The Whole30 diet is designed to reset your body’s ability to digest and metabolize the nutrients in the food you eat. This diet eliminates most sugars, natural and processed as well as most carbohydrates. This diet isn’t for the faint of heart. If you your idea of a healthy meal is ordering a Diet Coke with your McDonald’s, you might want to ease into this process and make sure you consult a physician. But, if you are already following a restricted diet plan like paleo or keto then this could be a great way to mix things up and recharge your body. When we tried this plan probably the hardest thing was to determine what to eat and what not to eat. Honestly, with the Whole30 plan, identifying what to eat is shorter than what you can’t eat. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to taste bland. At the end of this blog, we curated 10 of our favorite Whole30 recipes for you to try.
Foods you can eat
Unprocessed Meats – As my Doctor once said, “if it has two eyes, you can eat it”. Yeah, he was a bit odd but if you think about it, it does make it easy to pick your protein. Try to search for wild caught, sustainable fish and grass-fed organic meats. No processed or cured meats. Yes, that does include bacon. (Pause, take a deep breath. You will be ok. Talk to the butcher at your grocery and ask for uncured side pork. This is what bacon is before it is cured. You can cook it the same way and it tends to be meatier.)
Eggs – Eggs are good. They are versatile. They will be your best friend. No, contrary to popular belief, they are not dairy.
Vegetables – The leafier the better although all kinds are good. This includes green beans, although technically “beans” are on the ‘do not eat’ list. Green beans have high nutritional values so they are on the good list and not the naughty list as are garden peas and snap peas.
Fruits and berries – Try to find low sugar fruits and berries like blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwis. You will want to avoid store bought juices as many will have added sugar or mix fruit with high natural sugar content. Try making some of your own juice, trust us, it can be addicting.
Nuts and seeds – If you follow a vegan diet, you know that nuts and seeds are a great way to add natural proteins and healthy fats to your diet. Try to find unsalted as much as possible as these will become a major go-to snack.
Oils – Focus on the oils that come from fruits like avocado (yep, it’s a fruit) and coconut. If you are fancy, or really need to slap on some butter, you can use ghee. Ghee is a form of clarified butter that has all the proteins removed. Yes, technically it is dairy but we won’t tell.
Foods to Avoid
Added Sugars – This includes real or artificial. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, stevia, etc. Also try to avoid food high in natural sugar like oranges and dates. We put this one first because, well, it is mean and cruel but the ‘do not eat’ list gets slightly easier after this.
No Alcohol – The purpose of the diet is to give your body a fresh start to allow it to heal itself. Even if you are only a casual drinker, removing alcohol gives your body time to flush itself.
No Grains – Includes wheat, rye, corn, oats, barley, rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc. If you can make bread with it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
No Dairy – This includes all types like cow, goat, sheep and products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Except ghee. You can eat ghee. You’re welcome.
No Legumes – Also known as Leguminosae or beans are not allowed during the diet. The exceptions are green beans, peas and others in the pod family. If it is green it is probably OK. But if you are going through this much, is ‘probably OK’ good enough?
No Carrageenan, MSG or Sulfites - Basically, processed foods. A key hint on this one: if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label, don’t eat it.
No baked goods, junk foods, “replacement” foods – This rule is for those of us that always look for the loophole. Yeah, that’s right you were already planning your pumpkin pancakes made with coconut flour. Remember, the point of Whole30 is a reset, not only with your body but also your relationship with your food. Yes, we are having some fun with the do’s and don’ts but this is a proven way to flush your system and your habits.
This list of Do’s and Don’ts may seem intimidating, but we have your back. We put together 10 of our favorite recipes that just so happen to be Whole30 compliant. Just give us your email and we will send you the recipes and a list of approved Whole30 foods you can take to the grocery store.
This is only 30 days. You got this!