From Whole30 headmistress Melissa Hartwig, who has been known to happily eat cold Applegate hot dogs on flights.
When our Whole30 Approved partner Applegate pitched us the idea of a “Clean Slate. Clean Plate.” campaign for January, my first question was, “What do you guys mean by ‘clean?’”
If you know anything about me and the Whole30, you’ll know we’re very careful about the language we use around food, and the words we use to describe ourselves in relation to the food we eat. As I explain in detail in Food Freedom Forever and this blog post, the words you choose to describe your diet and yourself are profoundly impactful on your Whole30 and food freedom journey—and you’ve probably been speaking about food this way for so long, you don’t even realize the effect.
The foods we eliminate on the Whole30 program are not “bad,” they’re just “unknown.” YOU are not “good” when you eat Whole30 or “bad” when you enjoy your food freedom. We don’t promote “clean eating” because that implies that your Sunday morning pancakes or anniversary glass of wine are “dirty.” Even the word “healthy” can be loaded—healthy for whom? And in what context—physically, emotionally, spiritually?
So when Applegate replied by asking what “clean plate” means to ME, I immediately tossed out a few visions—ways to embrace the idea of a “clean plate” in this new year without judgment, shame, or morality. So here’s what I mean when I talk about the New Year being the perfect time for a clean slate and a “clean plate” in the context of our life-changing Whole30 program.
A Clean Plate contains protein from humanely-raised animals, transparently (cleanly) sourced and labeled.
While sourcing animal protein from humanely-raised sources isn’t a Whole30 requirement, paying attention to how the animals you are eating were raised and fed is good for the animal, the environment, the community, and your body. But labeling is tricky these days, and it’s not always easy to tell the brands who really put animal welfare first. Even if you do your homework and visit the brand’s website, you still may not learn whether their chickens are actually spending time outdoors, or if their “family” farms are really a factory-farming operation.
Applegate’s animal welfare policy is both conscientious and transparent. Their website describes their practices in detail by animal, and their labeling is clear—no buzzwords without backup to specific certifications or verifications. Reviewing their standards and current initiatives means you can feel good about the level of care and responsibility that went into sourcing your Whole30 Approved protein sources, and drawing such a clean line between their animals and their products is something I felt good about when evaluating Applegate for partnership.
A Clean Plate contains ingredients that are 100% in line with the Whole30 program rules, with no grey area.
Reading product labels on the Whole30 can make you feel like you need a PhD in nutrition science. “What’s sodium nitrite/dextrose/hydrolyzed corn protein, and why is it in my meat?” It’s not always easy to tell the not-so-healthy stuff (like added sugar) from the sounds-scary-but-it’s-totally-fine stuff (like ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C). But there’s no degree required to review Applegate’s Whole30 Approved line. Like, their Applegate OrganicsⓇ Turkey Burger. “Ingredients: organic turkey, rosemary extract.” That’s pretty clean labeling!
The Applegate Whole30 Approved line-up is also cleanly marked on their website, and contains 17 products with zero mystery ingredients. Finding 100% Whole30 Approved protein has never been easier—you won’t even need your Whole30 label-reading guide!
A Clean Plate means you eat to satiety—no counting calories, purposefully reduced portions, or deprivation.
One of the main points of the Whole30 is that we’re not a diet, and it’s not about weight-loss. That means you’re choosing whole, real, nutrient-dense food without tracking, weighing, or reducing your calories or portions. After just a few weeks, you’ll be able to trust the signals your body is sending you, relying on hunger and energy to guide your meal size.
Imagine sitting around the table at dinner, enjoying a relaxed, delicious meal featuring Applegate protein. You’re not worried about how much you’re eating, how much you need to limit your portions, or whether your macros are “right.” You’re listening to your body, eating slowly, serving yourself as much food as you need for your activity level and goals, and happily cleaning your plate, knowing you’re changing your life one bite at a time.
A Clean Plate means you’re in and out of the kitchen FAST, leaving you more time to enjoy all the benefits of your Whole30.
Almost all Whole30’ers report cooking more during their program (often with family or friends), and love building their kitchen confidence with new recipes or ingredients. But not every meal needs to be a 20-step from-scratch Instagram-worthy religious experience. If you’re going to turn your Whole30 into a food freedom lifestyle, you have to make it sustainable, and sometimes, that means getting dinner on the table fast.
We’ve given you 150 all-new recipes in The Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook, and Applegate has you covered on protein. Featuring everything from pre-cooked hot dogs to chicken dinner sausage to grilled chicken strips, their Whole30 Approved line-up is both delicious and convenient, requiring less prep and cooking time. Having Applegate protein on hand lets you whip up hearty, great tasting Whole30 meals AND gets you out of the kitchen (with gleaming countertops and clean plates) in record time.
Clean Slate. Clean Plate. With Applegate and Whole30
Some words, like “diet” and “clean,” are unavoidable—but that doesn’t mean they have to assume the same negative or damaging meaning in your brain. Your diet is just the way you eat, not a plan for deprivation, hunger, and rebounding… and a “clean plate” can mean anything you want it to mean, in the context of your life-changing Whole30 experience.
So how can you take the concept of a “clean plate” and redefine it in a way that feels healthy to YOU? We’d love to hear from you, so search for #ApplegateWhole30 on Instagram and share your thoughts on our post.
Best in health,
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