An Outside Observer’s Experience of the Whole30 Diet*

As some of you may already know, diets can be crappy (sometimes literally. DON’T DO CLEANSES, Y’ALL). Something else that can be crappy is when you live with someone who is on a diet. It may be tough for them, but what about you? What about you and all your selfish whining? Who’s there to listen to your struggles with the diet (please note obvious sarcasm)? Well grab a glass of wine, Darlings, ‘cause that’s what I’m here for. This diary-entry format details my experience with being surrounded by two people on the same Whole30 diet and what that experience was like for me.

*I thought about taking the time to explain all the rules and recommendations of the Whole30 Diet for those of you who are unfamiliar, but I’m gonna be honest–I’ve been talking about it for a whole month and I’m a little over it. Over talking about it, anyway. Here’s a link for those of you who are interested in what it’s all about. To sum up, it’s very difficult as you’re not allowed to have any food that can be qualified as “fun”.

Day 1

Boyfriend went to the store and bought about $130 in groceries. Best friend is coming over for meal prep. We cooked for about 4 hours and this shit isn’t even for me. Bought a new knife and a ceramic frying pan ‘cause we needed it anyway, and I also was nice and bought my boyfriend a vegetable spiral to make veggie noodles. Boyfriend sliced open his pinky finger while trying to open the new knife with another knife. Had to leave to go to Patient First. Now I am cooking alone with best friend while he’s out getting his finger put back together. Off to a great start.

Day 4

They seem to be handling the first few days well enough. Boyfriend has been slowly making his way through his prepared meals and doesn’t seem to be missing alcohol too badly. I, on the other hand, am on my second glass of wine as I write this. And eating sweet potato chips. Foolish mortals, don’t they know that being healthy isn’t as fun as this?!

Day 9

Boyfriend is now frequently hungry and it’s making his stomach upset. He says he’s realizing how much eating things like bread and pasta made him feel full with empty carbs and that even when he eats lots of fruits and vegetables he’s still ravenous. I think it might be kinder of me to not mention the delicious breakfast sandwich I had this morning…

Day 10

Really wanted to go out on a date tonight to a restaurant but that’s way harder now since he can’t eat anything fun. Lame. It’s not really as enjoyable when you have to ask if there’s added sugar in everything.

Day 11

Best friend is also feeling extremely hungry these days. She read up on it and seemingly the first two weeks are the hardest. You know what else is hard? Not eating cheese in front of them.

Day 14

Made myself and the boyfriend Whole30-approved pan fried tilapia with steamed potatoes for dinner tonight. Pretty damn tasty if I say so myself. Maybe this diet isn’t so bad after all.

Day 16

Went over to my friend’s house and we made “cheesy” cauliflower for dinner. Tragically, there was no actual cheese in it. We used nutritional yeast instead, which is single-handedly one of the weirdest bits of kitchen magic I’ve ever encountered. You just mix a little into your sauce base, and presto! It’s a yellowy, cheesy, nutty flavor that’s honestly pretty comparable to cheese. If you want to know whether or not it was good, I’ll tell you right now there was nothing left in my bowl.

Day 17

Turns out a fun side effect of eating a lot of nutritional yeast is to have luminous yellow pee. Bad day to wear white underwear (Don’t judge me, sometimes we all miss a little drip. Nothing to make you more aware of that than when your pee looks like Gatorade).

Day 19

Boyfriend still hasn’t used the damn veggie spiraler…. On the positive side of things, anytime we’ve gone out this month he’s always offered to drive since he’s not drinking. It’s not too bad having a reliable chauffeur.

Day 20

Found a loophole to the “it’s not fun to eat out right now” thing–RAW OYSTERS. Best idea ever.

Day 21

HE USED THE SPIRALER. Made himself cucumber noodles for his lunch to take to work today. God I miss making sandwiches with him. And sharing cheese. And wine. Am I being selfish? Yes. But am I—no there’s no follow up, I’m just being selfish.

Day 22

Was talking to best friend last night when she came over for dinner and she said she doesn’t feel hungry anymore, she feels satiated by what she’s eating now. Boyfriend concurs. We also made dairy-free and sugar free salty banana and cashew butter milkshakes after dinner which were AMAZING. Drank wine unabashedly in front of both of them. I might be coming around to this diet but I’ll be damned if I can’t have a lil’ nightcap while they discuss uses of nutritional yeast and coconut aminos.

Day 23

So I’m definitely starting to see the perks of this diet. My boyfriends pants are already starting to hang loosely around his waist and butt. He and my friend say they both feel lighter, less bloated, and have more energy. They have both agreed, however, that they will both be going to Sushi King as a reward once they’re done (if you have a Sushi King near you and you haven’t been, you’re making a MISTAKE).

Day 25

Went out to brunch with the boyfriend’s family to Eggspectations, who were actually the most accommodating to his diet and were able to bring him an amazing omelette and smoothie that checked out with all the rules of Whole30. What an awesome place. Also their brunch is great in general, you should go. Savory crepes, y’all. Savory crepes.

Day 27

Boyfriend is feeling very positive about all he’s accomplished. He happened to have a doctor’s appointment today, and even though the point of the Whole30 isn’t to lose weight, he still managed to lose ten pounds! I’m very proud of him. He’s really managed his portion control, intake of sugars and processed foods. He says that he may not adhere to it as strictly, but he plans to uphold a lot of the rules of the diet even after it’s over.

Day 28

Friend came over again for dinner and is very excited to almost be done, but also feels like she wants to continue the diet after it’s over for the most part. I made pizza and she brought over her own cauliflower soup that, I have to admit, may have been more delicious than my pizza. Had more wine by myself (I really sound like a wino. Maybe I am. Should I do the Whole30 too…? Nah.).

Day 31

THEY DID IT! IT’S OVER! I bought prosecco to celebrate with the two of them when they were done and you better believe we popped that bottle tonight. All in all I am so, so proud of them for sticking with it and really getting to a place where they feel they have a healthier relationship with the food they eat. Even though I didn’t do the diet myself, I definitely learned a lot and I think I may try to take some ideas for the diet and implement them myself. …Or just have one less glass of wine each night.

Alexandra Dent

Alexandra Dent

As a dual citizen of the Republic of Ireland and the United States, Alexandra's life has been steeped in diversity, creativity, and connecting with others. She's performed onstage, white water rafted in the rainforest, and has learned how to make pretty delicious Thai curry.
Alexandra Dent

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