February 14, 2024

Embracing Change with The New Whole30

Dear Melissa—Melissa Urban wearing a light blue jean top and darker blue jeans, cooking on a wooden table top, and smiling at the camera.

Dear Melissa,

Your flagship book, The Whole30, came out in April 2015—almost nine years ago. Have you thought about updating that book, and if so, what would you most want to change or revise? —Love, Everyone

Dear Everyone,

I get this question all the time, and I’ve been thinking about it for years. The Whole30 was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, and has gone on to sell more than 1.6 million copies in North America alone. Every January, it climbs back up Amazon’s “top books” list, sitting at the top of the “Best Diet Books” category during the week between Christmas and New Years. (It pains me to see it listed as such, but the exposure is still great.)

The evolution of Whole30 (and me)

Still, a lot about the Whole30 has changed since 2015. First, we launched a whole new version of the program in 2022—the Plant-Based Whole30! That program isn’t reflected in The Whole30 at all. In fact, the views I held on veganism in 2015 have evolved tremendously  throughout the years, based on research, clinical experience, and my own personal growth. I’ve written about that on the website, but was eager to memorialize the inclusive nature of our dietitian-designed Plant-Based Whole30 program in print.

We’ve also had several program rule changes since 2015, which (again) are reflected on our website, but were never updated in The Whole30 book. These rule changes mostly add things back into the program, but along the way, we’ve also made adjustments to the Pancake Rule language. (In 2015, cauliflower hadn’t yet discovered it could be gnocchi, pretzels, or pizza crust). Still, science is always science-ing. It was time to examine the assumptions made in that earlier book, and conduct a thorough and unbiased assessment of the current research. (Some of the rule changes you’ll see in The New Whole30 may surprise you!)

Our Whole30 recommendations have changed for the better too, becoming more realistic and practical around subjects like snacking, smoothies, and fruit. The hard stances I took in 2015 around some of these areas have melted away as I’ve raised my own child, sought out unbiased research, and explored my own privileges in contrast with others’ lived experiences. Today’s Whole30 meets you where you are, and encourages you to “let good enough be good enough.” In The New Whole30, you’ll find the kind of support that will empower so many more of you to successfully complete the program with life-changing results.

All of these experiences—in particular, my own personal growth—have led to a gradual but noticeable change in the Whole30’s tone, voice, and language. The “tough love” stance for which I was famous (back when the Whole30 was primarily a tool used by CrossFit gyms) isn’t who I am today, and no longer serves our vastly expanded, increasingly diverse community. Having learned more about diet culture, I’d never use terms like “less healthy foods” or “good food choices” today, but they’re sprinkled throughout my old books. 

Even the recipes in The Whole30—while delicious, satisfying, and creative—no longer represent the breadth and depths of flavors and ingredients reflected in the cultures of our community. We could do so much more to highlight the meals important to your families, allowing you to continue sharing in those traditions during your Whole30.

Say hello to THE NEW WHOLE30

It was time for not just an update, not just a revision, but a complete re-imagination of The Whole30. The program, the brand, and you, the reader, deserved a fresh rewrite, start to finish. And I’ve spent the last two years doing just that.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to THE NEW WHOLE30: The Definitive Plan to Transform Your Health, Habits, and Relationship with Food,coming August 6, 2024 and available for pre-order everywhere books are sold. 

The new Whole30 Book

The New Whole30 features:

  • The ultimate guide to the Original and Plant-Based Whole30 programs
  • Updated rules, recommendations, and success strategies
  • Extensive FAQs, expanded shopping lists, and comprehensive meal templates
  • More than 100 all-new recipes featuring flavors and recipes from around the globe
  • The most welcoming, inclusive, supportive voice of any Whole30 book to date

I’ve worked hard to ensure The New Whole30 helps each and every one of you feel seen, welcomed, and supported, and can succeed with the program in a whole new way. The New Whole30 will become THE go-to Whole30 resource for new Whole30’ers and alumni alike, and will introduce a whole new audience to the community through the Plant-Based side of our program. 

I can’t WAIT for you to get The New Whole30 into your kitchens and libraries—it’ll be out August 6th, in plenty of time for the September Whole30!

In the meantime, stay tuned to Whole30’s newsletters, social media channels, and my newsletter XO, MU, to hear a lot more about The New Whole30 in the coming months, including sneak peeks of the content and recipes; behind-the-scenes of the gorgeous food styling, prop styling, and photography (shout-out to Ghazalle Badiozamani, who has shot my last four books); pre-order bonus content (save your receipts!); book tour cities and dates; and more.

Today, it’s all about welcoming The New Whole30 to our family of Whole30 books, and getting excited for the next phase of Whole30 for all. YOU are the heart of Whole30, and I’m excited to hear what you think about the new book.

Click this link to leave us a comment, a question, or a shout of joy about The New Whole30—and maybe you’ll see your question featured in an upcoming Dear Melissa!

XO Melissa 


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