Since April 2009, millions of people have successfully completed our Whole30 program with stunning, life-changing results. This is a summary of the official rules of the Whole30. For in-depth information about planning and preparing for the program, a comprehensive FAQ, and more than 100 totally compliant recipes, refer to our New York Times bestselling book, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. (Or click here for an abbreviated version.)
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal—whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity.
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:
Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us ill by Barry Groves. The author is one of the world's most outspoken proponents of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This book is an account of how and why the health-care establishment has got the concept of 'healthy eating' so wrong. Whereas Taubes work (see above) is a fairly straight forward review of the existing science, Groves expands into the politics of medical research and treatment to a much greater extent. "Trick and Treat" is divided into two parts. Part One describes the corruption in the health industry, points out the problems inherent in a high-carb, low-fat diet, and then prescribes a diet that leads to good health. The prescribed diet is high in fat - specifically animal fat, not polyunsaturated vegetable fat - and low in carbohydrates, with 60-70% of calories from fat, 15-25% of calories from protein, and a mere 10-15% of calories from carbohydrates. Part Two describes numerous diseases the author claims are the result of high carbohydrate consumption. These range from life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer to less serious problems such as acne, near-sightedness and dental problems. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
Glassman was already familiar with the Anderson case. In May 2005, the owner of the garage gym where the incident took place wrote about it in the CrossFit Journal, the company's online publication. In October, Glassman wrote an article himself, "CrossFit-Induced Rhabdo," in which he soberly explained the circumstances of the six CrossFit-related cases he knew about, outlined ways affiliates could lower the likelihood of injury, and announced he would add a rhabdomyolysis discussion to his weekend seminars and to the website.
Paleo eating requires a lot of planning, prep time, and mental resolve. For instance, eating out on the diet isn't as simple as ordering chicken and a salad. Think: In what oil was the chicken cooked? Did any of the salad toppings come processed, canned, or packaged? "As with every elimination diet, it's just not doable long term," Dr. Ochner says. While weight loss is far from the sole purpose of eating paleo, going on and off of the diet can lead to big weight swings. Any yo-yo diet starts in weight loss from both muscle and fat, and usually ends with weight gain of all fat, which contributes to a slower metabolism and increased insulin resistance.
Strip them from your diet completely. Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food. The most important reason to keep reading?
If you've been on the Whole30 and counting down the days until February 1st, step away from the cheese! Before you transition back to your normal diet, here are five solid lessons that I learned from the eating plan that I stuck with even after the 30 days were up. Not only did following them beyond the 30 days prevent me from rebounding back to my higher weight, but they also help keep me on the straight and narrow the rest of the year when I’m not following the program.
We also talked about our meals, our struggles, and the results we were seeing from Whole30. Mentally, I felt more clear-headed and emotionally stable. I slept deeper and remembered more of my dreams, something that tends to never happen. (In one dream, I accidentally ate a slice of pizza and cried about it because if you break your Whole30 diet, you're supposed to start again from Day 1.)
You start to talk a language nobody understands – talking to a CrossFitter is like talking to somebody in a foreign language. CrossFit people oftentimes forget that nobody outside of CF understands what half the stuff they say means, so they shout out achievements or accomplishments and explain how quickly they did specific exercises…but they don’t realize nobody really cares!
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.
CrossFit, Inc. does not dispute that its methodology has the potential to cause rhabdomyolysis.[70] The company states that exertional rhabdomyolysis can be found in a wide variety of sports and training populations and argues that its critics have conflated CrossFit's high awareness of rhabdomyolysis with high risk.[13][71] One CrossFit spokesman stated that "ESPN's report on the 53 deaths in US triathlons from 2007 to 2013 should have put the issue to rest."[71]
Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to change the way you feel and eat in 30 days. Basically, you have to remove all of the potentially inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet (think: added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods) and eat three "clean" meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs).

The biggest downside of this diet is how restrictive it is. A month is a pretty long stretch to make it without taking bite of quinoa, popping a chickpea, or sneaking a sip of wine (especially if you’re a busy, social person), and the protocol does not allow for even the smallest of slip-ups. From the manual: “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.” (Yikes!)
Research into the weight loss effects of the paleolithic diet has generally been of poor quality.[10] One trial of obese postmenopausal women found improvements in weight and fat loss after six months, but the benefits had ceased by 24 months; side effects among participants included "weakness, diarrhea, and headaches".[10] Any weight loss caused by the diet was merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.[10]
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the benefits of following a Paleo diet versus a diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association in 24 participants with diabetes. After two weeks, researchers found that the Paleo diet led to greater improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity than the conventional diabetes diet. (4)

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.

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.


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.
The Paleo concept is new for most people and this newness can spark many questions. We like people to not only read about and educate themselves on this topic but also to “get in and do it.” Experience is perhaps the best teacher and often cuts through any confusion surrounding this way of eating. Now, all that considered, there are still some common counter arguments to the Paleo diet that happen with sufficient frequency that a whole paper was written on it. Enjoy: Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments.
I understand the concept of what they’re trying to say, but I feel awkward likening a lackluster cauliflower pizza to dry humping. We’re going to be practicing abstinence for those 30 days. In short, keep your pants on and don’t try to make pancakes. It’s too sexy. It might tempt you to take your pants off eventually and go full-pancake. I’m going to stop talking about taking my pants off now. Perfect.
Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie Sullivan Mayfield and Charles Mayfield. Implementing paleo guidelines and principles in this book (no grains, no gluten, no legumes, no dairy), the Mayfields give you 100+ recipes and full color photos with entertaining stories throughout. The recipes in Paleo Comfort Foods can help individuals and families alike lose weight, eat healthy and achieve optimum fitness, making this way of eating sustainable, tasty and fun. The many reviews at Amazon are basically flawless. The sole complaint is over the lack of nutritional information. But there is no counting on the paleo diet and its inclusion would have been inappropriate. Published September 10, 2011.
Both feeling hungry all the time and never feeling hungry are common on the Whole30 diet, especially during the first two weeks as your body adjusts to new sources of energy. Eventually, though, you shouldn’t feel those pangs since protein and fiber are filling, and you’ll get plenty of both. Plus, you’re allowed to eat as much as you want and add Whole30-compliant snacks to your meal plan, provided you truly are hungry. One small study of 29 participants published in Nutrition and Metabolism in 2010 found Paleo eaters (who have relatively similar diets to Whole30 followers) felt just as full but consumed fewer calories than their Mediterranean counterparts.

The Paleo Diet: Eating like your ancestors doesn't guarantee you'll lose weight. While the diet emphasizes plenty of foods that are good for weight loss, such as lean protein and fruits and vegetables, you would still need to eat fewer calories to drop a few pounds. So if you're binging on nuts and fruit, you could actually gain weight on the Paleo Diet.
A number of randomized clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:
Between 2009 and 2018, competitors qualified for the Games through participation at CrossFit Games regional events. For the 2019 Games, CrossFit, Inc. discontinued hosting the Regional qualifier and instead sanctioned independent fitness events as qualifiers separate from the Open. Most of the sanctioned events were already widely participated in by CrossFit Games athletes, often used as a part of off-season training, around the world. Each sanctioned event has its own rules for participation, but athletes that attend the sanctioned events are either by invite or through the event's qualification process.
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.
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.
Anti-inflammatory meal plan: 26 recipes to try For people with chronic inflammatory conditions, diet can have a powerful effect. Certain foods can help to reduce joint pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. These include omega-3s, antioxidants, and probiotics. In this article, we provide 26 anti-inflammatory recipes you can use in a healthful, nutritious meal plan. Read now
Diana Schwarzbein is another M.D. that has come to realize that low carb is what works. See reviews at The Schwarzbein Principle. The book is based on her work with insulin-resistant patients with Type II diabetes. She concludes that low-fat diets cause heart attacks, eating fat makes you lose body fat, and it's important to eat high-cholesterol foods every day.
Fattening cattle with corn changes the lipid balance and is clearly not the natural diet for a grass eating cow. In Simple change in cattle diets could cut E. coli infection researchers have found that when cattle were fed hay or grass for just five days before slaughter, much less E. Coli cells were present in the animal's feces and virtually all surviving E. coli bacteria were not acid-resistant and were killed by human stomach acid.
Annie Thorisdottir will become only the third athlete in history to reach 10 individual CrossFit Games appearances, joining Ben Smith and Becca Voigt. The current streak is 10 consecutive individual appearances held by Ben Smith. He had surgery earlier this year and still has a chance to qualify through a Sanctional. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet holds the second longest streak at nine and has the opportunity to tie Smith if she wins a Sanctional.
Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton's Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
A homemade fixing for enchiladas, taco salad, tacos, or even burritos, this Whole30 recipe can be Bulletproof, too. Replace chicken broth with bone broth, then double-check your spices. It’s best to use fresh, high-quality spices and flavorings as much as possible so you can steer clear of any toxic mold. As always with Bulletproof, grass-fed beef is key.
“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.
According to Adrienne Rose Johnson, the idea that the primitive diet was superior to current dietary habits dates back to the 1890s with such writers as Dr. Emmet Densmore and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Densmore proclaimed that "bread is the staff of death", while Kellogg supported a diet of starchy and grain-based foods.[11] The idea of a Paleolithic diet can be traced to a 1975 book by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin,[7]:41 which in 1985 was further developed by Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, and popularized by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book The Paleo Diet.[8] The terms caveman diet and stone-age diet are also used,[12] as is Paleo Diet, trademarked by Cordain.[13]

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.
With tender spaghetti squash, crisp bacon, fresh broccoli, and a creamy sauce this Whole30 recipe is a one-dish masterpiece. When you need a rich and simple dish, cook up the spiced coconut milk sauce and bake it with your meat and veggies for an ultra-compliant (and tasty) casserole. Stay more Bulletproof with pastured bacon, plus avoid eating garlic too often.
I personally struggle on a regular basis because I’m much more interested in heavy strength training than anything else – and I’m one of those people who really likes seeing very linear graphs and results to my training, and I do want to specialize. I have a very hard time creating workout plans because with CrossFit, you never know what’s coming next.
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