Miss you, ice cream.

By Blake Bakkila
January 18, 2018

It’s Day 11 on the Whole30, and I am still waiting for co-creator Melissa Hartwig to walk through the Real Simple office and present me with some sort of award for my bravery. In the meantime, I’ll share what it’s like to go without major (not to mention, beloved) food groups like sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes for nearly two weeks.

Days 10 and 11 are when most Whole30ers call it quits. We will call these individuals Whole10ers (or perhaps One-Third30ers?). As a Whole11er myself, I can honestly say it hasn’t been easy.

Here’s what Hartwig has to say about it: “It will change the way you think about food. It will change your tastes. It will change your habits and your cravings. It will restore a healthy emotional relationship with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life.”

Oof. That’s a lot to promise a person who co-created a six-stop ice cream crawl across Manhattan just a few months ago. But for the sake of health, challenging myself, and now journalism, I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about. And last Tuesday, my coworker pals and I decided to go on this reportedly “life-changing” journey together.

The key? Meal prep and cooking. My weaknesses? Meal prep and cooking. Combined with a canceled and then rescheduled flight, my first day on the Whole30 required taking a few too many laps around our office cafeteria. Finding something that has no added sugar (not even honey!), dairy, or prohibited oils (EVOO is my new best friend) adds a few minutes to every menu scan or grocery store trip.

Here’s a breakdown of this life-changing journey—pre-life change:

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