What is Whole30? Julie and I have been talking a lot about it recently in the Small Scale Life Facebook Group and on Instagram.  For many of you, our focus on Whole30 came out of the blue, and you are scrambling to figure out what we are up to!  Don’t worry, friends, we have you covered!  In this post and podcast episode, I discuss what we have done in the past to develop a healthy lifestyle at Small Scale Life, what is Whole30, what we are doing this month, and provide some resources for you to learn about Whole30.

You might feel that you have blown your health and fitness resolutions and goals for 2020, but we can always rise and start again.  It is what you have been waiting for:

Welcome to the Health and Fitness Renew You Part 2!

Developing a Healthy Lifestyle at Small Scale Life

Leveling Up, Next Steps, Renew You, Health and Fitness

One of the leading New Year’s Resolutions is “losing weight/start dieting.”  Unfortunately, research shows that we have trouble successfully completing our New Year’s Resolutions and by this time of the year, most of us have given up completely.  If this is you and you feel like you have failed already, I am here to tell you that it is not to late to start over. You can do it!

When I start this blog in 2015, I wanted to use it as a vehicle to help me develop my own healthy lifestyle.  If you look back at the archives, I have talked about a Swim Challenge, the Kwitchyerbellyakin Fitness Challenge, my son’s Ultra-Marathons and of course last year’s Health and Fitness Renew You.

Let’s discuss our most recent endeavor: the Health and Fitness Renew You.

Health and Fitness Renew You – 2019

4 Tips for Keeping New Year's Resolutions, Health and Fitness Renew You, Health and Fitness 

In January 2019, Julie and I rolled out the Health and Fitness Renew You Challenge. This was our intensive seven day blitz of health and fitness information focused on getting listeners and followers going on establishing a healthy lifestyle. We learned a lot going through the process, and we had a decent amount of people downloading and using the 24 Hour Plan.

The Small Scale Life 24 Hour Plan is one page sheet that helps people plan their meals and snacks.  Because we knew that the mental and spiritual side of healthy lifestyle development is sometimes neglected in different systems, we included sections in the 24 Hour Plan to write down at what you are grateful for, what/who you are praying for and what three things you wanted to complete that day.

Of course, the bottom of the Small Scale Life 24 Hour Plan had a reflection section where you look at your day once it is over and critique how you did following your plan, why you might have deviated and how you will improve in the future.  The 24 Hour Plan is pretty effective in getting yourself organized at the start of the day, and it takes a few minutes to fill out each day.



What Happened After the Health and Fitness Renew You?

24 Hour Plan, Health and Fitness Renew You, 4 Tips for Keeping New Year's Resolutions, Health and Fitness Renew You, Health and Fitness, food prepping

After the Health and Fitness Renew You wrapped up, Julie and I shifted onto Financial Freedom.  Unfortunately, we were focused on that project and other topics for most of 2019.  We did not come back into Health and Fitness until the post titled “Last Runner Standing Ultramarathon” in June 2019.

So what about our journey? What happened?  In September, Julie and I kicked it into gear as we looked toward our trip to Hawaii in December 2020.  I worked with doctors and started an Optifast diet. Optifast is essentially a liquid diet using soups, shakes and protein bars made by Nestle.  I was eating these products six times a day and only eating those products.  I started the day after Labor Day and continued until our trip to Hawaii. Even though I planned to continue in Hawaii, I had problems pre-making soy-based shakes and soups in a tropical environment.  It just was not conducive for a liquid diet!  I effectively ended the Optifast diet on December 26, 2019, and under doctor supervision, I lost about 22 pounds in the process!

Julie, on the other hand, went down a different path. She heard about Whole30 on a podcast. Julie got and read the book “It Starts with Food” and tried the Whole30 Challenge. She found that eating real food (cutting out the sugars, processed foods and alcohol) really made a difference!  She had a sharp mind, lots of energy, slept better and lost some weight in the process.  She felt great!  In fact, she decided to keep going with a “Whole30 Lite” (more of a paleo diet) after the challenge was over, and she got three other people to start the Whole30 Challenge in January.

If this has such a good impact on Jules, we better discuss what Whole30 is!

What is Whole30?


You might be wondering what Whole30 is.  To answer the question, I went to the Whole30 website which defined the program this way:

“The Whole30 is designed to change your life in 30 days—but it’s not a diet, a detox, or a weight loss program. Think of it as a short-term reset, created to help you curb your cravings and bad habits, boost your metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and calm your immune system.

For a full 30 days, you’ll completely eliminate the foods that the scientific literature and our clinical experience have deemed the most commonly problematic in one of four areas—your cravings, metabolism, digestion, and immune system. During the elimination period, you’ll experience what life is like without these commonly problematic triggers while paying careful attention to improvements in energy, sleep, digestion, mood, cravings, focus, anxiety, self-confidence, chronic pain or fatigue, athletic performance and recovery, and any number of other symptoms or medical conditions. This elimination period will leave you with a new “normal”—a healthy baseline where, in all likelihood, you will look, feel, and live better than you ever imagined you could.

At the end of the 30 days, you then carefully and systematically reintroduce those foods you’ve been missing, again paying attention to any changes in your health, habits, or mindset.”

Does this make sense?  You are cutting certain things out of your diet for 30 days to see what impact it has when you systematically add them back in after that 30 day reset.  You are experimenting….on yourself.

What is the Whole30 Challenge?

In February 2020, Julie and I decided to try the Whole30 Challenge together.  The Whole30 Challenge is actually going through the Whole30 process for 30 days.  We have eliminated sugar (real or artificial), beans, rice, processed foods, dairy and alcohol for the next 30 days. We are in the process of resetting and reprogramming our bodies and minds.

You can read the rules for this Whole30 Challenge here, and if you are thinking about doing the challenge, you should get very familiar with the rules before starting. 

So what can you eat?

We are eating a ton of vegetables!  We are also eating a lot of high quality protein (beef, venison, chicken, pork and some fish) and healthy fats (avocado and avocado oils).  I have to say that the meals have been delicious so far, and I have been very satisfied with the meals.


Food Journaling, Weekend, Renew You, Health and Fitness 

Maybe you want to learn more about Whole30 and try the Whole30 Challenge.


We encourage you to do your research first BEFORE doing or STARTING anything. This isn’t for everyone.  You need to understand what this 30 day reset is and what the rules are.

  • Whole30 Website
  • Whole30 Rules – Check these out and understand them before starting
  • Whole30 PDF Resources – THIS is a great spot to pick up food lists, shopping lists, meal templates, pantry stocking guide, travel guide and lots, lots more.  This is the link you want and need!
  • Whole30 Podcast – Catch up with the program creator Melissa Urban.
  • Whole Kitchen Sink Blog – Fellow Minnesotan Bailey used Whole30 and Paleo-type lifestyle to lose 125 pounds.  Her blog has with recipes and information that is Whole30 approved.
  • A Little Salty Podcast –Bailey and her friend Jen tag-team the podcast all about the Whole30, health and wellness.

Some Thoughts at Day 10

Renew You, Mindset, Basic Mindset, Health and Fitness

Look, I am a guy who has tried 16 different diet plans and programs to lose weight. I have had some successes and lots and lots of failures (I stand on a whole mountain of it).  Even with the latest one, I made some progress with an all-liquid diet, but that soy diet is not a “forever” lifestyle.  I need a path forward to establishing healthy habits and a sustainable lifestyle.

Whole30 is another step down the path to establishing healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. It is not a magic bullet or the final destination by any means, but it is a way to figure out WHAT exactly is happening when I put certain food my body.  I have found that I react to some foods already, and I will continue this experiment to dial it in and build my own awareness to what works and what does not.

At Day 10 of the Whole30 Challenge, I have already had some delicious meals and enjoyed the process.  I am building momentum where I haven’t had it before, and that gives me hope and gets me excited to continue.

Whole30 Food Quote; It Starts With Food

Food is a medicine, and we need to think about what, when and why we are eating.

I will continue to record and upload daily videos into the Small Scale Life Facebook Group.  I will eventually load them on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel as well.  My goal is to talk about how I am feeling, what I am eating and how I am sleeping.  Of course, I have some fun and talk about some other things as well.  If you want to see those videos, join the Small Scale Life Facebook Group today.  Answer the questions (it helps us to keep out the trolls), and I will approve you.

Some of our Team Rhino Members have just finished the Challenge, and Julie and I will interview them on the Small Scale Life Podcast.  That should be a lot of fun to talk with three other ladies who have just completed the Whole30 Challenge.

I have 20 more days left of the Whole30 Challenge. I am looking forward to how the challenge will end and how I will feel at the end of the Challenge!  So far, so good!

How about you?  Are you interested?  Do you want to try?

You might feel that you have blown your health and fitness resolutions and goals for 2020, but we can always rise and start again. We are here to Make the 20’s Roar, and being healthy is one MASSIVE step to making that happen.  Even if you have failed 16 programs and hundreds of times, you can do it.

Take a look at the materials and do your research.  Welcome to the Health and Fitness Renew You Part 2!

You can do it; we are here to help.

Remember to learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday!

Listen to this Episode!

What is Whole30; Health and Fitness Renew You 

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Special Thanks

For Small Scale Life Podcasts, I would like to thank Sean at Osi and the Jupiter for the intro song "Harvest."  Sean wrote this specifically for us, and I really enjoy all of his work.  You can find more Osi and the Jupiter at their Bandcamp site: https://osifolk.bandcamp.com/

I would also like to thank Austin Quinn at Vlog Vibes for the intro and outro music. For more information abut Austin and Vlog Vibes, please see the Vlog Vibes YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY80LeqtJf-YBzJy2TWKpDw