What Is Whole30?
The Whole30 diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods for 30 days. It is aimed at being a reset for your body; the goal is to cut out highly processed foods, to mould a healthier long-term approach with food. Whether you want to eliminate sugar cravings, pinpoint what may be causing gut-disrupting inflammation, or just want to reset your approach with food, Whole30 is a popular approach to take. The focus should be on increasing the intake of high-quality proteins, healthy fats, seeds, nuts, lots of veggies, and some fruits. Cut out processed foods, added sugars (including artificial sweeteners), dairy, grains, legumes, and alcohol. Let’s take a closer look at the basics, some popular Whole30 approved brands, possible benefits to this diet, and more!
Whole30 is great for those that want to redefine their relationship with food. It is not meant to be permanent, or focus on weight loss (in fact, we recommend you do NOT weigh yourself!) Rather, the diet is meant to last for 30 days, and focus on clean, minimal, unprocessed natural foods.
Some start because they want to focus on cooking with less processed foods. Cutting out highly processed foods from your diet lets you focus in on more natural ingredients (such as fruits and veggies), which means more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Highly processed snack foods can contain a lot of cholesterol and trans fats; cutting these out completely will lower your intake of these, which means lower cholesterol and overall better heart health.
Others start because they have had unpleasant digestive issues or inflammation, and want to improve their “leaky gut”. Refined carbs / sweets have all of the sugar, but none of the fiber you would find in fruit. Fiber helps you feel fuller (preventing accidental over-eating), improves blood sugar control, and is important for good gut health. It lets you digest and process your food more slowly; the fiber in your fruit helps slow down how fast your blood sugar raises after the sugary treat.
The best part is that it allows you to really focus on how taking these highly processed, refined foods out of your diet makes you feel; people have said to feel more mental alertness and clarity, and more energetic overall!
Instead of focusing on the number on a scale or a clothing size, Whole30 aims to permanently shift eating habits by letting you experience the power of eating a nutrient-rich, unprocessed diet.
What to eat on Whole30?
While cutting out foods can be hard, it opens up a whole new world of foods to explore and experiment! Here is a list of the foods that can be enjoyed on a Whole30 diet:
- Meat (Check for any off limits preservatives!)
- Fruits and veggies
- Treenuts and seeds
- Natural fats / oils (unrefined and unprocessed, such as olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
- Herbs, spices, and seasonings
- Coffee and tea (minus the cream and sugar)
There are a few lightly processed foods you can include:
- Green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas (lightly processed veggies which are still in their mostly natural state)
- 100% Fruit juice not from concentrate (often used as a sweetener)
- Vinegar (ex. white, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, and rice)
- Extracts (ex. vanilla, lemon, lavender), as long as there is no alcohol in them
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Coconut aminos (or listed as coconut nectar /coconut syrup)
- Iodized salt
- Grains; wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains. Any additives made from these (brans, starches, germs) are also off limits.
- Legumes; all beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts (sorry, no peanut butter or hummus!) and all forms of soy.
- Dairy and all dairy products (cow, goat, and sheep’s milk products)
- Refined vegetable oils, or oils made from any Off-Limits ingredients (such as peanut oil)
- Natural / artificial sugars and sweeteners; including but not limited to maple syrup, honey, cane sugar, coconut sugar, agave nectar, date syrup, xylitol, erythritol, monk fruit extract, stevia, Splenda etc.
- Alcohol in any form (even as a cooking ingredient).
- Common food additives such as carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites (other than those naturally occurring in garlic, onions etc.)
Whole30 Helpful Tips / Tricks
- Do NOT weigh yourself! Weight loss is desired by many when seeking out a diet, but that is not the main focus here. Instead, focus on clean, whole, nutritious eating, and how it makes you feel!
- Cook as much as you can! Reading through every ingredient in pre-made foods is tricky. The easiest approach is to begin with basic, clean, natural ingredients, and cook something exciting and delicious!
- Season, season, season! Most spices and herbs are not off limits, so don’t be afraid to spice up your life and experiment!
- When in doubt, leave it out. Whole30 works best if you stick to the rules for 30 days straight. If you have doubts about whether the item will fit into your Whole30 diet plan, better to leave it out!
Shop your favorite Whole30 Approved® and compliant brands, or order one of our Whole30 Starter Kits!
Whole30 cooking made easy:
Popular Whole30 snacks:
The best Whole30 baking ingredients: