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How was your week? Mine was pretty productive! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on ALL of my social channels but it’s been a touch toasty.

And by toasty I mean we are under a heat advisory and it feels like 103-107 degrees most afternoons. And you know what? At that temperature, and with our horrendously leaky house, it’s pretty hot inside too.

So it’s been hot here is the moral of that story.

I’m starting Whole30 on Monday with two of my friends. I’m scared, excited, and mostly scared.

I thought I would be exceptionally cool and interview myself on the outset, and then reinterview myself on Day 30.

Name: Kate Bryan, age 30. 

Why am I doing the Whole30?

Well, I’ve heard really great things about it and my friend Iana asked me join in with her and my other friend Meg. I exist on a lot of bread and dairy, so I’m very interested in resetting my mind and exploring food that is actually of great nutritional value.

What do you think you’ll miss the most?

I think cheese and sugar.

What do you think will be the easiest part?

I like veggies and I do like a lot of proteins like chicken, steak, pork, etc. My husband does too so I think cooking dinner will be the easiest since we’ll keep it simple with a protein and a veg.

What are you hoping to gain from this?

I really hope to gain a more thoughtful approach to food. A lot of the times I’m simply putting food into my mouth to stave off hunger versus actually considering the nutritional benefits. I’m also an emotional eater so I’d like to nip that in the bud. I’d also like to gain a lower number on the scale.

So wish me luck because I’m scared.

This looks delicious! Obviously not Whole30 compliant but it still looks yummy!

Such a pretty statement bib necklace.

These are great flats for the fall!

The boys and I are going to join Justin on a business trip in September to Washington DC! I’ll be alone with them for a lot of the time during the day. If you have any suggestions for easy things to do for a 1.5 and 2.5 year old, share them below!

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Nicole says · 07.29.16

Nice work starting Whole30! When I switched to Paleo my biggest struggle was staying full. My learnings were to cook or prepare twice the number of veggies than normal, to help keep you full. And I actually stay away from salads personally. The dressing is one thing but I’m usually hungry quickly after. And lastly getting to eat fat again, healthy fat of course. But it also helps satiate you so don’t be afraid of it either. Even started putting whole whipping cream in my coffee 🙂

Oh and also, Trader Joes had a lot of affordable meat that’s grass fed and such. If you need that.

Have fun and good luck!!

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lindsay says · 07.29.16

The zoo in Washington is free and amazing! David might think the planes at air and space are cool. There is lots of walking so bring a good stroller. It’s a great city! You’ll love it.

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Rachel says · 07.29.16

You do have to pay to park at the National Zoo ($20/car) but if you take the Metro, you can get it for free, it can just be a bit of a walk.

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Karen says · 07.29.16

Yes, definitely go to the National Zoo and if you have time the National Air and Space museum.

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Chelsea says · 07.29.16

My husband and I are starting a Whole 30 on Monday, too! Excited to follow along on your journey. Hopefully it’s not too painful for us!

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Ashley says · 07.29.16

We are on our way to DC right now, also accompanying my husband on a business trip! We have a 10 year old, 6 year old and 5 month old! We’ve been told the zoo is a must and the air and space museum! I’ll be checking back in on these comments for suggestions also!

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Sherrie Soos says · 07.29.16

Hi Kate,
There is a great outdoor park that has a soft platform and is massive… Clemyjontri park (about 20 minutes away). The American history museum is also awesome and has tons of smaller shops (grocery store, play place, etc) for kids to use their imagination.

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Erica S says · 07.29.16

My husband and I did whole 30 last year.it really makes you think about food. Best advice I can give is PLAN AHEAD and use Pinterest and Instagram for meal ideas.

Good luck! 🙂 first Week is the hardest!

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Catherine says · 07.29.16

I live in Ottawa, Canada, but I visited a friend in Washington, D.C. in March and was pleasantly surprised at how much free activities there were! I highly recommend going to the zoo, it is free and we loved it. We went to the natural history museum as well, and there were a lot of families there. All the museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institute are free, which is nice because you can come and go as you wish. 🙂 We did some walking between the Capitol and the Monument, and in Georgetown. Lots of green space and all in all a great city. Have fun!

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Angie says · 07.29.16

I live in Maryland, right next door to DC. I feel DC is a very adult city. Lots of things to do but mainly for adults. Definitely the zoo. It’s free (which is unusual) and The Air and Space Museum. Definitely for boys and perfect for David. Another idea is Georgetown, walking the waterfront and then grabbing a cupcake at DC Cupcake (can’t remember the name, they had a show on the food network, you’ll have to look up the name). Definitely bring stroller!

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Crystal says · 07.30.16

I live in Maryland, too, and if you go to DC Cupcake, check out their Fridge Webcam (scroll down) and they have a free cupcake of the day (while supplies last). Just go in and ask for it by name. 🙂 http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/dc-cupcakes/cupcake-cam/

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Kate says · 07.29.16

Good Luck with Whole30! I have done it, and not going to lie…it can be challenging! The key is meal prepping. There is nothing worse than feeling starving and having no compliant options ready to chose from. I never really felt the “tiger blood” energy, and honestly was pretty darn tired for the entire 30 days. But, it did help me completely kick my diet soda habit, I slept like a baby, I made so many new kinds of meals, my stomach was flat, my skin looked amazing and I also lost 9 pounds in just 30 days. It helped me learn so much about food, and really change my perspective. I definitely suggest starting with the “It Starts With Food” book. It helped me understand the WHY behind what I was doing. Best Wishes!

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Caitlin says · 07.29.16

Good luck on your Whole30! You can do it, sister! I did it back in January and it changed my relationship/prospective on food. My biggest tip, find recipes you LOVE. It will help you enjoy the whole process and not feel deprived. We had lots of bunless burgers, grilled veggies and you gotta make PaleOMG five ingredient spaghetti pie. Its a winner! Danielle Walker’s recipes are also a great resource. You probably know all this, but wanted to share. It’s gonna get tough, but you can totally make it work!

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Lisa says · 08.02.16

Hi Caitlin,
What are good snacks on Whole30? I will check out the 5 ingredient recipe as well as Danielle Walker. I really hate to give up English Muffins but did manage to give up Diet Coke so small victory there. Thanks in advance for any tips!

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Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says · 07.29.16

Good luck on Whole 30!!

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Nicole says · 07.29.16

We love living so close to DC and there are so many fun, free things. The zoo is great but might be a lot if you’re doing it on your own with the boys. Botanical Gardens (by Capitol) has a great kids garden and the whole thing is very exciting for kids and not hard to navigate. National Portrait Gallery has a great indoor river/fountain in the atrium! If you want a big park to run around in, Montrose Park in Georgetown is beautiful. And then get gelato from Dolcezza!! (If your Whole30 is done!). ??

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Tracy says · 07.29.16

The Whole30 is amazing. My husband and I did our first one May 2015 and continued to eat that way until recently. I am into crossfit and just started counting macros, hitting a percentage of carbs, fat, and protein each day to fuel my workouts. The Whole30 taught me that dairy is something I need to avoid, I’ve been lactose intolerant since birth.

My advice is to take the reintroduction phase seriously. By introducing one thing, such as dairy and then eating clean 3 days before trying another food teaches you how food affects your body.

Good luck!

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Sarah says · 07.29.16

Hi! I live in DC. Hope you all have a lovely time! Just a few general notes/tips: (1) The Mall is truly amazing in terms of our history, so definitely visit. It is larger than a lot of tourists realize. The main stretch (from Lincoln to the Capitol) covers more than two miles, and that does not include even just the main offshoots (Jefferson, FDR, MLK, and the White House). So with little babes, it is good to have a specific destination. (2) Admittedly, I am opposed to zoos, so I have not visited this one in years, but a lot of tourists go there, so here is the real tip you want from a local — If you Metro, the Woodley Park station is labeled as Woodley Park / Zoo. BUT, the Zoo is basically equidistant between the Woodley and Cleveland Park Metro stations. The difference? If you exit at Woodley, you will be walking uphill for about 10 minutes to get to the zoo. The better approach is to exit at Cleveland Park when going to the zoo, and then take Woodley when you are leaving. Also, the zoo itself is one large hill, so good to be prepared on that front. (3) Although Air & Space is often on the museum target list, we find our young tourist friends (ie, kids) are often not as enamored as we were; it is rather dated compared to what they see on screens! The bigger hit for us has always been the Natural History Museum. Even without the fossil hall (undergoing renovations, we are getting a “new” T-Rex), it has been the museum of choice. (4) Of course, as you already know, your kids are too little really to understand the historical context of DC, but how wonderful that you are bringing them here. A lot of people try to do everything/too much in one trip (I see A LOT of exhausted moms of young kids visiting!), but hopefully you will visit the nation’s capital again, so just enjoy what works now (eg, later, definitely visit your congressperson’s office, along with your senators; it is great to make those offices real — but right now, they would just be boring offices to your little ones).

Oh, and a lot will depend on where you are staying, in DC, Virginia or Maryland. Definitely talk to your hotel about the best way to move around from wherever you are. Finally, Washington as a general rule is a very friendly city, but if you run into folks who are not, apologies! Although you would never be in this category, a lot of tourists forget that people live and work here, and residents encounter a lot of folks who are not that polite when visiting, and some people get cranky.

Have a wonderful trip! I love that people come to visit this great city!

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Lauren says · 07.29.16

Also plan to bring bathing suits and rash guards, because there are some great spray grounds in DC! In particular, the one at the Georgetown Waterfront.

The National Arboretum is also a great place to picnic and let the kids run around.

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Lauren says · 08.01.16

I live in Navy Yard ( DC) and there is an amazing water park ( The Yards) for the boys to play in. The amount of free things to do with the boys here is wonderful. Going to a baseball game is always a fun evening activity for the whole family too.
In terms of museums and the zoo, I would pick one or two and commit a whole morning to it. Anything more then that is too much for the kiddos ( and you too, Kate). A lot of the things to do here are free, but can be very tiresome to accomplish alone with two kiddos. Being preschool teacher here has given me that great perspective.
A list of things to do from a DC Teacher
National Zoo
Nationals Baseball Game
Air and Space Museum
American History Museum ( Julia Child’s kitchen play place)
Discovery Theater
The Yards Park Water Pond/ Boardwalk
Georgetown Waterfront (check out the BIG boats and run the boardwalk)
Haynes Point mini golf

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Cailan says · 07.29.16

I live in Alexandria, VA, have an 11 month old son, and I agree with Angie that DC isn’t the most baby friendly city as far as children’s attractions go (although I disagree about DC Cupcake! Baked & Wired, just down the street, is far better and you won’t wait in line for an hour). But in addition to the recommendations already given, there are a lot of parks and the national mall where you can let the boys loose to get some energy out, so I’d recommend packing a picnic blanket to take with your stroller. The outdoor memorials are also stroller accessible and within walking distance of each other. And walking around Capitol Hill and Eastern Market is a family friendly activity if you’re here on a weekend. If you have a car, Old Town Alexandria is a short drive and has great shops, restaurants, and a waterfront park where you can take water tax rides. Oh, and if David and Luke like planes, Gravelly Point park is just north of Reagan Airport and you can watch the planes take off and land right over your head. And Arlington Cemetery is a beautiful place to walk through when it’s nice weather. Maybe I take that back, there are a lot of fun things to do with kids in DC!

Finally, as to Sarah’s point about cranky DC residents, be sure to remember: when you’re on the metro escalators, stand on the right, and walk on the left! 🙂

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Cailan says · 07.29.16

One more thought, check out the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for the days you’re here, sometimes they have free children’s shows.

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Lynn says · 07.29.16

Cailan has great suggestions! Defin pack snacks and/or picnic if you visit the Mall…I was just there in April with two boys and there was no place to grab lunch, just a line of food trucks…and honestly the highlight of there trip was running up and down the small hills and the big grass lawn by the Washington monument. I saw a bunch of tour groups having lunch delivered to them by the Washington monument, possibly look into that. And Gravelly Point is awesome to watch the planes fly over, especially for boys!

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Sarah says · 07.29.16

Oh my gosh! Yes! The escalators! I am cracking up. Cailan (love your name), you are so on point!

And I definitely agree with folks about packing food when visiting the Mall. Thankfully, the Mall is protected and is not a commercialized space, so it is not filled with shops and restaurants. If you do find yourself needing food, the National Museum of the American Indian has the best food court on the Mall, hands down. It is the museum closest to the Capitol, near Air and Space. But Lynn references having food delivered, which could be a fantastic idea. You could use ubereats, doordash, or a number of other apps to have food brought right to you.

If you are on the Mall, the WWII Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are both outside and are both incredibly moving. They are wonderful opportunities to experience something with more adult themes that are also appropriate for children, given the beautiful setting and areas for running around. Arlington National Cemetery (which is in Virginia, accessible by Metro; I would not advise walking over Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Monument to the Cemetery with little kids) is an incredible place to visit. One note — there are more than 20 funerals a day, and you will see the groups and hear the salutes (guns), so a friend of mine mentioned it was a bit much for her kids. Just mentioning it as it was not something I had considered.

I do not have little kids, but maybe another reader will see this message and be able to chime in about possible activities at National Harbor? Is it good for little ones? It’s just not on my radar!

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Ashley says · 07.29.16

I second Eastern Market. Go for breakfast at the Market Lunch and get the blueberry buckwheat pancakes. They are amazing. I live in Alexandria, VA, too and agree it is a bit more kid friendly. Great for walking around and has a bunch of fun things for kids to do. You can ride the Metro from DC to the King Street station and then take the free trolley down to the waterfront. Lots of cute shops (Curated, She’s Unique seem right up your alley), places to eat (Killer ESP for coffee, Sugar Shack for donuts), and tons of history. Depending on when you are here in September there is the King Street Arts Festival. visitalexandria.com has a ton of info.

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Ashley says · 07.29.16

I did the Whole30 in February with my husband and felt amazing when it finished. Unfortunately I jumped back into old habits too quickly and although I know I personally feel so much better eating paleo, I haven’t been able to stick with it. My suggestion is that as much as you plan FOR the Whole30, plan for AFTER the Whole30. The slower you reintroduce (or don’t reintroduce) things the better and you can determine what suits you, your health and your family the most.

Also with DC, I went there a ton growing up bc I had family there. I remember thinking the Post Office Museum near Union Station was so cool because it was pretty interactive. You could send mail and take mail home. Prob a suggestion you won’t get much bc it’s a bit random and not one of the big hitters as far as museums go. If you find yourself in the area, though, I’d check it out 🙂

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Michelle says · 07.29.16

My husband and I are almost done with our first whole 30. It has been amazing. It has helped us both drop a few lbs and just feel so much better in our bodies. I sometimes still struggle with keeping my energy steady thru the days, but if I focus on what I eat–enough protein, fats, carbs, then I do pretty well. My favorite recipe is a Whole30 buffalo chicken casserole. It is so good. Just google it.
Also I highly recommend Tessemae’s for condiments/salad dressings.

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Aileen says · 07.29.16

I can’t wait to hear about your Whole 30 experience. I know so many people who have done it and love it. You should take the boys to the zoo in DC! Have fun!!

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Kait says · 07.29.16

As long as you hit up & Pizza the trip will be awesome!

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Carolyn says · 07.29.16

Lived in DC for 4 years, went back for a wedding a few months ago… It rained the whole weekend so had to find indoor things to do. Stumbled into the Natural History Museum and I think the younger kids would like it. A lot of stuffed animals, so basically like the zoo! A good alternative if it is raining.

It is definitely a lot of walking, so try to find some ways of switching it up every few hours for yourself to break up the walking. Perhaps there is a park where the kids could play for an hour and you could sit down. Or a children’s museum, or a children’s play, etc. Something that you could sit down for an hour here and there to break up the walking for yourself (since the kiddos will have it easy riding in the stroller!).

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Catherine b says · 07.29.16

We have taken our boys to DC since they were babies (now 5 and 2) and have always enjoyed the Zoo, Natural History Mus, American History Mus, and Air and Space Mus with them. You obviously have to skip over a lot of detail at the exhibits with young kiddos but all these have such great interactive areas. When we were there in April, the American history museum had a huge exhibit about vehicles that our boys loved. I second the comment about walking Capitol Hill neighborhood/market. It’s really full of character!

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Ainslee says · 07.29.16

Great timing! I am also starting the Whole30 in August!

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Rachele says · 07.29.16

Have you checked out the spiralizers that make noodles out of veggies? Check out ali’s website, inspiralized.com. lots of fun options.

Personally, Paleo doesn’t work for me as a whole, I do better with a full range if foods in moderation. But I do like to do a couple paleo meals every week. My inspiralizer really helps with that, and Ali has tons of great recipes.

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Amanda says · 07.29.16

Hey Kate!! I’ve never tried Whole30, but I started IIFYM back at the beginning of April. I went with an awesome coach http://www.poppylocks.com and had her figure my macros. Hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made. She has a private support page for members on Facebook, and they are seriously some of the most supportive women I’ve ever met. It has completely changed my outlook and relationship with food. I never feel restricted….if I want a special treat I work it in. Change can be scary, but such a good thing!! Good luck to you!!!

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Carolyn says · 07.29.16

I’m starting Whole30 on Monday too! It’s my second…the first one was great, and since then I have maintained a lot of the great habits I picked up – breakfast is always fully Whole30 compliant because I love it so much (eggs, sausage/beef/chicken, veggie, sweet potato, hot sauce!). I am mostly off dairy as well. I went back to the sweets though…so I’m trying to kick my sweet tooth this time around!

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Stephanie says · 07.29.16

I have done Whole 30 two time and absolutely loved it! I loved all the food and I was actually never hungry while doing it. I felt really great while doing it and lost the last bit of my baby weight that I had wanted to lose. I ate a tone of sweet potato and eggs! GOOD LUCK!

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Sarah B says · 07.29.16

My husband and I are on Day 4 of Whole30. I am definitely feeling more fatigued than its usual so far (I’m also marathon training), but I’ve already noticed an extremely flatter than normal stomach. I’d love it if you shared meals that you find and enjoy along the way. The simpler, the better. Can’t wait to hear more about your experience.

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Jenn says · 07.29.16

Whole 30 is AMAZING!

The first week all I wanted to do was take naps and whine, but that will end, I PROMISE…. you really have to give yourself grace and know that it’s going to change. After that I experienced several MAJOR changes in my moods, energy, sleep, skin, confidence, digestion– all for the better. I’ve stayed 80% paleo since (around a year) and have maintained the weight I lost. I’m about ready for another Whole 30 to reign in my sweet tooth, it gets out of hand for me this time of year because my whole family have birthdays 🙂 I think you need to focus on the excellent foods you CAN have vs. can’t– know that meal prep will save your life, and tell yourself it’s not going to be so hard. It really isn’t, I made it up to be so much harder in my mind than it was in reality! My fave recipes were Whole 30 Chicken Salad, Broiled Salmon and Broccoli, Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes….. these were on constant rotation for being tasty and very simple to prepare.

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Jenn says · 07.29.16

P.S. A “before”, “after” and even “during” Whole 30 blog journey would be fascinating to read! I literally read them all the time, it’s a hobby…lol…

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Sara says · 07.29.16

Purchase a $30 spiralizer from Amazon – life changing. Pair spiralized zucchini with a jar of pasta sauce without sugar and voila! Add ground beef or turkey, or even a fried egg.

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Jessica says · 07.29.16

Hey Kate! Fellow Chi-town burb girl here! I just want to encourage you! You have great goals and a healthy approach to your whole30!
I started my healthy journey about 5 years ago and have stuck with it. I have learned so much and I’m so very grateful! Mind-set is a hige part. And as a believer, it’s just another opportunity to be thankful for for the body, food and health God had given us! Just taking care of that “temple”! ?
I am excited to see what you think, as paleo/whole30/nutrient dense eating had CHANGED my life and HAS (over time) helped me to stop emotional eating. (In my opinion my biggest struggle)
I’ll be praying for you!!!

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Lauren says · 07.29.16

I got warm fuzzies reading your post!, Jessica! I’m going to try to commit to the Whole 30 in August, too. You’re an inspiration, kate!

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Emily F says · 07.29.16

Yay for Whole30! I’m currently on day 12 and feeling great! I think it’s good that you have friends going through it with you! My sister got our parents, me, my brother and our families on board with it so we have a good support group. We text each other pics of what we are eating and we have a group Pinterest board where we are all contributors. It’s been really helpful! I was scared to start too.. but it’s honestly been great. Energy is good…. The food I’ve been making is good… I think the biggest thing is being prepared and having the foods you need. On Sundays I plan all of our meals and go shopping. And I take all of the Whole30 PDFs with me. 🙂 Good luck! You’ll do great! And I look forward to following along! 🙂

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Lesley says · 07.29.16

Did a family vacation to DC a few years ago… The Zoo & Smithsonian museums were big hits. Also, I remember a carousel that was off the Mall close to the Smithsonian castle my kids enjoyed. My kids are a little older but they really liked the Spy museum.

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A Oberthur says · 07.29.16

You should check out Yards Park (http://www.yardspark.org/)! It has an amazing wading pool and water feature. So fun for kids!

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suzanne says · 07.29.16

definitely check out the website red tricycle/DC
they have lists of things to do with kids, restaurants that are kid friendly etc. If you go to your state senator’s website and choose the link visit DC you can request a tour of the white house for the dates you are going to be there. It’s totally worth it! I would suggest you make sure your husband can go to help wrangle the kids, I’ve done the white house tour with a toddler and I was terrified that he would knock something over or break something and we would get kicked out, ha! If you do get a tour, there are secret service stationed in each room and they know a lot about the history of the rooms. Just ask them, they are happy to answer questions. have fun!

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Andrea says · 07.29.16

Such an adorable picture and that bib necklace is so cute! Georgetown is lovely to visit! Go to Georgetown Cupcakes and grab a couple goodies!

http://www.thebeautydojo.com

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Katelyn says · 07.29.16

I second the recommendations for Baked & Wired over Gerogetown Cupcake. B&W is wayyy better – the cupcakes and the ice cream sandwiches too. I don’t have many kid friendly activities to recommend, but I can certainly recommend some restaurants that would be more appropriate for kids than others.

Sweet Green is an amazing fast-casual (think: Chipotle) local salad place. We the Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery are two other fast-casual places that are great. Ted’s Bulletin is kid-friendly and has multiple locations. Teaism is healthy, casual, and kid-friendly. There are several locations including one near the national mall at the area/metro stop known as “Archives.” Two Amy’s near the zoo is a sit-down place with amazing pizza. Not casual per-se, but i’ve seen kids there plenty of times.

In addition to others’ suggestions, your kids may enjoy walking around the flea/farmer’s market at Eastern Market on a Saturday or Sunday when lots of vendors are there. Enjoy your trip!

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Jamie says · 07.29.16

DC with little boys is the best! September will still be pretty hot, so if you have a quality zoo near you I would skip that (plus, it’s so far from all the other things it won’t be a one stop shop). On the National Mall, I suggest the Air and Space Museum, Carousel and a walk to the Jefferson Memorial to let the kiddos blow off steam. I think the Renwick Gallery still has a kids create area, which is quite handy, otherwise there are fun things for kiddos in the American History Smithsonian. Take a trip to Baltimore to the National Aquarium, it’s fun and usually has some creatures that the kiddos can touch. Of course, Georgetown is fun, and Chinatown has some fun sights (and a movie theater if you need a mid-afternoon cool down). Talk to your Senator or Member of Congress to see if you can get advance tickets to the Washington Monument. Have so much fun!!

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Kristin says · 07.29.16

Went to Washington DC for vacation last year & loved it. Highly recommend the Air & Space museum as well as the Museum of American History. LOTS of things to learn about & enjoy for both you and the boys! Make sure to bring good walking shoes though – you’ll need them! 🙂

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Meredith says · 07.29.16

It works. It’s hard Especially at first. But it works. The hard part is knowing you pretty much have to make every meal at home. But it’s doable. Also, make sure you get the Dump Ranch recipe off Pinterest. I don’t even like regular ranch dressing anymore because i love the so much. You’ll be surprised at your results i 30 days.

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Kristin S says · 07.29.16

Dairy. I thought I’d miss the caffeine and the carbs but the dairy about killed me. Not literally but that was the hardest for me.

Now I’m curious about that Dump Ranch Meredith mentions up there. I know I have a dairy sensitivity so that intrigues me.

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Kristin S says · 07.29.16

Oh, found it. That looks delicious!

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Meredith says · 07.29.16

It’s made with coconut milk. So if you don’t have a problem with that then you’re good. It’s so good. I use it in chili now instead of sour cream. I know that may sound odd but it’s amazing.

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Deirdre says · 07.29.16

DC is surprisingly a great city to explore with kids! We live in Alexandria with our 16 month old son and have had no trouble finding plenty of (mostly free) actuvities! I would definitely check out some of the following with your boys:
1) American History Museum- They have an exhibit called “Wegman’s Wonderplace” which our son loved! http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/Wegmans-Wonderplace-5688
2) Air & Space Museum- The boys will love looking at all the planes, and there are some they can walk through/sit in.
3) Clemyjontri- Awesome playground (with a carousel), unlike anyone I’ve ever been to. I’m sure the boys could spend hours at (great place to bring a picnic lunch too). http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/clemyjontri/
4) Gravelly Point Park- Great place to watch the planes taking off/landing at National. Our son loves it (the planes can be loud, so we sometimes cover his ears!). Another great place to picnic/run around. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravelly_Point
5) National Zoo- Pretty self explanatory, only downside is parking fee/not super easy to access via metro (at least I found it confusing)

I would rent a car if possible. While the meteo can get you around DC, it’s not always super stroller friendly, so if you’re navigating it alone, with two boys it could be tricky. Driving and finding parking is far easier than I ever expected it to be!

If you’re looking for a place to walk around, check out shops, eat, etc. Old Town Alexandria (http://www.visitalexandriava.com/old-town-alexandria/) is the place to go. It’s adorable, on the water and very family friendly. Second to that is Del Ray (http://www.visitalexandriava.com/plan/neighborhoods/del-ray/) in Alexandria (our neighborhood). It’s pretty much just one main street (Mount Vernon Ave) but we have tons of coffee shops, family friendly restaurants, some cute shops and the best frozen custard you’ll ever try.

Enjoy your trip!

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Deirdre says · 07.29.16

Sorry for all the typos/misspellings… ?Hard to comment from my phone!

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Megan says · 07.29.16

If you contact your member of Congress’s office they can help you arrange a White House and/or US Capitol tour.

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Cindy says · 07.29.16

I also did the Whole 30. You will likely lose some weight. The issue I have with all these food plans like whole 30, beach body, Atkins, etc is that it won’t be successful in the long term unless you stick with it for the long term. If you quit after 30 days and go back to eating carbs, grains, or dairy then the weight just comes back. I’m only 120 pounds and I lost 4 pounds on whole 30 but it quickly came back after I realized I didn’t want to eat a heavy protein diet. My best advise is figure out if you like the food plan on Whole 30 enough to keep the principles after 30 days. If not, then find something else that is more appealing. I applaud you for trying as food is really the key to losing weight and not exercise. Enjoy the process!

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Mallory says · 07.30.16

You’ll have a love/hate relationship with Whole30 during it and then after you’ll be a raving lunatic that loves it 😉 Google the Whole30 timeline…it paints quite the accurate picture as far as how you’ll feel each of the 30 days just to give you a heads up.

My husband and I love it. I was on harsh oral/topical meds for acne and now I can control it with foods…I stay clear of breads and dairy most of the time. Dairy really makes me feel sick. The sweet tooth struggle is REEEEEAL. That is and was my hardest thing! It was pretty tough to break those habits, but I feel SO much better when I do! I went from always feeling nauseas, bloated, needing acid reflux meds (mind you that I’m super active, 30 years old, work out pretty intensely 6 days/week) to feeling great when I adhere to what I know by body needs and doesn’t.

*I journaled our Whole30 at https://realigningrhodes.wordpress.com. It’s not pretty but I wanted to have a place to share tips, tricks, thoughts, recipes, where to shop, etc. We also traveled out of the state while on it, I turned 30 while on it while celebrating at the lake, and we took our 5ht anniversary trip to Chicago while on it. DEDICATION. So there’s some tips about travel and on the go as well.
*Follow Whole3o, Whole30approved recipes, and there’s a lot of other whole30 instagram peeps I recommended on the blog
*Get the non whole30 food items OUT of your house. I bagged mine up and they stayed at my moms…I never got them back 🙂

I hope you enjoy it! Let meek now if you have any questions 😉

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Michele says · 07.30.16

Zoo!!!! Always zoo!!!

So after admiring many of yours and you sister’s looks from loft, I’ve joined the club! However, after ordering and fitting into 2 pairs of jeans, I have to ask you how much they stretch/shrink. If they stretch, I’ll keep the smaller size, as I can’t stand the cowboy droop. Any help would be tremendously appreciated from you or any of you lovely readers!

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Caitlin says · 07.30.16

I agree with everyone else who has mentioned the zoo and the air and space museum. Both will be crazy crowded- but they’re fun!

Ps….
Pleassssse do a hair class in DC!!!

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Crystal says · 07.30.16

YES! Please do a class!

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Julie says · 07.30.16

Definitely do updates on your whole30 journal! Like daily snaps?? ?? I’ve been reading a lot about it and want to give it a try!

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Julie says · 07.30.16

**journey

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Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says · 07.30.16

I feel like I’m the only one who loathes the summer heat in the South – so I’m glad I’m not alone! I loved your snap the other day where you went to the mailbox and came back sweating. That is summer in the South and I’m over it. 🙂

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Crystal says · 07.30.16

So I moved to DC from SC less than a year ago and these comments have been helpful. I’m waiting for cooler temps and tourist season to be over so I can take my kids back downtown to visit some of the museums. A lot of people frown on these, but I recommend the backpack with a ‘tether’ (I hate to use the word leash). I know you’ll have the stroller, but the backpack gives me peace of mind when my kids are walking.

http://southernscgirl.blogspot.com/2016/04/national-mall-with-kids.html

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Maggie says · 07.30.16

I live in DC with a 1.5 year old and there’s plenty to do, especially if you want to see some great sights. Some of the museums have special areas for younger kids, including Natural History (the butterfly exhibit is cool), American Indian Museum (kids area and voted best cafeteria), and American History (Wegman’s Wonderland). Yards Park, which is near Eastern Market and the Navy Yard neighborhoods, is great if it’s hot and has a lot of great restaurants nearby. I also suggest hitting up Union Market for a meal – they have excellent outdoor seating and your kids can run around without getting into too much trouble. There’s a really cool walkway between the east and west wings of the National Gallery of Art that lights up and is enamoring for kids of all ages. Georgetown can be cool, but only parts of it are really super friendly if you are going to have a stroller and two kids by yourself. The sideways are narrow and bricky in a lot of places, plus it’s crazy hilly. The Botanic Garden is great, but you can’t use a stroller inside. One note about the mall, there’s very little shade or places to eat that aren’t food carts or trucks. It’s just good to prepare for that (and keep in mind it’s a mile between major spots, so it’s a mile from the Capitol to the Washington Monument and then another mile from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial). Eastern Market is really great on the weekends and is swarming with families from the Hill (where we are!). Finally, the Library of Congress is a beautiful building inside so if you want a quick stop to cool off, it’s totally worth it. Happy to offer any additional advice if needed.

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Sarah says · 08.01.16

I agree with everything Maggie said above! We’ve lived just outside DC in VA for going on 6 years now, and we have an almost 5 year old son and an almost 2 year old daughter. I take them into DC about every other week, and I’ve never had any problems. Definitely bring your stroller – even if you think they’ll walk, they won’t 😉 The only addition I would make to Maggie’s list above would be the Air and Space Museum out by Dulles airport – my son doesn’t necessarily care for the one on the mall, but he loves the one by Dulles – it has the Challeger space shuttle, the Enola Gay (dropped the atomic bomb), etc…and in my opinion, it’s much more kid-friendly than the one on the mall.
The butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum is free on Tuesday’s (although you still need to get a ticket for a time slot).
My son’s favorite museum is American History – it has a great transportation exhibit (where he spends most of his time), but it also has the SPARK Lab and the Wegman’s play area…just note that both of these are closed on Tuesday’s.
Our other favorite is the National Building Museum – it has a play area that’s lots of fun for littles…although it does cost a few dollars per child
I highly recommend checking out the blog, kidfriendlydc.com – she does a great round-up of activities going on around the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) for the week and then another for the weekend…plus you can just search past blog posts for recommended activities that are consistent year-round or seasonally.

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Mariam says · 07.31.16

Hi. You’ve intrigued me about the Whole 30. I know you love your coffee. How are you planning to drink that if no dairy is allowed? Or are you planning to go coffee free for the next 30 days???!!!

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Joy says · 07.31.16

You can add organic coconut milk! (I just finished yesterday!)

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Amber says · 07.31.16

I have heard the zoo is free. Can’t beat that. They may be too young but the police officer memorial would be on the top of my list to see.

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Katherine says · 07.31.16

I lived in DC for 4 years. Simply put, with small children, the best suggestions are: the Zoo, the Mall (specifically between Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument), and Natural History and/or Air & Space Museum. Georgetown Cupcake (M Street, just up from Georgetown Park shopping) is great for a sweet treat but alot of Georgetown will be tough to navigate with a stroller. And other than the Potomac waterfront, there isn’t much there for kids; it’s all bars, restaurants and shops. Arlington Cemetary won’t really be appropriate or interesting for little ones, and going to Baltimore for the aquarium is like a whole other trip. I would aim to stay within the NW area of DC, as that has all of the attractions already mentioned. My best advice is to keep it low-key with small kids and not try to do too much.

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Jen says · 07.31.16

My husband has an annual meeting every October in DC and last year we brought my then 1.5 & 3 year old- Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s Estate) was fun to explore as well as the National Zoo. We also like visiting downtown Alexandria. Good luck!

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Joy says · 07.31.16

I LITERALLY just finished the Whole30 on the 30th!! It is amazing, and has completely changed my view of food. There can be such an emotional attachment to food….and to have that gone is really freeing. Stick to it! Having a support system is critical. I did it with a group of friends. We even had a group thread where we could text pics of meals, encourage each other, and ask “Can I have *this*?!!” you got this!! And D.C…is a blast. Just bring LOTS of snacks and comfy shoes! Have fun Kate!!

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Maheen says · 08.01.16

Great post! Loved it!
http://www.maheensblog.com

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Mel says · 08.01.16

Good luck on your journey with the Whole30 program! Would love to hear about your progress and outcome.

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Lauren says · 08.01.16

i did whole30 right after my 31st birthday and have no regrets. it was not easy quitting sugar and dairy for me, but i have never felt better. it fixed a lot of my digestive issues and i have a ton of energy as a result. my girlfriend did whole30 after i inspired her to start and she’s now starting a second round with her hubby.
it was not an easy start but it is well worth how great you feel afterward. the key is prep. if you prep ahead of time you will find you will stick to it easier. best of luck!!

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deb says · 08.02.16

i’ve done 2 whole30’s and plan on doing a 3rd here shortly. Good luck! make sure to follow whole30recipes on instagram. lots of great recipes posted from guest bloggers!!
Deb

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Alison says · 08.02.16

Hey Kate! I live close to DC so I frequently visit the city. You have to take the boys to see the air and space museum! It is jam packed with actual airplanes and parts from rockets. Really fun for kids! The National Building Museum is really hands on for kids. And of course, you have to visit some of the other Smithsonian museums like the Natural History museum.

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Bethany says · 08.02.16

I live in DC, and one of the first things that I thought for little kids is the zoo! Admission is free, but you do have to pay to park (it’s $22). One of the highlights is the pandas, especially Bei Bei, the baby panda, who will be a little over one year old when you visit!

Another great place is the Museum of Natural History (free). It has a bug exhibit that kids love, plus all the stuffed animals. The Air and Space Museum on the Mall is great too, but I would recommend the one out by Dulles Airport, which has the space shuttle Discovery. It’s seriously awesome!

Keep in mind that you will walk A LOT in DC, so wear appropriate footwear, which I never do, ha!

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Lesley says · 08.02.16

Please share what you’re eating and any good recipes you come across. I love seeing you on Instagram and Snapchat…so share there too! Thanks!!

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Paula says · 08.02.16

Although I didn’t achieve the energy I was hoping to gain with Whole 30, I was able to kick my sugar habit. Hardest part for me was giving up cream and sweetener in my coffee. I tried the coconut milk but it made my coffee too oily. So I went cold turkey. Took a week to get used to it but I am now a black coffee drinker. Follow emilyeatsrealfood on Instagram for life after Whole 30 food tips.

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Paula says · 08.03.16

Oh and certain Larabars are Whole30 compliant and are 10 for $10 at Harris Teeter this week.

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Erin W says · 08.03.16

Today is my last day on my first whole 30! I’m mostly excited to have a glass of wine tomorrow 🙂 It hasn’t been as bad as I thought but I didn’t kick my sugar habit like I wanted. I have been feeding it with fruit when I feel the urge for something sweet instead of just saying NO to the craving. So I need to work on that. I think I will eat as clean as possible for the rest of the month and then start fresh with another whole 30 after Labor Day. Focusing on cravings this time. I will say that I do just FEEL better. And as much as I miss certain foods it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. So, good luck!!

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chrisi fisher says · 08.04.16

Hey there! I have lived in southern VA for many years and take a lot of my friends littles up and out and about in DC to give mama’s a break. If you and your kids are willing I will bring a few up and do the zoo with you – a lot of these activities are even more fun with a few play people their own age! Feel free to reach out if you are interested.

Chrisi

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Amber says · 09.15.16

Maybe I miss it but was there ever a follow up to the whole 30 plan? How did it go?

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Kate says · 09.15.16

I need to update this post! No I never started, it was a rough month sick-wise in our house and not the right time.

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