The Whole30 is a restrictive diet that hit the U.S. a few years ago. It's paleo on steroids. No dairy, no sugar, no grains, no legumes, no sulphites. And plenty of other no's. For 30 days. You can find out more about it here.
Does The Whole30 Work?
My fiance's family in New York have done the program several times and love the results. Significant weight loss, more energy, better sleep and dietary awareness. The results must be consistent as the Whole30 community is enormous. And passionate. Whole30 books dominate the nutritional best seller list on Amazon.
So, What's My Beef?
My criticism, as a cynic that hasn't tried the program, is all the animal protein. If I can't eat fibre and protein rich legumes, then how do I stay full? The answer, by looking at the recipe books and the Instagram accounts (@whole30 and @whole30recipes) is to eat animal protein. And a lot of it. I just don't feel great eating meat every day. I feel slower and my conscious is weighed down (thanks Cowspiracy). Plus I just watched an ABC documentary called How To Stay Young that said vegans comfortably live the longest and animal protein ages us. As a materialistic procrastinator, I want to spend a lot of time on this planet. And I want to look younger than my drivers license. I'm not sure I'll ever give up animal protein but I want less in my diet, not more.
Beyond the meat concern, Whole30 folk don't like smoothies. Here's what their rules say:
"Smoothies: We’d rather you didn’t
This is a very popular question, with a very unpopular answer. Smoothies (generally made using lots of fruit) are technically compliant on your Whole30, but we strongly recommend against it. Food that you drink sends different satiety signals to your brain than food that you chew. So when you drink your meal, your brain isn’t getting the feedback it needs to tell your body that it’s had enough of what it needs. Plus, smoothies are generally really fruit-heavy, and starting your day off with a liquid sugar-bomb sets you up for cravings, hunger, and volatile energy levels throughout the day. In summary, we’d rather you just eat the food, and skip the smoothie."
I'm calling horse-shit. Smoothies keep me full for hours on end. My satiety signals are perfectly functional. And my smoothies are dense with vegetables.
So despite bashing the Whole30. And despite them prohibiting smoothies. Here is a smoothie recipe with Whole30 approved ingredients :)
Mango Mayhem Smoothie
- Takes 4 minutes
- Makes 2 servings
- Kale - 3 cups
- Mango - 1, peeled and pitted
- Frozen banana - 1
- Pitted dates - 4
- Ice - 1 cup
- Coconut milk (can) - 1 cup (check ingredients for Whole30 approved)
- Water - 2 cups