It’s Only 30 Days! How Hard Can It Be?

You may have heard of the Whole30, an eating regimen during which people eat whole fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish while eliminating four basic food groups from their diets for 30 days. The eliminated foods are grains, legumes (though sugar snap peas, green beans, and snow peas are allowed), dairy products (except eggs and clarified butter), and sugar in all its forms – honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and, of course, granulated. Whole30 is not a weight loss program, but many people do lose weight during the 30 days. That is one of the things that drew me to it.

The purpose of the Whole30, according to founders Melissa (and Dallas) Hartwig, is to help people “put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal [their] digestive tract[s], and balance [their] immune system[s].” The foods Whole30ers eliminate might be “having negative effects on [people’s] health and fitness” without them realizing it.

I don’t generally believe in eliminating whole food groups from one’s diet, but after the 30 days, participants begin adding the eliminated foods back into their diets to determine if there are any adverse effects from any of them. So the only foods folks would permanently ban from their diets are those they learn are causing digestive or physiological problems. That makes sense to me.

So why am I telling you about the Whole30? Well, I planned to try it myself. Sadly, I have yet to get started. My first planned start date was Ash Wednesday, 14 February, but I was out of town and decided that would not be a wise start date.

My next planned start date was 1 March. Starting the Whole 30 takes planning and foresight. I was back in town and the 1 March date would give me time to get the things I wouldn’t be able to eat on the Whole30 out of my house. But I hadn’t felt well since I was out of town, so on 28 February I went to the doctor’s office only to learn I had the flu. Though it was the less virulent strain, I was foiled again because I needed comfort food, and I still had not purged the kitchen and stocked it with Whole30-approved foods.

Now Spring has sprung, and I still haven’t started the Whole30. I still want and I plan to, and hope I will, but I am a sucker for both bread and popcorn which aren’t allowed during the Whole30. Hartwig constantly reminds those considering the program that it is only 30 days that one needs to eliminate the four food groups, but I am very aware that it is 30 whole days!

As of today, I’m still working on ridding my kitchen of other Whole30 inedibles such as grits, Crunchy Cheetos, oatmeal, bottled juices, honey, sugar – and developing the discipline not to buy more forbidden foods.

I am determined (I think!) to do the Whole30, and I will let you know when I start. Meanwhile, wish me luck!



2 Replies to “It’s Only 30 Days! How Hard Can It Be?”

  1. Good luck with it Pam. Whole30 sounds a lot like the JJ Virgin regimen I did several years ago. Except that she also encourages eating “green” poultry/meats and organic foods. After the first 30 days I didn’t want to add back any food groups because I had lost weight and was feeling better. But alas I eventually did and little by little I lost my determination to keep up the vigilance and desire to spend extra $$ on “green” meat and organic produce.


    1. Hi Colleen! Thank you for reading and responding to my post. Whole30 is about green and “clean” eating, too. I still haven’t started yet, but I appreciate your support of my effort! Hope all is well with you, Tom and kids. It’s a joy to hear from you! Pamela


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