Carrie K. is going places. You might expect as much from a seasoned traveler who’s already enjoyed adventures in far-off destinations like the Arctic Circle—and has Antarctica on deck for January 2025. But that isn’t the only uncommon journey Carrie has in mind for the future.

“I joke about my [Whole30] ‘why’ all the time with my husband,” Carrie K. says. “He’ll be joking with me or complaining about Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes or some food that I’m serving that’s not his favorite. And I’ll say, ‘Hey, baby, I’m on the road to 100. You can come with me, or you can stay behind. But I’m on the road to 100.’”

Longevity isn’t the only aim for Carrie. She plans for plenty of adventure on her road to 100—adding more stamps to her passport, hiking in scenic locations, or playing with her grandchildren.

“I have four sons, and I have three grandkids,” Carrie says. “Family is super important to me, and I don’t just want to make it to a hundred. I want to have a lot of life in my years, not just a lot of years in my life.”

Part of this inspiration springs from watching her parents be actively involved in the lives of their great-grandchildren. “My parents are running around babysitting their great-grandkids and going out, doing things with them,” Carrie says. “They’re able to pick them up, running around with them. And, you know, I want to have that.”

How the Whole30 is helping Carrie navigate her road to 100

September 2023 wasn’t Carrie’s first Whole30. But it was a very different experience. She went into her second habit-change experiment equipped with a new motivation to fuel her journey. Carrie also found the right vehicle to help propel her Whole30 success—the Community Cohort.

“The Whole30 is already very philosophically aligned to how my best self wants to eat—if I can get my best self to, you know, follow those rules,” Carrie says. “But I went through the Whole30 as a diet versus really understanding it the way it’s meant to be—an elimination diet with reintroduction to really lead you to true food freedom. Now that I’ve done a Whole30 with the Cohort, I’ve learned so much more, and I feel like I’m actually kind of free from the diet culture.”

She went into the September 2023 Community Cohort searching for extra support, motivation, and help overcoming the nerves of approaching her second Whole30. What Carrie found in the program, and with the Cohort, was much more profound.

“Whole30 just helps me be the person I want to be,” she says. “I have learned how to nourish my body in such a way that I feel great. I feel proud of myself. I feel strong, fit, healthy. I feel sane, you know, like it’s been such a gift to get all the non-scale victories that I’ve gotten through this Whole30 with the Cohort.”

Some of those non-scale victories (NSVs) centered on snacking and sleep. She went from being a self-proclaimed “voracious snacker” to not grazing throughout the day or eating after dinner.

Now, Carrie only eats after her evening meal when she knows more food is needed to help her get the best sleep possible. This is another big lesson gleaned from her Whole30 experience, and one that was only possible because of another important discovery.

“There was a disconnect between my brain and my body,” she says. “So, learning to listen to my body was certainly one of the biggest gifts.”

But it wasn’t the only one—not by a long shot.

“The Whole30 has given me some of my favorite things back,” Carrie says. “I enjoy white potatoes. I eat fruit, when before I was afraid to eat a banana.”

Keys to creating a different Whole30 experience

Whole30 success is so personal, so unique, so multi-faceted. It can rarely be attributed to any one thing. Carrie’s September success was a combination of many disparate factors that aligned for life-changing transformations.

She points to the Community Cohort, of course. Having the support of fellow Whole30’ers—from recipe ideas to reassurance on tough days—made a difference. So did the accountability she felt to fellow Cohort members and the Whole30 HQ staff she talked to daily in Slack.

“I can’t give up on the program because HQ is here,” Carrie says. “And, oh my God, Melissa [Urban] is here watching. I can’t give up while Melissa’s watching. But I also can’t give up on supporting my friends, right? We’ve been cheering for each other all this time.”

Carrie also gained program knowledge during weekly “Ask Me Anything” sessions with Melissa. One specific lesson about reintroduction really resonated and helped foster the stark difference between her first and second time doing the program.

“My first Whole30 I had no intention of doing reintroduction,” Carrie says. “I was just going to continue doing the Whole30 until I had reached my ‘goal weight.’ I was just going to stay on Whole30 as a diet. I was going to do a Whole60, or I was going to do a Whole90, and I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the reintroduction stuff. I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m not doing that. That doesn’t apply to me. I’m just staying on the Whole30.’”

Education and encouragement from Whole30’s co-founder changed Carrie’s mind about that approach. Melissa helped Carrie understand that reintroduction is “the learning space” and helped her be less overwhelmed by that crucial part of the program.

“I was like, ‘Okay, there’s something here to learn,’” Carrie says. “And then Melissa lays down some good teaching. She’s like, ‘The Whole30 is an elimination diet. And unless you have a specific context, you should not be extending your Whole30 beyond 30 days.’ You’re really here to learn.”

Next stop: A lifetime of adventure

While some may be satisfied with dog sledding in the Arctic Circle or swimming with wild orcas, that’s just the start for Carrie K. Luckily, all the lessons learned, the NSVs experienced, and the confidence gained from the Whole30 and Community Cohort will set Carrie up for the adventures that surely lie ahead on her road to 100.

She knows how to listen to her body better. Fueling herself for better sleep and overall well-being is easier now. Carrie’s more prepared than ever to walk the path she’s laid out for herself.

“I love to travel,” she says. “I like taking cool international adventures. I’ve got this big bucket list of all these places in the world that I want to go. But some of them are not easy places—like I want to go hike around Patagonia. I need to be healthy, fit, and strong, in order to take those kinds of active vacations and explore the world.”

The rest of her road to 100 awaits. And after her September Whole30 experience, Carrie is ready—like never before—for the adventure of a lifetime.

Published by Lindsay Rhodes

Lindsay Rhodes currently lives in Chicago. She attended Butler University where she received her B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Strategic Communication. Previously, Lindsay has worked for management consulting firms as a marketing consultant and as a campus recruiter.