Before & After

Hello and welcome to The Freckled Foodie πŸ™‚ If you found me by Googling “whole30 before and after” you are not alone! Many people find me this way and hopefully you, like many of them, decide to jump in feet first on changing your life with a Whole30! If you have questions feel free to leave a comment below or email me through my contact page!

Originally my before and after was solely based on my first Whole30 that I completed in October 2012. Β After I finally felt good enough to go back and look at pictures at my heaviest I decided to update. Β My Whole30 before and after are still here but I now have a few pictures of my heaviest and where I am at now! Β It astounds me that I looked the way I did… I was unhappy at that point and didn’t fit into any of my clothes but wasn’t willing to stop drinking or change my eating habits because I was a senior in college. Β Yes, I had some amazing experiences and wouldn’t go back and change it, but I wish I had just thought *a little more* about my health and well-being.


It’s never too late, so more than four years later I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been! Β No more feeling crappy and bloated, no more intense gym workouts leaving me craving chocolate peanut butter protein shakes… Just real food and real happiness πŸ™‚

2010: Heaviest, low point… drank and ate way too much and didn’t work out AT ALL. Β I never realized what I really looked like at this point but I know I felt awful.

paleo transformation

paleo transformation

paleo transformation










2011: Started working out A LOT and started changing my diet and counting calories. Low fat, low calorie, but I pushed healthier options off my plate everyday for “treats” that I “deserved” for working out. I remember seeing this picture of me in white the day after and thinking “I look better” but I don’t really think that was true in hindsight. Β At least I felt better at this point.

paleo weight loss

whole30 weight loss









2012: I kept at it, working out 6-7 days a week with cardio and power yoga, sculpt classes and light weightlifting. Β I counted EVERY calorie and it was very negative mentally. Β I felt a bit better and started to look more like I wanted. Β The only problem was those last few pounds that would. not. budge. Β The ones of my stomach, inner thighs, arms that were stuck like glue not matter what I did. Looking back, most of this was bloating and inflammation from food allergies I wasn’t aware of yet.

paleo before and after














Then in October 2012 I read It Starts With Food and this happened…

When I started the Whole30 on October 1 I weighed 138 which had been my plateau for over a YEAR. Β My waist was 27in and my chest was 32in. Β I also had measured my arms a few months back so I had a good estimate of what those were before starting. Β After 30 days of super clean eating I got down to 130lbs, lost an inch on my waist, an inch on my chest (and lost a cup size, whomp whomp) and an inch EACH on both arms. Β Holler. I knew this type of eating was here to stay! Forever.

whole30 before and after

October 1st to October 31st


















I completed a Whole45 in time for Valentine’s Day 2013 and just before my 25th birthday! Β I plan on continuing nearly 100% with this type of eating for my life, because it allows me to look, feel, and perform my best. Β Here is what the transition to Paleo has done for me!!! I can’t wait to see how far it takes me πŸ™‚

paleo success

February 2013




























It is now 2018, more than five years after my first Whole30 and my goals and lifestyle have changed. I now focus on building strength and improving my athleticism so how much I weigh and what size clothes I wear are of little importance to me. I ditched my scale a long time ago and don’t have any plans on getting a new one πŸ™‚ I also follow the paleo diet 80% of the time and allow for some wiggle room when I go out to eat and travel. Β This doesn’t mean that I eat fast food or food with no nutritional value (I’m looking at you Oreos). Β My typical “flex foods” include organic white rice, corn tortillas, high quality ice cream, goat cheese, and the occasional pizza! I want you to know that it is easy to maintain health while being flexible for the long term!

Working out at Alchemy, my favorite place!

Working out at Alchemy, my favorite place!

Comments: 174

  1. Carly January 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm Reply

    Hello, I am just wondering if you think I could do this diet and if it would be reasonably priced for me. I am in college and live in a house with 5 other girls. I do have class but I also do have time to work out and eat healthy. I was just wondering from your perspective if you think this diet is reasonable for me. Will it be hard to do with being a college student? Is it super expensive? And if you think I could do it, do you think you could help me plan my meals? I just don’t cook much so I don’t know if this diet will be okay for me. If you could email me back and give me your input that would be so awesome. By the way you’re results are awesome! Thank you very much. -Carly

    • thefreckledfoodie January 25, 2013 at 10:30 am Reply

      Hey Carly! Thanks so much for your sweet comments and checking out my blog! I will send you an email shortly with some answers! πŸ™‚

      • Lauren Nowaczyk February 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm Reply

        I am also a college student and read Carly’s post which inspired me to comment as well. I’ve read your blog and did some research on paleo and have decided to give it a try, but being in college it’s hard to control what you want to eat-esp racially when you don’t cook. Could you also give me some advice/recipes I could use to get started? You are really an inspiration! Thank you so much – Lauren

        • thefreckledfoodie February 14, 2013 at 8:37 am Reply


          I would love to help, and YES you can do it in college, you just have to take the time πŸ™‚ I will email you with some ideas!

          -The Freckled Foodie

  2. Sarah January 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply

    I am so proud of you! Looking at your before pictures reminded me of how I feel every day and made me realize that I need to change. If someday I look half as good as you do now, I’ll be happy. You really are an inspiration to me and now many others thanks to your blog! Love you sister dear πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie January 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply

      I love you too! And I appreciate your support so, so much!

  3. Jennifer January 30, 2013 at 4:15 am Reply

    Wow your story is such an inspiration and I can relate to you so much! You look amazing in those photos, well done!
    I have just finished my first Whole30 and didn’t lose any weight. My body lloooveeesss 150lbs apparently! I was like you, counting every calorie, working out everyday etc. I found Paleo a couple of years ago and the Whole30 was a great experience. Any advice on how I may lose a few pounds? I think I was eating too much fat, how much fat were you eating? Thanks in advance for any advice/help:)

    • thefreckledfoodie January 30, 2013 at 9:02 am Reply

      Thanks for the sweet compliments Jennifer, and CONGRATS on making it through your first Whole30! Just for reference, I was NOT eating paleo before I started my first Whole30 and I know I have issues with gluten, corn, and dairy, so I attribute most of my weight loss to that.

      You said you didn’t lose any weight but are your clothes fitting better? Did you take measurements or before and after pictures? I am on day 30 of my Whole45 that I started Jan 1st and I weighed myself this morning and haven’t lost any weight, HOWEVER, I have much more muscle definition, my clothes are looser, and I have lost a few more inches. You may have gained muscle more quickly than you lost fat which would lead to no weight loss. In general I cook all my food in ghee or coconut oil (or drizzle EVOO on salad) plus I eat about a half an avocado a day, consume 1/4-1/2 cup of coconut milk, and a few tbsp of coconut butter/almond butter/macadamia nut butter each day. I also eat fattier cuts of meat every few days. Does that seem similar to what you are eating? Feel free to send me a sample day of your food and I will let you know what I think! πŸ™‚

  4. Wendy February 19, 2013 at 12:45 am Reply

    Found your blog though the whole 30 love it:) I’m on day 29. Just out of curiosity what exercising did you do your first 30? And was there anything you did differently for your whole 45? As I end mine I am so planning my next!

    • thefreckledfoodie February 19, 2013 at 7:45 am Reply

      My first Whole30 I only worked out once or twice a week doing 30mins of incline walking intervals and occasionally hot yoga. For my Whole45 I only walked and lifted weights (3-5x per week). I definitely gained more muscle during my Whole45 and lost the excess weight I had during my Whole30! Hope your next one is amazing as well!

  5. Stacey March 16, 2013 at 7:09 am Reply

    Hey. Thanks for sharing. I’m about to start my first whole 30 on Mon. I can not eat eggs. Can you email me some simple meals that helped you get through this? I have researched some recipes but they seem really detailed. Thanks for your help and congrats to you. I am 5 feet 5 inches at 143 pounds. I would love to feel better and lose ten stubborn pounds. πŸ™‚

  6. Steph March 20, 2013 at 3:02 am Reply

    Wow you’ve done so well! Can I just say that you’ve got such a pretty face, even in the first photos when you say that you felt rubbish you’re so pretty! πŸ™‚

    Awesome bod now! Very inspiring!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 20, 2013 at 6:24 am Reply

      Thanks so much Steph! You’re so sweet πŸ™‚ I hope I can inspire at least some people to make healthy changes in their lives!

  7. marsha March 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm Reply


  8. Brett April 1, 2013 at 9:19 am Reply

    Wow, you’ve done an AWESOME job!! Such an inspiration! I’m just learning about Whole 30 and am a little confused. It sounds like you don’t always follow a whole 30 diet since you say you’ve done a whole 30 then a whole 45. What is different when you aren’t on the whole 30? Is it that you are more lenient on your diet?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 1, 2013 at 10:23 am Reply

      Thanks so much! The Whole30 is meant to be a 30 day “reset” that is very strict to help you defeat cravings and get your body as healthy as possible. When I’m not doing a Whole30,45,etc I eat paleo which is a less restrictive version that includes a little sweetener and I am not as careful about oils/butter used at restaurants. Hope that helps!

  9. Amanda C. April 7, 2013 at 8:41 am Reply

    You look great! Such an inspiration! I have started my first Whole 30 today and can’t wait to see the results!

  10. erin April 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm Reply

    This is so inspiring! I am a few (ok more than a few) years older than you but same issues, same weight…I keep meaning to start this whole 30 but I am a vegetarian and concerned about my ability to stick to it. I think i may need to just jump in and TRY!!! great job – thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie April 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm Reply

      Thanks Erin! My biggest recommendation for starting a Whole30 would be to read It Starts With Food and spend time reading through the forum! Super helpful when you’re first getting started πŸ™‚

  11. Riana April 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm Reply


    Congratulations on your success! I know the difficulty of finding the right healthy lifestyle to stick to and am now trying my very first Whole30 (on day 4!). Can I ask how tall you are? I’m 5’5 and am stuck at 135– would love to get more toned and lean and (though I know its advised not to count on losing weight), get it down 5-8 pounds.

    Love your blog- will definitely continue to visit for tips/recipes throughout my Whole30 journey!


    • Riana April 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm Reply

      Oops– put wrong link to my blog, clearly somewhat new to the blogosphere πŸ˜‰ This comment has the right link.

    • thefreckledfoodie April 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Hey Riana,
      Thank you, and congrats on getting through the first few days! Those are the tough ones πŸ™‚ I am also 5’5″ and 135lbs! I know I have gained a few lbs of muscle in the last few months but look leaner than I did at 130, so don’t let the scale rule you. Just try to focus on what you see in the mirror and how your clothes fit. I promise you will look and feel better after the 30 days!!! Good luck and awesome blog btw πŸ™‚

  12. Riana April 26, 2013 at 9:42 am Reply

    Thanks so much for your speedy reply πŸ™‚ Great tips, I will try my best to focus on how I feel rather than what the scale tells me! Enjoy your weekend.

  13. Monica Bravo May 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Amazing progress! Definitely one of my new favorite Paleo blogs, so inspiring!!

  14. Danielle June 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply

    Great job! Your results are definitely inspirational. I’ve been browsing your recipes and they look AMAZING! From one freckled foodie to another, job well done πŸ™‚ And thanks for all the tips and tricks. Can’t wait for dinner! πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie June 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm Reply

      Danielle, thanks so much! Us freckled girls gotta stick together πŸ™‚

  15. MarieNorway June 23, 2013 at 6:00 am Reply

    Hi! You have a very inspiring before/after story πŸ™‚ I just discovered your blog, and I`m so happy with that! IΒ΄m a 25 years old girl from Norway and IΒ΄m going to Minneapolis for three weeks (Boston the 5 last days) this summer to visit a relative. My first time in the US! CanΒ΄t wait! This past year I have mostly eaten paleo. It makes me feel so good!

    My question to you is whether you (or your readers) have any suggestions for paleo/whole foods restaurants, places to eat breakfast and lunch in Minneapolis? Would be very happy if you have any tips for me!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm Reply

      Hi Marie! I’m glad you found my page in time for your trip to Minneapolis πŸ˜€ Most restaurants in Minneapolis are moving towards offering local, pastured animals and everyone is really nice so you can almost always ask for substitutions and dairy/gluten/grain free options. My favorite place for lunch or dinner is Brasa Rotisserie, they have really good quality meat, amazing guacamole, and some pretty tasty vegetable side options. Zelo in downtown Minneapolis is also a good spot. A couple others I can think of include: Burch Steak and Pizza Bar, Chipotle (get the carnitas salad with guac and salsa), Mill Valley Kitchen, French Meadow Bakery, and the Ecopolitan (raw, vegan restaurant). Hope that is helpful!

  16. Dee June 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Hey there! Last week I googled how to bake a sweet potato (while doing so I thought that it was such a stupid google search, but what came of it was actually a blessing from God!). That search lead me to your blog (the sweet potato was amazing by the way) which lead me to research the Whole30. I had no idea about the program although I was familiar with the paleo way of eating as I had done Crossfit a few years ago. Anyhow, I’m starting my first Whole30 tomorrow and just wanted to thank you for the inspiration and the recipes to get started. This site is an amazing resource! Best wishes!

    P.S. I have the Smoky Chicken Stew in the Crock Pot as I type this.

    • thefreckledfoodie June 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Dee, Your comment made me smile so big πŸ˜€ I am incredibly happy I could help you get started with the Whole30! It totally changed my life and I hope it can help others as much as it has helped me, that’s why I started blogging in the first place.

  17. MarieNorway June 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply

    Thank you so much! The menus looks delicious πŸ˜€

  18. Jordan July 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm Reply

    I was reading the comments on here and thought how funny it was that Dee found this blog by searching for how to bake a sweet potato. That’s how I found it too! I am a college student who lives in a big house with lots of girls, and I often find it hard to take the time to eat the way I want to. I work out frequently and eat pretty well (I’ve been trying to eat “cleanly”) but I would like to make more of a drastic change and the paleo diet is something I am interested in. Do you have any tips or particularly easy recipes that might help a college student like me? Thanks so much!!

    • thefreckledfoodie July 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm Reply

      Jordan, That is awesome that you are looking to try paleo! Making that decision is already a big accomplishment towards better health. I would say the best tip would be to invest in a crockpot so you can make a LOT of food at once and portion it out for days you don’t have time to cook PLUS it is really easy to throw things together in there! The second tip goes hand in hand; spend a few hours one day a week making a LOT of food so everything is cooked, cut up, portioned, etc for easy access when you get hungry. If you open the fridge and there is pre-cut veggies then you won’t open up a bag of chips or cookies. If you already have chicken breast cooked then you can just slice it up on a salad rather than ordering a pizza. Just take baby steps and you will get there! Good luck πŸ™‚

  19. Jenn July 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm Reply

    What an amazing transformation! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve just started out on this road and reading stories like yours are so incredibly motivating. Thank you πŸ˜€

  20. dee July 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm Reply

    Hi, would love if you could email me. I’m 32, a TON of digestive issues, “binging” at night, but adrenally fatigued and not exercising and ironically underweight. not sure that paleo is appropriate for me, but would like to ask some questions, thanks!

  21. Chelsea Lathrop July 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm Reply

    This cracks me up- but just like so many of the other posts, I literally just googled how to bake a sweet potato and came across your site. I recently just started to get serious about losing weight and being healthier. I decided to look at your before and after section and WOW, am I amazed! That is awesome. I have heard of the “paleo” diet, but am not sure about what it means or what the whole30 is? If you could email me and explain that to me, that would be great. I just started BeachBody’s T25 workout this week- it’s amazing. 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week, everyones got time for that! I wouldn’t mind eating clean while doing this work out. It’s a 90 day workout, so I think they would go really well hand in hand. It comes with a nutrition guide, but the recipes are just not something I would do… I’m a simple girl, and not that great of a cook, haha. I’m 5’2″ and weigh about 135… I used to be 120-123 a few years ago, in my healthier days. Then I graduated college, started my job as a registered nurse, and work night shift… so the pounds came on. I am just over being depressed at looking at myself in the mirror- I wanna feel energized again and I wanna feel GOOD about myself! =)

    I’m glad I came across your blog! You’re an inspiration.

  22. Wilhemina August 7, 2013 at 2:36 am Reply

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  23. janet @ ordinary mom August 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Just wanted to say Congrats. I am in the middle of my second whole30. The first one I stopped mid-way to go on vacation and felt horrible when I got back. This time I plan to continue as long as I can and leading into a Paleo lifestyle.

    As a side note: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Brooke Burns? πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie August 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm Reply

      Janet, You are so sweet! I know you can make it through this time for sure πŸ™‚ And no, no one has ever told me that but thanks so much for the compliment!

  24. Lauren August 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply


    I just want to say wow! You have done an absolutely amazing job! Roughly 2 years ago I too, was in the same position as you were. Drinking too much, eating far too many processed foods and trying to compensate with working out.

    I changed to clean eating and managed to lose some weight but still wasn’t happy with my overall appearance. So whilst I still had cut out sugar and a lot of processed food, something wasn’t working.

    After dealing with tummy issues forever, I decided to cut gluten out of my diet in January this year. Best. Decision. Ever. Energy levels increased, I felt light and happy and didn’t have that horrible feeling in my tummy.

    So when I stumbled along the Whole30 challenge, I thought right, this is the push I need! So in May this year, myself and my partner did the Whole30 and once I took my measurements I had lost a total of 22.5cm all around (5cm off my waist and 4cm off my bust and bum) and he had lost a lot too. Once I realised how good I felt, I have decided to make the Paleo lifestyle change for good! We would still have one treat a week, work out 4-5 times a week focusing on mainly weights with some cardio. I am now currently completing another Whole30 challenge with complete clean eating just in time for MY 25th birthday – eerily similar isn’t it?

    So thank you, I am so glad I stumbled across your site! I have already started experimenting with some of your delicious treats πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie August 22, 2013 at 8:21 am Reply

      Lauren, You made me blush πŸ™‚ Awesome progress on your first Whole30 and I hope this one goes perfectly and you can celebrate a little on your big 25th!

  25. Donna August 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm Reply

    ISWF changed my life in so many ways. Weight, improving in all facets of blood work (including diabetes indicators), and so much more. I will never go back. I go off the rails from time to time, but I believe for myself it’s okay. I always get back on track immediately. Your pictures are beautiful, both before and after. Thanks for the idea about sweet potatoes today. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    • thefreckledfoodie August 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply

      Donna, Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am glad you found ISWF and it helped you as much as it has helped me and my family/friends

  26. Lululiveshealthy September 3, 2013 at 11:24 am Reply
  27. John Brown September 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm Reply

    you look amazing!

    • thefreckledfoodie September 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm Reply

      Thanks! You looked great on Mark’s Daily Apple, such a big deal πŸ™‚

  28. Kim October 2, 2013 at 7:59 am Reply


    I am also from MN and came across your blog while searching for Paleo Apple Crisp. I will be giving your recipe a try this weekend:) Your pictures and story are truly inspiring. In the last month I have taken to the Paleo way of eating. I am also doing crossfit as well which I love! I am not seeing the results that I expected on the scale however which I am told is to be expected with crossfit and changing habits. It doesn’t happen overnight and takes time. However, I feel great so I am going off that. I guess I just need to be patient and forge on! Thanks for sharing your story! Keep up the great work and blog! I am now a follower:)

    • thefreckledfoodie October 2, 2013 at 7:29 pm Reply

      Kim, I always love knowing when fellow Minnesotans read my blog πŸ™‚ My one piece of advice would be to track your progress on how your clothes fit/look, your measurements, and absolutely how you are feeling and other changes like quality sleep, skin clarity, energy, etc! Thank you so much for your sweet words and support πŸ™‚

  29. […] Freckled Foodie is from Minnesota and has been eating paleo for about a year. Β Not only did her before and after pictures make me believe in paleo more than I already did, but she’s only a year-ish older than me and […]

  30. Christa B November 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm Reply

    Hi, I am really interested in this Whole 30 challenge.. I am astonished by the final pics of you before the 30 and after. That right there is an amazing feat! I have to say I look exactly like you on the before pic. Which is not bad but I want the after body pic πŸ˜‰ Can you share some more information on this? What kind of exercise you did? How often? Was this mostly diet based weight loss? I am in awe! I run about 3-4 time a week 4-5KM each time. I have seen some change from this as well. But I want more! Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the inspiration….

    • thefreckledfoodie November 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm Reply

      Christa, You’re sweet! I actually went from doing cardio ~6 days/week to just 4 yoga classes the entire time because I was tired the first 3 weeks and really wanted to see what diet alone would do! So YES diet changes alone made a HUGE difference for me and after that I started lifting and still rarely do cardio, maybe 1-2 times/week. Diet is just so dang important!

  31. Alyssa November 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm Reply


    Too funny but I am also from MN, now living in Hawaii…I’m sure you feel very sorry for me πŸ˜‰ …and I also stumbled on your site looking for a Paleo apple crisp recipe (cooling on the counter as I write this and smelling yummy). What a beautiful woman you are, both before and after your Paleo/Whole30 journey. I have been easing into Paleo for the past year but haven’t yet given up gluten (almost there), and still consume plenty of dairy (only organic, full-fat), sweets (high quality usually, but my vice for sure) and a few drinks a week. I envy the idea of feeling and looking better, and find your story so inspiring. I bought the Kindle version of ISWF last year but never dove in with both feet and attempted one. Reading your story and seeing your progress gives me the extra motivation to just go for it! If you have any specific tips on DOs/DON’Ts for the Whole30 or for someone who’s “almost Paleo” but still hanging on to some things, feel free to drop me an email. Best of luck to you and stay warm this winter.

    • thefreckledfoodie November 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm Reply

      Alyssa, email coming your way! Hope you loved the apple crisp πŸ™‚

  32. Stephen November 28, 2013 at 8:25 am Reply

    Dear Rachael,

    Thank you for demonstrating such courage sharing your success! As someone who grew up with the nick name of “Piggy” you are my newest hero! I’m looking forward to learning from your experiences as I continue my recovery from Lyme…

    • thefreckledfoodie November 28, 2013 at 8:28 am Reply

      Stephen, I share my experience so I can hopefully inspire people like you! I am so glad you found me and hope I can do even something small to help πŸ™‚

  33. Sharyl December 8, 2013 at 9:18 am Reply

    Rachel ~

    Wow — awesome job girl your pics look amazing! I am going to be starting this on January 1st (I know me and I know that I wont be able to get through Dec without slipping) its basically my farewell to sugar and processed crap. — I have been doing gluten free for the last year and a half, and its been hard but I do feel better for it — I was having so much acid reflux when eating wheat that I was having chest pain daily and thought I was having a heart attack. I lost 10 pounds when I stopped eating gluten but once again no matter how much I exercise or count calories cant seem to get under the 200 pound mark (not complaining as I started out at 260 after nursing school and am now down to bouncing between 205 and 215)

    I seem to go in cycles I do everything the way I am supposed to do it balls to the wall and then get depressed because nothing happens the way “they” say its supposed to and then I go back to bad habits because hey if its not working why fight so hard. (I know …bad attitude)

    I have planned to do the whole 30 starting Jan 1st since I came across it in November and then plan to do the Paleo diet after.

    My husband is a foodie and is having a hard time coming to grips with the no sugars in anything — hes worried about how to cook for us (we do a lot of stir fry) without using all the asian influenced sauces because they have sugar — he had to seriously go out of his way to find them without wheat lol. He is worried about flavor and taste profiles etc..
    I would appreciate any helpful advice and tips to being successful on the whole 30 and on changing our cooking.

    Also — exercise, I have seen a lot of people doing crossfit with paleo (they seem to go hand in hand) However crossfit in my area of Illinois is sooooooooooooo expensive — currently I do weights 3 x a week (activtrax) through the YMCA and then dancing, xbox kinnect, walking, biking or what not for extra movement. — ideas? is this enough? should I be doing something different? lol

    Thanks for the inspiration and any advice in advance!

    • thefreckledfoodie December 8, 2013 at 9:36 am Reply

      Sharyl, an email is coming your way! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your sweet words!

  34. lori December 17, 2013 at 5:01 am Reply

    Hi there!
    I find it so hard to stick to my guns of healthy eating , hoping you can help. I have a huge family but I am the only one who wants to eat healthier. I need fast meals for just me. That way if the family is eating Tacos I can eat.. Taco Salad (clean version) if they eat Pizza, I can decline and go eat an alternative. Any suggestions of meals I could have semi-prepared that I can have ready to go for me, to help prevent me from caving in to their bad habits? I would love an email from you.

  35. Sarah December 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm Reply

    You’re inspiring me girl! πŸ™‚

  36. Mike January 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm Reply

    Great job. You look great. Just stole your chili recipe. I’m on day 8 of the whole 30. Thanks!

    • thefreckledfoodie January 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm Reply

      Thanks Mike! Hope you love it and good luck on your Whole30!

  37. Amanda January 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm Reply


    You are incredibly inspiring! I’ve ready many blogs, but this one got my attention…particularly because you are from Minnesota.. πŸ˜‰ My family and I have done the whole 30 before and absolutely loved it! It was so hard at first but the results were amazing and even more, we felt great! This is where I ran into problems: I am a full-time Architecture student, a mom and a wife (who also works). Not to mention, it can be costly.

    Do you have any tips on preparing more fast meals and how to do it on a budget as well?
    Thanks and congrats on the awesome feeling you!!


    • thefreckledfoodie February 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm Reply


      You totally got lost on my site and I just realized I never answered you! My biggest suggestion is to do one big meal prep during the week, Melissa Joulwan has awesome tips in Well Fed and Well Fed too on that! Also check out , she is awesome πŸ™‚

  38. Krista January 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm Reply

    hi, incredible job!! i am so impressed! i’m day 16 into my first whole 30 and am seeing results. i have similar stats – 133 lbs and a 28″ waist. question – what kind of work outs did you do during your oct whole 30? your before and after is amazing. greatly appreciated! krista

    • thefreckledfoodie January 20, 2014 at 8:30 am Reply

      Krista, Thank you πŸ™‚ I went from doing cardio 6 days a week for an hour to only doing yoga 4 times over my first Whole30 because I was pretty tired at first and because I wanted to see what results I could get from diet change alone! Hope that helps and good luck!

  39. Christa January 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm Reply

    I wrote a while back enquirying about the Whole30. Well I DID IT! It wasn’t that bad at all. I really wanted chocolate and red wine. I also started on December 16th, so I had to do this over Christmas and New Years which made it a bit of a challenge!! So thank you for the inspiration.. Although my before and after pics do not quite look as drastic as yours. I am pretty happy with them. I lost 10lbs! Sweet!!

    • thefreckledfoodie January 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm Reply

      Christa! I am so glad you did it, and CONGRATS on 10lbs that is so awesome πŸ™‚ Hopefully in addition to the weight loss you also feel better! I am thrilled I could inspire you to make it through over the holidays. Wow wow wow

  40. Michelle January 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm Reply

    OK….I HAVE to tell you how amazing you look!!! I am signing in to create an account specifically because my eyes are bulging out from the visible difference in only 30 days. Your body was really quite nice before IMHO, but the after is ROCKIN’! Rockin’ I tell ya’. I do not know much about Paleo other than what I’ve skimmed online and what my gf has told me – she does Paleo, but the actual visible difference, esp. above you belly button… I guess your rib cage??? I mean, it looks TINY!!!
    Good for you and I am going to read through your blog and pay more attention. If you could recommend a book to begin with I would very much appreciate it. Also, I, too, think I might suffer from a bit of food allergies. Did you have your suspicions tested or????? Just curious. Thanks again and YEAH!!! for you!!! All the very best!!!

    • thefreckledfoodie February 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm Reply

      Michelle, Thank you so much for your kind words, I started this blog to try and inspire others to make healthy changes and reading comments like yours make me very happy πŸ™‚ I would definitely recommend starting with Practical Paleo or It Starts With Food, both are amazing books that really helped me out in the beginning of my paleo journey! I never had anything tested but I know I have some sensitivities with gluten and dairy so I really try and keep those out of my diet as much as possible. Good luck!

  41. Jaime February 6, 2014 at 9:31 am Reply

    I started paleo on January 15,2014 and started CrossFit. I have been doing good, but struggle on some days. Was looking for some new recipes and came across your site, they look delicious and can’t wait to try them. I have lost 12lbs so far and I feel absolutely amazing! I have a lot more to go my goal is 50lbs. I was reading your before and after and it’s really inspired me to continue and work hard to change my lifestyle and eating habits. Thank you for sharing!

    • thefreckledfoodie February 6, 2014 at 10:55 am Reply

      Jaime, sounds like you’re doing great! So glad I could share my experiences with you as well as my recipes! Good luck reaching your goals!

  42. Kim February 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Hi!!! Not only do you look more fit, but you glow! I have been mostly paleo for the better part of the last year but I definitely fell off the wagon when I got married but my husband and I realized we felt SO gross back on SAD so here we are again! We are the 80% 20% types but I am on my second day of a whole30 to figure out my food allergies, intolerancences, etc. Anyway…I was wondering what kind of workouts you do.You had it listed from what you did before you found Paleo but I was wondering what you do now. I am not a Crossfit type…Thanks!

    • thefreckledfoodie February 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm Reply

      Kim, thank you! Hopefully the Whole30 helps you figure everything out, it was a wonderful thing for me both times I did it! I do yoga/yoga sculpt, lots of walking with occasional sprints, weight lifting, and occasionally a cardio class at my gym. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  43. Donna March 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm Reply

    I am on my 7th day of Whole 30 and I like it so far…. It’s great to see such amazing results!!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm Reply

      Donna, thank you! I hope you see as many great results at then end of yours πŸ™‚

  44. Emiley Carey March 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Hi! I just thought you should know that you’re the reason I discovered the Whole30! I’m on day 22 and am honestly shocked at how good I feel…not just physically but psychologically and emotionally. This has been so educational and eye-opening for me. My mom is doing the W30 with me, and she now has my dad on board–such a blessing to see my parents getting healthy. I want to keep them around πŸ˜‰ AND, I just found out that one of my girlfriends started her own W30 on March 1st! Thank you so so much for the inspiration, resources, and encouragement you have made available. Also…it turns out I am obsessed with sweet potatoes. Who knew?

    (another freckled foodie!!)

    • thefreckledfoodie March 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm Reply

      Emiley, notes like yours are the reason I do this, so THANK YOU! I am so glad I could inspire you and get you and your family on a healthier road πŸ™‚ I am also glad you realized your sweet potato obsession! Happy to have you here πŸ™‚

  45. Tiana March 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm Reply

    Congratulations on your success! I am so incredibly inspired. At 28, I have just embarked on my first Whole30. My stats are similar to your before– firmly stuck at 138, 5’5 and waist is 29″. I am now on day 13. My question is when did you start noticing changes in your body composition? Did the magic kick in on week 3? So far I’m not feeling a big difference in that department. Already noticing changes in my energy, mindset and skin though, which is cool, but I really want to lose some fat…

    • thefreckledfoodie March 14, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

      Tiana, way to go making it to day 13! I really noticed a big change on day 26 in terms of leaning out but when I did a whole45 the second time I was or sure the leanest by day 45! Keep on truckin πŸ™‚

  46. Sarah April 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm Reply

    Hello! I stumbled across your website searching for how to cook a sweet potato, and I have to admit that I’m intrigued, but skeptical. I have struggled with weight my whole life and I like the idea of eating healthier, more nutrient dense food and feeling better overall, but I have a hard time thinking about what a regular meal plan would look like if I were to follow this or the whole30. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this if you could shoot me an email. Thanks so much – and way to go on all of your progress!

    • thefreckledfoodie April 15, 2014 at 10:29 pm Reply

      Sarah, I am so glad you found me πŸ™‚ I would recommend reading It Starts With Food and checking out their forums for ideas on meals and meal planning! There is a TON of information out there and it really helped me when I started. My food log is even on there still from back in 2012! Good luck!

  47. Jolene Clark April 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm Reply

    As a fellow follower of a healthy lifestyle and a freckled kin, I was so excited to come across your page. A year ago, I spent one year changing my life (for the WAY BETTER!) and lost 40lbs. I could never imagine going back. The energy and positivity that radiates from that kind of change is infectious and happy to see that you found it! I look forward to following your foodie site!

    • thefreckledfoodie April 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

      Jolene, I’m happy you found me and congrats on changing your life πŸ™‚

  48. Jolene Clark April 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm Reply
  49. SOMMER QUILLEN April 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm Reply


    • thefreckledfoodie April 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm Reply

      Sommer, thank you so much for your sweet words! Google “paleo on a budget” and you will find a TON of helpful information πŸ™‚ the key is to eat foods in their whole form, so veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, eggs, and animal protein!

  50. Jenny April 25, 2014 at 11:48 am Reply


    I just must say i love your blog and i am so mindblown by your transformation! I’m really struggling with my chubbiness, i weight 143 pounds and really want to go down to 125. I KNOW it is possible, especially when seeing how people like you had the energy to change!

    I work long hours and am always tired but I really would love it if you gave me some tips how I could lose weight and tighten up. I really don’t have the energy to go to the gym 6 times a week.

    I heard 30 mins interval cardio is good and some weights. But what kind of foods should I cut out? I really don’t want to totally stop eating carbs!

    Would love if it you could briefly just give me a few tips how to tone up and lose some pounds πŸ™‚ And what time period should I expect to “look and feel better”?

    greetings from a fellow freckled redhead!

  51. Jenny April 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm Reply

    Me again! Just wanted to say I just purchased the book πŸ™‚ But I’m scared i wont be able to do it… i love pasta and potatoes and rice SO much…. I crave chocolate… I get really sad if i can’t have spaggetti bolognese! I know i sound really silly but its true! However I NEED to lose weight as i go around every day hating my naked body!

    The hardest meal i think is breakfast.. I need a breakfast at 7am that fills me up until 1pm. I normally have oats and banana or crisp bread.
    Whats a quick good weightloss breakie?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm Reply

      Jenny, so glad you found me πŸ™‚ You sound determined, I know you can make it happen! Take baby steps if you need to by slowly reducing the amount of processed foods you are eating. Try adding more veggies to your meals to replace the potatoes, pasta, and rice! Swap sweet potatoes for regular potatoes, cauliflower rice for white rice, and zucchini noodles for pasta! For breakfast I eat two eggs, avocado, and veggies every morning sometimes with bacon or pork sausage and it keeps me full for 5-6 hours! The key is healthy fats and protein to keep you full!

  52. Amanda Nelson May 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm Reply

    I am on day 2 of my very first Whole 30! I had a baby a year ago and it took 9months to get to pre preto weight, and now m hovering right below it. I’m a huge snacker and love sweets so it’s already been a huge challenge for me. Thanks for this post though! Very motivating. I think I have gluten issues but hopefully by the end of my whole 30, possibly 45 πŸ˜‰ I hope to know for sure there difference it will make! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me on how to at least make it through week one!

    • thefreckledfoodie May 13, 2014 at 8:23 am Reply

      Amanda, congrats on starting your Whole30!!! I hope everything is going well and you are feeling much better than before πŸ™‚

  53. Ashley May 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm Reply


    I saw that some people commented early on about being in college and how to handle this lifestyle change. Could you also help me out with that? I am very interested in the Whole30 challenge because I have noticed some odd health things that seem directly connected to my diet. I am not overweight, but I definitely could watch what I eat.

    Thanks so much!

  54. Krystal June 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm Reply

    Hi! I’m so glad I discovered your site today!
    I am 23 and I’m just starting out on my own. I’ve just landed a job and now I’m moving into my own apartment this week. I’ve already signed up for a gym and had the audacity to sign up for a personal trainer too! To top it off… I’ve decided to start the Whole30 this week (on Wednesday, after I get paid/groceries) and I’m really excited and nervous for the journey. Some of my coworkers and I decided to do it together!
    I’ve always heard of people changing their lifestyles and having great results…and I’ve seen all the awesome looking recipes online, but there is some part of me that doubts I can be one of those people! Despite these doubts, I look forward to my Whole30 experience and again, I’m glad I discovered your site today! I’ll be following for recipes and tips!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm Reply

      Krystal, I’m so glad you discovered it too! Sounds like you are making some amazing life decisions to improve your health, so congrats πŸ™‚ My advice would be do it whole-heartedly for 30 days and be kind to yourself in case you hit some bumps as you go! Best of luck, hopefully you will find what you are looking for!!!

  55. Aria June 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm Reply

    I’ve been plateaued at 135lb for 2 years. i work out, ‘watch what I eat’ and have cut out so many things from my diet yet have that ‘pouch’ that will NOT go away. Reading your Before and After has given me some hope! I am very excited to try this! Thank you for sharing!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 5, 2014 at 10:21 pm Reply

      Aria, sounds just like me before I found paleo! Hope you find exactly what you are looking for, I sure did πŸ™‚

  56. Catherine June 10, 2014 at 11:43 am Reply

    Hi! I’m starting the whole30 today, I am really into nutrition and love eating healthy but like you I feel like there those few extra stuck pounds. I was really inspired by your before and after, you look great. I feel like the really hard part will be hanging out with friends and trying to figure out what to eat before or at a restaurant. Any extra tips about the whole diet besides meal prep??

    • thefreckledfoodie June 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Catherine, I hope your Whole30 is going well so far! I really recommend having some emergency snacks in your purse/car/etc like compliant jerky, nuts/craisins, larabars and packets of nut butter/coconut butter for times when you are really hungry or craving something that isn’t on the Whole30 list. That helped me a few times when I needed it! And DON’T weigh yourself, its really important πŸ™‚

  57. Amanda Abney June 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm Reply

    Hi Rachael!

    I noticed that you talk about paleo and whole30. Would you recommend doing whole30 to drop extra weight and then paleo to maintain? Also, what workout routine would you suggest for starters? You just recently posted a picture of yourself looking absolutely amazing and I want to get there! I presently am not even close to looking like that (I’m 230lbs) but I want a better me for me and for my family! (I am married and have a 4 year old little girl).

    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm Reply

      Amanda, you’re so sweet! I’m glad you found me πŸ™‚ I personally started with a Whole30 and then switched to a more balanced paleo diet because it’s easier for me to be flexible when traveling for work and going out to eat as much as I do with friends. I would recommend reading It Starts With Food and then if it seems to daunting just start by removing grains (especially gluten) and any processed foods/sugars and then remove dairy and eventually legumes as well. As for working out I recommend walking as MUCH as you possibly can. Just get your body moving! Try to do sprints (15 seconds as HARD as you can and then walk until your heart rate is back to normal) once a week for 8-10 reps. That will get your metabolism going! I know you can do it, so feel free to come back with any questions! Best of luck

  58. Ally August 19, 2014 at 12:44 am Reply

    Hi Rachael!

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. I feel like your story is my own. I too have been counting calories and exercising religiously. It’s worked so far, but I’m so exhausted by how hard it is to maintain. I’ve just begun my Whole 30 and am looking forward to a more well-rounded approach to fitness and health. Day 3 and I’m already struggling to find things to eat. I eat pretty clean – no processed foods – by I do eat a fair amount of yogurt and cottage cheese. Without dairy, I’m not really sure what to eat for breakfast – I can’t eat eggs everyday πŸ™‚ Would you mind telling me what a typical day of eating looks like for you?

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate you sharing your story!

    • thefreckledfoodie August 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm Reply

      Ally, I’m so glad you found me too! I felt the same way when I begun the Whole30 because I always ate granola with almond milk or greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Now I eat eggs for breakfast almost every single day and have for nearly two years! I try to mix it up sometimes by eating them scrambled with veggies, fried, hard-boiled, etc so it stays exciting. I also sometimes eat leftovers like chili, pulled pork, etc for breakfast with veggies. I also very occasionally make some type of paleo granola and eat that with almond or coconut milk! My lunches are almost always salad or lettuce wraps, and dinner is usually meat cooked in my cast iron pan with lots of veggies on the side. Hope that helps!

  59. Nathalie August 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Well I’m ready (I think), and thinking I have to change some parts of my daily life. I used to excercise a lot had the 6 pack and all…Yup lost it all πŸ™ Not happy with myself, but no excuses just poor habit. I love to eat well most of my food is from scratch…like pasta! The food part I think will be easy….but… I love my wine … Not sure if I can last a whole month without wine! Any ideas???

    Love your blog and your before and after…

    • thefreckledfoodie August 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Nathalie, taking a month away from wine is definitely not fun but I have done it twice! (the second time was actually 45 days). My biggest suggestion would be to replace your glass of wine with some other fun drink. I liked LaCroix sparkling water with strawberries and raspberries and a splash of grapefruit juice. It felt relaxing and fancy enough to make it through the month. Thanks so much for commenting here πŸ™‚

  60. Lisa September 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm Reply

    I just wanted to tell you that I think you are lovely in ALL these pictures – the before and after! Seriously, I’m not just trying to be nice. I’m happy you feel healthier now! And thank you for this site. I plan on making some of these recipes!

    • thefreckledfoodie September 4, 2014 at 8:57 am Reply

      Lisa, thank you so much for your kind words πŸ™‚ I am so glad you found my page and am excited to hear your feedback on any of my recipes!

  61. Darby September 12, 2014 at 11:57 am Reply

    Hey Rachael!
    Gosh what an inspiration. I completely connected with this idea that we have to work ourselves out to death, count calories, and all around STRESS about eating and being healthy… WOW. It’s awful– we should treat our bodies so much better! I am a college student and want to live a healthy life not obsessed with how I look. I know some other commenters from college have also asked, but what advice do you have for doing the Whole30, making smart food choices, etc.? Also, you are absolutely beautiful and PRAISES that you have come to a peace/balance with your body! I would LOVE to hear your insights!
    Thank you so much!

    • thefreckledfoodie September 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm Reply

      Darby, you are so sweet πŸ™‚ My biggest recommendation is to be kind to yourself and not get too caught up in making less than ideal choices when it comes to paleo. I ate like CRAP in college and am still alive to tell the tale πŸ˜‰ Just try to cook as much food as you can in your own place using whole, real foods and when you do go out just be concious of healthier choices. Get a burger without the bun, replace fries with a side salad using lemon wedges and olive oil as a dressing, and skip the pizza every once in awhile!

  62. Lisa October 6, 2014 at 11:22 pm Reply

    Hi! Your transformation is amazing! I jus had a baby and I am looking to lose about 30 lbs but I’ve never done clean eating! I am married with 3 kids, go to school, and work. Fitting in workouts is hard and I have pick eaters but I really want to buckle down and not only start eating better myself but for my family as well. Any ideas on quick meals and workouts?

    • thefreckledfoodie October 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm Reply

      Lisa, thank you πŸ™‚ the quickest way to make paleo meals is to take a couple hours one day a week and make batches of proteins and vegetables. This way you already have the food on hand and just need to heat it up! Crockpot meals are great for this (check out my chili and stew recipes!) As for workouts, I recommend searching Pinterest for 20 or 30 minutes bodyweight or HIIT workouts. Those tend to be very effective!

  63. Lakin December 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm Reply

    Hello Rachael! I am so impressed with your story. WOW! I am desperate for results like yours. I am only needing to lose about 10-15 lbs., and I lift heavy 3 times a week so I’m trying to eat a lot of protein. I am truly HEAVILY addicted to sugar. How long after you started Whole30 did you notice cravings disappearing? Thanks!!! πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie January 2, 2015 at 7:52 am Reply

      Lakin, Thank you for the kind words πŸ™‚ the cravings for me tapered off around the end of week two and by day 24 my palate had changed so much that carrots started tasting extremely sweet! Now I do have slightly sweetened paleo treats and 85% dark chocolate fairly regularly but have maintained a figure that makes me happy when I look in the mirror. Once you get your sugar addiction under control life is much improved, I know from personal experience! Best of luck!

  64. Merry January 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Your results and so inspiring! Congrats!
    I recently got married and I hit my goal weight of 147 (I’m 5’9) by counting every calorie I ate and working out like a mad woman. But now since the wedding in October I have been very relaxed with my food, between birthdays, holidays and two tropical vacations I’ve gained about 10 pounds again and now I am on my third day of Paleo. And am looking forward to continuing this lifestyle, do you count calories on Paleo?
    Any tips on eating out or socially drinking? I read about Crispin cider which I enjoy.

    • thefreckledfoodie January 7, 2015 at 8:17 pm Reply

      Merry, Congrats on getting married and your weight loss! I know you will find what you are looking for with paleo if you stick with it. It gets easier and easier as you go, I promise πŸ™‚ I haven’t counted a single calorie since I found paleo over 2 years ago! If I know I am going somewhere that will be difficult to order paleo friendly food I tend to eat before I go. You can always ask nicely for substitutions but let them know you aren’t deathly allergic to anything because restaurants appreciate that! When it comes to drinking I do that A LOT less than I used to and normally just order a sparkling water with a lime wedge. When I do choose to imbibe I get a cider or two (try to stick to dry ciders as the sweet ones make my stomach hurt) or a gin or vodka soda with a lemon and a lime. I also like an occasional lime margarita! Best of luck with it all!!!

  65. Austin January 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm Reply

    Wow girl….your transformation is amazing. You are truly a beautiful woman; actually you are damn sexy if I cn be honest !! I also just started Whole 30 so wish me luck. PS: if you’re single, and live near or I’m Texas, hollar at me πŸ˜‰

  66. Gina January 23, 2015 at 10:22 am Reply

    I found you through Pinterest. Reading your story I saw those first pictures and said (outloud!) “Oh my gosh, that’s me.”

    I eat healthy-ish, but I treat myself or just say “screw it” sometimes when I want pizza. I don’t look BAD, and nobody would ever look at me and be like “WHOA she’s really big” but I definitely am not the size that I should be.

    For the first time ever, I recently decided that I don’t want to be thin – I want to be HEALTHY. It’s amazing how that tiny little change in mindset makes things seem so much more possible and positive.

    I love your story and think you are just such an inspiration! I’m confident that soon enough I’ll be looking at your AFTER pictures and saying “Oh my gosh, that’s me!!!” πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie January 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm Reply

      Gina, seriously thank you for posting this! I LOVE when I get messages like this, it completely makes my day πŸ™‚ I know you can do it, and after 30 days you will feel what healthy really feels like and will never look back! It’s the best feeling ever!

  67. Joanna February 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Hi Gina, this is such a great post! I am a college student and I’ve been semi-paleo (I occasionally eat sweets if it’s a special event) for the past 5 months and have started working out 5 days/week (for the past 6 weeks doing “Insanity”). I am stuck at 141 lbs and just cannot get past it. I’ve been stuck here for so long! Help! I do eat paleo sweets that are not allowed on the whole 30 such as paleo pancakes, scones, date bars and muffins. Would you recommend cutting those out?? I am dying to kick these last couple pounds! πŸ™‚ Any help/advice would be appreciated!!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 3, 2015 at 9:14 am Reply

      I would definitely cut those treats out for 30 days and then only eat them once a week if you are trying to lose a few more pounds! That’s what works for me at least πŸ™‚

  68. Julia J Kyser March 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm Reply


    OMG i have been looking for a blog/article just like this. I am from Minneapolis as well and legit relate to your story 100 percent. I look back on my senior year of college and am blown away by what I looked like, I wasn’t willing to stop drinking or change my diet but never realized how over weight I was until I look back. Since I moved back to the twin cities I have been doing Yoga Sculpt, etc and have really made a change in my diet however I have 7 lbs that I just cant drop no matter what I do. I am on the 4th day of my Whole30 and so far I feel amazing. Not that I am an alcoholic but the hardest part for me is going to be giving up my wine over the weekends, I always run into the challenge of getting sucked into a dinner or going out etc.

    Thank you for making this blog!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm Reply

      Julia, Sorry I got to this a bit later! Hopefully your Whole30 is going well πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words! My best tip for staying away from alcohol in a social setting is to order a sparkling water with a lime and sip on that. I usually order it at the bar so people don’t whether I’m drinking or not! Or if you are with good friends you can just tell them what you are doing and let them know it’s only 30 days. I promise it will all be worth it!!!

  69. Lexi March 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm Reply


    I love your story, and I am starting at basically the same weight as you were during your plateau. I’m 139, despite nearly completing the whole 30. I did have to ‘cheat” because I travel every other week for work and there was a weekend in which we literally could not leave the office..all there was were donut holes to eat. That was terrible. I am pretty good about working out, so I’m not sure why I didn’t lose any weight over the course of the whole 30. Any tips/suggestions would be appreciated! πŸ™‚

    • thefreckledfoodie March 26, 2015 at 8:12 am Reply

      Lexi, there could be several different reasons you didn’t lose the weight and unfortunately I bet those donut holes had something to do with it πŸ™ That’s why preparation and having emergency snacks on hand is so crucial during a Whole30! Getting enough sleep is super important, keeping stress low is super important, and it could be you ate too many high calorie/high carb foods? Biggest recommendation would be to try another and make sure you prepare so you don’t get stuck in another situation like that! Also use the forum on the Whole9life website to see what other people are eating and get any questions answered there πŸ™‚ That last thing is that your body might be happiest at 139! Now that I have been consistently lifting and building muscle over the past 3 years I now weigh somewhere around 140-145 and look even better than I did at the end of my first whole30! Weight is not very important, how you feel about your body is!

  70. Arianna March 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm Reply

    Hi!! You look amazing!! I am so impressed with your Whole45 before and after!! Those are the results I am truly going for. What kind of lifting and aerobic exercise did you do or do you do? You stomach looks amazing as do your legs and arms of course! Would love to hear your exercise advise for Whole30 which I am starting! Thanks!!!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 26, 2015 at 8:14 am Reply

      Arianna, thank you!!! During my fist whole30 I only did yoga twice and didn’t lift at all because I was tired and fatigued. Now I do a mix of yoga, HIIT/bootcamp style workouts, and lift/kettlebells. I also try to walk as much as possible and will be walking/jogging/rollerblading/biking all summer in Minnesota! If you don’t have the energy to workout during your Whole30 then DON’T and focus on keeping your stress low and get as much sleep as possible! Don’t be too hard on yourself, the Whole30 is a big undertaking! πŸ™‚

  71. katherine May 24, 2015 at 2:53 am Reply

    Your result is amazing! I wish I can achieve as much as you did. I just finished my 6 days of whole30, onto my 7th day tomorrow morning. So far so good, i snacked a lot on nuts though, need to control myself on that. Anyway I have some questions I wanted to ask you.

    1) Let’s say you finished your whole30, then what? Can you have a piece of chocolate or grab a cocktail drink with your friend?
    2) How do you define eating healthy when you off whole30? I meant occasionally you go out and have drinks with friends on weekend? Obviously alcohol is not allowed on whole30
    3) Can you still eat the food you eat when you’re on whole30, and have some chocolates or have a drink on weekend to reward yourself? (as you can see, these 2 are my favorite lol it been so hard this past 6 days! ):
    4) Or is there no point? Might as well just start a 2nd whole30?
    5) Overall, how do you keep fit or the weight you are right now?

    FYI, I work out about 3-4 times a week, I do cardio, weights and Pilates but I just cant seem to get rid of my belly fat ):

    • thefreckledfoodie May 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm Reply

      Katherine, Sorry I am just getting to this! Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚ I eat paleo nearly 100% of the time at home and then when I go out I am more lenient. It makes it a lifestyle change that can last. I do drink alcohol but not too often and when I do I normally have red wine, tequila and lime juice, or cider. Occasionally I will have a beer or two! I eat dark chocolate almost every day, that and coffee are my vices. I workout doing a yoga/crossfit hybrid 6ish times a week and do a LOT of walking. I never weigh myself and track my progress by what I see in the mirror and how my clothes fit. Lastly, belly fat isn’t always just from diet! Stress, sleep, and hormones all can play a part in that! Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  72. Jennifer May 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Hi There! I came across your page looking for Whole 30 recipes. You look great:)
    I am a nursing student and do not have a lot of time to cook. Lately I have just been eating sandwiches but I feel horrible. I used to cook once and prepare my meals for the week, but it is so hard to take the time to go grocery shopping and cook.
    Do you have any suggestions as far as easy recipes and ways to manage time?

    • thefreckledfoodie May 31, 2015 at 6:07 pm Reply

      Hello Jennifer! thank you πŸ™‚ If you are low on time I would recommend doing lettuce or collard green wraps instead of sandwiches! You can also make big batches of food in the crock pot and eat that every day for lunch (that worked best for me when I started). Making frittatas with meat and veggies can also work great for having food to grab on the go. A lot of times when I have no time I eat a half an avocado, baby carrots/veggie sticks, and tuna mixed with homemade mayo or quality lunch meat! Hopefully this helps you πŸ™‚

  73. Rubby June 5, 2015 at 9:29 am Reply

    Hi, I currently weight 130 and I am 5’1″. I want to loose weight and have lots of energy. I am full time working mom. I do find time some days to exercise. Friend of my suggested I should do whole 30. I have been eating lot about whole 30, only thing is holding be back doing whole 30 is that I am supper picky. I only eat chicken and I tell you supper picky. Also, I like to prepare my meals on Sunday and I like to eat the same thing for the whole week. Will whole 30 work for me?

  74. Aubrey Bahn July 8, 2015 at 11:31 pm Reply

    I loved ready your story. And yes, I found it by googling Whole30 results πŸ™‚ I just started my whole30 journey on Monday, so tomorrow will be day four. Did you feel depressed and down at first? I feel like I’m a basket of emotions. On minute I’m okay, and then the next I’m super sad. Is this normal? I keep wanting to give up, but I know I’d regret it. I didn’t think this would be that hard, but it’s definitely challenging me. BTW, my husband is a Minneapolis native too πŸ™‚

  75. Kayla Fus July 10, 2015 at 11:49 pm Reply

    Hi there! I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog! I am about a week away from beginning my first Whole30 journey. It’s a full time student, in nursing school I have become a very unhealthy individual eating junk food constantly even though I know this terrible I feel after the binge sessions. I can’t wait to become a healthier version of myself on this journey. I just hope I can stay motivated and I think your blog can definitely help me with that!

  76. Amanda July 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm Reply

    I’d love any advice or tips you have as I am starting my first Whole30 soon : )

  77. Kellie August 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Hi Freckled Foodie! I found your blog recently when looking up recipes about sweet potatoes and I really like your articles and content! Oh and the cooking time and temperature for your baked sweet potato recipe is absolutely perfect! My husband and I love it! I will definitely check out your other recipes as I am interested in the paleo diet too. Also, I wanted to ask how you got started with your blog? I am considering creating my own, and don’t know where to begin. Is this blog your first as well? Do you have any advice for first-time blog creators? Any information would greatly be appreciated. Thanks and have a great day!

  78. Cat August 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Love your results! Im doing my first whole30 and am only 4 days in but im already feeling great! I have alot of health issues (some food related and some are auto immune) I just hit a point in my life that I realized that I cant keep living like this. I felt terrible every single day. I worked out every day but, my heart went from interested to not. In fact everything in my life became uninteresting and I found myself binge eating. Just 4 days of no wheat,sugar,dairy, junk etc etc etc has really changed my outlook on life, food etc. My only downside is that im a bit scared to leave the house. Im scared to drive by a dunkin donuts, starbucks, mcdonald etc. Im hoping that will pass over time but, im trying to avoid my triggers.

    • thefreckledfoodie September 10, 2015 at 3:36 pm Reply

      Cat, I know how you feel! Hopefully your Whole30 is going well πŸ™‚ I know I felt amazing after my first one so hopefully you have the same “tiger blood” after yours!

  79. Tina August 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm Reply

    Wow! You look great! My mom just purchased me the recipe book. We are going to check in with one another to stay on track. I am not a very good cook up am hoping I can stick with it. I am currently 130 lbs but really want to be as toned as I was a year ago. Last year I went from a size 4 to a 8.

    • thefreckledfoodie September 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm Reply

      Tina, thanks for your sweet words πŸ™‚ Congrats on your weight loss, if you have done it before you can do it again!

  80. Jen September 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm Reply

    hi!! So happy to read your story. I start my first whole30 tomorrow and I am nervous. Can you please send me any sample recipes or menu planning you used or send peopl? Do you think i will need a food processor? I am a sauce junky creams etc so just nervous I don’t want to be bored BUT I also want to keep it simple. ANY help or coaching would be appreciated .
    Thank you for being here for so many others!!
    Love, Jen

    • thefreckledfoodie September 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm Reply

      Hey Jen! I hope the start of your Whole30 is going well πŸ™‚ I don’t have any specific menu plans but there are a LOT out there on the world wide web! If you search Whole30 in my search box you will be able to see which recipes are Whole30 approved! Try making homemade mayo, pesto sauces, and chimichurri if you are a sauce junky πŸ™‚

  81. Amy Johnson January 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm Reply

    During your Whole30 what were you doing as exercise?

    • thefreckledfoodie January 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm Reply

      Hi Amy! The first one I did only yoga one time during the entire month and stopped doing any cardio. I was pretty tired and wanted to see what changes in diet alone would do!

  82. Britany Schulz January 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm Reply

    Hey lady!

    Love that you’re paleo, into health/fitness, + from Minneapolis. If you’d like to grab a sweat session together or maybe just a cup of coffee sometime let me know, I’d love to chat:)

  83. Julie Heller January 31, 2016 at 10:53 pm Reply

    Hi! Wow! Great results! I start my first Whole 30 challenge tomorrow and I’m a little scared. ..mostly that I’ll fail. I have 4 kiddos and planning ahead sometimes just falls through. It’s only 30 days though. ..that’s what I keep telling myself. πŸ™‚
    Any advice? Do you keep track of macros or calories? Also, do you have a Facebook or My Fitness Pal that I could follow you on?
    Thank you for sharing your journey!

    • thefreckledfoodie February 4, 2016 at 10:32 am Reply

      Julie, my advice is to read every label even if you think you don’t need to. Prep food ahead of time so you are never in an emergency. Get your kids to cook with you! Don’t track macros or calories, just eat a palm size of protein and a couple tablespoons of healthy fats with tons of veggies at each meal. Don’t stress about it, just eat until you are full at meals and eat mindfully πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  84. Keri Bradshaw March 22, 2016 at 8:42 am Reply

    Hi! I just started the Whole30 yesterday and am feeling concerned about losing muscle mass during this! I work out 6x a week with lifting/HIIT/simple cardio. I’m worried about eating enough to feel energized! Any advice??

    • thefreckledfoodie March 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm Reply

      Make sure you are eating starchy carbs and protein pre and post workout! Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and plantains are my fave plus pre-cooked meat or eggs for protein. Fruit is not as great post workout because your body has to convert the sugars to glucose before your muscles can use it. Make sure you are also eating enough fat during meals to stay full and don’t worry about how many calories your are eating, just listen to your body!

  85. […] heavy things, and spreading the good food word πŸ™‚ Stop by my blog and say hello, and check out my incredible before and after story while you’re […]

  86. Kimkerrmpt July 23, 2016 at 5:50 pm Reply

    You have done such an awesome job! What an inspiration! πŸ™‚

  87. Brody Wyler October 18, 2016 at 4:20 pm Reply

    I am a murse (male nurse), who works a lot of 12 hour shifts. I’m wanting to try the whole 30, but during work days I don’t have a lot of time to eat, so the foods I eat need to be filling and sustaining for mental and physical energy. What suggestions do you have?

    • thefreckledfoodie October 18, 2016 at 8:06 pm Reply

      Hi Brody, thanks for visiting! I would focus on really nutrient dense foods because they make you feel fuller longer as well as foods that have a combo of fat, protein, and carbs. “Egg muffins” would be a good one because you can add a bunch of veggies and some meat and bring them with you to work and eat them quickly hot or cold. If you aren’t picky/weird about sardines, I often eat a can of sardines in olive oil with some hot sauce, avocado, and spinach if I am trying to eat VERY quickly and it keeps me full a very long time. You could also make your own mayo and make tuna salad and wrap it in lettuce cups or collard greens with avocado… Hopefully those get you started!!!

  88. Hannah November 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm Reply

    Hey I’m on day 11 round 1, I know you aren’t supposed to do this for weight loss, but over the past year I have put on some weight and it has made me super unconcious. I see that you have such great results. When did you start noticing physical changes? I felt like I was loosing inches fast and then today Im feeling like I’m back to square one.

    • thefreckledfoodie November 29, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

      Hi Hannah, it took me nearly 30 days (I think 27 or 28) to actually start seeing results because I had unknown food allergies and a lot of it was water weight from being inflamed. Just keep going and you will see and more importantly feel results! It is different for everyone and it could be that 45 or 60 days or longer will help you get where you want to be physically.

  89. Heather February 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm Reply


    I just discovered this way of eating on Instagram and am just wondering if there is more information on portion sizes and how much to eat?

    Also is exercise permitted and how much is recommended?

    Thanks so much! Your journey is inspiring! πŸ™‚


    • thefreckledfoodie February 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm Reply

      Hi Heather, glad you found me! In terms of portion sizes I would say try to make half of every plate vegetables and then the rest should be protein and healthy fats (like avocado, olives, coconut, nuts/seeds, etc) and you won’t really need to pay attention to portions because your body will naturally tell you when you are full. Fun fact, your hormones will tell you to stop eating once it has enough nutrients so the more nutrient dense your foods are the faster you will feel satisfied! Any exercise is great, but I generally recommend walking, HIIT, and lifting weights πŸ™‚ But honestly do whatever it is you like to do!

  90. Leigh Anna February 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Freckled Foodie, what a cute website name πŸ˜‰ You inspire me! I just finished Whole 30, I lost about 10lbs, I had lost about 8 before that. I want to lose about 20 more pounds. i too think I will eat this way for the rest of my life, I just need to figure out how to lose the next 20. Any advice?
    You look fantastic, and I bet you feel great! Keep up the amazing work.

    • thefreckledfoodie February 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm Reply

      Hi Leigh Anna! So awesome you are on your way to your goals πŸ™‚ Glad you found me. My biggest recommendation is to throw out your scale and base your progress on measurements and how you look/feel in clothing. The reason I say this is because I now weigh around 142lbs and that fluctuates a lot. I know that this is because I have increased my muscle mass in the spots I wanted to (get a nice bubble butt, make my legs and arms more muscular and “toned” looking, getting sometimes visable abs, etc). Weight isn’t the best way to track progress because when you have more muscle (from weight lifting and body-weight resistance exercises) you burn more calories and fat during the day and while you sleep which will help you get leaner and closer to your goals. Does that make sense? If not definitely email me and we can chat some more!

  91. Reba Ryan March 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm Reply

    Hi there tFF☺️. After reading about this program and comments from others who have done this, I do have a few questions.
    Hunger pains from I imagine the first week or so. What do you do about them?
    How much does portion control play in this?
    After you do the 30 days, then what?
    I am almost 64 and just totally discussed with my body and the things that now are going on with it, back aches, intestinal problems, type2 diabetes.
    This body is going to kill me if I keep up this way.
    Thank you in advance.

    • thefreckledfoodie March 27, 2017 at 8:44 am Reply

      Hi Reba! If you are truly hungry, eat Whole30 approved foods – each meal and snack should have protein, fat, and some carbs. Don’t just eat a piece of fruit as a snack as it will not satisfy you. You want to fill about half of your plate with vegetables, eat a palm sized portion of protein, and a “thumb” size portion of fat with each meal. If you are still hungry, eat more veggies. After the 30 days you want to reintroduce – I would HIGHLY recommend getting the Whole30 books for more information on this. Also check out their website and online forum! You will feel SO SO much better eating this way and it will hopefully change your relationship with food πŸ™‚

  92. Ashleigh April 18, 2017 at 9:31 am Reply

    Do you have a typical meal plan of like what you were eating? I am only on week 2 right now, but I sometimes wonder if I am eating too little. I’m used to the whole eating small meals every few hours mindset and I dont want to set my body into starvation mode. Im used to tracking calories and macros as well so this is very unstructured for me (which I actually really like) and I am really enjoying it so far. Week 1 was rough and I was very hungry, but week 2 I feel so different as far as my hunger levels. Back to my original question, do you have a typical food diary for what you would eat throughout the day? and how often did you incorporate snacks? What would you say if the biggest self sabotage when being 100% compliant (too much fats, too much frutis, etc.)?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm Reply

      Hi Ashleigh, thanks for commenting! After eating this way I am very in tune with my body and eat until I am full at meals and very rarely snack. It is important to give our bodies time between meals to completely digest our food and you don’t need to worry about going into starvation mode in that way. What you should make sure you are doing is eating enough calories which means adding healthy fats (avocado, nuts/seeds, olives, egg yolks, coconut, etc) with your meals so you get all the calories in and satiate your appetite. Eating more fats and protein and less sugar will also help you stay full longer and is probably why you don’t feel as hungry this week! If you do need to snack I recommend eating a snack with protein, fat, and a little carbs and not just a carby snack like a piece of fruit alone or something like that. Sometimes if I am hungry between meals I will have a spoonful of coconut butter or almond butter and that gets my by until my next meal. The only thing that I think is a common “self sabotage” is relying heavily on dried fruits because they are very easy to eat a ton of and spike your blood sugar. Hopefully this is helpful! πŸ™‚

  93. Mandy August 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Hi! This post was very inspiring and I am thinking about doing Whole30 before I head back to school. I wanted to know if you had any tips for me as a college student with a crazy schedule and if you think it is sustainable to do in college (busy schedule, social life, going out etc). I’ve put on 20 lbs over the course of my college career and I’m looking to make long term changes. I’ve done so many restrictive diets and I work out very had 6 days a week, but it’s always ended in binging or overeating. I mainly want to fix my bad eating habits and I’m hoping Whole30 will help me change my relationship/mentality towards food.

    • thefreckledfoodie August 3, 2017 at 10:26 am Reply

      Hi Mandy! Thank you for commenting πŸ™‚ I do think it is doable in college but will definitely be harder depending on your self-control and how much you want to “miss out on”. I was in your same shoes my senior year of college (without the working out, good for you on that front!) and don’t think I personally would have stuck to it at that point in my life. If you have the will and a few hours to meal prep a couple times a week you will absolutely be able to get it done! I would urge you to do a “trial run” while you are in college and try to stick to whole30 as closely as possible but don’t beat yourself up for making some mistakes/indulging when it is truly appropriate. That is the best way to not have to binge or overeat. Definitely read Melissa’s books before you start and think about what is most important to you! My best advice is to ALWAYS have whole30 and healthy options with you in snack form in case of emergencies and make swaps for healthier options as often as possible. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.