Since Melissa and Dallas Hartwig introduced Whole30 in 2009, the program has been changing lives. This plan is designed to stop cravings, build healthy eating habits, and reset your metabolism while bolstering your immunity and healing your digestive tract. As you might have guessed from the diet’s name, this takes place over the course of 30 days. Whether you’re planning to get started with Whole30 or if you’re simply curious about what the plan entails, you’ll appreciate our Whole30 food list. 2017 is as good a time as any to get started – and this plan provides benefits that just about everyone can appreciate.
What are the benefits of the Whole30 Diet?
By now, most people are aware that junk food can ruin your metabolism, create unhealthy cravings for fat, salt, and sugar, and lead to a whole host of diseases. Whole30 eliminates the junk, plus it eliminates some other foods typically seen as healthy (you’ll learn more in our Whole30 “foods not to eat” list), but people tend to find it easy to follow since there is no calorie counting involved. Reported benefits of the Whole30 Diet include:
- Weight loss
- Improved sleep
- Greater focus
- Happier mood
- An end to unhealthy cravings, especially for carbs and sugar
Besides these benefits, some participants report that they resolved some serious issues ranging from diabetes to infertility to fibromyalgia by following Whole30. The program is free to follow, making it more accessible than some others.
Sample Shopping List
One of the best things about Whole30 is that it’s very simple. There are no crazy rules, just basic natural foods. In fact, many of the foods you already count among your favorites may be on the Whole30 shopping list.
All fresh and frozen vegetables, preferably organic, i.e.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green beans
- Peppers, all types
- Snow peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet potatoes / yams
All fresh and frozen fruit, preferably organic, i.e.
Apple cider vinegar
- Almond milk (no sugar added)
- Cashew milk (no sugar added)
- Coconut milk (no sugar added)
- Green tea
- Herbal tea
- Rooibos tea
- Sparkling water, flavored or unflavored (check to ensure all ingredients are natural and no sugar added)
Coconut or almond yogurt (any type with no added sugar)
Eggs, preferably pasture-raised organic
Flour alternatives, i.e.
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
Ghee (preferably organic)
Mustard (any type with no added sugar)
Organic chicken, preferably pastured
Organic pork, preferably pastured
Organic turkey, preferably pastured; wild turkey is also acceptable
Pickles (double-check to ensure that there is no sugar in the ingredients list)
Raw nuts & seeds, i.e.
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Seasonings and spices, preferably organic (check to be sure that seasoning blends contain no fillers or added sugars)
Wild-caught fish and seafood where it’s also recommended in Mediterranean Diet Food List
Wild game such as elk, deer, and pheasant
Whole30 Shopping List: Costco
If you have a Costco membership, plan to put it to good use while you’re following the Whole30 diet plan. While it’s true that Costco items often vary from one store to the next, most of them carry plenty of great basics that make it very easy to minimize the amount of shopping that you have to do while eating like royalty and perhaps even saving some money by purchasing items from your Whole30 shopping list at Costco. Here are some favorites to consider.
Chicken breasts (skinless, boneless type)
Frozen fruits and vegetables (blueberries, cherries, and pineapple are some favorites)
Ground beef (organic)
Natural sausages like Aidell’s chicken-apple sausage
Rotisserie chickens (you can cut these up and freeze for later)
Salmon (fresh or frozen)
Spinach and salad greens
As you can tell from reading the Whole30 Food List, this is a plan that revolves around clean, healthy eating. The premise of the diet is to follow the plan for 30 whole days without cheating. Afterward, it’s recommended that you follow an eating plan similar to the Paleo diet.
Here’s what to expect if you decide to go for the Whole30:
- You’ll be ditching all dairy except for ghee. True, cow’s milk and products made from it are high in protein; unfortunately for cheese lovers everywhere, these products are also linked to inflammation. Many people are sensitive to dairy and don’t even know it. Your flatter stomach and improved health will thank you.
- You’ll say “sayonara” to sugar. All sugar is banned on Whole30, with the exception of fresh, frozen, and the occasional dried fruit. Any concentrated sugar – even unprocessed varieties – is forbidden. This means no honey, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, no corn syrup, and no foods or beverages containing these ingredients. Because part of the goal while on Whole30 is to rid you of your sweet tooth, you’ll be avoiding artificial sweeteners, too. You’ll also avoid natural calorie-free sweeteners like stevia, xylitol, and monkfruit.
- You’ll give all grains the boot. Like the Paleo diet, the Whole30 diet forbids followers from consuming grains. Wheat, spelt, rye, kamut, quinoa, barley, and other grains are completely eliminated from your eating plan, and so are things that contain them; i.e. pasta, bread, donuts, cakes, etc.
- You will drastically increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. With just a few exceptions, all plant-based foods are suitable for the Whole30 diet plan. You can enjoy nut milks as long as they have no added sugar, you can learn to make your own nut cheeses (try cashew cheese!) and you can even enjoy starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.
- You’ll probably become a better cook. Since most prepackaged foods aren’t recommended for use while on Whole30, you’ll enjoy lots of interesting alternatives. A veggie spiralizer, a food processer, a blender, and of course your pots, pans, and oven are going to become your new best friends. It’s highly recommended that you read up on the Whole30 diet, find some recipes that appeal to you, and get to work in the kitchen. Making recipes ahead and storing them in the freezer can help if you’re normally reliant on pre-packaged foods. Of course, you can easily enjoy salad topped with the protein of your choice, too.
Whole30 Foods to Avoid
While you’re following the Whole30 diet, you’ll want to eat minimally processed foods with no added sugar. That means that the Whole30 “Foods to Avoid” list is a long one. There is a very short list of Whole30 approved packaged foods, but in general, most packaged items are to be avoided.
All dairy products, i.e.
- Half and half
- Ice cream
Bread and similar products made from wheat or other grains
Grains of all types, i.e.
- Beans (canned and dried varieties)
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Peas (except peas still in their pods)
Meat from conventionally raised animals; i.e. beef, chicken, turkey, pork
Processed and junk foods, i.e.
- French fries
Soybeans and soy products, i.e.
Sugar and sweets, i.e.
- Artificial sweeteners
- Maple syrup
- Pancake syrup
Whole30 Vegetarian Options
Good news! Although the standard Whole30 diet is geared toward omnivores, vegetarians and vegans can easily tailor this plan to their preferences and thrive on it. If you’re an ovo-lacto vegetarian, you can keep on eating eggs but you’ll join the crowd in giving up dairy for the duration. If you’re vegan, you’ll stop eating legumes, including soy products like tofu and tempeh. Most packaged “convenience” foods are out, and so is seitan. What does this leave you with? Tons of fruit, veggies, nuts, nut milks, sugar-free nut butters, and nut cheeses (now is the time to break out the recipe books). Chia seeds, flax seeds, and of course coconut and coconut products are in, and so are other seeds – pepitas and sunflower seeds give you plenty of healthy fat and protein while staving off hunger.
A few more tips for vegetarian and vegan Whole30 planning:
- Remember to supplement with B12. If you’re already vegan, you’re probably doing this now.
- Get creative with your cooking. There are lots of vegan convenience foods on the market and there’s no doubt that they’ve made life easier for those who choose to eat them. Unfortunately, most aren’t suitable for Whole30. So get out those fancy cookbooks and spend some time in the kitchen.
- Focus on nutrient-dense foods, especially those high in protein, i.e. broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, and chia seeds.
Whole30 Approved Packaged Foods
Most of the foods you’ll be enjoying on Whole30 come minimally packaged – think of things like meat, fish, and vegetables and the protective packs they come in, and for the most part, that’s the extent of the packaging. Besides these though, there are a few Whole30-approved packaged foods that can make life a bit more interesting while you’re cleaning up your dietary act.
All-natural sausages with no sugar or gluten
Condiments (be sure there is no added sugar)
Guacamole (check to ensure there is no dairy)
Nut milks (be sure there is no added sugar)
Pasta sauce (be sure there is no added sugar or dairy)
If you are interested in other Diet Lists as well, we recommend you to visit Diet Food List page.