One of our favorite parts of this job is getting to interact with you. We chat on our Whole9 and Whole30 Facebook pages, we answer questions on Twitter, we shout you out on Instagram, and we provide support and encouragement on our Whole30 forum.

Oh yeah—and we respond to, like, 823,537 emails every week. Whew.

Of course, we’re not the only folks out there answering questions and offering advice… but we think one of our unique strengths is understanding not just the technicalities of a healthy diet and lifestyle, but the psychology behind making this kind of significant lifestyle shift. The kinds of questions we like answering best aren’t about omega 3’s or grain proteins—they’re about how to make these changes in a healthy, sustainable manner, given all sorts of real-life obstacles.

Stressful jobs. Financial constraints. Unsupportive families. Histories of eating disorders and addictions. Social isolation. Unhealthy relationships with food. Negative self-talk. Anxiety. Self-doubt. 

These are just a few of the difficult situations we all face in today’s busy, modern world. And figuring out how to navigate these situations around a Whole30, Paleo diet, or Primal lifestyle is some of what we do best.

With that, we are test-driving a new featuring on the 9 Blog for the month of August. Remember “Dear Abby,” that trusted and tart-tongued adviser to millions, answering all kinds of questions about sticky situations?

Welcome to “Dear Melissa”—just as trusted, just as sassy, but without the pearls.

Ask Melissa 

Every week during the month of August, Whole9’s Melissa Hartwig will be answering reader-submitted questions live on the 9 Blog. We’ll focus on the emotional, psychological, and social challenges our readers face when transitioning into or maintaining a healthy Whole9 life, bringing in subject matter experts where needed.

Note, this isn’t the place to ask a technical question (“Is mesquite flour Paleo?”), get a personal consultation (“Why aren’t I losing weight?”), or request a science-y explanation (“What’s the deal with saponins?”). In this series, we’re not dealing with technicalities—we’re helping people figure out how to make this new, healthy lifestyle work in the real world.

My husband won’t do the Whole30 with me—how do I resist when he’s eating junk food right in front of me? Every time I visit my Mom, I end up face-first in a pile of cookies—what do I do during my next visit? I keep starting and stopping an exercise routine—how do I make it stick this time? None of my friends support my new, healthy lifestyle—do I need to get new friends?

For these kinds of questions and more, we’ll offer you practical advice, hold your hand, and kick your butt all at the same time. (We’re known for our tough love around here, but we promise to wield it carefully.) So flex those fingers and submit your question today, using our handy Dear Melissa form. Look for our first response on the 9 Blog on Friday, June 28th.

We look forward to helping you live your very best Whole9 life. 

Melissa Hartwig & the Whole9 Team