Originally posted on blog.ambronite.com/post/161731278860/whole30.

You’ve no doubt seen the hashtag trending on all the socials. If you’re anything like me (at least few steps behind the latest new thing) you’re not entirely sure what it stands for, let alone what it entails…

Lucky for you, I’ve gone and done a little research for us all.

The result?

In this article we’re going to delve deep into Whole30 – exactly what it involves, the potential pros and cons, how to get started, how to avoid common mistakes and much, much more.

Let’s. Dig. In!

Whole30: The Lowdown

Launched in 2009, the Whole30 program is the brainchild of sports nutritionists Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. The power couple has also written four books to accompany the program, all New York Times bestsellers.

As the name suggests, Whole30 is essentially a 30-day eating plan in which you eliminate processed foods. Instead, you fill your plate with real, whole foods – which we’re all about. Think Paleo with a few extra twists…

The premise:

Whole30 is promoted as a “short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract and balance your immune system”.

Since 2009, the Hartwigs claim that millions of people have completed Whole30 program, with many people reporting weight loss, newfound vitality and improvements in various health conditions.

The Rules of the Game

The Whole30 rules of engagement are fairly easy to grasp. For 30 days, your mission is to:

Eat whole foods. The Whole30 masters give the seal of approval to moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables (organic where possible); some fruit; plenty of natural fats (nuts, seeds, and some oils); and herbs, spices, and seasonings. As a general rule of thumb, you’re encouraged to eat foods that contain very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or for maximum brownie points, no ingredients listed at all (because they’re all nice and whole and unprocessed).

Avoid any added sugar (real or artificial). The big kicker for most people. That means no white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, and date syrup. Even stevia, Splenda, and xylitol are out for now.

Skip the dairy. Including all cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products. Say goodbye to traditional milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, and yep, even your beloved frozen yogurt.

No alcohol. Not even for cooking you sneaky rascal.

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