5 ways to fail your Whole 30

Five Ways to FAIL your Whole 30 - great tips for anyone considering the Whole 30 - a must read!
So you’re thinking about trying the Whole 30? 
I say “Go for it!” But not without a little prep work first.  And I don’t just mean an all out Pinterest worthy meal prep session – although that wouldn’t hurt… 
Read on for the 5 most crucial tips to not failing your Whole 30.  And then, onward to a healthier you!

Mistake #1 Not reading the book

The list of restrictions for a Whole 30 is widely available on the internet for free.  Just skip dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, and alcohol for a full month.  Simple, right?  Not so much…  If the only thing you did was avoid those five things, you could still totally miss the point (and the benefits) of doing a Whole 30. 
The science behind why you’re eliminating those foods is fascinating.  And, especially if you’re dealing with chronic health issues, it’s incredibly motivating to understand how much your diet impacts the way your body functions well beyond the digestive system.
Also, as I’ll expand on below, it’s totally possible to eat 100% compliant foods and do it in entirely the wrong way.  The books helps you understand why you’re eating these foods and what proportions they should be consumed in.  Don’t be fooled, Pinterest is full of recipes that are “Whole 30 compliant” but are specifically mentioned in the book as recipes to avoid during your Whole 30.  As they say “a pancake is a pancake.” (Spoiler alert: pancakes are not Whole 30 compliant.)

Mistake #2 T-minus 29 days and counting…

This piggybacks onto the first mistake.  Whole 30 isn’t meant to be a random 30 day test of discipline or weight loss trick that you try after all your Facebook friends have posted about it.  It’s so much more than that!  It’s a way to commit one month to giving your body a rest from all of the things that might be adversely affecting you, then slowly reintroducing them one by one to evaluate whether or not each food should be a part of your long term diet. 
If you enter in to Day 1 simply counting down until your next binge, you’re missing the point.  It’s a chance to retrain your taste buds, retrain your brain, and form new habits.  It’s a really well thought out plan for finding the healthiest long term diet for you.  Including changing your perspective on “treats”.  I won’t ruin the surprise (since I know you’re going to read the book now) but I promise that the new perspective is NOT all treats are evil.  🙂

Mistake #3 Failing to plan

I imagine that a lot of people get a few days into their Whole 30 and think “this is just too much work!”  It certainly can require a lot more prep work and cooking time than you might be used to.  But I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Truer words have never been spoken. 
Sure, sometimes you’ll enjoy spending time in your kitchen chopping and peeling and stirring and sauteeing and roasting, but sometimes you’ll just need food asap with little to no effort.  If you haven’t planned ahead for these moments, you’re setting yourself up to fail. 
You have to rethink convenience foods, since the vast majority of prepackaged foods aren’t compliant.  Some of my new favorites were fritatta slices and spaghetti squash with a hearty meat sauce.  Both were easy to prep a large batch of and package in single servings to pull out of the fridge and pop into the microwave when needed.  I also kept a stash of leftover roasted veggies that I could quickly crisp up in a pan with some coconut oil or ghee. 

Mistake #4 Being afraid of fat

If you are 30 or older, you probably grew up with a not-so-healthy fear of fat.  After saturated fat was linked to high cholesterol and heart disease, grocery store shelves filled up with “fat-free” and “reduced fat” options of your favorite foods.  Today, there is plenty of science debunking that theory, but the effects on our perspective remains. 
Back to Mistake #1 – read the book.  Learn which fats are good for you and why.  And study the “meal map” section to learn how much of them you need to be eating.  If you skimp on the fat, you will be miserable and spend hours daydreaming of brownies and french fries and everything you can’t have.  Your body needs this fat.  My most difficult days during Whole 30 were when I stopped thinking about this and absent mindedly ate too many low fat meals without taking care to add in a good dose of healthy fat.  

Mistake #5 Overloading on nuts and fruits

Nuts and fruits are both perfectly compliant, however, they are meant to be consumed in smaller portions than your meat and veggies.   There are plenty of recipes for “Whole 30 granola” made with nuts and coconut flakes, but they need to be used with discretion.  A small bowl of grain free granola with coconut milk along with a hearty plate of eggs and veggies sounds great.  But if the granola and non-dairy milk is your whole breakfast, that’s not really a Whole 30 meal.  (Why not? Read the book…)

The same thing goes for faux baked goods made with compliant ingredients.  Even though these are specifically listed as non-compliant in the book – it’s not hard to see that many of these recipes contain a much higher level of fruits and nuts than recommended. 

And that’s it!  As my husband would say, you can do anything for 30 days.  And I promise you’ll be glad you did!


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Freebie Friday – Motivation & Inspiration

Happy Friday,  y’all! Here’s a little printable motivation to carry you through…

As always, double click to open the full size image, right click to save. 🙂Free printables! Free printables! Free printables!

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The Only PUPPP’s Rash Cure That Actually Works

The ONLY cure for PUPPP that actually works! If you're pregnant and itchy, you must try this remedy!


If you are pregnant and suffering with PUPPP, read on!  This was the only PUPPP’s rash cure that actually worked for me…

Y’all, I have twins.  They are awesome and amazing and wonderful, but my pregnancy with them was NOT.  I was sick as a dog and didn’t want to do anything but sleep.  Fortunately, I wasn’t working at the time, because I honestly don’t think I could have held down a job.  My husband jokes that he would leave for work while I was asleep in bed, then come home and I’d be asleep on the couch.   I’d wake up to ask for food, then move back to the bed and sleep again.  Only it’s not a joke!  That was pretty much the story of my first trimester. 

Second trimester was a lot easier and more enjoyable, that is – until the itching started.

Here’s the really really cruel thing about PUPPP – it always starts with itchy stretchmarks, and guess what normally happens when you get stretchmarks?  They itch!  So you google, and everything seems normal and fine – just go get some heavy duty lotion and take an oatmeal bath…

But then it gets worse.  And worse.  Until finally – it starts to spread.  Just a little at first, like “hey, that’s not a stretch mark, why’s it itchy?” But it soon progresses to covering various parts of your body and driving you absolutely insane.

What is puppp anyway?

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.  Which roughly translates to itchy-scratchy-rashy-itchy-misery.  It occurs most commonly in women who are pregnant for the first time or carrying multiples.  It usually begins in the third trimester and doesn’t resolve until after you’ve given birth.

The ONLY cure for PUPPP that actually works! If you're pregnant and itchy, you must try this remedy!Here is a (really poor quality) photo of my arm when I had PUPPP.  (But really, who wants to look at rashes in high definition?  You can thank me for this out of focus moment later.) At this point, I didn’t even like to go out in public.  Full body rashes have yet to come into fashion and tend to make people squirm a little. 

I was trying everything under the sun to find some relief.  Lotions, oatmeals, pine tar soap – yes, pine tar soap! It wasn’t even the vanity thing, it was just the relentless itchiness!  I still have scars on my belly from scratching too violently.  I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and go sit in an ice cold bath just for a moment’s respite.

I’d read countless stories from women who’d even tried prescription steroids to no avail. 

But wait –  There’s hope!

In my desperation – I finally found something that actually works!  And if I ever doubted the legitimacy of herbal remedies, this made me a believer.  I watched the rash (that had plagued me for weeks) disappear completely.

I’m not trying to sell you anything – I won’t make a dime if you try this.  But if you’re reading this because you’ve been claimed by the dreadful PUPPP – I just don’t want you to itch for any longer than you absolutely have to.  So, it’s going to sound a little crazy, but just trust me.

The ONLY cure for PUPPP that actually works! If you're pregnant and itchy, you must try this remedy!Dandelion Root.  I’m not even kidding.  Grab a bottle at a health food store or order it on Amazon.  You have to take the maximum recommended dose and it will take almost 7 days before you start to see results (in which time, you might just feel like a crazy person, but what do you have to lose? Other than the rash!).

Here’s my warning: When you’re rash is gone and you run out of dandelion root, DO NOT STOP TAKING IT! Go buy another bottle.  If you stop, your rash will come back and it will take another 7 days before you get relief.  Don’t ask me how I know…


Are you a PUPPP’s sufferer?  What week in your pregnancy did it show up? Have you tried anything else that worked for you?

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How to survive a LONG flight with kids

How to Survive a Flight With Little Ones - Tips from a mom who's traveled the world with her 3 kids in tow... AWESOME link to free printables!!!When my twins were 5 and my youngest was not yet 3, I flew with them from Dallas to Shanghai.  Alone.

I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.  My husband was already in Shanghai and we had arranged for a helper to accompany me but there was a last minute problem with the plane tickets.  Over the course of the most stressful 48 hours of my life, we had rescheduled tickets, had tickets canceled, and had new tickets charged to the tune of $93,000.  When we finally got it all straightened out, the flight we needed to be on had exactly 4 seats left.  Me + my 3 small children…

So I did it. Almost 20 hours of traveling, and you know?  It wasn’t terrible. I was even able to film little snippets of it, which you can watch below… (skip to the 2 minute mark if you want to see the delirium hitting)

Pretty cute, huh?

So how do you survive your flight with your little ones???

  • Reserve a seat near the bathroom on the plane.  This way, if you have multiple kiddos, you can help one get to the bathroom and still keep an eye on the others/not be too far away from anyone with a little separation anxiety. Arrange the seats so that you and your littles can get in and out of the row without making others get up.  It will feel like you’re making a million bathroom trips and it will be soooo much easier if you feel like you aren’t disturbing someone each time you go. 
  • Bring an empty sippy cup for each child.  These stackable Take and Toss cups are great – they come in a variety of sizes plus you can choose sippy top or straw top. They are super light, and since they stack nicely – you can stick them all in your purse and pull them out when the beverage service starts.  Because let’s be real, on a plane – even most grown ups could use a lid! (Also, take as many bottles of water as they’ll give you, as often as you can.  Nothing’s worse than waiting on a flight attendant with a whiny “I’m thirsty, mama” child threatening to turn into that kid if not attended to in time.
  • Think LIGHT & SMALL for your carry-on items.  Even though kids are allowed a carry-on suitcase and personal item, I highly recommend that each of you only bring ONE small, light bag.  Take one carry-on suitcase for the entire family if it’s really necessary, but if you have any layovers – you’ll most likely be carrying the bulk of whatever you brought, so make sure it’s manageable.
    Also, it’s important to think light & small for your kids activities (suggestions below!!!) for a few reasons.  I made some rookie mistakes on that flight that I’ll never repeat.  These printable activities below?  I organized them all in super cute binders for each child and was oh so proud of myself.  Until we got on the plane and tried to use them.  Those airplane trays are smaller than you think.  Trust me.  If you want to make a binder, get one of those tiny adorable ones.  Then print your activities in a landscape 2-up layout, that way you can cut them in half and hole punch them for your tiny binder.  Or just don’t do a binder.  Whatever.
  • If you’re worried about a kid who won’t stay buckled (why the heck are airplane seatbelts so easy for kids to unbuckle?!?!?!? I mean, in an emergency, I’m sure it’s great, but if you want my kid to stay buckled for 15+ hours – a little help, please!) Where was I? Oh yeah, if you’re worried about that.  Grab a super fun, printed pair of knee socks and cut off the toes.  Slip the sock over one end of the seatbelt, buckle, and stretch the sock out to cover the whole thing up.  Out of sight, out of mind. 
  • Last but not least, you can’t have too many snacks.  Who knows if your kid will eat the airplane food, so it’s always good to have back up just in case.  I made single serving tubs of awesome combos like goldfish and raisins, pretzels and m&m’s, oh – and I brought snack baggies of straight up marshmallows for when the going got rough.  Hey man, you do what you’ve gotta do.

You can totally do this.  And these free printables will help! 

Robots-CollageThis awesome robot coloring page!  photo courtesy: dabblesandbabbles.com

farm-animal-finger-puppet-cat-mouseFarm Animal Finger Puppets!!! and so, so much more on this site… photo courtesy: mrprintables.com

Have them try drawing silly expressions on these blank faces… photo courtesy: dabblesandbabbles.com

Made-by-Joel-Paper-City-Vehicles-3This site has tons of amazing Paper City printables! photo courtesy: Madebyjoel.com

Hey there, friend!   If you liked this post, I bet your friends would too – be sure to click one of the buttons below to share it with them. Thanks a million!



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