What to know about Whole30 before you begin
Is the Whole30 just another diet fad? I’m here to tell you that I followed a 100% no cheat Whole30 meal plan, and it’s true what they say – it changed my life. And this Whole30 Cheat Sheet helped me through it. Let’s get into it.
The Whole30 is a now globally renowned nutritional reset, where you chow REAL FOOD for 30 days. You’re choosing to eliminate (yes, I said that dirty word, eliminate) potentially gut disrupting foods & ingredients for a minimum of 30 days. These no-no’s include:
- Added Sugar (real or artificial)
- Booze (sorry not sorry)
- Grains (no quinoa or GF oats love, no corn either)
- Legumes (beans, peanuts, soy – and no soy lecithin, which sneaks itself into TEA of all things)
- NEW TERM ALERT: No carrageenan, MSG, sulfites. Sneaky carrageenan sneaks itself into deli meat and GUM!)
- No unapproved foods made with approved ingredients (translation: no “paleo pancakes” or “gluten free muffins”)
If this sounds like intensity in ten cities (Wayne’s World anyone?), here’s a quick Whole30 Food Swap Guide for what to substitute in instead of the off limit goods.
Now, onto the 8 things you DIDN’T know about the Whole30 Meal Plan:
- It’s NOT Paleo: There are additional specifics to avoid while on the Whole30 plan. Certain ingredients that funk with your system. And paleo hacks are not allowed, as they tell your brain that you’re still craving not so nutritious foods like muffins, pancakes, pizza, etc.
- It’s NOT designed to lose weight: When I completed a kickass Whole30 in January 2016, I lost 2 pounds. BUUUUUT, I had boundless energy and literally SHRUNK in all areas that we appreciate being shrunken. The continued clean eating kept me think clearly & wake up so refreshed and ready to take on the day at 5:30AM, homies.
- There are OVER 100 non-scale victories: Happier attitude, fewer mood swings, better stress management, less anxiety, leaner bod, clearer skin, healthier relationship with food, no more guilt or shame, improved attention span, easier to fall asleep, fresher upon waking up, no mid-day energy slump, more stamina when workin’ out, more excited to grocery shop and try new healthy recipes … THE. LIST. GOES. ON.
- You eat A LOT of food! No calorie counting here. Thoroughly enjoy moderate amounts of meat, seafood, eggs, LOTS of veggies, some fruit, GOOD fats, herbs/spices/seasonings. And guess what … both white & sweet POTATOES ARE APPROVED!!! Can I getta HALE YEAH?! But cha didn’t know that about your Whole30. Here’s that Whole30 Cheat Sheet again so you can what all you can still eat!!!
- You DON’T go back to your old ways on Day 31: Gulp. You heard me. Day 31 of the Whole30 could be your toughest day. The purpose of following the Whole30 plan is find out what foods & ingredients make you feel like complete junk. Soy makes me feel itchy & terrible. Beans tear me up. Who knew?! I sure didn’t before this food investigation. After eating incredibly clean for 30 full days, you then reintroduce one off-limit food at a time to figure out what works & doesn’t work for YOU.
- You can still succeed with a Whole20/Whole10/Whole7! Once you’ve successfully completed your first Whole30 and understand your trigger foods, you can clean it up for a week or two or three to get choself back on track. Be it before a vacay, after a holiday, or whenever you feel like cleaning up your nutritional act! You’ll still feel and see the benefits – not as dramatic & wonderful & life changing as completing a successful Whole30, but you’ll still feel peachy.
- You can find oodles of help, support, encouragement, motivation, inspiration: Just search Whole30 on any social platform and join or create a community of your own! You can join our Inside Out Wellness Tribe support group here. Learn what fellow health seekers are whippin’ up for their eating style of choice!
- Cooking & meal prepping can be EASY! Melissa Hartwig (co-founder of the Whole30 Plan) has a handful of baller books out with dozens of yummy Whole30 recipes. I used the recipes from the Whole30 book in January 2016, and I started adding in meals from the new Fast & Easy cookbook earlier this year.
Oh and this Whole30 timeline below provided by the Whole30 creators is what you’ll be tracking each day to know, remember, and believe that you’ll get through it and come out stronger, cleaner, and leaner than ever!
That sums it up, y’all!
Are you starting a Whole30 soon? Here are links to even more support for ya!
- Whole30 Food Swap Cheat Sheet
- Wellness Support Group
- Whole30 Recipes
- Whole30 Journey YouTube Videos
- Daily Food, Fitness, and Focus Tips on Instagram & Twitter
Having support from a tribe makes it sooooo much more fun & manageable. Hit me up in the comments below, my contact page here, or any form of social with any questions! !
Ghee for days,
PS! Did you read how I combined both the Whole30 and Tone It Up nutrition programs? It IS possible! Learn how here.
PPS! Check out this Whole30 Approved Moroccan Stew recipe. Mmmmm it’s so tasty. More of a stir fry guy? Try this Whole30 Stir Fry recipe! Or this one which adds some Tahini and Veracha! Oh! And this salsa verde Whole30 Chili Stew hits the spot any time of year.
PPSS! Interested in getting one-on-one support for reaching your health goals? As a Executive Wellness Coach certified by Duke Integrative Medicine, I guide my clients through individual, virtual sessions of personalized coaching. Choose from 6 core areas:
- Bucket 1: Food, Focus, Fitness
- Bucket 2: Friends & Family, Future, Faith
Learn more about my coaching process here.