Thursday, April 3, 2014

t3 - whole30 might not be for you if...

Okay, I promise this is my last post on Whole30 for a while. I just received so much feedback on my expectations vs. reality post, that I felt like I needed to follow up. 

When I told people about Whole30, I received a variety of responses. Some were mildly interested and wanted to know more. Some were seriously thinking about starting the program. And some were incredibly appalled at the thought of giving up all their favorite foods.

And all of those responses are fair. You see, I’m convinced that Whole30 is not for everyone. One of my best friends asked me if she should start, and I honestly had to say no, that I didn’t think this program was the best fit for her. 

Here’s why.

Whole30 may not be for you if…

… you have a hard time planning ahead.
There’s really no such thing as a “grab-and-go” meal on this plan. I couldn’t just take the Healthy Choice microwaveable soup out of the pantry and call it lunch, but I could make a yummy soup on Sunday afternoon and eat on it all week. It’s definitely possible to create convenient meals, if you don’t mind doing some planning on the front end. But there’s that word again: planning. If the idea of a meal plan frightens you - even a flexible one - then Whole30 might not be for you.

… you don’t like very many vegetables.
My husband has an aversion to most vegetables. He tried the plan for 10 days and lost way too much weight, simply because he wouldn’t eat his vegetables. With Whole30 you’re supposed to have a palm-sized serving of protein and then fill the rest of your plate with delicious veggies. This ensures you have the energy you need to get you through the day. If you try to make it through on meat and fruit, you’re probably going to end up feeling sluggish like Daniel did. If you can’t make veggies work, then Whole30 might not be for you.

… you like to eat out. like a lot.
We seldom ate out while I was on the Whole30. When I spent the day at the mall with my mom and grandma, I couldn’t find a single thing in the food court that I was able to eat. That’s with “healthy” restaurants like Chipotle and Wrapz at my disposal. When we did go out to eat, we either ate off Panera’s secret menu or found a restaurant that served steak and grilled veggies. Either way, it was just easier to eat at home. If your schedule doesn’t allow for that, then Whole30 might not be for you.

Now, I’m not saying if you are one or all three of these things that you shouldn’t go for it. Those reasons might be precisely WHY you need to try it out. After Daniel’s Whole10, he was eating tomatoes voluntarily and finishing off salads at meal time. The Whole30 program actually helped him to like vegetables more. 

However, I am saying that you need to know what you’re getting into. And if you know you’re horrible at meal planning, you will be prepared to work harder and develop those skills. If you don’t really like veggies, you’ll be ready to try something new. And if you regularly default to eating out, you’ll brush up on your cooking skills. You won’t have misplaced expectations, and you’ll be more likely to succeed. 

What’s your reaction to Whole30? Want to try it - just like to read about it - or wish I would stop posting about it?


  1. Both Angel and I LOVE vegetables so that's a good thing when it comes to eating whole foods. One time we were doing a version of the "Daniel Fast" with church--and it was true, there was nothing we could eat at restaurants. Which can be seen as a good thing too because eating out is expensive anyways... :)

  2. Rachel - how did you like the Daniel fast? Did it help spiritually and physically?

  3. I found it to be an excellent exercise of faith--choosing to say no to cravings and focus on prayer. That was my first time with a long-term fast. Physically, I was often very tired, I think I probably wasn't eating as many calories as I needed.

  4. I wish Daniel loved veggies more. I made veggie pizza last night and Daniel would barely touch it.

  5. Aunt Lisa here. I watched Daniel eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a roll and a three or four grapes for Thanksgiving dinner many years. He hasn't changed huh? ha. I just found your blog on Ted's wall. I love it.