Why I Cheated on Whole30

Why I Cheated on Whole30

I admit it.

I did it.

I cheated.

But it wasn’t my fault.

Disclaimer- If you are sweet,  precious, innocent or easily offended you probably shouldn’t read this post..

People get huffy about food.

I can’t tell you how many people have gotten mad at me because I was on some sort of restricted food thingy.


Really mad.

Not irritated.  Not confused.  Not offended – completely miffed.

Because I wouldn’t eat their food.

I didn’t know people felt so strongly about other people chowing down on thier potluck dish – but, apparently they do.

It all began with the Homesteaders Food Challenge.  I went on a 101 day challenge where I only ate foods from my own hands…. things I grew, raised, harvested, hunted, milled or otherwise claimed with my two hands.  This meant I was eating NOTHING from other people’s homes, kitchens, restaurants or elsewhere.  Not even my best friend’s homes.  I traveled with a cooler in the back of my minivan and ate whatever I had prepared.  It didn’t bother me too much – when everyone else ate – I ate.  I just ordered an empty plate & emptied the contents from my cooler onto it & we all broke bread together.

This didn’t sit so well with some friends and family members.  They were just appalled that I wouldn’t eat their food.  They said it was stupid.  They said I was ridiculous.  They would be offended that I wouldn’t even “taste” their food.


It was upsetting for them and for me.  I never set out to cause friction in relationships or miff people off.  I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Then there was Rodney….

Rodney is a gun customer at our pawn gunshop.  He’s a super nice guy. He brings his son and wife in to the shop on weekends and is always jovial. We’ve known Rodney for about 5 years.  He decided to open his own business last summer while I was on the Homesteaders Food Challenge.  I was 11 weeks into a 14 week ordeal and hadn’t slipped once.  Not a bite had passed my lips that wasn’t within the parameters of the challenge.

I had aggravated family and friends for 11 weeks with my food prohibition and had lived through it….. I was preservative free, additive free, GMO free, pesticide free, antibiotic free and hormone free.  I was losing weight, feeling great and the whole thing was doing more that I ever dreamed to my healthy and wellness.

What kind of business did Rodney open?  BBQ.

He was smoking some serious BBQ at unreasonable hours of the day and night in order to deliver the tenderest, most flavorful BBQ sandwich in the county.

I’m quite sure the meat was raised commercially (think corn-fed, concrete-dwelling, antibiotic-laced, CAFO pork).  It was on a massive bun which I’m sure was laced with corn syrup, chemicals, unpronounceable ingredients and yoga mat.  Yes, it was dripping with corn syrup-based, partially hydrogenated, preservative-filled, BBQ sauce.

Not that anyone around here cares.  Most folks milling about the pawnshop don’t think much about where their food comes from or what’s in it.

Everyone frequenting the shop was eating Rodney’s BBQ and loving it.  The locals, the customers, everyone was enjoying Rodney’s pork.

I had successfully avoided his BBQ smoke pit for 3 weeks.

Guess who hand-delivered a giant pork butt sandwich to me at the gun counter on a Saturday afternoon?  Rodney.

He was so proud.  He was so excited.  He made it and wrapped it in foil just for me.  He delicately passed me the goods wearing a smile from ear to ear.  This was the moment of truth.  He positioned himself right in front of me, asked me if I wanted extra BBQ sauce and waited for me to take a bite of his creation….

Then there was the Whole30 project.


The great thing about the Whole30 is you can eat anywhere, anytime, from any establishment….. as long as the food falls within the rules.

This means I don’t have to pack my food around in coolers in the back of my minivan, but ordering at a restaurant is a 10 minute project that involves, special preparation, leaving things off, getting things “on the side” or making substitutions.  If you’ve ever seen “When Harry Met Sally” you know what this is like.

DH does not enjoy “high-maintenance” ordering at restaurants.

When I was on the Homesteaders Food Challenge he was super supportive & really excited to see me finish strong.  He ordered me empty plates and happily encouraged me as I ate my homemade foods instead of the chef’s preparations.

Whole30 was another story entirely.

The first time we ate out & I disassembled an entire entree, ordered everything on the side, and picked apart my meal I could tell DH wasn’t pleased.

Last week he wanted to try a new restaurant…. a Japanese Restaurant.

Let that sink in.  Japanese food.  Rice, teriyaki, MSG & Soy.  None of these are allowed on the Whole30.  And no one who works at this particular establishment speaks English.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Japanese food.  Sushi, miso soup & sake – what’s not to love.  Japanese food is famous for their “Dinner and a Show” approach to eating.   A Bon fire in the middle of you table.  Asian chefs flinging food at your children’s faces.  It’s big fun.

However, fun as it may be,  a Japanese dinner is a recipe for a Whole30 fail & I knew it.

We sat down and the situation was worse than I expected.  Our server knew 2 words in English.

“Thank”  and “You.”

That’s it.

DH ordered a beer.  She said, “Thank you.”

My kids ordered teriyaki steak.  She said, “Thank you.”

She brought us our drinks, sat them on the table and said, “Thank you.”

We asked for chopsticks for the kids and she said, “Thank you.”

As the conversations continued to consist of these 2 words, I knew my Whole30 experience was in deep trouble.

After contemplating my options I looked at DH and said, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to eat Whole30 here.”

This when DH looked at me and uttered the 3 words that would have me throwing the Whole30 out the window and shoving rice & soy into my mouth…..

What were the 3 magic words?

“Screw the Whole30.”

Except he didn’t say “screw.”

And that was that.

I’m a failure…


I chose marriage.

I laughed.  I ordered.  I ate.

I know some folks have some serious life-endangering food issues that require precise management and can’t be compromised.  If this is you – stay alive – order whatever you need to order.

For people like me, who are on a challenge, a diet or have just decided to avoid a certain food for a period of time…. I would encourage you to not let food choices get between a relationship with a loved one.  I don’t think it’s worth it.

When people turned seriously upset because I wouldn’t taste their food – I tasted it.

When Rodney brought me his BBQ – I took a bite.

When DH told me to screw the Whole30 – I ate sushi.

So, did I cheat on the Whole30?….. uh…. yes.

At the end of the 30 days I’ll say that I complied with the stinking rules 98% of the time.  There were approximately 4 meals that the Whole30 Police would have not approved of.  They weren’t complete failures, they were just salads with questionable dressings or dinners served with unqualified sauces.  And, sushi of course.

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Stay Healthy Everyone!



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