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.
So, with my sister-in-law as my Whole30 guide, I successfully followed the program for the entire month of November. The beginning was really bumpy for me — I am truly an emotional eater and I am absolutely addicted to sugar. But once it was done, it was clear to me that the benefits outweighed the challenges. I now have a whole new understanding and respect for my body and a newfound control over the food I put in my mouth. Full disclosure that the Whole30 diet affects everyone differently, but here are the seven biggest changes I saw in myself after 30 days:
The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. "By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being," says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. He says the diet lessens the body's glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increases vitamin and nutrient consumption, and contains an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Whether you’re brand new to the program or returning after a long break, this track will take you from contemplation to action in just eight easy steps. Take as much time as you need to explore each step before moving on to the next, but we encourage you to review each step in order—even if you’re impatient to get started. As you’ll hear over and over again, when it comes to the Whole30, planning and preparation are key!
“Hartwig, a sports nutritionist and cocreator of the Whole30 diet plan, packs her fourth book on the subject with 150 recipes that are, as the cover proclaims in all-caps, “totally compliant.” That means heavy emphasis on eggs, meat, fish, and fresh vegetables, but no grains, dairy, legumes or added sugars. Whether or not one buys into Whole30, there is no denying that Hartwig has come up with a clever array of healthy and flavorful dishes. Highlights include Asian beef zoodle (zucchini noodles) soup, which is similar to Vietnamese pho but uses zucchini noodles, and grilled Jamaican jerk salmon with fresh mango salsa. Many of the recipes come courtesy of guest cooks from various food blogs. For instance, Michelle Smith, from the Whole Smiths blog, contributes cherry-chipotle BBQ chicken thighs, with the fruit providing the sweetness and ground chipotle bringing the heat. Veteran food and cocktail photographer Brent Herrig drives home the point that a burger served on a tomato slice is as delectable as one on a bun, and that meatballs do just fine in a cream sauce made with coconut milk. (Dec.)” —Publishers Weekly
In one example, CrossFit, Inc.'s Twitter account posted a doctored illustration of a Coke advertisement, with "Open Happiness" replaced by "Open Diabetes". The image was paired with a quote from CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman that read "Make sure you pour out some for your dead homies." Controversy followed after singer Nick Jonas responded to the tweet, calling CrossFit, Inc.'s comments "ignorant". The company defended its tweet, stating that "Compelling statistical evidence supports CrossFit, Inc.'s campaign to prevent diabetes by raising awareness about its causes." When ABC News asked Greg Glassman to comment on the exchange, he replied "Fuck Nick Jonas. This is about the scourge of Type 2 Diabetes and its underlying causes. His sponsor, Coca-Cola, is a significant contributor to the diabetes epidemic both with product and 'marketing' spend."
I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater. I’m gluten-free for health reasons, and I always try to make sure to eat a ton of vegetables. I make things from scratch, and am wary of overly processed foods. However, just like most of us, I can eat too much chocolate or indulge in something really carb-heavy and feel the after effects. For me, this means joint pain and the feeling of being hungover, along with many other equally fun symptoms.
That being said, I wasn't surprised to see Whole30 on the naughty list last year. In case you're not familiar with the program, you cut out all processed foods, grains, legumes, soy and dairy (that includes sugar and alcohol) for 30 days. You're left with meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nut butters and nut milks (as long as there's no added sugar — read your labels).
And if you've really fallen off the bandwagon, a 30-day reset might be what you need. "Sometimes we need to do a complete overhaul of something in order to change that habit," Daniella Cohn, RD, explains. "Following a temporary diet that eliminates all of the junk that we tend to eat daily can be a great way to remind ourselves to pay attention to what we are eating and make healthy and informed food choices."
Healthy, delicious, and simple, the Paleo Diet is the diet we were designed to eat. If you want to lose weight—up to 75 pounds in six months—or if you want to attain optimal health, The Paleo Diet will work wonders. Dr. Loren Cordain demonstrates how, by eating your fill of satisfying and delicious lean meats and fish, fresh fruits, snacks, and non-starchy vegetables, you can lose weight and prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and many other illnesses.
The only way this works is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t a hazing, a boot camp, or us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of science and experience. The Whole30 is, at its heart, an elimination diet. Just a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods could break the healing cycle; promoting cravings, messing with blood sugar, disrupting the integrity of your digestive tract, and (most important) firing up the immune system. One bite of pizza, one spoonful of ice cream, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30-day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.
CrossFit has been a full-on addiction for me. My lifestyle is so much better because of it. I eat better, feel better and look better. Every day I look forward to that hour or two after work where I can just hang out with my friends and let off some steam in a workout. The best part of this is that I get to have friendly competition with others, and most importantly myself.
Interestingly, all of these seemingly unrelated diseases share a common cause: damage to the intestinal lining which allows large, undigested food particles to make their way into the body. This is called “leaky gut and the autoimmune response”. Here is a 7-part video series by Prof. Loren Cordain describing the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. And please watch this TED talk by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD as she describes how she reversed her Multiple Sclerosis with a paleo diet. If you have an autoimmune disease you might consider trying the autoimmune protocol of the paleo diet. If you do, please tell us about your experience.
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.