To get an idea of what that means, we turned to the experts, including Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the author of The Paleo Diet; Erin Holley, RD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio; and Lona Sandon, PhD, RD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
In William Calvin's The Ascent of Mind, Chapter 8 he discusses why he thinks that the Acheulian hand-ax (the oldest of the fancy stone tools of Homo erectus) was really a "killer frisbee." He argues that natural selection for throwing accuracy, which requires brain machinery, is the evolutionary scenario for bootstrapping higher intellectual functions. There are many more articles about evolution and human development throughout William's extensive site, though much of it these days is on climate change.
Now, The Whole30 offers a stand-alone, step-by-step plan to break unhealthy habits, reduce cravings, improve digestion, and strengthen your immune system. The Whole30 prepares participants for the program in five easy steps, previews a typical thirty days, teaches the basic meal preparation and cooking skills needed to succeed, and provides a month’s worth of recipes designed to build confidence in the kitchen and inspire the taste buds. Motivating and inspiring with just the right amount of signature tough love, The Whole30 features real-life success stories, an extensive quick-reference FAQ, detailed elimination and reintroduction guidelines, and more than 100 recipes using familiar ingredients, from simple one-pot meals to complete dinner party menus.
You may notice that the following meal plans do not include any snacks. This is because, technically, snacking isn’t really something you should do while on a Whole30. Just be sure you’re getting enough food at each meal (which may be hard at first as you adjust to eating whole, real food and no processed “foods”) and you won’t need to snack. If you do feel the need to eat something between meals, try to keep some cut-up veggies on hand so you’ve got something easy and quick nearby and aren’t tempted to grab something non-Whole30.
Plus, I feel like the way I eat directly affects my mood. If I eat sugar, I almost always feel like garbage. If I eat protein and veggies and tons of avocado, I feel stable and much less like I am going to have a stage-four meltdown. Blood sugar swings are also real — no one wants to deal with me when I am hangry. It’s a nightmare. This program is supposed to help with all these things. I desperately wanted to feel better, so I dove in.
Another 2014 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of the Paleo plan to those of a standard low-fat diet on 70 obese, postmenopausal women. After six months, the Paleo group lost 14 pounds on average, while the other group lost nearly 6 pounds. After a year, the Paleo group had lost 19 pounds on average, and the low-fat dieters had dropped 10 pounds. A year later, both groups had regained some weight: The Paleo group was still down 10 pounds, while the low-fat group had dropped an average of more than 6 pounds.
In my first CrossFit experience three years ago, I almost made myself puke because I wanted so badly to finish with a good time. Last year, I did another CrossFit workout that I hadn’t properly prepared for and cranked out 100 pull ups quickly…and I ended up walking around with T-rex arms for a WEEK because I physically could not straighten them. Not kidding.
CrossFit Inc. reserves the right to send 4 athletes who have failed to qualify otherwise to the Games. This is a complete CYA move. If a fan favorite fails to qualify through the Open or through a sanctioned event, you can believe Dave Castro will send a quick text message saying, “I got you covered, boo. You've always had the capacity in my eyes <3”.
After spending a week fine-tuning my new eating plan, I decided to add workouts back into my routine. On a typical week, I'll go to a cardio or strength class (I like boxing) once or twice and do some yoga or stretching at home another night. I dove right in and hit up my favorite boxing studio, Rumble. But I was really nervous. What if I didn't have enough energy? What if I passed out during class? What if I got so hungry I caved and bought a slice of pizza on the walk home from class?
Foods allowed during the program include meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. During the Whole30, participants are advised not to count calories or to weigh themselves.[3] After the program is complete, participants are counseled to strategically reintroduce foods outside the endorsed Whole30 list, document the health consequences and culinary value of these additions, and determine if the addition is desired.[4] The program's founders believe that sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, and legumes affect weight, energy, and stress levels.[5] Losing weight is not a focus of Whole30; calorie-counting and weigh-ins are not allowed.[3]
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You likely will lose weight on Whole30—“many people do appear to lose weight while following the plan, likely due to the decreased reliance on processed foods and increased consumption of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables,” says Cohen. But it wasn’t designed for weight loss, and once the 30 days are over, you may gain all the weight back as you reintroduce your body to a normal diet.
I have had to be gluten free for the last ten years, with my husband “playing” along, but not necessarily following closely. He has seen however a huge difference now – for the better, not having the gluten in his diet these past few weeks. In addition to taking out the alcohol, we were really worried about taking out the dairy. As much as we used to “live” on dairy – we are realizing that it has played a big part in our carrying extra, unnecessary pounds. These recipes are full and flavorful enough, that it has made it easier to jump in and follow the Whole30 plan without wanting to cheat. 50% OF THE WAY – WE CAN DO THIS!
When the 30 days are up, you can continue eating this way or gradually add some of the foods back in one by one to see which may have been causing your issues. Many people who become devotees of the lifestyle stick to a Paleo diet afterward (The Paleo diet is interpreted differently by different people, but in general, it’s a less strict, long-term lifestyle version of the Whole30).
It should be noted that U.S. News & World Report just released its annual ranking of diets, and Whole30 ranked dead last. Why? Essentially, the expert panel of over 20 registered dietitians, academics, and medical doctors found the program unsustainable and potentially unhealthy, since, among other issues, it restricts certain food groups and is high in sodium and cholesterol. But, Whole30's co-creator Melissa Hartwig stands behind the program, telling Cosmopolitan.com that its animal protein recommendations are in line with government recommendations, and that there are no nutrients in temporarily restricted foods, like grains and legumes, that you can't find in fruits and vegetables.
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
Two friends and I discussed the article, and then one proposed something unbelievable: "We should do Whole30 together." After considering what Philipps' had to say about it, I decided to give it a try. Then Health editor in chief Lori Leibovich asked me to document my Whole30 experience with daily video diaries on Health Instagram stories, and I knew there was no turning back. I was about to do my first diet ever.
That's a lot of tension--doing everything possible to make CrossFit a mainstream sport while legally or digitally body slamming anyone who refers to the CrossFit name to cater to its athletes or fans. Glassman has always thrived on doing the opposite of what anyone has ever figured was sensible or possible. But now Glassman's own intentions, of doing what he wants and letting others do what they want, are pressing up against each other more every day. In CrossFit, Glassman is hoisting two massive, contending ideas at once: CrossFit is an open-source workout for everyone to enjoy; CrossFit is a trademarked brand protected as viciously as a Hells Angels jacket. If it comes clattering down, it will be painful as all hell to watch. But if it succeeds? It won't be the first time a CrossFitter shocks people with how much weight he put above his head. You can bet Glassman's gonna try for another rep.
Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved cholesterol. However these studies were of short duration (6 months or less) with a small number of participants (less than 40). [4-6]
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson. Paleoista is not only a how-to book, it is also a glimpse into the life of a woman who gives advice on how to eat this way, and lives the life, day in and day out. The author's websites: NellStephenson.com Nutrition & Fitness and Paleoista.com. To be published May 1, 2012.
Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved cholesterol. However these studies were of short duration (6 months or less) with a small number of participants (less than 40). [4-6]
Oh sleep, it's one of my favorite things in the world, yet it has always been a real challenge for me. I have been on and off of sleep medication for seven years. For me, the hardest part is actually falling asleep. Well on Whole30 I fell asleep naturally. The first few days, I would be so exhausted by bedtime that I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, and that continued the whole month. This was probably the most drastic and exciting change that I experienced on Whole30.

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Rice is a grain, and grains are a paleo no-no for sure. Our family has recently re-introduced small amounts of white rice and even smaller amounts of red potatoes. We don't eat it often, and when we do, we don't eat large portions. For the most part, we are an active family (especially Rob and I, what with CrossFit and all) and replenish every now and then with a little extra starch. We don't have any medical conditions that can be aggravated by eating these starches, so it's a personal choice that we have made. White rice is making a comeback in most paleo circles, but this is a personal choice for you. Don't do it just because it's in this recipe if eating white rice doesn't agree with you.


You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no, or make your mom proud and say, “No, thank you.” Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.

Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a pizza, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even begun.


The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The definitive book on the non-dangers of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat was The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, 2000. This book is six years newer. Its forward is by Uffe Ravnskov. To get a wonderful description of the book read the leading review at Amazon. The many reviews there average to 5 stars.
By the second week I started to notice that my face and my stomach looked less puffy. Score! I saw this as a sign that inflammation in my system was going down. One of the most remarkable changes was in my mood. I felt generally happy and positive. I would say I’m a positive person in general, but I do get stressed out easily. The margin for getting really stressed got a little thicker, and I was simply able to deal better.
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.

While founders Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig are adamant in their book and on their website that “you’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written,” the Whole30 is not for the lazy or noncommittal. Without careful planning, a strong support system and dogged dedication, a business lunch, flight delay or date night can throw you off and send you back to the start. By nature, diets that eliminate entire food groups are tough to follow. On the other hand, it’s only 30 days.
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson. Paleoista is not only a how-to book, it is also a glimpse into the life of a woman who gives advice on how to eat this way, and lives the life, day in and day out. The author's websites: NellStephenson.com Nutrition & Fitness and Paleoista.com. To be published May 1, 2012.
Two friends and I discussed the article, and then one proposed something unbelievable: "We should do Whole30 together." After considering what Philipps' had to say about it, I decided to give it a try. Then Health editor in chief Lori Leibovich asked me to document my Whole30 experience with daily video diaries on Health Instagram stories, and I knew there was no turning back. I was about to do my first diet ever.
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
As of 2016 there are limited data on the metabolic effects on humans eating a paleo diet, but the data are based on clinical trials that have been too small to have a statistical significance sufficient to allow the drawing of generalizations.[3][6][20][not in citation given] These preliminary trials have found that participants eating a paleo nutrition pattern had better measures of cardiovascular and metabolic health than people eating a standard diet,[3][9] though the evidence is not strong enough to recommend the paleo diet for treatment of metabolic syndrome.[9] As of 2014 there was no evidence the paleo diet is effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease.[21]

Participation and sponsorship have grown rapidly since the inception of the Games. The prize money awarded to each first-place male and female increased from $500 at the inaugural Games to $300,000 for 2019.[20] The largest jump in prize money came from the first Games sponsored by Reebok in 2011 when first place went from $25,000 in 2010 to $250,000 in 2011.[21] The total prize payout in 2016 was $2,200,000.[22]
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat—the paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the Earth just as our ancestors did. Those ancestors didn't have livestock or crops to call their own, so Cordain advises to go with grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that didn't exist back then. Research from Emory University suggests that Paleolithic people obtained about 35% of their calories from fats, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.
A metaresearch group at Tilburg University in the Netherlands investigates scientists’ research methods and operations, scrutinizing questionable practices such as selective reporting of statistical tests and data massaging. The group instead advocates for practices such as preregistering studies and making experimental data immediately available for open external review and verification. Its members are optimistic that “the perverse incentives of careerist academia, to hoard data and sacrifice rigor for headline-generating findings, will ultimately be fixed.”
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