Whole30-A-Z-header

The Whole30™ A-Z: Real Life Testimonials

In this post, we’ll be listing (and constantly updating) real life testimonials from people who have experienced life-changing results from their Whole30™ program.  From asthma to blood pressure to circulation to diabetes, we’re sharing Whole30 results here, all in one spot, to motivate, inspire and encourage someone (maybe even you) to give the program a shot.

Our list is far from complete – we’ve got a pile of emails, posts and comments to go through, so we’ll be adding more and more quotes over the course of the next few weeks.  Want to contribute your own story to our list?  Submit your results as related to a specific condition, symptom, disease or affliction (including your first name, last initial and city/state) to whole30@whole9life.com

Thank you for reading, for forwarding, for participating and most of all, for helping to create the kind of sharing, giving community we have here at Whole9.

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Acid Reflux

“I have been dealing with acid reflux since 2008. Since doing the Whole 30 I have had no reflux at all and can eat all the foods that would give me reflux before with no problems at all – even green peppers, tomato, raw carrots and raw broccoli.” Amy Honeycutt, Dobson, NC

“I started the Whole30 at 218lbs, 37 inch waist, and no energy.  I also started the with over 8 years of acid reflux medication under my belt.  I was up to 40-60mg of Prilosec/Omeprazole to rid myself of heartburn symptoms.  I could not (prior to the Whole30) skip one dose of my medication without experiencing severe heartburn.   Also prior to the program, I was also experiencing recurrent joint pain, specifically in my hands and hips.  After just 30 days, I now weigh 199lbs, my waist is at 34 inches, I have not taken a single dose of my medication for the entire program, and I have absolutely no hand or hip pain.  And the interesting part – I did not exercise.  I lost 19lbs, 3 inches off my waist and didn’t exercise a bit. –Jeremy M, Eagle River, AK

“Right after I graduated from high school in 2010, my ENT diagnosed me with acid reflux. It came in an unusual form: instead of intense heartburn, it was causing me to have chronic walking pneumonia. (I realize this needs explaining. In my ENT’s words, the acid in my throat was keeping the pH balance at a ‘happy’ level for infection. Therefore, no matter how many times I took antibiotics, the sickness kept coming back because of the pH balance in my throat.) I took daily high dosages of prilosec/nexium from 2010-2012 and stayed walking-pneumonia-free (when I had been getting it over and over again from 2008-2010). The few times I tried to stop medication, I immediately contracted walking pneumonia again. However, after reading Whole30 testimonials, I broke my medication the same time I began my first Whole30 in August of 2012. I haven’t taken a pill and haven’t been sick since.” -Rosemary J., Birmingham, AL

Acne

Read Judy’s story here:  http://whole9life.com/2011/03/whole30-acne-judys-story/

See Sabrina’s photo documentary here:  http://sabrinabeans.blogspot.com/2011/05/whole30-summary-in-pictures.html

“After taking  medicine for years to combat adult acne – which was bad enough that my wife went to the Mayo Clinic seeking relief – both of us are off all our medication, and our skin has never looked better.” Brian C., Burnsville, MN

“Finished my first Whole30 yesterday, and I feel great. I lost 7 pounds, and my skin looks fantastic. I’ve had acne since the 5th grade, and my face hasn’t been this clear since then. I just cannot express how incredibly happy I am for doing this. Many people that I’ve talked to about this keep calling it a diet, but the Whole30 is so totally not a diet. I know this sounds lame, even after so many other people have expressed similar sentiments, but it is life changing. These 30 days have been life altering and awesome.”  -Hilary L., Platteville, WI

“I was 14 (1975) and at the doctor for a foot problem the first time someone remarked on my acne.  He prescribed washing my face with Sunlight soap and completely cutting out sugar.  (Yes, even then.)  However, I lived in a house with two desserts at every meal and a mother who is famous for her wondrous white home baked bread.  Fast forward 38 years (2013) and I was still struggling with cystic acne after four rounds of Accutane, countless years on antibiotics and every potion – prescription or over-the-counter – that a person could try.  After playing with a paleo diet for a year, my skin was noticeably clearer but I still had residual cysts and cyclic breakouts.  After 30 days on the Whole30, I have clear skin.  Every cyst is gone.  My skin is surprisingly less oily. Hallelujah!  Oh, and as a side benefit, I’ve lost some weight, my chronic hunger has disappeared, my nose has almost completely stopped dripping, I’m sleeping great and my achy knees have disappeared.” -Joyce R., via Facebook

Allergies (Food)

“I have more allergies to more things than anyone I have ever met. In addition to pretty much every pollen out there, corn, soy, and wheat, I have oral allergies to pretty much all raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. When I eat them, my mouth/head/throat gets itchy. If I continued to eat them, hello anaphylactic shock!  (During the Whole30), my selection of safe raw fruits and veggies expanded exponentially. I went from pretty much lettuce being the only safe thing, to being able eat apples, oranges, all manner of berries, carrots, peppers, hazelnuts, spinach, cabbage, and so on. After not being able to have them for years and years, I am downright rabid with excitement.” Kim C., Helena, MT

Allergies (Seasonal)

“My wife and I have had terrible seasonal allergies for several years.  Now, our allergies have all disappeared.  We are off all allergy meds – which we used to take like candy.  As for our 4 year old daughter, we are two weeks into her Whole30, and I am amazed to report that her allergy symptoms are virtually gone.  No sneezing. No runny nose.  After taking both a pill and nose spray for much of her 4 years of life, her allergy symptoms are better now than they have ever been.” Brian C., Burnsville, MN

“(Since my Whole30), my environmental allergies have improved. Previously I was taking a Benadryl every morning after my workout and before work, and another at night – just so I could function. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had a Benadryl! Talk about changing someone’s life – I can be outside and enjoy it. It’s truly awesome!” -eeevans3, via the Whole30 forum

Just left the allergy doctor. Was released off of 3 of 5 of my asthma/allergy meds. Thanks to Whole9 Life for decreasing my medical bill. Symptoms have greatly improved since following your plan.” -Nicole S., Avon IN

We were curious to see if the Whole30 would help our 8-year-old, who has allergies, eczema, and asthma.  Also, our 4-year-old would hardly eat anything and was losing hair in clumps, Hubs and I needed to lose some weight, and we wanted to start early helping our 10-month-old develop good eating habits. The health benefits started piling up… our 8-year-old’s eczema cleared up, she was able to get off of her daily allergy and asthma meds, and her belly was no longer tightly bloated.  Our middle child’s hair stopped falling out, and her appetite picked up so much that we were actually having to convince her to stop eating instead of always cajoling her to please just take a bite. Our youngest went from being at the bottom of our pediatrician’s height-weight chart to being of average size. Hubs noticed that he was having less heartburn, I dropped an entire clothing size, and when we weighed at the end of the month, he and I had lost a shocking 18 pounds each. In one month!” –FJW. Read their whole story here: http://wholeschooling.wordpress.com/

Anemia

“I just finished the Whole30!  My purpose for doing it started with the discovery that I have severe anemia.  My HGB levels were 8.3 gm/dl (normal range is 12-16).  In just 30 days on your program, I am up to 11.8!  I can only imagine what the next few months will bring.  Virginia C., Orange County, CA

Anxiety

“I’ve always had a problem with anxiety. You know: the chest-tightening, stomach-clenching, always-worrying kind of anxiety. I thought it was a spiritual and emotional problem. But it turns out that a big part of it was actually physiological. Thanks to the Whole30 I sleep better. I freak out about things less. And I’m just happier. Sure, I still combat anxiety. But the panic button in my chest has gone mostly dormant.” Brooke L, Long Island NY (Read Brooke’s full post on her Whole30 here.)

“To say that the Whole30 is life-changing would be an understatement. Of course there are physical changes: definite weight loss and an increase in strength and stamina. But following the Whole 30 has allowed me to take control of my health and that has spilled over to all parts of my life. I’ve had severe anxiety and panic attacks that came out of nowhere. It almost bordered on agoraphobia. All of that is gone. The mental attitude that I currently have is priceless. It’s not ‘Stepford wife’ happy, but naturally optimistically calm and happy in a lucid kind of way. I still have my bad days and get irritated but I deal with all of that so much better and let it roll off my back.” -Dominik C., New York, NY

Arthritis

“I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since childhood. As a waitress, I used to get to the end of the day and my feet, knees, and hips would hurt so much. My joints were always swollen and stiff, and I’ve tried numerous medications that failed to provide relief. After my Whole30, I was completely pain-free for the first time since diagnosis. My joint stiffness and swelling were gone, I was able to go off my medication and I no longer hurt after a long day on my feet. And I’ve been able to maintain my pain-free status, as long as I stay compliant with the Whole9 way of eating.” Amber H., Kelowna, BC

“I have suffered with osteoarthritis of my knees and hips for several years due to being an overweight runner, CrossFitter and plyo jumper.  During the last 6 months I have moved to only working out with kettlebells and practicing Bikram yoga to reduce impact on joints. I started my Whole30 on April 25th. I have seen a 75% improvement in pain and inflammation in my knee in just the last month.  I have not had to take any anti-inflammatories during this time.  I think I may be able to cure myself with this way of eating!” Shellene M., Mobile, Alabama

“I am 58 and the grandmother of 8. I have arthritis in both knees, no cartilage in my left knee, and was told I needed a replacement.  I also have been diagnosed with lupus. I was at a point where I thought I would have to go to a walker soon, the pain was so bad. I had to force myself to get out of bed each day. I did a Whole 30 about four months ago, and on the 20th day…KAPOW!  I got out of bed and did not need a cane to walk with, and I had ENERGY!!!  It was amazing. Since the Whole30, I have not used any pain medication and have not been using my cane.  I have even started hiking again!” –Linda D., Fullerton, CA

“I did my first Whole30 last fall mainly to try to relieve some pretty severe joint pain.  It took 3 weeks for the pain to go away but it did!  I was so relieved to find a nutritional solution rather than head to the rheumatologist.  After going ‘off-track’ through the holidays my pain started to return.  I knew I needed to get back on track as I am preparing to play in a tennis league this spring and I need to be able to hold my racquet.  This time, after starting over, my pain was gone in just one week.  It has been great to identify what my main triggers for pain (bread, sugar) are, and to learn that I can survive—and thrive—by fueling my body with whole foods that actually cost less overall and make me feel great!” Cris A, Loveland, CO

Asthma

“I have been a lifelong acute asthmatic.  Hundreds of ER visits, hospitalizations and so forth. It was around week 2 (of my Whole30) when my miracle happened.  I went out for a warm up 400M run – something I dread every day, and something I have never been able to do.  But it was during this run where there was suddenly a feeling like I had legs (and lungs) of a gazelle.  I had never felt this in a 33 years.  So much so that I voluntarily went on another run…and another.  In the time that I began the Whole 30 (on October 4th) to the current date (December 15th), I have been un-medicated for the first time in my life.  I would normally have to take 4-5 control medications, and my inhaler multiple times a day.  It is something miraculous to feel life as you have never known it.” Andrea B., Minneapolis, MN

We were curious to see if the Whole30 would help our 8-year-old, who has allergies, eczema, and asthma.  Also, our 4-year-old would hardly eat anything and was losing hair in clumps, Hubs and I needed to lose some weight, and we wanted to start early helping our 10-month-old develop good eating habits. The health benefits started piling up… our 8-year-old’s eczema cleared up, she was able to get off of her daily allergy and asthma meds, and her belly was no longer tightly bloated.  Our middle child’s hair stopped falling out, and her appetite picked up so much that we were actually having to convince her to stop eating instead of always cajoling her to please just take a bite. Our youngest went from being at the bottom of our pediatrician’s height-weight chart to being of average size. Hubs noticed that he was having less heartburn, I dropped an entire clothing size, and when we weighed at the end of the month, he and I had lost a shocking 18 pounds each. In one month!” –FJW. Read their whole story here: http://wholeschooling.wordpress.com/

Atrial Fibrillation (see also ‘Heart Conditions’)

“Throughout most of my life I have continued to follow what medicine has taught us to be a “heart-healthy” diet, including lots of whole grains (the foundation of the food pyramid) with an emphasis on low saturated fat. I believe the combination of this lifestyle—the  diet, overall stress from work and created by my endurance activities—led to my development of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. After a thorough heart evaluation, the physician’s recommendation was to put me on medicine that would suppress some of the abnormal electrical activity in my heart. For several years I increased the number of whole grains in my diet and continued to watch fats and saturated fats, feeling that I needed to be extra careful to protect my heart. Under this system I was having increasingly frequent bouts of fibrillation that required increasing doses of medicine. Last November I started my first Whole30. To my surprise, within two or three days I noticed a significant improvement in my heart rhythm. This continued to improve over the next several weeks to the point where I began reducing the amount of my heart medicine. I continued to see gradual improvements, and currently I’m not taking any medications to regulate my heart. I also noticed significant improvement in how my G.I. tract felt, I had increased energy levels, and I was becoming physically leaner.” -Dana Christianson, M.D. (read his full testimonial)

Autism

See Nicole’s story here: http://whole30.com/2012/02/the-whole30-and-pdd/

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Back Pain

“I didn’t know it, but I fractured my back in the Army about 17 years ago. I had continuous pain and 16 years after the fracture I had a 30-foot fall off of a climbing structure. Fast forward nine months when I started the Whole 30, which is a rockin’ awesome eating approach. At day 30 I reassessed how far I’d come, and figured out that my formerly fractured back stopped hurting for the first time in 17 years. Ibuprofen consumption for my back is now a thing of the past, thank goodness!” -Ryan C., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“I just want to share what the Whole30 has done for me. I have always been an active person, but after my three kids were born, my eating habits and active lifestyle began to break down. After I turned 41, my back felt the results of three C-sections, life stress/tragedies, and keeping up with the kids. I was “addicted” to ibuprofen, taking 600mg every morning AND 600 mg every night for the last year. I used to have to roll out of bed and onto the floor before I could actually move. My chiropractor took me off of all exercise except some core strength. After a friend gave me It Starts With Food, I began the Whole30 and started taking a fish oil supplement. Today, I am totally pain medication-free, and yesterday I actually did some overhead squats without any pain at all!” -Aimee O. Stockbridge GA

Behavior Issues (Kids)

“Before the Whole30, our 6 year old son would get angry very quickly, go into rages, act aggressively and would generally get out of control when he was angry. It was awful to see our sweet little boy literally out of control and furious. Once our family started the Whole30, within days, his behavior began to change. We noticed he was calmer, less aggressive, would take longer to get angry, etc. Now that the Whole30 is over, he is a much happier child. The change in his behavior and general demeanor is amazing. He’s had a complete turn-around, and we attribute this incredible change to the Whole30.” –Emma C., Raleigh NC

Bipolar Disorder

“One of the things that has been so dramatic for me is that I was diagnosed a few years ago with ADHD and bipolar disorder.  I am completely symptom free, meds free, from those when I eat this way (Whole30).  The thing about bipolar disorder is that it does run in cycles, so some people do really great for a while and then really horrible for a while, etc.  However, my family and friends can attest to the fact that I am JUST FINE today… without any medication at all.”   B.M., location withheld for privacy

Blood Pressure

“I have been on blood pressure and cholesterol medicine since my 20’s. With meds, my blood pressure would held around 130/90, and my cholesterol could be kept under 200. After my Whole30, my blood pressure was 115/70, and cholesterol was down to 140. My biggest noted difference was I had a much more consistent energy level throughout the day, and my hands were no longer swollen every morning.” Dianna B., Albuquerque, NM

“(Kevin) started this whole thing at nearly 300 pounds, on cholesterol and high blood pressure meds.  He is now in the 260s, which he hasn’t been in over a decade.  His adherence to the Whole30 has not only helped him drop all his medications and decrease his weight, but inspired and enabled a better-is-better attitude to permeate his whole life.”  Kevin K., Baltimore, MD (as submitted by his sister)

“My family has a history of high blood pressure, which I was beginning to see play out in my life before I made the switch (to the Whole30). My normal BP went from 140/100 to 116/76 in a month – and stayed there.” Jesse R., Nashville, TN

“My husband’s blood pressure has gone from 140/90 to 90/60.”  -Julie F., Portland, OR

“My doctor recommended I consider the Whole30 program when I told him I wanted to quit taking blood pressure medication. I was not greatly over weight, only about 20 pounds, but have a long personal and family history of high blood pressure. Thanks to the Whole30, I am finally off my BP medication, I stopped snoring, I’ve lost 15 pounds, I have consistent high energy all day, my temper is not so short, and I feel at least 10 years younger. This has been a life changing experience for me. I had no idea the food I was eating was causing so many problems.” -Scott V., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“Thank you for your wonderful program and first-rate book.  I’m 58 this week, and when my daughter told me about ‘It Starts with Food’ I was intrigued, especially when she mentioned anti-inflammation. I’m closely monitored each year because of a bout with sarcoidosis when I was in my 30′s. I’ve been on Whole30 since September 1, 2012, and my doctor, who has been with me for 25 years, is amazed. Virtually every single health indicator measured by elaborate ‘wellness tests’ (blood pressure, CVD inflammation profile, etc.) showed improvement. He said I was literally turning back the clock in a manner he’d never seen before in his decades of practice. I don’t know any older male who has ever gotten off Lipitor, but I’m doing it!” –Dan S., Washington, D.C.

Breast Cancer

“My wife went through breast cancer, surgery, and chemo in 2010, and her treatment protocol requires her to take estrogen inhibitors for five years post chemo. It was an instant thrust into menopause and all that goes with that. Though an avid runner and on a Paleo diet, she could not lose any of the weight she gained during chemo and recovery. Then came our Whole 30 in August — a full month with no sugar. Guess what… even though she ate more, the excess weight started to melt away. Here is what we learned: sugar, even in small daily amounts, makes a huge impact on fat burning. We also have to think that she’s also doing herself a very good thing in preventing a return of cancer in her body.” Guy J., Melbourne FL

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Candida Overgrowth

“Eight years ago I had a service dog, as I could not walk on my own. The pain I lived with was unbearable. Finally, after being misdiagnosed for years, I was diagnosed and treated for Lyme. It saved my life but also nearly destroyed me. The effects of the long term, high dose antibiotics allowed candida to take over—and my diet was feeding it. I was back to where I was eight years ago, only I could no longer tolerate any kind of food; was 40# overweight; had vomiting, stomach pain, and bloating; no balance, daily headaches, and the joint pain was the worst it ever was. Last March, my doctor (Dr. Lucas Readinger) changed my medications and corrected the medical issues—then he directed me here, to the Whole30. What I didn’t know then was that this would be the most life altering change and healing process I had experienced thus far. Dr. Readinger and the Whole30 diet have healed me. The bloated stomach is gone, my ankles are no longer the size of my thighs, my skin glows, my eyes are clear and white, even my fingernails are growing out nice and smooth—and I’ve lost 27#! My life has changed totally since I started the whole30 in March. You have given me not only my life back, but the desire to share the experience with others in hopes it will open their minds to the importance the food we eat, and how it can heal us.” –Dawn B.,  Viriquoi, WI

Celiac Disease

“I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue in 1992, so I’ve been gluten-free since then. Because of the trauma to my gut, I developed other food sensitivities and environmental sensitivities as well. I learned to deal with them and be reasonably active, but I had reoccurring bouts of months of intestinal bloating and debilitating fatigue. I was trying all sorts of probiotics, digestive enzymes, nothing was helping. Then I stumbled across the Whole30. The bloating was gone in a few days, and has not returned. I noticed improved energy/stamina and clearer thinking. My environmental reactions aren’t as severe. For someone with Celiac Sprue, this way of eating provides OPTIMAL wellness.” Sandy H., Middleport, NY

Cholesterol

“My husband had struggled with high cholesterol for four years, and was about to go back on statin drugs. I pleaded with him to give the Whole30 a try with me for the month of January 2012. We did the Whole30 together, and my husband retook his cholesterol test at the end of the month. His numbers dropped from 250 to 189 (down 61 points) in just 30 days! We also lost a combined weight of 35 lbs in just one month. This lifestyle has changed our lives drastically in so many ways!”  -Jackie R., Richmond Hill, GA

“Besides losing 15 pounds, the most notable result from my Whole30 program is that my cholesterol dropped 37 points, from 233 to 196 in just six weeks! Prior to doing the Whole30, my doctor had wanted me to start taking prescription cholesterol medication. I’m happy that I did not have to do that!” Derek S., Minneapolis, MN

“My 58 year old dad has lowered his cholesterol almost 30 points, was taken off one of the blood pressure medications he has been on for ten years, and lost 13 lbs on his Whole30.” Amy Honeycutt, Dobson, NC

“My 50 year old body really needed a tune-up. I also had high cholesterol (252) that gave concern to my doctor. Enter the Whole30. My waist is now a 31, my cholesterol is down to 207 (a drop of 45 points), triglycerides are down to normal, LDL is normal, and HDL is normal.” -Bill B.

“I had high LDL, high TG (triglycerides), low HDL, and small particle size LDL. After my Whole30 (about a year later), I got LipoScience to do all my labwork.  Wow!  Triglycerides plummeted,  HDL went up,  and LDL dropped 20 mg/dl.  Plus I now have the larger, puffier LDL particles.  And now my risk of diabetes is really low! Thank you so much!” Giovanni de Matteis, Raleigh, NC

Cholesterol went down by 70 points.  (Not to mention my mild depression/anxiety is gone, moods definitely improved, itchy ear cleared up, strange tenderness in upper left calf that I’ve had for 15+ years is gone, exercise induced asthma is gone, and I have no allergies this season.) LOVE IT!”  Mary B., Portland, OR

“Thank you for your wonderful program and first-rate book.  I’m 58 this week, and when my daughter told me about ‘It Starts with Food’ I was intrigued, especially when she mentioned anti-inflammation. I’m closely monitored each year because of a bout with sarcoidosis when I was in my 30′s. I’ve been on Whole30 since September 1, 2012, and my doctor, who has been with me for 25 years, is amazed. Virtually every single health indicator measured by elaborate ‘wellness tests’ (blood pressure, CVD inflammation profile, etc.) showed improvement. He said I was literally turning back the clock in a manner he’d never seen before in his decades of practice. I don’t know any older male who has ever gotten off Lipitor, but I’m doing it!” –Dan S., Washington, D.C.

“In August 2011, I went to the doctor, was quickly diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, and walked out with a script for Prozac.  A year later, I another doctor diagnosed me with blood sugar, high cholesterol and most likely Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. And while now I was even more depressed, that doctor just wrote me a script for a high dose of Metformin. I HAD to do something with myself. I HAD to make a change. About a year or so ago, a friend mentioned the Whole30.  I am really happy to say that those 30 days changed my life. The results: I went from 227lbs to 208lbs in 30 days. My total cholesterol went from 250 to 194. Triglycerides went from 162 to 94. I no longer suffer from the year long seasonal allergies that plagued me. And, finally, I haven’t cried in about 37 days now. I feel calm & steady. I don’t feel like I am going to self-destruct at any given second. I am not an emotional mess & no longer have unexplained anxiety. For the first time in my life, I feel healthy and alive. I don’t feel like I am a walking zombie in pain and it feels good!” – Reesa L., East Windsor, NJ

“@whole9life after #whole30 my cholesterol went from 215 to 144!!! Unreal!” -Stephanie S., from Twitter

Chronic Fatigue

“My A1C was climbing to a pre-diabetic range, despite my dietary efforts, and my endocrinologist suggested that perhaps I might need to consider going on metformin. I was seriously overweight and just looked puffy. My feet and ankles swelled uncomfortably each day. I had been struggling with chronic fatigue for at least a decade. Shortly after I moved to back to Ohio, my already declining health took a turn for the worse. I was bedridden or mostly bedridden for several months. After going gluten-free, I made progress with my health and wellness, yet still faced a life of fatigue. On July 23, 2012, I began my Whole30, but went on to complete a Whole100. I lost 30 lbs. My A1C is back down to perfectly normal levels and I haven’t had a blood sugar crash since I started the Whole30. My restored energy levels have been life changing. I have energy again! Now I bound out of my car and through my day. More important, I’m doing things with my kids again, able to go places and do things with them. In just 10 short months, I went from living half an existence to launching an amazing, fully-lived life! It’s hard to believe, but at 46, I feel like my awesome life is just beginning!” –Andrea T., via her blog

After battling chronic back pain and (as a result) chronic fatigue since I was 16, the Whole30 has finally given me the relief for which I’ve desperately searched for so long.  On today, my 30th day, I am vowing to live a life in which I am in control.” –Colleen, via Facebook

Chronic Pain

My Whole30 in January 2013 freed me from a life of terrible back pain. We were considering whether I was going to eventually need a wheelchair. I have been pain free in my back since then. Life changing!”  Kim C., Nashville, TN

Circulation

“During my Whole42 (6 weeks), I noticed a marked improvement in my circulation. I’ve always had circulation issues, even when I’m active. My feet will turn blue, my hands will go numb, etc., if I sit or stand still too long, and sometimes even when I’m walking. By the end of the 6 weeks, I didn’t notice these circulation issues any longer, and that was just with clean eating and daily walking- no extensive exercise, which is what it usually takes to keep my circulation normal.”  Jean A., Stillwater, OK

Cravings

“A year ago I was still eating boxes of cookies at a time, or doughnut after doughnut in meetings. My diet looked remarkably like the “bad day” in It Starts With Food. During the Whole30 I lost weight, got off the sugar Horror-Go-Round, and started sleeping. I gained control of sugar. I’ve developed the ability to turn down all of the free sugar available in my workplace. Not only do I not eat that stuff now, but I don’t even think about it. I don’t fight to have only a small portion of ice cream. I don’t rob the kids’ Halloween bags. Sugar does not control me.” –Emily G., Estes Park, CO

“This program has shown results that I didn’t think were possible. Prior to Whole30 I recognized that I had severe difficulties dealing with food cravings and knowing when to stop eating. Daily I asked myself, ‘How can I get these urges under control? Why do I feel like I NEED these bad foods? Where should I go for help?’  Whole30 is the answer.  I haven’t felt the deep desire to pig out that I used to experience since I’ve submerged myself into this program. I don’t feel like I have to struggle to make decisions when trying to decide what to eat. It’s as simple as knowing that what I have been eating is beneficial to me, and that is how I will continue to nourish myself.”  Mr. Hummer, Whole9 web site

“I finally came to realize that I have an addiction to carbs and sugar.  Prior to this, I had never heard of Whole30 or Paleo. By the second week of my Whole30, my cravings had leveled off and I noticed some small changes – my stomach didn’t hurt like it used to, I wasn’t bloated all the time, and I discovered that I really didn’t miss most of the things that I had eliminated from my diet. Fast forward to day 30 and I can honestly say that I feel fantastic! I am so amazed at what 30 days has done.  My skin is the clearest it has ever been, my stomach issues have resolved, I am no longer lethargic all of the time and I feel that I have beaten my carb and sugar addiction! My clothes are looser and I feel so happy! I am so proud of myself for sticking with this.” –Mindy N., Pensacola, FL

Crohn’s Disease

“I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand up straight.  Every time I ate something, it hurt.  I ended up in the emergency room while on vacation when I could no longer keep food down.  After 3 days of tests they decided I probably had Crohn’s.  I had surgery the next day to remove 2.5 feet of my intestines, including part of my colon (1999).  At this point I only weighed 85 lbs.  The surgery did relieve the severe pain, however, I still dealt with intestinal spasms, and gut pain sometimes after eating. I completed my first Whole 30 in March 2010.  Through the process, the intestinal pain, gas, and bloating went away.  My energy levels have improved as well as my attitude and outlook on life.”  Sarah G., Fort Collins, CO 

“I don’t really believe in much that claims to ‘change your life,’ so when a friend presented me with the Whole30, I didn’t expect much. At 15, I suffered my first Crohn’s episode, resulting in a bowel resection. For more than 20 years I have battled the disease. I’ve been hospitalized a couple of times, and suffer from inflammation, bloating, severe diarrhea, and joint pain. Six months ago I jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, and then went dairy-free too. While I felt better, the bloating stayed put. Then, I started the Whole30. I am at day 32 now… and you have changed my life!  I have lost my bloat belly, 15 lbs, and most importantly, I have not had a single episode in a month. My joints feel great and I sleep like a baby. I have finally found the right combination of food for my body. I never once lacked energy. Thank you for providing me with the tools to change my life.” –Amanda S., via the Whole30 forum

“I got suddenly, very sick in 2003. I woke up one day feeling as if an elephant was sitting on my chest, and through the day, my heart would just start racing for no reason. I ended up being admitted to the hospital for almost a week due to a pulmonary embolism and a blood clot in my leg. Instead of getting better, I got sicker. It took just a few months to be diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The next 4 years were pretty rough, regular admits to the hospital, liquid only for months to rest my intestines, medications with side effects that were very real and very scary, and a total redefinition of my life. But then, I started to feel a little better. But I didn’t feel good, not as good as I knew I could feel. I wanted to feel great, to be the healthiest person I could be even with a disease they don’t know how to cure. Then I stumbled on the paleo diet. The science geek in me fell flat out in love with Robb Wolf’s podcasts. One day, he had Melissa and Dallas from the Whole9 on, so I checked them out online. I ran out that night and bought ISWF and started the Whole30. Now that I’ve finished my Whole30 I could cry. This didn’t just change my life, it’s blown my mind. I’m not good, I’m better than that and I want to share that. Joint pains I’ve dealt with for years are gone. My skin is just nicer. My body just feels good, like every cell in my body is rejoicing in some serious sunshine and rainbows.” –Virginia R., Landing MI (Read Virginia’s story in its entirety)

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Depression

See Jane’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2011/12/whole30-depression/

“In the spring, I had a severe relapse of depression–my worst so far. I had to go on a whole bunch of different things to supplement the Prozac I’ve been on for a while – Remeron (an antidepressant), Klonopin (for anxiety), and Trazodone (for sleep), which made me sicker than anything I’ve taken, ever. In June, I started dealing with some alarming side effects, including a constant feeling that I was on the verge of passing out. Since my Whole30 program, I’ve been able to stop taking everything other than the Prozac. Not only do I feel the best I’ve ever felt, I also had zero negative side effects from *stopping* the Remeron–a drug that has a reputation for being tough to withdraw from. (I didn’t even do a gradual withdrawal, which is recommended.) I also went off of the Klonopin and the sleep meds. My energy level is high, I’m sleeping well, my skin is the clearest it’s ever been, and my mood is definitely more stable. I was tremendously impressed by the Whole30 program.” Alice B., Brooklyn, NY

I was stuck in the cycle of napping mid-day (for hours), depression, drinking a bottle of wine at a time with my friend, taking Wellbutrin and just feeling bloated, fat, tired and miserable. I decided to do the Whole30 again. Today, my clients tell me how obvious it is that I love what I do, that I’m so positive and happy and have so much energy. Who? ME? Yes, me. I am a different person eating this way. I’m happy, I smile at people, I laugh and feel so wonderful. I wake up ready to go, I’m thinking about dating again, my skin is clear, and I’ve lost inches. I don’t take Wellbutrin anymore and don’t need to. You have changed my life in more ways than you know.” –Erica E., Boston MA

“I finished my first Whole 30 two days ago. I cannot say enough about this program! I have PCOS and have suffered from migraines and depression most of my life. Within my first week of the Whole 30 my mood lifted. Within 2 weeks I could say I was actually happy, something I haven’t been able to say consistently ever! I haven’t had a migraine since I began, a nagging tendonitis in my ankle has disappeared, my skin has cleared up, I’m sleeping as if I’m in a coma and waking up feeling refreshed and ready for my workout. I feel like I’ve woken up to a brand new way of thinking and doing and I just feel fantastic!” -Holly B., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“In August 2011, I went to the doctor, was quickly diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, and walked out with a script for Prozac.  A year later, I another doctor diagnosed me with blood sugar, high cholesterol and most likely Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. And while now I was even more depressed, that doctor just wrote me a script for a high dose of Metformin. I HAD to do something with myself. I HAD to make a change. About a year or so ago, a friend mentioned the Whole30.  I am really happy to say that those 30 days changed my life. The results: I went from 227lbs to 208lbs in 30 days. My total cholesterol went from 250 to 194. Triglycerides went from 162 to 94. I no longer suffer from the year long seasonal allergies that plagued me. And, finally, I haven’t cried in about 37 days now. I feel calm & steady. I don’t feel like I am going to self-destruct at any given second. I am not an emotional mess & no longer have unexplained anxiety. For the first time in my life, I feel healthy and alive. I don’t feel like I am a walking zombie in pain and it feels good!” - Reesa L., East Windsor, NJ

Diabetes (Type 1)

See Meggie’s story here:  http://whole9life.com/2011/03/the-whole30-type-1-diabetes/

During and following our family’s Whole30, my son Jeremiah’s numbers are completely under control… and they never have been before. His numbers normally jump from low extremes to high extremes without any reason, and without anything we knew to do about it. It’s been very frustrating, but now, his numbers are PERFECT. The week before our Whole30 started we saw Jeremiah’s endocrinologist, and these are some of the numbers we showed her: 214, 37, 117, 279, 411, 279, 36, 57, 26, 43, 139, 276, 235, 253, 53, 376, 411, 173, 124, 204. Here are some numbers from our Whole30: 121, 136, 121, 84, 78, 70, 128, 81, 141, 119, 133, 85, 117, 95, 128, 102, 107, 112, 88, 107, 102. I can’t fully put into words how amazing this transformation has been. Instead of feeling like this Whole30 has put restrictions on us, I feel like we can BREATHE. I now KNOW without a doubt that Jeremiah’s body is working the best it can and that I am doing my job as his mom to keep it that way.” Jacque G. (Read Jeremiah’s whole story here.)

“My fiancé and I have been using the Whole30 as a guide for 5 weeks now with some slight modifications for my diabetes (type 1 for 25 years) and long distance running. I always thought I ate healthy, but with the switch to Paleo and adding CrossFit to my training I’ve gone from 160lbs to 165lbs and down from a 34″ pant size to a 32″. More importantly I’ve cut my insulin doses by 15% and I’ve never felt healthier. Thank you so much!-Tony S., Plano IL

“I’ve been type 1 diabetic for 17 years and have always been very health conscious. Conventional nutritionists tried to help me with my diet twice during that time and I always thought they were NUTS!  After my last consult, I decided I was completely done with seeing nutritionist that insisted that eating 100 calorie packs of junk was OK! I continued to do more research on my own and read about the connection between dairy and T1 diabetes, so I cut dairy on May 1st. Later on this summer I found your book, It Starts With Food, and it has helped me so much! I have been able to reduce my insulin amount three times so far, and I hope to continue to lower it. Right now this is the smallest amount of insulin I have ever used! My A1c has also come down! I finally feel like I have found a sustainable, healthy lifestyle! I suggest your book to practically everyone I can and am 100% sharing this lifestyle with as many people that will listen to me.” -Dorothy B., Appomattox, VA

“Spent the weekend with a family member who is a type 1 diabetic. I cooked every, meal as my husband and I are in the middle of a Whole60. The type 1 family member told us yesterday that since he’d been with us, his blood sugar has been more stable and much lower than normal, requiring less fiddling with his insulin. He said he normally has highs and lows that are harder to deal with, but he was amazed at how stable his blood sugar numbers had been all weekend. Furthermore, when he did need a little extra blood sugar to balance his usual higher doses of insulin, he reached for fruit instead of milk and graham crackers and was pleased at how well that worked for him.” -April V., Memphis, TN

I was diagnosed two years ago with adult-onset type 1 diabetes. After working with my endocrinologist we started an insulin regimen to get my glucose under control. I was enrolled in a group nutrition course where I didn’t really learn anything I didn’t already know. I was already eating pretty much how they suggested, I wasn’t obese, I had about 15 lbs to lose and was doing some forms of exercise. I was still struggling to get control of my glucose. My numbers were still elevated a bit higher than both my doctor and I wanted. They were not scary high, but just a little beyond reach of where was ideal. Then I started the Whole30. I cannot express the dramatic difference between my life on the Whole30. What the program provided for my glucose was enough for my endocrinologist at my most recent appointment to basically say just keep doing what your doing. He was blown away by how tight I had control over my glucose in such a fairly short time frame.-Brooks S., Everett. WA

“I’m a diabetic. Since I have been practicing the Whole30 I haven’t needed to take any of my fast acting insulin, I’ve gone from taking 14 units of my long lasting down to 8 units, and my blood sugar has been perfect all day long. I guess this is how I need to eat!” -Tommy D., Newton MA

Diabetes (Type 2)

Just finished my Whole30, and my blood sugar levels are now normal – COMPLETELY normal. My blood pressure is in the normal range now and staying. and have cut my diabetes meds in half. The pain, stiffness, soreness and “puffiness” is gone… and I lost about 25 pounds. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now life is a wonderful thing that I get to wake up to every morning. The Whole30 has changed my outlook on many things. It has changed my life.” Alan H., East Bremerton, WA

“I read up on the Whole30 after our Whole9 workshop and decided to participate. I have Type 2 diabetes and after hearing about the effects of medicine I was taking, decided that I wanted to stop my meds. Day 4: I am monitoring my sugar regularly. Started off with 164, then 155, and this AM it was 135 without meds. Day 5: started out really good. My sugar was down to 109 – in the normal range! Day 6: feel better than yesterday. Sugar still low at 113 which is great. Can’t believe how fast it’s gone down with this change and no meds! Day 10: sugar was down to all time low of 104… yay! Back on track of low sugar with no meds!… I completed my Whole30 and lost about 6 pounds… but the best part for me was feeling healthier, dropping a pant size, AND controlling my sugar levels without medication!” Maricel, as posted on the Whole9 web site

“My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He is 63 years old, and a very hard working physician.  The second he found out he was diabetic (about 8 years ago) he started on insulin, no messing about with other drugs first, or changing his diet like he should have way back then. Thanks to the Whole30, his diabetes, inflammation, asthma, and metabolic syndrome have improved dramatically! We finally are able to take off some weight, and have cut his insulin use in half!“-Lynne K., Hershey PA

“I’m a type 2 diabetic and on insulin. My A1C was 10.5 and triglycerides were over 600. At the age of 60, my health was failing fast. My son (who serves in the Army) is teaching CrossFit and has done the Whole30 twice. Twenty-five days ago, he talked me into trying the Whole30 too. After just five days – and with my doctor’s permission – I was able to stop taking insulin and my other diabetes medication. I’m back at the YMCA working out several times a week, and walking a mile every night. I’ve been able to stay awake in the evenings enjoying my wife’s company instead of sleeping in the chair. My blood sugars are back into normal fasting range after meals. I want to thank my son for introducing me to the Whole30. It has changed my life.” -Gary, KA

“I started my Whole30 journey at 225 lbs (I’m only 5’3″). I was pre-diabetic and suffered from chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, and mystery aches and pains that I knew stemmed from being overweight. I had horrible nighttime insomnia and was always tired during the day. Day 30 I stepped on the scale again. 208.8 lbs…I sleep better, have more daytime energy, rarely get headaches (or other mysterious aches), and feel healthier than I have in YEARS. My skin is clear and my family sees that I’m more involved and happy. Best of all, I did my first blood glucose test since changing my eating habits and had a completely normal number! -Marissa, from Facebook (http://on.fb.me/10qtLrQ) 

“From May 1 through June 3rd, I have lost the puff in my face, and I’m down 14 pounds. My blood sugar is near normal! Also, I haven’t taken one Claritin at all this spring… energy levels have been great and I don’t need my midday nap every day… my GI tract is happy. I had a followup with Dr. H today and we talked about the future. He asked me to stay as close to the Whole30 as I could. He reminded me that this was a great way of eating, perfect for someone with PCOS and type 2 diabetes. He also said I didn’t need to take a couple of the meds I’m on as they run out.” -Donna, via her blog  

“Here is the truth: six weeks ago, I weighed 346 pounds, walked with a cane because of terrible joint pain, and took 16 units of Novalog three times a day. Then I started the Whole30 and committed. Today I weigh 294 pounds, my sugars are level at 131 with no insulin, and I have tolerable pain with no cane!” -Dave S., via Facebook

“Over the past few years, Ive been battling high insulin levels. Dabbling with low-carb and medication didn’t do anything to lower it. In 2011, my level was 24 (ideal is under 14). Testing in 2012 showed I had inched up even higher to 27! My doctor was pressuring me to see an endocrinologist since I wasn’t responding to medication. I knew that I wasn’t doing my part, and asked for more time. Wanting to commit to a solid block of clean eating, I started my Whole30. On day 28, I went and had labs done. My blood insulin level had dropped to TWELVE! I went from being at almost twice the recommended level to being within range.” -Carli L., Royal Oak, MI

I followed this plan for the 30 days and a little while afterwards. It is a little unsettling to begin with but you quickly get into a routine that follows up with so much more energy. I was an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic and now I am off of all my medications (under the supervision of my doctor). I did not think that this could happen, but it did. I would like to encourage people to try it for the 30 days suggested. It has truly changed my life.” -Joann H., via Amazon Book Review 

E

Eating Disorders*

*Please work closely with a trained E.D. counselor to determine whether the Whole30 is the right program for you.

“I can’t even begin to explain the freedom I have experienced. Freedom from medication, freedom from guilt, freedom from self-hatred. I used to fall asleep at night in tears, hating myself and hoping that the next day I would be able to eat less and less and less until there was nothing left of me. Now, I fall asleep knowing that I’ve done my best for that day to show my children that food is wonderful, food is energy, food is strength.-Joanna, via How Whole30 Changed My Life.

“Over the years I’ve gone from one diet or plan to another. This viscous cycle turned into major body issues and an eating disorder. I was so fixated on food that I lost touch with the real reason we eat and I got so obsessive about being rail thin. The Whole30 has been a huge part of my transformation in the fact that it has changed my relationship with food.  I eat to fuel my body now and I WANT to eat good foods that will fuel it properly. I no longer struggle with binging and this is no longer a diet to me but just the way I prefer to eat. My nasty sugar tantrums are gone as well! That was probably one of my biggest issues when I struggled with the eating disorder. I had so much trouble with sugar and now I don’t want it at all.”  Elise H., Whole9 web site

“I have had trouble in the past with an eating disorder, and any diet scares me. I don’t want to become obsessed with the way I am eating like I was before. I had less trouble with the Whole30 than I have had before.  I didn’t focus on food every second of the day; I didn’t start to hate myself more as pounds dropped away. For the first time, I was able to remain rational about my body while following a food plan. That really might be the biggest benefit I have gotten from the Whole30.” Kelly E., Marietta, GA

“I’ve been on several ends of the disordered eating scale, and I tell you that for the. first. time., I do not want to eat between meals, and I am already barely thinking about food. If you don’t know what that’s like, it’s hard to explain it, but the relief is unimaginable. This is not Weight Watchers. This is living.” -ScoutFinch, on the Whole9 website

“I was addicted to sugar.  I was even seeing a counselor for compulsive overeating.  The Whole30 broke my sugar addiction and changed my life!”  Sara A., Holmen, WI

“I was fat for most of my life. I lost a lot of weight by not binge eating, but always felt like I was on the edge of a precipice, and could fall back any time. Doing the Whole30 makes me feel in control in a way that being obsessive never did.” Jane C., Washington, DC

Eczema

The Whole30 had a significant impact on my eczema, which I had struggled with for years. As a result of the program, I found that I was gluten intolerant. Now that I am off gluten the eczema is gone. Thank you for your program!!!” Chad McCall, Austin, TX

My eczema cleared up SUBSTANTIALLY after the Whole30. I went from the strongest steroid topical ointment to just plain old Aquaphor (moisturizer) which is amazing – especially during this time of year. Seasonal allergies used to be murder on my poor skin! LOVE it!!” Orleatha S., Southern CA

“I have suffered with skin ailments most of my life. This year, my eczema got worse, and I developed into full blown psoriasis. I was put on prescription creams, which initially made it better, but then symptoms would flare up again even worse. When I started the Whole30, my patches were cracked, bleeding, and terribly painful. But just 30 days later, they are 100% gone! No special creams (I stopped using them), no gloves for hand-washing. The only change is that I stopped eating a Standard American Diet, and started the Whole30!” –Amy C., Barrhaven, Ontario

We were curious to see if the Whole30 would help our 8-year-old, who has allergies, eczema, and asthma.  Also, our 4-year-old would hardly eat anything and was losing hair in clumps, Hubs and I needed to lose some weight, and we wanted to start early helping our 10-month-old develop good eating habits. The health benefits started piling up… our 8-year-old’s eczema cleared up, she was able to get off of her daily allergy and asthma meds, and her belly was no longer tightly bloated.  Our middle child’s hair stopped falling out, and her appetite picked up so much that we were actually having to convince her to stop eating instead of always cajoling her to please just take a bite. Our youngest went from being at the bottom of our pediatrician’s height-weight chart to being of average size. Hubs noticed that he was having less heartburn, I dropped an entire clothing size, and when we weighed at the end of the month, he and I had lost a shocking 18 pounds each. In one month!” –FJW. Read their whole story here: http://wholeschooling.wordpress.com/

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

My daughter has Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and my doctor first said to eliminate dairy and gluten, then he said to move to a more Paleo way of eating to eliminate inflammation. That is when I found your book “It Starts with Food” and told him we were doing the Whole30. He was all for it! Granted he also practices functional medicine, but I was impressed.” -Allison S. via Facebook

Endometriosis

“I’ve had two operations for endometriosis, and horrible pain for the last three years. I was only able to survive the first few days of my cycle with the help of strong painkillers. During and after my Whole30, I haven’t even had to have one painkiller! I feel lighter, full of energy, and have zero pain. No exaggeration–this is amazing.” -Lisa L., New Zealand

“Since the Whole30, my endometriosis symptoms and pain have decreased dramatically, almost to the point of non-existence. Thanks Whole9, you guys rock!”  Jill J., Salt Lake City, UT

“Since starting Whole30 in September 2011, I have been medication free for endometriosis and ulcerative colitis.  Never would I have imagined changing my diet would change my life, inside and out.” Heather S., Dayton OH

Essential Tremor

(Read more about essential tremor here.)  “After about a week and a half on my Whole30, I noticed the shaking in my hands had gone away. I was blown away and could not figure out why this was happening. I’ve had this condition since I was 20 years old and everything I was told to try to make it go away never worked. This was completely astonishing for me and a life changing moment… My hands have stabilized and are now rock steady. I thought I should share this information as it has completely changed the way I eat and how I will eat for the rest of my life.” TJ F., Portland, OR

Eustacian Tube Dysfunction

“I have a laundry list of health benefits I’ve discovered from my three Whole30s. The inflammation in my body has gone down so much that my allergies, sinus troubles and eustachian tube dysfunction have simply disappeared – which means I can now fly again! My ears will finally pop as the plane is descending and I no longer leave the airport with 48 hours worth of vertigo, nausea and vomiting. I am immensely grateful for this new knowledge and this amazing community. The Whole30 has completely changed my whole life!” –Jeni, Paleomaha.com

Eye Styes (Cysts)

“I developed a stye on my eyelid 8 months ago. It wouldn’t go away with antibiotics and finally turned into a cyst. Another month and I was going to have to have it surgically removed. But now, IT’S GONE! After just 6 days on a strict Whole30….it completely disappeared.-Jennifer S., Clovis, CA

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Fibromyalgia

“I have battled fibromyalgia for 25 years. Unbearable pain. Meds beyond belief. I’m happy to report I’m pain free. I know it’s the food. I had 2 corn tortillas after my first 30 days – instant full-blown fibromyalgia attack! My husband became wide eyed & said “you haven’t been like this in a month.” The only thing I changed was adding back the corn tortillas. I’m also working towards getting off of my heart medication. Additionally, my neuropathy has greatly improved and my medication is way down. Plus I’m sleeping 8 hours a night, AND I don’t snore anymore. My hubby is amazed to say the least. My one questions is, why didn’t my doctors first chose my diet instead of giving me meds???  If I hadn’t done this Whole30 I would still be sick. Instead I’m climbing, hiking, lifting and just enjoying my life. You gave it back to me. You said it wasn’t hard. It isn’t!”  Ollie R., Denver, CO

“The thought of resetting my system so it didn’t crave (sugar/carbs) was my original (Whole30) motivation.  I had NO CLUE that God would use the Whole30 to bring total healing to my physical and mental ailments!  By my third and fourth weeks, I was completely pain free.  I was even working out in the gym, which I had not been able to do for years because of the fibromyalgia pain.  All of my joint pain, bone pain, and muscle pain was GONE.  My mind was clear. I was focused.  I had gone off of the meds a couple of years ago because of negative side effects.  Now I had all the clarity and body-comfort of the meds without having to use them at all!  I also happened to lose 14.8 pounds and kick my cravings, but those were minor compared to having complete relief from all of the other issues.” Bethann M., Pleasant Lake, IN  

“I went to a nutritionist because I was having major health issues – fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain. I was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a collagen defect where my joints can hyper-extend and dislocate. I was told it would only get worse with age, that I could never exercise, and that I would always be in pain. I was on a very high dose of an antidepressant and a painkiller, and my health and mental state were so bad that I had to take medical leave from school and work. Then, I discovered the Whole30. My energy levels soared! I was working out, recovering well and steadily weaning myself off the meds. Today, I no longer suffer from any fibromyalgia symptoms, no joint pain, no fatigue. The Whole30 cured my fibromyalgia, and I am less flexible – something medicine said would never happen. I am off all those meds and the freedom I feel is unbelievable. On top of that I lost 6.5” in 30 days, down from a size 10 to a size 6/8.” -Dana C., San Francisco, CA

“Moving used to be painful, extraordinarily painful. Joint and muscle pain covered my body. Fibromyalgia was my constant companion. It was so bad my children could not sit in my lap. I lost my ability to play with my children. They couldn’t hug or cuddle with me because it was too painful. Thanks to my doctor, I had started experiencing a significant decrease in the fibromyalgia symptoms before the Whole30. He has since been one of my biggest Whole30 supporters… and today (the last day of my first Whole30 challenge) I now have no more fibromyalgia pain!” – Aimee J.
“The Whole30 has been a life-changer for me, just as someone told me it would be. Weight is slowly melting off of me without trying, but more importantly, I am feeling SO much better. It is worth everything that I have (so-called) given up. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, severe Migraines, energy level, and depression are all better. For the first time in a long, long time, I feel positive about the future of my health.” -Carla B., Georgetown, KY

Fibromyositis

As a former registered nurse, I thought I was pretty savvy. But after being diagnosed with fibromyositis in the 80′s, my digestive system went into rebellion. I could eat a food one day and not the next. Allergists said I was fine. (Which royally ticked me off!) I’ve been to so many different practitioners, and was finally diagnosed with leaky gut. I wish I’d had this book sooner. It could have saved me years of frustration with abdominal pain and bloating. Gluten-free was not enough to turn the tide, but integrating these principles into my diet has given me more energy and less bad days then I ever thought were possible.”  -Beth A., Doylestown, Pennsylvania

G

Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux Disorder (GERD)

“By the end of the first week of my Whole30, I realized that the GERD symptoms that I have had for literally years had simply stopped! I have taken acid blockers on a daily basis for years (Famotadine, Prevacid). If I forgot to take the daily dose, the symptoms of reflux, up to and including aspiration while sleeping, would soon let me know. All I can say is that I am no longer taking the acid blockers at all… and the symptoms are gone!John, Eugene, OR

The Whole30 cured my GERD (acid reflux). I’ve had issues with my stomach since high school, but during my 30 days, I was able to wean myself off of my high dosage of Nexium without getting horribly sick like before.”  Kassandra M., Arlington, VA

Gout

I have boundless amounts of energy and a spring in my step; no more limp. I am completely off my gout meds! I have been eating large amounts of foods that, according to my doctor, are no-no’s for gout. Before the Whole30, if I had eaten the amount of shrimp, cauliflower and broccoli that I am now, I would be in a full-blown attack with enormous amounts of pain. Guess what? NO GOUT, NO PAIN!!!!” Alan H., E. Bremerton, WA

H

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

“After the 30 days at my thyroid checkup, my doctor and I were happy to see that all antibodies pointing to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis were gone; he credits the diet and supplements I take.”  Kelly E., Marietta, GA

“Fourteen years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I have had one surgery and was likely facing another. I wanted to be checked after the Whole30 to see if there had been any improvement, so I went on Day 29 for lab work. The results showed that all of my thyroid levels are normal and my T1 antibody counts went from 160 to 30, which means that clinically I no longer have Hashimoto’s! My thyroid has shrunk in size every way that my doctor had measured it. This doctor is very “medicate & surgery” minded and told me in the past that diet has no impact on my condition. Today he had me write down the Whole9 website, the book and all other info I had on the Whole30 so he can research it and put other patients on it. Oh & I lost a total of 12.6 lbs, too. This is the real deal!” -Jennifer C., Phenix City, AL

“My name is Rose and I’m going to be a bit of a cliche by saying: ‘Whole30 changed my life!’ and then I’m going to get to the point. I experimented with Whole30 for the month of January as a complete accident. I said some mean things about paleo and the paleo lifestyle on Facebook and a good friend challenged me to just try it, for 30 days. I had nothing but a bucket load of weight to lose, so I tried it. I read your book and I secretly hoped that the eating plan would heal my autoimmune hypothyroid (Hashimotos) but I was quite cynical. I struggled a lot at first – I think my body was desperately trying to recalibrate. It took me longer than most to feel better. In fact, I felt a lot worse before I felt better. But I persevered and did a Whole40. Then, on day 42, something miraculous happened. I went to my endocrinologist for a check-up and for the first time in 13 years, my thyroid function was normal! I was feeling better than I could ever remember feeling and as a lovely bonus I lost 5 kilograms. It’s not a lot of weight, but my entire body shape has changed. I look different. My face is different. I am glowing and I am, drumroll, healthy.” - Rose C., South Africa

Heart Conditions

“Just finished my first Whole30. My cardiologist is taking me off medications I’ve been on forsix years following two heart failures!! It Starts With Food changed the way I feel about food and my body. It changed my life. Thank you!” -Barb R., Kalamazoo, MI

“I was having daily heart palpitations. I had been worked up the wazoo looking for anything wrong with my heart. Nothing was ‘wrong’ with it, but I was still having these weird ‘thumps’ sometimes only a couple times a day, sometimes as many as 30 times in a day. After my Whole30, I haven’t had a single palpitation since day three. NONE! And boy, does it feel good! And I am thrilled to report that I have lost an amazing 19 lbs since the beginning of this journey!” – Christie P., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“Throughout most of my life I have continued to follow what medicine has taught us to be a “heart-healthy” diet, including lots of whole grains (the foundation of the food pyramid) with an emphasis on low saturated fat. I believe the combination of this lifestyle—the  diet, overall stress from work and created by my endurance activities—led to my development of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. After a thorough heart evaluation, the physician’s recommendation was to put me on medicine that would suppress some of the abnormal electrical activity in my heart. For several years I increased the number of whole grains in my diet and continued to watch fats and saturated fats, feeling that I needed to be extra careful to protect my heart. Under this system I was having increasingly frequent bouts of fibrillation that required increasing doses of medicine. Last November I started my first Whole30. To my surprise, within two or three days I noticed a significant improvement in my heart rhythm. This continued to improve over the next several weeks to the point where I began reducing the amount of my heart medicine. I continued to see gradual improvements, and currently I’m not taking any medications to regulate my heart. I also noticed significant improvement in how my G.I. tract felt, I had increased energy levels, and I was becoming physically leaner.” -Dana Christianson, M.D. (read his full testimonial)

Headaches (see also ‘Migraines’)

“Growing up, I never experienced a single headache, but at the age of 31, I got a severe headache that wouldn’t go away.  I was seen by multiple doctors, neurologists, specialists, had MRI’s, CAT scans, eye exams–pretty much every test known to man. Finally, I was referred to a world-renowned headache specialist in Chicago who diagnosed the headache as a sudden onset chronic headache, but couldn’t pinpoint a cause. The pain was so severe I was even hospitalized for a week for treatment. I have been poked, prodded, and medicated with all sorts of strange concoctions, but nothing was working. I stumbled upon your website and decided that I only had my health to gain by trying the Whole30. Five days in, my headaches were completely gone. During my Whole30 I lost 23 lbs, had more energy than I ever had in my life, my seasonal allergies have considerably lessened, my skin is clearer, my nails and hair are growing like crazy. Best of all, I discovered the trigger of my headache! I suffered for a year and a half, the cause of which eluded the top specialists in the country–but I truly owe my health to the Whole30 plan!-Lindsay W., city/state withheld

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

“I have a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. It’s not as bad as what I’ve heard some people have, but it’s not pleasant. I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a flare up once since my Whole30! It’s been more than seven months now, and I credit this way of eating for sure!” -Erica E, Boston MA

Hives

“For the past four-plus years, I have had these weird hives that were super itchy that would randomly break out all over my body. Couldn’t figure out why… neither could the allergist. He just gave up and put me on meds – but I took myself off those months and months ago. GUESS WHAT!!! Noooo moooore hives (after my Whole30)!!!” Cait F., High Falls, NY

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Infertility

See Kristyn’s story here:  http://whole9life.com/2011/02/infertility-kristyns-story/

“I have had the worst endometriosis. I had surgery, which took half of both of my ovaries. We’d been trying for baby number two, but after six months, the doctor told me my only hope is through an egg donor. Then my friend Ashley introduced me to the Whole30. After I finished the 30 days, I got pregnant! It was a big surprise–even my OB/GYN was amazed.” -Janice B., on Facebook

I’ve gotten pregnant twice now near the end of a Whole30. I’m not doing one again until after my husband has a vasectomy!” -Kim C. via Facebook.

“I’m pregnant after 15 years of infertility with PCOS. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant. I half jokingly tell people to be careful when they do Whole30 and make sure they have a birth control plan. Healthy living is the way to go!” -Yancey S. via Facebook. 

 

Interstitial Cystitis

“Six years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called interstitial cycstitis, characterized by chronic pain in the bladder. Doctors told me that my only option was to live with it, and take medication. A year ago I found the Whole30… and today I feel great. The best part? Today I’m pain and pill free.”  Hannah A., via video submission

“I was diagnosed with a ‘dry’ overactive bladder at age 20. With OAB, bladder spasms cause frequent urges to urinate regardless of bladder fullness. It was coupled with several months of extremely painful intercourse, which my OB/GYN suggested might be interstitial cystitis (IC). I went to an urologist and was put on medication for the OAB, which I stayed on for about two and a half years. I started a Whole30 in March of this year. About 3 weeks into it, I saw a new urologist. He gave me an info sheet on the IC-Smart Diet, which is prescribed for IC sufferers but can also help relieve the spasms that cause overactive bladder. Since I was already grain-, legume-, sugar-, soy-, preservative-, and dairy-free, all I needed to do to comply was cut out the acidic foods I was eating. By cutting back on those foods and by skipping coffee for several weeks, I was able to step down from my daily pill to one every third day, then one a week, and then off them completely. I’ve been symptom free for almost six months, and as long as I only drink one or two cups of coffee daily, I do just fine. Thanks for helping people like me discover all the benefits a return to our natural diet can bring.” -Kristina W., Zephyrhills FL

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

“After a few weeks (on the Whole30) I began to notice some changes. I could eat foods like broccoli and eggs again without any major digestion upset and having fewer IBS attacks and spasms. And just before the end of the first 30 days, I stopped taking my last antibiotic.”  Elise H., Whole9 web site

“I have always had a very ‘sensitive’ stomach for as long as I can remember. The pain, intensity and sensitivity only increased with age. After spending hours with doctors performing countless exams and diagnostic procedures, they still had no clue what the heck was wrong with me and diagnosed me with the catch all… IBS. After so many years of pain with no end in sight and modern medicine unable to diagnose or treat my IBS I decided to be my own advocate and give the Whole30 a try. I can only say that from day one I was beyond thrilled with my body’s response! I have had NO abdominal pain after eating and no emergent dashes to the bathroom. I truly haven’t felt this good in I can’t remember when!” -Shelley P., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

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Joint Pain

“I am a fitness instructor, and the Whole30 has changed my life as well as those in my fitness classes (Zumba).  I’ve had joint issues from overuse and tremendous knee pain.  Since doing the Whole30, my knees hardly ever hurt.  I can squat below parallel again (yay)!  I have increased my weight on all my lifts and I have never felt stronger or with as much energy.  As an instructor, it has boosted my confidence and made me feel like I really am living what I am teaching.  Now many of my students are in the middle of their first Whole30 and they’re loving it.  Thank you for bringing this to us!” Nancy S., Puyallup, WA

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Lupus

“I was 19 when I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease – a rare condition called autoimmune hepatitis. Then 7 years later, I was diagnosed with lupus. I had all telltale signs – rash on the face, mouth sores, fatigue, hair falling out, swollen painful joint, shortness of breath. Then, my kidneys started to fail, and I was diagnosed with lupus-induced swelling of the brain. I started my first chemo treatments, reached remission, then came out of remission in 2010. Nothing worked –  I was heading towards dialysis and more chemo. During all of these years I gained weight from the steroids, and my legs were was so full of water my skin would crack. This is when my cousin told me about the Whole30, and how it helped her arthritis. In the first week, my pulse fell from 98 to 78. The water pills couldn’t get the water out of my legs, but it only took the Whole30 seven days! I could see and feel the inflammation leaving my body! My BP is now 120/80, and I have lowered my dose of water pills. My blood sugar is more regular. I feel great, I have energy to make through the day and then some, and most importantly… I’m pain free. Your program has changed my life – if not saved it.” -Heather B, Stevens Point WI

“I have been diagnosed with diabetes, lupus, and mitral-valve prolapse. This was spanning 25 years of my life minimum. I’m now 48. Feeling this way was ‘my normal.’ I started seeing a naturopath and began supplementing, massage and acupuncture and little by little began to start seeing the light again. I started the Whole30 in January and after 2 days I was pain free. Seriously. I had energy, I felt hopeful, I felt relaxed and patient, I felt alive. By the third week I really got it. I mean I was hooked. After 48 years I wasn’t poisoning myself anymore, and I didn’t feel sick. Thanks Whole30! I’m forever indebted!” -Becky S., La Conner WA

“I am 58 and the grandmother of 8. I have arthritis in both knees, no cartilage in my left knee, and was told I needed a replacement.  I also have been diagnosed with lupus. I was at a point where I thought I would have to go to a walker soon, the pain was so bad. I had to force myself to get out of bed each day. I did a Whole 30 about four months ago, and on the 20th day…KAPOW!  I got out of bed and did not need a cane to walk with, and I had ENERGY!!!  It was amazing. Since the Whole30, I have not used any pain medication and have not been using my cane.  I have even started hiking again!” –Linda D., Fullerton, CA

Lyme Disease

“Too sensitive to meds to bring down sugar levels in the high 300′s, and quite damaged from previous meds and 23 years of untreated Lyme disease, things just weren’t budging for me… until the Whole30. By day 10, blood sugars had dropped 150 points. Muscles that were long gone no matter what I did suddenly appeared overnight. Sleep was glorious for the first time in years and daytime energy was strong and available. I lose 10 pounds, dropped into normal sizes for shirts, and a lot of adipose fat disappeared.  And the knees that I was told were too young to replace…well, they are working beautifully. Ringing in the ears stopped, mental clarity returning…and I am hoping to ski, kayak, and bike again in the near future.”  Andrea B., Whole9 web site

“I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in October of 2009.  My symptoms were stiff neck,  headache… I hurt everywhere, I was tired all the time, I could not sleep through the night because I was in so much pain!  My doctor told me it could  6 months or more to start feeling better….  I thought to myself, I do not have 6 months to wait?  I searched the CrossFit site and found myself at the Whole30 and thought, let me try it – what do I have to lose?  Well, I had a lot to lose – like everyone of my Lyme disease symptoms (and a few pounds as well)! I started feeling better after day 3, and I just kept feeling better –  to the point of where I feel healthier now than I did before I had Lyme… as long as I stay the Whole9 course!”  Anita H., Albany, NY

“The Whole30 program has given me my life back. I was so sick when I went to Dr. Readinger (a Whole9 Nutrition Partner) – I think if I had not found him (and you) that I would have died. I owe my life to Dr. Readinger, Melissa, and Dallas. I am proof that this works, not just because I am saying it, it is clearly visible in my case. The bloated stomach is gone, my ankles are no longer the size of my thighs, my skin glows, my eyes are clear and white, even my fingernails are growing out nice and smooth! My life has changed totally since I started the Whole30 in March. The Whole9 way of eating will be a way of life for me now. This feeling of well being is euphoric!!” -Dawn B., Viroqua, WI

“I have chronic Lyme disease and I have spent years trying to combat all of my aches, pains, and discomfort. I decided to try the Whole30 to get my diet back on track this January. What I didn’t expect was to feel as great as I did. Now, 99% of my symptoms are gone or GREATLY reduced. My doctor says he has never see anything like it, and has started telling all of his Lyme patients about the Whole30 as a way to alleviate symptoms and pain. You have truly changed my life in ways that you will never know. I am a new person because of it. Keep up the good work!!” -Amanda B., Denver CO

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Migraines (see also, ‘Headaches’)

“Since age 8, I have had migraine headaches. I typically had at least one to two a month that would take me out for at least a day at a time, but after a traumatic event, they increased to daily. I tried countless prescription medications, herbal remedies, over-the-counter medications, head device contraptions, massaging techniques, stretching techniques, diet programs, exercise programs, etc. I have spent most of my time curled up in bed, trying to not think about the horrible pain in my head.  It has been the most hopeless, helpless feeling in the world.  I had lunch with a friend who had just finished the Whole30 program and reported feeling great. My new life began the next day. Since beginning the Whole30, I have not had a migraine. I have not taken a prescription intervention medication at all. My life before the Whole30 involved taking up to 50 pills a week for intervention. My body is now taking care of itself, healing itself.  I have also lost 25 pounds. I have my life back. I have hope again and love waking up each day to enjoy a pain free existence.  I am simply OVERJOYED!!”  -Jackie K., Saint Joseph, MO

“My very last migraine was right before I went on a Whole30 program in January 2010.  This change is totally amazing for me, because I’ve been getting migraines 3-4 times a year (for a week or more at a time) for the past 8 years.  I would be totally incapacitated – unable to move, do schoolwork, watch TV, read, eat, anything except just lie there in pain.  I was worried that I wouldn’t even be employable, even though I was fine the rest of the time, or if I was hired I’d have to use all my vacation time up just being sick.  Now, I feel fairly confident that I can look forward to a migraine-free future, and this confidence has allowed me the freedom to pursue a job in the U.S. military.  Thanks, Whole30 for changing my life!”  Laura R., location withheld

“I suffer from migraines. This winter, I ended up in the hospital from a particularly painful one and had a negative reaction to medication I was given. I had tried a number of drugs over the past 8 years and my migraines were not responding well to any of them. I decided to change my diet in the hopes of getting some relief. On day 60 of my Whole30, I’ve been migraine free for 59 days. If I’ve had a headache, it’s responded to two ibuprofen and rest. At the height of my migraine issues, I could take in a “lab-rat dose” of medication and get zero relief. I sleep like the dead. Deep, refreshing, restorative sleep. I recover quickly from workouts and I am wearing the smallest pants size I’ve worn in my life.” –Jessica H., on her blog

“Before my Whole30, I suffered from migraines 3-4 times each month. Some were so unbearable I ended up having to go to the emergency room. During my Whole30 I didn’t experience a single migraine! Thanks Melissa & Dallas!” -Shaunna, via the Whole30 forum

“I decided to do this Whole 30 as a post vacation reset, where I drank far to much wine and ate a lot of chocolate! I have been a Crossfitter and have been eating Paleo now for over 2 years, so I didn’t think I would see dramatic results with this, but I knew it would improve overall health. I was wrong, I DID see some dramatic and awesome results! Headaches gone! I suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, and I used to get at least 3-4 headaches every week, and about 1 migraine a month. After the initial week of the Whole 30, my headaches were gone.-Bethany, as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“I finished my first Whole 30 two days ago. I cannot say enough about this program! I have PCOS and have suffered from migraines and depression most of my life. Within my first week of the Whole 30 my mood lifted. Within 2 weeks I could say I was actually happy, something I haven’t been able to say consistently ever! I haven’t had a migraine since I began, a nagging tendonitis in my ankle has disappeared, my skin has cleared up, I’m sleeping as if I’m in a coma and waking up feeling refreshed and ready for my workout. I feel like I’ve woken up to a brand new way of thinking and doing and I just feel fantastic!” -Holly B., as submitted to Whole9 testimonials

“The Whole30 has been a life-changer for me, just as someone told me it would be. Weight is slowly melting off of me without trying, but more importantly, I am feeling SO much better. It is worth everything that I have (so-called) given up. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, severe Migraines, energy level, and depression are all better. For the first time in a long, long time, I feel positive about the future of my health.” -Carla B., Georgetown, KY

My physical therapist, who was treating me for migraines with needling, recommended trying Whole30. And it has been a miracle for me! My life-long chronic migraines are almost completely gone as well as many other health problems. I have been able to reduce or eliminate my medications also.” -Gayle G. via Facebook.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

“I began my Paleo way of life in December 2009.  By January of 2010 I knew that I would never go back to my old eating habits. How could I make such a drastic decision?  Simple – I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Paleo made life better. Then in early 2010 I found the Whole9, and decided it was time for a Whole30.  I thought Paleo changed my life – the Whole 30 gave me a new one.  Not one single MS symptom appeared after one week in.  That in itself is amazing, because when MS plays, it plays for keeps.  This discovery was my rebirth.” Jennifer B., Canton, MI

“I am finishing up the final days of the Whole30 and I am feeling amazing!! I have multiple sclerosis and yesterday I went to my usual three month check up with my MS specialist. To her astonishment and mine, my clinical symptoms (like numbness in hands and feet; temperature differences in hands, cheeks, arms and feet; and cognitive functions) have all either improved… or I am no longer am presenting those symptoms!!!! I’m so proud of myself and my wonderful friend that introduced me to this website. Thank you!” -Tanna G., Brighton CO

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Neck Pain

“I have had regular neck pain for 5-ish years – a stiff neck in the morning that almost always turn into bad headaches, requiring daily doses of ibuprofen.  The pain and headaches were totally absent during my Whole30. Yay!” Emily M., Los Angeles, CA

Nerve Damage

“By the sixth day, I received the biggest benefit of my entire 30 day adventure. Four years ago, I suffered some nerve damage which took away much of the external feeling in my hands – it’s hard to describe, but think of it like wearing gloves all the time. There was a point early on, when the damage was new, when I couldn’t tie my own shoes or do anything like tie a sash behind my back. Muscle memory kept me working, but on that sixth day, I could feel the keyboard keys under my fingers. I can pick up small items cleanly, deal with thin plastic bags, and more. Major, major gift.” -Patti G, Albany, NY

Nightmares

“I’ve had nightmares all my life, just about every night for as long as I remember… until I did my first Whole30!  I realized quickly that it was artificial sweeteners causing my nightmares!. My mom had diabetes and literally put me on artificial sweeteners from the time I was 2. My whole life I’ve battled with being overweight so I continued with the artificial sweeteners, convinced if I stopped I’d be in even worse shape.  I’ve now been off artificial sweeteners for 3 months and I have not had one nightmare!  I sleep great now and am not tired during the day! Thank you for changing my life!” -Melody A., Killeen, TX

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

“After just two Whole30’s, my results speak for themselves. My blood pressure is down from 140/102 to 116/77. I lost 20 pounds. I’ve cured my sleep apnea. And my liver enzyme tests went from AST 63 and ALT 164 to AST 22 and ALT 49. Which means I’ve cured my Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFL). I’m also sleeping through the night and am less depressed and anxious and more alert. Not bad for two months of eating amazing food.”  Johnny M., San Francisco, CA

Narcolepsy

The Whole30 has saved my life and my marriage. I’ve struggled with undiagnosed narcolepsy. Ten years went by before my proper diagnosis. My narcolepsy diagnosis left me a shattered woman. I had to give up my only life dream of obtaining my pilot’s license, something I was within 6 months of getting, as my condition and the associated medications are on the no-fly list. It was a downward spiral from there. I started treatment with Ritalin, but after 6 months, my husband and I couldn’t tolerate it any longer. I may have been awake, but I was irritable, angry, and frankly felt like I had bipolar disorder. My emotions were completely uncontrollable and my only other option was a $50,000 a year orphan drug. I thought I had run out of options. I figured I would run off my dear husband. Our 5 year old son suffered having a completely inactive mother. And one day late last year, I discovered you. The Whole30 not only has helped me to manage my symptoms, I am now more alert during the day (80% less narcolepsy), my sleep is more restful, I feel like being social again, and 13 pounds of chub is gone. My husband says he has a new wife. I recently went shopping and I could not believe that I was able to do that for 3 hours without getting sleepy and needing a nap. I just felt normal. It’s amazing how good normal can feel.” -Stephannie K., Seattle WA

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Overactive Bladder

“I was diagnosed with a ‘dry’ overactive bladder at age 20. With OAB, bladder spasms cause frequent urges to urinate regardless of bladder fullness. It was coupled with several months of extremely painful intercourse, which my OB/GYN suggested might be interstitial cystitis (IC). I went to an urologist and was put on medication for the OAB, which I stayed on for about two and a half years. I started a Whole30 in March of this year. About 3 weeks into it, I saw a new urologist. He gave me an info sheet on the IC-Smart Diet, which is prescribed for IC sufferers but can also help relieve the spasms that cause overactive bladder. Since I was already grain-, legume-, sugar-, soy-, preservative-, and dairy-free, all I needed to do to comply was cut out the acidic foods I was eating. By cutting back on those foods and by skipping coffee for several weeks, I was able to step down from my daily pill to one every third day, then one a week, and then off them completely. I’ve been symptom free for almost six months, and as long as I only drink one or two cups of coffee daily, I do just fine. Thanks for helping people like me discover all the benefits a return to our natural diet can bring.” -Kristina W., Zephyrhills FL

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PCOS

See Jennifer’s story here:  http://whole9life.com/2011/02/whole30-contest-winner/

The Whole30 helped with all my PCOS symptoms. Because of my PCOS, I had such a hard time losing weight and keeping it off.  Since January, I have lost over 45 lbs.  By the end of March, my HDL was up from 61 to 86, and tryglicerides were down from 142 to 87.  My insulin level went from 40 to 7!  The Whole 30 also helped my acne.  I only get one or two little breakouts a month, compared to four or five big cysts on my chin before the Whole30.”  Bo K., San Francisco, CA

“I have PCOS, and the fertility issues associated with that condition. I have also been trying for years to lose weight, since my doctors have told me that’s the best way to improve my chances of getting pregnant. But as many women with PCOS are painfully aware, losing weight with all those hormonal imbalances feels impossible at times. Through exercise, I was able to lose ten pounds over the course of seven months, which felt like a miracle to me. But during the one month of my Whole30, I dropped another TEN pounds…and I feel better than ever! I feel like this is a huge step in the right direction.” Kit S., Japan

“I was diagnosed with PCOS about two years ago, and thought it was a permanent issue I’d always have to deal with. I was fed up with my skin and hormonal issues, migraines, and discontent with my body composition. I had most of the physical manifestations of the syndrome: facial hair, acne, and tons of cysts on both ovaries. During my first Whole30 in August, all my acne disappeared and since then, I’ve had maybe 5 or 6 pimples total. My biggest issue was facial hair, and its growth has significantly and drastically decreased. What really brought home how amazing the Whole30 system is for me was when I saw my gynecologist a few weeks ago. My previously cyst-ridden ovaries had NO cysts whatsoever. When I was diagnosed, I was told I had so many cysts all over both ovaries, that no normal ovarian surface could be discerned. Now, they’re all gone. As are my migraines. And 6% BF. I love this way of eating and just wanted to say thanks! First time in a long time I’ve felt so strong and healthy!” - Janelle D., via Facebook

I have lost the puff in my face, I’m down 14 pounds (after losing and gaining the same 2 pounds since October), my blood sugar is near normal, I haven’t taken one Claritin at all this spring. Energy levels have been great and I don’t need my midday nap every day… and my GI tract is happy. My friends tell me I glow. People in my exercise class are asking about this paleo thing I’m doing. My daughter tells me I seem happier than ever. My husband is impressed with the whole concept of W30 and what he sees happening in me. I had a followup with Dr. H today and we talked about the future. He asked me to stay as close to W30 as I could. I thanked him for being right about what needed to happen and he reminded me that this was a great way of eating, perfect for someone with PCOS and type 2 diabetes. He also said I didn’t need to take a couple of the meds I’m on as they run out.” -Donna A., Williamsburg, VA

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (see also, ‘Autism’)

See Nicole’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2012/02/the-whole30-and-pdd/

Plantar Fasciitis

“I was suffering from plantar fasciitis for over a year. I had physical therapy to no avail. About week three of my Whole 30, it went away, and three months later — still eating a pretty clean diet — it still hasn’t returned. And while I know I need a knee replacement, my pain is almost entirely gone. It really has been miraculous!” –Jennie F, Nashville, TN

PMS

“The best thing for me is that my hormones are now in balance.  For the last 19 years, my periods have been hit and miss, always 7 to 14 days late and my PMS so bad that I thought I was suffering from a mental illness.  I couldn’t control my anger, and the exhaustion was unbearable. After my Whole30, the very first period was better – and as of my second cycle I have had NO PMS AT ALL, nothing. I feel just as good the day before my period as I do the week after my period, I do not get any noticeable symptoms.  And now it comes every 28 days on the dot – this has never before been the case!! And since June 2011, I have lost an incredible 35kg (77 lbs.), dropped 4 dress sizes and been able to take up sport again and play with my kids at the beach and pool.” –Michelle H, Geelong, Victoria Australia (February 2012)

Psoriasis

“‎Three weeks into my first Whole30, I noticed the psoriasis on my head was gone! Plus my skin, which was generally dry and itchy all over most of the time, was no longer dry and itchy. AMAZING!” Michelle Holt, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

“I have suffered with skin ailments most of my life. This year, my eczema got worse, and I developed into full blown psoriasis. I was put on prescription creams, which initially made it better, but then symptoms would flare up again even worse. When I started the Whole30, my patches were cracked, bleeding, and terribly painful. But just 30 days later, they are 100% gone! No special creams (I stopped using them), no gloves for hand-washing. The only change is that I stopped eating a Standard American Diet, and started the Whole30!” –Amy C., Barrhaven, Ontario

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Reactive Hypoglycemia

“I’ve battled to control my reactive hypoglycemia since I was a young child. I attempted to manage it by eating small meals throughout the day, and followed the suggestion to try regularly timed, conventional “round meals” when the constant snacking did not help. As a result of my uncontrolled and overaggressive insulin response, there were many times when I would wake up with paralyzing night sweats and heart palpitations. Since doing my first Whole30, I’ve been able to manage my blood sugar more easily than I ever have before, and I no longer have to think about food with fear. Whole30 has helped me to eat in normal intervals without having to constantly snack, and has finally given me the freedom to eat when I’m hungry!” –Emily, Birmingham AL

“I have struggled with reactive hypoglycemia since the age of 23 (now 42).  I can pass up sugar pretty easily and I gave up white flour and most grains about 10 years ago. However, I have never been able to shake the hypoglycemia. I used to dream of a day I wouldn’t have to plan my life around meals… and now it is reality! The Whole30 totally eradicated my reactive hypoglycemia. I noticed a significant change within the first week. Add one more ticker to the huge impact you are making in others lives!” -Marla M., Bartlesville, Oklahoma

“I was assigned this medical term several years ago because I used to have to eat every two hours, or I would get light-headed, dizzy, and sometimes pass out. What I was doing was eating the wrong things every two hours. Since eating the Whole9 way, I never feel like this, and can go longer without food, even.Lori H., Dahlonega, GA

Reynaud’s Disease

“By the third week, my Raynaud’s/pre-arthritic hands were completely back to normal.  No joint inflammation and no horrible pain… for the first time in three months, I was able to wear my wedding ring again. The positives from the 30 days kept coming…no more fatigue, consistent high energy levels, no more carb or sugar cravings, more patience, sleeping more soundly, awakening feeling refreshed, not a single mid-day nap, and the aforementioned joint pain GONE! It’s honestly been life changing.” –Mary M. via email

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Sarcoidosis

“Thank you for your wonderful program and first-rate book.  I’m 58 this week, and when my daughter told me about ‘It Starts with Food’ I was intrigued, especially when she mentioned anti-inflammation. I’m closely monitored each year because of a bout with sarcoidosis when I was in my 30′s. I’ve been on Whole30 since September 1, 2012, and my doctor, who has been with me for 25 years, is amazed. Virtually every single health indicator measured by elaborate ‘wellness tests’ (blood pressure, CVD inflammation profile, etc.) showed improvement. He said I was literally turning back the clock in a manner he’d never seen before in his decades of practice. I don’t know any older male who has ever gotten off Lipitor, but I’m doing it!” –Dan S., Washington, D.C.

Seizures

See Jessica O’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2011/09/whole30-success-story-jessica-o/

Sleep Apnea

“I was depressed, overweight and my health was in a tailspin, spiraling out of control.  On top of all that, I was not getting restful sleep.  Not only was I waking to run to the bathroom every other hour, but I’d wake up 5 or 6 times a night from a quick sudden gasp for air (sleep apnea). Two weeks into my Whole30, I realized I was knocked out when my head hit the pillow and sleeping soundly for a solid 7-8 hours straight! Thanks, Whole30, for curing my apnea and giving me restful sleep, curing my depression, helping me lose 12 lbs and helping me get my life back on track!-Johnny M., San Francisco CA

Sleep Walking

I have been a sleepwalker my entire life, but in the past 5 years it has significantly worsened and has become a major disruption in my husband and I’s lives.  Needless to say, going to bed at night became an extreme source of anxiety; I was miserable because I knew what the night had in store for me. I am elated to say that 38 days ago I started eating the Whole30 way, and it has been exactly 38 days since I have had a sleepwalking incident or a night terror! I am in awe, and so is my husband. Now, I actually can’t wait to go to bed every night because I know it is going to be peaceful and rejuvenating, the way sleep is supposed to be! It still feels too good to be true, but every night produces the same results: a wonderful night’s rest with no sleepwalking activity and no waking up at all. What a gift! ” -Courtney P., Winston-Salem, NC. 

Smoking

Even after going Paleo about a year ago, I’ve never been able to (in my most ashamed whisper) kick my smoking habit. Today is the end of my Whole30 – and 30 days tobacco-free. This is the longest I’ve gone without a cigarette in 8 years. Victory.” -Rebecca E, Chicago IL

Sinus Infections

Due to chronic sinus infections, doctors removed my tonsils and surgically opened my sinus canals three years ago. In those three years, I have had like 25% normal sense of smell (I could wash the toilets with 20% chlorine and not notice it!). All of a sudden I started smelling all kinds of things. During my Whole30, my sense of smell returned 100%.Kristian Rosenvold, Oslo, Norway

“It’s Day 17 of my Whole30 and I am happy to report I am feeling great! I have had a significant reduction in the number of headaches I generally experience, my sinuses are a lot more clear, and the chronic post nasal drip that I’ve endured for the past 7 years is practically non-existent now. I can’t believe I put up with swallowing snot for so long.” -T., via email 

T

Tendinitis

See Andrea’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2011/08/success-story-andrea/

“I got tendinitis in my right elbow 2-1/2 years ago and had it for a good 5 months. This September, it flared up in my left elbow both on the inside and the outside of the elbow. I had some of ART done, and it was better, but it was still perpetually sore and kind of numb. After my Whole30, it doesn’t hurt at all – neither the outside nor the inside! It feels 100%. So, I’m considering myself healed and thanking my Whole30 efforts. ” Roberta C., Seattle WA

Thyroid

“Just finished my first round of Whole30! I have had problems with my thyroid since my baby was born and have been trying to lose weight for a year. On Whole30 I lost 14lbs. and feel so much better.” -Alexisks, via Instagram 

Trichotillomania

See Jessica O’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2011/09/whole30-success-story-jessica-o/

Triglycerides

“Total triglycerides pre-Whole30: 112; post-Whole30: 51  (down 61 points).”  Jill G., Fort Worth, TX

“No one will ever be able to convince me that the Whole30 and Paleo is not healthy. My husband’s triglycerides were over 800 last year… and today they are 124!!!!-Jane A., Vaucluse, SC

“I started the Whole 30 on August 6, and have primarily continued. I went to the doctor’s office today (October 18th) for a checkup. My triglycerides went from 301 to 140! All my blood work was great! My blood pressure is now 104/80, and he cut my medication in half, in the hopes of eliminating it altogether. My weight loss has maintained at 22 lbs. Feeling good!” -Laura L, via Facebook

U

Ulceritive Colitis

“I decided I needed (the Whole30) after a Thanksgiving colitis flare-up. This necessitated a trip to the doctor, prescription meds, and all kinds of unpleasantness that generally takes months to recover from. This time on the Whole30, I was able to eliminate all symptoms and all medication in about 3 weeks. Better health and no drugs? Totally WORTH IT!” Jocelyn G, Royse City, TX

“Since starting Whole30 in September 2011, I have been medication free for endometriosis and ulcerative colitis. Never would I have imagined changing my diet would change my life, inside and out.” Heather S., Dayton OH

“I am 53, post menopausal, 60lbs overweight, on levothyroxin thyroid medication, have asthma and allergies and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 10 years ago. I completed my first Whole30 a couple of days ago. I’ve had 53 years of feeling terrible, but if all it takes to feel great is to avoid a few foods that’s what I’m going to do. I lost 12 pounds. My UC symptoms have disappeared. No pain, no gut distress, no hour long bathroom visits, 10 or over trips to the loo a day down to 1. Absolutely incredible. The red blotches that appear all over my face and down my back after a bath or shower when the colitis is active have gone. I have energy – lots of it. No longer do I need a nap every day (when I could get one) or not want to move off the sofa after eating. I actually feel like moving! Everything has been an effort and exhausted me – for years. This is so wonderful – I have my life back.-Claire T., via the Whole30 Forum

“About three months ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. When I first found out, I felt like I was never going to be able to eat anything delicious tasting again and take pills the rest of my life.
At the same time I have always struggled with my weight… 
Through a friend I found out about Whole30 and started to investigate a little more. I was determined to not only lose a little weight, but more importantly find a way to deal with my diagnosis in a healthy way. I started my whole30 May 1st and by May 30th I can truly say it had changed my life. I have NO MORE symptoms of my UC and I lost 20 (going on 25 to date!) pounds. 
Yes there are times it was really hard and I had a pitty party for myself about not being to eat a cookie. But at the end of the day, I was energized, felt amazing, my skin was clear, my symptoms were gone, I was eating DELICIOUS food and I was buying new (smaller!) jeans…I can’t thank the Whole30 program enough for changing my diet, mind and life! I hope this story can encourage others in my same situation! It is incredible to see how changing one simple thing like your diet can reverse what could be a life-changing diagnosis. Thank you Whole30!” -Chelsea., via Facebook. 

V

Vitiligo

“I was upset and self-conscious because the splotchy white “disease like” discolorations were on my hands, face, breasts, and other areas. I thought I would have to pile on makeup forever and spend eternity in a light booth as they attempt to ‘repair.’  Yet today, I am absolutely astonished – I have an autoimmune disease for which my doctor says there is no cure, yet I’ve had NO vitiligo  outbreaks since the Whole30!!!! This program has paved the way for huge positive changes in my family’s life. Thank you!” –Jessica G., Vancouver WA

W

Weight loss

In a survey of over 1,600 Whole30 participants, a full 96% lost weight and/or improved their body composition.  20% lost between 1-5 pounds; 37% lost 6-11 pounds; 21% lost 12-15 pounds and 11% lost more than 16 pounds in just 30 days!  7% reported no scale change, but an improvement in body composition (muscle gained and/or fat lost). And of the 4% who didn’t lose any weight, many weren’t trying – several were pregnant at the time of their Whole30 program, a few reported they were on a “mass gain” program, and some stated they “didn’t have any weight to lose.”

See Jenn L’s story here: http://whole9life.com/2012/01/whole30-success-jenn/

“As I have gotten older, I have been concerned about how difficult it has been to keep the weight off and eat healthy. Nothing was working, and starving myself was never an option. With the Whole30, I was able to identify and eliminate what foods were causing me so much trouble. I lost weight in areas of my body that were difficult for years to shed. I can wear the jeans that I hid away 3 years ago! Most importantly, there was never a moment that I had to be hungry. The Whole30 is a lifestyle for me now – I feel like I have finally found a program that works.” Catherine H., Albuquerque, NM

“I have always been an active, healthy girl, but in my mid-30s (after a bout with severe exhaustion followed by two pregnancies) I found myself a good 100 pounds over the limit. Something had to be done, as ‘just eating well’ was not doing my body any good. I was inspired by a close friend who had had great success doing a Whole30, and started my journey in February 2011. The first month, I lost 10 pounds. And within the next two weeks, 5 more. Over the next year I did a total of five Whole30’s with a fairly clean diet in between. I have lost 70 pounds and over 40″ from my body. I am still a work in progress, but with Whole9 on my side, I am making it closer to my goal every day! Thank you for changing my life.” Heidi M., Bozeman MT

“I went into the Whole30 wondering if I could really give up a glass of wine with a nice steak dinner since I just finished my pregnancy and obviously couldn’t drink then. But that was silly of me…that’s not what the Whole30 is about, and that’s exactly what I learned! While I didn’t get on the scale at all during the Whole30, I got on this morning and I was seriously expecting to not have lost much weight – but I lost 15 pounds in 30 days!  I knew I was getting the results I wanted because I just feel better, and my clothes hang off me…but I just wanted to see what the numbers said. I can’t wait to see where this lifestyle takes my family and I.”  -Bree K., Indianapolis IN

“I began my Whole30 food plan 5 weeks ago. Today I weighed in….almost didn’t do it. I didn’t want that to ‘validate’ how I was doing. I feel so good, never better. I’m 57 years old and the results of my Whole30 experience are overwhelming. I’m down 17.5 lbs & 15 inches. I cried; Whole30 was my missing link.  This has changed my life. I know myself because of this journey. I’m working out, hiking & will be climbing those 14er’s again.” -Ollie R., Denver CO

“My doctor said she was proud of me for actually doing something about my weight and high cholesterol. Thanks to the Whole 30 I changed my life and went from 234 (at last visit) to 206. Thanks!” - Chris B., Maitland FL

I haven’t measured a single portion the entire 30 days. And I still lost 17.8 pounds on my Whole30! No calorie-counting, no measuring, no points. Just me, eating healthy foods and listening to my body. What an amazing feeling!!” -Ann F, Minneapolis MN

“In August 2012, our gym announced their annual Whole30 challenge. We did a body fat analysis in the beginning and I was shocked at my results. My usual 115 lb frame was now holding 143 lbs and 29% of that was fat.At the end of the 30 days, we had another analysis done. Through the Whole30 and my training, I had lost a total of 12 lbs and went from 29% to 20% body fat in 30 days. I’m not only reaping the benefits of the weight loss aspects (which is not why I signed up for this experience), but I sleep better and just feel better overall. I also became more confident and in control of my life through this process.” -Jennifer B., Chicago, IL

 


Want to contribute your own story to our list? Submit your results as related to a specific condition, symptom, disease or affliction (including your first name, last initial and city/state) to whole30@whole9life.com, or leave your testimonial in comments.

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Comments

  1. Lydia says

    To Kelly E., of Marietta, GA–I would love to talk with you about your supplementation techniques to manage Hashimoto’s. If you’re still reading the Whole9 blog, and you’re willing to share your info, would you please leave a comment, and we’ll get in touch? Thanks!

  2. says

    This is one hell of a comprehensive list! Thank you both for putting this together. It is nothing short of inspiring. I shall be tweeting and sharing it more than once!

  3. Orleatha S says

    I would like to add that my Eczema cleared up SUBSTANTIALLY after the 30 day challenge. I went from the strongest steroid topical ointment to just plain old Aquaphor (moisturizer) which is amazing — especially during this time of year — seasonal allergies used to be murder on my poor skin! LOVE it!!

  4. says

    I was wondering if anyone out there noticed an improvement to vitiligo? I am not expecting a 30 day cure-all… but for those of you who have been eating this way (paleo/real food) for any length of time- have you noticed any improvements? There doesn’t seem to be much medical info out there on vitiligo, let alone holistic/dietary help.

    And to Lydia above- I have kept a blog about my journey through Hashi’s with a paleo diet and supplements. Click on my name to see my story.

  5. says

    @Primal Toad: Thanks for the link love! We appreciate it.

    @Orleatha: Your comment has been added – thank you so much for sharing. You never know who you’ll be able to help!

    @Wendy: I believe Robb Wolf had a client who experienced 100% “remission” of her vitiligo symptoms while eating a squeaky clean Paleo diet – and a regression when she reintroduced bread back into her diet. I’ve also read (in my nutrition program textbooks) that many think vitiligo is an autoimmune disease – which means it’s a prime target for a Whole30 diet. Try it and see! The worst that will happen is that you’ve eaten really good food for 30 days. The best… well, that might be a total “cure-all”, or at least a reduction in symptoms. Report back here, please!

    Best,

    Melissa

  6. says

    @Melissa-

    It’s actually my 10 year old daughter. She had a large brown birthmark on her leg that started getting a white halo around it when she was around 6-7, and has since gone completely white…from the outside perimeter in. When she was about 8, we noticed her one eyelid (opposite side than her leg) had a white splotch on it- and each year it grew a little.

    We started eating paleo about 1 year ago, and there have been NO future spots! Plus, the white birthmark has not grown in size in relation to her body as she grows. It has stayed 2 inches by 1 inch. (In the past, it grew as she did, respectively.) Also, the eyelid patch seems to have repigmented some from last year. (I’m waiting for her summer tanned skin to be in full swing before I say for certain, since that’s when it shows up best.)

    I was wondering if others have experienced similar results. I heard that some people only get one or 2 spots in their whole life, and that’s it. So- I don’t know if she WOULD have gotten more anyways. I’m not willing to test that theory, though, as it seems most people don’t stop at one. We are sticking with paleo. :)

    I have several friends with vitiligo, and I was fishing for more success stories to give hope. Thanks for the info about RW’s client. :)

    Cheers!

  7. Trent says

    180 days ago I started Whole30 with my daughter and son-in-law. I am 67, had severe inflammation in my achilles tendons due to bone spurs. I weighed 224 at 6’1″ and had aching knees and hips most of the time. After 30 days the inflammation was significantly better and I decided to stay with the program religiously. Each month the symptoms subsided and the weight was coming off at a rate of about 1.5 lbs. per week with good workouts four days a week.

    So, here I am at 180 days, 30 pounds lighter with very few aches and pains and even those are minor and come and go with workouts and other activities. I still strictly adhere to the plan and will start adding in a few more healthy things in the next week or two. Food has become a necessary part of everyday life instead of a comfort and a social thing. My cholesterol dropped from 275 to 159 and I no longer take any anti-inflammatories to deal with the tendons.

    My wife, Pam, joined me in Whole30 sixty days ago and she has dropped 20 lbs. and looks wonderful. Thanks Whole30, or should I say “Thanks Whole 180″?

  8. says

    @Trent – wow, that’s some fantastic testimonial! Good for you and your wife, and congratulations on your success. I see continued health improvements for you both if you take the lessons you’ve learned during your Whole30 with you into the rest of your life.

    Best,

    Melissa

  9. MAnn Wallace says

    Thank you for the list. I have acne, and lower back pain. I bought the book and look forward to reading it throughly this week. I will be starting this on August 15th as I am leaving for a two week vacation. During the next two weeks, I plan on slowly eliminating foods so when I arrive home I am ready to go.

  10. Jim M says

    Did the Whole 30 from July 5th through August 3rd. Dropped 23lbs, went down a pants size. And lost over 3.5 inches on my waist.

    Feel great!

  11. Michael says

    I am new dad of baby boy twins….such a blessing. I am wondering if there are any parents or suggestions out there on how to begin/accomplish the whole30 program while dealing with all the “blessings” that come with newborn children. Thank you.

    -looking to change my life-

    Michael

  12. says

    Michael,

    Welcome! Try posting on the Whole30 Facebook page (www.facebook.com/whole30). I’m sure there are plenty of new parents who can offer support and encouragement.

    Congratulations to you!

    Melissa

  13. Bob Ottaway says

    I found out about the Whole30 through CrossFit in Townsville where I train. A large group of people from CrossFit Townsville did the Whole30 earlier this year with some great results but I was unable (or uncommitted) to doing it at that time.

    My wife (Leanne), our children (Madeline, 13 and Lewis, 10) and I decided to commence the challenge the day after the National Rugby League Grand Final (3 Oct 2011) which would take us through to Melbourne Cup Day (2 Nov 2011).

    Lewis lasted one day on the strict Whole30 Program which was one day more than we expected but he did have 30 days of eating much healthier than usual due to us being on it and a month without Pizza or McDonalds which did him the world of good. He did enjoy all the good food we ate especially at dinner time.

    For me I thought the biggest challenge would be no beer for 30 days. Being a (very) regular beer drinker for about 30 years straight made going 30 days without it look like an eternity. No bread also seemed a bit weird at first. But after a few days I got used to life without “bread and beer” and I think these were 2 of the big benefit areas for me.

    At first I seemed to lack a bit of energy and I got a few cramps but after a few days I settled into a routine. Now at the end my CrossFit performances have improved a lot. I have also dropped 6 or 7 kilos, and from the right places (my trousers are falling down). I’m at about 77 kilos which is probably my ideal “playing” weight for my height. Still can’t crack a muscle-up, but I’m getting much closer. Probably the best thing for me is the regular arthritic pain that I had in my knee and shoulder now seems to be gone.

    Madeline did really well to last the distance. When friends have parties and stuff it’s difficult to refrain. Actually most of her friends are really conscious of eating healthy foods. Times have changed since I was that age (I think that’s when I started on the beer!). Maddie was getting a few pimples before going on the program but hasn’t had one since. None of us have had any signs of illness during the program even though some of our friends and workmates have caught things that are “going around.”

    Leanne’s been busy studying for her Engineering Exams during the Whole30. I believe she’s been a lot calmer and focussed than usual at this time (don’t tell her I said that). She’s also been successful in obtaining a new job which I reckon being on the Whole30 let her better prepare for the recruitment process including the interview.

    Anyway doing the Whole30 Program has been a great experience for all of us and has changed our eating habits permanently. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it, you won’t regret it and it becomes easy and rewarding.

    Cheers (in moderation),

    Bob.

  14. says

    Bob,

    What a wonderful story! Congratulations to you and your family on your Whole30 success – we’re so impressed that you were able to do the program together, with your kids. We’re thrilled with your results, and thank you for sharing them with us and our readers.

    Best,

    Melissa

  15. Jennifer M. says

    Kelly E of Marietta, GA – or ANYONE ELSE who has Hashimoto’s and is living the Whole9/Whole30 please contact me. Id love to hear of supplements, etc, that have helped you, besides, of course, this program :)

  16. Gracemarie Thames says

    I finished my first Whole 30 yesterday! Today, March 31st, is day 31. I am happy to say I lost the 6 pounds I had gained in February and 2% body fat. I had several reasons for doing the Whole 30, one of which was to practice self control. I truly did not use any self control or discipline since the end of January and all of February (hence the 6 pound weight gain!). It was time to reign it in! I feel like I accomplished that goal, even through getting some disappointing news this past week. When my closest girlfriend heard my disappointing news, she came over that evening with beautiful white roses and not 1, but 2 bags of chocolates, Milk Chocolate Doves and Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs! I didn’t have any! During week 3, I was able to bake what looked and smelled like my best batch of chocolate chip cookies ever without sampling the dough, or the cookies! And last night, on Day 30, I made this awfully naughty dessert that I’m bringing to a dinner party tonight, again without sampling any of it. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth!? And I love to bake.

    Unfortunately, I don’t really love to cook. However, in order to meet my goal, I cooked a lot during the Whole 30. I hate to admit it but I did get a bit tired of being in the kitchen. But it was definitely worth it! I found some recipe books I plan on ordering because I’m not very creative with my meals. And I will be downloading the eBook and pre-ordering your new book as well!

    My goal is to focus on wise food choices (be it Whole 30 or Paleo) during the week, and indulge a bit if I have a special occasion on the weekend. I am going to Level 1 CrossFit certification the first weekend of May, so I have another reason to stick with it in April. The weekends will be the hardest to get through as I have some sort of party or celebration each weekend this month. So I will be focusing on practicing self-control!

    My next Whole 30 will be a Whole 40, for the 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday at the end of September. I hope to be even “stricter” on that one, as I think the sweet potatoes and whole fat coconut milk that I added to the program around Day 23 (after I learned they were Whole 30 approved!) put some weight on me. I will admit, I was happy to learn I could eat sweet potatoes, so I ate them several times during my last 8 days on the program, along with the coconut milk. And I did add Larabar’s to my program after reading the ingredients. I’m not sure if they are technically “Whole 30 approved” but when I needed a snack and didn’t want to be in the kitchen, they came in handy! I will try to eliminate those on the next one.

    All in all, I thought it was a successful 30 days. I appreciate all you do to inspire success and wellness. The Whole 9 Website is a fantastic resource and I found a lot of encouragement on your Facebook page. Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Gracemarie Thames

  17. Brooke Palermo says

    I have been chronically tired since my early 20′s (I am 34 now). In the past, I have been told I am depressed, that I had a vitamin d deficiency…and that there was nothing wrong with me. Just part of getting older and having a baby. I learned to accept it, and just took a ton of naps.

    My best friend, Kelsey, is a personal trainer and has been living the paleo lifestyle since last s
    ummer. She has been encouraging me to try the eating plan ever since. Another good friend has Fibromyalgia and Kelsey recommended the plan for her also, stating it could really help her. We started our Whole 30 together.

    I have more energy than I have had in 15 years. It is amazing how much you can acomplish when you are awake! My friend has also experienced amazing results…her Fibromyalgia symptoms have completely dissappeared!

    The Whole 30 has completely changed both of our lives for the better! Thanks for being a great resource! You have helped us on our journey!

  18. Lisa Smith says

    Hello, I’m on week two of the Whole9 30 day. I’ve eaten clean in the past, but never to this extenxt. My husband and I are doing this together. I wanted to know some of the side effects some of you experienced. I have had a couple of really bad headaches. They came on me very quickly and lasted about 24 hours. All checked out well with a doctor so I wanted to hear some of the side effects.

    I love the 30days so far, after the first couple of days I felt great other then my headaches. I plan to contine on to the end. Thanks

  19. says

    Lisa,

    Visit our new forum – we’ve got all kinds of information on what to expect during your Whole30 there! http://forum.whole9life.com.

    Headaches are very common, especially in the first two weeks. As your body adjusts, they almost always go away on their own.

    Best,
    Melissa

  20. Scott G says

    I am a Houston firefighter and I just finished my Whole 30!! It was a bit of a challenge and tough transition at first but in 30 days i lost 15lbs and went down four inches in my waist! I have more energy than ever and I am sleeping better than I have in 12-15yrs. Not to mention all the compliments I have been getting on how good I look. I am motivated for another two months until my 36th birthday then i will weigh and measure again. You have motivated me like nobody else has in a long time with the results I have gotten and I am very thankful!!!

    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01

  21. says

    Scott G,

    AWESOME! Did you make Whole30 meals at the firehouse? We’re looking into getting a pilot group of firemen on the Whole30 all at once, cooking together at work. We’re thrilled to hear it’s helped you feel better and perform better, too. Keep us posted, and thanks for sharing your results with us!

    Best,
    Melissa & Dallas

  22. Jennie says

    You can add plantar fasciitis to the list. I was suffering for over a year with it. I had physical therapy to no avail. About week three of my Whole 30, it went away, and three months later — still eating a pretty clean diet — it still hasn’t returned. And while I know I need a knee replacement, my pain is almost entirely gone. It really has been miraculous!

  23. Jami McCormack says

    Wondering if anyone has been able to kick the caffeine with Whole30 nutrition and support??

  24. Bethany says

    I decided to to this Whole 30 as a post vacation reset, where I drank far to much wine and ate a lot of chocolate! I have been a Crossfitter and have been eating Paleo now for over 2 years, so I didn’t think I would see dramatic results with this, but I knew it would improve overall health. I was wrong, I DID see some dramatic and awesome results!

    I’m 5’7″, in shape, do Crossfit about 3-4 times a week, and I started this Challenge at 135lbs. I lost 5 lbs during the challenge, but that was not my focus of this. My overall body composition is much more toned. However, here were the biggest changes I noticed:

    Headaches gone!: I suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, and I used to get at least 3-4 headaches every week, and about 1 migraine a month. After the initial week of the Whole 30, my headaches were gone. (Note: On Day 31, I did have some chocolate and almost immediately, I had a sugar crash and headache. Proof is in the pudding, or..chocolate/sugar)

    Increased Energy/Strength: I work night shift and I have struggled to get proper sleep and feel rested. As a result, my WODs were suffering and I was compensating with too much caffeine and sugar. Throughout this Whole 30, my energy kept increasing. I now sleep better and deeper, I don’t have energy crashes in the middle of my shift, and I don’t get the sugar crash after trying to keep myself awake with sugar. My WODs have really improved and I PR’d a few of my Olympic lifts!

    Cravings: Since I have been doing Paleo for about 2 years already, it wasn’t too hard for me to not eat the grains, the legumes, breads, etc, because I don’t crave those anymore. However, I was still eating quite a bit of dairy, and I was still eating quite a lot of sugar. My cravings for sugar and dairy got pretty bad around day 15-19 of this challenge, and I had lots of dreams about sugar and pizza and cheesy things. However, once I broke through that, I can now say that my cravings for those things are greatly reduced or gone. I am perfectly satisfied with my fruit and coconut milk for dessert.

    Bloating/Stomach Pains: I’m pretty sensitive to food and gut issues in general. I can always tell when I’ve eaten something my body can’t digest because I get terribly bloated. I have solved my bloating problems for good with this challenge. I kept a detailed food journal and reported how I felt throughout the day. I discovered that raw nuts actually cause me stomach pains as well, so I cut those out too, and I feel much better. I also added digestive enzymes to my diet for help with digesting large quantities of raw veggies, and they work SO well! Goodbye stomach aches.

    I plan on turning the Whole 30 eating into the “norm” for me. I used to “cheat” a lot more than I realized, and thus I wasn’t getting the full results I wanted in my Crossfit training or my overall health. This has changed my perspective on food and sugar and cravings and I absolutely love the way I feel! Thank you Whole9, you guys rock!

    I also have to say that the “Well Fed” cookbook by Melissa Joulwan is the best cookbook EVER.

  25. Rebecca says

    Here is my own testimonial:

    I am 37, morbidly obese, 276 pounds at 5’6′ with a 53% body fat. I jumped right in and after 3 weeks of near-perfection (I had a few false starts because I had not had time to shop paleo and we were very nearly vegan, and I’d just made this huge batch of incredible beet soup with butter…) I had more energy than I’ve had since I was 13! It was like lots caffeine, but without the brain squeezing heart pounding and without a low. I felt amazing. I tore through my to-do lists like wildfire. So much clarity! I lost 5 pounds and you could see a difference. I didn’t have to pee at night, I slept better, I woke up better.

    But the downside:

    My milk dried up. I am breastfeeding, and my milk production dropped to half. Since my first priority is to feed my baby, I have had to up the fruit, add back in grain (mostly sprouted) and some cultured dairy. I have gone back to grazing instead of meals, too. I have been fat most of my life, so the weight loss can wait another year or so.

    But the great news is, I know what works for me now. I know exactly what I have to do, and I know it felt great. Every “diet” I have ever tried in 30 years left me bitchy and cranky and even if it worked, the weight always came back, so the months of suffering was for nothing. And the Weight Watchers crowd can take their “nothing tastes as great as being thin feels” crap and shove it. I have no recollection of what “being thin” feels like, but I know how good every bite of that ice cream will taste. But NOT eating ice cream is a small price to pay for springing out of bed in the morning, all 271 pounds of me and going about my day with a smile and ease that radiates from inside me. Yeah, Nutisystem worked for my in-laws, but that crap isn’t even food. This is real food, up to my high standards of whole and organic and humanely and nutritiously raised animal products. It is everything I know food should be, both emotionally and intellectually, so I won’t stray far, and I will be back as soon as I wean.

    Another good thing:
    I got a copy of the book for my uncle, who suffers greatly from diabetes and heart failure, and amputated toe, and a deep-fried gravy-covered southern upbringing. He now demands to go grocery shopping with my aunt, scooters through the produce department of Walmart hunting down ingredients, quotes from the book out loud like he does the Bible, and proudly prepares “Beckie dinners” every night. He learned his lesson last night after he came home from Walmart with a couple bags of Halloween Candy and dug in. He woke up this morning sick, sugars up, moaning for my aunt to take the candy away – he doesn’t want to see chocolate again until the first goblin rings the doorbell. Over 70 years of diabetes, gravy, bologna and white bread, and the man has found out that IT STARTS WITH FOOD.

    Thank you.

  26. says

    Rebecca,

    Thank you for sharing your story, and the influence your own efforts have had on those you love. I’m sorry you found the Whole30 difficult for breastfeeding – I suspect you simply weren’t getting enough calories in to maintain milk supply. But in the meantime, you can continue to eat as healthfully as you can, given your context, and return to the Whole30 when you can – it will be here waiting for you! I wish you the best of luck.

    Best,
    Melissa

  27. Holly says

    I finished my first Whole 30 2 days ago. I cannot say enough about this program! I have PCOS and have suffered from migraines and depression most of my life. I have been using low-carb/high-protein diets to keep my symptoms in some sort of control, but the migraines and depression were just not going away. Within my first week of the Whole 30 my mood lifted. Within 2 weeks I could say I was actually happy, something I haven’t been able to say consistently ever! I haven’t had a migraine since I began, a nagging tendonitis in my ankle has disappeared, my skin has cleared up, I’m sleeping as if I’m in a coma and waking up feeling refreshed and ready for my workout. I lost 13 pounds and kicked my caffeine habit. I feel like I’ve woken up to a brand new way of thinking and doing and I just feel fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this with the world! I’m doing my best to spread the word among friends and co-workers because I know it will add to their happiness no matter who they are. I’ve nicknamed this the “Whole Happiness” program, because that’s what it did for me! Thanks again!.

  28. Robin says

    I finished my first Whole 30 4 days ago, and I’d like to share my results!

    I have always had allergies and have had asthma since I was 23, mostly cold-weather aggravated. For the past 10 years I have had trouble being able to smell. I suffered from sinusitis and nasal polyps which were surgically removed a few years ago. For about 6 months I was able to smell but eventually lost it again. This affects EVERYTHING. Especially tasting food.

    Since doing the Whole 30 I haven’t had to use my asthma medicine once and though I went through a mild sinus infection in the middle of my plan, yesterday I was able to smell ALL DAY LONG. Today too! I cannot even tell you how amazing it is to smell even the worst things when you haven’t been able to for months! I have kept to eating mostly on-plan (only have had a few drinks) and I am so excited about the possibility of keeping my new-found sense of smell!

    I have lost 11 lbs so far and my skin looks great. I fall asleep with ease and wake up ready to go. I feel like a new woman. I am grateful to this plan for giving me a new relationship with food and wellness. It feels amazing not to crave anything anymore, my hunger is different- manageable. The Whole 30 was easy most of the time, really hard some of the time, and completely and totally worth it.

    Thank you!

    P.S. My tips for success: Meal planning, long walks, lots of relaxy baths, face masks and fancy herbal teas. TREAT YO’SELF. And as far as how to tell your friends what you’re doing, just say, “I am just focusing on only putting the healthiest, most nutrient-dense food in my body for 30 days.” It’s easier for them to understand than the long list of contraband!

  29. says

    Today is my 30th day of my Whole30 experience. I went into this with the goal of changing my life. Sounds a little over the top, but I took my sister’s 150 lb weight loss and total lifestyle change and health as evidence that it could be done. I didn’t have a weight problem, but I have had a gut problem, and auto-immune problems, and joint problems, and abdominal adhesioins… I could go on and on. I’m only 38 and recently was told by an orthopedic surgeon that I have inflammation in the large bones that make up my knee along with a total breakdown of all the cartlige in my knee. I also have bursitis in my hip and arthritis in my hip. I knew something had to change. After my 30 days I unintentionally lost 5 lbs and probably at least an inch off my waist. I feel better. Period. I have no bloated, painful belly pain. I have less pain in my hip and knee. I’m not hungry and headachey all day. I’m well rested and have gone through a menstrual cycle without nearly the pain from adhesions that I’d usually experience during that time. I won’t go back to the way I ate before. It’s not worth it to me. I plan to add honey back to my diet and do more reading about what foods I should maybe increase to aide in my joint healing and auto-immune issues.

    My big take away tip is: READ LABELS! Things like, beef jerky (plain), sausage, bacon, vegetable chips, chicken broth, etc… that you wouldn’t think have sugar in them, do! These were my “oops I slipped and fell and my face landed in a pizza” moments. Good news is, I felt a distinct response in my body to the sugar in those foods within minutes of eating them.

    Thank you so much!

  30. Melanie says

    Today is Day 30 for me. I didn’t intend to start the Whole 30 when I did. I told a friend and my cousin about it, and then realized that the best way to support them would be to take the challenge with them. I have known about Whole30 for a few years. My brother and sister-in-law prescribe to the Paleo lifestyle, and a friend of mine also happens to live by the same guidelines. I have eaten Paleo intermittently over the last two years. I preach the truth, more than I prescribe to the truth. I absolutely believe in everything behind the Whole30 and Paleo, but I haven’t really taken action in those beliefs. I am the queen of helping others, and I feel as though I have introduced a lot of people to this lifestyle. It is something I speak at length about, but never personally invest in. This time was different. Well, sort of. I was committed, but for other people. It took about 15 days for this challenge to become MY challenge. Even if the other people failed or changed their mind, I knew that I would not. My little family of four joined me in this endeavor; although, the three and ten-year-old had a few cheats periodically. Then they all bailed on me for Superbowl Sunday! Watching them eat pizza was nauseating….I had no desire to join them. I will say that my family feels better. My three-year-old will tell strangers that items in their shopping cart aren’t healthy, and that, “we do the Whole30.” I have a mixture of pride and embarrassment! My ten-year-old has had irritable bowel troubles her entire life, and when she doesn’t “slip” she has had amazing improvement. I have more energy, no cravings (sometimes I have to remind myself to eat), and have become leaner. Moreover, I have completed something for ME. Paleo initially helped me let go of 27 years of food issues following the birth of my youngest. In 2008, I competed in a body building competition, and the horrible, unhealthy “diet” and cutting associated with that process sent me into a downward spiral with food. I was worried that the strict “rules” of the Whole30 would bring back some of those obsessive behaviors. I think this worry kept me from completing the challenge sooner. Surprisingly, it didn’t. This has proved to me that I have beaten them for good. I know that the Whole30 will serve as the “bull’s-eye” in our nutrition target for the rest of our lives. Our goal is to stay as close to the bull’s-eye as possible, but we will remind ourselves that the “bull’s-eye” is perfection, and we are imperfect. Some of the “all or nothing” rules associated with the Whole30 seem arbitrary to us, so we will use the Whole30 as a “guideline” going forward. I will continue to direct everyone I know to this lifestyle, especially the many truly sick people I know. I appreciate the commitment and no nonsense approach the Whole30 demands during this challenge. My family and our bodies greatly appreciated this opportunity. Thank you.

  31. Tommy says

    I started the Whole30 with my girlfriend after a health screening at work revealed my total cholesterol was 251. She got the Ebook and we both read it.

    Today (day 27) while out shopping, we did another health screening. My total cholesterol, after only 27 days, was 158 (down 93 points)!

    This diet is great! The drop in cholesterol, the increased energy and just generally feeling better make the whole diet worth giving up grains, sugar and legumes. After a few days, you don’t really miss them!

  32. Marva says

    Hey Melissa,

    I have one more day left to complete the Whole30 detox; it has changed my relationship with food!!!

    One problem though, that I found with me is that I was constipated. Now, I don’t know why when I was eating so many vegetables and some fruit. I thought that maybe I wasn’t drinking enough water or doing enough exercise.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    M

  33. says

    I have 10 days left but already in 20 days my life has changed. it is hard but since I started my relationship with food has be so much better. I really love this and it has changed how I act and exercise. I feel I can life more and I ran a 5K this year and I haven’t ran since last year… this was the first time I ran the whole 5K without stopping. It has been soooo great.. this is a new way of life. Thank you and I have lost some weight… I think…my clothes are looser…thank you.

  34. Pam says

    Day 12 of Whole30. I’m no stranger to trying new ‘diets’ or cutting out gluten, sugar, fat for periods of time, and I’d like to think of myself as health conscious. I avoid a lot of common BAD things (aspartame, parabens, pesticides) and have been doing so for years… but I’ve never had a healthy relationship with sugar. My goal has been to conquer the sugar addiction and not really to lose weight. The first week was difficult, and I found myself stuffing my face with allowable food to avoid eating the sugar (chocolate is my weakness and had been a dietary staple). The second half of Whole30 will also focus on reducing food intake. BUT, a pleasant surprise has been a vast decrease in hot flashes! I am 48 and in the middle of perimenopause. For 2 months I’ve been getting up to 20 hot flashes per day/night which completely destroyed my sleep. For the past 3 days I’ve had maybe 4 hot flashes during the day, and last night I think I had ONE! I feel a sense of clarity and my mood is better. My skin looks like it has a glow. Last night I ate a huge plate of broccolini and was amazed at how sweet it tasted! I look forward to the time where I start adding back grains and dairy to see if I can find the culprit, but I’m already convinced it has been the sugar all along. Bless you for creating a book that works hard to explain the purpose behind eating well without sounding preachy. I am a fan.

  35. Becky says

    Well, I started the whole 30 in Feb 13, and now 6 months later I simply cannot believe the difference. It was hard, really hard at first to adjust my diet…but I started this with my daughter and I was determined to give it a shot. I must admit I started the Whole 30 to lose weight, but this is now part of my lifestyle. I am 52, mother of 5, struggled with weight gain, chronic migraines, mood swings and acnes (yes acne at 52-yuck). My whole 30 experience was like many others on this blog: Throughout week one-headaches and cravings, week two – cravings, week three-I was getting bored and needed more variety, week 4 – wow, I really started feeling good and healthy. Now I am 35 lbs lighter (171 to 136) and have had only had 2 migraines since starting and that is great. Acne is cleared up and I just feel really good-lots of energy. I’ve had people ask me if I am going to stop when I reach a certain weight and I tell them, no, this has been really good for me, why would I go backwards? I am so thankful for the information on this website and the great tips and guidance.

  36. says

    I comment when I appreciate a post on a site or I have something to
    contribute to the conversation. It is a result of the fire communicated in the article I
    read. And after this post The Whole30™ A-Z: Real Life Testimonials | Whole9 | Let us change your
    life.. I was actually moved enough to leave a thought :) I do have 2 questions for you if
    you do not mind. Is it only me or do some of these responses come across as
    if they are written by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on other places, I’d like to
    keep up with everything new you have to post. Could you make a list every one of your communal sites like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?