The Whole30, Version 3.0

What is the Whole30?

Certain food groups (like grains, legumes and dairy) are probably having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin problems, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the inflammatory, insulin-spiking, calorie-dense but nutritionally sparse food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be provoking. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact – the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and thousands of people have since done it, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion.

The Whole30 Program, As Outlined

Eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re natural and unprocessed.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in all kinds of ways.
  • Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, pre-packaged snacks/meals, protein bars, milk substitutes, etc.
  • Do not drink alcohol, in any form.
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. (Yes, we said corn!) This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.), peas, lentils, and peanuts or peanut butter. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes all cow, goat or sheep’s milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream, etc.
  • Do not eat white potatoes. It’s arbitrary, but they are carbohydrate-dense and nutrient poor, and also a nightshade.
  • Most importantly… do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” less-than-healthy recipes – no “Paleo” pancakes, “Paleo” pizza, “Paleo” fudge or “Paleo” ice cream. Don’t mimic poor food choices during your Whole30 program!

One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale for the duration of your Whole30 program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus only on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic (and lifelong) benefits this plan has to offer. Give yourself a well-deserved, long overdue break from fixating on that number on the scale!  Absolutely NO weighing yourself or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30.

The Fine Print

A few concessions, based on our experience, and those of our clients. These are less than optimal foods that we are okay with you including during your Whole30. Including these foods in moderation should not negatively impact the results of your Whole30 program.

  • Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products will use orange or apple juice as a sweetener. We have to draw the line somewhere, so we’re okay with a small amount of fruit juice as an added ingredient during your Whole30… but this doesn’t mean a cup of fruit juice is okay!
  • Processed Meat. On occasion, we are okay with organic chicken sausage (those that are nitrate, dairy, gluten and dairy-free), and high quality deli meat, packaged fish (like tuna or smoked salmon) or jerky. Read your labels carefully, because Whole30-approved processed meats, especially jerky, are hard to find.
  • Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, they’re far more “pod” than “bean”, and we want you to eat your greens.
  • Processed goods. We’re okay with cans or jars of olives, coconut milk, sauces and spice mixtures like tomato sauce or curry, or vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash, but only if the labels prove they’re “clean”.

Ready to Start?

Now that you have the basic plan, you need to know how to implement it. It’s simple, actually. Start now. Today. This minute. Count out thirty days on your calendar. Plan out a week’s worth of meals, go to your local health food store, farmer’s market or grocer and stock up on things you’ll be eating. And then… go. Cold turkey, just start. Don’t put this off, not for one more day. If you give yourself excuses or reasons to delay, you may never begin. Do it now.

Your only job for the next 30 days is to focus on making good food choices. You don’t need to weigh or measure, you don’t need to count calories, you don’t need to stress about organic, grass-fed, pastured or free range. Just figure out how to stick to the Whole30 in any setting, around every special circumstance, for the next 30 days. Your only job? Eat. Good. Food.

The only way this will work is if you give it the full thirty days, no cheats, slips or special occasions. This isn’t Whole9 playing the tough guy. This is a FACT, born of education and experience. You need such a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods to break the healing cycle – one bite of a friend’s pizza, one splash of milk in your coffee, one lick of the spoon mixing the cake batter within the 30 day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button. You must commit to the full program, exactly as written. Anything less and we make no claims as to your results, or the chances of your success. Anything less and you are selling yourself – and your potential results – short.

It’s only 30 days.

It’s For Your Own Good

Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here)”. This is for you.

  • It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
  • Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip”. Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of donuts, there is no “slip”. You make a choice to eat something of poor quality. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program, 100%, for the full 30 days, and don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started.
  • You never, ever, ever HAVE to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no (or make your Mom proud and say, “No, thank you”). Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.
  • This does require a bit of effort. If you’re cutting out grains, legumes and dairy for the first time, you have to replace those calories with something. You have to make sure you’re eating enough, that your vitamins and nutrients are plentiful, that you’re getting enough protein, fat and carbohydrates. You’ll have to figure out what to eat for lunch, how to order at a restaurant and how often you’ll need to grocery shop. We’ve given you all the tools, guidelines and resources you’ll need in this Success Guide, but take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health, fitness and performance doesn’t happen just because you’re now taking a pass on bread.

In Conclusion

We want you to participate. We want you to take this seriously, and see amazing results in unexpected areas. Even if you don’t believe this will actually change your life, if you’re willing to give it 30 short days, do it. It is that important. We believe in it that much. It changed our lives, and we want it to change yours too.

There are plenty of “nutrition challenges” out there – programs that promise you’ll see quick weight loss, more energy and improved performance without missing out on the foods you really like.   These plans give you more of what you want – arbitrary points for eating junk food, or an exercise penance for cheating, or acceptable alcohol choices “if you must drink”.    But here at Whole9, we’ve built our entire business around telling you what you need, not what you want. We will not pander to you here. We will tell you what we know to be true, based on literally hundreds of testimonials and clients’ real results. Programs that offer built-in cheats or rationalizations for less than healthy food choices simply do not work long-term. They don’t teach you anything about how the foods you are eating are affecting you, and they don’t do anything to help you change your habits, patterns and behaviors. The Whole30 program has been in motion for 18 months now, with participants all across the world – and has measurable, real-life, sustainable results to back up our claims.

Welcome aboard.


While most folks can follow the program exactly as outlined here with spectacular results, you’ve got two options if you need a little more help with your Whole30, or simply want to maximize your results.

  • Purchase our new 28 page Whole30 Success Guide, which includes (in part) a detailed Shopping Guide, our new MealSimple™ meal planning template, an extensive FAQ and list of additional resources.  We provide a preview of the table of contents, introduction and testimonials, so you can see everything that’s included.
  • Read (for free) old Whole30 comments, where we practically guarantee we’ve answered all your questions ten times over. “How much should I eat?” “How much fruit is too much?” “Are headaches in the first few days normal?” All this and then some can be found in the almost 2,000 comments on the Whole30 Version 2.0 and original Whole30 post, right here on the site.

We apologize that we are unable to respond to individual questions about your experience with the Whole30 here on the blog, or via email. The overwhelming volume of questions we received during the last Whole30 is exactly why we created our Success Guide! However, if you prefer to utilize the resources we have available for free here on the site, the comments found on the Whole30 Versions 1.0 and 2.0 posts will give you all the information you should need.

To download a printable copy of the Whole30 Version 3.0

Click here.

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  1. says

    Augie – Coconut Aminos are THE BEST THING EVER! :) You can usually find them at whole foods, or order them online w/ an internet search. It’s kind of like a slightly sweet soy sauce, but w/ no soy! I use them all the time in stir frys, marinades, or just splashed on some veggies. I didn’t realize it, but my life was not complete until I found them – no really – they’re THAT good!

  2. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    Whole30 Day 1

    Pre-workout ground beef/pork mix and a hand-full of almonds

    Post-workout ground beef/pork mix and some sweet potatoes that were sauteed over canola oil

    Lunch of roast pork and the rest of the sauteed sweet potatoes

    Dinner of chicken breast, broccoli, and carrots in a stir-fry

  3. mariannetaylor says

    HEhe, I got my whole 9 t-shirt. See what kinda of “damage” I can do at work.. I’ll do anything to get people talking about, thinking, eating healthier . It works!!!! Don’t listen to me read the blog. read peggy’s testimonial (over 108 days)!!!

    Ken “chappy B” welcome back:>)!!!!!!

    Welcome to all the new whole 30!!!!!!

    I ran my first 12k race in a year yesterday. Great day!!! First time “every” I didn’t use a gu supplement during the run. I ate a good breakfast and before the race I had a larabar. it worked great!!!! Ran the hills strong, never felt tired and yes I was sore at the end. (good sore). Recovered had a yummy egg/veg omelet (spell) at a cafe. Loved to be empowered. I asked the waitress for just eggs and veggies. I got it :>)!!!! Before whole 9 life I would have never ‘asked”. Now, I do. Great start to the holiday hussle.

    Now I just need to find the fried cauliflower recipe.

  4. Ali says

    I left my office yesterday and noticed that my trash can was full of candy bar wrappers. I knew I had been craving chocolate all day but I didn’t realize I had eaten 10 mini candy bars. What the heck?! I was planning on starting my first whole 30 in January but why not now. I’m not sure yet how I’ll manage through the holidays but that’s future Ali’s problem. I’m just going to focus on one meal at a time. And moving the candy bars away from my office.

  5. marianne taylor says

    Ali, way to recongize that you needed to start now. “why wait”? You can do this. like you said one meat at a time. Welcome!!!!! start reading the sugar, sugar, sugar article from resouce guide page and recommend you purchase the whole 30 guide. it has food shopping list, meals, and more info!!!!!! ask questions. everyone here will help. Cheers!!!!! Marianne

  6. says

    Peggie! That is drenched in awesome sauce. Good for you, lady!

    You’ve inspired me to think beyond the 30… starting January 2, I’m going a Whole60 (at least). I was feeling SO good during days 30-39 of my last no-cheat stretch that I want to see what it’s like to go longer.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    Day 2

    Breakfast of a couple eggs and a little pork sausage (no casings)

    Lunch after a mid-day workout, consisting of roast pork and mashed sweet potatoes

    Dinner of turkey pepperoni that I have packed in my pocket while I wait to jump out of an airplane

    A day lacking in overall nutrition, but still compliant

  8. mariannetaylor says

    Way to rock Peggy!!!!

    Mellisa, I missed something, why are you waiting till the 2nd of january to start? hmm better go read your blog. I bet the answer is there.

    Ken “Chappy B+” wow jumping out of airplanes. yah that would be difficult to pack food. you need to order primalpacs good beef jerky.

    Ali, how are you doing w/no candy????

    augie, did you make beef jerky yet??

  9. Carla says

    Peggie! Wow! I too am inspired!

    I am jumping right on that bandwagon. Went on a chocolate spree (85%) only to awaken the sugar monster. I swear it is like being an alcoholic. If you taste it you are hooked again.

    I too want to experience a long full compliance whole 30.

    Time to get with the programme.

  10. Karen says

    After attending a Paleo-Thanksgiving (and not knowing it) I inquired with friends more about their food choices. I have been reading your website for a little while and thought about trying the whole 30 after the New Year. I have been trying to eat mostly Paleo for about a week now – had a slip up with some chocolate the other day, but it left me feeling not great after….wasn’t worth it. But, I am starting today! I did have a splash of milk in my coffee this morning (stopped sugar last Sunday) but tomorrow, no more milk!

    Whole 30 here I come!!

  11. mariannetaylor says

    Carla, hello, welcome back. darn chocolate (sugar) demon. Let’s go for it!!!!! Hmmm Melissa is up for a 60day. Peggy is kicking ass w/122 plus!!!!!!! I’ve restarted. I drank one vodka/soda saturday. (So that kicks it back to restart.)

    Ken’s back!!! Nice

    Karen, welcome!!!! Fabulouos that your friends kick started whole YOU!!!! Woot!!! Now give up that milk.:>)Black is the way to go.( I had to kick coffee creamer.)

    Ali, how are you doing with candy in the office?????

    Peggy, update on your brother. He must be back to good health???? Thank you for inspiring more of us to whole health everyday!!!!!! Woot!!!!

  12. ElizabethJ says

    Today is day 25. Life is good. Freezer full of local grassfed (thanks for the links on how to cook it, i’m still exploring) and just purchased some Kale to cook over the weekend.
    I’ve decided, from previous experiences, that i cannot allow any sugar into my life. My treat for completing 30 days of good clean eating is some sunbutter. Which technically does have sugar (dehydrated cane juice), but we’ll see how it goes. if i get a sugar hangover then it’s going in the trash. i bought some last night from whole foods.
    I’ve also decided i will enjoy some fried tofu once in a while.
    I’m totally up for a Whole60 day. Who will hold me accountable AND do it with me?
    Question for Melissa- I believe you’re around day 40-50 of no caffeine. what positive side effects have you experienced? Were there any negative? Do you still drink green or black tea?
    I’m considering giving up the ‘Joe’. For now i’m cutting back to only 1 a day in the morning. I forgot my coconut milk yesterday so i was forced to only have one cup and i don’t want to experience those awful headaches again. I was drinking about 2-4 a day.

  13. says

    Marianne, Why am I waiting til January 2? Because I’m indulging now! And loving it!

    I’m having a really fun time having a few treats right now. We have a Christmas Eve Lasagna Fest every year… I’m making a paleo alternative ( but we’ll have several traditional ones, too, that I’m TOTALLY going to enjoy trying. I’m also making traditional cookies to nibble on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.

    But I realized when I did my 39 days in October/November that I really enjoyed being totally clean and the last week or so was completely easy. No cravings, no stress… it was just natural. So I’m hoping to experience that again when I do 60 days.

    I’ve been eating Whole30 style, with occasional treats, for 18 months, so it’s become the way I live — but I like doing the no-cheat stints, too. I like the rules and the challenge of it.

    Plus, in January and February, I have plans to ignite my physical training. I’m back to heavy lifting once a week, CrossFit 3X a week, and a Saturday fun run around the lake. I’ve finally gotten my synthetic thyroid hormones straightened out, so I’m hoping to see big changes in body composition in 2011.

  14. ElizabethJ says

    I also want to fine tune my diet after the new year. Cut back on nuts (carbs) and fruit some. I usually eat 2-3 servings of fruit a day with an occasional Lara Bar. I want to knock out the lara’s, tone down the fruit and lose some fat :)
    wooooooooooohoooooooo. 2011 is going to ROCK!!!

  15. Ali says

    Day 2. I cooked most of my meals in a giant batch in advance so I would be less tempted by the office candy. I’ll probably be eating the same thing for a few days.
    Bfast – spinach w/ pine nuts and raisins, eggs, avocado
    Lunch – beef fajitas
    Dinner – chicken curry, califlower, squash
    Snacks – bell peppers, olives
    Still got a pretty crazy sugar monkey on my back though
    Any tips on food to bring on an airplane? I think I can bring most of what I’ve already made except the squash, but it is not exactly finger food.

    Marianne, thank you so much for the support. Every time I think about eating the office candy I munch on veggies and olives instead. I almost slipped today when I made a beeline for the dessert table at dinner. They were out of nearly everything, which gave me a second to think and grab more meatballs and carrots before I made a bad decision.


  16. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    Day 3

    Horrible night of sleep after a midnight jump into the cold; had some almonds for energy afterward.

    3 eggs scrambled with some ground sea salt for flavoring
    Roast pork and mashed sweet potatoes after a mid-day lackluster workout
    Dinner of just a banana (not very hungry, but wanted something, and it was grab a banana or succumb to the many non-paleo foods my wife has stocked up in the house for Christmas-time)

  17. says

    Hi everybody. I am planning on doing another Whole30 bout starting Jan. 1. I was actually planning doing a Whole90, as that would put me right in the middle of calving season at the ranch by the end. Calving season is a stress fest and very physically demanding (especially for a woman) so I want to get in better shape and be feeling better by then.

    I totally agree with Carla about having chocolate or something like that and feeling like an alcoholic and being hooked again. It seems like it’s all or nothing for me. I either eat squeaky clean or horrifically bad. I can eat one bite of steak or one bite of sweet potato, even though I really love those things. But no way can I eat one peanut butter M&M or one bite of cheesecake. Until I did the Whole 30 last month I always thought I had weak will power. But I don’t think that’s all of it, sweet foods and grains seem to trigger some sort of reaction in me. Crazyness.

    I’ve been doing Wendler 531 and this week is my deload week. I may start my Whole90 on Monday as that would start me at the beginning of a new 531 cycle. (531 is awesome by the way.) I also got an early Christmas/birthday present from my family. A new C2 rower! Looking forward to torturing myself with that on a regular basis :-)

  18. says

    Also, I FINALLY found some pork that didn’t have junk in it. I was so psyched that I almost did a little happy dance right in the middle of WalMart. I bought some and cut it into chops and I plan to borrow my mom’s meat grinder and make myself some Italian sausage. Woot!

  19. mariannetaylor says

    Ali, fantastic day for you!!!! way to stop and think!!!!
    Melissa, enjoy your holidays. looking forward to the challenge of 60 for new year!!!
    Tami, going for 90?? fantastic!!!!
    Ken, get some sleep and eat some more!!! way to skip the treats :>)
    Elizabeth J, fine tuning diet is smart. Look forward to hearing about it in the new year :>)

    me, I’m doing great!!!!! Today I walked into the gym to a box full of dougnuts on the counter of snack bar.( I guess someone thought they were being “sweet”) Frankly they make me sick just looking at them. lol really just wanted to take box and chuck in the garbage bin in back. however, I’m not “others” mother. so their choice. Had pack my fruit and hard boiled eggs for snack. I had to do errands today. So I stopped at PCC (like whole foods) and picked up a roasted chicken and roasted sqash. And for dinner came home and sauted egg plant, zuccini, red cabbage w.tbs chicken broth added chicken. apple for dessert. good day. Cheers, Marianne

  20. Peggie says

    Awww thanks you guys. Really, there is nothing I want to eat right now that isn’t Whole30. I made a ton of Christmas cookies last weekend and not even a twinge. I am glad I can inspire you guys. I just absolutely love eating this way and feel so GOOD!

    MarianneTaylor – my brother got back home in the middle of October and has been going to physical therapy I think three times a week. He can lift 3 pounds now, yep not a typo. I can’t believe how much strength he lost. His eyes are messed up from the steroids they gave him, but seem to be betting better. He even went grouse hunting a few weeks ago, so is getting stronger. It is a very slow process and I think pretty frustrating for him. At least it’s better than the alternative though. He is very lucky to be alive and I am pretty sure he knows that. Thanks for asking.

    Hope everyone has a very Blessed Christmas!!!

  21. mariannetaylor says

    Peggy, thank you for sharing. Sweet to hear your brother is getting better. Yes, that will take time. haha get him eating whole 100 and that would speed up his recovery and cleans the chemicals he had to take. (I’m sure you have talked to him about how great you feel).

    Sounds like many are restart/starting Jan 1st/2nd. Can’t wait for the next week to get done!!!!!! Get myself/clients/kids back on track. Holiday/schoolds out just throughs everything out of wack!!!
    I’m eating whole health. Just feel out of wack w/schedules being off. I’m not charged up for my workouts. It’s okay, good week for me to take more rest/light days. starting Jan 1 I will have my clients/classes and my coworkers (she just had a baby). trying to work on recharging and not getting low iron again. My biggest goal to work on is listen to body (hardest thing for me to do). I coach this for my clients. I best be listening to my own advice:>)!!!! Have a fabulous christmas!!!!! Cheers!!! Marianne


  22. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    Day 4

    Breakfast of sausage (pork, water, and salt, pepper, and other spices for seasoning) and sweet potatoes
    Slept through lunchtime, and had a handful of almonds in the afternoon for a snack
    Dinner of chicken breast sauteed in canola oil with challots on a bed of salad

    Felt good for today

  23. Just Jen says

    Come January 1, I’m in as well. I’ve been going for short stints of paleo eating (roughly 70/30) but I’ve not been able to finish a 30 day run. I’m tired of beating myself up for not sticking to it but at the same time I also know how good it’ll feel to finish it. At any rate, I’ve planned out our New Year’s Day feast and it’s all approved foods! Hopefully, my boyfriend will eventually join in.

  24. ElizabethJ says

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    Does anyone eat Yuca? It’s a root so i’m assuming it’s safe to eat while on Whole30.
    I read over the ‘eating dirty’ post and i’ve decided before I celebrate 30 days of clean eating I want to give up nuts and fruit for 10 days.

  25. Kayte says

    Hi! I’m on Day 5, and had previously been vegetarian for several years (ovo-lacto, so I still ate eggs and dairy happily). I got most of my protein from dairy and legumes, and (to an increasingly lesser degree) soy.

    I’m eating eggs and chicken on the Whole 30, and I’m noticing that I feel pretty nauseated during and after eating proteins (I’ve been sticking with eggs and chicken for right now). I’m 99% sure it isn’t a psychological “eww I’m eating meat” kind of thing, as I have liked eating eggs and chicken in the past. Veggies and fruits have caused no problems. Is this something that anyone else has experienced? Is it just a given while I’m changing my diet so radically? Is it going to go away at some point so I can enjoy eating meals again?

  26. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    Day 5

    Pre-workout chicken with challots and a few almonds
    Post-workout chicken breast with challots and freshly mashed, warm sweet potato with cinnamon
    Skipped lunch, and had a dinner of roast chicken and a handful of blueberries

  27. says

    From MELISSA (on D’s computer):

    @ElizabethJ: I’m working on a caffeine post right now, from my personal experience. (I’m past 60 days now, and not looking back.) Stay tuned.

    @All: Our internet connection from Mexico is spotty, but we’re jumping on when we can to read comments. So happy to see new faces, and thrilled to see so many doing well with version 3.0. We expect to see a HUGE increase in comments come January 1st, so for all of you veterans… help a newbie out and keep motivating, inspiring and tough-loving your fellow Whole30’ers through to success.

    Melissa & Dallas

  28. says

    Hi, everyone!

    You know how I said I was starting my 60 days on January 2? I’ve changed my mind. I’m starting today. I enjoyed my cookies and french fries 100% totally completely utterly.

    And last night, I thought: I simply cannot eat another Russian Teacake. When we went out to dinner, I gave myself permission to have whatever I wanted, and I opted for a salad. I was craving something clean SO much.

    So today is Day 1 and I’m going until at least the end of February, but I have sneaky little notion popping up in the back of my noggin that I might keep going until March 11 — the day before my husband’s birthday.

    I don’t ‘need’ to be no-cheat for that long because I don’t usually slide down the slippery sugar slope when I have an occasional treat, but I was feeling SO good in November around days 30-39 that I want to see what it’s like to do a long haul.

    Peggie, you’re my inspiration for that!

    It’s not that I want to put myself in food jail, but CHOOSING to eat only high-quality, clean food for two+ months seems like a very loving act to myself. So I’m trying it… we’ll see how I fare.

    Happy new year, everyone!

  29. Peggie says

    Rock on Melicious – And by the way, my birthday is March 12th too. My body is feeling sooooo good. It is amazing how the body wants that clean food.

    Welcome to the new people.

    Rocking day 126. Just hit the gym and feel GREAT.

  30. irene says

    Right count me in……I have had the most horrendous sugar cravings and binges lately. My stomach hurts, I feel achy and tired and generally listless. Thank you sugar/grains/diary for wrecking my body but I am taking back control. Thank you festive season for grinding me down with all the chocolates, parties and treats in the office. I am over it now and someone is going to have to pin me down and force feed me that junk because I am choosing not to eat it anymore. I have cleared out my cupboards today (26th Dec), its not in my house and I won’t be buying it. So here I am jumping on board. By the time the 1st of Jan comes I am already going to be a 6 days in and that is going to rock!

  31. faith says

    Alright… I’m considering starting this when I get back from Hawaii (Jan 1 would be a good date), but here’s the thing… I’ve been a vegetarian for the past five years. At one point I was vegan for a year as well, so I can definitely give up the dairy and eggs, but it’s going to be hard to consume so much meat. I’m willing to try it, but I probably won’t eat anything other than fish or beef.. the rest just grosses me out way too much. Any thoughts on how to do this whole30 thing and convert from vegetarianism at the same time?

  32. Lindsay K. says

    Faith –

    Read the book Paleo the solution diet by Robb Wolf…. He is a biochemist/personal trainer that was a vegetarian for 5 years and he rtalks about how unhealthy his body was and how all the grains etc. Effect your body! He describes it even down to the way it effects horomones! Not that being a vegetarian is bad but maybe it will help with how you should/can transition!

    IM ON BOARD!!!!

    Lindsay K.

  33. Phoenix says

    Hey guys
    I am joining today. So like Irene, today (Dec 26th) is day one. I can’t stand feeling like this anymore. Im hoping to get a couple of friends to join me. Although I think others will join the 1st.

  34. Jessica says

    Day One:
    I felt super excited to get started. I was heartened that most of my preparations involved getting rid of crappy things — much of what was on the shopping list was stuff I would normally eat. I really enjoyed shopping, reading labels, strategizing….I opted to stop coffee as well. I think it is a trigger for me — and it puts me in places that aren’t healthy (i.e. Starbucks, etc.). I had the most deliciously peaceful nap….normally I would be too worked up to nap AND I had much more “room” for water intake.

    Good luck to all the newbies…we can do it!

  35. Just Jen says

    I couldn’t stand it until Jan 1 so I started today as well. I feel much better already (bloating is starting to subside). I’m kicking off the 603 PTP tomorrow and I’m hoping to be able to keep it going after my vacation ends next weekend.

  36. Ken "Chappy B+" says

    A day of personal revelation:

    2010 is over for the most part (minus my wedding anniversary coming up on Tuesday), and this weekend was a nutritional melt-down. I’ve made it through things like this before, namely Thanksgiving, but my wife has this thing about sensuous, rich foods, and I made choices to indulge in them for Christmas. You know how things sometimes, go – once you stop, you can’t stop (well, you really choose not to stop).

    2011 is coming. I’ve already committed to the gluten-free January (thanks to the folks that put that together). Melicious just posted up one of the best motivational pieces I’ve seen on a blog in a while, but then again, I don’t follow a lot of them. If you don’t read her blog, search for her at The Clothes Make The Girl. Her post is called “The Best Versions of Us”. It’s a call back to human sanity.

    We are human “beings” for a reason, not human “doings”. My hats off to Melicious and Peggie; you ladies are inspirations who are “being” on a daily basis what the rest of us hope to be in our daily lives, at least in some regards. May God grant you a fruitful 2011, filled with challenges, growth, and blessing (but not too much of any, right?), and may He help us each be the best of what He made us to be.

  37. irene says

    And so it begins…..My cupboards are cleared, I wish you could see them. Gawd, I binned so much stuff (and I thought I was “healthy” eater) I woke up this morning and I knew I was doing the right thing, I read that “best versions of us” and I totally get it. Lately I have been in such a mental tailspin about eating junk and not wanting to go to the gym. I realised I was rebelling against the grind of calorie counting (also crazzzzy binges”) and relentless exercise to try to reduce my weight, the harder I tried the worse it got. Rebellion ahoy! But now, I feel almost zen about it, like the storm clouds have broken. I can do whatever I want and I am -choosing to do this, eating good clean food. So today is day 1, but who is counting ;-)

  38. Shelly says

    Ken — I love the human “beings” line. I also loved Melissa’s post. It showed up in my feed reader this morning.

    This weekend I overindulged somehow. I had a few chocolates and it just sent me downhill. It really wasn’t even that much! I felt awful, slept awful, craved more sugar. It was no good. I need to be very careful. I know all the good wasn’t undone, exactly, but it feels like starting over.

    I’m going to do a long cheat-free stint come January. Well, come whenever my care package from a dear friend with some homemade chocolate things in it is in my hands and I’ve eaten a little of it. Then I’m going to save the rest of it for the end of my wholeX — April 2, my birthday. On that day, I will also be celebrating having moved a thousand miles to take a new job. I need to eat clean from January – April just to keep my sanity during the uprooting of my life! The last thing I need to be worrying about is my food adversely affecting me.

    Also for January, I intend to eliminate fruit. At least for a month, to see how it feels.

    I feel like I better understand the reasons behind eliminating foods now. At first, it was just because “Well, these smart people have a 30 day challenge, why not?” Now I’m challenging myself because I understand how my relationship with food is malleable and how finding a workable diet can bring so much to every aspect of my life.

  39. ElizabethJ says

    Today is day 30. Yesterday was SO bad. i wanted cookies, pizza, cake and pie. i think it started at my family gathering on Christmas. there were cookies, fudge and cake. i brought sweet potatoes and had raw veggies w/ turkey and some of my sweet potatoes. While i have a abundance of grassfed beef in my freezer that’s about it. I’ve yet to find a good place to buy chicken. Right now it’s 12$ a lbs. I can buy from places in MIssourri but with the cost of shipping i’m better of buying in local for $12. Oh and i’m out of eggs. All that on top of the snow storm here on the east cost.
    So last night for dinner i made the dino kale w/ steak- THANKS TOM. it was my first time eating kale and i really enjoyed it fried like that.
    In a previous post i said i was going to go 10 days w/out fruit or nuts but i may hold off on that idea. I’m thinking of making the apple pie posted before thanksgiving for New Years Eve and I may enjoy a piece of pizza. I haven’t decided yet.

  40. Peggie says

    Exciting things to come for the newbies and for us oldies! So looking forward to a healthy happy 2011. Thanks Ken! You inspire! That was a GREAT post by Melicious. I LOVE her writing style.

  41. Just Jen says

    I’ve successfully completed Day 2….although I’m either coming down with some kind of cold or my allergies are kicking in ( in December?! REALLY?!?!) so i’m not going to try to kick off the 603 PTP. This makes me sad because I was really looking forward to it. I’ll take my small victories though…I ate clean all day even though I’m PMS’ing like a wailing banshee…I only spent $90 at Whole Foods…. and I didn’t give in to the World Market ginger snaps or the goat cheese sampler tray. I’m feeling a bit smug but I’m quit sure Karma will fix me right up in the morning when my kids get out of bed….so, that is that.

  42. Lindsay K says

    @ Just Jen – I have successfully completed day 2 also! And I too feel like I am coming down with something! Maybe its all of those ugly toxins and sugars etc. that were in our body that need to get out! What is the 603 PTP?

    Also – does anyone know what is good to eat if you eat OUT during this time? Today I had beef fajitas and only ate the beef onions and peppers… I don’t know if that was good or bad but I need help when it comes to that area!

    My main focus for the next 30 days is discipline and cutting out dairy – grains – and legumes… so far so good for 2 days!

    I love this blog! It’s very encouraging!

  43. says

    @Lindsay: There’s a whole FAQ section on dining out in our Success Guide – but your fajitas sound just fine. Next time, ask for some fresh salsa and guac and you’ll be good to go!

    @Mike: Glad you’re enjoying it! You may also want to add our new Seasonal Produce sheet to your Success Guide – find it here:

    @All: We’re moving this party on over to the Whole30 Version 3.0.11 come January 1st. Same program (version 3.0 is the best version to date… at least, that’s what YOU are telling us!), fresh for the New Year. Even if you’re in the middle of your W30 adventure, come on over and join the folks who are jumping on board on the 1st.

    And don’t forget about our Whole30 Success Story contest! If you’ve had success with the program, you could win free consulting or a free Gym Guide for your gym!


  44. Lauren :) says

    Day 23. Continually learning through this experience. LOVED the blogpost by Melicious–resonates wonderfully with my experiences of *being* on my yoga mat, doing the dishes, cooking, nursing my son, lifting heavy things, etc. I’ve just revistited some of my favorite sources on living in the moment and experiencing contentment, and her blogpost is just so in line with all of that. Wonderful!!!

    Feeling wonderful, and learning so much about myself through this process–what works and does not work for me. And again Shelly, your comments here are so very insightful to me (I love learning here from all of you!) This whole30 experience is part of my continual journey learning how to exist within this body in the most comfortable, healthy, and joyful manner. And its totally working. ;) I feel amazing. :)

    Very grateful for this! :)

  45. Amanda says

    So I’ve spent the past week or so reading all about the Whole 30 plan after my gym instructor told me that she did it last January and is doing it again this January. She said it changed the entire way she thought about food. I eat a fairly “healthy” diet as it is– vegetables are my favorite food group, so I eat tons of greens and other colorful vegetables as it is– and dairy upsets my stomach, so I have been trying to avoid it for the most part for the past few months, too (a splash of half and half in my coffee will be tough to give up, though). I’m not heavy on the grains, but I definitely enjoy a bowl of oat bran for breakfast in the winter and a quinoa grain salad now and then. Oh, and microwave popcorn is my downfall. Yikes. Anyway, I’m really excited about starting this adventure!

    One question: what’s the Whole 30 take on flax seeds and hemp seeds? Since quinoa isn’t technically a grain but is categorized with grains for Whole 30, I wasn’t sure about flax and hemp seeds. I’ll probably end up downloading the Whole 30 Guide just to make sure I have all of the details straight, but was hoping to get an answer to this question here. Thank you!

  46. Just Jen says

    @Lindsay K- it’s a strength program Dallas and Melissa put together (take a look on the right sidebar above under Pick Up Something Heavy). I did it a year ago and was starting to have really good results after month 1.

    I’ve come down with a full fledged cold so I’m having cravings for only sweet things right now. I’m thisclose to throwing out all my kids’ cookies and candy. Not sure if the fight with them over it will make me feel better or worse than if I eat some of it.

  47. irene says

    Day 2 and I feel surprisingly good. I realise now how attached I was to milk in my coffee. Also strangely I am thinking about how much I need to eat to satisfy my hunger, rather than eating as if there is going to be a famine at any moment. If I feel hungry I know I can eat, I.WILL.NOT.DIE. lol

    I am also reflecting on what to do fitness wise, this year I hammered myself at spin and at the gym – sometimes on a programme sometimes not. Sometime liking it, sometime not. Any good ideas?

    Finally I visited friends who offered me lasagna, alcohol, cheese, biscuits, fruit juice – ehm no thanks just water – if they thought I was a freaky eater before this may have cranked it up a notch ;-) I didn’t explain the whole 30 thing.

  48. says

    Hi, my name is Angie and I am really looking forward to starting to change the way I eat. I have really never paid much attention to what I ate unless I had a race coming up. This past May I had to have my thyroid removed and the side effects of that have been very upseting for me. Not only have I gaines some weight (which I am working on) but most importantly I always seem to be tired. I am on medication but my nutritionist was very honest with me: change the way you eat. So, this is what I am doing. I know it will be a challenge but I am definitely all in, because of my health. I am doing this for me! :-)

  49. says

    Angie… welcome! I had my thyroid removed two years ago, and I’ve been eating the Whole30 way for about 18 months. If you have any questions or just need to vent about the thyroid stuff, feel free to email me… mel at chancemccoy dot com. It’s been a rough road since my thyroid thing, but my Synthroid dose is finally right and my energy levels are back where they should be — it does happen! Cleaning up the diet was a HUGE help. I’m here for assistance if you need it!



  50. Stephanie says

    Hello all!

    My family and I will be jumping on board January 1st! I have already completed Whole 30 once after attending a seminar in Wenatchee, WA. It truly is amazing! There will be six of us starting up in a few days…some more excited than others..should be interesting! Looking for a good soup recipe to survive cold winter nights over here…suggestions welcome!!! Good Luck and Congrats to all of you already on board! Hi Melissa and Dallas! Hope Mexico is awesome!!! :)

  51. says

    Hey Angie – Welcome!

    I recently (September) had to have my Thyroid “Nuked” to get rid of several large Nodules that were taking over – Unfortunately much of my thyroid was killed off along with the nodules. As a result, my numbers have been dropping lower and lower since September, so I’m right there with you on the “lack of energy” thing – and yes, it sucks! I’ll offer my advice right along with Mel – I definitely don’t have all of the answers, but I have found that going strict w/ the Whole30 definitely helped a lot! The first week was hell (energy levels through the floor!), but after the “break-in” period I gradually started to feel better. I did a Whole60 and found that the second 30 days were when I really started to feel much better.

    I’m still fighting the “energy level” battle that comes along w/ Thyroid issues – some days it literally takes everything that I have to get out of bed – much less prepare healthy meals and drag my booty through a workout – but I know that the low energy days are much less frequent than they were, and the more I dial in my diet, the more infrequent they seem to be.

    So Good Luck with your Whole30, and feel free to email me anytime at christietracy at yahoo dot com.

  52. says

    Mel – Absolutely LOVED your Blog Post about being “the best version of me” – Good Stuff! You really have a gift for writing in a way that really “speaks”. I don’t know if that make sense, but when I read your blog posts, it’s like your talking to me – not like I’m just reading another internet article. Aaaand your newest recipe is making me drool right now – I can’t wait to give it a try!

    I haven’t checked in for about a week, and it’s GREAT to see all of the new names in here!

    I prepared an AWESOME paleo feast and happily stayed on the Paleo Path all the way through Christmas Eve, and up until about 9PM on Christmas evening. . . then I caved to the evil that was the dessert table – – – won’t even “go there” to lay out all of the dirty details . . .lets just say that I was in serious digestive distress for several days after my 15 minutes of “naughtiness”!

    I plan to start a “Whole100” on January 1st (Thanks for the inspiration Peggie and Mel!!) I remember that when I did a “Whole60” a while back that I felt increasingly more awesome by the day, especially in the second half of it, so I figure “why not?”. I’m living the Whole30 lifestyle now anyway, so committing to 100 days straight will just help to keep me on the straight and narrow and avoid letting the “little cheats” sneak their way back in. I was contemplating just starting now as many others are doing, because I really am still living the Whole30 lifestyle anyway – but I’ve decided to wait until January 1st to make it official because I’d really like to have a few glasses of red wine at the Spaids Game I’ll be attending NYE :)

  53. LG says

    HI Everyone

    I’ve decided to start my 30 days plus tomorrow the 29th. I will be spending New Years eve with my Pregnant sister so I won’t be tempted by alcohol….sweets maybe but I will be ok. Christmas was a real treat, emphasis on treat, but I’m SO ready to start I can’t wait until January 1st! I’ve asked all of my clients to join me on this with a few actually saying yes so thats exciting stuff. I had one lady who desperatly needs help tell me she thought I was crazy for eliminating foods and she certainly won’t be trying Paleo. This after she told me shes taking a handful of painkillers and sleepaids for the past 3 weeks! Some people just aren’t ready I guess.

    So I’ve stocked up on my Bison and Elk meats and my free range eggs the veggies I buy as I need them at the market because I have a habit of letting them go bad.

    I won’t be caught unprepared this time!

    Bring on the clear thinking and healthy eating!

    Best of luck to each of you

  54. says

    Christie! Glad you liked the post. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I wrote it, and I’m very curious and very excited to see how it works for me. It’s such a departure from how I usually do things — and I have to give credit to Melissa and Dallas for that. Melissa encouraging me to “try it” on a whole variety of things (giving up dairy, lifting heavy, etc.) has really changed how I look at the world. NEATO!

    For all you new folks, you can find my recipes here:

    And if you go to the Resources tab at the top of this page, you’ll find other helpful recipes sites, including Whole Life Eating created by the fabulous Tom, who you’ll find lurking around here.

  55. Peggie says

    Hey Christie – Welcome back! I totally agree that the longer a person goes, the better that person feels. I keep feeling better and better and stronger and stronger. I actually have a waist now. Haven’t seen that for a long time. Was always pretty much straight up and down. Everything continues to get tighter and smaller.
    This IS my lifestyle.

    New people – Melicious’ recipes are GREAT. Christie’s are too. Great resources.

  56. Bruce says

    Hi all,

    Day 4 for me. Started Sunday, right after a massive pig out on Christmas. My first post, partially because I have stayed away from the computer, and secondly this is typically when the sugar cravings start. I have often gone 3 – 4 days eating “clean” (done the zone before, cut out sugar etc) and have folded around day 4 or 5 as the sugar cravings really kick in.

    My goal is to drink a glass of water every time a craving hits, and maybe a little protein and fat to help me through. My first three days, all at home, have been pretty easy, so I know now the next few will test my resolve to last the week. I did pass on a few beers yesterday watching the hockey game, but than again, cutting the “adult beverages” has never been a major issue….like donuts are to me.

    Well I have to go get my glass of water now.

  57. Marcy says

    We’re starting a spring lean challenge on the 8th at CFC, but I’m starting my own Whole30 on the 1st, so that will be at least 11 weeks of Whole30 eating. I’ll be ditching caffeine as well for at least January in solidarity with my husband who I’ve convinced to kick it for at least a month. He started tapering Sunday so hopefully he won’t have a horrible withdrawl.

  58. ElizabethJ says

    Questions for everyone

    Melicious- what does this coconut aminos look like? is it liquid? what does the bottle look like (or package)? How much of a difference does it make in the recipe? meaning if i omit the coconut aminos will it still be “out of this world and back”?

    I plan on picking some up next week on my bi-weekly trip to Whole foods.

    Oil- what kind of oils does everyone use to cook with. I use coconut oil but right now i’m out so i’ve been using olive oil and i just ran out of that too. so last night i used sunflower seed oil. Sometimes when baking asparagus i’ll use sesame seed oil.

    Then I have Avocado oil i put on salads and i also have grape-seed oil but I don’t use that b/c i’m not sure what/how to use it.

    Does anyone cook with hazel nut oil? Does it cost and arm and a leg for it?

    And does eating sunbutter mean I can no longer say i’m Whole30?

  59. says

    @All: Welcome to all the new people! The first few days are easy – don’t let complacency take hold or you’ll be in trouble (as Bruce alluded to) around day 4-5. Keep posting and sharing here, and watch out for our January 1st Whole30 post, where we can all start fresh (if necessary).

    @ElizabethJ: Coconut aminos look like this: (I just Googled!) It’s a 1:1 ratio, so if a recipe calls for 2 Tbsp. of soy, sub out the same amount of coconut aminos. Melicious can answer the recipe question, but I do know that her Sunshine Sauce wouldn’t be the same without the aminos. (We know, because we’ve tried to make it without.)

    The oils question is answered in detail in the Success Guide, including which oils are best for cooking and which are not so hot. Coconut oil is always a best bet!

    Finally, if you’re eating Sunbutter with added sugar (in the form of cane juice, usually), that’s not Whole30 compliant. The organic stuff, with no added sugar, would be A-OK.



  60. says

    Elizabeth J. –> In recipes where soy would be a major player, the coconut aminos are essential — like the Sunshine Sauce or a stir-fry (

    In something like the Cottage-Flower Pie, you won’t lose too much if you omit the coconut aminos. They’re taking the place of Worcestershire sauce in the original recipe. It just adds a nice salty tang to the meat, but if you don’t have coconut aminos, the dish won’t suffer too much without them.

    Happy cooking!

  61. Amanda says

    Sorry to repeat my post, but I was wondering if someone could tell me if flax seeds, hemp seeds, and/or chia seeds are part of the Whole30 plan. It seems like all seeds are acceptable, but I want to be sure! Thanks!

  62. says

    @Amanda: Sorry, I meant to respond to this! Flax, hemp and chia are technically acceptable, but we don’t love them as a fat source. Eat them if you like, but we certainly don’t encourage most folks to add more to their diets.



  63. Amanda says

    Thanks Melissa! I’m not planning to add more of those seeds to my diet, but I have a few recipes that contain those seeds and wanted to make sure I could still eat them. I read a bit about your take on them (not a very efficient or effective source of fat) in your fish oil article.

  64. Irene says

    Day 4, lovin it. Thought I would check in, have navigate the tricky waters of having a friend to stay and eating out. Looking at a menu and there is so much crappy choices, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, and no toast- thanks!

    Hope the sugar demon isn’t going to stalk me today, if day 4 and 5 are the rocky patch?! Ah well peeps, let’s rock into 2011. I am not going to hold myself back anymore. Irene the invincible ;)

  65. says

    Hi guys, I just used coconut aminos for the first time this past week and it is great stuff. I think it tastes better than soy sauce and it provided just the right kick to some stir-fried bok choy I was experimenting with.

    Good coconut oil adds awesome flavor. I used some cheap stuff that was completely forgettable when I started and wondered why people said such nice things about coconut oil. Then I bought some of the 365-brand stuff at Whole Foods and understood why coconut oil gets rave reviews.

    I use a lot of extra virgin olive oil and am generally happy with it.

    I bought some avocado oil at an ethnic grocery because it was cheap and because avocado oil can stand high heat better than olive oil. The taste is forgettable. The avocado oils I saw at Whole Foods were a lot more expensive than what I bought, so I wonder if paying more would get me more like I found with the coconut oil.

    About the Whole30, I felt like crap from about day 4 through 15 and then began to feel great. Hang in there when it begins to bite!

  66. ElizabethJ says

    Melissa thank you for calling out my laziness. i actually did jump onto google 2 mins after i posted that and did some research on the oils. so now i have a nifty little pocket note on my BB with which oils have high smoke points and which are best for baking, cooking, using cold, etc.
    And I do plan on purchasing the success guide to add to the rest of my notes, books and other research i’ve done.

    BTW a big Thank you to you and Dallas for all the FREE information you provide us with. we are all truly blessed to have such great mentors.

    Tom- thanks for sharing about how you use your oils. i love pilfering ideas from others ;)