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! 

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!


It’s nearly impossible to grow muscle mass in a caloric deficit, so when one wants to make gains they must eat: LOTS! I have been looking to put on a couple pounds of lean muscle, so I have been eating a ton & lifting heavy. Above is a progress picture with a brief description of changes that I’ve made to my diet & workout routine.


Mac & Cheese Recipe

I loooooove mac & cheese, but I hate that artificial orangey cheese powder so I’ve been opting to make it from scratch. I’ve been working on perfecting a recipe for years, and I’ve finally gotten it. It’s even boyfriend approved which is saying a lot because he has the palette of a picky 10 year old. The best part about this recipe is that it only includes 6 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make!


1 box of pasta (I chose Banza shells)

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup white flour

2 1/2 cups of 2% milk

3 cups of shredded cheese (I used a mac & cheese blend)

season salt to taste

The Making Part

In a pot, boil pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking we’re going to work on the cheese sauce. This is a generic cheese sauce & can be used to pour over anything! Cheesy oozy goodness makes every dish better. Okay back to the cooking. Put the half stick of butter into a large skillet on medium to low heat. Let the butter melt completely. Turn the heat to low. Add in the 1/4 cup of flour and consistently whisk for a few minutes. Add in the milk, a bit at a time, while still whisking. I forgot to tell you that this mac & cheese also provides a free arm workout! After a few more minutes of whisking you should have a thick, creamy white sauce. Now sprinkle in the cheese, a cup at a time. Then whisk away until it all melts. Add seasoning salt to taste. *this requires a cheese sauce taste test. try to restrain yourself from eating it all.* Strain the al dente pasta and add it into the cheesy mixture. Coat the pasta in the cheese and enjoy!

This mac & cheese reheats really well. I make a ton on the weekend and put it in Tupperwares for a week’s worth of lunches. Or you can just devour it all in one sitting. That’s your prerogative. If you try this recipe, comment below & let me know how you like it!

November Booty Challenge

I am starting a 30 day booty challenge group on my fitness Instagram page: @melissa_fit.life

It is free & all you have to do is comment below my most recent picture to let me know that you want to join in!

Head on over to my page and we’ll whip those butts into shape just in time for the holidays!



Okay this post is going to be relatively short, but I need your help. I am in a competition to become a brand sponsor for the company Foxy Athletics. In order to move to the next round of voting, I need you to like the picture in the link below. The link will take you to my fitness Instagram: melissa_fit.life That’s it. Click on the link, double tap the picture, and your work here is done. Thank you in advance for your support. I love you all!

Competition Pic