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First launched in 2009 by Melissa Urban, the 30-day program of elimination and reintroduction of foods known as Whole30 has won legions of fans — evidenced, among other things, by the brand’s more than 4 million social media followers, and the mega-bestseller stats of Urban’s six Whole30 books. But, while plenty of plant-based eaters have made Whole30 work for them, the program has not historically been set up with vegans and vegetarians in mind. That has finally changed, with the debut this week of Plant-Based Whole30.
Plant-Based Whole30 is a complete protocol that achieves the same goals as what will now be known as “Original Whole30” but without the animal products. The new program — only the second version of the program yet created — was developed by Urban along with Registered Dietician Stephanie Greunke and vetted by a panel of medical and nutrition advisors.
“We have always supported the vegan and vegetarian members of our community with resources and guides, but the new Plant-Based Whole30 is our most comprehensive offering to a new subset of people who could not join the Original Whole30 because of their personal beliefs or dietary preferences,” says Urban, the co-founder and CEO of Whole30. “I’m proud that we now offer programs to reach more people who want a life-changing reset to help get them on the right path and ultimately create an individualized diet to work best within their unique context and values.”
Over the course of a Whole30 program, participants eliminate a lot from their diets, including alcohol, added sugar, and grains. A big difference between the original and new plant-based version is that the latter allows for the consumption of legumes, nuts, plant-based protein powders, and some soy.
“One of the most common questions about adopting a plant-based diet is ‘Where do you get your protein?’” says Urban. “We’ve compiled years of research and our clinical experience into The Plant-Based Whole30 program, which prioritizes adequate protein intake, blood sugar regulation, and metabolic health.”
In an attempt to make it easier for participants to identify prepared ingredients and restaurant dishes that they can pick up while doing the plan, the company licenses a Whole30 Approved logo to appear on an array of compliant products. Of them, the company points out in a statement, 65 brands are making items that can be eaten while doing a Plant-Based Whole30, including Kite Hill, Nutiva, and even Chipotle.
To get started with a plant-based Whole30 program, participants are encouraged to visit the brand’s website for a prep pack, recipes, and additional guidance. On February 28, Urban and Greunke will also be presenting a live online kick-off of the first-ever “Worldwide Plant-Based Whole30,” set to take place in March.