I’m so excited to share Cameron’s Whole30 results with you! The Olive You Whole girls have been oogling over her delicious eats which she posts to Instagram: @freckledfoodienyc. We can’t decide which meal is our favorite :)
And if you’re inspired by Cameron’s story to start your own Whole30 journey, I can’t suggest enough that you start by getting this book + cookbook! It has all of the Whole30 program guidelines plus 150 easy and delicious compliant meals!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hello! I’m Cameron, a 25 year old living in NYC. I work in finance full time but am obsessed with all things food: restaurants, cooking, reading menus, exploring food blogs, etc. You name it, I love it. Over the past couple of years I have found myself spending more and more of my free time in my kitchen experimenting with new ingredients and creating new recipes. There is nothing that makes me happier than cooking a great meal and enjoying it with the people I love. Aside from cooking, I enjoy traveling, running, exploring NYC, reading and, most recently, yoga.
Where/when did you first hear about Whole30?
My older sister partook in Whole30 four years ago and I thought she was absolutely crazy. I had just graduated from college and I couldn’t fathom the idea of giving up all of the food groups I loved, let alone booze, for 30 days. Her 30 days came and went and although she told me how great she felt, I decided to ignore her success in denial that I could ever feel those things simply because I couldn’t fathom going a week without ice cream.
When was your Whole30?
March 1-30, 2017
What was the biggest challenge you overcame during Whole30?
Besides the obvious response of not drinking, not having sweets, and no carbs for 30 days, reflecting back on my 30 days the thing I struggled with most was not what I expected. My largest struggle was dealing with the foods that I always viewed as “healthy”, and thoroughly enjoyed, that I was no longer able to have. The best example of this is the non-gluten grain component: oats, quinoa, rice, etc. Although prior to my Whole30 I did not consume a lot of gluten, I was very reliant on these grains without ever realizing it. Not to say these foods are not healthy, but eliminating food groups like this for 30 days exemplify how they may be negatively affecting your body without ever realizing or considering them as a culprit.
What are some of the Non Scale Victories you experienced?
The energy I had was like nothing I could have ever imagined. After the first week, I was waking up bright eyed and felt 100% throughout the entire day until I went to bed that night. I have always considered myself a morning person so I was skeptical of these “newfound energy levels” that I read about. But this feeling is like nothing you ever knew existed! Besides from this spike in energy, I was finally able to go through a full day without stomach pain for the first time in over a year. My intestinal issues were what originally led me to partake in Whole30 and I can safely say I have never gone so long with so few stomachaches or problems. While I was not pain free for the entirety of this process, it was a severe upgrade from where I was prior to beginning this program. Aside from these two things, the largest victory I experienced during Whole30 was planning and prepping 99% of my meals. As someone who loves the restaurant scene in NYC and dines out for brunch or dinner at least three to four times a week, I was nervous about how much I would miss this lifestyle. I am proud to say that during my 30 days there were only TWO meals I ate that I did not prepare. It took a lot of organization, time, and effort, but it was all extremely worth it. To further on this point, during my 30 days I definitely stepped outside my comfort zone in the kitchen and cooked with new ingredients / flavors and created new recipes that I never would have otherwise.
What was your scale victory?
I am a firm believer in physically feeling your health versus simply reading a number on a scale so I do not know my scale victory. I did not weigh myself prior, during, or after. However, I do know that I felt extremely less bloated, lighter, slimmer, and overall healthier.
Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone currently doing a Whole30?
You can do it!! It is an incredibly daunting and intimidating process but if you are at all considering Whole30, I strongly encourage it. You will never know how differently you can feel until you finally give it a shot. You are stronger, more determined, and embody more discipline than you know. Take the leap! I do recommend, however, that you find someone or multiple people to join you on this journey. It is incredibly helpful to have an outlet to complain to on those days where you are craving food you didn’t even know you enjoyed or to high five at the finish line.
What is something you wished you had known before starting Whole30?
I wish I had been more prepared for the consistent questioning from people who found out I was partaking in Whole30. While I could talk about it for days on end to anyone who is interested in partaking, I was surprised by how many people passed judgment on my decision to do this and who asked me questions in a bit of a negative tone. Although none of this changed my opinion on the program or my decision to participate, it was frustrating at times. As a piece of advice to anyone who is considering partaking in Whole 30 and will without a doubt experience these questions (ex: “You’re not drinking for how long?? Are you crazy!?”), just remember that this is your decision and your opinion should be the only one who’s matters! Also, the Whole30 book timeline is frighteningly on point. How it is possible for them to pinpoint your emotions almost to the tee, I will never understand, but use this book as your bible. Lastly, be prepared for absurdly weird food dreams. This sounds absurd, but they are real! You will have a night or two where you dream about food you didn’t even know you enjoyed.
Are there any specific meals or recipes you loved during your Whole30?
- Recipes I created that I loved (and are featured on my instagram – @freckledfoodienyc – and my soon to be blog)
- Burgers in collard green wraps with sweet potato fries and homemade spicy mayonnaise
- Turkey or beef meatballs with zucchini noodles and red sauce
- Salmon burgers in collard green wraps with toasted sesame cabbage and a mango avocado salsa
- Sweet potato egg boats with crispy kale and bacon
- Turmeric and thyme crispy chicken thighs with vegetables
- Pork chops with roasted carrot and butternut squash soup
- Soft boiled eggs (so simple, but never something I made prior to this)