You may have heard of the Whole30 program before or seen the Whole30 logo on different food products in the supermarket, but what is the Whole30 anyway? And why has it gotten so much attention over the last few years? Well, you’re about to find out!
The Whole30 began as a self-experiment for co-founder and CEO Melissa Hartwig Urban, to change her eating habits from processed foods to whole ingredient, nutrient dense options. What she didn’t expect were the changes she saw in her eating habits and emotional relationship with food. From this experience, the Whole30 has grown into a program that intends to reset and reshape how we see food, as well as identify foods that one might have sensitivities to, and to find ‘food freedom’. Urban defines food freedom as:
“…indulging when it’s worth it, passing when it isn’t and never feeling guilt or shame for doing either. It’s about taking the morality out of food, and recognizing you are not a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person based on what’s on your plate.”
She wants people to use what they have learned while following the Whole30 guidelines and apply it to their everyday lives. In essence, to learn when it is worth it to indulge and have confidence when making food decisions each day.
Food groups avoided throughout the reset include added sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, baked goods, and additives such as MSG. Though this does sound like a LOT of restriction, the focus is on what you ARE eating- high quality meat and animal products as well as fresh fruits and vegetables that will provide you with the nourishment you need without additional ingredients that don’t do much for our health. You can still make delicious meals and feel satisfied as well as happy about how you are fueling your body.
Though you might find yourself interested in the Whole30, it is important to recognize that this will take planning ahead of time to ensure you have options for snacks and meals that support your goals. It can be tough if you have limited options for markets or restaurants around you. There is more information and many planning resources to encourage your success found on the Whole30 website.