I remember a time back in the day when a few of my aunts and uncles decided to join one of those low-to-no-carb “lifestyles.” I remember thinking, as my 13ish-year-old self, that I could never see myself changing my eating habits to follow someone else’s rules — that there was nothing that could change my love for pizza, chicken nuggets, and french toast sticks.
While I still love all those foods, as an adult, I do not always love the way they make me feel. Turns out, junk food makes me feel sluggish, unmotivated, and sick (shocking, I know!). That’s why it’s now important to me to choose foods that provide natural, healthy sustenance for my body — and why I was excited to learn more about Whole30.
Whole30 is a lifestyle program decided to help you learn which foods cause negative reactions in your body, and to clear your body of the negative side effects of these foods, resetting to your full potential. For 30 days, you strip everything from your diet that could cause irritation and disruption in your body’s natural rhythm. Then, after your body has reset itself from the negativity, you can wean back into various food groups, effectively allowing you to take note of how each group feels and what reactions it causes. It’s a perfect way to cleanse your body of irritating toxins and only reintroduce the foods that are productive for you — allowing you to feel and function at your absolute best.
Here, I’m detailing a breakdown of the rules and benefits of Whole30 (and the BEST way to make it easier to commit to!).
First things first, we have to go over the things you’re going to eat. We could talk first about what you’re not “allowed” to eat, but I definitely prefer to focus on the good stuff you’re going to put into your body (and the ways your body will use all that positive energy!).
While on Whole30, you spend 30 days eating whole, nutritious foods — you eat moderate amounts of meat, seafood, and eggs, and you eat a TON of vegetables. You can also eat some fruit, a good amount of natural fats, and herbs and seasonings. It doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a HUGE amount of potential — you’ll learn endless ways to season colorful veggies and lean proteins, and you’ll discover just how delicious and fulfilling these seemingly simple foods can be. These foods fill your body up with fuel that it can actually use — converting your healthy fats and protein into sustainable energy — something we could ALL use more of.
So what are you not supposed to eat? You’re supposed to skip out on added sugar (whether real or artificial), dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol, MSG, or “treats” of any kind. These foods are thought to irritate your body and can lead to illness and pain.
While it may sound restrictive, it’s important to note that Whole30’s benefits far outweigh the struggle of cutting out junk food. In the words of program co-creator Melissa Hartwig, no, it’s not easy. But it’s worth it, and it will change the way you see food forever.
Thirty days of this lifestyle program will change what your body craves, allowing you to better realize and understand what your body actually needs — which are whole foods high in protein and natural vitamins. You’ll lose your unhealthy cravings and instead gain a healthy relationship with food (Yes, please!). Whole30 is not about weight, measurements, or counting calories — it’s about health.
After your 30 days, you’ll emerge more energetic, more satisfied, and more in love with your own body and its abilities. Will it require work? Of course. But will it change your life? It’s definitely possible.
How to Be Successful
Okay, let’s have honesty time: If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling really interested and excited, but also a little intimidated right now. And that’s okay! It’s difficult to choose to make a change that will disrupt your current way of life. It’ll definitely take work to say no to happy hour drinks, to take a little extra time to prepare nutritious meals, and to ensure that everything you’re eating is Whole30-compliant (for a full list of rules, regulations, and fine print, see here). But thankfully, we’ve found a way to be more successful — and still feel happy, full, and satisfied!
For the next month, subscription food service Blue Apron is making Whole30 easier than ever. Instead of spending hours at the grocery store stressing over what to buy and what to cook, Blue Apron is taking out the guesswork. From now until February 26, Blue Apron will send you a box full of ingredients and instructions to prepare two different Whole30-approved recipes each week — making this entire process SO much easier.
Whole30 Meal Examples (You’re welcome!)
Still not sure what a week on Whole30 would look like? Let’s break it down. For breakfast, you can eat a filling meal of scrambled eggs, avocado, turkey bacon, and fruit. For lunch, you can try a salad full of raw veggies, diced chicken, and natural seasoning, or some seafood and roasted vegetables. For dinner, you can get extra creative.
This week’s Blue Apron Whole30 box includes all the ingredients and instructions to make two delicious recipes: Chicken and Orange-Kale Salad with Spicy Tahini Dressing (Thought you couldn’t have any dressing? Think again!) and Steaks with Warm Lemon Salsa Verde and Roasted Broccoli & Sweet Potato. Mouth watering? Mine too. Blue Apron’s box comes with everything you need for as many servings as you want — and it’s delivered right to your door.
To see another of the Blue Apron Whole30-approved meals I made myself, check out our Instagram page’s highlighted stories! Danielle and I made Chicken Lettuce Cups, and they were SO delicious and filling! Sound too good to be true? Guess what, y’all, it’s not — and we want you to experience the Whole30 journey with us.
Click here to sign up for Blue Apron’s exclusive Whole30 meal prep box — and take $40 off your first two weeks!
We can do this together — and our bodies will definitely thank us for it.
Have you tried Whole30? Are you considering it? Tell us your experience in the comments below!
This post was in partnership with Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.