All Your Whole30 Questions, Answered
Published Dec 28, 2019
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What is the Whole30 Program?
By now, I am sure you have heard of the Whole30 program. It is a 30 day reset program that eliminates inflammatory foods such as, added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods/beverages, baked goods, and junk foods. The program is designed to eat three “clean” meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients like, meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs.
This program is meant to help you identify problematic foods. It allows you to clean up your everyday diet so that you feel better and know what foods help fuel your body in a positive way. This program can reverse your diet/binge mindset and allow you to live a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
Reflection is the best way to change. By completing a Whole30, you can actually to take a deeper look at the foods you consume on a daily basis. From 17 rounds experience, this program completely changed my life. Not only did I lost 80 pounds, but I began to look at food in a more positive way.
Instead of rewarding myself with food, I began to fuel my body with the foods that gave me more energy, a better nights sleep and better skin and hair. I stopped binging and dieting. I stopped allowing food to control me. Through that, I began to feel better and become a better wife, mother and friend. This proves that the foods we eat have a direct correlations with every aspect of our lives.
Now, you may be thinking, “This program sounds amazing, when should I start?” As you prepare, you may have Whole30 questions that you need answered. I am here to help. Before starting your 30-day reset, it is so important to have full clarity on what to expect. As a Whole30 Certified Coach and a 17 round alumni, I am here to answer all your burning questions and give you more transparency of what to expect and how to push through.
What is the top steps in preparing?
- Read ALL the books. Seriously……..buy them all and really read them. Don’t try to prepare the week before starting the program. Start a couple of months before and really find a purpose as to why you are doing the program. Tag pages and take notes.
- Make a list of reason you are doing the program and post them on your fridge.
- Clean out your fridge and pantry of any non-compliant ingredients that will be tempting.
- Clean your house. Having a clean house will allow you to be in a positive space mentally and ultimately will allow you to have better outcome. Keep your house clean through the program and you will feel even more in control.
- Set a menu and a schedule and stick to it. No excuses. STICK TO IT.
Books to purchase:
What if my other family members don’t want to do a Whole30?
At my house, I am the cook. I have a rule that everyone will eat what I cook, or they are on their own. I thought this would be a problem when I first started the program, but it turned out to be super easy. I cooked super yummy and compliant meals and everyone at it and loved it. The truth is, Whole30 can be super delicious and I am sure your family members won’t even know you are making Whole30 compliant meals. Make small changes a little everyday and it will add up to a big lifestyle makeover for the entire family.
Can you do Intermittent Fasting with Whole30?
Under certain circumstanced you can. According to Melissa Hartwig Urban and the Whole30 website, it states the following,
You can pair intermittent fasting with Whole30 if:
- “Done with a full, by-the-books Whole30 plus reintroduction, and are successfully riding your own bike, still eating mostly Whole30-ish foods”
- “Have no medical condition that would preclude playing around with food timing and restriction (like a history of eating disorders)”
- “Successfully managing the stress in your life; sleeping 8-9 hours a night, eating enough nutrient-dense food, training smart, recovering effectively, working reasonable hours (not night shift!), and not under any significant psychological stress”
- “Already fat-adapted; don’t need snacks between meals, and able to miss a meal due to a busy day and not get cranky, lethargic, or foggy”
- “Willing to do the work entailed in getting a healthy amount of calories in during your feeding window”
- “Sticking to an “intermittent” schedule, not making it a daily habit”
For me, I check all of these boxes, so I plan to do 16/8 fasting. I will fast 16 hours with a 8 hour eating window and I will look at all of my meals as meal 1, meal 2 and meal 3 instead of the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, I will also be following it without eating a lot of starchy vegetables. So more of a Clean Keto Whole30. I will really be focusing on eating protein, non starchy veggies and healthy fats.
If you do not check these boxes, it is not recommended to do IF. Since you are already going into a stressful change, it will be even harder to add IF if you have not completed a Whole30 yet.
What’s better, Whole30 or Keto and can I combine the 2?
For me, I love doing a Clean Keto Whole30. A lot of people are mislead when they think of Keto. They picture a ton of cheese and when you take that food group out they no longer understand. Keto is a lower carbohydrate diet and for maximum results it is recommended not to consume a lot of dairy.
With that being said you can for sure complete a Clean Keto Whole30. Just remove white potatoes and a lot of the starchy veggies and high sugar fruit and you are good to go. You can incorporate berries on occasion as they are lower in sugar. For me, I don’t compare Keto and Whole30 because I love combining the 2 for the best results.
What if I am not a breakfast person and hate eggs?
Think of Whole30 as 3 meals a day instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chicken salad is one of my favorite things to eat and I love having it for breakfast. If you aren’t an egg person, don’t eat eggs. Eat things you like for breakfast even if it isn’t considered “breakfast food.”
Non-Egg Breakfast Ideas:
- Bone Broth with a half avocado and a Chomps Beef Stick
- Chicken salad over greens
- Chicken apple sausage over sauteed spinach
- Sausage patties, berries and roasted Brussels sprouts
How to manage the detox symptoms?
- Drink a ton of lemon water. Click here for my big water bottle that I helps me get in my daily water intake.
- Reread the list of reasons you are completing the program. Keep your purpose alive.
- Bulletproof coffee. Click here for my recipe.
- This phase will pass. It is important to keep your eye on the prize and push through. You won’t regret fighting on the hard days.
Where are the best places to eat out during a Whole30?
- Chipotle-Whole30 Carnita Bowl
- Any Steakhouse such as Applebees, Chili’s, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Longhorn or- Order a steak, grilled chicken breast or salmon with veggies, no butter or seasoning. Pack some ghee in your purse or bag and add your own.
- Order a salad with a protein and remove the cheese and dressing. Bring your own dressing to add. Tessemaes has great travel dressing packs.
- When eating out, be sure to be specific regarding your needs. Most all restaurants are happy to accommodate your request.
What is the best drinks to get a Starbucks that are Whole30?
- Unsweetened Passion Tea- Be sure to specify no cane sugar added. When I am wanting something a little more, I will add a couple of tablespoons of French Vanilla Nutpods.
- Black Nitro Cold Brew. NO Cold Foam. Just black
- Iced Coffee Unsweetened. Feel free to add your own Nutpod flavor of choice.
- Black Iced Tea, unsweetened
- Black Brewed Coffee
What are the best compliant pantry items?
- Ghee– Fourth & Heart is my favorite brand but you can also find great ghee at Aldi and Walmart for around $8.
- Avocado Oil, Light Olive Oil and Sesame Seed Oil.
- Almond & Cashew Butter
- Canned Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- Canned Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, and Tomato Paste (Make sure to read ingredients to make sure no sugar is added)
- Canned Green Beans, Water Chestnuts, Green Chilis, and Mushrooms.
- Coconut Aminos
- No sugar added Salsa/Salsa Verde
- Tapioca Flour /Arrowroot Flour and Xanthan Gum (Great for thickening agents)
- Almond Flour + Coconut Flour
- Nuts – Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds, Pecans and Walnuts. Make sure to read the ingredients.
- The New Primal BBQ Sauce
- The New Primal Dressings
- The New Primal Marinades
- Tessemae’s Dressings
What are the best compliant snacks?
- Although I don’t recommend snacking during Whole30, it is still important to have emergency snacks on hand just in case.
- RX Bars- Use in ONLY emergency situations only
- Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Pecans, and Walnuts
- Chomps Beef Sticks
- The New Primal Beef Sticks
- Fruit & Almond Butter
- Homemade Ranch and cucumbers or carrots
Does this program help with PCOS?
As a woman that fights Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome also known as PCOS, I can testify that this program helped reverse my symptoms. Although, I still suffer with PCOS because there is no cure, Whole30 still drastically helped make decrease my problematic symptoms. I am not a doctor, so I can’t tell you that this program will heal your symptoms, but I can say from experience, it gave me hope and really made me feel so much better.
- Becoming Whole- Read My Full Whole30 Journey Here
If you are following the program to help with PCOS, what compliant foods do you avoid?
The last round I completed, I removed RX Bars, LaraBars and starch veggies such as sweet potatoes. I could tell a big difference and got better results by steering clear from those items. I think of it as a Clean Keto Whole30.
Can you make homemade mayo without an immersion blender?
You absolutely can! Use a blender or a food processor. The only difference with making it this way, you will need to pour the LIGHT olive oil in very slowly. With the immersion blender that step isn’t required, but the the blender and food processor it is. Be sure to CLICK HERE for my 60 Second Mayo Recipe.
Must have items to use for making homemade mayo:
Is it important to meal prep?
It is super important to meal prep for a successful Whole30. However, it is important not to over prep and waste food. For me, I get really tired of eating the same thing over and over, so I won’t prep for a full week. I suggest prepping buffet style so you an pick and choose your vegetables and proteins so you don’t get bored through the week.
- Roast Brussels sprouts and sautee zucchini, mushroom, squash or veggies of choice.
- Roast a whole chicken or grill up a few chicken breast or shredded pork throughout the week.
- Pair a veggie with a protein and add in a half an avocado or even a few olives or a pickle slice.
- One of my favorite go-to lunches is a compliant deli meat lettuce wrap or even a lettuce wrap BLT. Super easy to make and is very satisfying.
- Make a big frittata on Sunday and use for a couple of meals throughout the week. Click here for my favorite frittata recipe.
Click below on my favorite meal prep containers:
What are some tips for sticking to a budget while doing Whole30?
- Create a plan and menu and stick to it.
- Assess what you have before going to the grocery store to buy more.
- Eat more eggs as your main source of protein. They are super cheap and filling. I love making a frittata some night for dinner. It is a yummy and cheap meal.
- Shop at ALDI- They have organic and fresh produce at half the price of normal grocery stores.
- Use cash ONLY
- Simplify your meals. Every recipe does not have to be Pinterest worthy. Make good enough, good enough
How to be successful on Whole30 if you have kids?
Yes! You absolutely can. Change is hard, but keep giving healthy choices and the kids will come around. You don’t have to make them eat Whole30 just because you are, but you can still build their plates with the Whole30 meals you are making and add cottage cheese or a yogurt. Kids don’t have to do a Whole30 just because you are.
But here is the deal, your 3-year-old child should not have power over what they are going to eat for dinner every single night. In the beginning, Eloise would snarl her nose at my Whole30 meal and throw her body on the ground and act like a total drama queen. She would insist for chocolate milk to wash down her chicken nuggets. She really lost her mind for about a week, but guess what happened after that, she realized that she didn’t have the power of what she was going to eat. I refused to give in and I WON THE BATTLE. She ended up loving her carrot slices, chopped chicken with homemade ranch and of course her beloved blueberries. She got to the point where she would even ask for seconds.
Here is the problem with kids, parents get so busy in life, they want to put a band-aid on the problem so they don’t have to deal with it. Hey, I am guilty of this also, but we are not doing our children a service by giving in to their demanding ways. Once you set boundaries and train your kids to make healthy options, not only have you won the battle but you are setting your kids up with the knowledge they need to make healthy choices of their own.
What are the BEST Whole30 Recipes?
Below are my all time favorite recipes that make this program super easy!
Click on the photo below to save to your Pinterest Board:
Happy for you!
Love these tips, girlfriend! I’m so glad you talked about the immersion blender because I don’t have one! Can I use a food processor for most of your sauce recipes instead of the immersion blender?
Thanks Lyndi! Yes for sure. All my sauces can be made with the food processor. Just add the oil slowly for the main mayo base for each sauce.
Hi Ashley thank you very much for all the information. I’m looking forward to following your posts. I’m hoping to have improved health with my adrenal fatigue. Thanks again. Madeleine
I love your Post!! So much great information and you seriously make the best sauces and recipes for Whole 30!!
Thank you so very much!
Thank you for all the info! So much time and energy put into this to help others succeed. I appreciate that!
You are so welcome. I always love to help and support 😉
Love all your content! Thank you for all your time and effort. Can’t wait to make your sauces for my January whole 30 🙂
Thank you for the sweet comment! I always love to help.
This is such a wonderful resource! Revisiting Whole30 after a long hiatus, and these recipes and tips are incredible to have handy. ❤️
Thank you Dani!
Thank you so much for creating this post, Ashley! You are one of my go-to bloggers for all things W30 and you are so inspiring! This will be my 7th (I think) Whole 30 and I’m very excited about it! I want to try your beef tips over cauli mash recipe and I just got an instant pot for Christmas!
Thank you for taking the time to comment. It means so much to me. Goodluck this round.
I have done whole 30 before and with this January I wanted to do a Keto whole 30
Been overloaded with all the whole 30 information; don’t get me wrong it’s a great community but there has been so much: then I got your email ; everything I wanted
Thank you for doing this ; I really appreciate you and with this I will succeed 🙂
Yay. This makes me so happy. Glad you liked it.
Thank you so much for all the info. Will you be posting your meal plan ahead of time? I would love a sample meal plan to get thru the first several days—we will be traveling a good bit the first 8 days of january…
Yes I will be posting tomorrow. Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. My subscribers always get the meal plans way ahead of time. Thanks so much
I appreciate you so much! These tips and the extra info and inspiration are getting me PUMPED for my January Whole30. My 6mo is allergic to dairy, so I’m already nondairy (I can’t even have ghee…) but since having him I’ve been struggling with digestive issues. So I thought…why not. I’ve done one round before so this will be my second.