With summer right around the corner, now just might be the time to give in to the program everyone has been talking about — Whole30.
The purpose of the diet is not specifically to lose weight, but rather to “reset your relationship with your health and with food,” according to the co-creator and the Whole30 Cookbook author Melissa Hartwig.
For 30 days, you eliminate foods deemed problematic by research—such as additives, sugar and refined carbs — then you slowly reintroduce those foods to track changes in how you feel.
The program has taken the social media world by storm, with people posting their recipes, tips and encouraging each other to stick to it for the whole month.
If you haven’t jumped on board just yet, here are a day’s worth of recipes to help get you started. As you’ll notice, the key to sticking to the diet while staying full is hearty proteins (yes, even bacon) balanced with large portions of fruits and veggies.
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Breakfast Stacks
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled and cut into 8 (½-in.-thick) rounds
¼ tsp. table salt, divided
¼ tsp. black pepper, divided
2 tsp. white vinegar
4 large eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. baby spinach
4 Whole30-compliant bacon slices (such as Wellshire), cooked crisp and broken in half
Whole30-compliant hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add sweet potatoes in a single layer, and cook until fork-tender and browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. Fill a wide saucepan with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar, and bring to a boil over high. Crack each egg into a separate small bowl. Gently slide each egg into boiling water. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 3 minutes for soft yolks or 5 minutes for firm yolks. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from pan, and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach, and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
4. Stack 2 sweet-potato rounds, and top evenly with spinach, bacon and poached egg. Top with a dash of hot sauce.
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Lunch: Tuna Nicoise Salad
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Whole30-compliant
Dijon mustard (such as Annie’s)
10 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. black pepper
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tsp. table salt
6-8 fresh asparagus stalks, trimmed
8 oz. baby arugula
2 (5-oz.) cans water-packed wild albacore tuna, drained and flaked
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
Small fresh basil leaves (optional)
1. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, olives, anchovy and garlic in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle oil into bowl, whisking constantly until emulsified. Sprinkle with pepper.
2. Cover potatoes with water in a large saucepan over high; add salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, uncovered, just until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 inch of water in pan. Transfer potatoes to a small bowl, cut in half, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Bring reserved water to simmer over medium. Add asparagus to pan; cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Immediately place in ice water to cool. Drain.
3. Divide arugula between 2 plates. Divide tuna, eggs, tomato, potatoes and asparagus evenly between servings. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette; sprinkle with basil if desired.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
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Dinner: Grilled Pork Chops with Watermelon Salad
2 tsp. chili powder
¾ tsp. table salt, divided
3/8 tsp. black pepper, divided
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
4 (1-in.-thick) boneless pork loin chops (about 6 oz. each)
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, chilled
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1. Preheat a grill to medium (350° to 400°). Combine chili powder, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in 2 tbsp. each of the olive oil and lime juice. Brush both sides of pork chops with oil mixture. Grill chops on oiled grates, uncovered, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 145°, 7 to 9 minutes. Let rest 3 to 5 minutes.
2. For the salad, combine watermelon, onion and cilantro in a medium bowl. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. each olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper; toss gently to coat.
3. Serve pork chops with watermelon salad. Serve with lime wedges, and sprinkle with additional cilantro.
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes