Back to Military Life

A great way to jump-start your healthy eating

The Whole30 high-protein plan keeps you full

Curried chicken salad makes a tasty Whole30 lunch. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

With last month's beginning to the New Year, health and fitness goals are high on many people's lists. Chances are you have heard a friend or family member say, "I just started my Whole30 today."

So just what is this program?

The Whole30 is a 30-day, clean-eating plan developed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. It cuts out sugars, grains, legumes, alcohol and processed foods. You eat high-quality proteins, vegetables and fruits. It is pretty restrictive but has amazing results.

I did the program last year when I came up pre-diabetic on some blood work. I begged my doctor to give me 30 days before starting any medication. For the next 30 days, I followed all the rules of the Whole30. At the end I had lost 14 pounds, and my doctor said he had never seen blood sugar come down so dramatically in such a short period of time and wanted to know how I did it.

The program is totally free and available online at I recommend the Whole30 book by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.  It is available at Costco at a discounted price. I find the book easier to use, and it is portable so you can take it shopping with you.  All the food you will need to start your Whole30 is available on Joint Base Lewis-McChord at the commissary. For specialty and convenience items, you may want to take a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but it is not necessary.

Some keys to success:

Buddy system.  Get a buddy to do the Whole30 with you. It is very helpful to have someone to call when you are feeling like you are going to cheat. It is also fun to share recipes and photos of Whole30 compliant meals. Also, for accountability, tell everyone you know that you are on the Whole30 as it will make cheating less likely.

Clean out the junk.  Before starting the Whole30, take a day to clean out all the junk food and anything that might be risky for cheating. If you have children, it won't hurt them to do without sugary snacks.

Preparation. This is the most important step, so take the time to do it right. Think about your week. Where will you be eating your meals? The Sunday before starting, prep, chop and prepare as much food as you can.  It will make your week much easier. I purchased an eye of round in a cryopac from the commissary -- a lean beef seven-pound pack is usually under $20. I slow-roast this for roast beef slices, which make a quick grab-and-go meal when combined with some veggies. Think about things that you like that fit in with the plan.  I love roast beef, avocado and pico de gallo, so it feels more like a treat than deprivation. The nice thing about this plan is you don't count calories, and you eat until you are full.

After a few days, you will find that you are full, not craving any sugar and have tons of energy. To learn more about the science behind the program, purchase the book, It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. This book explains the reasoning behind the rules of the Whole30 and the science that backs it up.

Read next close


Rider up!

comments powered by Disqus