Whole30 Diet – What You Can and Can’t Eat on This Diet

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I am not a fan of fad diets. Well, maybe the cookie diet. Growing up in the dance world I had to adhere to ridiculously strict eating guidelines and weight control which kept me in a state of mental and physical hell in order to maintain my weight in a very unhealthy manner. It took me literally years to learn how to eat properly. There’s always going to be gimmicky diets out there promising quick ways to lose weight. The difference is now there are some very effective ones that let you eat a lot more healthy but they have a lot more rules! Between low-carb, Paleo, Keto, Plant based and Mediterranean, Vegan, Gluten free, the Fasting Mimicking Diet, Intermittent fasting and so forth, the rules can get more than overwhelming. But I’ll tell you what – They all do work. The Whole 30 Diet – which is the stricter sister of the Paleo diet is climbing its way into one of the top spots for this seasons most popular diet trends and promises – as long as you follow the strict set of rules- to offer you increased energy levels and relief from chronic pain and digestive issues.

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Be forewarned though, the Whole30 Diet is pretty darn strict. You have to give up beans and whole grains as well as cut out sugar completely, and all dairy. And all alcohol. Instead of leaving certain foods out of your diet, the program cuts out entire groups—some of which you would typically consider healthy—for 30 days. But there’s a good reason behind it.

While weight-loss is the definite outcome for many people, the main goal of the Whole30 diet is helping you figure out which foods could be negatively impacting your well-being, because each of the eliminated categories has been shown to adversely affect one’s overall health in some way.

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After these particular ‘offending’ foods have been out of your system for 30 days, you can start with a clean slate. Once you start adding foods back in, it makes it easier to identify any food intolerances or allergies that could be keeping you from feeling your best.

Similar to when you have a child and introduce them to a variety of foods and then your child has a reaction but you’re not sure which food it is, your pediatrician will recommend an ‘elimination’ diet to see which food is the offender.

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What you CAN’T eat on Whole30:

  • No legume
  • No dairy (zero)
  • No MSG
  • No processed foods
  • No alcohol
  • No grains (wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn, bran, bulgur, millet, not even quinoa!)

Certain exceptions on Whole30:

  • Ghee or clarified Butter
  • Certain legumes like sugar snap peas
  • Coconut aminos
  • Vinegar (not malt)
  • Salt
  • Fruit juice (as a sweetener only)

Whatever your reason is for sticking to Whole30’s strict food rules, in the end, there’s a good chance you’ll have benefited in more than one way. So what exactly can and can’t you eat during these 30 days? Allow us to help you navigate the approved Whole30 foods list.

What you CAN Eat on Whole30

  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Bananas (really?)
  • Mushrooms
  • Beef jerky
  • Lara Bars
  • chicken
  • Kombucha
  • Raspberries
  • Almond milk
  • Rx bars
  • zucchini
  • Shrimp
  • olives
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tea
  • Bone Broth
  • Kale
  • Almond Butter
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Eggs
  • Coffee
  • ACV
  • Green Beans

While people certainly see changes in their bodies after stripping full food groups, it’s also a great way to give yourself a reset, both physically and mentally. Ditching sugar is always a great idea. It helps you fight your late night ice cream cravings and develop better relationships with food and pick up better habits. Saying goodbye to dairy could help heal your bloated and inflamed gut. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath? This diet could eliminate that.

On a personal note I prefer the Mediterranean diet and the intermittent fasting diets. Both of these are not so darn strict and you don’t have to adhere to all these rules. Anything that makes me feel like oops! Can’t eat that! Puts me back in that ‘prison’ mind mode which I don’t really care to be at in this stage in my life. You can pretty much eat what you want as long as it’s within a healthy range (non processed foods, healthy fats). And the Intermittent fasting diet pretty much goes to the flow of my natural schedule anyway of eating really tiny meals and then a larger healthier, balanced one.

But you have to do what works for you. If you find certain foods don’t agree with your system and you want to discover which ones, then this may be for you. And don’t forget to check out 22 Whole30 Recipes from Eat This Not That to Keep You on Track.

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