Whole30: What, How, Why, When and Where?

I haven’t really talked much about the Whole30 program since I started it earlier this week so, I wanted to give you some more information about the program. Many believe it is the same thing as Paleo which it is very similar but, with a few more restrictions.


What is the Whole30?

Whole30 program was started by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig in 2009. The program is very simple. Actually even easier than following a Paleo lifestyle because you don’t have to worry about making Paleo “desserts” to satisfy your sweet tooth. When I started eating Paleo I still had a major sweet tooth problem and so I made the mistake of making Paleo desserts to curb that craving. In reality that did me no good. By making those desserts it was defeating the purpose of why I was even eating Paleo to begin with.

Here are the simple guidelines to follow while doing the Whole30:

  • YES  Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, some fruit and healthy fats.
  • NO  added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy
  • NO recreating of desserts by using paleo “approved” ingredients**
  • NO stepping on the scale
  • NO counting calories

**you can use coconut flour, but only if it is part of a meal (breaded chicken, etc) not to be used to make a dessert or treat. Same with honey, maple syrup. No pancakes either (not even  just banana and egg ones). The premise is to not become dependent on the “paleo” treats.

“The Whole30 is our unique program designed to change your life in thirty days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food. The premise is simple.”

It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig (p. 205)


How do I follow the Whole30?

  1. Follow the guidelines I mentioned above, those are very important.
  2. No cheats, No slip ups, No negotiating, No excuses.
  3. Meal Planning: See below for some tips on how to make this work.
  4. Food Prep: Take one day each week to do the majority of your prep for the week.
  5. Official “Can I have…” guide to Whole30
  6. Free shopping list from Whole30 website
  7. Meal Planning template  (free) from Whole30 website
  8. Find some good Paleo books to read: paleobookspicmonkey





Food Prep ideas:

  • bake chicken (fast protein)
  • make hard-boiled eggs (fast protein)
  • cut up veggies (celery, carrots, broccoli, etc-quick snack)
  • steam veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, sugar snap peas, etc-quick side dish)
  • roast veggies (sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, etc-quick side dish(starchy))

Meal Planning:

  • Have 2-3 meals planned for dinners (I always make sure that each meal will yield leftovers)
  • 1-2 different lunch ideas
  • 1-2 different breakfast ideas
  • 2-4 different snacks
  • Make sure to change-up the meals (breakfast and lunch) every week or every other week so you don’t get tired of the same thing.
  • Write out a grocery list of all ingredients needed for each recipe
  • Try to use similar ingredients so you aren’t buying 20 different items for just 1 or 2 meals.
  • Go on grocer’s website (if applicable) to look for sale items and plan your meals around that.
  • Use seasonal produce more often (those will be cheaper than the non seasonal items where they have to import from Chile)
  • Go explore my blog. I have done many food prep/meal planning posts and some new recipes that you can try. Go here or here or here
  • Check out Pinterest. Many Paleo bloggers have their own Pinterest page so, it makes it easy to locate their recipes and PIN them for later use.

Why should I follow the Whole30?

“Because, as the program says, it 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 has quietly led tens of thousands of people to improved quality of life and a healthier relationship with food – accompanied by stunning improvements in sleep, energy levels, attention span, mood and self-esteem. More significantly, many people have reported the “magical” elimination of a variety of symptoms, diseases and conditions – in just 30 days.”  Whole9 website here

The reasons why I went to this lifestyle, wasn’t to lose weight it was to feel better.  I don’t like how I feel when I’m not following the Paleo lifestyle. I never realized how much what I was eating was affecting how I feel on a daily basis. You can read my journey that brought me to the Paleo lifestyle, here.

When should I start the Whole30?

Right now! Well, maybe not now, now. I do suggest giving yourself a couple of days prior, to have time to prep and plan meals for at least the first week. Whole30 even has a forum on their website that you can join free and get some support from others that are going through the same thing.

I am currently on Day 6 and feeling great. I didn’t have any “detox” symptoms this time around. The first day I did have a slight headache, but I think that was because my caffeine consumption was pretty low that day. Don’t worry, I fixed that problem by getting an iced coffee and surprisingly, my headache went away. Who knew?!


I do have something to confess! The first 2 days of my Whole30 I did have my Chobani Flips. I still had some leftovers from the weekend and didn’t want them to go to waste.

Where should I do the Whole30?

Right here! In your Kitchen! Everywhere!

 One Exception while following the Whole30

Since, I am currently training for my first full marathon (if I hadn’t mentioned it before) I do not want to compromise my training during these 30 days. I am still going to be using my energy gels, chews, CorePower and hydration tablets.






Here are some meals/snacks that I have been consuming for these 6 days:

PicMonkey Collagedays1-6whole30


Would you consider trying a Whole7?

Anyone running any races this weekend?


You can follow me on:

Twitter: Lindsey@OneMotherofaDay

Pinterest: LindseyL @ OneMotherofaDay (Check out all my paleo boards and I have 1 board just for the Whole30)

Instagram: Lindseylynch16  (During my Whole30 I am posting daily pictures of some of the foods I am eating so, check often)





***disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a nurse, a registered dietitian, a health coach, a personal trainer, etc. These are all based on my own experiences and cannot guarantee the same will work for you. I was not given compensation for this post. I truly believe in this lifestyle.

This entry was posted in Marathon training, paleo, Uncategorized, Whole30 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Whole30: What, How, Why, When and Where?

  1. Marlene says:

    I would like to try, however, the conditions in which I live cannot allow me to start now. In the future, (near), maybe then I can try!

  2. I don’t eat much meat and I don’t think I could go back to meat in most meals. I also like sprouted grains. I do my best to stay away from sugar and refined starches though!

  3. MegBek says:

    This is so freaking strict! I know my co blogger Bek could do it but I could NEVER accomplish this. Though, I gotta say, I love that you’re keeping your running fuel the same. I value that part of running and I think it comes along with the sport and that just has to be accepted. I like the idea of not stepping on the scale until it’s all over…. You’ll have to share what happens with that. 🙂

    • I know, it was a little intimidating at first, but I’m glad I’m doing it! Yes, I will definitely let you know, in regards to the scale 🙂 She could totally do it!! Tell her she needs to start putting more pics up on Instagram! I can’t stalk her if she doesn’t have anything on there 🙂 hehe j/k 🙂

  4. I’m glad to hear that you are allowing yourself fuel on your long runs! Otherwise, good luck sticking to your plan. I admire your discipline!

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