Whole 30 Review

Here is my honest and true review of Whole 30. This is not only a testament to my experience but my boyfriend’s as well. To sum it up in one sentence: thank God it’s over! 

Did your cravings stop?

No. Every day I missed pizza & ice cream. I would sometimes tear up when I walked down the grocery aisles and saw all the food that I couldn’t eat. Not eating the food I wanted made me crave it only more. I swear I could smell a cookie from across the room.

Did you lose weight?

I did not lose any weight or body fat. My measurements were exactly the same as when I started. Rob lost 20 pounds (wooo go Rob!) His face looks so much thinner & he has noticeably shrinked in size. 

Did your skin clear up?

No. Not at all.

Did you feel more energized?

No. We felt constantly sluggish. As soon as we got home from work, we had no energy to do anything. 

Did you feel healthier? 

Not really. We didn’t have any health problems before starting, so nothing could have been “cured” by this diet change, but we didn’t feel that amazing awesome feeling of health that so many Whole 30 participants rave about. 

Were you hungry all the time?

I felt full most of the time, but Rob was always hungry & crabby for his next meal.

What benefits did you see from doing Whole 30?

Rob was so excited about his weight loss. Doing the Whole 30 also brought us closer together as a couple. We were always cooking together & doing dishes (SO MANY DISHES) together. It was a shared, horrible experience that we went through together, and it made our relationship stronger. 

Have you reintroduced food back? How do you feel?

We have reintroduced all food groups back into our diet, and we feel amazing. We have so much energy, our moods have improved immensely, and we are just so happy to be eating our favorite foods again. We feel way healthier & better now than we ever did on Whole 30. 

Will you ever do it again?


Would you recommend Whole 30 to anyone?

Despite our review, yes we would. This program might be good for you if you have some serious health or medical issues that you haven’t found a solution for yet. Make sure to ask your doctor first. If you are just a regular, semi-healthy person like us, we would never recommend it to anyone. Run away from this program. Fast. Preferably to the nearest pizza joint. Unless you like to put yourself through a month of torture. 

Whole 30 Week 2

I have officially been eating Whole 30 compliant for 2 full weeks & let me tell you IT SUCKS! Supposedly the cravings for junk food are supposed to subside, but they’re still here & raging. I miss pizza. I miss tacos. I miss pad thai. I miss ice cream. The worst part is, I don’t feel or see any difference. I thought I was supposed to gain this amazing energy or have beautifully clear skin. Welp none of that has happened. I feel exactly the same as before I started, but just more sad because I miss real food. Two good things have come out of this experience though: my boyfriend is finally convinced that I’m a stellar cook, and it’s made our relationship stronger by doing this together. Btw we are already counting down the days until pizza. 

Whole 30 Week 1

I have officially finished one week of whole 30! And boy, this was a tough week. I haven’t been hungry. I haven’t been exhausted. And I haven’t gotten headaches, but I really really really miss my old food. I don’t know if this week was particularly hard because of Easter & a girl’s night out, but I was so sad watching others eat whatever they wanted. The smell of pizza almost brought me to tears and I swear I actually drooled at a chocolate chip cookie. I almost cried grocery shopping this week, looking at all the food I couldn’t have. Though I’m basically an emotional Whole 30 mess, physically I feel fine. I haven’t experienced any unusual exhaustion or hunger. And I haven’t had a sugar withdrawal headache yet. Though I’m feeling okay, I feel basically the same as I did before starting Whole 30. I know that this is a 30 day program, and not a 7 day program so I’m going to keep on trucking through the next 3 weeks. I will be posting a food diary of my Whole 30 Pescatarian meals on my Instagram: @flourishingmel. So if you don’t follow me there yet, head on over to my page. 

Whole 30

Tomorrow my boyfriend and I are beginning the Whole 30 program. We have done our research by reading It Starts With Food and the Whole 30 book. We have also scoured their website for rules, tips, recipes, and shopping lists. We completed our grocery haul yesterday & are spending the day prepping food. Any tips or recommendations for us as we begin this program? Help would be much appreciated!


I shared a recent transformation picture on Instagram about my bulking progress and got so many questions! So I thought I’d answer some of them here!

Q: What is “bulk” and “cut”?

A: Bulking is the term for eating in a surplus. This means that you are eating more calories than you are burning. Cutting is the term for eating in a deficit. This means that you are eating less calories than you are burning.

Q: How are you bulking?

A: I am naturally a very tiny person. Before my bulk, I weighed only 98 lbs/44kg. It is extremely hard for me to gain weight, so my bulk has been about adding mass. My goal has been to gain weight in order to build more curves to my frame. I have been eating whatever I want (pizza, tacos, ice cream, etc.), while lifting heavy specific muscle groups to bodybuild for aesthetics. For example, I have really been trying to grow my glutes so I have been working out legs 3 times a week to try and gain muscle mass in this area. I also have incorporated a ton of glute isolated exercises into my workouts.

Q: What is the difference between a bulk & a lean bulk.

A: In the bodybuilding world, most people refer to bulking as eating whatever you want, with no control. This often results in a ton of weight gain which can be turned into muscle. This can be a positive if you’re looking to add a lot of size, but it can also be negative. For most people, eating junk food for months can result in a major weight increase & bloating. Weight gain can be great (I love it), but I know that everyone isn’t too excited about that. A lean bulk is still eating a surplus amount of calories, but you’re eating “clean” foods for the most part. For example, I am now lean bulking and my daily food was: 

Breakfast: Two eggs & two pieces of toast

Lunch: Protein sandwich wrap & a salad

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Veggie spaghetti noodles with tomato sauce 
Q: What is the best way to bulk?

A: Bulking is different for everyone, depending on your body. Some people put on muscle and/or weight quickly while others do not. My suggestion for those just starting out is to track your macros and see what works and what doesn’t. You can then plan accordingly.

Q: Are you focusing on eating any type of food?

A: I am not. I know that a ton of people track their macros, but honestly I don’t have the time or energy. I know my body pretty well, so I just intuitively eat. Since I am a vegetarian, I just make sure that I am eating ample amounts of protein everyday.

Q: What supplements do I use to bulk?

A: I am not using any supplements during my bulk. I do take a multivitamin everyday & occasionally use protein powder. These are both supplements that I use year round though. 

If you have anymore questions that you’d like answered, just drop a question below! 

Why RIGHT NOW is the most important time for journaling

If you’re American, like me, you know that a lot of changes are happening in our nation right now. If you live anywhere else in the world, you’re probably aware of it too. Whether you are pro or con Trump (and everything that comes with him), this is a pivotal moment in our country’s history. I started a journal the day of his inauguration to keep track of these historic events. I hope to, one day, show this diary to future generations to give them a better picture of what life was like in Trump’s America. I can’t even wrap my head around it all now, and I am living through it. This is a crucial time in our nation’s history, record it in a more permanent form than social media. 

Why I’m fighting for ACA

What is ACA? It’s the Affordable Care Act or better known as Obamacare. I know the plan isn’t perfect, but it has helped me out a great deal. I had been taking your typical birth control pill for years, but with my crazy schedule I couldn’t guarantee taking the pill within the same time frame every day. For me, it was unreliable and I wasn’t leaving my future up to chance. I started researching IUDs after my best friend got one. This is a semi-permanent birth control that is inserted through your Urethra and can last up to 5 years without any maintenance. I was sold! This sounded like the perfect birth control for an independent, busy woman. The only problem was that an IUD could cost up to $1,500. As a teacher, I didn’t have that kind of money to spend. I thought I’d go to my OBGYN and ask her if there was a way I could get it at a more reasonable price. After I explained to her my woes, she told me not to worry. Thanks to ACA my IUD was completely free! I was ecstatic. $1,500 in savings & more reliable birth control: now that’s an idea that I could get behind! If ACA is repealed, the prices of birth control will sky rocket again. I am so lucky that my IUD lasts another 4 years (perfect timing), but I want other women to be able to protect their bodies at an affordable cost just like I was able to. Do your own research, and make your own choice on this important political decision. I know where I stand.

Women’s March

This blog is basically a summation of my personal life, so I feel comfortable talking about my political views here. As a woman, special education teacher, Union member, and Unitarian Universalist: I’m a proud Democrat! I have always been passionate about politics, but have gotten many eye rolls from others about my interest in the topic. It turns out that 5 million others around the world are just as passionate as I am though! I joined the Women’s March in Chicago to stand up for the rights of all woman, and there were 250,000 others beside me. So many people showed up that we actually filled the whole pre-planned parade route. I was disappointed when the organizers told us that we couldn’t march, but women are quick problem solvers. We thought, “well we all have to leave this rally somehow. Why not march out together?” And that is exactly what we did! The mood of the day was empowerment & positivity. It lit a fire under me to continue taking action. I am so proud to be standing on the right side of (her)story! Thank you to all the men and children who also came out to support us! And a special thanks to the CPD who monitored our protest in a calm, respectful, and encouraging way. Here are some pics from the amazing day!

A Day In My Life

Every wonder what my typical day looks like? Well most of you know that I’m a full time teacher, so my weekdays are spent at school. My weekends aren’t usually for relaxation but getting everything done that I put off all week. Check out my latest Youtube Video to see a full day of eating, a physique update, and a weigh in. My YouTube channel is: Flourishing Mel!

What NEEDS To Be On Your List This Holiday!

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but these shoes are so delightful! I have been postponing getting new gym shoes for months because I couldn’t decide which brand & style would best. I knew that I needed a flat bottomed shoe for lifting, but I wanted something versatile for all workouts as well. New Balance must have read my mind because these Minimus 40 Trainers are the perfect answer! They have a ton of support & are perfect for all the booty building exercises that I’ve been doing. Put these on your holiday list ASAP or treat yo self with #NewBalanceChi10 for $10 off your order. Hurry soon because the offer ends 12/32! #newbalancechicago

This post is sponsored by New Balance x Brandbacker.