So, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am a BIG fan of The Whole30 Program. My last round left me feeling GREAT and I’m currently gearing up for my second. Like any dietary plan, there are a lot of rules and restrictions, which ultimately aim to make you the best you possible. Today I’m going to share with you a little bit more about those rules (and their loopholes!).


  • Although dairy is strictly prohibited from the program because of the milk proteins found therein, clarified butter (or ghee) is totally OK! Not only is this a great way to add some fats to your diet, it’s also a crucial piece in a lot of curry dishes. Here’s one recipe that I recently made and instantly fell in love with.


  • So, by and large, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and pretty much any other type of sucrose-like substance that you can think of is off the table. Fortunately, fruit juice is used as a sweetener in products or recipes is totally fine. Guess who’s going to be making a lot of hand-squeezed orange juice?


  • Some legumes are permitted: green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas. Basically, these legumes contain a lot more green than they do bean. Not only is this great news for salad lovers, it also permits some great stir-fry combinations. Just make sure that you make it at home and skip out on any preservatives you might find in restaurants.


  • As far as vinegar goes, feel free to use it to your heart’s content! Well, with the exception of vinegars with added sugar and malt vinegar which often contains gluten. White, balsamic, red wine, apple cider, and rice vinegars are all fair game. I can’t recommend this apple cider dressing recipe enough.


  • You might not know this, but iodized table salt actually contains sugar! Who would have thought? It turns out that sugar (in the form of dextrose) is used to keep the salt from iodizing and basically disappearing into thin air. We often think of foods as sweet or salty, but it turns out that even when they’re salty, they’re kind of sweet. Fortunately, salt (and the sugar that sneakily hides in it) are fair game for the program.


Now you might look at The Whole30 Program and think something like “this is crazy,” “Rachel, you are crazy for doing this crazy program,” “it’s too strict/tough/limiting/demanding, etc.”

Having done one round myself, I can assure that it’s not that bad at all.

In fact, it’s pretty easy!

And more than that, it’s only for 30 days. Think about it: 30 days. Not a year, or a decade or an eternity, but 30 days. For me, it was really helpful to stop looking at it as 30 days of limitations but as 30 days of opportunity. I think that’s one of the most appealing things about the program. You get to try something, experience a new way of eating and then see where the cards lie at the end of the month. And for me, I felt pretty freaking good.

Alright. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting way too enthusiastic about this.

Whether you think this is crazy or a fun idea, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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