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Whole30 Approved Food List
Basic Whole 30 Rules
Participating in any diet can have its fair share of problems. If logistics become too complicated for preparing meals or eating on-the-go, most people will tend to drop out. My goal is that if you are serious about the Whole30 Diet, that this article will give you a master list of foods that are fair game, foods that you need to avoid and ideas for successful results and things to consider, while on your journey.
The entire point of this Whole30 diet is to detoxify your body from the junk food that you are used to eating. Staying committed to 30 days will push your limits and hopefully help you shed a few pounds. At the end of the day, it's about feeling better and gaining a stronger appreciation for food in its simplest, purest forms.
Read Your Labels
One of the first things I had to do was start reading the labels. How in the world does the Food and Drug Administration allow all of these different chemicals to be added to our food supply? The first tip I can offer is that if the item you want to purchase has ingredients that you have a hard time saying or pronouncing, stay away from it and find something better. The fewer ingredients in the product, the better it will be for your body.
The second tip I can offer up is that you're going to need to load up on protein. Make sure that the meats are pure and are not processed. Look into bags of chicken to save money, as well as pre-made hamburger patties, as opposed to the processed versions.
Say this out loud :
"EGGS ARE MY FRIEND"
Growing up, I always thought that eggs were considered to be part of the dairy group. One of my major vices are cheese.
I can spend hours just learning and looking at the cheese bins at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. The Whole30 diet does not allow for dairy consumption, but considers eggs to be a protein. There's several ways to eat eggs. Scrambled, poached, hard-boiled and over-easy seem to be the most popular.
If you really wanted to get fancy, you could separate the egg whites from the yolks for dozens of other amazing concoctions. A popular breakfast trend in 2015 are using nothing but egg whites for scrambles and whatnot. I don't recommend eating them raw (salmonella), unless you want to emulate Rocky Balboa.
Rocky Drinks His Eggs
There seems to be a billion different types of fats. The bad fats need to be avoided, yet seem to be infused into almost everything I enjoy.
Trans fats are the worst culprit and can be found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, like Crisco. The healthiest option for cooking your food, that I've found, has been Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
(NOTE : The West Coast strike involving the shipping yards has made EV Coconut Oil extremely hard to find. Supply will pick up soon, but the backlog is pretty intense.)
CIS fats (aka Oleic Acid) is a predominant ingredient of Olive Oil and can be attributed from 55 to 80% of that content. The Olive Oil market is very lucrative and has spawned all sorts of variations that seem to be popular in the United States and in Europe.
Saturated, trans, and interestified are not good for you. These fats can spike your cholesterol level and cause cardiovascular and/or heart disease. Fats are an important part of the Whole30 diet, but need to be consumed from sources like fruits, nuts, seeds and oils.
Polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, fatty acids, essential fatty acids. One of the best sources for good fats are in salmon, tuna and mackerel. (side note : Salmon is also super rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that really keep that cholesterol in check).
I'll have to admit that I'm not much of a beer drinker. I had a "party" phase in college, but alas, that ship has sailed. Occasionally, I'll enjoy one or two pints, while watching a game at a sports bar or a shot of rye to blow off some steam or help me sleep. Some of my friends, though, have a much harder time with this rule. The same thing applies for coffee drinkers. Once you've been going about your morning routine for so long, you don't realize just how much your body depends on these things, until you detoxify and get a cleaner slate.
Another category that is off limits are grains. Oats, wheat, rice, quinoa, rye, barley, and any other grain you can think of are no no's. This is hard for me because I really enjoy my sushi and without the rice, sashimi is my only option, which can get pricey, if you aren't careful.
In my opinion, the silliest rule of the Whole30 diet is no legumes. This means any form of soy, peanuts, beans and peas are not allowed. Hummus is a guilty pleasure and is comprised of tahini, olive oil and garbanzo beans, which makes it ineligible and in the world of Joe, this is lame.
Fruits will become a daily mainstay in your diet. After a few days, your taste palette will start to change and the desire for savory snacks will greatly diminish. Here's a list of fruits that are fair game for the Whole30 diet. Please keep in mind that you want to try to avoid or limit the amount of dried fruits you consume.
- Apples (all varieties)
- Bananas (potassium)
- Blueberries (antioxidants)
- Cherries (antioxidants)
- Dates (natural sugar substitute)
- Exotic Fruits (ie. Dragon Fruit, Mangosteen, Star Fruit)
- Grapes (Green or Red)
- Pears (all varieties)
- Raspberries (antioxidants)
For some of us, vegetables don't always sound appealing. I like to slip them into juice smoothies and stick to eating them during meals. Cauliflower, Broccoli and Carrots are nice snacks that are great substitutes for a bag of chips or other salty snacks that aren't a part of the Whole30 experience. Here's a short list of vegetables that are safe for this diet :
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Fennel Root
- Green Beans
- Greens (Beet, Collard, Mustard, Turnip)
- Lettuce (Bibb, Butter, Red)
- Mushrooms (all varieties)
- Snow Peas
- Squash (Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Delicata, Spaghetti, Summer)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Tomato (all varieties)
My favorite part of the Whole30 diet is eating meat. If you are a Vegetarian, this diet probably is not an ideal situation for you. I am a total sushi addict. I know I eat too much beef, but sashimi or nigiri style sushi is my version of "soul food" and gets me every time.
Meat, Fish, Seafood and Chicken are all fair game, as long as they haven't been cured in Sugar or a bunch of additives. Free Range. Organic. No GMO Corn Fed. No Steroids. These are all labels you should look for and it isn't a bad idea to talk to your local butcher at the store from time to time. The few that I have met are really knowledgable and are happy to help customers find the cuts of meat best for their situation.
The Sweet Potato Conspiracy
Potatoes are a class of food that totally stumps me. I've heard from other people that potatoes are acceptable, but then I've heard that only sweet potatoes are allowed because the molecular breakdown of the sweet potato is easier to digest, than that of a regular potato.
As I continue to journey on this Whole30 crazy train, I'll pass along what I find out about potatoes. For now, I'm sticking to sweet potatoes, until I can figure it out because Joe needs that texture, once in awhile.
So, here it is . . . my breakdown of the Whole30 diet. If you've made it to the end of this article, just know that I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read. I don't profess to have all of the answers and these have just been my experiences, up to this point. If you have any stories to share or think someone might benefit from this article, please feel free to share. If one person gets a benefit from my time on Whole30, then it was a job well worth the time spent. Thank you for reading.