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How to Start the Whole30: What is It? What Can I Eat? + Recipes!

23 Mar

KateUpdates Three Rules

It’s time to get down and dirty … It’s time for the Whole30!

Or, “Dirty 30,” which is what I’m calling this next Whole30 adventure that begins Monday. There’s a group of us getting ready to take the plunge for the first or second time and … it’s going to ROCK. I’m excited!

My first Whole30 experience was back in August and it was amazing. I want to encourage you to join me on this next challenge and this post is going to provide you with the tools you need to change your body and mind forever. Remember, if you choose to do this, it is your CHOICE. You are not being restricted. It’s not something you HAVE to do. Instead, you are choosing to treat your body well and reap amazing health benefits for your mind and body. You may even lose some pounds along the way :)

So … Are you ready? The choice is yours. I hope you choose to join us. It’s just 30 days.

What is the Whole30?

Read the official description here.

What can I eat?

Simply put, you can eat: veggies, meat, seafood, fruit, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.  Focus on foods that are completely unprocessed or have only a few ingredients to help ensure you’re making the right choices. Have a question regarding whether an ingredient is Whole30 approved? See the full list here or check the Whole9Life forum here or do a quick Google search.


  • Sugars of all kinds
  • Alcohol/ Tobacco
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • White potatoes


  • Check out my video on Whole30 kitchen essentials to help you with your grocery shopping.
  • Here’s a shopping list you can use as a guide from Whole9Life
  • You can buy Whole30 guide, “It Starts with Food,” here.
  • Here’s a list of meal planning resources.
  • and see what other cookbooks I recommend here.
  • Like and visit my Facebook page for daily updates, ideas and inspiration
  • You can sign-up to receive daily emails to guide you through your journey

Meal Planning

Here are some Whole30 Approved breakfast and lunch/dinner ideas to get you started.


Lunch / Dinner

I will be sharing more recipe ideas as we go along and feel free to share your favorite Whole30 approved recipes as well. Let’s DO THIS!

~ Kate

What I Learned without My TV … Hey, Ma, I think I’m smarter!

3 Dec

KateUpdates JUMP!Happy Monday! 
There are so many things I want to share with you and I’m using as much self-control as I can muster to pace myself so I can give each topic its due attention. Seriously, I had to chop off half of this post because it was getting too long. Lots of interesting things are taking shape lately. Sometimes, change happens so fast that you don’t even notice it has happened until you’re seemingly light-years away. Know what I mean? It’s Crazy …
No TV for a Month: Reflections ...So, as you may recall, I made the commitment to go the entire month of November without TV. It was definitely challenging at times but overall, it was probably my easiest 30-Day Challenge yet. Some reflections from the month:
  • Commercials are even more annoying. Even though I wasn’t watching TV, I was definitely around it almost every day. There are SO MANY commercials. Wow. I really became aware of all the “noise” TV produces … especially during the holidays! It’s upsetting.
  • My mind feels WAY less cluttered. I feel like I can think clearer because I wasn’t “relaxing” via watching the TV. I actually had time to think not just put things on auto-pilot.
  • Increased Productivity and organization. My house is cleaner and more organized because I literally had hours of extra time on my hands.
  • I’m more social. I literally setup more Skype calls than I had ever participated in before during the month of November. I had more time to think about the people I care about and make an effort to connect with them.
  • I think I’m actually … Smarter! Because I didn’t have the TV as an entertainment source, I relied heavily on blogs, books (thank you Tina) and podcasts. I can definitely feel the difference mentally.
  • Some TV is OK. What really stood out to me was that “TV time” was something Daniel and I used to decompress and bond over. We like watching Chopped, American Pickers and Tosh.0. We also like watching movies together. I will definitely incorporate these things back in but I plan on cutting out the majority of my Hulu time unless I’m watching it with him. If we’re watching a movie or show together and interacting, to me, that can be seen as more of an investment vs. my watching shows on my own.
Stand-Up Desk Experiment: UPDATE

  • So, I’m still standing at my desk! My advice if you’re considering trying it for yourself … Wear comfortable shoes, put a mat under your feet and read my post about it.
  • I did several weeks of standing all day and have now moved to half days.
  • I’m actually purchasing a stand-up desk, which I’m really excited about. I like it because it can be added to any current desk you have and it can be adjusted easily.
  • My overall review of standing at my desk? I love it! I have more energy, increased productivity and my lower back doesn’t hurt much (if at all).

#nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month): It’s over.

I wanted to give you a brief update on the novel I was writing. The update is brief because I don’t have much to report other than I realized I do not have the desire to write a novel at this point in my life. I jumped into the challenge but about 10k words in realized I just didn’t want to do it. SO … Yeah. It was a great way to loosen up and get more comfortable with writing lots of content at a quicker pace though so I’m thankful for that. A helpful e-book that can be shared with you all sounds more practical and appealing to me … maybe down the road. (hint, hint)

More great things to come …

~ Kate

Namaste and Ninja Salutations: Is Yoga Just for Vegan Hippies?

30 Nov

Yoga anyone?

Uh, yoga, much?

There’s the time when you think about it, turning the idea over and over in your mind. Then there’s the moment when you just do it.

Wow. This is the last day of November 2012. Let’s make it big, OK?

Looking forward to December, I’d like to explore an activity that has previously eluded me: Yoga. Why? First, I’m just very curious about it. Secondly, as I’ve been working out more, I’ve started to feel the need for more stretching. You know the feeling. Tight legs, tense back and just feeling like you need a good stretch. I did P90x before I got married and I still have the YogaX DVD, which I use occasionally (it’s killer) but I’ve been wondering about yoga and think it’s time to take it to the next level.

So, I want to spend the month of December exploring yoga. This isn’t a 30-day thing where you have to do yoga every single day but I am going to make a pointed effort to learn more and explore it.

Are you up for the challenge? If your answer is no, maybe you should refer back to the above photo …Now, THAT is inspirational! OK maybe a little painful looking but what if you got that flexible? Talk about an achievement!

So let’s do it. Let’s explore yoga for the month of December together. I’ll share bits of info and helpful videos and you can share what you find too by posting it within my Facebook community.

OK to start, let’s take a look at what we think about yoga so we can compare it to what we have learned a month from now. This is what I think of Yoga right now …

Words that come to mind when I think of yoga:

  • Vegan
  • Hippie
  • Clean eating
  • Yogi
  • New-age
  • Pants

What I know about yoga right now:

  • You can get increased flexibility
  • It helps with mental tranquility
  • The workouts are full of targeted, deliberate movements and balances
  • If you do it enough (coupled with clean eating) you can get really toned
  • Gini has yet to acquire a taste for it, while Rebecca Todd and Robbert Downy, Jr. love it.

So what do you think? Do you practice yoga? Love it? Hate it? Curious to try it? Can you do that move pictured above?!?

~ Kate

P.S. I think I’m going to start sharing some videos on what Paleo is, what I think about the Whole30 and why you should do it, etc. Let me know if there are other topics you’d like more input on. 😉