Whole 30: The Down & Dirty on Eating Clean


Blah, blah, blah – I know it’s that time of year, and we are all talking about our New Year’s Resolutions, super-deep Tabasco-sauce detoxes, and sundry, lofty goals for our next 12 lunar cycles. I’ve long been a 5’8″ walking cliche in this regard, and as I close out 2019, I’m doing it again.

Quick check-the-box rearview reflection: 2019 was a challenging, but decent year in many respects, and I’m not starting the New Year with too many woulda coulda shouldas. In fact, many cool things happened. I took the stage at a national industry convention, in fact warming it up for Vice President Mike Pence. Nate and I tried a number of new things, from mountain biking to cooking classes. I successfully gave up alcohol for almost nine months, and now enjoy a very occasional glass of wine or my favorite, a horseradish-laden bloody Mary.  I completed my third year of executive training, adding a week at Darden to my time at Cornell and Wharton. I traveled to DC, Bozeman, Charlottesville, New Orleans, Green Bay, Bayfield, Hershey, Gettysburg, Buellton, Las Vegas, and, of course, my hometown of Duluth. I got back into regular weight training and running. And at work, I’m very proud of the positive strides we’ve made and the ambitious path we are on.

I got this, Mom!

All the above said, I’m noticing, now that I’m over 40, some struggles with my energy level. There’s not doubt that the past two years have been stressful, and likely taken a toll on my formerly limitless energy. But, I also know my diet has left some room for improvement, particularly around sugar. As a former fitness competitor, I know how I should eat, but I need some structure to motivate me to actually do it.

Enter Whole 30, which I first heard about from a friend and former coworker, one of those glowy people who just radiates health. With its focus on fruits and vegetables, it seems to be a more balanced and realistic approach to a healthy reset than the only moderately successful fast I tried a couple of years ago. So, starting on that cleanest of clean-slate days, January 1, we will be giving it a go. I’ll share all the details here, from the early days of likely diarrea to the second week of bloating to the third week of “Tiger Blood,” and, of course, any weight and skin changes, because that’s what folks tend to be most interested in.

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