As you are getting ready for the New Year, you may be thinking about the changes you want to make in 2020. And many of you will choose a resolution to transform your body by changing what you eat.


The choices are abundant; Keto, Paleo, Gluten-free, Plant-based, Celery Juice, Intermittent and many more.


Today is Day 31, my first day after completing my Whole30 Program. And yes, I did it during the Holiday season. Am I bit crazy? Maybe.


It was the morning after Thanksgiving and I felt like crap. My body was aching, my energy was low, and my mood was moody. And my weight reached its “summit”. I never weighed as much as I did that morning. Something had to change. I needed to take decisive action. So I did.


I looked for the hardest and most restrictive “diet” program. And that’s where I discovered Whole30. I didn’t do much research beyond learning what I could not eat and went from there.


Here are the Whole30 Program restrictions:

    1. No added sugar (real or artificial)
    2. No alcohol
    3. No grains
    4. No legumes (beans, peanuts, soy, tofu)
    5. No diary
    6. No MSG or sulfites.
    7. No baked goods, junk food, or processed food.

And just because I’m a bit crazy: I added “No Coffee”. (I drank 3-5 cups daily)


Here are the 11 results and learnings after the 30 days.

    1. WEIGHT: I lost 11 pounds and had to buy new clothes.
    2. PAIN: My body aches are gone and the nagging knee pain is gone.
    3. SLEEP: I sleep better. Even when I sleep less hours, I wake up more energized. I used to take Melatonin, pain reliever & Salon Pas to help me sleep. Around day 10, I did not need them anymore.
    4. ENERGY: Energy level after day 15 was through the roof! It’s called “Tiger Blood”. Rawr!
    5. EMOTIONS: My emotional state greatly improved. I was genuinely happier because of all the energy and feeling so great!
    6. MONEY: Saved quite a bit of money on coffee and food.
    7. MIND: No more brain fog and have clearer head. My memory improved.
    8. WORK: Productivity at work increased! Finished three big projects to close out the year. I was only expecting to finish one.
    9. AFTERNOONS: No afternoon slogs. You know, that mid-afternoon time when all you want to do is take a nap. Usually right after lunch. Didn’t take a nap once.
    10. DISCIPLINE: My will-power increased. After day 10, I stopped having any cravings. At all the holiday parties, there were many temptations but I had no trouble saying no. Self-discipline and resilience is at an all-time high.
    11. CREATIVITY: Renewed creative energy! It resulted in me relaunching Yellow Ventures.


You may you read all these benefits and may want to jump right into the program. Here are some challenges and negatives effects I experienced during the 30 days.

Challenges and Negative Effects:

    1. My skin is feeling weird. I have dry, flaky splotches on my arm. It’s sensitive.
    2. Developed some food sensitivities.
    3. Day 25-28: I had major stomach issues.
    4. You are slightly hungry all day long.
    5. You have to cook a lot which results in many dishes.
    6. Food is not as enjoyable as it once was. The joy of eating is gone.
    7. And your family will have to adjust and may not be fun for them.


Would I recommend this to others?

Unsure. Not sure how sustainably healthy it is. It’s better to view Whole30 as a detox, not a diet. It’s a program and a process to help me understand how my body responds to certain foods. I see it as a big personal nutritional experiment to become more aware of how certain food affect me. The reality is that I am only half way there. I will have to see how the next 30 days of reintroducing certain foods goes. They should call this the Whole60 plan because the reintroduction process is as important as the detox program.


These results come from a sample of one, me. So don’t assume you will get the same results.


What’s next for me?


I haven’t felt this good in a long time. And eliminating my dependency on coffee is a big win (not part of the Whole30 program, but I believe it has helped produce the benefits.) So what’s next for me? I don’t know.

All I know right now is what I am going to eat next. A big, hot bowl of Vietnamese Pho!

Let me know if you choose to do the Whole30 in 2020. I would love to journey with you!


If you want to follow along the creative process of relaunching Yellow Ventures, you can follow on Instagram at @storyofyellow.


The journey started on October 28, 2009 with a yellow plastic bunny at Pinkberry, a frozen yogurt shop. The bunny was in a top-hat and when you pull its ears it reveal its purpose as a toothpick holder. It was priced at $35.


“Who would pay $35 for that plastic trinket?” was my first thought. “Why was it yellow?” was my second.


This curiosity launched The Story of Yellow in 2009. It was a simple creative exploration. Whenever I saw the color yellow, I would stop what I was doing and take a picture of it.


At first, I attempted to take photos with my professional camera I was using for my wedding photography business but that had to be quickly replaced with the 2-megapixel camera on the iPhone (1st gen.). Because when you start looking for “Yellow”, it’s everywhere! And lugging around a big camera was not ideal.


Apple’s iPhone saved my project and the 2-megapixel camera pivoted the focus of the project from photographing beautiful, high-resolution pictures to embracing the ubiquity of yellow in my life captured in low-resolution.


Within a couple of days, I created parameters around the project for the sake of my sanity and my marriage. For example, when I am driving, road signs don’t count. Pulling the car over and over again to take a picture is not pleasant for a family with a two-year old.


This effect of noticing yellow is called the “Frequency illusion”, also known as the “Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon”. Have you noticed when you are thinking of buying something, you start seeing that item everywhere? Look for the yellow in your life, and I bet you will notice it in your ordinary, everyday life. And when you do, you are going to think of me.


However this exercise is not what changed my life. So what did?


Replace Yellow with God. This changed my life.


I am a person of faith, who believes in a living God who wants to be in our lives. And when I decided to look for God in the ordinary, everyday, like I did Yellow, I found Him.


In the ten years since I took my first picture, I experienced life changing moments and transformative seasons. And most of it is captured in my collection of personal journals. These journals contain the stories but more importantly the testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love. There were great mountain-top moments, however, most were of the journeys navigating through the dark valleys of life.


My intention is to share with you the stories, testimonies, insights, and learnings from these years and you are invited.


You ready? Let’s go!

Closing Note: I did pay $35 for that yellow plastic bunny. How could I not.