Some specific foods that fall under this rule include: pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, alternative flour pastas, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either. However, this list is not limited strictly to these items—there may be other foods that you find are not psychologically healthy for your Whole30. Use your best judgment with those foods that aren’t on this list, but that you suspect are not helping you change your habits or break those cravings. Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.
This does require effort. Grocery shopping, meal planning, dining out, explaining the program to friends and family, and dealing with stress will all prove challenging at some point during your program. We’ve given you a huge number of tools, advice, and resources, but take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health, fitness, and quality of life doesn’t happen automatically just because you’re now taking a pass on bread.
You're not tracking calories. You won't feel hungry. You won't be eating based on a points system. You're going to miss your morning doughnuts, but this isn't like any diet you might be used to. Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig actually doesn't like calling the Whole30 a "diet" at all. “Most diets are spent white-knuckling your way through deprivation, restriction, hunger, tuning out your body’s signals, and obsessing over tracking and weighing your food,” Hartwig says. She doesn't think that type of behavior is sustainable, and if you've ever tried dieting, you probably agree.
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Following the paleo diet can be pricey. Inexpensive and healthy non-meat protein sources like soy and beans are off-limits, and a recent BMJ Open study shows that healthy meats like lean ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost an average of 29 cents more per serving compared to less-healthy ones, such as high-fat ground beef and chicken drumsticks. Even switching from peanut butter to paleo-approved almond butter will cost you—it goes for up to $13 a jar.
A diet high in phytic acid, which can be found in whole grains (it's in the bran) and beans like soy, is very detrimental for mineral absorption. Phytic acid strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates, which precipitate from the body and are not absorbed. Staffan Lindeberg has written a summary on phytic acid.
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.
CrossFit, Inc. has also been criticized for having a "cavalier" attitude towards rhabdomyolysis by promoting a character known as "Uncle Rhabdo" (a cartoon clown dying in a dramatic fashion—hooked up to a dialysis machine, with his kidneys and intestines falling on the floor). In response to this criticism, Greg Glassman stated "We introduced (Uncle) Rhabdo because we're honest and believe that full disclosure of risk is the only ethical thing to do."
Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results. These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it’s made with coconut flour.
"Every fad diet thinks it has discovered the root of all evil," says Dr. Ochner. But nutrients in legumes, whole grains, and dairy—all of which are forbidden on the paleo diet—can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy weight, he says. Cutting dairy, the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets, is especially worrisome for women who want to avoid osteoporosis.
This book has simply changed my life. I know that you aren't supposed to weigh yourself on this program, but weighing myself is a motivator so I decided to skip that rule. It's only been two weeks and already I feel so much better. I am more alert in the mornings and my acid reflex is gone. In addition, my migraines seemed to have disappeared entirely. What is really motivating me is the fact that I lost 15 pounds and 10 overall inches in two weeks. I also love the fact that I have the energy to exercise again. I look forward to continuing this program even after my 30 days are up. I just feel that healthy and energetic! I'll post an update once my 30 days are complete. :)
If you're interested in the paleo plan but don't think you want to be so strict, you don't have to be all-or-nothing with your approach. Consider adopting some eating patterns from paleo and skipping the ones that don't work for you. For example, try just eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on added sugars. If you feel unsure about grains or dairy, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine what's best for your body.
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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.”