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whole 30

What I learned during #Whole30

A little over a month ago, I had a really rough day. I couldn’t walk straight, my head was all over the place and I got really, REALLY scared about what was going on. I told Aunt Sarah, and she asked what I’d had to eat that day. The answer was… not much.

I shared about my food intolerances last month, but I didn’t get around to telling you something that had happened over Labor Day weekend. I had a gall bladder attack. The first time since I went to the ER two years ago. and I was so emotionally distraught over it. I’d made each decision on my own – the ice cream, the cheese… I made every choice. But I responded by avoiding all food.

It was a Friday. By Sunday, I had made my decision, and stocked up. I was going to start Whole 30. I’d been researching it, and it seemed like a really good move for where I was at.

Can I just say that I NEVER finish anything that I start? Haha. I knew that, so I didn’t make my Whole 30 journey very public. I wrote about it a few times on Instagram, but aside from that I didn’t publicize it.

But I made it. I finished Whole 30, and I am SO PROUD of myself. Here’s what I learned:

  • I can eat the same thing every day. Literally. Eggs with peppers + chicken apple sausage for breakfast, and either a Trader Joe’s Chili Lime burger w/guac or chicken + asparagus for lunch or dinner.
  • There is SO MUCH freedom in restriction. So much so that after two days off of Whole30… I’m starting again. I suddenly had ALL THE CHOICES IN THE WORLD and couldn’t figure out what to eat. Don’t want to go back to that.
  • Avoiding sugar isn’t as awful as you’d think. There were definitely days when I wanted a cookie. Right now, I could probably eat either a cookie or a BIG SCOOP of cookie DOUGH (which is actually better than cookies, can I get an amen??) but I don’t NEED to have it. I will survive without it.
  • Creamer isn’t as important as the experience of handcrafted espresso beverages. When I finally got the creamer back, I was slightly underwhelmed. What I was REALLY missing was the opportunity to get mochas. Mochas are my ultimate love language, I guess.
  • Food affects my emotions. Aside from the few days leading up to and through my period (which are just the worst, no matter what), I FELT emotionally well. I felt less irritable or cranky or sad. I just felt better.
  • Eating food is the secret to losing weight…. but eating the RIGHT food. I KNOW I KNOW… I’m not supposed to weigh myself on Whole 30, but I did because I was SO SCARED I’d be gaining tons of weight because I was eating more often. But I didn’t! I actually lost about 11 lbs (which means total I’ve lost 54 lbs). I just need to work on eating the correct foods.
  • Coconut oil has a lot of calories. Ghee doesn’t. Just saying.
  • WHOLE 30 IS FREAKING EXPENSIVE. I’ve started to figure out what foods I really like (mashed sweet potatoes, hello!) so going to the store is a little easier… it also helps that I basically cannot purchase anything that is within the inner aisles of the grocery store, just what’s on the outside in the produce and meat areas. But you know what? I’m okay with that.
  • Like I mentioned.. today I went to the store and stocked up on Whole30 approved foods, because tomorrow I’m going at it again.

Have you done Whole 30? Tell me.Β 


ps sorry not sorry this post has no pictures.

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How Whole 30 affected my coffee habits

You guys. Today is DAY 31.

That means I’ve completed Whole 30!

I celebrated by having a dish-less breakfast. I grabbed a KIND bar. My favorite kind, the toasted oats + honey one. and it was disappointing. It wasn’t as full of flavor as I’d expected. It didn’t hit any special spot. It almost felt like a waste of a chance to eat something.


Whole 30 has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I’d like to write an entire post about that, but I want to tell you about how it affected one of the deepest parts of my being: my coffee drinking habits.

Prior to Whole 30, I was a lots of creamer in my coffee before I bought my mocha kind of girl. I was like “I like coffee but I don’t know if it’s ever good or bad,” and I realized that’s because I wasn’t actually taking the time to drink COFFEE; I was drinking a whole bunch of sugar and dairy-alternatives mixed with some coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I can down a black cup of joe from a diner like nobody’s business but that’s mostly for the mental release of drinking a cup of coffee.

For the past 30 days, I’ve toyed with my coffee. I’ve put ghee in it (so weird), coconut milk, coconut milk and cacao nibs, coconut milk and pumpkin puree, cinnamon… any and everything I could dream up to blend into a cup of coffee, I blended into a cup of coffee.

But sometimes that’s exhausting, and I have finally learned to enjoy a cup of black coffee.

heirloom coffee //

I received this bag of coffee from Heirloom Coffee, and this is when I first realized how much Whole 30 has affected my taste for coffee.

For the first time, I was able to think about the quality of what I was drinking – it wasn’t just some random bag of coffee that tasted just like the next one. It tasted unlike anything I’d ever had before. I’m not quite “there” enough to be able to say it had “hints of blueberry” or anything, but it was a full, flavorful cup of coffee. It was also STRONG, which we all know I need in the mornings.

When I was researching Heirloom Coffee, I saw that they also offer UNROASTED coffee beans, which blows my mind.Β One of the ideas I’ve come across for making Christmas gifts is to roast your own coffee beans. I had no idea of where to get unroasted coffee beans, but now I do.

I’ve driven through Starbucks to order drip coffee (all the while dreaming of trying the TOASTED GRAHAM LATTE – tell me people… worth it??) and have stopped to really think about what roast I wanted. I’ve slowly sipped my way to the last drop of cups of coffee because I cherish it in a new way.

I think a lot of the point of whole 30 is just to get you thinking about what you’re putting in your mouth. Since coffee is an everyday thing, I noticed the change there the most. I’m glad to be entering into this whole new world of a deep appreciation for the taste and flavors of coffee.

ps I received this coffee in exchange for a review because of my participation with Tomoson.

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Whole 30 Mocha

** By name, this is SWYPO. But if you read the ingredients, none of this is sugary or sweet. The secret is less in the ingredients and more in the method – the blending to make froth. The same would happen if you just added ghee and cinnamon, coconut oil and nutmeg. This, in no way, satisfies a sweet tooth. It just offers an additional method for making Whole 30 approved coffee. **

If there’s anything you need to know about me, it’s that I love mochas. I mean, I love coffee but I REALLY love mochas. That’s the hardest part of Whole30 for me. Like yeah I want a cookie, but I wouldn’t want a cookie as much if I could just have a mocha. The #whole30 instagram feed has been SO HELPFUL for me as I’ve been navigating Whole 30; I’ve been encouraged and inspired (and able to encourage others!) and I’ve seen so many great ideas.

So when I saw someone had posted a Whole 30 Mocha, I freaked. Up to that point, I’d tried coconut milk with cinnamon, and ghee with cinnamon… and I discovered that this Whole 30 Mocha was perfect for me.

First things first, though. It’s Whole 30. This isn’t comparable to a Starbucks mocha. It’s not super sweet, because.. well.. duh. Whole 30. BUT! It is ULTRA FROTHY, which I find helps me feel fancier about drinking it. It plays tricks with my mind so I’m not thinking I’m enslaved to black coffee.

Whole 30 Mocha //

The steps to this are going to be so incredibly simple.

First. You’ll need 4 things.

  1. brewed coffee
  2. coconut milk (in a can… the carton kind isn’t whole 30 compliant)
  3. cacao nibs OR the Chocolate Powder from Wild Foods Co.Β (find them on Amazon)… they also have GREAT coffee. My fave is Lumberjack!
  4. a blender

Whole 30 Mocha ingredients //

After getting your ingredients, pour some coconut milk into your blender and add some cacao nibs. I usually use two pinch-fuls. So half a tablespoon. It’s up to you. Pour some of your freshly brewed coffee on top. Again… up to you the amounts. I’m not good at dictating how much of anything, because everyone’s tastebuds are different.

Whole 30 mocha // stephanieorefice.netThen.. BLEND!!! The longer you blend, the frothier it gets. Also, the longer you blend, the more the cacao nibs separate… and yeah cacao nibs are cute and all, but I prefer mine as smooth as possible.

Whole 30 mocha // stephanieorefice.netPour it into a cup, and you’ve got a frothy mug full of Whole 30 compliant mocha.

Whole 30 mocha //

You might also enjoy this recipe:


Whole 30 Apricot Lara Bar //


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