Review: “The Whole30”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you have heard about the Whole30. Heck, even Will Ferrell tweeted about it. It is safe to say that Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s 30 day transformation program has taken the world completely by storm. Currently sitting at #1 of ALL books at Amazon.com, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is already setting the world on fire – and it’s only been out for 24 hours. If you are still somehow unfamiliar, let me sum up the basic tenet of what makes The Whole30 so successful – it’s not a diet. In essence, it is a diet for those who hate dieting. Sick of counting calories, munching on endless pieces of celery and then binging on chocolate cake by the time you make it to Friday? Keep reading – this book is for you.

Besides the copious amounts of truly mouth-watering recipes, The Whole30 provides a 7-day meal plan, kitchen fundamentals, a troubleshooting guide, a dining out guide, a travel guide and 5 whole pages on grocery shopping. And this is just scratching the surface of the 421 pages. But did I MENTION the recipes!? Working with Chef Richard Bradford (of Pre-Made Paleo fame) Dallas and Melissa have somehow managed to out-do themselves. After the truly delicious recipes found in their New York Times best-selling first book, It Starts With Food – the bar was set pretty high for this reader. And they did not disappoint.

You may want to start by going to page 358, and looking at the drool-inducing photo found there. It’s okay to take a minute to wipe your saliva off the keyboard – I’ll wait. Found in the humorously titled “Fancypants Meals” section (did I mention they are also hilarious?) this backyard barbecue meal had me craving steak at 10PM – and I had already eaten quite a large dinner. But this meal is nothing compared to the rest of the surprisingly healthy recipes found within these hallowed pages. If you thought eating healthy, having better moods, sleeping better, and losing weight had to be bland and boring – you were dead wrong.

When I spoke with Dallas and Melissa for Paleo Magazine, they were modest about the prospects of topping their first book’s recipes. But they were just being polite. These recipes are the true path to enjoying food and feeling better – with just about everything in your life. Want your pants to fit better? Check. Want to get more than 4-5 hours of fitful sleep every night? Check. Want to eat steak and bacon? Check. Yes dieters, all these things are possible, and in fact – enjoyable! Perhaps the most important impact the Whole30 has had on the world, is in teaching everyone that they likely have a very unhealthy relationship with food. It’s practically embedded in our modern environment. But rather than dwelling on the negative and offering no solution – they simply use that as a jumping off point.

You don’t just get the bad news – you get the good news too. And the good news is: you can get healthier. Wisely offering everything up with a hefty dose of humor, the ease/delicious nature of these recipes, and the simple changes outlined will make this journey possible for anyone. Perhaps most helpful for those first-timers, the timeline section will take you through the 30 day process – day by day. And no, I won’t lie and say giving up sugar is terribly easy. But it is possible. And this program is the most fun, most delicious and easiest that I’ve ever seen. With our world now in a startling obesity pandemic, this message could not arrive in a more timely fashion.

“The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” is available from Amazon.