What is the Whole30?

Generally, I can't stand the latest "vogue" diet but. Things like the Potato Diet, the Alkaline Diet, the Cookie Diet, The Master Cleanse Diet, or the myriad of other oddball diets that try to get you to eat anything but real, unprocessed foods.

However, this natural skepticism of "fad" like diets got thrown out the window when The Whole30 started to catch on as one of the latest "trends." Granted, I find it rather sad to call eating whole, unprocessed foods in their natural state a "fad" makes our current food culture rather sad. Admittedly, a lot of people feel Paleo is a fad diet, but it is a fad that is as old as humanity.

I have to say I stand wholeheartedly behind The Whole30 Which is a 30-day dietary rest. As most of you know, I am a proponent of a Modern Paleo (Ancestral type) approach to diet, which is pretty close to what the whole30 purports.

When a patient comes into the office, I am pretty adamant that they change their diet and that the first month is the key  So, The Hartwig's launched the Whole30 plan; they made my life significantly easier to tell people what to do for the first 30 days.

The beauty of what the Hartwig's put together in the Whole30 plan is that it makes you stick 100% to the whole food, no sugar, no dairy (not even butter), no corn, no soy and no paleo-ized modern foods (muffins, scones, pies cakes, etc.).  And over the 30days you will have a life changing experience!  Hopefully for the better.  

There are some idiosyncrasies to the Whole30 but overall if you are looking for a rest to your diet, health and overall relationship with food. The Whole30 approach is an interesting starting point!

Below you will find a basic outline of the do's and don't for the Whole30 and here is a link to a Facebook Support Group that Erin and I run.

This list is taken from


Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.


No added sugar, real or artificial.
Real: No agave nectar or syrup, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, date syrup, stevia,
Artificial: No Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc.
Read your labels, because companies sneak
sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

No alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking

No grains
Including, 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.
Also including all the ways wheat, corn, and rice that get added to our foods in the form of bran, germ,
starch, and so on.
Again, read your labels.

No legumes.
Including beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either.
Also, this includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

No dairy.
Including cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
I will throw butter in here also, ghee or clarified butter is acceptable.

No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of
your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.

No 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 missing the point of the Whole30.  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 is made with coconut flour.

Some specific foods that fall under this rule include pancakes, waffles, bread, tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pizza crust, cereal, or ice cream. No commercially-prepared chips (potato, tortilla, plantain, etc.) or French fries either.

When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.

There you have it the 10,000-foot view of the Whole30 "Rest," my advice is to give it a try check out www.Whole30.com for more details and join us in the Facebook group for support both moral and technical.

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