We are Whole30 Approved!
…wait, what does that mean?
Whole30 Basics: What, Why, and How
Get ready for a complete health reset. It’s a commitment, but the Whole30 diet promises to change your life. Stick with the program for 30 days, and you’ll experience profound physical and psychological benefits. In fact, your entire relationship with food will evolve.
The best news? Verde Farms grass-fed beef is officially Whole30 approved. This means our Never Ever and Organic grass-fed beef products are 100% compliant with the rules. The Whole30 team has not only vetted our products, but also our core values and mission: to provide everyone real, clean food.
What is the Whole30 diet?
At Verde, we love food – and the word “diet” makes us shudder. So, first things first: the Whole30 is about eating real, nourishing food.
Created in 2009, founder Melissa Hartwig describes the Whole30 diet as “a reset for your health, your habits, and your relationship with food.”
Based in nutritional science and clinical experience (check out It Starts with Food for the nitty gritty), the Whole30 program removes foods that cause cravings, create inflammation, screw with your metabolism and hormones, damage your immune system, and do a number on your digestive track. But you may be surprised at what foods are excluded.
The Whole30 is intentionally a limited time project, although you’ll likely maintain most principles because you feel so darn good. After 30 days, you systematically reintroduce foods and carefully attend to how your body reacts. With a new baseline, you’ll be able to determine what foods help or hinder your energy, mood, digestion, etc. Read: “food freedom” and the ability to feel your very best on a day-to-day basis.
Whole30 Dos and Don’ts
Take a deep breath, it’s not as bad as it seems.
Allowed: Real food. Meat (especially grass-fed, lean, and ethically-raised meat), seafood, eggs. Fruit and lots of veggies. Natural, healthy fats (e.g. olive and coconut oil). Nuts except peanuts. Herbs, spices, seasonings.
Disallowed: Sugar, real or artificial (e.g. Stevia). Alcohol (sorry!). Grains (everything from wheat to corn to quinoa). Legumes (e.g. beans, peanuts, soy). Dairy. Carrageenan, MSG, sulfites (you don’t want these, anyway).
Exceptions: ghee/clarified butter, fruit juice, certain legumes (green beans, snap peas, snow peas), vinegar, coconut aminos.
And one more thing: no scales. More on that below.
Why do the Whole30?
Low energy, achy joints, sluggish metabolism, autoimmune issues? Your diet is a major factor — even for those of us that generally eat well. By eliminating potentially harmful food sources, your body has a chance to reset and heal. This space gives you a new baseline level so moving forward, you’ll understand how food affects your body.
It’s rigorous, but the payoff is huge. Whole30 can correct hormonal imbalances and digestive issues, improve a slew of medical conditions, and strengthen your immune system. You change long-standing, unhealthy habits, break cravings (3 PM sugar boost, anyone?) and reboot your relationship with food and your body.
No scales and no calorie counting – this is about your health, not just your weight. That said, a whopping 95% of participants report losing weight and improving body composition. Other common reports: better energy and sleep, improved focus and mental clarity, improved digestion, better athletic performance, and a lift in general mood.
Food reactions are at the heart of any number of ailments, especially autoimmune disorders. Improvement of any number of conditions, listed on their site, include high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, allergies, psoriasis and eczema, MS, arthritis, join paint, thyroid dysfunction, Celiac, ulcerative colitis, bipolar disorder… the list goes on and on.
A critical piece of Whole30 advice: get support
At Verde, a number of us have done the work and reaped the rewards of the Whole30…. and it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There may have been a meltdown or two. The author of this post may or may not have shed tears outside of an ice cream establishment.
Success without misery involves planning, shopping, cooking, reading labels (sugar is in more items than you think), and saying “no.”
Fortunately, there’s a whole community to support you. The Whole30 book is a bible of sorts, and includes tips, FAQs, shopping lists, and recipes. Visit the Whole30 website, follow the Whole30approved Instagram, check out the Facebook page, and subscribe to the Wholesome newsletter. Millions of people have done it, and you can, too.
More good news
It’s a heck of a lot more fun when you make it delicious. The Whole30 book has over 100 recipes – and they have an entire dedicated cookbook if you need more! Not to mention, Google knows dozens more websites that feature Whole30 approved meals.
We’ll continue to feature our own Whole30 recipes here on the blog – or send your own and we’ll feature it!
Whole30 Recipe: Summer Steak and Vegetables
Like a good friend, this recipe is forgiving. You can play with what’s in the spice rub – add onion powder, omit the coriander, fire up the cayenne. Adjust the seasonings to taste and make it your own. As for the grilled vegetables, use what you have! Eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, and butternut squash are just a few nice additions. If you’re feeling really wild, add fruit.
For the steak:
3 TBP salt
2 TBP freshly ground black pepper
2 TBP paprika
2 TSP chile powder
2 TSP dried oregano
1 TSP turmeric
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP ground coriander
1/4 TSP cayenne pepper
4 Verde Farms Organic, 100% Grass Fed Steaks: sirloin, strip, ribeye, or tenderloin
Take steaks out ~30 minutes ahead of time to get to room temp.
Mix all spice ingredients together in a small bowl.
Season each steak liberally and evenly on all sides. Let sit for ~30 minutes.
While steaks sit, preheat grill to HIGH high (high).
Grill on each side ~4 minutes (internal temp of 125 degrees). Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
For the veg:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
2 yellow squash, slicked lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick rectangles
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick rectangles
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion cut into 6 even wedges
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 TBP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 TSP black pepper
2 – 4 TSP fresh herbs, e.g. parsley, basil, rosemary
Have grill on high heat.
Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup olive oil to coat.
Place vegetables in batches on the grill (at an angle to prevent them from falling through the slats) until tender and lightly charred.
Use your judgment, but roughly 8 – 10 minutes for onions and bell peppers; 7 minutes for squash and zucchini, 4 minutes for asparagus. To get those lovely grill marks, minimize shifting the veggies once they’re on the grill.
Whisk 2 TBP olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle over vegetables and serve.