Ask The Coach

Posted by Haley DeWilde on

By Judith Forman

Whole30 Certified Coach

As a Whole30 Certified Coach, I always get lots of questions about the program rules, what to expect after the 30 days, and how to move forward with reintroduction and Food Freedom. 

And now I’m here to help you! Occasionally, I will use this space to answer your most pressing Whole30 questions! 

Need help with something Whole30-related? Email me at and I’ll highlight it in a future blog post!

Here are this month’s “Ask the Coach” questions:

1. Should I have an added fat with every meal on Whole30?

Yes, but don’t stress if you skip an added fat at a meal or two! 

One of the most popular questions I see regarding Whole30 is about FAT, specifically asking if one’s cooking fat counts as the meal’s added fat.

So many people are still scared of fat. Many of us grew up in the fat-phobic 1980s and 1990s, and old habits die hard! Per the Whole30 meal template, I am always quick to encourage people to add a healthy fat to their plate beyond what they use in the pan. 

But you’re not a failure if you miss an added fat at a meal or two. In The Whole30 book, there’s a great tip about not stressing too much about this. 

It says: Use your body’s hunger and fullness signals to guide you, and remember that because you’re eating a wide variety of foods and meals, a little more fat in this meal will naturally balance itself out with a little less fat in a meal you’ll eat later in the week.” 

This is a good reminder that fat intake should be considered as part of a daily or weekly bigger picture – and not always meal by meal.

Need another visual to help you remember the meal template? Check out this handy image on my blog to help you build your Whole30 plate!

2. What if I have to take medicine that contains sugar (or another non-compliant additive) while on Whole30? Does this mean my round is over?

Happily, no! Your health and wellness come first, and doctors’ orders ALWAYS trump Whole30!

If you’re not feeling well, you can try some of the Whole30-friendly remedies suggested here, such as rest, hydration (bone broth is amazing for healing!), and nourishment with Whole30 comfort foods. The link also outlines some additional tips and tricks for recovery, such as steamy showers and humidifiers, neti pots, and essential oils. 

Beyond that, it is A-OK to take traditional medicine to help you get well!

The Whole30 website says: “Many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies (like zinc lozenges, Airborne, or Nyquil) will contain added sugar or other non-Whole30 ingredients. Always follow your healthcare provider’s orders, even if it conflicts with Whole30 rules. (Doctors know best!) And if it’s a matter of taking the Nyquil and sleeping through the night, or sticking to the Whole30 and being miserable, well… sweet dreams. (We’re pretty sure no one sips Nyquil for the sugar hit.)”

There’s no need to be a hero. Even with non-compliant medicine, you can still have great results on Whole30. And if you need to veer off the program to get well (as I did once with a terrible case of strep that would only feel better with ice cream), do the best you can, don’t use your illness an excuse to throw total caution to the wind, and get back to your Whole30 as soon as you are feeling better. 

The program isn’t going anywhere – and any day is a perfect day for Day #1!

3. Can I do a round of Whole30 that’s shorter than 30 days? If I do that, do I have to follow all the rules?

Yes! If you’ve done a Whole30 before (with reintroduction) and have experience living life in your Food Freedom, you can absolutely do a mini reset whenever you need. Maybe you feel yourself slipping in making decisions that feel “worth it” or perhaps your Sugar Dragon is starting to roar again. Or maybe you have a vacation or a big life event coming up, and you want to feel your absolute best.

Whatever the case, the mini reset is there!

But, Melissa notes here, “One caveat—doing a Whole5, Whole7, etc. only benefits those people who are able to quickly jump back into the Tiger Blood stage (where you’re feeling awesome, self-confidence is high, cravings are under control, and you remember exactly why it is you love eating this way)getting there way faster than the two weeks it usually takes. Generally, that means it only works for people with a whole lot of Whole30 experience.”

You can go into it with a set amount of days or you can start and go for as long as you need/want. Maybe the mini reset will turn into a full round. Or maybe you will get what you need from it in fewer days. 

Just remember: This is NOT a crash diet! It’s a nutritional reset to get you back to feeling that Whole30 awesomeness and experiencing some of these amazing Non-Scale Victories!

And to note: You must follow the rules of Whole30, regardless of the length of your reset. 

Per Melissa here: “The rules for these mini-30’s are exactly the same as the rules for our original 30 day program. No added sugar in any form, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no recreating baked goods or treats, and no scale. The only thing different is the time frame—you are deliberately following these rules for less than the prescribed 30 days.”

Want to read more about the mini reset? Check out this “Dear Melissa” post for more info! And this post is helpful if you’re looking to do a mini reset to help you refocus during the holiday season. 

 Judith Forman is a Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →