The CrossFit Open & The Whole 30

Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I know we have been talking Peru a lot lately but that’s what had been going on my life :) Since I’ve been home, things have been back to reality. I start working again today (I picked up another part-time contract gig) and I’ve been cooking, eating, working out, chillin’… you know, all that usual good stuff. I am also super excited to tell ya that I’m a new FitFluential ambassador! So, so happy.

On Friday, I had a rough CrossFit workout. We did “Nancy” and it pushed me mentally more than physically. I wanted to quit and I never want to quit. But I will tell you again how supportive the community is: everyone was cheering me on and pushing me to complete it. And I did. And I was dead last. And I didn’t use the prescribed weight. But I did my very best and then was encouraged to sign up to compete in the CrossFit open competition. The “Open” is a worldwide competition where everyone is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online. From these scores, the “fittest” athletes will then compete in regional competitions.

Well I know I am not the “fittest” CrossFit athlete and I registered knowing full well I might not be able to even complete some of the workouts. I registered to challenge myself and get better. I did the first workout on Saturday and I surprised myself. I didn’t even think I would be able to do one double-under (skipping when the rope goes under your feet twice) and lift the 55-lb bar let alone power-snatch it. But I did! I got 86 total reps for 14.1. (60 double unders and 26 power-snatches). The hardest part is taking that first step. But do it. You are stronger than you think you are and you’ll surprise yourself. You’ve gotta start somewhere. Just like with cooking or running or food photography. So start. Because if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Just a little motivation for this marvelous Monday :)

CrossFit Games

Today, I am taking on another challenge: the Whole 30. Yup. I’m doing it… with my good mate Arman! Okay let’s explain shall we?


What is The Whole 30?

The Whole 30 is a 30 day challenge that eliminates all potential food allergens (grains, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol and legumes) from your diet. The “challenge” has two phases: elimination (the 30 days) followed by reintroduction to assess your body. It derives from the book I just read called “It Starts With Food.” The authors and founders of the Whole 30 program posit that:

“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”

True dat. They outline what they believe makes food “good.” Their definition of good food is:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

The challenge eliminates grains, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol and legumes in the hopes of making you the healthiest and happiest version of you. The idea is to eat three meals (plus pre/post workout snacks on active days as necessary) consisting of good food.


Why are you doing The Whole 30?

Good question. Well I’ve been learning a lot about this whole thing called paleo. Have I mentioned that before? I kid, I kid. But really.

After reading “It Starts With Food”, and a few other resources as well as listening to podcasts such as Balanced Bites, a few things really struck a chord with me. Namely an approach to fueling and nourishing our bodies for optimal health and busting nutrition myths presented by the media. Other than while in Peru, I have been 90% Whole 30/paleo since mid-January – I still kept some beans, PB and oatmeal in the rotation.

I have been feeling amazing but I think I can feel even better. My body is thriving from all of this nutrient rich food and I want to use the Whole 30 challenge to continue to learn and improve myself, my body and overall health. I want to clear my skin troubles and feel stronger. I am most definitely not doing the Whole 30 challenge to restrict myself, my diet, or especially be a part of any fad. Far from that. I have experimented in the past in order to improve my digestion, which turned out to be a success. So I am using these next 30 days to self-experiment.

What can’t you eat?

Here is what is NOT allowed on the Whole 30 and how it affects me:

    • No sugar… no honey/dark chocolate
    • No alcohol… no vodka sodas
    • No grains… no oats, quinoa, flours, Ezekiel bread, protein powder
    • No legumes… no beans, lentils, peanut butter or soy products
    • No dairy
    • No carragenean, MSG, sulfites
    • No white potatoes
    • No Paleo-fied treats… no almond flour cookies etc.

Click here for the full list of “rules”

What will you eat?

Eggs, fish, chicken, meat (?!) fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds.

Okay let’s discuss the meat thing. Other than my bite of Lesley’s beef, it has been over two years since I have eaten “red” meat . I gave up red meat for a few reasons:

1. I was grossed out by seeing it raw (I clearly have this thing with raw meat…)

2. I didn’t know how to cook it.

3. I didn’t know how the animals were being raised or what was going in the meat other than meat.

4. I watched a billion documentaries and read a million articles telling me how bad meat is for us.

Through my own research, I came to conclusion that meat was unhealthy due to improper raising of animals, added junk ingredients and studies associating it with health issues/diseases.

So now what? I still think there could be issues with too much meat (or too much of anything) but I have been learning about the wonderful nutrients found in meat and that there are (expensive) ways of buying properly raised meats (organic, grass-fed, free-run… all that good stuff). Truth be told, I am still grossed out by seeing it raw and I don’t crave it. But I have also been learning that sometimes our bodies lose the capacity to digest animal products if we haven’t been eating them so I bought grass-fed, organic beef this weekend. Here goes nothing!


I grocery shopped and prepped this weekend and will get back to posting weekly plans so you can get an idea how I am tackling this as well as updates on how it is going. If you want to be bombarded with meal pics, well just check my Instagram.

I would love if you joined us! If you have any other questions or want to tackle these next 30 days with us, send me an email at

Here’s to new challenges, happy and healthy bodies :)


Questions of the day…

Have you completed the Whole 30 challenge? Care to join in?

What are you doing to challenge yourself? 


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64 thoughts on “The CrossFit Open & The Whole 30

  1. Way to go on the Crossfit games girl!! I wish I could join in, but with my back it really isn’t that fun. I’m going to do a class after 7 days next Wednesday, hope it goes well!
    I did the Whole30 last year in April and I wasn’t a fan – particularly because it talks about so many food groups so negatively. I don’t like if I have to think in ‘I’m not allowed to eat….’ – and everytime I ‘broke a rule’ (by having 1/2 tsp peanut butter), I felt like a failure, But that’s just me and that’s why I stopped after 3 weeks. I hope it works for you and am curious what experiences you will make!!

    1. I hope your recovery is coming along. I don’t think the Whole 30 is for everyone… especially if it makes you feel restrictive again.

  2. I’m looking forward to following you do the whole30 properly and RED MEAT? Wow, would never have expected that from you! Even though I eat red meat regularly ( I thought I did anyway!) I’m going to make a more valiant attempt (as I lay out in my post) to increase it too!

    Congrats on the Crossfit games registration and realising you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.

  3. Amy, congrats on realising the crossfit games
    I have been having a look on the whole30 rules and there are a few things I am no agree. No legumes? No grains???????? I cant live without legumes or grains (oats, bread, rice, quinoa…). I think it would be a bit difficult to stick it for me.
    I am going to follow you on your whole30 journey to decide if that plan fit me.
    Regards from Spain

  4. Well done on becoming a fit fluential ambassador I think that is just so awesome and you will do them proud!!!

    That book you read sounds very interesting. I have also only heard good things about whole30 and you can only try it to see if it works for you

    I’m trying out a new diet too but more details on that this week.

    I’m going to look into your email hopefully later tonight and let you know.

  5. Awesome post, lady!! Looks like March is shaping up to be a really positive one for you! I am super pumped to see your Whole30 journey unfold. As you know, I’m always looking for ways to feel better, and it really starts with nutrition. I keep seeing that book floating around and I’m contemplating giving it a read. It seems like everything in the meal plan = stuff I love anyway! Happy Monday!

  6. Hooray!! So much awesomeness going on in this post! You’re going to be great in the crossfitit games, I have no doubt. It’s fantastic challenge to take on. I’ve been seeing people participate in the whole 30 and I have to say the journey is tempting! I’ve read the book and I love the ideas behind it but I’m not sure if I could handle it! I can’t wait to read about your experience.

    CONGRATULATIONS on being a FitFluential ambassador! You deserve it lady. I hope to become one.. ONE DAY! :)

  7. Congrats on being an ambassador :) I was accepted too and I’m so excited!! I’m so proud of you for continuing your WOD and getting through it even when you wanted to quit! I can’t wait to hear all you accomplish during this Open.

  8. Yay fitfluential ambassadorships! ;-)
    And I’m currently reading It Starts With Food and forming an opinion on it, so of course, I’ll be letting people know what I think. I do have trouble picturing myself actually doing a Whole 30 though…in my opinion, it doesn’t seem to be the best idea for people who have histories of food restriction/issues (aka: me).

    1. Very curious to hear your thoughts on it. I completely understand where you are coming from Whole 30 wise. But I’m also intrigued to hear what you think about it after reading the book. Keep us posted :)

  9. Congrats on becoming a FitFluential Ambassador! Also, congrats on joining the crossfit games! I love the idea that you want to challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll do amazing!

  10. Congratulations on Fitfluential! Very happy for you, and very well-deserved! Excited to follow along with your Whole 30 journey. Like you, raw meat kind of grosses me out, and I do not crave it, but I do think it can be a healthy part of our diets if we buy the right kinds and eat it in moderation (the standard American multiple servings of red meat per day, every single day, is still not healthy, in my opinion). Good luck!

  11. I think you’ll definitely be okay with transitioning to meat again if you want to. My good friend was vegetarian for six years and then one day she was like “I don’t want to be vegetarian anymore!” and she started eating chicken, turkey, etc again. She’ll occasionally have meat but she didn’t have too much trouble coming back from that. The fact that you’ve still eaten fish will help you, I think.

    Oh! And congrats on the FitFluential thing!!! That’s so awesome. I was going to apply for it but I didn’t. Next time!

  12. I’m really interested in seeing what impact the Whole 30 has on your body. I’m going back to clean eating for a mini challenge I’m hosting but would love to try something that eliminated all potential allergens from my diet. Keep the Whole 30 posts coming!! :)

  13. Good luck with Whole 30. It’s been a little tricky at my house lately with the hubby eating paleo and me eating vegan, but mostly paleo. Typically we eat the same meals with different protein sources added, but it’s still a lot of work. I’m feeling really great having cut back on grains though! The only grain I’ve been having is the odd bowl of oatmeal for brekkie, and I’ve kept beans. Now that I’m more into CrossFit I’m like you though, I want to eat to perform better and feel stronger! …the no paleo-fied treats is a hard one for me!

    I wonder what 14.2 is gonna be?? I really hope we can both do it! Please no muscle-ups!! Or handstand push-ups! Otherwise, let’s do this! I hesitated on signing up to but that whole if it doesn’t challenge you thing is so true! I just worked harder in 14.1 than I normally do, and it’s kinda fun to see where you’re at! Imagine where we’ll be next year!

    1. Thanks Deryn! I actually was curious how that has been going in your house. I just know how different I feel after eggs rather than something plant based but everyone is different for sure. The no-Paleo treats are already killing me and it’s only day 1 haha. I’m trying not to think about 14.2 but I’m so curious! Here’s to improving :)
      ps. You are an ambassador in my eyes – such an inspiration friend!

  14. Congrats on the fitfluential ambassadorship girl! And so much luck on everything else:) You will rock it! We should get together this week- Maybe Wednesday, Thursday or Friday? Let me know if you can and where (since your diet will prove to be tricky) ;)

  15. So many congrats on this post! Fitfluential (I’m bummed I didn’t apply, I misunderstood the requirements – fool!), CF victories, the Open, and more! You are amazing :)

    Good luck with the Whole30, I hope it helps you feel even better! I looked into it back when you and Arman first posted about doing it this month, but between my food intolerance and being vegetarian, it’s pretty much impossible for me to do. That said, I’m super excited to hear about your experience! Hope getting back to work went well today!

  16. Gosh! Congrats on the Open. I hit 142, and was so surprised at how well my double unders went! I hope to do a Whole30 at some point in the future. Can’t wait to hear your journey/progress! I’m thinking I want to apply the next round as an ambassador; we’ll see!

    1. That’s awesome Kelsey! So glad the double unders went well and surprised you. I’m nervous for 14.2 but keeping my fingers crossed :)

  17. Congrats on an awesome first opens workout! I didn’t sign up but still did the workout during Saturdays class and it was tough! in a good way :-) I’m happy to see you finally jumped on board and are giving the Whole30 a try! You’ll feel great and love it!

  18. I think the Whole30 is really interesting, and I already follow a lot of its rules like no added sugar, mostly no grains and no dairy but being vegan it’s almost impossible to follow 100%! I definitely can’t give up my beans and peanut flour since they’re my main protein sources but I think it’s really helpful for a lot of people and almost everyone could benefit from cutting back on grains, dairy and added sugar whether they go paleo or not!

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