Whole30 has become one of the most popular diets in the last few years. You’ve probably heard a friend or coworker talking about the program or read about a celebrity praising the 30-day diet.
Whole30 can be a great option for people who want to fix their eating habits to improve their overall heath. You should always do careful research before starting a diet, though.
Before starting on Whole30, you should understand what the purpose of the diet is and what foods are and aren’t allowed.
What is a Whole30 Diet?
Whole30 is a 30-day eating program that is designed to reset your diet and improve your quality of life. The program launched in 2009 and has become massively popular in the last 10 years.
The goal of the diet is to evaluate and improve your eating habits by sticking to whole foods, which can help you get more nutrients in your diet and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods.
Because humans used to struggle to get enough calories, we are hard-wired to seek out high-calorie foods. This is why high-fat junk foods and sugary treats taste so good to us.
In this day and age, though, most Americans do not have a hard time getting plenty of calories. The standard American diet is full of processed and unhealthy foods, but in order to have a healthy lifestyle, we have to break free of our dependency on these types of meals.
Most people refer to Whole30 as a diet, but the program’s creator, Melissa Hartwig, prefers to call it a “self-experiment.” She discourages people from counting calories and macros or taking their measurements during the course of the 30-day experience. Unlike many diets, the purpose of Whole30 is not necessarily to lose weight. Instead, the goal is to feel healthier and develop better eating habits.
Whole30 is sometimes compared to other popular diets, such as keto and paleo. However, unlike the keto diet, Whole30 doesn’t restrict your carbohydrate intake. There are many similarities between Whole30 and paleo, but Whole30 is a strict 30-day plan, and paleo is a longer-term lifestyle change.
Are Whole30 Meals a Good Match for You?
People who have successfully completed the Whole30 program rave about its many benefits, but the most important goal of Whole30 is to improve your relationship with food and to break free from food addictions.
By simplifying your diet and breaking your dependency on processed foods, you’ll start to see food as something that helps you stay healthy, not something that you indulge in.
It’s common to notice your sense of taste changing after a month of Whole30. When you regularly eat sugary or fatty foods, your taste buds become desensitized to the ingredients. After a month away, you may find that pizza and ice cream don’t taste as good as they used to, and your cravings may fade away.
Because the foods allowed on Whole30 are so healthy, you’ll see a number of other benefits, too. You may notice that your energy levels are more consistent throughout the day and that your sleep quality improves. Many people also report weight loss, easier workouts, and an improvement in their digestive health.
What Can and Can’t You Eat on Whole30?
The Whole30 plan eliminates unhealthy processed foods from your diet and focuses instead on whole foods. The following foods are allowed on Whole30:
- Nuts and seeds
Additionally, the Whole30 plan allows certain types of fats. Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee can all be enjoyed on the Whole30 diet. Coffee is allowed as well, but you can’t add milk or sugar.
The following foods are banned from the Whole30 diet plan:
- Sugar, including natural sweeteners
- Beans and legumes
- Additives like MSG, sulfites, and carrageenan
Although most nuts and seeds are Whole30-approved, it’s important to note that peanuts are a type of legume, so they are not allowed.
Most Whole30 experts also recommend that you stay away from treats or junk food that use Whole30-approved ingredients.
As the diet plan becomes more and more popular, you’ll likely see recipes online for foods like cauliflower crust pizza or Whole30 pancakes. Even though all the ingredients may be allowed on Whole30, the purpose of the diet is to reset your eating habits and have you eating whole, unprocessed foods. Steering clear of these types of treat foods will make it much easier to make permanent diet changes.
While on Whole30, you should worry more about quality than quantity. You do not have to count calories or eat specific portions or serving sizes. If you eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, you should be consuming an appropriate amount of food each day.
Whole30 experts do recommend some general guidelines for portion sizes to ensure that you’re eating balanced meals and meeting your nutritional needs. Each meal should have one or two palm-sized servings of protein, and the rest of the plate should be filled with veggies. You should also add small servings of fat to each meal to stay satiated.
A typical day of Whole30 consists of three meals. The program’s creator advises against snacking while on Whole30 because snacking can become an automatic habit rather than a nutritional necessity. It’s also recommended that you avoid dessert because you should not view food as a reward or treat. Again, you are working on not just what and how you eat but your relationship with food.
One major reason why so many people are unsuccessful with diets is because it’s difficult to maintain a permanent lifestyle change. With Whole30, 30 days are all that matter.
While on the program, you don’t have to worry about what will happen at the end of the month. Instead, you can just focus on 30 days, which is much more manageable than an entire lifetime. Then, after a month of adjusting to the diet, you may find yourself naturally drawn to healthier whole foods, which will help you look and feel better in the long run.
Interesting enough, as popular as Whole30 is, we still haven’t seen too many meal delivery services offering completely compliant Whole30 menus. However, luckily, a few companies do have some Whole30 dishes which could be of great value to those of you needing an extra hand during your 30 day reset period.
1. Paleo on the Go
Not all of Paleo on the Go’s menu is Whole30 but, as they explain with the following:
“The Whole30 program has been the catalyst for millions of people to change their lives. This powerful thirty-day challenge created by Melissa Hartwig Urban and Dallas Hartwig has its roots in a paleo diet, but differs in the structure and clear rules. The program is free, and all the resources you need to succeed, including the official Whole30 rules, are available at Whole30.com.
In short, the program is 30 days of squeaky-clean paleo eating. No sugar at all, no booze, no dairy, no treats, no paleo breads, pancakes, tacos, no foods that you might eat for comfort (commercially made plantain chips), etc. You are stripping food down to the basics and sticking to it for a month. The point is to suss out unhealthy food- emotion connections, find your baseline, hit the reset button.”
OK, Paleo on the Go, we see you. But what does hitting this reset button really entail if going with this company’s food? Let’s explore.
“POTG Choice Shipping” gets your order to you in just two days or even less regardless of where you live in U.S. In order to enjoy this, you have to place your order by 4:00 PM EST Mon-Thur and 2:00 PM EST Friday, for it to ship out the same day.
Paleo on the Go recognizes that their shipping fees aren’t cheap, justifying it by saying the following, “Shipping real food isn’t cheap. We ensure your shipments arrive safely using shipping containers, dry ice, and protective material. To ship orders under $99 would be really expensive for you. Take advantage of our flat-rate shipping costs and stock up. We absorb the additional cost of shipping for you!”
Nutritional data is available on all of their products pages.
All Paleo on the Go products can be stored frozen for up to six months and refrigerated for 5 days. Their meals arrive in sealed trays which are both microwave and oven safe. These trays along with their soup containers are BPA free.
Reheating instructions are displayed on the product label.
2. Kettlebell Kitchen
Kettlebell Kitchen offers both a la carte ordering and meal plan programs. Their meal plans are set for specific goals and/or nutritional focuses, recurring on a weekly basis in which you can choose how many meals per week and days per week you would like.
To order a meal plan, you choose which plan best fits your lifestyle and needs. Here is a list of their meal plans. Note that Whole30 is one of them:
- Slim – The plan for those looking to shed excess fat.
- Burn – HIIT? Cardio? Group fitness? If you’re looking to fuel hard workouts, this is the plan for you.
- Build – The nutrient-dense meals in this plan support muscle building.”
- Perform – No matter if it’s on a court, arena, pitch, or field, this plan helps athletes perform their best.
- Endure – Do you run, bike, or swim? If so, this is the plan for you.
- Vegetarian – Go green with meals that are full of quality grains, vegetables, and animal-free fats.
- Flexitarian – Can’t choose between animal- and plant-based meals? This plan incorporates both.
- Pure Paleo – Eat like our ancestors to support optimal health and wellbeing.
- Complete Keto – Replace carbs with quality fats, and prompt your body to use fat for fuel.
- Whole 30 – Use this dietary experiment to reset your health and redefine your relationship with food.
Once you choose your plan, Kettlebell Kitchen’s team will then create a plan for you which you can pause or cancel at anytime during or after your first week of delivery. All of their meals are soy-free and dairy-free. All of the ingredients we use in our food are naturally gluten-free, althou, as of now, their kitchen isn’t certified gluten-free.
Prices vary based on the size of the meal. Breakfasts typically start at $8.95, main entrees start at $11.95 and go up to $13.95 for most large sizes.
Click here to read more on Kettlebell Kitchen.
3. True Fare
ALL True Fare meals are Whole30® approved!
With this company, you don’t need to go searching for the Whole30® logo or verbiage as you might for other companies. All meals, be it the Lunch/Dinner menus, AIP Menus, Keto-friendly and individual meals, etc., are all Whole30 approved.
With True Fare you’re essentially getting home cooked meals by chefs that were trained to specifically prepare ingredients and using methodologies of cooking that adhere to Whole30 guidelines. That takes the guesswork out for you.
Meals may include wonderful combinations such as tandoori chicken served with organic Indian-style potato salad, jerk chicken with organic butternut squash and broccoli, or grass-fed Salisbury steak served with organic sweet potato home fries just to name a few.
True Fare prepares meals in their USDA inspected facility. All of their meals are made from scratch by a team of professional chefs and then vacuum-sealed in BPA-free packages. Meals are then either sent out fresh or flash frozen depending on the specific dish and what will best maintain the integrity of the dish.
Most of True Fare’s menus include two chicken entrées, beef, pork and turkey with side dishes consisting of organic vegetables. These meals range in calories from from 350-500 for most regular sized portions which are typically a serving of 1 x 5 ounce protein with 6 ounces of organic vegetables.
You also have a choice of á la carte items which include an array of soups, chilies, skillets and burgers.
True Fare uses the best ingredients – we’re talking organic fresh vegetables, grass-fed beef, free-range turkey and chicken, and heritage-breed pork. With all those stellar ingredients comes a hefty price tag:
- 10 meals from $139.95
- 15 meals from $204.95
- 20 meals from $269.95
- 10 breakfasts from $57.95
- 15 breakfasts from $85.95
- 20 breakfasts from $109.95
These are all part of their bundles. They have subscriptions, too, which start at $72 for 5 meals. You can order a la carte as well if you don’t want to order so much but be aware of shipping charges.
Shipping is free on all orders over $295; for orders under $295 down to $50, you will have to pay a $15 shipping and handling fee so factor that in when you are choosing foods.
This is a very pricey service though and feel even if you only do it for a month, resetting your body through this service could be expensive. Like basically you’re paying a high fare to ride the True Fare train. Sorry, we had to.