First thing’s first. What is the Whole30? That’s what I’ve been asking myself lately. What I’ve found out is that it’s kind of like Paleo, with a few differences in which foods are allowed – and it’s more about resetting your body, teaching it to use food as fuel, etc. By eliminating certain food groups that could be having a negative impact on your health, the idea is that you’ll have increased energy, clearer skin, and you’ll most likely lose weight, too. It’s about eating real food. No alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar. It sounds restrictive, and if you’re used to the typical American diet, it is. But it’s only for thirty days, and I’ve heard many say that you will most definitely see amazing results if you stick to it and you’ll probably want to do it again.
The Whole30 website explains everything you need to know, and they do have a book as well. I found that pretty much everything in the book is on the website for free, which for me is a win because I’m much more likely to stick to the program if I can just look my questions up online. As long as you follow the “rules” you should get awesome results. I haven’t started the program yet, I’m thinking next week so I have time to prepare; I like to break it down into steps.
The most important one is changing your mindset. Realize that it’s only 30 days, and as long as you focus more on what you can have than what you can’t have, you’ll do fine. The Whole30 requires quite a bit of planning until you get used to which foods are compliant and which aren’t.
Foods you can/can’t eat
Protein: seafood, beef, buffalo, lamb, elk, venison, eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, rabbit, bacon, sausage, deli meats.
Vegetables: asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green beans, greens, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini.
Fruits: apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, melon, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon
Fats: animal fats, coconut oil, avocado, cashews, coconut butter, macadamia nuts, olives, nuts and seeds
None of this: sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol and legumes
This is NOT a complete list. Whole30 has done a great job of making their plan fool proof so anyone that wants to has no excuse not to be successful. You can download the plans here and even download the shopping list here.
Keep it simple.
Eat protein and fat 15-75 minutes pre-workout. Eat immediately following exercise, including easily digestible protein, plus carb-dense vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or beets.
After your first week or so, you might feel comfortable enough to dine out and if you do, you can use this guide to help you navigate.
Remember: It’s only 30 days. You got this.