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How I Broke My Toe Doing the Whole30

2015 September 13
by Becky

Crazy right, breaking a toe doing a detox diet? Not a lie, it happened to me last week.


On day 28, I was SO dedicated to keeping my diet that, after a crazy-long solo day with the kids—one of them sporting not one but TWO ear infections—I broke my toe in the process of “eating clean.”

Let’s start with my day…it was nuts. A record FOUR night-time wake-ups by Finn had me calling the doc right at 8am. It was his third night spiking a 100-101 degree fever and while we’d assumed it was a new tooth causing the distress, was time to go in. After dropping Ethan off at school, we headed to the pediatrician and left with Finn’s first prescription for amoxicillin and a giant heap of mom-guilt for not taking him sooner.


Fast forward seven hours to us picking up Ethan from school, running to Wash U for a random long-standing appointment with a sweet psychology student who is studying social behaviors in children, then to Turtle Park for dinner before heading back to school for Curriculum night. Solo parenting, I sent Ethan off with his buddies to eat pizza and watch movies while an Ergo-clad Finn and I listened to all the incredible plans our school has for the year. By 8pm we were on our way home, everyone exhausted. Both kids were asleep within 10 minutes of us walking through the door. Success!!

My main fault was planning everyone’s meals but my own…I was STARVING!! An emergency Whole30-compliant LaraBar was all I’d had for hours so while the temptation to cheat was strong, my will power kicked in and I decided to broil the piece of chicken I’d thawed and marinated that morning, then steam the broccoli which was chopped and ready.

Ten minutes into cooking, the smoke detectors started to blare. I leaped from my spot on the couch to the range hood fan, hit the “high” button and pulled the chicken out of the oven. Something on the pan was burning ever so slightly but enough to send a little smoke toward the ceiling. I ran under the nearest smoke detector and started waving a flat cardboard box at it, trying to clear the smoke and stop the noise—the kids were going to wake up!! Visions of Ethan’s terrified face waiting for me to run into his room ran through my head. We’d just taught him about 911 and what to do in an emergency, and now he probably thinks there’s a fire!

The waving wasn’t working (probably because I’d been doing it for only 3.5 seconds) so I added a hop—our ceilings are 10 feet high so my goal was to get closer. On a soaring leap, I came down wrong on my left foot and heard a “crunch”. The alarms went off and the house was silent. I opened the back door, turned on the kitchen ceiling fan, and raced upstairs to comfort my scared children. Except no one was awake. All the smoke detectors in the house were screaming and neither kid noticed. It felt like a moment to celebrate until the searing pain emerged in my foot. Looking down, it was clear my second toe, kind of crooked and starting to swell, was in bad shape. The next hour was spent icing, taping, and elevating…and eating chicken.

Two days later my toe is completely black and blue, snugged up to my big toe with tape. I can walk surprisingly well but the slightest wrong step causes pain. It put a damper on the weekend—no long walks or bike rides—but will hopefully be better for our upcoming trip to DC where I plan to hoof the boys around as many of our favorite spots in the capital as possible for two days straight.

So that’s how I broke my toe doing the Whole30. Sure I could have opted for eggs, should have had a rotisserie chicken stashed in the fridge, or stuck with an apple drizzled with almond butter. Anything that didn’t involve the oven.

On a high note, I’m done! 30 days have come and gone and I’m down six pounds and quite a few inches. All my clothes are too big and I feel more like myself. I’ll be letting loose on our trip this weekend, but otherwise staying off gluten and diary and sugar as much as possible, they are much easier to eliminate than I’d ever imagined. There may just be another Whole30 in my future…hopefully minus the broken bones.

One Response
  1. Vi Spinner permalink
    September 14, 2015

    SORRY! I remember those days quite well but they grow up so fast. Glad you are successful with your diet. Bet you look amazing.

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