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The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16,874 ratings  ·  710 reviews
Over 1.5 million copies sold!

Millions of people visit every month and share their dramatic life-changing testimonials. Get started on your Whole30 transformation with the #1 New York Times best-selling The Whole30.

Since 2009, Melissa Hartwig Urban's critically-acclaimed Whole30 program has quietly led hundreds of thousands of people to effortless weight loss
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published October 14th 2014)
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Jennifer Knoesel -> Melissa (CISSN): Melissa Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relat…more -> Melissa (CISSN): Melissa Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits. She is the co-creator of the original Whole30 program, a four-time New York Times bestselling author (It Starts With Food, The Whole30, Food Freedom Forever, and The Whole30 Cookbook). She has been featured by Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Details, Shape, Outside, and SELF, and ranked #27 on Greatists Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness in 2017. Melissa has presented more than 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide, and is a prominent keynote speaker on social media and branding, health trends, and entrepreneurship.(less)

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Christina - Recipe & a Read
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5, I am rounding up based on our overall experiences not the actual book stars!!

For a full, very detailed review of our experience and how we felt week-to-week visit my blog Recipe & a Read!

So there's a lot of hype around this book / diet and honestly, in the end, I can kind of see why. There are a few caveats that go with why my husband and I jumped in head first into this challenge but in the end, I've really enjoyed the results. First and foremost, your primary goal in Whole30, I don't pers
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For people who want to whole30, but don't necessarily want to read all of the science-y stuff of why a whole30 is good for them, this is a great book. It answers a lot of questions about the whole30, covers just the basics of why a whole30 is good (if you want more in-depth, read "It Starts With Food"), provides shopping lists, lots of great recipes and a wonderful collection of resources for support, shopping and additional reading. Very well done.
I didn't read this book in-depth. I started out reading, realized that I would never be able to maintain a diet this stringent, and started skimming over parts.

There is a lot of information in this book, from the basics (How to roast a whole chicken) to the creative (how to cook eggplant or sweet potato to use in place of your burger bun). It also includes many delicious recipes. Many I will try...enough that I might be tempted to buy the book to have on hand, not enough to make me stick strict
Carol Evans
I can't tell you if The Whole30 is a healthy choice, although the Hartwigs give plenty of reasons why it is. What I can tell you is that I'm glad I did the 30 days and will hopefully eat better having done them. My hsuband and I did it together which was definitely helpful.

The Whole30 rules in the most basic form are easy to understand. YES: Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetable, fruit and natural fats. DO: Do not consume sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy. Do not consume baked goods or "trea
Jason Pettus
To be clear, I really loved the two-page guide at the heart of Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's "Whole30" eating plan, which can be entirely and totally explained thusly: Spend 30 days eating nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit, in order to detox your body from all other edible items that exist, then one at a time slowly re-introduce things like legumes, grains, dairy and sugar back into your diet, paying very close attention to how your body reacts to each of them as you start eating them again. ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, health
I am drawn to nonfiction, health books in particular. I like reading them and I have read quite a few. First, I loved the voice of the author. It felt personal but pointed, which I appreciated. I liked that it felt she was sitting across the table.

Overall, the diet aspect felt extreme. For normal healthy people, I don't see the need for this, (even after hearing the pitch). This book felt like it was geared more towards those who are experiencing health issues on a wide scale, and who want to se
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-gr-nominee
I was on the fence with whether or not to get this book. I have been eating paleo-ish for about 2.5 years so I was familiar with many recipes and figured the recipe portion would not be helpful. However, I wanted the book for the FAQ and guidance as we went through this challenge.

I have to say my assessment was correct. Having the guidance was really helpful, especially for the Whole30 rules that don't make as much sense on the surface. Honestly, I would recommend the book just for the section
Shelby P
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm on day eight of The Whole30 and so far so good. I've been grocery shopping more frequently than ever before. Breakfast is the hardest meal because I don't want to eat eggs without toast but I haven't cheated. I was tempted to add some regular butter to a bake potato the other day but I didn't!!

I love the recipes in the book. I followed the recipe for a steak and it was the best steak I've ever eaten that I cooked. I'm eating more vegetables with this diet so that's a good thing. I know I won
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The Whole 30: The 30 Day-Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom is meant to be read after It Starts with Food. However, there's enough information in here that if you don't want to go through all the cited scientific "evidence" then this is a fine place to start if you are interested in doing a Whole 30.

Roughly, the first quarter of the book gives you all the details about Whole 30 and a bunch of commonly asked questions and answers. The rest of the book is about food preparation, and has recip
Dec 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I grabbed this from the library to supplement some dietary changes I am making for GERD and overall health. I had heard good things and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I have several problems with the book, and the diet in general, however.

- They promise this diet will do ALL THE THINGS, and that should immediately make you highly skeptical. When they listed bipolar disorder as one of the many illness that can be "cured" by this diet, I was appalled. That's not only ridiculous, it's
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, health, nonfiction
I have a coworker who loves this, so I decided to check it out. I read it out loud to my husband on a long road trip last spring, and we agreed to give it a try.
It's an adjustment to change eating habits so drastically, but we've both experienced health benefits since we did it—weight loss for both of us, and a huge improvement in my breathing for me. I've had asthma since I was a kid, and in the past couple of years, it felt like it was getting worse. After changing my diet, I'm completely off
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Britany by: Lindsey Anderson
I loved and appreciated Melissa's sarcastic, tough, no-nonsense writing throughout this book. She has an answer for every question and if there's a website filled with a support system, resources, and even more recipes and answers.

Whole30 is not a diet, it's a lifestyle- this mantra is repeated throughout the guidebook. She starts off with the rules, what you can eat, what you can't, how our bodies respond to change, what to expect day by day, and including notes on what to do in social settings
Amanda Abbate
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have really enjoyed the recipes in this books so far. And also the brief explanation of the Whole30 concept. I have seen a lot of complaints about the book containing simple recipes like how to fry an egg, but when you are eating simple whole foods knowing how to prepare them well makes all the difference in the world! I know I will reference this book a lot for the large section on sauces, dips, and dressings. It's nice to be able to whip up homemade mayonnaise, ketchup, or dressing to spice ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

I got this from my daughter for my birthday. She was inspired to buy it for me after experiencing sucess from following the regime herself and thought it may help me. It definately sounds promising, especially taking into account her and her friend's (that has also done it and seen some amazing results regarding her serious health issues) first hand testimonies. I am willing to try it-- but I must admit, it really does sound challenging, with all the foods to be eliminated for at least 30 days
EDIT (11/17/16): Fixed minor grammar problems.

The Whole30 is an extreme paleo diet that claims to improve everything from joint pain to AHDH to sleep apnea. Regardless of how truthful that is, the diet itself is deceptively simple: it’s the food version of a juice cleanse. The end-goal of the diet is to break addictions to unhealthy sugars, carbs, and dairy products by following a cold turkey regime. The Hartwigs have made great efforts to avoid being just another fad diet, and have cultivated a
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I pre-ordered this book in January and received an advance copy. After having read It Starts with Food last year and participating in the Januray 2015 Whole30, I was still left with some lingering questions. This book will answer any and all questions you may have about completing the Whole30. The FAQ sections are very informative and lengthy. The book is wonderfully written in Melissa's no nonsense style which I love.

The second half of the book is full of recipes and meal plans which are great
Zoë Ms
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
While reading this book I learned about healthy eating and new recipes to explore. This book is a healthy cook book which goes in depth about the science behind cooking. To be honest I did not follow every days meal but I did enjoy cooking some of the dishes with my family. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t know where to start.
This book was very helpful in terms of tips and advice for doing the Whole 30 successfully. I enjoyed reading through the beginning of the book. Unfortunately, once I got to the recipe section of the book... I was less than impressed. Some of the staple recipes are helpful and I might try the chili recipe, but I think they could have done a better job at supplying tastier looking recipes.
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are like me, you will do the Whole30 (or something like it) more than once. If you are on your 3rd round (like me), you may not get much from this book. That said, it's well written and obscenely simplified and detailed and really targets those who have NOT done a Whole30 yet, or those who have tried and failed. The authors really said it well...this book is the equivalent of training wheels on your bike. It gives you all the support you need, and where to go for even more support on the ...more
Laura Leaney
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My five star rating is for content not literary merit. The authors have a wonderful clarity in providing the rationale for eating unprocessed food. I feel (momentarily) convinced. I believe I may try their 30 day plan - but I probably will not begin until late September because I've got engagements where the consumption of wine may be required in order to appear normal. In the meantime, I've donated a lot of crap food from my pantry and freezer to Harbor Interfaith homeless shelter, forcing myse ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
Excited to start my first Round of Whole30 next week! I’ll be honest, I’d heard so many people talk about this lifestyle change for awhile now, but my preconceptions were that it was just another diet trend geared toward all the meat and vegetables. I didn’t realize the whole theory of breaking bad relationships with food along with the habits and strongholds that go with what you put in your body when you’re bored, anxious, stressed, etc. The science behind the Whole30 movement makes so much se ...more
Feb 01, 2017 added it
I didn't actually read this book from cover to cover, I used it to help me prepare meals for my husband's diet. He just completed this personal challenge and I'm so proud of him!
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually interested in diet books. But the Whole30 is not a weight loss diet. It's not even a healthier way of eating. It's only meant to last for 30 days. You can repeat the diet if you want to. But the whole purpose of Whole30 is to eliminate a wide number of foods that cause digestive food sensitivity, and immune system problems in order to let the body reset. Then you gradually re-introduce these foods and pay attention to how they affect your body. To some extent, the plan makes sens ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wait, didn’t I just review this book?


So just this week, the “It Starts with Food” authors released a slightly more and slightly less comprehensive guide to their elimination diet program. In this section they have less detail than their previous book, but they make for it with a fairly intensive FAQ section. And then, the best part …

Cookbook! I am not a cook. I’m a baker, which really just means that I like sweets so much I want an excuse to eat them in their uncooked and cooked forms. But
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This review is more about the actual program than the book itself.

I did the Whole30 (the 30 days I marked as reading this book was actually me doing the program). I didn't have the crash or withdraw, but did notice some of the improvements they claim - like better sleep, more energy, feeling leaner, etc. I did not have other improvements that I was looking for - like my skin and a few other TMI things.

I did cook a lot and eat delicious food. There are several things that I will incorporate into
Tiffany Reads
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I rated this book a 4 purely based off the fact that I read every single word (with the exception of the chapters that didn't pertain to me: feeding your kids following Whole30, pregnancy/nursing guidelines, and if you have certain illnesses) and I've never done that with this type of book. The material is very easy to follow and the science is broken down in such a way that anyone can understand. I'll revisit my rating after I follow the plan for 30 days to state if it was effective and if it d ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like the concept. I enjoy many of the recipes. I LOVE the results!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's safe to say that this has changed my life and my outlook on food and how I eat it.
Quinn's Quippy Quotes
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although it's quite redundant in a lot of the verbiage, the program is made crystal clear.
Helga Cohen
The Whole 30 diet is not just a diet. It starts with food but claims to be a path to better health, effortless weight loss and improvements in sleep quality, energy and mood. It purports to be a lasting change in life for long term and will reset your system.
The book outlines the rules, the resources and how to cook menus and recipes provided to reset your health. It is based on the Paleo diet principles but is much more stringent. You have to read all labels in a grocery store extremely closely
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Melissa Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits. She is the co-creator of the Whole30 program, the New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole30 and It Starts With Food, and the author of Food Freeedom Forever and The Whole30 Cookbook.

Melissa has been featured by Dr. Oz, The Today S

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