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How I’m Starting the New Year…

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HOT! Getting Toasty! Lukewarm Starting To Melt Ice Ice Baby
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So as I mentioned earlier today in the “Submit Your Frugal Tips for Being Healthier in the New Year” post, I am starting 2015 with a focus on eating healthier, exercising more, and sleeping more by getting my butt in bed earlier (however, I am still working on the going to bed earlier part – it’s a daily struggle!). One thing that has helped me get and stay motivated, having a great support group of friends…

(Going for a run in the snow with my good friend, Clarissa!)

A few of my friends and I started the Whole30 last Monday. You can read all about the Whole30 here. The Whole30 is all about eating “real” foods for 30 days –

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

You basically have to cut out all added sugars of any kind (real or artificial) and no alcohol, grains, dairy etc… Read all about the food items that are allowed and not allowed here. So as you can see, this is why the support of friends is so VERY needed! I am sure missing the cream in my coffee – coconut milk just doesn’t do it for me πŸ™ AND all of the snack foods I previously munched on… oh so tempting!

My friends and I started a group text where we text daily Whole30 approved food photos to keep one another motivated. It definitely helps and gives us ideas for meals/snacks to try. I would highly recommend doing this if you have a few friends that are wanting to eat healthier in the New Year. It’s fun to be cheerleaders for one another! Here are a few of the meals I prepared last week…

Sweet Potato Hash browns with 2 eggs!
I’ve had this for breakfast almost every morning! So GOOD! πŸ™‚

Kale Chips! Great if you get the munchies like me.
(NOTE, I’ve dealt with many failed attempts at making Kale chips in the past, but this post I recently read on 6 Tips for Flawless Kale Chips really helped!)

Shepherds Pie with Creamy Mashed Cauliflower!
(Ummmm… seriously, this was such delicious comfort food! Note, I used ground pork instead of the lamb she called for in the recipe)

Interested in seeing more Whole30 compliant recipes? Well, I’m super excited to let you all know that Lina will be focusing this month on posting Whole30 recipes! So be sure to stay tuned for some healthy and tasty recipes…

Now keep in mind that my entire household is not doing the Whole30 program. However, what I love about eating this way is that everyone in the household ends up eating healthier regardless. My kiddos are trying new fruits and veggies… and my hubby is pretty much eating the Whole30 way (other than his occasional Coke Zero… he may have a wee bit of an addiction to those).

(Yes, this is Piper eating a raw red onion! She loves them and we love her breath! πŸ˜‰ )

And one more goal of mine for 2015, to run more races! I completed just 2 races last year and had such a blast running both of them. It’s funny because I remember prior to running each of them, I was so nervous. I had all of those wonderful “What ifs”Β  in my head… What if I get a cramp and have to stop? What if I have to pee? Or worse, what if I have to poop?Β  πŸ™‚ Then I end up getting no sleep prior to the races because I’m running these questions through my head again and again.Β  Please say I’m not the only one?Β  On a positive note, each of the two races I ran was seriously so much fun! It was such a great confidence booster for me and really lifted my spirits. Plus, it’s pretty rad to be able to run through the gorgeous mountains in Idaho!

(My hubby and I <3 during the 2014 Sawtooth Relay)

Β I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2015! And if you are interested in eating healthier and exercising more in the New Year, stay tuned for lots of posts on these topics (all with a frugal spin!). Also, here are a couple of videos I’ve done previously that may help to get ya motivated…

*Video: How to Save on Organic and Natural Products with Coupons (+ My Fav Products!)
*Video: How To Shop & Save At Whole Foods Market

Join The Discussion

Comments 185

  1. LadyO

    Ok, so this Whole 30 sounds suspiciously like a “diet” I did 12 years ago, before conceiving my son. I wanted to trim down a little before I gained all the baby weight from pregnancy… The program went by another name (I can’t remember), back then tho. I lost about 15 pounds, and felt great. It worked really well. DH was my partner and cheerleader. My GERD almost disappeared completely and my cholesterol was at relatively normal levels. Wish I had the motivation to do it again. This is sooo much easier to do when there are no little people to throw you off course, with their finicky ways!

  2. Lisa

    Where can I get the recipe for the sweet potato hash brown?

    • meg

      At the beginning of the comments she told how she makes them.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hi Lisa,

      Here’s what I stated – all I do is shred the sweet potatoes and dice the onion. I throw the diced onion in a frying pan with either coconut oil or Ghee and let it cook for a sec, then I throw in the shredded sweet potatoes and add salt and pepper. That’s it! So yummy!

      • Lisa

        Thank u!!! U r the best!

      • heather4india

        I had to chuckle that you have ghee in your picture and mentioned above. The reason why, is when Indians are trying to be healthier, they cut it from their diets, because despite it tasting “ah-mazing”, it’s quite “fattening”, lol. Anyway, thanks for everything you do for others on your site!

    • pnwremod

      My husband and I are on our second whole30. (First time, my idea. Second time, his idea!).
      I peel and shred two (or more) sweet potatoes using my food processor at the beginning of the week and keep them in a lg airtight container. They keep for the entire week, and it eliminates the bother of having to shred and deal with all the extra dishes first thing in the morning.

  3. shara j.

    I’ve been doing whole30 since September 1st and have never felt better! If this is your first, stay strong. You can do it. You will not believe how awesome you feel at the end of the 30 days.

  4. Courtney

    Yum. Definitely going to try the Shepards pie. My house doesn’t eat red meat, for health reasons, so I’m going to try with ground turkey. I use cauliflower a lot now that I’ve changed my eating. There is an amazing cauliflower “fried rice” recipe that is a great sub for the real rice.

  5. Alex | Thrifty Below

    Woo! Good luck, Collin! I’m doing a Whole 30 right now too. The hardest part is finding acceptable things to eat when we go out.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      I agree – going out to dinner is extremely hard.

      Good luck on the Whole30… I’m sure you’ll do great! πŸ™‚

  6. Anu

    This is so great. I just started the whole30 program as well. Love that Lina will be featuring some recipes. Love this site… It’s a one stop shop. Ahhh now to add in grocery store deals that would be awesome. I have couple I follow, but they don’t lay out the deals as well as you do. I know it’s a lot more work. You already do so much and my family totally appreciates it. Thank you.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome! I sure appreciate the feedback.

      • Mary

        What kind of nuts can I eat?

  7. Stephanie

    I’m doing whole 30 too. It is hard but I’ve learned already that dairy was causing me digestive problems. This in only 11 days. I did a primal meal plan somewhat before this except I would eat bacon from the supermarket. I can’t eat bacon on this because I can’t find any without sugar. I would love a whole 30, paleo/primal frugal recipe segment. My family’s eating healthier because of it too😊

    I haven’t been out to eat at all, so I guess that’s frugal😊

  8. jl

    I am not too fond of coconut milk in my coffee but I’ve found that unsweetened almond milk plus flavored stevia (drops) do the trick! I also like experimenting with flavored coffees and teas. Soothing Caramel Bedtime is one of my favorite teas! Best wishes !!

  9. Ash

    I have been dairy free for 3 years but LOVE my coffee. A tip about using coconut milk for creamer, for the consistency closest to real creamer I use full fat coconut milk from a can. Its usually seperated inside the can solid & liquid. I dump it out, warm it up in a bowl in the microwave, then stir it up and put it in a pourable container that I keep in the fridge for that week. Once in the fridge it goes back to a thick cream like consistency. For creamer I tend to stay away from coconut milk from cartons like so delicious coconut milk, it just isn’t thick enough for me. I’ve tried their coffee creamer and to me that just doesn’t seem to be thick enough either.

  10. Mindy

    I have done whole 30 Several times. It is amazing. Does wonders for mood and energy. I lost weight and overall felt so much better.

  11. Jennifer

    Collin have you tried coconut oil spray to make your kale chips? Super yummy! My 3 year old gobbles them up! We call them green chips in our house. He will eat a whole batch of I let him!

  12. Yuri

    Collin I feel so bless to know you and everything you do for us. I wish you the best luck and I will really try to follow this advices. I fell very thankful May God bless you!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Awww… thanks for the kind words. You’re sweet. πŸ™‚

  13. Fla_gen

    That’s awesome! Good for you!!

  14. MJ

    My fam has done w30 before and loved it. We are getting ready for our second round this week! We have loved recipes from and (some modifications were needed)

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      I agree – I love both of those sites for recipe ideas!

  15. Diana

    Any Indian recipes for whole30?

    • Jiya

      If you need vegetarian recipes I can send you. Let me know what ingredients you want specifically. We are vegetarian and cooking is my passion.πŸ˜„

      • Diana

        Pls send me what ever recipe you have?

    • Rae she is Indian and follows paleo and a lot of paleo recipes are whole 30 compliant, though not all so check ingredients πŸ™‚

  16. Victoria

    Go Collin!!! We eat whole30 (PALEO) all the time in our house. And I have SMALL children! You are gonna feel awesome and see huge improvements. Just push through the cravings and bitterness (it will come if it hasn’t already). You can do it!! You rock!! Thank you for all that you do πŸ™‚

  17. Jiya

    Good luck Collin!!

  18. Laura Carl

    This is totally my year to claim my health & fitness back for my body!! For as long as I’ve been following your blog (which I love & you’re amazing) about 7yrs I’ve lost my motivation for me. Well this mama of 4 is tired of being tired & sitting on the side lines. My kids are so involved in sports etc that I needed to do something more for me. But to find the time, impossible, so I thought, until my friend told me about the Beachbody 21day fix. Total game changer!! I began my journey 30 days ago & I’m on my 2nd round of the dvd workout program & nutrition plan (I get to eat good healthy food & I’m never hungry!). That said I’ve lost 10lbs but I hate the scale especially if it doesn’t budge so I compared my measurements & I’ve lost 22.5 inches!!! Frugal saving for me, I bought a challenge pack & signed up to be a coach. Now I’m able to hold myself accountable & encourage other amazing people who feel the same way I did!! I’m not a gym rat, I’m a regular SAHM that’s always running so the convenience of working out at home is big & I don’t have to shave lol πŸ˜‰ You can check out my page at or find me on FB!! Tks for all you do! Here’s to a happy & healthy 2015 & beyond AND to earlier bed times πŸ˜‰

  19. Pam

    Congrats on starting a whole 30! It’s tough but stick with it and you will get that tiger blood! I’m doing Mark Sissons 21 day challenge this year instead of another while 30…I’m okay with a little high fat dairy πŸ™‚

  20. Jamie Smith

    This is great information & very motivational. Coffee creamer is my issue so I will give the coconut a try.

  21. maura

    We eat primal at my house (paleo +dairy), but have done 2 Whole 30’s now. Its tougher than it looks. Congrats on taking on the challenge. I am sure you will feel great in the end. One of my favorite things on Whole 30 is to have Choffy with canned coconut milk in it. takes care of those chocolate cravings without the needing sweets. Good Luck!

  22. Andrea

    I do a food cleanse every year in the beginning of the year. Essentially its very similar to what you are doing eating “clean” food – no processed yuck! I love the cleanse and it continues long after the planned 3 weeks. One of my favorite meals is garbanzo beans pulsed in a blender with garlic and tahini sauce (trader joes) little bit of olive oil and lemon juice to blend. Scoop that on top of chicken breasts add the lemon slices on top and bake for 20 minuets 375 – viola. Yummy! I also love smoothies! Almond milk, blueberry, half avocado and flax seed oil if ya want and breakfast is served. So good. One last super easy is fish with tomatoes and onion and a tad of olive oil (salt and pepper) wrap it up in tin foil, plop it in the oven, bake at 400 for 20 mins and ta-da. Yummy, easy and healthy. Happy new year!

  23. Abe

    I was curious when this diet would expire? Are all the ingredients in stock?

  24. Monika

    Apart from the occasional half and half and milk, we’ve been eating like this for 4 years. I stopped buying things with long ingredient list because you are what you eat, chemicals = cancer. I cook from scratch all weekday meals and it never takes that long. I often will make food we eat for 2 days or stews in the slow cooker. Snacks are nuts, fruits, occasional plain goat milk yogurt from a farmstand… We don’t own a microwave. It’s seriously easy once you get used to it so good luck Collin and everyone else trying to exclude chemicals from our bodies. PS We are a family of 4 on a grocery budget of 80 $ a week.

  25. Monika

    ps we buy organic bread at a thrift-bread store for 1$ a loaf!!!!!!! Throw it in the freezer, sandwiches for school and work are for example organic whole grain with garlic hummus, peppers, tomatoes, zesty mustard, second sandwich with organic or at least all natural pb. Fruit, nuts, cucumber slices, bottle of mineral water – off my boys go to work/school :] And yes it wasn’t easy to put my stepson on this, he threw away lunches and ordered pizza and fries at school, so we blocked his account. After a couple of years eating fresh at home and at school, he started enjoying real foods. He has plenty of junk during weekends he spends with his mother so he should be fine πŸ˜‰ Sorry for long post!

  26. jhnicole

    Ha Ha Piper with the onions.I Love to eat them, my kids too.I love the smell of them cooking.Im fasting on a vegan diet.Drinking only water. This is my second week I love it.The sweet potato hash browns look great I love it.Have to get some Ghee thanks for sharing.I need to lose weight for my health. 2013 I lost 35 pds dancing and eating right. I gained it all back 2014 by eating bad no dancing.Im dedicating this year to lose it again and keep it off. plus lose more to get to a healthy weight for life.

  27. jhnicole

    Ha Ha Piper with the onions.I Love to eat them, my kids too.I love the smell of them cooking.Im fasting on a vegan diet.Drinking only water. This is my second week I love it.The sweet potato hash browns look great I love it.Have to get some Ghee thanks for sharing.I need to lose weight for my health. 2013 I lost 35 pds dancing and eating right. I gained it all back 2014 by eating bad no dancing.Im dedicating this year to lose it again and keep it off. plus lose more to get to a healthy weight for life.

  28. jhnicole

    Sorry for my double post.Love the comments from others.No microwave monika oh wow.I know im kinda addicted to mine and use it everyday to heat&reheat.My grandma told me not to microwave.I need to try not to use it for a whole week.Thanks for sharing your healthy tips everyone.

  29. Priya

    Thank you SO much for doing this Collin! You rock! Have you tried using coconut creamer for your coffee instead of the milk? I miss my creamer too but it’s pretty good. πŸ™‚ I started a no carb, no sugar diet a week ago but with a toddler and a newborn, I am having a hard time coming up with quick meal ideas. Can’t wait to see Lina’s meals!

    Here’s to a healthy, awesome 2015!

  30. Becca

    I really should do this but maybe in the future. For now I am just trying to eat healthier and less crap. But unfortunately crap is what is in my budget. I have been a vegetarian for almost 12 years now and I mostly eat pasta πŸ˜” but my goal this year is to eat better and it helps that my boyfriend is in it with me too, he already lost 8 pounds in the last week, so jealous! This is awesome that you are getting healthy and I wish you luck, maybe I will join you something this year!

  31. Rac

    Good luck Collin and Thank you so much for motivating me to use my mini stepper if not whole30 program !! πŸ˜‰ long way to go for me..but I will try now!!

  32. Jacki


  33. Deana

    I love your humor with the “what if I have to poop?” I have began running a year and a half ago and have finished 2 half marathons and several other shorter races! Come to Michigan in October and run one of the only INTERNATIONAL half or full marathons!!

  34. Sharon

    This is awesome!! My hubby and I are on our second Whole30…..the benefits were that great for us that we decided to do round two. The best thing for us is that we started our first Whole30 immediately after Thanksgiving and this helped us ward off all of the holiday eating between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the first time I actually LOST weight before the New Year and was well into the mindset of making healthy changes for 2015 !!

  35. mel

    My husband and I did this last year, right before our summer beach vacay. The first week was the absolute hardest!! By the end of the month, we both felt lighter and could tell we lost some lbs, esp the belly. After the month was up, we decided to try an 80/20 approach, ie eating 80% whole good for you foods, while leaving 20% for those high carb urgings (pizza, pasta, chips). Usually Sun-Fri we limit most carbs and Sat is more relaxed, where we would eat po’boys on French Bread or have hot dogs and not feel guilty.
    I avoid the chip/cracker aisle and the money I don’t spend on that stuff gets swapped for the produce. My grocery budget is still around the same, give or take. I love to sub roasted cauliflower for rice in some recipes (it’s just not the same with red beans & rice though, so for that I use brown rice) and spaghetti squash for pasta. The kids actually prefer red sauce & meatballs with the squash. Lettuce leaves for deli/tuna wraps instead of bread or tortilla’s and cabbage leaves for my chicken enchiladas.

  36. Esilda Griffith

    Hi I’m doing the whole30 and I’m a coffee drinker for 40+ years never thought of no adding honey to my coffee but when I added coconut milk and cinnamon to my coffee it tastes sweet & delicious, try it you’ll love it

  37. Jane

    Hey Ya’ll, I just started the Whole30 yesterday. I’m so excited that you can actually coupon some of the items as i’m on a limited income and not much $ for high dollar items. I’m at a total lost even after reading the whole30 program. lol. I know I can eat Veggies and some fruits but I need a menu plan. I’m a great follower and I need to lose 100 lbs literally a whole person for health reasons. Any help and menu plans or recipes much appreciated “that are compliant” of course and coupons added in there would be awesome. I am counting on ya’ll to help me and me help support you! Support means everything! God bless you in advance for your help! Much <3

  38. Jamie

    So, I was wondering what your results were, Collin and everyone else that did it? I am on Day 7 of mine.

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