What is the Whole30?

The Whole30 program promotes the eating of “real foods” such as meat, seafood and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; and plenty of natural herbs, spices and seasonings. All sugar, grains, dairy, grains, and legumes are eliminated from your diet for 30 days. This diet is not promoted as being for weight-loss, or for long term health. Instead, it is supposed to give you structure and re-vamp your relationship with food.

The creators of the Whole30, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, argue that the foods we eat on a daily basis are no longer “whole” – instead they are processed and have added unnatural ingredients, such as preservatives. The idea of the Whole30 is to eliminate all of this “added stuff.” Can’t pronounce an ingredient in your chicken? Shouldn’t be eating it.

Common Misconceptions

Paleo does NOT equal Whole30

  • This can make finding recipes rather challenging! Unless a recipe specifically states it is for the “Whole30,” you may have to carefully examine the ingredients yourself!
  • Whole30 recipes are likely also paleo – but not all paleo recipes are Whole30 compliant

Just because a food is on your list does not mean it is “compliant.”

  • MM BACON! Well yes, you can eat bacon on the Whole30 program! However, it is not just ANY bacon that you can eat. Whole30 has specifically approved “compliant” brands and foods.
  • Fruits and vegetables – your best off headed to the organic section to avoid pesticides and preservatives
  • Anything else – meats, sauces, seasonings, canned goods – check those ingredients!

Not all foods are available at your local grocery store

  • Find a great recipe? Looking for a certain brand? Not all Whole30 compliant brands are regularly carried in grocery stores. This can make it very challenging to find that ingredient in time for 7 o’clock dinner.
  • If you are really dedicated to staying Whole30 compliant, try grocery shopping for certain items ahead of time online!

It is NOT about weight loss.

  • Unlike the large majority of food programs out there – the Whole30’s purpose is not to help you lose weight. It just so happens that some people do lose weight by following the Whole30 – makes sense since you are eliminating grains and sugars from your diet!

It IS about feeling good.

  • There are many things that we eat on a day to day basis but we don’t quite understand how they react in our bodies. Unless you are a nutritionist – or a scientist! Then you might know exactly what is happening. But for plain old humans like me – its hard to keep track of all this “stuff” going on!
  • This program is supposed to improve your relationship with food and help you to understand how your body reacts to the things you put inside it.

Articles about the Whole30

After doing quite a bit of research, here are a few articles that I found helpful to read

I Tried Whole30 and Here Is How It Went by The Kitchn

Beginner’s Guide to the Whole30 by Greatist

Whole 30 Diet Mistakes by Prevention

Best Diets – The Whole 30 Diet by Health US News – only rated 2 out of 5 – eek!

10 Things you Must Do to Lose Weight on the Whole30  by Prevention

6 Things to Know Before Trying the Whole30 by Good Housekeeping

Why Me?

So why am I trying the Whole30? What is inspiring me? As I mentioned in my previous post, Whole30 for Dummies, I – the girl who LIVES TO EAT – has been inspired by my husband – the boy who EATS TO LIVE – to try this radical program. I am not sure that I will be able to complete the program – I love wine and bread so much – but, seeing as this is the first time my husband has ever asked me to try an eating program together – I cannot say no! So here we are!

From the get-go, I am already getting worried. I typically shop at non-specialty grocery stores – stores like Kroger. Every part of the country has different versions of these stores – Stop & Shop, Market Basket, Giant Eagle, Publix, Schnucks, etc. These stores often have an organic section – but they are not strictly organic/health-conscious like a Whole Foods might be. In the past, I usually have focused on price rather than origin. For example, chicken breast is on sale for $1.99/lb. I buy it. Is it organic? No. Do I know what added stuff is in there? Not really.

On top of this, I am all about convenience. Homemade tomato sauce? Yeah it is great – but I could by a jar of pre-made sauce for $1 and save myself time, energy, and dirty dishes! Is that tomato sauce organic? Nope. Is there added sugar and other “stuff” in there? Probably. In order to make this easier for myself, I figure the best way to get started is with some sort of guidance – a meal plan and a shopping list would be ideal! Checkout my previous post, Whole30 for Dummies, to learn more about my search for the perfect plan!

Have you tried the Whole30? How did you feel throughout? I would love to know about your experiences!

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