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#SwansonChallenge Update: Week One of Whole30

With one week down and three to go, the bloggers and I started off strong and continue to work with the Whole30 guidelines as outlined in It Starts with Food. Let’s check in for a little more detail on how things are progressing.



One week down on my first Whole30 and I’m going strong! I went into this process feeling motivated and ready to re-dedicate myself to whole, real food eating. Like I mentioned in my introduction, I have already been eating mostly paleo before starting Whole 30, so it hasn’t been a big shock to my body or mind. I needed this challenge, though, to keep me accountable and focused on why I want to eat this way. I want to be STRONG and HEALTHY for life and be the best I can be.  I want to continue my healing journey and repairing of my body. Our bodies take quite the beating if you think about it. Whether it be due to food, physical activity, stress, poor sleep, environmental facts, or all of the above, we go through a lot. I am thinking that Whole30 will be a great way to lessen the load… a reset!   

Thoughts So Far:

I am definitely missing my paleoified treats. I expected that much in the first week at least! They say it takes 2 weeks to make a habit so I’ll get back to ya. To make up for treats, I am focusing on slightly bigger portions of my main meals. If I really need something sweet, a piece of fruit and coconut butter has been pretty satisfying.  A couple dates with nut butter (cashew is my favorite) or solid coconut oil is perfect, too.

Once I started Whole30, I said “see ya later” to my brown rice protein powder as well. I am a busy college student, and protein powder has been super easy for me to use. At this point, I do wish I could have some to simplify things (plus I just like it!), but I will keep faithful and continue on without it. Nuts or freshly sliced turkey have replaced the protein powder for now!

Here are a few highlights of my eats from the first week:


Pastured eggs, plantains, and arugula all cooked in coconut oil.


Pastured local bacon, chicken, cauliflower, coated in spices and ghee, then roasted. Topped with green onion and avocado.



Sweet potato and lamb cottage pie (find recipe link on my Instagram!).



Whole30 friendly BBQ shredded chicken and broccoli, and a sweet potato with ghee.



Ground bison and broccoli slaw cooked in ghee and topped with mashed avocado and organic arugula.




Hello everyone!

As I take on new challenges, I always like to look back to see how far I have come. Although it’s only been a week, it’s a great way to stay accountable and celebrate successes, no matter how big or small they may be!

The things I love about following the Whole30 challenge so far are:


Eating the rainbow! (And I don’t mean the Skittles kind!)
When I look at a plate that is filled with the proper nutrients it excites me, but when it is also filled with the colors of the rainbow? It’s a major bonus!  I know my body is getting the proper fuel to thrive.

Participating in the challenge with others!
I have read that changing your lifestyle with others is motivation, and it certainly is. I love scrolling through social media and getting ideas from others who are participating in the Whole30 challenge. Swanson Vitamins has a great Pinterest board dedicated to Whole30 eats, and Instagram is a wonderful way to share meal ideas with others. I also hope that the photos that I post inspire others to eat real, whole food!

Trying new foods!

I have to say a big thank you to Swanson Vitamins for the opportunity to learn more about myself and try new foods! Thanks to their awesome prices, I finally picked up a jar of coconut butter and I have no idea why I waited so long. My favorite way to enjoy coconut butter? Melted and warmed with walnuts on top of a banana!


So far the only part that has been difficult this week is just not starting my morning with oatmeal. As my workday starts pretty early, overnight oats has been a staple! This week it has all been about adapting and food prepping over the weekend which helped to make my mornings easy still!




It might sound like a lie considering what Whole30 entails, but I love this challenge! As stated in the initial post, I’m on this journey to really challenge myself with food and form a healthy relationship with it. While it’s only been a week, I can say that this challenge has somehow been easier for me than expected. I thought I’d be miserable, but I have yet to feel that way. I did feel a little stomach sick for a couple hours on days two and three, but that has since passed. My skin has also cleared up a little, and my digestive system doesn't hate me as much after eating.

One big change relates to energy and sleep. I wish I could say it has skyrocketed, but that’s not the case, at least not yet. I’m usually the sort of person who is tired throughout the day. The difference between a normal energy slump and a Whole30 energy slump is that I’m actually able to quickly fall asleep at night now instead of tossing and turning for up to an hour, sometimes longer. I’m confident that my energy will go up in time, but for now I’m grateful for better sleep.

An interesting takeaway from week one was the food dream I had on the second night. I was in the grocery store with my sister, but she’d gone off somewhere, leaving me alone in the bakery. I found a table of free bread samples (think Aladdin loaf chunks – hardly a sample!). Halfway through eating it, I remembered I was doing Whole30 and just failed by eating bread. Shame set in. I quickly ate the rest of the bread chunk before my sister could return, which in turn made me feel even more guilty. I’ve been told that food dreams are a normal part of Whole30. The best part about this story is that I didn’t crave any bread when I woke up. I didn’t want anything close to it. I wanted to eggs and vegetables I ended up making that morning. Several days later, that’s still what I want.

Speaking of food, here are a few of my meals from week one:


Coconut shrimp with Brussels sprouts. I used Swanson Coconut Shreds. (Recipe Source: Neal Ink)



Guacamole deviled eggs. (Recipe Source: Ari's Menu)



Bunless turkey burgers on a field of victory... I mean spinach. (Recipe Source: A Spoonful of Family)


Make sure to also check out these wonderful bloggers as they work through their own Whole30 challenges:


What would be hardest for you to give up during Whole30?

Have you ever had a food dream during Whole30 or a similar challenge?


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