My Vegetarian Whole 30: The Prelude

Monday, August 31, 2015
I'm drinking the kool-aid.

Well, technically I'm not drinking the kool-aid since kool-aid is super processed and is made up of high fructose stuff and not at all Whole 30 compliant, but details.

(also, please ignore my horrific manicure.)

It has recently come to my attention that I like food. A lot. I don't know if you know this.

I suppose I always have.

(that picture above was taken two weeks ago, btw.)

And on the opposite end of the spectrum I also like being healthy. Sometimes those two things don't always align, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case of course.

So in an effort to do a sort of body and life reset, and after hearing more and more about Whole 30, I decided to try it during the month of September! Well, a vegetarian version.

Yes, I realize the bread in this picture makes the meal not Whole 30. It was the closest thing I had in my aresenal.

Now before the paleo gods come at me with pitchforks, I KNOW that a vegetarian Whole 30 is not a true Whole 30. And I've read the schpeel about how if your reasoning for being a vegetarian is to be healthy, it's illogical because you can still be healthy/er while eating meat. But my reasons for being a vegetarian don't really have much to do with being healthy at all (because, duh potato chips). They're more personal belief based, which is why I'm not all of a sudden going to start eating meat to complete the Whole 30 program.

Which sidenote, I never realized until I became a vegetarian how deeply personal the question "Why are you a vegetarian?" is. If I don't know the person who's asking me very well, I usually default to the [untrue] answer of "to be healthier" or mumble something [essentially true, but surface-level] about yoga and my dog having a personality which makes me feel guilty about eating meat. If only people knew what a little a-hole my dog can be....

I feel like I've been eating a lot of not-so-great-for-me things lately (summer indulgences anyone?), which in turn has left me feeling a little sluggish and less confident.

Which brings us here!

For the next month I'll talk about my meals, my exercise routine, and the highs and lows of it all. I'll try to eat out every now and then to see if it can be done without just nibbling on lettuce and olive oil. I'll maybe even share new recipes. I'll discuss my own tips, and I'll gladly welcome any of yours! Maybe I'll post before and after pictures. (MAYBE.)

So on the eve of my first Vegetarian Whole 30, I'd like to identify ahead of time where I anticipate my difficulties will lie:

1) Not being able to eat potato chips, cheese, or beans of any kind. Potato chips are my #1 vice, I pop cheese like candy, and beans are one of my main sources of protein. Fortunately I do eat eggs, so I will still be able to rely on them for animal protein during my Whole 30. And fun fact, so many vegetables contain more protein than you realize! (The second most personal question people ask vegetarians is "HOW ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN?!?!" I promise you, I'm getting more than enough from all of the fingernails I eat and incense I inhale, but thank you for your concern.)


2) Not being able to drink wine when I eat out or cook. Since I won't be eating out as much though, hopefully the first part won't be too difficult. BUT I will be cooking a lot, and cooking and wine are pretty synonymous in my mind. It's okay though, I'll just sip my water. *SOB*

3) Not being able to weigh myself or count my calories. So confession time, I totally do that thing you're not supposed to do and weigh myself every morning. I also totally do that thing you probably shouldn't do and count my calories during the week. I don't know, I certainly see how these practices have the potential to drive people insane, but they really don't make me feel nuts. More than anything it all just keeps me in check. Like, "Hey there scale, I'm not a huge fan of that number, let's tone it down a bit and be more mindful of our eating today now shall we?" or "Scale, you are looking awesome today, now time for all of the potato chips!"

I know. You talk to your scale too. You get me.

4) Meal prep. To be honest, I'm actually pretty okay at meal prepping. However, in researching and planning my meals for the Whole 30 program, I have realized that this is going to be a whole new ballgame. I need to commit the entire afternoon (or quite potentially even the full day) every Sunday to meal prepping for the week if I hope to survive. These days my lunches consist of throwing a can of soup in my purse, and that ain't gonna fly.

5) Not being able to eat at Coltivare. I don't even want to talk about this. Next.

6) Saying no to awesome food events. I've recently met several awesome Houston foodies and have gotten to attend some freaking amazing events around town. I think the thing to focus on here is that this is only 30 days. One month. 1/12 of a year. It will be okay if I miss a few things. OR attend things but choose to eat at home prior to going or afterwards. I think this will also be a great exercise in time management and finding a nice work/life/home/foodie balance! (because sometimes often, I am not so good at this.)

So yes, the majority of my blog posts in September are going to be focused on my Vegetarian Whole 30 journey (I've still got a few dangling posts in the hopper from August). This is something I would like to do for my health, AND something I would like to share with all of you! Again, I invite you to join me in the conversation, and I welcome any words of wisdom you may have. I also promise to be completely honest, while still keeping a sense of humor (because lord knows I'm incapable of being serious ever). And if for some reason, this just isn't healthy for me - which I don't anticipate because of everything I've read - I will immediately stop.

Here's a little story about that: When I was 22 I did that dumb lemon juice cayenne pepper diet. It might be one of the dumbest things ever and one of the dumbest things I've ever done (if you are a lemon juice diet advocate, apologies). Basically all you consume is a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup or something, plus detox tea in the morning. I wanted to do it for 10 days, but I only lasted 3. This is because on the third day I just completely stopped consuming anything instead of drinking the juice because I would rather not eat than ingest another ounce of that horrible stuff. And then it hit me like a lightbulb: "Huh. This is really dumb." So if I have one of those moments (which again, is unlikely since I know already that I love all of the foods I'll be eating) I will stop immediately! Being unhealthy sort of defeats the purpose of all of this, you know?

Thanks so much again for following along! Here's to good times, good food, and good health!

Just... please don't bring up potato chips.


  1. Eek, sounds scary but exciting! Good luck! If you're looking to try out restaurants and work out classes that fit with your September lifestyle, I'm in! Though no cheese for a month... I don't think I could manage that!! haha

    1. I'd love that! I'll touch base with you, and maybe we can do a girl's outing one night! :)

  2. I'm interested to see what you find that you can eat! I was a vegetarian for a month, just to try it out, and for the life of me I can't remember what I ate that wasn't total garbage (because NOT just eating cheese and fries is hard!). Not getting sweet stuff would be the death of me but hopefully you can find something Whole 30 compliant that makes you feel like you're eating chips, even just for a second? Good luck!

    1. Thanks Lauren! I recently found this awesome recipe for baked sweet potato fries that I'm completely crazy about ( White potatoes are allowed on the plan in moderation, so if I get a crazy chip/fry hankering, I plan to swap out the sweet potatoes for white potatoes. I so appreciate you looking out for my chip well-being. :)

  3. Hi, Kim! Can't wait to hear how it goes! I'm a big fan of healthy "challenges" since sometimes that's the only way for me to buckle down and commit. You can do this!

    1. Thanks Kelly! I'm sure it won't be easy, but I too am a big fan of healthy "challenges," so I'm excited about it. And if you have any tips or recommendations, given your vast GF knowledge, I will gladly accept them! :)

  4. I totally remember your three days of cayenne lemon cleansing! I hope this is a far healthier and happier experience for you - and leaves you satisfied and feeling good :) looking forward to some new veggie recipes too!


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