Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 1, 2015
Genres: Cookbook, Food and Wine
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Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s critically-acclaimed Whole30 program has helped hundreds of thousands of people transform how they think about their food, bodies, and lives. Their approach leads to effortless weight loss and better health—along with stunning improvements in sleep quality, energy levels, mood, and self-esteem. Their first book, the New York Times best-selling It Starts With Food, explained the science behind their life-changing program. Now they bring you The Whole30, a stand-alone, step-by-step plan to break unhealthy habits, reduce cravings, improve digestion, and strengthen your immune system. The Whole30 features more than 100 chef-developed recipes, like Chimichurri Beef Kabobs and Halibut with Citrus Ginger Glaze, designed to build your confidence in the kitchen and inspire your taste buds. The book also includes real-life success stories, community resources, and an extensive FAQ to give you the support you need on your journey to “food freedom.”
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. David and I did it together which was definitely helpful, although I let Amber eat pretty much what she wanted.
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.”
I will admit that I “cheated a couple of times” and made a delicious apple breakfast cake that fit the rules. I also weighed myself.
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.
Overall, I have to say this was a great book for me. I am glad I picked it up, and I’m sure it’s once I’ll be referring to again and again. And it’s a plan that’s easy to follow, or at least easy to know if something fits or not.