campfire s’mores and holidays are basically non-existent in September, and it’s (hopefully) still warm enough to just throw things on the grill. Who’s in!?