Whole 30 - It Starts with Food Review

by Carolyn Purcell, Project Manager for Fresh University

“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy.

Those are your options.”


It Starts With Food presents the WHOLE30 Program and details the science and reasoning behind it all. Authors Dallas and Melissa Hartwig challenge you, teach you, make you laugh, and most importantly, change your understanding of and relationship with food for better long-term health

The WHOLE30 Program promotes eating only real food for 30 days. Real food is defined as: meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. These foods have very few ingredients, pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients at all because they are completely natural and unprocessed. Processed foods, including but not limited to sugar, dairy, grains and legumes, are proven to have a negative impact on the health and fitness of many individuals. Completely stripping these food groups from your diet for 30 days will revealfood sensitivities you may have, reset your metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation levels, and empower you with information on how your body responds to certain foods and what foods will and will not make you healthier. The authors developed a set of standards for which all food on the Whole30 must fit into. They call these the Good Food Standards, which state the following:

The foods we eat should:

1.       Promote a healthy psychological response.
2.       Promote a healthy hormonal response.
3.       Support a healthy gut.
4.       Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

Participants who have committed to this program for 30 days experience increased energy levels, reduced inflammation within the body (inflammation can contribute to aches and pains within the body, colds and allergies, and skin and fertility issues), improved mood/emotional balance, and weight loss.

Though the WHOLE30 Program may initially seem daunting, the Hartwigs provide excellent resources to make it a more manageable venture. The book includes testimonials, a detailed shopping guide, meal-planning templates and delicious quick-and-easy recipes. Guidance on how to garner support from family and friends and how to deal with those who may not support you in new healthy eating habits is also provided. Additionally, there is a whole chapter dedicated to individuals with a condition that warrants further dietary concerns, such as IBS, autoimmune conditions, and food allergies to support them through WHOLE30, as well as a chapter that presents strategies for everyone to achieve long-term success with the program.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to fine-tune their health, better understand how food works with the body, identify food sensitivities, understand how food affects hormones, improve gut health and much more.