Whole30 Day 12: Tale of the Wilderness

by Jen Burdick
Whole30 Day 12: Tale of the Wilderness

Merrian-Webster defines Wilderness: noun | wil·der·ness | a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings : an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community.

For purposes of this blog post, we’ll also be using the more recently released definition: a place in time and space meant to destroy beings participating in the Whole30 Program.

As part of Day 10’s treat yo’ self extravaganza, I booked us a little getaway to do some of our fave pastimes — hike and get our bouge on, Bed and Breakfast style. ’Twas a courageous thing to do, as I knew it meant escaping the protective boundaries of our daily routine we’ve created to ensure each and every moment has been curated with Whole30 compliance top of mind. But, with Melissa’s words still so fresh in my mind, Whole30 is ultimately about providing you tools to #liveyourbestlife. So, off we went.

First on the list of wilderness survival techniques: lunch on the go. If I’ve learned anything over the past 12 days — don’t friggin skip lunch. My cravings tend to soar in the afternoon, and the snack game becomes fierce (shout out to the Day By Day book, which forces me to write down my deepest darkest feelings on the daily, which in turn surfaced this struggle). So, prepped the crap out of our lunch last night.

Made this smoke show of a dressing — legit took 3 mins. Subbed dijon for brown mustard. It was the shining star of our car lunch* today. Packed our to-go containers to the brim with kale, topped it off with some pistaches (that’s short for pistachios), peppers, avocado because duh, and then awkwardly tossed some smoked turkey slices in there — your girl was too lazy to cook/chop chicken last night. #confessions. The result was an off-the-hook salad that fueled us through a heck of a hike across the arctic tundra.

Long live Power Supply.

Let’s circle back on the previously mentioned *car lunch: Here’s the deal folks. I had a high hopes of eating our lunch we so thoughtfully crafted on a picturesque plot of land overlooking the rolling hills of Virginia. Though it was 65 degrees yesterday, I was anticipating a colder day today — like 40 degrees colder. Again, prepared for that. In fact, I was ready to welcome it with open arms like a true Pittsburgher. What we were certainly not prepared for was the 43 MPH winds that came along for the ride. So, we hunkered down in our shaking-in-the-wind car to enjoy our power packed lunch, because well, the choice wasn’t ours. Our kale didn’t stand a chance out in the wild.


Much like we’ve committed to these 30 days of resetting our minds and insides, we too committed to this mother truckin’ hike — which in many ways, paralleled the strugs between the two. With temptation literally all around us in the form of our most beloved vineyards, we charged forward down arguably, the most undesirable path.

Snot flying, tears freezing, hands immobile, we pushed on. I asked myself, at least a dozen times, why in Melissa’s name are we putting ourselves through this. As any good blogger would, I tried to capture my crippling discomfort to bring life to this narrative, a few gems below.

Back off boys. I’m married.

There were moments, small fleeting moments, as we ascended the mountain, that we were protected from the wind by our tree friends — triends we came to call them. And in those moments, you could take in the stunning scenery — turns out it was there the whole time, we were just too preoccupied with our misery to take note.

We finished the whole kit and caboodle — no shortcuts taken. Why? Very likely because we knew what was on the other side.

And cue the inevitable metaphor.

Today, on the other side awaited our bougey bouge night at our Bed and Breakfast. We thawed, well partially thawed on the way there. Received the warmest welcome, started the fire, sunk into our robes, made some tea and well … friends, this has got to be what Food Freedom feels like.

P.S. If you haven’t already, give Tara’s Day 11 post a read — we’ve got a new warrior to welcome to the motley crew!

PSA: if you reside in the DC, SoCal, San Francisco or Dallas areas and want to give Territory’s Whole30 Approved meals a whirl, use code JANW30 when creating your account to snag $50 off your first order. Or just click the magic box below.

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