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Get Clean with the Whole30 Eating Program

12/26/2016 11:00AM ● By Patrick John

The Whole Truth

January 2017
By Patrick John

I kept hearing people talking about something called the Whole30. At first, I didn’t want to sound stupid, so I just didn’t ask. Then I offered someone a cupcake, and they replied, “No, thank you. I’m on the Whole30.” I finally sat down, had a conversation about it, asked questions, bought the book and took the Whole30 plunge. Over the course of completing the program and continuing to eat Whole30 as much as possible, I made some rookie and dummy mistakes. My blunders should help if you decide to start the 2017 with a fresh, healthy, state of mind and body.

So, what is the Whole30? In a nutshell, it’s a 30-day cleanse to rid your system of all the inflammatory compounds you’ve been eating, short or long term. No refined or added sugar. Gluten-free. Soy-free. Dairy-free.  

I know what you’re thinking: “No cream or sugar in my coffee?  No bread? No cheese? No way!” I thought the same thing at first, but once you get about seven days in, those cravings start to evaporate.  After 14 days, not a problem at all. The reality is that some of those foods are the most inflammatory fuels we put into our bodies, and many experts believe they contribute to all those mysterious aches and pains we’re dealing with.

What CAN you eat on the Whole30 program? The main concentration is on meat, fruits and vegetables, eliminating all those afternoon and late-night snacks we are prone to. The program is not a weight loss plan, but you probably will lose weight (I lost almost 14 pounds, and my wife Jane about 11). There are days you will feel like you were hit by a semi, but by the end of 30 days, you will feel great, and I can honestly say I sleep deeper and better than ever.

I hate urging people to buy anything, but in this case, the Whole30 book was an invaluable tool. It will, with amazing precision, tell you what to expect each day of the program, including which days you’ll be cranky and feel like you have a hangover. You’ll get tips, encouragement and a ton of recipes you’ll use later on. If you can’t get the book, go online to for lots of information, or talk to someone who has completed the program.

Disclaimer: You will probably cook more than you normally do on the Whole30, so be prepared to spend more time in the kitchen. As always, any program is easier if you have a partner or friends willing to go along for the ride. The joke in the book is that having a baby is hard, eating right for 30 days is not! New Year, new you – let me know how it goes!