All food is good food, right? Wrong. Some food might be having an adverse affect on our bodies, and we don’t even know it. The best way to find out what food makes us feel great and what we’re sensitive to is to take our diet back to the very basics. The Whole30 diet, and this Whole30 shopping list, will help you discover what food you should be eating and what you should avoid.
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- Back to Basics for 30 Days: Introducing the Whole30 Diet
- Whole30 Food List FAQs
- Your Free Whole30 Shopping List
Back to Basics for 30 Days: Introducing the Whole30 Diet
Food intolerances and sensitivities affect more people than you think. They can cause various problems ranging from mild discomfort to feeling incredibly ill after eating. While some are clued up on or diagnosed with intolerances, many of us have sensitivities to certain food that we don’t even know about.
But what do these unknown intolerances do?
Well, they can disrupt our sleep, have a negative impact on our skin, cause bloating, give us anxiety, and even chronic pain!
Melissa Hartwig Urban started the diet sensation after blogging about an experiment she was doing. This turned into the Whole30 diet that we know now.
The diet is a way to reset your body by eating only real, unprocessed food for a full month. For 4 weeks, you will only eat from a list of Whole30 approved foods and will use a Whole30 diet shopping list. Then, you slowly start to reintroduce the food that you eliminated to determine what is good and what is bad for your personal health.
If you’re ready to cleanse your diet and get a grip on food that might be making you feel unwell, we’ll take you through some questions to get your better acquainted with the diet, as well as provide you with a Whole30 food list to take shopping with you. However, you can skip straight to the free printable Whole30 shopping list if you wish.
Whole30 Food List FAQs
What’s not allowed on Whole30?
As the diet is essentially an elimination diet, it’s easy to start with what’s not allowed on the diet, rather than what is.
No added sweeteners – while refined sugar is not a surprising elimination from this diet, the no-go list also extends to other natural and artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup, and maple syrup are forbidden. If there’s anything added to food that makes it taste sweeter, then stay away from it.
No alcohol – Whole30 is a dry diet as alcohol could be one of the unknown irritants that affect your health. Using it for cooking is also forbidden.
No grains – going gluten-free for a month is a great way to find out if you have a gluten intolerance. This also includes bran, starch, and germ.
No legumes – whilst many diets praise their properties, this is another food group that gets the chop for the 30-day period. It also means no legume-based products such as peanut butter or tofu.
No dairy – lactose is something else you might be sensitive to but don’t know it. So, all dairy products are to be avoided.
No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites – all of these are additives that affect the flavor or consistency of food products. They can also be causing you health problems. Therefore, steer clear of them for 30 days.
No “treats”, such as junk food, baked goods, even if they’re made with “approved” ingredients – this is less about intolerances and sensitivities, and more about our emotional relationship with food. Cutting these out for a month will help tackle any cravings for indulgent and comforting food which we have an unhealthy emotional attachment to.
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What foods are Whole30 approved?
Essentially, any food that doesn’t include any of the ingredients from the forbidden categories, or any comfort food.
What you are allowed on the Whole30 diet is very broad:
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh meat
- Fresh and dried herbs and spices
- Ghee and clarified butter – they’re free of proteins found in regular un-clarified dairy butter
- Non-legume-based oil – such as olive oil and canola oil
- Coconut products – items such as coconut milk and coconut oil are allowed on the diet
- Certain legumes – despite a general ban, legumes such as green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas are allowed
- Salt – despite all iodized salt containing traces of sugar, it’s still allowed on the diet
- Black coffee – despite caffeine being addictive, coffee is allowed as long as it’s drunk black
What snacks can I eat on the Whole30?
Or, at least that’s the general rule.
The Whole30 diet focuses on having only 3 main meals a day, and that’s it. However, it does allow some snacking if you really need to, especially if you’re pregnant.
The reason for the limited snacking is to create a mindful approach to eating and to keep your hormones balanced throughout the day.
If you absolutely need to snack (and sometimes, we all do), then anything allowed on the diet is acceptable, such as fresh or dried fruit. There are also a small handful of commercially made fruit-and-nut-bars that are Whole30 approved snacks. This includes brands such as RxBars and Larabars (USA), and Nak’d (UK).
What does a Whole30 meal look like?
There are many easy Whole30 recipes out there for you to find, make, and experiment with. Some ideas include:
- Green beans with crispy bacon
- Sweet potato gratin
- Chicken meatballs with coconut curry
- Red beef curry
- Crab cakes
How will I feel on the Whole30 diet?
This is very dependent on you and you alone.
You can find many testimonies online that regale tales from crazy sugar-cravings in week 1 and chronic food boredom in week 3, to feelings of empowerment in week 4, and better energy levels in week 5. Not to mention pretty much every emotion in between.
The best thing to do is be prepared and find ways to cope with some things you might happen. Think you might get food boredom? Make sure you have plenty of new Whole30 recipes you can cook up. Worried you might break the diet at a social or work event? Get a friend or coworker to go on the diet with you so you can support each other.
If, before starting the diet, you prepare for things that might be a challenge, you can have an easy Whole30 experience and be on track to reset your body and your diet habits.
What other things should I do on the Whole30 diet?
One thing that is emphasized by the official diet guidelines is not to step on the scales or take any measurements. Remember, the diet is all about finding out what food is good and bad for you by eliminating most things for 30 days. It’s not about losing weight.
The reason behind this is also to help improve the relationship between your emotions and food, specifically your self-image.
Another thing you should do is use a meal plan or template and make a shopping list accordingly. Doing this means you can buy exactly and only what you need for the diet. Sticking rigidly to your grocery list will also ensure you don’t succumb to temptation while shopping too.
It’s also recommended to do a lot more research into the diet. There’s a lot of reasoning and science behind the restrictions and rules implemented here. By finding out more about them, you can better understand why you’re doing the diet and what you should be expecting yourself to achieve.
This will make you more likely to stick to the diet as the rules and regulations don’t seem as arbitrary, and you have a clear idea of the diet’s and your own aims.
Your Free Whole30 Shopping List
Whole30 Shopping List 📃✅🛒Copy to clipboard
Meat and Seafood
- Fatty fish
- Lean beef
- Lean pork
Dairy and eggs
- Ghee or clarified butter
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Coconut oil
- Dried fruit
- Whole30 approved snack bars
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
- Spaghetti squash
- Snow peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet potatoes
- Honeydew melon
Fresh and dried herbs and spices
- Cayenne pepper
- Chilli flakes
- Chilli powder
- Smoked paprika