Before kicking off my first Whole 30, I did tons of reading to figure out what I could keep stocked to help throw together meals and add flavor. I started Whole 30 with a stocked pantry. Below I've summarized what I ended up actually using and loving. I also included a list of things I bought and either didn't like or just didn't use enough to justify the price.
Alright guys, this post has been in the works for... awhile. I actually did my first Whole 30 in November, but getting all the graphics together, food pictures organized, and food diaries written up took forever. That being said, I'm excited to share my experience with Whole 30.
Particularly this time of year (New Year's resolutions anyone?) you may have heard the buzzword Whole 30 thrown around. Whole 30 is a 30 day 'nutritional reset'. I'm not going to go into crazy detail, because that's why their website exists. Essentially, for 30 days you only eat tons of veggies, fruit, meat, eggs, seafood, limited nuts, seeds, oils, and ghee (clarified butter). Another key is to eat vegetables at every meal. Veggies with breakfast was probably the biggest adjustment.
There is an equally lengthy list of things you do not eat for 30 days... added sugar in any form (sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners, stevia, etc...), dairy, grains (including corn), legumes (including soy, peanuts, beans, lentils), alcohol, or artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. Additionally, no desserts or "compliant" baked goods.
Ordinarily, I don't condone eliminating entire groups of food from my diet. I think moderation in all things is perfectly healthy. So, why did I bother with Whole 30? Well, Whole 30 provides in-depth explanations of the reason behind eliminating each, and a strategy for re-introducing them. It also has a ton of structure. I have done terribly following through with any health of fitness goals for the last couple years. Terribly. I have become far too dependent on caffeine, energy spikes from sugar and other simple carbs, and lazy take out. And I was really starting to feel that dependence. I was overly tired and just felt thick. When most of my go-to jeans started feeling snug and I was too nervous to step on the scale, I knew I had to do something.
What I really needed was a reset of my eating habits. I needed something tremendously defined, because I know myself and my health flakiness. Exact amount of time? Check. Explicit rules? Check. People who have shared crazy success stories? ...Okay... maybe not required, but check!
So, mid October, I committed to doing a Whole 30 in November. All of November, even Thanksgiving. I did my pantry clean out, tons of food and recipe research, and lots of grocery shopping.
So you're probably wondering how it went?
As a kickoff for the year, I thought it would be fun to start with a roundup of my favorite clothes acquired in 2016. I did a fair amount of shopping... no surprises there, but I do see a definite theme to almost all my favorites. I love olive, orange, midi skirts, and shoes. I basically wanted to pick every pair of shoes I blogged this year, but that didn't seem very decisive...
This lapis necklace | Original post here.
This necklace was probably my most worn item of the whole year. Can you believe that a few years ago I literally owned one blue shirt!? ONE. I have since overcompensated because I now have so much navy, so this just seems to go with everything I wear.
Olive utility jacket | Original post here.
I was on a hunt for a utility jacket to replace this old one. I wanted one that was a little shorter, with a stand up collar rather than a notched lapel. This one checked all my boxes and was a bargain. I can't even count the amount of times I wore it in 2016.
I have expressed my love for Zella live-in leggings many time, but I found a new favorite this year. I'm sorry Zella. This particular style has back, front, AND a hidden pocket, and has really flattering seaming. I love the high waist and matte finish as well. I now have three pairs and will likely be picking up more colors as I save up Gap rewards.
This sweater poncho | Original post here.
Collecting my favorites I quickly realized I didn't have many new tops I got excited about over the last year. This sweater however, I love. It combines all my favorite colors to wear (...oatmeal, gray, and olive-ish...) with an oversized silhouette.
This Pajar coat | Shop similar here.
Last year over MLK weekend, I went on a last minute trip to Chicago to visit my bestie there. When I bought my train ticket a couple days before leaving, I also checked the forecast and panicked. I did not have a coat that would keep me warm for the 'feels like -10°' weather we'd have to endure. So I hopped on the interweb, did some research, and overnighted myself this coat. Fingers crossed, when I opened the box, I fell in love. I actually get excited for cold weather so I have an excuse to break it out.
I love sneakers and I love wine red. I wear these ALL the time.
I stumbled across this Etsy vendor on Instagram, and quickly bought a small collection of these necklaces in a few colors. I love the organic and bohemian vibe, and they instantly give any look a little pizazz. Plus they're super affordable and support a small business.
I snagged these beauties with credits awarded to me by Shopbop, and I cannot get enough of them. They're a splurge I probably wouldn't make with my own dollars, but they're so luxurious and I get excited every time I wear them.
This floral midi skirt | Original post here.
I love a good full midi skirt, and this one is just dreamy. I saw it full price at Lyon + Post for $500 some odd dollars and scoffed. Fast forward a few months and it got marked down about 70% and I had a few referral credits so I scooped it up. The workmanship is divine and it has orange, my favorite color. Much like my Toga Pulla booties, I just get excited to wear it.
This midi dress | Original post here.
I may not wear a lot of color, but orange is totally my jam. So are maxi dresses. I wore this dress probably once a week during the Summer and early Fall.
These shoes are SO comfortable. Plus the color goes with everything. I wore them countless times and look forward to wearing them even more this next year.
This geometric print skirt | Original post here.
Evidently I love a good printed skirt. I don't wear a ton of prints elsewhere, but the retro print and orange drew me to this number and it's another I make any excuse to wear.
This suede jacket has been getting a lot of wear lately- I love how well it dresses up or down, and it's the perfect weight for mild winter days.
I wore this outfit to my company's work party. People dress all different ways, some wear legit gowns and others stick to the usual IT dress code of t-shirt and jeans. I like the excuse to dress up a little, plus I was really excited to wear these shoes. I ended up wearing them over 14 hours that day, and they were surprisingly comfortable! I'm not going to tell you my feet weren't tired at the end of the day (I stood 5 hours straight at the party, pretty sure my feet were going to be tired no matter what) but it was definitely not what one would expect after wearing nearly 4" heels all day long. These beauties also come in a few more colors of velvet, and the same silhouette in a black and metallic leather. I went with my usual size 8 and they were perfect.
These shoes are perfect for the Christmas too! They're available a handful of places that guarantee delivery before Christmas too! Here you can get them 25% off AND get $5 expedited shipping- that's the best deal I can find on the interweb. Alternatively, if your Nordstrom has them in stock, you may be able to buy online and pickup in store.
This jacket works equally well for more casual looks too. I opted to pair it with my new favorite flannel. Why is it my favorite!? I'm so glad you asked! It covers your bum! The length is perfect for leggings, which also means it layers really fun too. Just this last week I paired it with a windowpane sweater and I loved the generous flannel hem peeking out the bottom.
And then there's these booties I just can't get enough of! They just came out in nude and I am trying SO hard to resist them.