Dear Melissa,

Its Day 25 of my last Whole30 … I’m OVER IT. No foods sound good, and I can’t imagine what to make for dinner—it’s like pregnancy food aversions, except I’m definitely not pregnant. I want to finish each Whole30 strong, but how can I do that if feel like I just hit the wall? – Shelly, Santa Monica book signing event

Dear Shelly,

This can be common, especially when you’re towards the tail-end of a longer habit change, like 30 consecutive days of Whole30, a meditation challenge, or a decluttering effort. In the beginning, it’s new and exciting! In the middle, it’s feeling more automatic and you’re really seeing the benefits. But in the last week, your brain senses “the end” on the horizon and starts screaming for reward. You’ve been SO DEDICATED. You’ve worked SO HARD. And now you have to work hard for six more long days? It’s exhausting. You’re bored. You’re OVER IT.

Except you’re not, really. You feel awesome. You look awesome. You want to finish strong. You just need to jump-start your brain into feeling excited again. Here are three ideas for just how to do that.

Find New, Drool-Worthy Recipes

If you’ve been eating the same five meals for the last 25 days, well, no wonder you’re bored. Now’s the time to:

  • Scour The Whole30 Slow Cooker for a new recipe that sounds extra-tasty
  • Ask your Whole30 BFF or Whole30 Coach to send you their top three favorite Whole30 dinner recipes
  • Make something you’ve been cooking and make it taste brand-new (like subbing curry sauce for tomato sauce in your ground meat and veggies dish, or putting your breakfast eggs over a salad instead of sweet potato hash)
  • Poke around @whole30recipes and bookmark a few photos that make your taste buds excited for dinner again

Find ONE New Jazzy Ingredient

Sometimes, finding one new Whole30 Approved or compatible ingredient can change the whole game, making you excited to eat again. Even if you’re on a budget, now’s the time for just a little splurge. Order some nutpods so your morning coffee is creamy-dreamy again, pick up a jar of Yai’s Thai Green Curry Sauce for Thai-inspired curry in a hurry, or scour your local Whole Foods Market for a Whole30-compatible find you didn’t even know existed, like plantains to pan-fry in ghee or the new organic line of Bitchin’ Sauces to slather on your burgers.

Order Out

Sometimes it’s the idea of making your own dinner-for-one for the millionth night in a row that has you feeling down … so try ordering a Whole30 compatible meal from Chipotle, sweetgreen, or one of our many other excellent meal delivery and restaurant partners who create incredible Whole30 dishes designed to give you a night off. Check out our state-by-state options here.

Finally, here are two other scenarios that you may be experiencing in the last week of your Whole30 … and some tough-love tips, from me to you.

Go The Extra Mile

Be honest … have you let yourself fall into a Whole30 rut? Have you been eating the same tuna-salad-over-romaine meal for last three weeks? Is your “lunch” a Whole30 Approved meat bar and an apple on more days than it’s something homemade or fresh?

Yes, there are lots of Whole30 convenience foods these days, and yes, sometimes you don’t have the capacity to prepare a three-course fine dining experience—but if this is your context, there are plenty of things you can do to get out of your rut. Kick it up a notch ASAP, and you’ll be surprised how just a little effort here goes a long way towards exciting your taste buds and making mealtime FUN again. Cook a delicious Whole30 dinner, set the table with the nice place settings, and pour yourself a Whole30 Approved Humm kombucha in a fancy glass over ice (garnish with a lemon or lime wedge for extra credit).  Go the extra mile for yourself and see if it doesn’t recharge your motivation for these last few days.

Let Yourself Relax

It’s also entirely possible you’ve taken this in the other direction, making Instagram-worthy recipes from scratch three times a day, seven days a week. You’re shopping daily, prepping non-stop, and spending hours in the kitchen, because you want to do the best Whole30 that’s ever been done. Cool. I admire your dedication and efforts! But it’s okay to take it down a notch, okay? I don’t want you to burn out with just a few days left.

If you’re going to take your healthy Whole30 habits with you into your food freedom, it has to be sustainable. Which means sometimes, you’re microwaving sweet potatoes and Applegate hot dogs, sticking one in the other (you can surely figure that part out), drizzling the whole hot mess with some Primal Kitchen Ranch, and eating it off a paper plate. Because THAT’S Whole30 too, and wouldn’t a night off from the kitchen feel good right about now?

So there you have it… SIX tips for jazzing up the last week of your Whole30. If you have a favorite tip or trick for keeping your Whole30 fresh and tasty, share it on Instagram with the tag #IAmWhole30.

Best in health,
Melissa

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Remember, we aren’t answering questions about the Whole30 rules via this column (use the forum!), nor are we able to offer you specific advice about your medical issue, health condition, or body composition.

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Melissa Hartwig Urban is a Certified Sports Nutritionist, and a 5-time New York Times bestselling author (It Starts With Food; The Whole30; Food Freedom Forever; The Whole30 Cookbook; The Whole30 Day by Day; and The Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook). She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNBC, Details, Outside, SELF, and Shape as the co-founder of the Whole30 program. Melissa lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

Photo credit: Marie Carmel Photography