This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
In July 2016, a New York Times article on use of Instagram by dieters noted that participants in the Whole30 program had shared over one million Instagram posts using the #Whole30 hashtag, and noted that those sharing the tag were "one of seemingly endless like-minded communities," comparing it with the over 3.5 million posts under the #WeightWatchers hashtag.[11]
All involve eating whole foods (as opposed to packaged and processed) and filling your plate with quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral-, and fiber-rich vegetables. (Again, we’re talking about the ones that fall somewhere on the healthy spectrum, not unhealthy fad diets like, ahem, the Grapefruit Diet.)

As someone who isn't a "sweets person," I was surprised at how much I craved sugar during my first Whole30 — until I started reading condiment labels. "So much of our food is filled with sugar and unknown chemicals and substances, and it falls on each person to find out what is in the food and make an informed decision on whether or not they want to consume those substances," says Cohn. "Read all food labels and ingredient labels, and look up any of the ingredients on a label that you have not heard of to find out what it is."
Get 8 classes filled with in-depth, safe, and motivating instruction covering all of the basics you need to do CrossFit effectively, while setting you up to move on to regular classes. You'll learn, get a workout, meet great people, and see what CrossFit NYC is all about. You'll also discover why so many people regard it as the best way to get fit.
Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples (Expanded Edition) by Don R. Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell is a survey of what is known archaeologically about food and drink in pre-modern times. The chapter on insects includes their food value. In beverages it covers what happens to a neglected jar of fruit juice. Under cannibalism it shows evidence of this being done in paleo times, thought most of the work focuses on the classical and near-eastern civilizations, but occasional mention is made of the mesoamerican cultures as well. There is taxonomic and anatomical information.
But then again, when have you found a program that is ENTIRELY ONLINE AND MOSTLY FREE that changes your life? When you are in line at the checkout with your meat and chicken thighs and raw almonds, remember the money you are going to save by NOT joining another weight-loss program or hiring a life coach or drinking booze or going to the doctor for that blood pressure you really ought to monitor which is quite possibly linked to your diet. Dallas and Melissa, the authors, say that a craving usually lasts about ten seconds. Count and breathe through the french fries someone raved about at the office. Skip out for a tiny walk while everyone is hoarding that cake at work. Eat a little roast turkey and some oven-baked potatoes. Read more books with the newfound energies. If I--a bon vivant of the kitchen, believe me, hoarder of butter, lover of booze, cream, sugar--can give these things up for thirty days, anyone can.
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.
LOREN CORDAIN, Ph.D., is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. Generally acknowledged as the world's leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, he is a professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Colorado State University. Dr. Cordain and his research have been featured on Dateline NBC and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, among other books, and makes regular media and speaking appearances worldwide.
The CrossFit Games are the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth™. They are world-renowned as a grueling test for the toughest athletes on Earth as well as a thrilling experience for spectators. Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games have become “one of the fastest growing sports in America,” according to Forbes. Learn more about CrossFit >
2) CrossFit attracts a certain type of person – namely folks who push themselves so hard they actually do bodily harm. Ask any CrossFitter if they’ve met “Pukey the Clown” and they’ll probably tell you yes. Due to the nature of competition, the motivating atmosphere, and people’s desire to do well, many people in CrossFit often push themselves beyond their personal limitations (which can be a good thing)…but oftentimes they push themselves too far.

“The Whole30: The 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” contains more than enough recipes to get you through a month of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even holidays and dinner parties. Plenty of recipes – think prosciutto-wrapped frittata muffins and Greek meatballs with avocado tzatziki sauce – can be found online too. Just search the hashtag “#Whole30” on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram.
For immediate weight loss, Paleo is a great and healthy solution. But after carefully reading and considering, I’m unconvinced that Paleo is optimal for long-term health. I think, in fact, it might lead to heart disease and other ills associated with heavy meat consumption. Although many of Cordain’s theories fall apart long-term, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend the book. You should read critically and decide for yourself.
Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
Downsides: Prepare for a bit of a rise in grocery cost. Prepared foods cost less than whole foods. This is American governmental ag subsidies in a nutshell. It's unfortunate and unfair, but true. Also, as others have mentioned, you will be in the kitchen more. Again, it helps if one of you cooks and the other cleans up. It's a little annoying to be sure, but the results are more than worth the annoyances. It is also very difficult to eat out. You pretty much are limited to places that are expensive and accommodating, delis where you know and trust the ingredients, or Chipotle. Again, the slight isolation (if you can do this or at least begin it when you have a little time to spare and don't have a lot of socializing) helped.

That's Whole30 speak for "Sex With Your Pants On." Basically, it's a silly name for the idea that recreating treats with Whole30-approved ingredients—like cauliflower pizza crust or sugar-free butternut squash brownies—isn't worth it. Like trying to have sex with your pants on, these sorts of treats are never as good as the real thing, so you might as well avoid them altogether. But more importantly, they go against the spirit of Whole30, which is all about learning to enjoy pure, simple fare and improving your emotional relationship with food. So if you're gorging on a coffee cake made with zucchini, you're kind of missing the point. "The plan is only 30 days. Just focus on eating whole food, and enjoying it while you do," Haas says.


It was only for 30-days, right? However, my wife and I had decided to take a 1-week vacation during this time, which made it harder to stick to the diet than I initially thought. I quickly learned that it’s not easy to maintain the Whole30 Program when you are eating out for every meal. She quickly became annoyed by my restaurant choices; Outback for steak and vegetables, Five Guy’s for burgers without a bun, Boston Market for roasted chicken.

Aside from the cult-like devotion CrossFit inspires, I was also wary of the politics of its parent organization, which drew some heat for awarding a Glock handgun to the winner of the 2016 CrossFit Games. That, and the sports overwhelming lack of ethnic diversity—about 86% of CrossFitters identify as white—left me with an unfavorable view of the sport. Still, I gave it a shot.
No cheating, kids. Hartwig emphasizes the importance of sticking to this plan with zero slip-ups, so you give your body the complete break (from not-so-healthy food) it deserves. If life happens and a glass of wine or a piece of bread gets in the way, Hartwig recommends starting over. She wants you to feel the full benefits of the entire 30 days. We're not gonna lie: We've let a glass of wine slip before, we didn't start over, and still felt on top of the world at the end. (We aren't suggesting you do the same, but we're just being real with you.) For a full list of rules, visit Whole30.com.
The best part of CFA are the people! CrossFit has really changed my life and my perspective on so much. There are so many things that CrossFit and it’s community of people, especially the women, have taught me. I’ve finally found not only an outlet I was missing since my gymnastics days, but also a group of people who continually inspire me, support me and others, and are genuinely interested in seeing their peers meet goals. CrossFit has completely solidified my viewpoint that people and relationships matter most in life.
The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging by Arthur De Vany. Art is the grandfather of the "Paleo Lifestyle" movement. The plan is built on three principles: (1) eat three meals a day made up of nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins; (2) skip meals occasionally to promote a low fasting blood insulin level; and (3) exercise less, not more, in shorter, high-intensity bursts. Note that the book is anti-fat. All oils are to be avoided, though canola is considered okay for higher temperatures. Egg yolks are to be skipped now and then. Published December 21, 2010.
One of the most interesting experiments comes after you finish Whole30 and slowly start adding foods back into your diet. You get to test how foods you stopped eating during the month affected you after you added them back in. The most shocking for me? Legumes make me feel bloated (they just do!). When I added gluten back, the next day I broke out in a rash. And now that I've curbed my "sugar dragon" (that's what they call sugar cravings on Whole30), I try to avoid sugar as much as humanly possible. In fact, December came after my Whole30 experience, so of course I indulged in a few glasses of wine at a holiday party, and BOOM — my skin broke out. Now I have a better idea of what to avoid altogether, and what to watch if I do decide to indulge.
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)
In that sense, Whole30 has been so helpful in understanding my body. So how am I eating now? I would say that I'm eating pretty "paleo" these days. I definitely still indulge once in a while, with some red wine or french fries, but I haven't been tempted to binge in the slightest. I would definitely do Whole30 again, but I need a bit of a break from it at the moment. Instead, I'm ready for a mindful and moderate approach to my new chapter of life, back in New York City.
Eat generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking. For more information, have a look at our beginner’s guide to Paleo and fat.
Which brings us to my second point: there are few science-backed benefits to getting wrapped up in every nitty gritty ingredient in attempts to truly follow what your ancestors ate. I mean, there are now Paleo-approved packaged snacks, and I doubt cavemen were wandering the aisles of Whole Foods. If you take the basics and tweak them to fit your lifestyle, you’ll be better off.
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.
Finding Whole30-approved options at restaurants can be tricky, especially since added sugar is a no-no (and seriously, the sweet stuff is in basically everything). This means you'll be doing a lot of home cooking. Rather than try to figure out meals and snacks on the fly, plan a week's worth of eats ahead of time. Need some ideas? Try some of these Whole30-approved recipes, pick up The Whole30 Cookbook, or use the Whole30 online meal planner tool.

In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.


While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrat by Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. and Sally Fallon. The premise is the culinary traditions of our ancestors, and the food choices and preparation techniques of healthy nonindustrialized peoples, should serve as the model for contemporary eating habits. However, they push whole grains and dairy, which aren't Paleolithic.
What is the Stone Age or Paleo diet? The Stone Age diet, or paleolithic diet, is based on the foods early humans would have eaten in the Stone Age. It may help in weight loss. Supporters argue that, since our genes have changed little in millions of years, items such as meat, herbs, and insects are more suitable foods for humans than grains and flours. Read now
Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
We’ve observed the good media that is already being created since CrossFit, Inc. curtailed its media efforts. Others are making documentaries, podcasts, blogs, websites, and social media about the Games, individual athletes, former Games athletes, would-be Games athletes, etc. We encourage these media entrepreneurs. The unfolding narrative of the sport of fitness is no longer solely CrossFit’s to tell. 
On Day 4, I reached for a beef jerky stick from Epic. I simultaneously took a big bite while turning over the packaging to read the label. When I saw it on the ingredients list, I stopped mid-chew: "honey." I immediately spit the partially chewed jerky in my garbage can. Close one. After that, I always read the labels on my food twice before eating a morsel.
By the end of my first Whole30, I had an entire document full of recipes I still wanted to try, which motivated me to keep going. Yes, you can stay compliant by eating steamed chicken and lettuce every day, but why would you do that to yourself? "Find foods that are easy to make and that you enjoy eating," Cohn says. "If you eat foods that you don’t like just to follow the diet, you are not going to continue to eat those foods once you are done with the 30 days." Pro tip: Google the Whole30 version of your favorite meal, there's probably a recipe out there for it. (Unless that meal is cake.) This really helped reignite my love for cooking and encouraged me to continue preparing my own meals, instead of relying on Seamless delivery.

Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide and CEO of Paleo Meal Plans. He's a precision nutrition, and Gym Jones Level 1 certified, and helped millions of people get healthy and lose weight since 2012. Joel is also an ultra runner and endurance athlete - and in 2017, he became the the youngest person to run an ultra marathon on every continent in the world to build 7 schools with Pencils of Promise in developing countries.Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Athlinks and read his full bio here.
The Paleo diet, also referred to as the caveman or Stone-Age diet, includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Proponents of the diet emphasize choosing low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. There is debate about several aspects of the Paleo diet: what foods actually existed at the time, the variation in diets depending on region (e.g., tropical vs. Arctic), how modern-day fruits and vegetables bear little resemblance to prehistoric wild versions, and disagreement among Paleo diet enthusiasts on what is included/excluded from the diet. Because of these differences, there is not one “true” Paleo diet.

People looking for support and community – This is the appeal to CrossFit for me: every CrossFit gym has a really tight-knit community feel to it. You’re not just a membership payment to them; you’re a person that needs support. When Nerd Fitness gyms start popping up (don’t think it won’t happen!), I’ll be drawing a lot of inspiration from CF as to how members are so supportive and inclusive of each other.
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