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Whole30 Recap: My Father's Story

2/09/2014 *Sara-Marie* 6 Comments

Before and after his Whole30
My father is my hero. In his younger days,  he used to be a body builder and I remember being able to hang and swing holding onto his biceps. After a long car ride home, I would pretend to be asleep in the car, just so he could carry me in the house in his strong arms. 

As the years went on and his priorities shifted from bodybuilding to becoming the first pastor of a Spanish speaking congregation in our small town in Pennsylvania and the founder of a local food bank, the weight started creeping on. He was (and is still) so committed to helping this community that his health took a back seat. 

Due to the weight gain and poor diet, my father then developed poor circulation in his legs and cellulitis. Over the years, he's had two surgeries to address the issues and after an ER visit this past December, was headed for a third. 

I had spoken to my family about the Whole30 since I discovered it back in August 2012, but they never thought it was feasible for them. After all, I come from a very Puerto Rican family that can live off of rice and beans alone. But after my dad's latest health concerns, he decided to embark on his own Whole30 journey. 

About 10 days into his Whole30, feeling great and loving on his granddaughter Isabelle
I am so proud of his commitment and dedication over the last 30 days. I've seen with my very own eyes, how his energy has increased, how positive he feels about life, and how he went from needing 5-6 cups of coffee per day to only 1-2 cups. I've seen him reach for a piece of fruit for a snack instead of his usual crackers with peanut butter. I heard from my mom that he's sleeping so much better and longer at night. I've seen him preach on Sunday mornings with more fervor. I've seen his suits fit him so much better. 

And most importantly, I've seen his inflamed leg return back to normal. In just 30 DAYS. See for yourself:
No medication, no surgery, just eating real food.

Is that not incredible?! FOOD IS MEDICINE! 

By simply eating real foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, and avocados, he has taken his health into his own hands. Oh, and he also lost 23 pounds. TWENTY THREE POUNDS. No big deal. 

My father is so encouraged by his results that he has officially decided to extend his Whole30 to a Whole60. In his own words, 

"I give God all of the glory. Without His help, I couldn't do it. And I thank God that He gave Melissa and Dallas Hartwig all of this knowledge and wisdom to help so many people like me."

 I couldn't be prouder. My father is my hero. 

This picture was taken today, February 9th

And just because I love this picture...
On my wedding day, January 2012, before we knew anything about Whole30.

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  1. WOW! Those inflammation pictures were crazy!! Congrats to your father!

    1. Thank you! I couldn't believe it either!

  2. Keep up the great work Pastor Frank,...You have convinced my husband and I to do the Whole30 program!!,....We see the amazing changes that this program has done for you, not only in body, but in your spirit as well,.....we will keep looking to you for leadership in the Whole30 program, and may need to follow your lead in the whole60,..We are encouraged,....Thank You

    1. Thank you Sister Rita! I know my dad will rejoice when he reads your message. Best of luck to you and Mark on your Whole30 journey! You can do it!

  3. PRAISE THE LORD!! I was desperately looking for some help for my husband,Mark. Mark is in the hospital here in Florida waiting to have his big toe amputated. Mark is a minister and suffers from type 2 diabetes he also have sever cellulite's on both feet and legs. I came across this wonderful story I know it was God that lead me here. After seeing the pastors feet how God changed them in 30-days on the whole 30 program I know this is what Mark needs. Thank you for sharing this powerful journey this is the miracle we have been looking for.

    1. Hi Judy, thank you so much for commenting! God has definitely lead you here. You can find all of the resources you need on, but feel free to reach out with any questions. We will be praying for you and Mark! Please keep us posted on his progress!