The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom Info

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Over 1.5 million copies sold!

Millions of
people visit Whole30.com every month and share their dramatic
life-changing testimonials. Get started on your Whole30 transformation
with the #1 New York Times
best-selling The Whole30.


Since 2009,
Melissa Hartwig Urban's critically-acclaimed Whole30 program
has quietly led hundreds of thousands of people to effortless weight
loss and better health—along with stunning improvements in sleep
quality, energy levels, mood, and self-esteem. The program
accomplishes all of this by specifically targeting people’s habits
and emotional relationships with food. The Whole30 is designed to help
break unhealthy patterns of behavior, stop stress-related comfort
eating, and reduce cravings, particularly for sugar and carbohydrates.
Many Whole30 participants have described achieving “food
freedom”—in just thirty days.
 
Now,
The Whole30 offers a stand-alone, step-by-step plan to
break unhealthy habits, reduce cravings, improve digestion, and
strengthen your immune system. The Whole30 prepares
participants for the program in five easy steps, previews a typical
thirty days, teaches the basic meal preparation and cooking skills
needed to succeed, and provides a month’s worth of recipes
designed to build confidence in the kitchen and inspire the taste
buds. Motivating and inspiring with just the right amount of
signature tough love, The Whole30 features real-life
success stories, an extensive quick-reference FAQ, detailed elimination
and reintroduction guidelines, and more than 100 recipes using familiar
ingredients, from simple one-pot meals to complete dinner party
menus.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom:

5

April 16, 2016

Just finished my first whole30! The results are amazing!
This book has simply changed my life. I know that you aren't supposed to weigh yourself on this program, but weighing myself is a motivator so I decided to skip that rule. It's only been two weeks and already I feel so much better. I am more alert in the mornings and my acid reflex is gone. In addition, my migraines seemed to have disappeared entirely. What is really motivating me is the fact that I lost 15 pounds and 10 overall inches in two weeks. I also love the fact that I have the energy to exercise again. I look forward to continuing this program even after my 30 days are up. I just feel that healthy and energetic! I'll post an update once my 30 days are complete. :)

Update: So today is day 18 on my Whole30 journey. I just wanted to let you guys know that there is a lot of cooking involved with this program. I'm actually tired of cooking, which is why I started making large meals to freeze for the week. It actually works out well for me, especially since I don't mind eating the same food everyday. I've also been drinking a lot of tea and water. I feel like it is helping to flush out more toxins from my body. I has been approximately four days since my previous review and I lost an additional 2 pounds on this journey. I have so much energy that I actually am unable to sit still like I used to. I guess I was depressed before going on this journey so the Whole30 has actually improved my mood as well. I go for a walk every day and I've actually started a new workout program!

Update: So I just finished Day 23 of my Whole30 Journey and I feel good, aside from the fact that I caught a cold. Weighing myself today, I discovered that I lost 19.5 pounds so far! I measured myself and immediately noted that I lost 19 inches over all (I measure my chest, both arms, both legs, waist, and hips). I think when I am done with my first round, I'll take a day off then start a second round. I just feel that great overall.

Update: So I just finished my first whole30 round and I have to say that I'm super excited by the results. When I hopped on the scale today, I noticed that I had lost 26.6 pounds. I then measured myself and noted that I lost a total of 31.5 inches (-5" from chest, -2" from right arm, -3.5" from left arm, -8" from waist, -5" from hips, -4" from right thigh, and -4" from left thigh). I am really excited by my results!

I plan to have a celebratory dinner tonight (likely a gluten free pizza from papa Murphy's), then I will start my second round of whole30 tomorrow. I think that I might actually reach my goal of losing 50 pounds by August!

I'll keep you guys posted! If you have any questions, feel free to comment. I will do my best to answer them. :)
5

July 19, 2017

Letter to Prospective Whole 30'ers
Dear Prospective Whole-30ers,

If you have been in a state of dependency on food--be it sugars, alcohol, chips, ice cream, just about anything--or if you have been unwell, unsuited to the world physically or emotionally--or, if you simply feel blah and would like to lose a little bit of weight--please consider trying this program. You might think, "I don't eat that badly! I eat a lot of whole foods!" which is what most people think of themselves (I sure did). But when you actually make a conscious decision to eliminate foods from your diet, you will see that even the small amounts of crap that you've been eating regularly matter. Prepare to be amazed. I sound like an evangelical, I know. It's a little embarrassing. But it is all true.

My fiancee and I did this together. It takes teamwork (if you have a family, you probably need to get them on board). It also will help if you can begin (or even complete) this diet when you have a minimum of social obligations--having office mates who eat a lot of cake or friends who drink a lot of booze WILL NOT HELP while you are on this program. Don't try to start this the week before Christmas if your family gathers to eat until they pass out. Be realistic about when you begin this. You must prepare a little bit and read the book ahead of time so you aren't just floating at sea. And, be aware: you will not be able to sufficiently screen foods made by other people!

But listen--we'd both been relatively inactive for years and each about 25 pounds overweight. Between the two of us we lost 34 lbs in 30 days and we are still going to keep up a serious commitment to Whole 30, with a few supplemental treats now and then. We feel better, we have new confidence about getting dressed in the morning, and we're more fit than in years, mostly because we have the energy to do more. The amazing thing is that you will NOT feel hungry if you hang in there and consistently prepare foods as per the cookbook/menus. There is also a very supportive and helpful forum online to supplement the book.

Realistic Details: I think that this will be more challenging if your culinary experience is limited. A lot of people complain about the difficulty of the recipes. The fact is that if you can make eggs and broil or barbecue meat, or even if you can turn on an oven and toss a salad, you will be fine. You might be a little bored with the food if you are not savvy in the kitchen, but it might help if you are really a novice to get the cookbook in addition to the guide.

Upsides: Has cured my chronic acid reflux completely. Completely changed my thyroid function and numbers for the better, have reduced medication dosage. Complexion better than in years. Lost a lot of weight and inches. Has helped to control cravings for many things. Has restored a more stable mental health balance and huge increase in energy levels. Dropping the weight has helped fitness levels immensely. AND if you can afford to buy Nutpods Creamers, these will allow you to drink coffee/tea within reason. This was the biggest bonus ever.

Downsides: Prepare for a bit of a rise in grocery cost. Prepared foods cost less than whole foods. This is American governmental ag subsidies in a nutshell. It's unfortunate and unfair, but true. Also, as others have mentioned, you will be in the kitchen more. Again, it helps if one of you cooks and the other cleans up. It's a little annoying to be sure, but the results are more than worth the annoyances. It is also very difficult to eat out. You pretty much are limited to places that are expensive and accommodating, delis where you know and trust the ingredients, or Chipotle. Again, the slight isolation (if you can do this or at least begin it when you have a little time to spare and don't have a lot of socializing) helped.

Another downside: If you have had chronic health issues (especially gut related), you may find that reintroduction actually teaches you that you're sensitive to most foods. It turns out peanut butter, gluten, and most dairy are now off limits. That rots!! But I'll live. I feel so, so much better without them, as I learned. And wouldn't you rather know why you feel crappy all the time?

But then again, when have you found a program that is ENTIRELY ONLINE AND MOSTLY FREE that changes your life? When you are in line at the checkout with your meat and chicken thighs and raw almonds, remember the money you are going to save by NOT joining another weight-loss program or hiring a life coach or drinking booze or going to the doctor for that blood pressure you really ought to monitor which is quite possibly linked to your diet. Dallas and Melissa, the authors, say that a craving usually lasts about ten seconds. Count and breathe through the french fries someone raved about at the office. Skip out for a tiny walk while everyone is hoarding that cake at work. Eat a little roast turkey and some oven-baked potatoes. Read more books with the newfound energies. If I--a bon vivant of the kitchen, believe me, hoarder of butter, lover of booze, cream, sugar--can give these things up for thirty days, anyone can.
5

December 1, 2016

did it for like a year
i lost so much weight on this diet, did it for like a year. went from a size 14 to a size 4
3

September 3, 2018

Eat Real FOOD...but can you do the 30 day start?
The rules for the Whole30 are a low starch/sugar 30 day "cleanse" to get you reset and onto healthy foods that are not inflammatory like grains and will help you maintain your weight.

The rules are as follows: I'm putting them here so you can decide right off if you can do this or not:
Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar,
date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. NO SWEETENERS INCLUDING HIDDEN SUGARS (my emphasis)

Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking.

Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur,
sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
NO HIDDEN GRAINS OR GRAINS OR PSEUDO GRAINS

Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava,
etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy –
soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
NO BEANS AND NO PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM BEANS

Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir,
yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.

Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of
your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30. (A lot of processed foods have these)

Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating
or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically
compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing
results. These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is
still a pancake, even if it is made with coconut flour. (Only eat things in this book)

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

Bottom Line: ONLY foods listed in this book for 30 days, no prepared foods and no fast food or restaurant food.

This is difficult. There are food services that send you "whole30" ingredients to cook, if you find shopping difficult and planning worse, that could work for you.

Bottom line: this is VERY tough. Can it be done? Sure. But be certain you know what the first 30 days entail before you set yourself up for frustration and failure.
5

September 27, 2017

Very good diet to try if you have trouble staying on a diet
There are about half a dozen diets that are very similar. They all recommend you eat "meat and veg" The reason Whole 30 works for me is because you can have potatoes and fruit. An example of a whole 30 meal would be: 2 pork chops, mashed potatoes made with chicken stock, green beans, finish with your choice of fruit. My favorite is a few grapes or pineapple chunks. Also the goal it to make it 30 days without cheating. There have been several times I would think: OK I can't cheat now I only have __ more days to go. Having an end in site helped me. When I started adding back in food groups after the 30 days. I figured out that I do not do well with Dairy. Now the only dairy I use is real butter. I never thought I could live without cheese... But now I don't think it's a good idea for me. So it helps you figure out what you can and can not eat and still feel good.
5

November 12, 2017

30 Days Completely Changed My Life
Finished my Whole30, with my wife, a month ago. This has been a complete life changer for both of us (I could not have done this, without her support). I have not felt this good in 10 years. I have never really been all that overweight. I began the Whole 30, because I felt awful. I was always tired and had no energy, I felt my mind was not as sharp as it once was, I snored every night and had trouble sleeping, I had a few isolated patches of eczema, had terrible GI issues (daily), and was on high blood pressure medication. These were issues I dealt with for over 10 years and assumed it was just how I was built.

30 days and every single one of these issues are completely, 100%, resolved. I’m off my blood pressure medicine (with the blessing of my doctor), have limitless energy, sleep easily, the eczema that was on my side for 15 years miraculously went away, after 30 days I was down 10 lbs (now I’m at my ideal weight, having lost 13 lbs), my GI issues, which really hindered my life, are completely resolved.

It’s truly amazing, when you take 30 days to focus extremely hard on what you put in your body, how your body responds. So many issues, I thought I had no control over, I actually have complete control over. This has made me accountable to myself.

In our health system, we constantly patch problems and put bandaids on symptoms without getting to the root cause. 30 days, and I’m healthier than ever and off my medications.

After completing the whole 30, I have taken my time adjusting and bringing some conveniences back into my diet. What has helped me stay on course, is that when I deviate, my body responds. So no, I don’t eat dairy anymore, because when I have it, I get sick. No, I don’t eat candy anymore, when I have it, I get extremely tired. So the choices I make, have immediate consequences, and that makes it a lot easier to stay on course. Today, 60 days after starting this journey, I’m honest with myself about how much control I actually have over how I feel, I take accountability for it and I eat accordingly.
5

May 27, 2017

This has Changed my Life!! PLUS Update
OMG, where to begin? I'm 18 days into the Whole30 plan and my aches and pains due to inflammation are gone. I've lost 13lbs. My brain fog is GONE. I do NOT NEED coffee in the mornings, but I do have a cup as I love the stuff:) I feel SO good, mentally as well as physically. And this is an EASY plan, too! I did the rather strict Atkins diet years ago. I lost a lot of weight but could not stay on such a limited meal plan. I've done the Daniel Fast which is awesome for what it does in 10 days but is not really a lifestyle you can maintain. The Whole30 allows so much variety that I often feel like I'm cheating because the food is so awesome--but I'm not cheating:) Granted, I've been cooking all my life and I can cook just about anything so I haven't really tried many of the included recipes in the book. Sugar cravings, my personal albatross, are GONE. This is definitely a plan I can maintain for the rest of my life. Thank you Whole30!!

UPDATE: I finished the Whole30 yesterday. As of this morning, I've lost 18lbs and I cannot see ever going off this way of life. I feel SO good. My body's aches and pains are nearly non-existent. For me this is a miracle in itself as my life before Whole30 was daily pain, especially my lower back. I know that I can try reintroducing foods that were forbidden during the 30 days, but I have decided to stay where 'good' is and that's Whole30. Period. For you pre-diabetics out there, my A1C # dropped from 6.8 to 5. For me, this has been a Godsend. Thanks to the authors. I am eternally grateful.
5

February 6, 2018

40lbs Down - 5 Star and I've never read the book
5 Stars

I bought this book for my wife almost a year ago. She asked me to purchase it for her, to say I was less than trilled would be un understatement. I have had to open my wallet to all sorts of random fad diet type books and work out video series only to see her never be able to see the results she wanted. Boy was I wrong about this one.

This book has sparked a whirlwind of confidence, self esteem, and just an overall glow in my wife. This book helped her lose over 40lbs over the coarse of this last year. JUST BY EATING. almost weekly i am treated to her running into the living room wearing something out of her closet from 5 or 6 years ago. Huge smile on her face cause she can fit into her smaller clothes. Now we are to the point where almost nothing she owns fits her anymore.

I couldn't be happier, My wife couldn't be happier. The recipes are delicious.

I would buy it again at 10x the price, no questions asked.
4

Jan 29, 2019

3.5, I am rounding up based on our overall experiences not the actual book stars!!

For a full, very detailed review of our experience and how we felt week-to-week visit my blog Recipe & a Read!

So there's a lot of hype around this book / diet and honestly, in the end, I can kind of see why. There are a few caveats that go with why my husband and I jumped in head first into this challenge but in the end, I've really enjoyed the results. First and foremost, your primary goal in Whole30, I don't 3.5, I am rounding up based on our overall experiences not the actual book stars!!

For a full, very detailed review of our experience and how we felt week-to-week visit my blog Recipe & a Read!

So there's a lot of hype around this book / diet and honestly, in the end, I can kind of see why. There are a few caveats that go with why my husband and I jumped in head first into this challenge but in the end, I've really enjoyed the results. First and foremost, your primary goal in Whole30, I don't personally feel should be weight loss. You will lose weight most likely, but it should be about resetting your system and finding out how your body reacts to different foods. Along the way, you're likely to start breaking bad habits and start making healthier more positive ones.

PROS: It's only 30 days, so even if you hate it, it's a month of your life. I absolutely do feel better than I have in a long time. Cutting out refined flour, sugar and alcohol is always a positive thing to do from time to time. I am definitely sleeping better, have more energy, lower anxiety levels and just generally feel really good. It's an interesting challenge in the kitchen and definitely makes you reevaluate what you're putting in your body - especially when you go out to eat.

CONS: This would've been much harder if: I didn't live in a large city with great grocery stores that offer lots of compliant ingredients (it was surprisingly difficult to find compliant chicken and beef broth - which means if your store doesn't carry it, you have to make that on top of cooking everything at home already). If I had kids, or a partner that didn't want to do this with me (don't think I could've watched someone eat queso in front of me and not caved). Or if I didn't work from home - the sheer amount of time spent meal prepping, planning and cooking was crazy!

GENERAL TAKEAWAY: I liked this! I have very positive feelings about this experience and it was a great way to jump start 2019 to be a healthier and happier year. I will take a lot of the things I learned during this challenge and apply them to my day-to-day life to continue being healthier, and treating my body with the respect and the care it deserves. This gets lambasted for being a "fad diet" that doesn't "keep the weight off" but again, if that is your goal - you're kind of missing the spirit of Whole30 (in my humble opinion). If you think you can do Whole30, drop 10 pounds then eat pizza or fast food all the time and keep it off, then that's on you not this program. However, it's a great way to evaluate what and how you eat and really force yourself to look that dead on and make the changes you need to feel better. ...more
5

October 23, 2018

Get it!! It will change your perspective about food!!!
I finished my Whole30 yesterday!! I was 142 lbs at the start of my journey and today I am 127 lbs. I lost 15 lbs in 30 days!! I didnt work out, I didnt go to the gym, the only lifestyle change I made was reading this book and cooking some of the recipes from the book, and sticking to 3 meals a days that were Whole30 compliant for 30 days, and I lost 15 lbs!!! Not only that, but I feel amazing. I no longer crave sugar. I am perfectly happy not having dessert after dinner. I never thought I would say those words.. I have a very sweet tooth and always felt like I needed to have something sweet after dinner, well not anymore. Even though my 30 days are over I will continue to eat healthy, and stick to a Paleo diet going forward. I will only have “cheat meals” a couple of times a week when I go out to eat but when I cook at home (which is most of the time anyways) I will cook Paleo or Whole30 meals. Another thing to note is that I was NOT very good in the kitchen prior to this, I only knew how to cook a couple of basic meals, but this book’s recipes were so good and I had so much fun making them!! I also Googled a bunch of other recipes and made so many amazing meals during the 30 days. My husband was WOWed every night at dinner (he also did Whole30 with me) and lost 10 lbs!! We both agreed that we will continue this type of eating for most of the time going forward . Thanks whole30 for changing the way we think about food!!
1

February 5, 2019

Do you want REAL food freedom? = Intuitive Eating NOT WHOLE 30.
The good thing that this book has going is that it teaches you to eat more WHOLE, unprocessed foods, lots of veggies, and it is written well. I have personally read it and tried it. So the reason why I give it 1 star is because it teaches you to eat MEAT instead of beans, lentils, lots of fruit etc...Which goes against what we were born to eat! (Grains, fruits, veggies, and meat sparingly). This whole 30 challenge/diet may have you lose weight in the beginning, but 99% of you will gain all that weight back...it also leads to distorted eating. If you really want to be FREE from food, I would suggest STOP DIETING and instead adapt "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole. Intuitive Eating teaches you to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY -with what to eat and how much to eat... Eat what you want when you want... When I started eating this way I ate SO MUCH JUNK FOOD (all the foods that diets like the WHOLE 30 say you must never eat so I was so excited to eat them)... but then I noticed how those foods made me feel... I noticed that they made me feel sick/gave me a headache/bloated etc, and I noticed that I didn't want them anymore. So I chose to stop eating them (I CHOSE - not someone telling me what to eat). "Am I hungry? What do I feel like eating? What will satisfy me? How does this food make me feel? Am I full?" No one is you and can tell you how much you should be eating, when you should be eating, and what you should be eating like this book teaches. We are all born with the innate ability to LISTEN to our OWN BODIES!
I gained some weight at first, BUT have lost the excess weight, am no longer obsessed with food, and I am starting to ENJOY food again since eating intuitively.
I hope this is an answer to someone's prayers out there!
5

Mar 13, 2015

For people who want to whole30, but don't necessarily want to read all of the science-y stuff of why a whole30 is good for them, this is a great book. It answers a lot of questions about the whole30, covers just the basics of why a whole30 is good (if you want more in-depth, read "It Starts With Food"), provides shopping lists, lots of great recipes and a wonderful collection of resources for support, shopping and additional reading. Very well done.
3

Dec 16, 2015

I didn't read this book in-depth. I started out reading, realized that I would never be able to maintain a diet this stringent, and started skimming over parts.

There is a lot of information in this book, from the basics (How to roast a whole chicken) to the creative (how to cook eggplant or sweet potato to use in place of your burger bun). It also includes many delicious recipes. Many I will try...enough that I might be tempted to buy the book to have on hand, not enough to make me stick I didn't read this book in-depth. I started out reading, realized that I would never be able to maintain a diet this stringent, and started skimming over parts.

There is a lot of information in this book, from the basics (How to roast a whole chicken) to the creative (how to cook eggplant or sweet potato to use in place of your burger bun). It also includes many delicious recipes. Many I will try...enough that I might be tempted to buy the book to have on hand, not enough to make me stick strictly to the diet. In my mind, that is good enough. Make a few small changes and they add up. Eat some yummy healthy foods and maybe you want to do so more often. This is not what the book claims. They want you to follow the diet to the letter. If you mess up, even a little, you should start all over at day 1. Don't make any foods, even with approved foods, that resemble cheat foods or you may crave them more and you won't be retraining yourself properly.

For me, this diet is simply too strict and would be too time consuming. I'm sure there are many, well some, people that would try it and be able to stick with it. Some of those people may even love it. I'm sure they'll feel better and be healthier than I will. For me, eating delicious foods is part of enjoying life and I don't like to cut anything completely out of my diet unless it is absolutely necessary or won't really be missed. I do try to eat relatively healthy, but certainly not to this extreme.

If you are a health fanatic, this may be the perfect book for you. Or if you have certain health conditions that require you to follow a strict diet, this may work for you as well. It was simply a bit too much for me. ...more
5

May 20, 2015

I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. My hsuband and I did it together which was definitely helpful.

The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. My hsuband and I did it together which was definitely helpful.

The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or "treats." Do not weight or measure yourself. I know it seems pretty restrictive, but like they say, "keep in mind that the Whole30 was intended to be a short-term reset and learning experience, not a permanent plan."


The theory is that as you slowly add the foods back in, you will see how your body reacts. Like I know dairy is not my friend and this reminded me of that fact. I felt good when I was eating the Whole30 foods, like I was doing something positive for my health. Losing 8 pounds didn't hurt either. And my husband lost almost 20. Even the dog lost 2.

It does take a lot more planning and work to eat real food. I needed to have breakfasts that David could easily grab in the morning, because he was not going to cook himself anything. I also had to plan enough left-overs from dinner to pack for lunches or have another back-up. It takes more time in the kitchen, chopping, cooking. I'll grant you it's easier and cheaper to open a box or can or throw (processed) lunch meat between two slices of bread, but real food makes me feel better, makes me a little proud of my choices.

The Whole30 has a great guide on how to approach the month and an extensive FAQ section. It also has some really yummy compliant recipes, that use ingredients I can actually find. ...more
5

September 2, 2015

I lost 50 lbs over a 2 and a half year lifestyle transformation that was sparked by this book.
3

Nov 26, 2017

I am drawn to nonfiction, health books in particular. I like reading them and I have read quite a few. First, I loved the voice of the author. It felt personal but pointed, which I appreciated. I liked that it felt she was sitting across the table.

Overall, the diet aspect felt extreme. For normal healthy people, I don't see the need for this, (even after hearing the pitch). This book felt like it was geared more towards those who are experiencing health issues on a wide scale, and who want to I am drawn to nonfiction, health books in particular. I like reading them and I have read quite a few. First, I loved the voice of the author. It felt personal but pointed, which I appreciated. I liked that it felt she was sitting across the table.

Overall, the diet aspect felt extreme. For normal healthy people, I don't see the need for this, (even after hearing the pitch). This book felt like it was geared more towards those who are experiencing health issues on a wide scale, and who want to see change. I also have gone through the cookbook. The pictures were beautiful and the recipes looked tempting.

...more
2

May 08, 2018

To be clear, I really loved the two-page guide at the heart of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's "Whole30" eating plan, which can be entirely and totally explained thusly: Spend 30 days eating nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit, in order to detox your body from all other edible items that exist, then one at a time slowly re-introduce things like legumes, grains, dairy and sugar back into your diet, paying very close attention to how your body reacts to each of them as you start eating them again. To be clear, I really loved the two-page guide at the heart of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's "Whole30" eating plan, which can be entirely and totally explained thusly: Spend 30 days eating nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit, in order to detox your body from all other edible items that exist, then one at a time slowly re-introduce things like legumes, grains, dairy and sugar back into your diet, paying very close attention to how your body reacts to each of them as you start eating them again. So I was legitimately shocked, then -- and I don't mean that as a snarky joke, but as a very sincere statement of incredulous disbelief -- to pick up their 432-page guide on the subject and realize that there literally isn't a single bit of original information in it besides what I just explained to you, the Hartwigs instead filling out their page count with such jaw-droppingly unbelievable cheats as a 75-page FAQ section (no, seriously, a 75-page FAQ section), and a 75-page section where they literally list every food that exists and explain whether or not it counts as a meat, vegetable or fruit (no, seriously, a 75-page section where they literally list every food that exists and explain whether or not it counts as a meat, vegetable or fruit).

The Whole30 plan itself gets 5 stars from me, a very clever and reasonable guide to reclaiming your emotional and physical dominance over your eating habits; but the book gets literally zero stars, averaging out to the 2 stars I'm assigning it here in my review. Don't under any circumstances buy this book, and please understand that I was serious when I said that my summary above contains every single bit of information you need to know about how to institute the Whole30 plan in your life. If you don't believe me, do some online research and prove it to yourself; but what you should absolutely not do is purchase this book at full retail price no matter how tempting it might seem. ...more
4

Jul 14, 2015

I was on the fence with whether or not to get this book. I have been eating paleo-ish for about 2.5 years so I was familiar with many recipes and figured the recipe portion would not be helpful. However, I wanted the book for the FAQ and guidance as we went through this challenge.

I have to say my assessment was correct. Having the guidance was really helpful, especially for the Whole30 rules that don't make as much sense on the surface. Honestly, I would recommend the book just for the section I was on the fence with whether or not to get this book. I have been eating paleo-ish for about 2.5 years so I was familiar with many recipes and figured the recipe portion would not be helpful. However, I wanted the book for the FAQ and guidance as we went through this challenge.

I have to say my assessment was correct. Having the guidance was really helpful, especially for the Whole30 rules that don't make as much sense on the surface. Honestly, I would recommend the book just for the section on how you will feel day by day. I didn't have the symptoms as bad because of already eating paleo but there was still some shock from going 100% clean and it's nice to look at the book and realize that it's totally normal to have some trouble the first few days.

The recipes don't offer too much if you are already familiar with paleo cooking or have other paleo cookbooks. However, the basics are VERY helpful. Some books do have recipes for things like mayo but few have them all in one spot. I find myself referencing the kitchen basics more than the complicated recipes. It's funny how I can cook so much and be able to make a lot of cool things but want the help for simple things like sauces.

Anyways, I would suggest the book if you are doing Whole30 from any level. DEFINITELY get it if you do not have any paleo background. ...more
4

Jul 11, 2017

I'm on day eight of The Whole30 and so far so good. I've been grocery shopping more frequently than ever before. Breakfast is the hardest meal because I don't want to eat eggs without toast but I haven't cheated. I was tempted to add some regular butter to a bake potato the other day but I didn't!!

I love the recipes in the book. I followed the recipe for a steak and it was the best steak I've ever eaten that I cooked. I'm eating more vegetables with this diet so that's a good thing. I know I I'm on day eight of The Whole30 and so far so good. I've been grocery shopping more frequently than ever before. Breakfast is the hardest meal because I don't want to eat eggs without toast but I haven't cheated. I was tempted to add some regular butter to a bake potato the other day but I didn't!!

I love the recipes in the book. I followed the recipe for a steak and it was the best steak I've ever eaten that I cooked. I'm eating more vegetables with this diet so that's a good thing. I know I won't stick with this forever because I can't live without bread but I'll definitely reduce my intake of sweets and processed foods! ...more
5

April 4, 2016

Regular, good-for-you food, easy to make meals... I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
3

Feb 19, 2017

The Whole 30: The 30 Day-Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is meant to be read after It Starts with Food. However, there's enough information in here that if you don't want to go through all the cited scientific "evidence" then this is a fine place to start if you are interested in doing a Whole 30.

Roughly, the first quarter of the book gives you all the details about Whole 30 and a bunch of commonly asked questions and answers. The rest of the book is about food preparation, and has The Whole 30: The 30 Day-Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is meant to be read after It Starts with Food. However, there's enough information in here that if you don't want to go through all the cited scientific "evidence" then this is a fine place to start if you are interested in doing a Whole 30.

Roughly, the first quarter of the book gives you all the details about Whole 30 and a bunch of commonly asked questions and answers. The rest of the book is about food preparation, and has recipes.

In regards to the scientific basis of Whole 30, this book doesn't really get into it, but it does make the rating suffer. Being a scientific minded person, there were more than a few things I was skeptical about, especially all of these quotes about how Whole 30 completely revolutionized their health.

Whole 30 has an active forum, which contains reality from real people, many of who exclaim Whole 30 didn't cure their 'x' condition or help them lose weight.

Which honestly, is fine, in my opinion. Whole 30 forces you to eat extremely healthy. That in itself is super valuable.

There's a mixed message of Whole 30 can be super healing vs. you just need to do Whole 30 longer if you don't see results. You're not seeing results? You're probably not following the meal template exactly, etc.

Don't go into Whole30 thinking it's going to fix some medical issue. Don't expect yourself to lose a certain amount of weight. Just do it because you want a healthy reset, and you want to stop yourself from eating chocolate chip cookies at 1am.

Whole30 should really just state that increasing your intake of healthy fats and vegetables, while throwing out all the junk, is the reason why it's healthy. Instead, it does this weird sidestep about how this diet is super healing and the right way to eat, and here's some sketchy scientific evidence about how bad 'insert food group' is for people. All the cited evidence is to support their claims, rather than presenting a whole picture of the evidence, so I would take the claims with a large grain of salt.

For Whole 30, you're basically only allowed to eat meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. No grains, soy, legumes, beans, dairy, sulfites, added sugar. Very limited snacking. An elimination diet really.

I'm coming to the end of my Whole 30. My husband and I have both lost weight. However, between the two of us, his body seems to have taken this diet change easier. He has a lot more energy, whereas I don't feel too much of a difference. It hasn't helped my headaches and migraines.

I assume there's a stark difference between male and female bodies in regards to burning fat, as the Whole 30 cuts out so many carbs, it attempts to get your body to live off fat.

There is a mixed message in the book between feeding your sugar demon but then making sure you are eating enough starchy vegetables if you're tired.

This has helped us eat less overall. We don't snack much, and gone are the treats after dinner because they're not allowed. It's been a good reset, but I really do miss carbs. I'm not someone who really enjoys meat and eggs, so a lot of meals have been depressing to me. Husband on the other hand loves this diet. ...more
5

Oct 05, 2016

I have a coworker who loves this, so I decided to check it out. I read it out loud to my husband on a long road trip last spring, and we agreed to give it a try.
It's an adjustment to change eating habits so drastically, but we've both experienced health benefits since we did it-weight loss for both of us, and a huge improvement in my breathing for me. I've had asthma since I was a kid, and in the past couple of years, it felt like it was getting worse. After changing my diet, I'm completely off I have a coworker who loves this, so I decided to check it out. I read it out loud to my husband on a long road trip last spring, and we agreed to give it a try.
It's an adjustment to change eating habits so drastically, but we've both experienced health benefits since we did it-weight loss for both of us, and a huge improvement in my breathing for me. I've had asthma since I was a kid, and in the past couple of years, it felt like it was getting worse. After changing my diet, I'm completely off the steroid inhaler I used every day, and only occasionally need the rescue inhaler. This wasn't a result that had even occurred to me when I started this thing, and it kind of amazes me.
I can't say a lot about the recipes. My husband does more inventions of his own than uses the ones in the book.
The tone of the writing in the first part of the book, the part that describes the mentality behind the diet, the strict Whole 30 and what happens afterward, is friendly, conversational and funny. It's not a chore to read through to get a good idea of what to expect.
Cheese and candy fiend (not together-don't be gross) that I was, I never thought I'd be able to give those things up, but it wasn't that hard. Now that I'm not on a strict 30 day stretch, I make periodic allowances for things that were no-no's during the Whole 30- I just don't eat them on a daily or even weekly basis.
It's worth looking at for the weight loss alone. I've gone down a couple sizes in 5 months. But the other health benefits we weren't anticipating have made this something I expect to permanently affect how we eat.


...more
4

Aug 13, 2016

I loved and appreciated Melissa's sarcastic, tough, no-nonsense writing throughout this book. She has an answer for every question and if there's a website filled with a support system, resources, and even more recipes and answers.

Whole30 is not a diet, it's a lifestyle- this mantra is repeated throughout the guidebook. She starts off with the rules, what you can eat, what you can't, how our bodies respond to change, what to expect day by day, and including notes on what to do in social settings I loved and appreciated Melissa's sarcastic, tough, no-nonsense writing throughout this book. She has an answer for every question and if there's a website filled with a support system, resources, and even more recipes and answers.

Whole30 is not a diet, it's a lifestyle- this mantra is repeated throughout the guidebook. She starts off with the rules, what you can eat, what you can't, how our bodies respond to change, what to expect day by day, and including notes on what to do in social settings like dinner parties, or when you are traveling. ...more
1

Dec 08, 2017

I grabbed this from the library to supplement some dietary changes I am making for GERD and overall health. I had heard good things and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I have several problems with the book, and the diet in general, however.

- They promise this diet will do ALL THE THINGS, and that should immediately make you highly skeptical. When they listed bipolar disorder as one of the many illness that can be "cured" by this diet, I was appalled. That's not only ridiculous, it's I grabbed this from the library to supplement some dietary changes I am making for GERD and overall health. I had heard good things and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I have several problems with the book, and the diet in general, however.

- They promise this diet will do ALL THE THINGS, and that should immediately make you highly skeptical. When they listed bipolar disorder as one of the many illness that can be "cured" by this diet, I was appalled. That's not only ridiculous, it's potentially dangerous.

- They advocate for eating bacon, but not black beans. Don't get me wrong, I love me some bacon and avocado toast, but allowing bacon and excluding healthy foods like black beans, quinoa, and sourdough bread?

- The idea that if you slip up one time you have to start over at day 1 is psychologically damaging, especially for people with binge eating problems. We tend to overcompensate with guilt and more binge eating if we do one thing wrong, instead of allowing ourselves some forgiveness and promising to do better.

I get their premise, that you should eliminate the most inflammatory foods from your diet for a month to discover which foods make you feel unhealthy. Such a teeny, weeny, small, tiny percentage of the population is even *estimated* to have an inflammatory response to these food groups that it's asinine to suggest everyone give them up "just in case".

Furthermore, you don't have to give up 90% of what you eat to determine if you are having a bad response to a certain food. Just give up THAT particular food for a couple weeks, if your symptoms improve, keep it out of your life.

Instead of this book, read Michael Pollan's "Food Rules", you'd be much better off. ...more
5

May 21, 2015

I have really enjoyed the recipes in this books so far. And also the brief explanation of the Whole30 concept. I have seen a lot of complaints about the book containing simple recipes like how to fry an egg, but when you are eating simple whole foods knowing how to prepare them well makes all the difference in the world! I know I will reference this book a lot for the large section on sauces, dips, and dressings. It's nice to be able to whip up homemade mayonnaise, ketchup, or dressing to spice I have really enjoyed the recipes in this books so far. And also the brief explanation of the Whole30 concept. I have seen a lot of complaints about the book containing simple recipes like how to fry an egg, but when you are eating simple whole foods knowing how to prepare them well makes all the difference in the world! I know I will reference this book a lot for the large section on sauces, dips, and dressings. It's nice to be able to whip up homemade mayonnaise, ketchup, or dressing to spice up any dish. The only thing missing is a dessert section...kidding (not kidding). ...more

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