Let me share with you how to do a modified Whole30.

….because I’m a Whole30 dropout – and pretty proud of that.

Want to know the 9 reasons I’m a Whole30 dropout? Oh good. I knew you did.

I made it 6 (of 30) days on my first Whole 30 before I officially dropped out of the program. 

Danggit. Worst student ever.

Now, before I tell you why I’m a dropout, I want to review what the Whole30 diet consists of.

What is the Whole30 Diet?

According to their website, the rules state that you eliminate the following for a 30-day period:

  1. Added sugar (real or artificial sweeteners): This includes agave nectar, brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar, date syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, monk fruit extract, stevia (Truvia), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), erythritol, and xylitol. The only exception is 100% fruit juice (see the Fine Print).
  2. Alcohol: This includes wine, champagne, beer, hard cider, hard kombucha, vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, tequila, etc., in any form (drinking, as an ingredient, or for cooking).
  3. Grains: This includes wheat, rye, barley, triticale, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways wheat, corn, and rice are added to foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on.
  4. Legumes: This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, garbanzo/chickpeas, white, kidney, lima, fava, cannellini, lentils, adzuki, mung, cranberry, and black-eyes peas); peanuts (including peanut butter or peanut oil); and all forms of soy (soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy protein, soy milk, or soy lecithin). Exceptions are green beans and most peas (see the Fine Print).
  5. Dairy Products: This includes cow’s-, goat’s-, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. The only exceptions are clarified butter or ghee (see the Fine Print).
  6. Baked goods, pasta, cereal, potato chips, and fries: This includes baked goods made with alternative flours (bread, tortillas, wraps, crackers, pizza or pie crust, biscuits, pancakes, crepes, waffles, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies); pasta or noodles made with alternative flour; cereals made with alternative flour; chips (including potato, sweet potato, tortilla, plantain, taro, or cassava chips); French fries or tots. (See the Pancake Rule.)

The fine print: These foods are allowed during the elimination phase:

  • Fruit juice, even if used as a sweetener
  • Green beans 
  • Most peas (sugar snap, snow, green, yellow, and split peas)
  • Ghee or clarified butter 
  • Coconut aminos (made from fermented coconut syrup)
  • Alcohol-based botanical extracts (like vanilla, lemon, or lavender) 
  • Certain vinegars (champagne, red wine, sherry, white wine; or rice) 
  • Iodized salt (which contains dextrose as a stabilizer)

Okay, so with that, let’s dive into my failure 🙂

9 Reasons I’m a Whole30 Dropout

Click HERE to save this post on the modified Whole30 for later.

9 reasons I'm a Whole30 dropout with A Gutsy Girl agutsygirl.com

Slay the sugar dragon. 

During my first 6 days, I slayed that dragon, and that was my main goal because sugar is not a good idea, and honestly I don’t care what anyone says about that. 

What I did realize is that there is sugar in everything. Side note: when I say everything, that’s what I mean. Check out THESE 192 sources and alternate names for sugar.

That said, on the whole, I don’t believe I was eating that much sugar in the first place. If I had been, slaying the sugar dragon would have been much harder. In fact, I plan to keep on being super cognizant about sugar and where I get it from.

Funky fresh flavor. 

The other reason I wanted to do a Whole30 was to be inspired to add more flavor and variety to our meals. Mission accomplished in 6 days, and I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon.

I already had my eating habits dialed in for this.

Whole30 “added sugar” rule. 

According to the “rules,” and the off-limits list, I could not have my beloved Organic Amylu’s Breakfast Sausage because it uses maple syrup. Yet, per serving there was only 1g of sugar. 

However, I could have my Chicken Apple Sausage because the sugar came from apples and fruit juice as a sweetener. Those have 3g of sugar per serving. 

For me, that doesn’t make any sense. 

These days marketers are getting by with so much saying “no sugar added” when the truth is that the product is filled with fruit juice fillers. 

Just give me my straight up maple or honey, and Amylu’s. 

But now that I’m thinking about it, the concept of those sausages might not have been approved in the first place?

Bread making. 

The Paleo diet allows you to bake, and eat “bready” products, but not Whole30. 

It’s a psychology thing, and I totally get it. We should mostly just be eating whole foods, as they are. 

But the fact that I felt I had to feel bad for wanting my AIP Bread was insane to me! It’s mostly made of plantains, and plantains rock this house because they are a natural prebiotic.


We have a tradition that on Sunday nights we eat a jumbo bowl of white rice, bok choy, and farmer’s market smoked salmon. 

However, the Whole30 program rules state no grains – and obviously, rice is a grain. 

But this meal is so good, and it’s filled with healthy fats, fiber, and then yes, the white rice. But honestly? Rice has never had a negative impact on me.

Bonked run. 

My 12-mile run on Saturday was the worst I’ve had in a long time. 

For the past couple of weeks, I had been running like my own champ. But Saturday felt slow and far too hard. 

And then, after the run, I was constantly all, “Carbs, carbs, carbs…..” but fell short with just bananas and sweet potatoes, veggies, and some other things. 

Usually, right after my runs, I’d have a protein pancake and/or some of my AIP Bread, which is perfect. Then, later in the day, I’d have white rice. I needed that on Saturday, but was trying too hard not to become a Whole30 dropout.

ZERO issues.

People typically do a Whole30 for 2 reasons……

  1. They need the structure because they have never eaten “real food,” and want to get their feet wet or
  2. They have gut/other health problems they are trying to solve, and they think Whole30 will help them get started with answers. 

You should know that I think both of those are legit and accurate, and if you fall there, it might be the perfect start for you. 

For me? Clearly, I don’t need any help with whole form food, and my gut is the absolute best it has been in years! 

But in fact….

Too many FODMAPs.

Ironically, because I couldn’t have white rice, my AIP Bread, and protein pancakes, I was always needing to fill in with other carbs, which ended up being high FODMAP carbs (like sweet potatoes, apples, etc.) 

A few days ago I began feeling a hint of that “upper fermentation,” and honestly? I got scared. 

I have been feeling so amazing, and if things that are Whole30 forbidden keep me thriving, then it’s just not for me.

“No” when you don’t need to. 

I wrote A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut because, by the time most people read it, they need to get better. 

They are suffering and have been for quite some time. I know because I lived it as well, and when I followed the book’s teachings, I began to heal initially. 

You say “Yes To” and “No To” in my book because you just want to feel better, BUT if something on those lists feels out of alignment for you then you don’t follow it. Simple as that.

It is not meant to be a “diet” that lasts for a long duration because I no longer believe that we should ever have a “No To” list not warranted. I could go on and on and on about the negatives with it (from the physical to emotional negatives). 

Life is too short.

Modified Whole30

So anyways, here I am – a Whole30 dropout, and yet I will still tell you that I think the foundations of the program are good. I still 100% recommend the book

In fact, I don’t even believe it qualifies as hard.

But once you’ve arrived at a place on your health journey where things are finally working then we ain’t fixin’ it if it ain’t broken

I’m working. My digestive system is currently at rockstar status. I’m finally so much less broken. I put in the hard work for years so that I didn’t have to live with absurd restrictions ever again. 

So here are the fundamentals I teach as a modified Whole30 in the Quick Gut Detox (click HERE to save these ways to the modified Whole30):

  1. Sure, go ahead, follow officials rules for the first 3 days. This is because the microbiome is capable of making drastic changes in as little as 72 hours. So if you want to go all-in, do it then. I just don’t think you need an entire month (in fact, even my modified version in the Quick Gut Detox is only 21 days.)
  2. You can have food freedom. This will look different for everyone based on current overall health and health goals, but I empower you to create whatever you desire on your terms.
  3. Yes, unprocessed foods are critical, BUT you can take unprocessed foods and turn them into whatever you want (i.e. that protein pancake or AIP bread).
  4. If you want to figure out a way to replace your favorite junk foods, then go for it. Instead of saying, “No ice cream or anything that mimics it,” how about trying your own ‘nice cream?’ 
  5. Only black coffee does not work for many of us (especially if the acidity is too much). My alternative? Make coffee like THIS.
  6. Instead of off-limits foods, test out an elimination period in conjunction with a food journal to decide what’s going to work for YOU. Because honestly? It’s the only way to arrive at a lifestyle.
Modified Whole30 A Gutsy Girl agutsygirl.com

Less Bloat and Reduced Weight

If your aim is to get rid of the bloat and shed gut inflammation weight, then what you need isn’t another strict protocol with official rules that still might not teach you about YOUR body.

In fact, you might have a hard time reducing bloat and weight if you become too attached to the rigidity of a 30-day program. 

There is a method to the madness of it all, which also includes a reintroduction program so that you don’t have to stay stuck on any one dietary idea forever.

I’m talking about any and all dietary ideas. 

If you want to figure out your own list of food sensitivities and drill down a list of foods that will work for you, I’m inviting you into the Quick Gut Detox, which is based off my signature program, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut

It’s for the woman who is healing, while slimming down, reducing bloat, and still able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures (aka food!)

And with that? It’s time for lifting some weights, protein pancakes and a couple of THESE mini muffins (aka AIP Bread turned muffin).


If you liked this post on the modified whole30, you might also enjoy:

  1. How to Lose Weight with SIBO
  2. How Long Does it Take for Your Gut to Adjust to a Plant-Based Diet
  3. Daily Harvest: Harvest Bowls

Disclosure: All opinions started here are 100% my own. I appreciate your support, as this compensation helps with expenses to keep this website up and running, and for me to continue sharing all that I can with you. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 


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  1. There is no way I would make it on this 1) way to restrictive and focused on what you can’t eat for ME, but other people need and do well with rules 2) the carrrrrrrrbs . . I’m not a bread, pasta, etc eater anyway, but yeah, my running sucks when I don’t get enough — on that note, Now Foods has a new flour, Green Banana Flour, that I just ordered and am super excited to make some yummy things with

  2. i did whole30 2-3 years ago to see what the hype was all about…i completed 30 days but i had similar thoughts. i didnt feel a huge difference in any aspect of my life except that i felt restricted esp in terms of social life. it just wasnt my thing..

  3. Pingback: Bean Bytes 238

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