The Whole30 Program is a diet fad that encourages eating healthy, unprocessed food for thirty days. While on the diet, participants are not allowed to eat or drink the following: any kind of sugar, any type of grain, alcohol, legumes–including beans, soy and peanut butter (but excluding snap peas and green beans), dairy, MSG, or “healthy” versions of your favorite snacks.
This leaves pretty much only meats, fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, and eggs. We know…ouch.
You’re also not allowed to weigh yourself or take body measurements of any kind while on the program, enforcing the idea that it’s not about the numbers–it’s about how you feel.
Needless to say, doing this diet is an emotional roller coaster, and is a huge lesson in restraint. Here are some of the thoughts you might have if you do the diet. Read this and be warned, but remember, diets are a privilege.
1. Even if black coffee is literally just plain bean water like some 1600s peasant beverage, it makes you feel kind of cool ordering it from your local café.
2. It feels super nice to take the time to cook for herself, and you actually meal-prep for once.
3. Since eggs are pretty much one of the only foods you can eat, you go to the store and buy that 6×6 grid of eggs like some kind of hoarder. Are you really going to eat 36 eggs in 30 days? (Yes. Yes you will.)
4. Lunch suddenly became much harder than throwing a few granola bars in your backpack and going to class (which was probably not the healthiest choice anyway, but still).
5. Way more foods contain sugar and/or gluten than you thought. This package of turkey bacon contains gluten? Really?
6. Going out to dinner at your favorite spots pretty much sucks now. Ordering a burrito bowl without rice, beans or cheese is the true folly of man, and you will recieve much ridicule.
7. When you discover you can make pancakes out of only bananas and eggs, you absolutely rejoice.
8. Unsweetened banana chips taste like styrofoam and should not be consumed under any circumstances.
9. Eating a baked potato with only salt makes you feel like you’re in Medieval times and also eating at Medieval Times: Dinner and Tournament.
10. All condiments are closed to you, except one. You can put mustard on anything you want, and so the world becomes cloaked in yellow.
11. You’re 28 eggs into your 36 and you can feel yourself changing as if you’re in the worst Animorphs plotline.
12. When it’s your last day on the diet and your body just knows it.
13. And then, you’ve done it. It’s all over. It’s done. Give yourself a pat on the back, kid.
If you have the restraint to complete the Whole30, good for you. You should be proud! Sticking to something is hard to do, and thirty days is a respectable amount of time. That being said, if you do choose to attempt this diet, you’ll also notice how much more expensive it is to buy fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as how much more money sugar-free, dairy-free and rain-free alternatives cost compared to the kinds of things you might usually buy. Always remember that diets are, again, a privilege, as is eating fresh, natural food.
Lastly, Whole30, like all diets, should be completed safely, and for the right reasons. If you feel great after a month and want to stick to this lifestyle permanently, then more power to you! But no matter how you choose to live, don’t forget to eat a slice of cake once in a while.