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.
The Whole30 book is the perfect thing to read while you’re visiting your in-laws or don’t feel like telling Aunt Sue for the 100th time what you do for a living. It’s helpful, it’s clear, and it will get you motivated. Want even more Whole30 recipes? Hartwig's latest Whole30 Cookbook may not have the nitty-gritty plan details, but the recipes are baller.
The program was created by wife and husband Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig in 2009. They both became certified sports nutritionists; he worked as a physical therapist, and she was working at an insurance company during the day and doing nutritional consulting in her spare time. She quit her job to run the Whole30 business in 2010. They co-authored It Starts With Food (2012) and The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (2015). They separated in 2015. Melissa Hartwig took over the business, and published Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food in 2016.
The following links tend towards news reports of scientific studies that point out some positive aspect of the paleo diet. If you are looking for current news reports, I suggest signing up for Google Alerts for the Type: News. I have three set up, for: "caveman diet," "paleo diet," and "paleolithic diet." You can also set them up for blogs and/or websites.
Odd programming – As you’ll read in another critique later in this article, I don’t agree with some of the workouts that are prescribed at some CrossFit gyms. For example, some workouts might call for high reps of snatches; these are an Olympic lift that require perfect form in order to be done successfully. Doing 30 reps of them is a sure-fire way to sacrifice form and dramatically increase the risk for injury.
Looking back on my lifestyle before the Whole30, my personal recipe for making unhealthy food choices typically consisted of being hungry and on a time crunch, which meant I'd choose whatever was most convenient (read: something overly processed from the vending machine). "Whole30 requires you to plan ahead, mainly so you stay 'compliant' and don’t go hungry," explains Liz McMahon, RDN. "Planning out meals and batch cooking ensures you have healthier food available and won’t constantly be reaching for fast food options." Making pre-planning a habit — even when I'm dining out — helps keep me on track even when I'm not following the Whole30.
Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement. For example, there are some nondairy calcium-rich foods that are absorbed well by the body such as collard and turnip greens or canned bone-in sardines and salmon, but you would have to eat five or more servings of these greens and fish bones daily to meet recommended calcium needs. (Note that some greens like spinach that are touted to be calcium-rich also contain oxalates and phytates that bind to calcium so very little is actually absorbed.) One small, short-term intervention study of healthy participants showed a 53% decrease from baseline in calcium intake after following a Paleo diet for three weeks.  Furthermore, the exclusion of whole grains can result in reduced consumption of beneficial nutrients such as fiber and thus may increase one’s risk for diabetes and heart disease.
The other highlight recipes for me: Shakshuka (pg. 25), Beef and Sweet Potato Chili (pg. 33)—we ate that all week for lunch, Slow-Cooker Italian Beef Roast (pg 43)—use later for other meals like Poached Eggs with Salsa Verde (pg. 44), Mediterranean Bison Burger (pg. 53), Slow-Cooked Moroccan Spices Shredded Beef (pg. 61), Thai Beef Curry with Green Beans (pg. 77), Pork Posole with Tostones (pg. 87), Chipotle BBQ Chicken Thighs (pg. 128), Grilled Jamaican Jerk Salmon (pg. 192), Mexican Salmon Cakes (pg 198), Dukkah-Crusted Brussel Sprouts (pg. 224).
I experienced some funky physical symptoms during the first 10 days or so, but this is pretty typical of a Whole30. I would feel great, and then the next day I would feel tired, achy, and bloated. Depending on what your diet was like before you started the Whole30, you’re bound to get hit by some sort of detoxing symptoms. If you’re doing this after eating a lot of sugar and processed food, your symptoms might be a bit more severe. However, the book assures you it’s normal, and it will even out. According to the authors, the bacteria in your gut are shifting and creating a new landscape. Your body is getting used to this new diet of protein and a ton of veggies with the absence of sugar. Things adjust and shift. For me, this meant a couple days of feeling off.
Trying to introduce dairy back into my diet hurt my stomach and would send me into a sneezing fit. In this way, the Whole30 worked as a type of elimination diet for me, without which I may have never realized that dairy isn't my friend. I'll still suffer the consequences if I cross paths with a cheese plate at a work event, but I've made the permanent switch to tofu cream cheese and coconut milk — alternatives I would've never touched before Whole30 that are actually delicious.
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.
Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
It's that time of year again, when all of your friends and family members are making resolutions to be healthier in 2019. Expect to see lots of the following on Instagram in the next month: #DryJanuary, #NewYearNewYou, #Whole30. And for anyone looking to try the latter, I applaud you — and I encourage you to do it. I decided to give the much-buzzed-about Whole30 diet a try last November.
Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problems or are trying to lose weight faster.
The top CrossFit Open performers for individuals and teams in each region advance to the regional events, held over the following two months around the world. Each regional event qualifies a specified number of its top finishers to send to the Games. The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender, co-ed teams, and a number of Masters and Teenage age groups.