The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

Over 1 million copies sold! Millions of people visit Whole30.com every month and share their dramatic life-changing testimonials. Get started on your Whole30 transformation with the #1 New York Times best-selling The Whole30. Since 2009, Melissa Hartwig’s critically-acclaimed Whole30 program has quietly led hundreds of thousands of people to effortless weight loss and bett...

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Title:The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
Author:Melissa Hartwig
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Edition Language:English

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom Reviews

  • Denise

    For people who want to whole30, but don't necessarily want to read all of the science-y stuff of why a whole30 is good for them, this is a great book. It answers a lot of questions about the whole30, covers just the basics of why a whole30 is good (if you want more in-depth, read "It Starts With Food"), provides shopping lists, lots of great recipes and a wonderful collection of resources for support, shopping and additional reading. Very well done.

  • Carol Evans

    I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. My hsuband and I did it together which was definitely helpful.

    The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or "trea

    I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. My hsuband and I did it together which was definitely helpful.

    The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or "treats." Do not weight or measure yourself. I know it seems pretty restrictive, but like they say, "keep in mind that the Whole30 was intended to be a short-term reset and learning experience, not a permanent plan."

    The theory is that as you slowly add the foods back in, you will see how your body reacts. Like I know dairy is not my friend and this reminded me of that fact. I felt good when I was eating the Whole30 foods, like I was doing something positive for my health. Losing 8 pounds didn't hurt either. And my husband lost almost 20. Even the dog lost 2.

    It does take a lot more planning and work to eat real food. I needed to have breakfasts that David could easily grab in the morning, because he was not going to cook himself anything. I also had to plan enough left-overs from dinner to pack for lunches or have another back-up. It takes more time in the kitchen, chopping, cooking. I'll grant you it's easier and cheaper to open a box or can or throw (processed) lunch meat between two slices of bread, but real food makes me feel better, makes me a little proud of my choices.

    The Whole30 has a great guide on how to approach the month and an extensive FAQ section. It also has some really yummy compliant recipes, that use ingredients I can actually find.

  • Nikki

    I was on the fence with whether or not to get this book. I have been eating paleo-ish for about 2.5 years so I was familiar with many recipes and figured the recipe portion would not be helpful. However, I wanted the book for the FAQ and guidance as we went through this challenge.

    I have to say my assessment was correct. Having the guidance was really helpful, especially for the Whole30 rules that don't make as much sense on the surface. Honestly, I would recommend the book just for the section

    I was on the fence with whether or not to get this book. I have been eating paleo-ish for about 2.5 years so I was familiar with many recipes and figured the recipe portion would not be helpful. However, I wanted the book for the FAQ and guidance as we went through this challenge.

    I have to say my assessment was correct. Having the guidance was really helpful, especially for the Whole30 rules that don't make as much sense on the surface. Honestly, I would recommend the book just for the section on how you will feel day by day. I didn't have the symptoms as bad because of already eating paleo but there was still some shock from going 100% clean and it's nice to look at the book and realize that it's totally normal to have some trouble the first few days.

    The recipes don't offer too much if you are already familiar with paleo cooking or have other paleo cookbooks. However, the basics are VERY helpful. Some books do have recipes for things like mayo but few have them all in one spot. I find myself referencing the kitchen basics more than the complicated recipes. It's funny how I can cook so much and be able to make a lot of cool things but want the help for simple things like sauces.

    Anyways, I would suggest the book if you are doing Whole30 from any level. DEFINITELY get it if you do not have any paleo background.

  • Shelby P

    I'm on day eight of The Whole30 and so far so good. I've been grocery shopping more frequently than ever before. Breakfast is the hardest meal because I don't want to eat eggs without toast but I haven't cheated. I was tempted to add some regular butter to a bake potato the other day but I didn't!!

    I love the recipes in the book. I followed the recipe for a steak and it was the best steak I've ever eaten that I cooked. I'm eating more vegetables with this diet so that's a good thing. I know I won

    I'm on day eight of The Whole30 and so far so good. I've been grocery shopping more frequently than ever before. Breakfast is the hardest meal because I don't want to eat eggs without toast but I haven't cheated. I was tempted to add some regular butter to a bake potato the other day but I didn't!!

    I love the recipes in the book. I followed the recipe for a steak and it was the best steak I've ever eaten that I cooked. I'm eating more vegetables with this diet so that's a good thing. I know I won't stick with this forever because I can't live without bread but I'll definitely reduce my intake of sweets and processed foods!

  • Kristie

    I didn't read this book in-depth. I started out reading, realized that I would never be able to maintain a diet this stringent, and started skimming over parts.

    There is a lot of information in this book, from the basics (How to roast a whole chicken) to the creative (how to cook eggplant or sweet potato to use in place of your burger bun). It also includes many delicious recipes. Many I will try...enough that I might be tempted to buy the book to have on hand, not enough to make me stick strict

    I didn't read this book in-depth. I started out reading, realized that I would never be able to maintain a diet this stringent, and started skimming over parts.

    There is a lot of information in this book, from the basics (How to roast a whole chicken) to the creative (how to cook eggplant or sweet potato to use in place of your burger bun). It also includes many delicious recipes. Many I will try...enough that I might be tempted to buy the book to have on hand, not enough to make me stick strictly to the diet. In my mind, that is good enough. Make a few small changes and they add up. Eat some yummy healthy foods and maybe you want to do so more often. This is not what the book claims. They want you to follow the diet to the letter. If you mess up, even a little, you should start all over at day 1. Don't make any foods, even with approved foods, that resemble cheat foods or you may crave them more and you won't be retraining yourself properly.

    For me, this diet is simply too strict and would be too time consuming. I'm sure there are many, well some, people that would try it and be able to stick with it. Some of those people may even love it. I'm sure they'll feel better and be healthier than I will. For me, eating delicious foods is part of enjoying life and I don't like to cut anything completely out of my diet unless it is absolutely necessary or won't really be missed. I do try to eat relatively healthy, but certainly not to this extreme.

    If you are a health fanatic, this may be the perfect book for you. Or if you have certain health conditions that require you to follow a strict diet, this may work for you as well. It was simply a bit too much for me.

  • Casey

    The Whole 30: The 30 Day-Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is meant to be read after It Starts with Food. However, there's enough information in here that if you don't want to go through all the cited scientific "evidence" then this is a fine place to start if you are interested in doing a Whole 30.

    Roughly, the first quarter of the book gives you all the details about Whole 30 and a bunch of commonly asked questions and answers. The rest of the book is about food preparation, and has recip

    The Whole 30: The 30 Day-Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is meant to be read after It Starts with Food. However, there's enough information in here that if you don't want to go through all the cited scientific "evidence" then this is a fine place to start if you are interested in doing a Whole 30.

    Roughly, the first quarter of the book gives you all the details about Whole 30 and a bunch of commonly asked questions and answers. The rest of the book is about food preparation, and has recipes.

    In regards to the scientific basis of Whole 30, this book doesn't really get into it, but it does make the rating suffer. Being a scientific minded person, there were more than a few things I was skeptical about, especially all of these quotes about how Whole 30 completely revolutionized their health.

    Whole 30 has an active forum, which contains reality from real people, many of who exclaim Whole 30 didn't cure their 'x' condition or help them lose weight.

    Which honestly, is fine, in my opinion. Whole 30 forces you to eat extremely healthy. That in itself is super valuable.

    There's a mixed message of Whole 30 can be super healing vs. you just need to do Whole 30 longer if you don't see results. You're not seeing results? You're probably not following the meal template exactly, etc.

    Don't go into Whole30 thinking it's going to fix some medical issue. Don't expect yourself to lose a certain amount of weight. Just do it because you want a healthy reset, and you want to stop yourself from eating chocolate chip cookies at 1am.

    Whole30 should really just state that increasing your intake of healthy fats and vegetables, while throwing out all the junk, is the reason why it's healthy. Instead, it does this weird sidestep about how this diet is super healing and the right way to eat, and here's some sketchy scientific evidence about how bad 'insert food group' is for people. All the cited evidence is to support their claims, rather than presenting a whole picture of the evidence, so I would take the claims with a large grain of salt.

    For Whole 30, you're basically only allowed to eat meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. No grains, soy, legumes, beans, dairy, sulfites, added sugar. Very limited snacking. An elimination diet really.

    I'm coming to the end of my Whole 30. My husband and I have both lost weight. However, between the two of us, his body seems to have taken this diet change easier. He has a lot more energy, whereas I don't feel too much of a difference. It hasn't helped my headaches and migraines.

    I assume there's a stark difference between male and female bodies in regards to burning fat, as the Whole 30 cuts out so many carbs, it attempts to get your body to live off fat.

    There is a mixed message in the book between feeding your sugar demon but then making sure you are eating enough starchy vegetables if you're tired.

    This has helped us eat less overall. We don't snack much, and gone are the treats after dinner because they're not allowed. It's been a good reset, but I really do miss carbs. I'm not someone who really enjoys meat and eggs, so a lot of meals have been depressing to me. Husband on the other hand loves this diet.

  • Donna

    I am drawn to nonfiction, health books in particular. I like reading them and I have read quite a few. First, I loved the voice of the author. It felt personal but pointed, which I appreciated. I liked that it felt she was sitting across the table.

    Overall, the diet aspect felt extreme. For normal healthy people, I don't see the need for this, (even after hearing the pitch). This book felt like it was geared more towards those who are experiencing health issues on a wide scale, and who want to se

    I am drawn to nonfiction, health books in particular. I like reading them and I have read quite a few. First, I loved the voice of the author. It felt personal but pointed, which I appreciated. I liked that it felt she was sitting across the table.

    Overall, the diet aspect felt extreme. For normal healthy people, I don't see the need for this, (even after hearing the pitch). This book felt like it was geared more towards those who are experiencing health issues on a wide scale, and who want to see change. I also have gone through the cookbook. The pictures were beautiful and the recipes looked tempting.

  • Jason Pettus

    To be clear, I really loved the two-page guide at the heart of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's "Whole30" eating plan, which can be entirely and totally explained thusly: Spend 30 days eating nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit, in order to detox your body from all other edible items that exist, then one at a time slowly re-introduce things like legumes, grains, dairy and sugar back into your diet, paying very close attention to how your body reacts to each of them as you start eating them again.

    To be clear, I really loved the two-page guide at the heart of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's "Whole30" eating plan, which can be entirely and totally explained thusly: Spend 30 days eating nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit, in order to detox your body from all other edible items that exist, then one at a time slowly re-introduce things like legumes, grains, dairy and sugar back into your diet, paying very close attention to how your body reacts to each of them as you start eating them again. So I was legitimately shocked, then -- and I don't mean that as a snarky joke, but as a very sincere statement of incredulous disbelief -- to pick up their 432-page guide on the subject and realize that there literally isn't a single bit of original information in it besides what I just explained to you, the Hartwigs instead filling out their page count with such jaw-droppingly unbelievable cheats as a 75-page FAQ section (no, seriously,

    ), and a 75-page section where they literally list every food that exists and explain whether or not it counts as a meat, vegetable or fruit (no, seriously,

    ).

    The Whole30 plan itself gets 5 stars from me, a very clever and reasonable guide to reclaiming your emotional and physical dominance over your eating habits; but the book gets literally zero stars, averaging out to the 2 stars I'm assigning it here in my review. Don't under any circumstances buy this book, and please understand that I was serious when I said that my summary above contains every single bit of information you need to know about how to institute the Whole30 plan in your life. If you don't believe me, do some online research and prove it to yourself; but what you should absolutely not do is purchase this book at full retail price no matter how tempting it might seem.

  • Meghan

    I read this in preparation for doing their plan starting next week, so I don't feel like I should rate the book until I've completed the 30 days. That said it makes nutritional sense, has a nice layout, and the sauce recipes!!! It's so hard to find good sauce recipes without a ton of added junk. Looking forward to seeing how this gradually affects my half marathon training. Hopefully for the better!

    --

    Update, Whole30 Day 1: It's 11:31 a.m. and I am lucky enough that part of our catered lunch at

    I read this in preparation for doing their plan starting next week, so I don't feel like I should rate the book until I've completed the 30 days. That said it makes nutritional sense, has a nice layout, and the sauce recipes!!! It's so hard to find good sauce recipes without a ton of added junk. Looking forward to seeing how this gradually affects my half marathon training. Hopefully for the better!

    --

    Update, Whole30 Day 1: It's 11:31 a.m. and I am lucky enough that part of our catered lunch at work today is edible on this plan. I brought two egg muffins (eggs, jalapeno, bell pepper, spinach, salt and pepper baked at 375F for ~20 min.) I made last night and heated them up at work for breakfast. Honestly, without cheese, they're a little bit meh. Definitely need to work on better spicing them—and maybe overcooked them a bit? Anyway, I ate those around 8:30 and I'm starving. Lesson for tomorrow: bring snacks.

    --

    Update, Whole30 Day 3: Last night I made

    , only I substituted some cold pressed apple juice and white wine vinegar for white wine when I deglazed the pan (worked fine). Delicious! If every meal was like that, I'd be set. Unfortunately, I can't bake a whole damned chicken every time I need to eat. Today, for instance, I was down at one of the Google campuses for a meeting during lunch, and while they have tons of lunch options, there were so few I could eat on this. I ended up eating a plain turkey burger patty with some lettuce for lunch. Not so inspiring. I think I may end up being one of those Whole30 people who starts toting homemade sauces around in my bag. Tonight's dinner: baked potatoes and cajun-spiced salmon filets. It'll be my first time using ghee for anything, and I'm not sure what to expect putting it on a potato. To be continued.

    --

    Update, Whole30 Day 9: I was trucking along quite nicely last week, and then the weekend hit, and with it,

    . I'm told by the book that this is the sugar leaving my body. It may also be my sanity leaving my body—I had zero energy whatsoever. Didn't cook, didn't grocery shop, didn't clean house, didn't do much but lay on my side and read some Thackeray and go see Star Wars for the third time.

    Fun fact: Honest Kids is a brand whose products I can generally eat on Whole30.

    Another fun fact: Most grocery stores' delis sell pre-baked whole chickens. Guess what I ate all weekend, with bagged salad?

    Monday rolled around, and I think my energy came back in the form of pure, un-distilled rage. Every little irritation felt amplified, every wrench in a socket derailed me completely. I think it's coming home how much I've relied on unhealthy eating or a glass (or...however many) of wine to cope with negative feelings toward the end of the day. Over a week in without any security blankets and I'm feeling very raw around the edges.

    This is supposed to pass. To be continued.

    --

    Update, Whole30 Day 11: First, this book has the absolute best guide to making the most perfect hard-boiled eggs ever. I've had a sort of inkling about the right way to do this for a long time, but this version comes out perfect absolutely every single time. (To wit: boil a small amount of water—just enough to cover eggs—to a rolling boil. Put eggs in the water, time for 9 minutes exactly. Remove from heat, put eggs in ice bath for 5 minutes. Peel under running cold water. Perfection.)

    Second, my mood is very slowly improving. Which is good, because my energy still isn't 100% back.

    Third, today's catered lunch had something I could eat!!! Absolutely delicious chicken breasts with caramelized onions that were so soft and sweet they were almost a sauce. I am far too impatient to properly caramelize onions at home, so I appreciate them done well elsewhere.

    Andres and I are going out of town this weekend for a couple nights, and while I can pack hard boiled eggs and plenty of snacks, it may end up being a challenge to find meals consistently that we can eat. Wish us luck.

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