The Whole30, Version 4.0

Our original Whole30 program, touched up and rolled out fresh for summer 2011.

What is the Whole30?

Certain food groups (like grains, dairy and legumes) 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 issues, 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 causing.   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.

Our 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 totally natural and unprocessed.  Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our Shopping Guide.

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. 

    1. 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 (and your Success Guide FAQ), because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.


  • Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, pre-packaged snacks or meals, protein bars, milk substitutes, etc.



  •  Do not consume alcohol, in any form.  (NEW! And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)



  • 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… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain!  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 of all kinds (black, kidney, lima, etc.), peas, lentils, and peanuts.  No peanut butter, either.  This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, tamari 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 (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream.



  • Do not eat white potatoes. It’s somewhat arbitrary, but they are carbohydrate-dense and nutrient poor, and also a nightshade (refer to your Success Guide FAQ for details).



  • 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!  Those kinds of food miss the point of the program entirely.


One last and final rule.  You are not allowed to step on the scale during your Whole30 program.  This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer.   So, no weighing yourself or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30.  (NEW!  We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)

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.

    1. 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 a healthy choice!  Refer to your Shopping Guide for clarification.


  • Processed Meat.  On occasion, we are okay with organic chicken sausage (those that are nitrate, sugar, 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, these are far more “pod” than “bean”, and green plant matter is generally good for you. (Refer to the FAQ for details.)



  • Certain processed foods.  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”.  (Refer to your Success Guide FAQ for details.)



  • Vinegar.  NEW!  All vinegar, with the exception of malt vinegar (which generally contains gluten), is allowed during your Whole30. This includes white, apple cider, balsamic, red wine, rice, and other non-malt vinegar varieties.


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, using the Resources we’ve given you here.   Take our Shopping Guide 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, using our MealSimple™ template to take all the guesswork out of meal planning.  But 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, under any amount of stress… 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 pizza, one splash of milk in your coffee, one lick of the spoon mixing the 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.

Here’s what you can expect.

The first week or two will be tough, as your body heals and adjusts to this new way of eating and your brain wraps itself around going without all those sweet tastes and sugar-driven energy spikes.  And while you may start to feel better after a week or two… the healing process takes significantly longer.  In addition, the mental addiction and emotional connections to sugary foods, large amounts of carbohydrates and over-the-top, chemically-altered flavors is going to take a lot longer to overcome.

Stick with it, and be patient with yourself.  You cannot reasonably expect to completely reverse decades of poor eating habits in just 30 days.  The good news, however, is that improvements are front-loaded, and you will start to see significant benefits within the month.

At some point, we promise you… the magic will happen.  You’ll go to sleep easier, and sleep more soundly through the night.  Your energy levels will increase and stabilize, and you’ll feel just as good first thing in the morning as you do at the peak of your day.  Your body composition will start to change – your clothes will fit differently, and you’ll feel less bloated at the end of your day.  Your performance, whether it be in the gym, while playing sports or during a hike, will improve.  Your recovery after exercise, a game or a hard day’s work will feel easier and more complete.  Conditions, ailments, aches and pains will miraculously start to improve.   And through all of it, you’ll be eating delicious, fresh, natural, real food… food that tastes good, and is physically satiating and mentally satisfying.

Refer to our Success Guide FAQ for more details about what to expect, or if you find yourself in a rough patch during your Whole30.

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 health 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 doughnuts, there is no “slip”. You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. 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. 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 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 and fitness doesn’t happen automatically 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” and 30 day plans out there – things that sound a lot like the Whole30, that promise you’ll lose weight, have more energy, feel better.  They 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 thousands of testimonials and consulting 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 almost two years, 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 expanded and revised 85-page Whole30 Success Guide, which includes (in part) a detailed Shopping Guide, our MealSimple™ meal planning template, an extensive FAQ, over 40 delicious Whole30-approved recipes and a guide to help you manage the first few days after your Whole30.
  • Read (for free) old Whole30 comments (as posted in our new Whole30 Archive), 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 5,000 comments on the Whole30 Versions 3.11, 3.0, 2.0 and original Whole30 post.

To download the Whole30 Version 4.0

Click here for a printable copy of the Whole30 Version 4.0 program, exactly as written above.

To download the Whole30 Version 4.0 en Español

NEW! Click here for a printable copy of the Whole30 Version 4.0 program in Spanish!

Join our Whole30 discussion on Facebook

Join the current Whole30 discussion on our Whole30 Facebook page: Whole30 participants are sharing recipes, offering their best tips and tricks, providing motivation and support and holding each other accountable, so become a “fan” of The Whole30 page today.

Want to fly your Whole30 flags high and proud?

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  1. says

    Hey There,

    We’re getting ready to start up another whole 30. The last time we did this, my partner dropped about 10 pounds. He is 6′ 2″ and now weighs in at 174lb. At 67, I am ashamed to admit, he looks better in his diving skin than I do in mine at 50. Boo hoo.

    A couple of randon bottles of pepsi, a bowl or two of moose track ice cream, a few wine empties, and bread appear in his diet every week. We are both active. Exercise/walk at least 4 days a week.

    He tends to eat in smaller more frequent bursts than I do because he can’t process the same volume yours truly can inhale. I am a little concerned about Captain Tom doing another Whole 30 – if he looses more weight, It might be muscle mass…..

    Your thoughts and suggestions? Thanks in advance, Susan

  2. katie says

    hi all! i don’t think anyone remembers me, i have been popping on and off since about may, trying to start whole30 challenges, getting to day 4 and giving up.

    well, i came today to say thank you. i have successfully completed 4 weeks! i made a decision to make good decisions one meal and one snack at a time, and in 28 days have done really well. i haven’t lost much, maybe a pound or two, but my crossfit coach asked me if i’d lost a ton of weight recently just tonight at the class. things are moving to where i want them to go. i train hard, and a lot, so i was really just happy to hear that it looked like i was losing weight, even though i hadn’t.

    i feel better, more clean, somehow. my skin is prettier. my hair is shiny. my energy levels are even. i feel good about the food i’ve been putting into my body. about 2 weeks in, i realized i had MORE money in my food budget, and started buying a little bit or organic chicken and grass fed beef. once i cut all the processed stuff out, and the frappe mocha coffee thousand calorie $6 drinks from my life, i had money for quality food.

    i still struggle a little bit with wanting dessert, and with wanting to stuff my face when i’m stressed out. i don’t think life long habits are going to die in 28 days. but i know i have a choice today, and that’s been one of the best things about this. it’s a process, i’ll get to a place where i don’t treat food like a mood altering substance as long as i work toward that goal and take steps to change my thinking and behavior.

    so anyone who is struggling, who doesn’t think they can afford this, who doesn’t think they have time, you can do this. i’m a fulltime nursing student with a part time job and a 3 year old i raise by myself with no support. if i can do this, you can, too.

    i can’t say enough for this program. thank you for making this available as a resource, and i wish you all luck!

  3. says

    Wow, I am not sure if I have ever seen a recommendation to not eat legumes. I always thought those were some of the most healthy, natural things out there. Anyone know what component of a legume or what is does that is considered bad for this eating style?

  4. Angel says

    How does this fit into a vegetarian lifestyle? I’ve been raised lacto-ovo vegetarian and most of the things you mention cutting out are the things I get my protein intake from. I’ve only read the surface materials here and it looks as though eggs are ok, but what else fits the protein category in your diet? There’s no such thing as going back to eating meat as I never have and I’m 40. Let me know if I should continue looking at this diet as an option. Thanks!

  5. says


    The short answer is that you can’t complete the program exactly as written if your only animal protein source is eggs, as it would be impossible (and less than ideally healthy) to get enough dietary protein from just that one source. However, you can make some of the changes we recommend (like avoiding all forms of added sugar, ditching the grains and some legumes for vegetables and fruit and using unprocessed forms of vegetable protein sources (tempeh instead of Gardenburgers) – and experience some of the benefits of the program. In our professional experience, however, without incorporating additional animal products into your diet, you won’t experience the full benefits of the program as written. (That’s not a judgment – just a statement based on our experience.)

    We very much respect your dietary choices, and do hope that you do make some of our recommended changes. I think you’ll be surprised at what a difference a few small changes can make!



  6. Kathleen says

    DAY 18 : )

    Here to say it’s working, my body is definitly changing, I put on jeans for the first time in a year, (yoga pants have been de rigueur for a LONG time). I dont have any cravings to speak of, (but sometimes an unspecified longing for that ‘really stuffed’ carb overload feeling’ My skin looks great, my energy is even, all is well!

  7. says

    Allie, Susan and I started on the 10th also. Day 3 and all is well. We did the Jan 1 W30 and had “drifted” just a little too far since then so it’s time for a reset.

    Kathleen, congrats on the jeans. I’m sure it feels great.


  8. says

    Just checking in… I usually eat Whole30 all the time, but went “off-roading” Tuesday and Wednesday – tater tots, crème brûlée, bread crumbs, grits, cheese, ravioli… I took two cooking classes – Southern US and Northern Italian – and was sampling our work. Unfortunately, there are consequences. I woke up in the middle of the night last night even though I went to bed tired. And, even though I had eaten big before going to bed, I felt hungry once I had been awake for a while. I ate, slept a little more, and when my alarm woke me to start the day, I was really hungry again. My sleep and appetite functions so much better when I am living on a meat and vegetables diet! I’m going to stay on the Whole30 highway for a while. The alternative is too annoying.

  9. says

    Tom, I find that my appetite does not change much on or off the W30. This W30 seems easier since we had stayed pretty “clean” on food and when we went dirty it was in small bites. The primary motivation for this W30 was the sugar demon had started to torture me lately. It had been in check for quite a few months and I’m hoping this go round will put it back in the dungeon for good.

    Speaking of Northern Italian, if only there was a W30 approved crusty Italian loaf to go with that clarified butter ;) I miss dredging up all that sauce and dressing from the bottom of the plate.

    Tom (day 4)

  10. Shelly says

    I just lick my plate. :D

    I had kind of a four-day viking warrior weekend full of gluten (cornbread! my best friend’s pizza!) and beer and whiskey and sugar and I LIVED. I credit this to the whole30 and my clean-eating ways for about the past year.

    I was worried about reintroductions causing me problems but I had no symptoms except a little insomnia. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have eaten what I ate last weekend pre-paleo and felt okay at all. It’s nice that my body is strong enough to handle those kinds of off-road food choices when I make them. But I know that’s no excuse to go off-roading more often! Obviously my guts and brains are nice and strong now and I should keep them that way.

  11. says

    This feels like a rather absurd question, my specialty. I’m on day 6 and just had to have a dental crown. It didn’t occur to me that toxic matter would be part of the deal, though it probably should have, until I tasted the bubblegum flavored topical anestheic on my gums. I also had novocaine as part of the process. Is this a major issue? Do I start over?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  12. says


    Life happens. Though ideally we’d never have to undergo surgery, use medications, or be exposed to environmental pollutants, modern life and historically poor choices sometimes make that a reality. I don’t believe that the anesthesia or medication will have a significant impact on the outcome of your Whole30, so continue as planned with your Whole30. Good luck!


  13. Diane says

    Started Day 1 today!!! I just heard about whole30 and what sold me is the increase in energy level and ability to sleep better. Here goes nothing…I do have two questions I am hoping someone can help with: what type of nuts are ok to eat and how much? Also, egg beaters/egg whites…are they ok, or do I have to have the whole egg?

  14. says

    Diane – Macadamia nuts and almonds are okay nut choices, but nuts and nut butters should be consumed in moderation. I consider it a good week when I don’t eat any and a bad week if I eat a handful every day. The problem with nuts is that they are loaded with Omega-6 oils and what we really need is Omega-3 oils.

    Egg beaters is a processed food and out during a Whole30. The whole egg is good for you. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients are in the egg yolk. The conventional wisdom that assumes fat is bad is responsible for the idea that we should avoid egg yolks, but conventional wisdom is wrong! It is much easier to lose weight eating a relatively high fat diet. I lost 30 pounds last year when I started following the Whole30 approach and for me that included 24-28 eggs per week, yolks and all.

  15. DeAnne says

    @Shelly: “Obviously my guts and brains are nice and strong now and I should keep them that way.”

    Ha! I had to laugh at that one! And I’ll have to steal it when people ask me why I eat this way – “Because I like having strong guts and brains!” :-)

  16. Catherine says

    Hi there –

    I completed the whole 30 a couple weeks ago (feeling great!) and I’ve introduced some dairy back into my diet (the occasional cheese and half&half in my coffee). I don’t notice any reaction to the dairy, but I still have five-ish pounds I want to lose, so I was wondering if I should be more vigilant about keeping it out of my diet. Also, I was going to have red wine tonight at dinner (parents’ 40th anniversary seems like a good occasion!) and based on how I feel, again, I might reintroduce it into my weekly routine. I am curious about others feelings about having a glass or two of wine during the week. Thanks so much!


  17. says

    Catherine – Congratulations on completing your Whole30 and feeling great!

    There are at least three reasons to avoid dairy/cheese. Dairy provokes an inflammatory response in the gut, spikes insulin levels, and (cheese) has an acidifying effect on the body ( You are not noticing an inflammatory response in YOUR gut, but the other issues are not something you would feel. I eat a little cheese when it shows up on my plate when I am eating out, but never bring cheese home with me or cook with it myself. There are too many good things available to make cheese a part of my routine diet when I can help it. My attitude towards wine is similar. I drank a few glasses at a cooking class this past week, but can’t imagine adding the empty calories of wine to my weekly routine.

    About weight loss, I lost weight for 12 months after beginning to eat the Whole30 way. The key is not to be vigilant until you hit a target weight and then relax. That is the conventional approach that leads to swings. The Whole30 way is to adopt a healthy routine and trust that your body will find its own target weight. That is an approach you can truly live with.

  18. says


    We really don’t like the idea of planning bad food back into our diets (as you mentioned, “reintroducing wine back into my weekly routine”). That’s just setting yourself up for failure! If you choose to have a glass of wine or a splash of heavy cream in your coffee from time to time, go right ahead – but make sure you’re doing it because you really, truly want it, because it’s delicious or because it’s a special occasion, NOT just because it’s what you do every Wednesday night. Does that make sense?

    In addition, if you’re still not at your goal weight, then think of every glass of wine as a step in the wrong direction. Wine is nothing but empty calories – the sugar + alcohol is a nasty weight-loss combination. Maybe that will help you think carefully about when and how much to include wine back into your “normal routine”, and help you stick to glasses only when it’s truly worth it.

    One last thing – if you’re missing dairy in your coffee, heavy (whipping) cream is a much better, healthier choice than half and half. (Less problematic milk proteins and more healthy, beneficial milk fat.) Consider using that instead, when you want a little something special in your coffee.

    Hope that helps. Remember – we can’t tell you how often or how much is “okay”, only YOU can figure that out for yourself. But don’t set yourself up to fail by planning “cheat” meals or days!



  19. Kristin says

    This weekend was tough. I had tailgates Saturday, with tons of crunchy snacks, cookies, soda and beer. I am proud to say I stuck to tea and a veggie tray I had brought. That night a friend was in town and the group ordered cheesy chicken nachos for the table… which is (was) my all-time favorite bar food. Again, I stuck to tea and didn’t have one single nacho. Getting coffee yesterday my sister ordered a sugary drink and kept pestering me, “just try it, just try it, just try it,” until I told her I was going to take it and dump it out the window if she asked me again. =D Worked like a charm.

    I just feel so much better now that I’ve cut out all that sugar and other junk. I don’t get tired during the day. I know the food I am eating is much more nutritious. I never thought I’d say this, but I don’t really even miss it.

  20. LJ says

    I completed my first Whole30 in July this year and have never felt better or had more compliments paid to me.

    Today is Day 1 of my second whole 30 following a long holiday and a month of poor eating after it!

    Im excited to get back to feeling AMAZING! Bring it on :)

  21. MJ says

    Thanks for the reminder on heavy cream, Melissa. If you do that at a Starbucks, does that mean they spray that whipped cream from a can on top or do they pour it from a carton? I’m guessing the canned kind is loaded with sugar.

  22. says

    MJ: Please don’t confuse whipped cream with heavy whipping cream. ;) The stuff in the can = sugary and no bueno. You’ll want to ask for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream at Starbucks – they’ll know you mean the stuff in the carton.


  23. says


    Nope. Almond milk = processed food. It’s got additives and fillers that we think make you less healthy, and I guarantee the vanilla stuff is sweetened. Read your labels, but all forms of almond milk are out (unless you make it yourself at home, with nothing but almonds – and even then, it’s not your best choice because of the high amount of inflammatory fatty acids).

    Try coconut milk instead – the stuff in the can.


  24. Jason says

    Any fruits to avoid altogether or not have very often??? Just started today and have loads of questions……thanks

  25. says

    Jason – Black eyed peas are a legume and all legumes are out during the Whole30. All fruit is okay, but should be consumed in moderation. No fruit is as nutritionally dense and good for you as most vegetables, so you want to make sure you eat lots more vegetables than fruit. The other issue that makes limiting fruit wise is that sugar demons can survive on a fruit diet and the Whole30 is a great time to slay sugar demons. How much fruit is okay? I often eat 2 to 3 pieces of fruit per day, but am eating a large volume of vegetables too.

  26. Sonia says

    Melicious, do you have a Whole 30 approved Chili recipe in your blog? Can’t find one.



  27. Sonia says

    @Shelly, Thanks! I can’t wait to try it! We’re having a Chili thing at work and have to bring something I can actually eat.

  28. Maury says

    What about supplements? (Standard Process or some other whole food brand.)

    Also about the coconut milk…I am finding that the cans have a preservative….and So Delicious in the refrigerator section has guar gum and carageenan, so I am assuming that is out….

    Any comments?

  29. says

    Maury – As long as the ingredients in your supplements are Whole30 compliant, the supplements themselves are not banned, but read the labels closely. Soy products are common fillers. More basically, I question the value of taking supplements when you are eating a real whole foods diet and not eating processed foods.

    Coconut milk in a carton from the refrigerator section is too highly processed, but coconut milk in a can with guar gum is Whole30 approved.

  30. DeAnne says

    Hey everyone! Attempt #5, and I finally completed a W30! Given that every other time I had announced my goals and failed miserably, I decided to keep it private (see Melicious’s “Shut Up & Put Up?” here: I did have a few bobbles (like I drank about 1/2 a cup of my son’s leftover smoothie before I remembered I put honey in his), so it wasn’t perfect, but I kept going and yesterday was day 30. The disappointing parts are that I didn’t lose any weight, and the sugar monster is still in full force. Too much fruit and those “bobbles” didn’t help with either of those. On the up side, I have a lot more energy in the afternoons and my seasonal allergies so much better I’ve stopped taking my meds.

    I am going to have some cake today (left over from my son’s birthday party on Sunday), and might have some wine this weekend, but other than that my plan is to keep going for now. I just had some ground pork and spinach for breakfast – it didn’t really occur to me to have anything else!

  31. says

    I’m on Day 17 today of my first Whole 30…OMG, I can’t believe how great I feel!

    I put off doing the Whole 30 for several reasons…

    a)I’ve been gluten, soy and refined sugar free for 5+ years, grain-free for 1+ years

    b)I’m at a healthy weight and BF% which is easily maintainable for me

    c)I don’t eat out or consume any processed foods

    d)I didn’t want to give up cream in my coffee or butter in well, anything or my greek yogurt and berries

    e)I thought I had this diet/lifestyle pretty much dialed in and didn’t need it despite my occasional (and becoming more regular) digestive issues

    Boy, was I mistaken!

    At first I didn’t really notice any difference in any aspect (energy, digestion…) and I truly thought…”I will give this until day 15 to see if anything changes significantly and if not I’m going back to my normal routine”…

    I woke up on day 15 and BAM, everything changed! Go figure. My energy levels were higher than normal, I was sleeping through the night without a potty wake up and having regular BM’s (without herbal assistance…I know TMI!). I know we are not supposed to get on the scale and I truly didn’t step on it once until Day 15 but my weight is a huge factor in my health (meaning I can tell when I eat something that causes inflammation in my body by an increase in my weight)…down 3.2 pounds! Ok, so this program really works…I’m still going and really can’t see that I will be adding dairy back, ever. The only other thing that I’ve cut from my diet for this program is stevia and an occasional 1-2 T honey or palm sugar which I can take or leave…

    So, for anyone contemplating doing a Whole 30…as the guidelines state “But 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.”

    If someone like me who eats a clean diet already can experience life changing results in 15 days I can’t imagine what someone eating a less than optimal SAD can experience…

    Do it. Do it now. You won’t be sorry…

    PS…the scale was a one-time thing for me on day 15…I haven’t been on it again and won’t until day 31. :o)

  32. Renee says

    Starting my 30 day challenge today, Oct, 19th,2011. I have amazing support. A lovely girl I met randomly and she has been amazing thus far when I have questions. I am super excited. I cannot wait to feel better, look better and eat healthier. This forum seems like a lot of support. Here’s to the next 30 days!!!

  33. Maury says

    Thanks Tom,

    I found the supplement guide on here (somewhere!) and have now thrown out a lot of supplements. I am not a big supplement fan, but every now and again, I buy some to take for a while… never seem to finish them. I am getting over the guilt of having spent $ and not used them all up!

    As for coconut milk….Maybe I haven’t found a good brand yet. The cans at my grocery store have potassium metabisulphite (or other chemically sounding names) as a preservative…. Any suggestions for which type of coconut milk? I have also seen coconut cream…I think the difference is there is less water.

    Completed 30 days last week, followed it pretty well and started again monday with more diligence and intention. It seems a little harder, but I keep reminding myself that I like feeling good!

  34. says


    Stay away from everything with sulfites or sulfates – that’s nasty stuff. Whole Foods 365 brand, Thai Kitchen brand or Native Forest brand coconut milk are all good to go.



  35. Maury says

    Cool Andrea, thanks.

    One more question. Will it work in a regular blender, or food processor? I have not yet spent the Really big Bucks on a high speed blender, but maybe it is time!

  36. says


    Yes, I would use the blender rather than the food processor…you may just need to blend it a bit longer. Since the shredded coconut is so fine and it really softens up with the hot water I think it will work great.


  37. cate says

    Hi all,

    So, I’m on day 4 of my second whole30. I fell off the wagon (or rolled off rather into a bucket of wine, cheese, and sugary breads) for the last month-ish. It started off innocently enough, and then BAM! I was up to my elbows in foods that make my feel stank nasty. Four days off again, and shocking – I already feel awesome. Oh, sweet discipline, sometimes I really need it.

    Anysnooch, my real reason for commenting is a question I have regarding a trip I’ll be taking in January. I know it’s a couple months off, but I’m trying to prepare. I’m doing a month long yoga teacher immersion on an island far away, and the menu is vegetarian, though I’m told there could be some fish. Obviously I want to enjoy this experience and not worry about having a stomach that is hating me. I’m not sure how to approach this. I know I can give specific dietary needs (gluten, dairy, soy intolerance), but I’m wondering how I’m going to get my protein there isn’t always fish available. I know my body and I have a rough time digesting beans, plus don’t you have to pair them with a grain like brown rice to even get the full protein?

    Any suggestions??? Also, this is out of the country, so I can’t exactly bring a back-pack full of food across the border. Thaaanks for any help or suggestions!


  38. says

    Crap, Kate. That’s a really difficult one.

    My first thought is to contact the ashram directly, and tell them you have food sensitivities to most grains and beans, and is there any way they can ensure you’ve got some fish or eggs at each meal. Hopefully, they’ll understand – allergies or sensitivities aren’t something to be messed with.

    Then, I’d pack a ton of jerky (Primal Pacs sells jerky-only kits that are a great value, and maybe some protein powder (egg white based is best) so you can get at least some complete protein in you throughout your stay.

    You’ll probably be underfed for the duration of your trip, but aside from potentially losing some muscle mass, it’s not going to kill you. See if the ashram will work with your needs first, then supplement your carry-on with as much as you can take.

    Hope that helps.


  39. says

    For clarification, after the Whole30, would stevia leaves be a proplem as an occasional sweetner? Mostly we’re not fond of anything sweet. I get both fresh and dried leaves, not the processed powders, as part of the herb selection from our local organic produce cooperative from time to time.

  40. says


    AFTER the Whole30, you can use whatever you want as an occasional sweetener. How often, how much and what kind you use is completely up to you to decide!


  41. cate says


    Thanks for your response! I hadn’t thought of protein powder – I think that would be easy to get over. I’m not sure if jerky would be collected from bag or not, but it might be worth a try. I’ll definitely contact them first, though, and explain my food sensitivities. I struggle sometimes within a traditional yoga community b/c of how aware I am of my need for animal protein. Saying “food sensitivities” sounds so much better than, “i would like an entire cow please, preferably rare, and with a side of whole chickens, but i’ll settle for some fish,” which for whatever reason is what was blasting through my head thinking of a vegetarian diet for a month. I appreciate your input!


  42. cate says

    MJ – thanks for the suggestion! I believe I will have access to the fridge, but I don’t think it would be respectable of me to put beef in there given the vegetarian/pescatarian diet. Thank you though!

  43. Chuck Charbeneau says

    @cate- don’t be concerned about TSA and jerky. I travel twice a week and ALWAYS have several pkgs of jerky on me and in my bags.

  44. Mike says

    20 days into my Whole 30, feel leaner, stronger, faster. Thanks!! During the last few weeks, had started using red palm oil for the first time in stir-fries, breakfast eggs, and to coat sweet potatoes. Tastes great and has been a nice break from coconut oil and olive oil. How do you all feel about palm oil?

  45. says


    We personally don’t like the flavor of red palm oil, but given its carotene density and the stability of its saturated fat, it’s a really good choice to put into the rotation. Interestingly, it has a similar fat profile to lard (mostly saturated, a lot of monounsaturated, and a minority polyunsaturated fat), though it probably has more micronutrition in terms of carotenes and tocpherols/tocotrienols (similar functions to vitamin E). I might not cook the hell out of it (due to the fragile polyunsaturated fats) or use it exclusively, but in the rotation, it’s a reasonable choice. Good luck!


  46. says


    I travel with canned salmon and canned organic chicken which I know could get heavy traveling, I have never checked for wild or organic tuna or chicken in those foil packs…I know regular grocery stores have the Chicken of the Sea or Starkist brands, may be worth looking into. Also, my husband I travel quite a bit out of the country and when have an extended stay in one location we always ship a box ahead of time so we don’t have to pack so much food…I’d ask the location you are traveling and staying at if that is an option.


  47. Rachel says

    Starting the 30 days on Monday. Excited, but a little nervous too. I’m extremely lactose intolerant, and anything even moderately spicy sets me off as well. Any suggestions for easy, packable lunch ideas?

    Many thanks,


  48. Larry says

    I want to try the chili recipe above but it calls for cocoa. Others have used it for the Whole30, but I thought cocoa was not permitted. What do you guys think?

  49. says

    Larry – Unsweetened cocoa is fine during a Whole30. Unsweetened cocoa isn’t anything like Nestle’s Quick, the powdered chocolate flavoring mix that is full of sugar. Cocoa is a little bitter by itself, but adds complex richness to chili. I once slipped while making chili and added about 4 tablespoons of it. The result was pretty good.

    I adapted Melissa Joulwan’s recipe to cooking chili in a pressure cooker at