When you decide to do Whole30 but you have six kids


I finally decided to embark on the Whole30 adventure, but one question remains: how am I going to stick to this diet and prepare meals for my six kids?

Have you heard of Whole30?

Welp, if you haven’t then you’ve probably been living under a rock or somewhere far, far away from Pinterest and Instagram. To put it simply, the Whole30 program encourages users to eliminate certain foods from their diet (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) that may or may not have a negative impact on their health for thirty days. There are so many amazing success stories that I could no longer ignore it.

Thirty days. Thirty days. All you need to commit to is thirty days, you heifer,
I told myself.

To be honest, the idea of stripping pretty much everything from my diet just seemed cuh-razy.  It seemed so restrictive! No sugar? No grains? No dairy? What the heck do you eat? I didn’t want to be one those people, eating steamed broccoli and chicken out of a container from home, looking all sad and pathetic while everyone else is eating nachos and carne asada tacos.

RELATED: What I learned on my Whole30 journey

Along the way, I read about the program and followed a bunch of Whole30 people on social media for several years. Their Instagram photos of sweet potato mash and roasted brussels sprouts and steak made me think I just may be able to do it. And besides, I had a number of ailments that could no longer be ignored: obesity, borderline Type 2 Diabetes, chronic sinus problems, low energy, lack of concentration, sore joints and a very, very sensitive stomach that could no longer enjoy a simple meal out without blowing up the joint.


Seriously, I couldn’t wait any longer but the question still remained. How on Earth was I going to be able to do this program and still prepare meals for my six kids?

After I read It Starts With Food and learned about the way our diet affects our bodies, the reality sank in.  I had to do this — the fact that I gave birth to six kids and need to be alive and healthy for them just put an exclamation on the point. I can’t lie, it brought me to tears a few times.

This is going to be even harder for me.
This is going to be so expensive.
Everyone expects me to fail anyway.
I’ll just be a fat girl for life!

But before I could immerse myself in a full-on pity party and bemoan the six beautiful children God blessed me with, I just resigned myself to the fact that I could do it. I had to do it. I would plan my meals and still cook meals for my babies, too.


I am currently on Day 10 of the program and miraculously, we’re all still alive.

The first couple of days were rough. I had to create my own shelf in the pantry so the kids would know this is “mom’s stuff” and they better not touch it unless they want to pull back a nub — my $7.99 jar of almond butter, ghee, apples, avocado oil, dried mango, herbal tea, spaghetti sauce, plantain chips (for taco salad emergencies), avocados, seasonings that don’t contain any sugar, etc. One night, while I grilled my steak and roasted my veggies and slurped on my La Croix water and lime, I made chicken and broccoli fettuccine for my family. Pasta in a white cream sauce used to be one of my downfalls but I didn’t even put a taste to my lips to season it.

I spent about two days cooking separate meals before I was like, forget this.


Everything my kids see me make for myself, they want to eat. Why do you get to eat all the good stuff? I’ve heard more than once. I wanted to punch them in the throat. Really? You guys can eat bagels and cream cheese and pizza but you want some of my veggie fritatta?  The thing they covet the most is my meat. They’ve suddenly turned into carnivores and want to eat all the steak I’ve been grilling. Normally, we are chicken and ground turkey people. The sight of sizzling, juicy steaks has been too much for them all.

And oh, the guilt. Ugh.

My Mom guilt has kicked into high gear. I’ve had to tell them on more than one occasion that I’m doing this for myself, and they need to respect the process and respect me. These kids aren’t deprived by any means but seeing mom do something for herself has brought out some unpleasant attitudes in a few of them. They have their own fruit, but they want my fruit. My avocados. My nut butter. My sparkling water. Just like a toddler who insists on eating off his mother’s plate instead of the one in front of him. I feel guilty for not sharing and for not being able to provide them with the same quality proteins and veggies that I’ve been enjoying.

RELATED: Mmmm, juice | Make your own sweet and tangy beet juice


I’m already looking into the cost of purchasing an entire cow in order to provide organic, grass-fed and humanely-raised beef for my entire family because it doesn’t make sense to implement these changes for myself and not my entire family. We all need to be healthy. This was a road that I started on years ago (when my kids were young) but I threw up my hands in exasperation because it was too hard and I couldn’t figure out how we could afford it. Now, I have way more motivation and resources to make it happen.

So, how has the Whole30 been treating me?

I’m feeling good now that the fatigue, body aches and crazy gas and mud butt has subsided. I’ve also got this strange nasal thing going on but I’ll spare you the details. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my nasal passages healing from all the years of dairy. I’m definitely not starving. I haven’t noticed any kind of weight loss and to be honest, I’m okay with that. I know it will come soon enough. I’m just happy to be making good choices for myself.

For once.
For myself.
It feels awesome to love yourself enough to take care of yourself. It feels kind of strange, not putting everyone’s needs ahead of my own. But this is not a bad thing. I think of it as an investment for my entire family.

I’ll continue to share my Whole 30 updates with you. Until then, may all your avocados be ripe, my friends.

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There are 11 comments

    1. Denise Cortes

      Thank you, amiga! I keep telling my kids, “I’m doing something for me! I love you but I have to do this.” You’re going to make me cry. <3

  1. Tracy

    I only have two teenage boys and when I considered doing the Whole30, I knew this EXACT scenario would play out. At the moment I can’t afford to do this for myself anyway, but I’ll be watching you for tips if I’m able to do it at a later date. So happy for you. It must feel really good to be eating all this fresh, real food.

    1. Denise Cortes

      They are so annoying, Tracy! lol It does feel really good knowing I’m eating food that is giving me fuel and energy. I need it!

  2. Lindsey

    My best friend’s wife actually runs a blog about her Whole30 journey that has turned into a blog on what she cooks for her daughter that is Whole30 compliant. You might find it interesting. http://smponsie.blogspot.com/

  3. Sharron

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been thinking about doing this whole30 thing with my family. Our oldest has recently moved out, so we have six at home, too. I can’t afford to purchase a seperate pantry for myself, so everyone gets to do it with me. I dunno how we’ll all still be breathing at the end of it, but 30 days isn’t so long, eh?

  4. Barbara

    I also have 6 kids – which can be a pretty amazing feat in itself, haha! I only have 3 left at home and wonder some days if I will survive until the last ones leave the nest!
    I am also totally on board to do whole30, been researching it like crazy. I actually tried it for a couple weeks but cheated a bit, so now want to start over and go at it with better preparation. . I know my whole family would benefit – but so far, they are NOT interested! I’m so impressed your kids want to eat what you are eating!

    1. Denise Cortes

      They were not very happy about the no bread/no rice rule but more the most part, they loved all the grilled veggies and protein. This is a testimony on how doable this diet is, IMHO. You only have 3 left at home? YOU LUCKY DOG! lol

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