The Whole30: An Ode To My Beloved, Creamer

May 12, 2017

The road postpartum has taken many a turn, and while I have nary a regret, there was (is!) always room for improvement. 

Enter, The Whole30 {program rules}.

Thankfully, many have traversed these waters so sourcing compliant food wasn't extremely tough, though I did spend twice as much time shopping {shopping list} reading labels and listening to Mark complain about time elapsed in said stores, along with a vehement side eye when I spent $40 on 3lbs of brisket at Whole Foods, which, in my defense I WAS TIRED OF SHOPPING.

Meal planning/doubling recipes for leftovers was key -- I found that laying out the week (which I already do with a meal pad) made the effort of preparing food, especially on busy days easier.  Also, having an emergency meal saved me.  I kept an Rx Bar + Chomps in my purse/diaper bag/work bag to stave off hunger when the day inevitably creeps into meal time. Also, I function best on 3 meals and 2 snacks (W30 is based on 3 meals), so when I pack my food for the day I always included enough food to last me until I got home.

Favorite W30 recipes {book}: Brisket, Stuffed Peppers, Chicken Meatballs (Owen loved these!), Harvest Chicken Salad (changed my salad game, forever), Pulled Pork Carnitas, Butternut Squash Swiss Chard Salad, Pesto (used as a marinade and as a sauce), Chili (added sweet potatoes). 

Tried-and-true dinners (with minor adjustments to make compliant): Spaghetti (with spaghetti squash), Sweet Potato Bake {recipe}, Smoothies (made with coconut cream/milk/water, frozen berries), hamburgers + oven baked French Fries. Plantain chips were my go-to snack.

New-to-me (brand) favorites: Tessemae's dressing (namely, black pepper -- so, incredibly yummy), 4th & Heart garlic ghee.

New-to-me (food) favorites: a variation of baked plantains*/berries with  coconut cream**, slivered almonds, coconut shreds, or fruit with coconut cream, Trader Joe's grainless granola, sliced almonds. Also, Cashew Cream.

I kept a diary for the duration (excerpt below), noting meals, general thoughts and the like to hold me accountable in addition to joining a group chat with friends (Hi girls!) also doing the W30. Having a support system was paramount for my success. The moral support (Mark ate W30 at dinner along with cooking W30 compliant, bless him) and the act of navigating the process with others in the same situation truly helped me stay the course. 

Coffee + 2tsp coconut cream

Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, coconut cream and shredded coconut

Eggs w/ ghee, bacon, avocado

Peach + epic chicken jerky (6 squares)

Banana/almond butter

Chicken meatballs + cauli rice

--- starving.

Chicken/apple sausage, egg, sweet potato + grapes + coffee/vanilla nutpod

Carrots/guac + Swiss chard/prosciutto

Brisket + baked potato/ghee

"Monkey salad"

--plan ahead. Work the plan.

Blueberry/pineapple/strawberry/coconut milk smoothie + coffee/nutpod/cinnamon


Leftover: chicken meatballs/cauliflower rice


Handful blackberries

Spaghetti squash "spaghetti

--bye, bye bloat!

 Plantain chips/coffee, cashew milk, coconut oil, nutpod


Leftovers: "spaghetti" squash

Plantain chips/carrots + guac

Sweet potato/onion/bell pepper/chicken sausage

--dear creamer, I miss you.

Coffee/nutpod/cashew milk + leftover from dinner/chicken meatball

(catered lunch) Rotisserie chicken/romaine/red leaf/egg/dbl bacon/tomato

Dried Mango


Plantains/coconut cream/almonds/shredded coconut.

-froth the milk! I can do this...

Coffee/nutpod/cashew milk

Eggs/spinach scramble avocado/bacon/fruit

Burger/tomato (at the Cardinals Game) worst. burger. ever.

Plantain chips.

-I mindlessly ate a French fry 😩 

Lessons learned: dairy and grains does not need to encompass every meal. Going without creamer will not kill you, contrary to what you feel in your heart of hearts. Mindless munching is the devil (see french fry incident).  Bottom line, make intentional, mindful eating decisions based on actual hunger. Non-Scale Victories: goodbye bloat, hello muscle tone! Clothes/rings fit looser, digestive regularity, no am (or pm!) fog. Scale Victories: 1.6lbs. Glory.

I'd definitely revisit the W30 again (quarterly?) and plan to reintroduce foods as the delicious dish arises. At the start I did have some disordered thoughts towards dining out because I was travelling for work and had to (group meals and the like). Once I took a breath, there were a lot of salads without dressing and bunless burgers. Shocker, that got old quickly, so I found the most W30 items on the menu and rolled with it. Smoothies are W30 frowned upon but if I had to consume one more egg I'd surely have an emotional breakdown, so, blended compliant fruit and sanity it was. Save for any dairy snuck into my meals while dining out, the aforementioned french fry incident and once, when Mark made non complaint frozen burgers (I didn't realize this until after dinner) I stayed complaint and the only thing I truly missed deeply, and profoundly was my beloved non dairy (albeit sugar ladden) creamer. I'm happy to report we've since be reunited  (using 1/3 creamer, 2/3 unsweetened non dairy milk -- look at me, so evolved) and it feels so, so good. 

Have you ever done the Whole30?

*Baked Plantains: peel, slice, toss in coconut oil/ghee and bake (350' or 375') until soft.

**Coconut Cream: put a can coconut milk in fridge overnight, open can (carefully!) and skim off The cream that rose to the top of a can {more info on cashew milk vs. cream, here}.


  1. coffee creamer would be a tough elimination for me too! Did you exercise during this time? Has it helped your metabolism since you completed the program? I'm trying to lose the last 10lbs of baby weight which is stubbornly staying put

    1. I did workout, though in all honesty it wasn't more than my usual (I'll post my workouts during W30 soon!). W30 definitely helped with sloughing off excess "fluff" on my face, arms and midsection most notably.

  2. I give the biggest props to anyone who can do W30. My life basically revolves around bread and cheese.... Oh, and creamer. So much creamer.


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