My Vegetarian Modifications for Whole30

I’ve started a Whole30 diet vegetarian-style, and since modifications to the original Whole30 plan are required in order to make it vegetarian, I’m going to lay out my planned modifications on Day 1 and stick to them.

Here are the “rules” I am modifying:


The original Whole30 advocates meat and animal proteins as the primary sources. I have never eaten seafood and I no longer eat meat, so I will not be eating those on my vegetarian Whole30. For protein, I will eat organic eggs, tempeh, tofu, and Greek yogurt (see below).


The original plan says no dairy, but recommends pastured, organic, fermented dairy sources like yogurt or kefir for vegetarians. I will eat plain, unsweetened organic Greek yogurt for protein. I plan to avoid cheese, but will not consider it a failure if I change my mind. The plan also recommends whey protein powder, which I may use.


I will avoid gluten grains and vital wheat gluten, as recommended. Quinoa is listed as a possible option. I don’t plan to eat it though I won’t specifically avoid it. Quinoa is OK but I tend not to like it when I make it myself.


I plan to avoid legumes as recommended, though I will decide as I go when it comes to chickpeas. They’re a staple protein source in my salads and I don’t like getting so much of my protein from soy. If I decide to eat chickpeas, so be it. I’ll start out without them, and make them from scratch with soaking if I do add them.

Baked Goods & Smoothies

The plan does not allow for re-creation of baked goods, even with approved ingredients.”A pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.” – It Starts With Food. Ummmm…. true. The word “pancake” describes a form and method of cooking where ingredients are formed into a cake that is often flipped in a pan. How does shaping an ingredient into a cake shape and flipping it in a pan make it evil? I completely disagree with the concept here. I will eat things shaped like cakes that have been flipped in pans, assuming they are made with approved ingredients.

The program also recommends against drinking smoothies. I will not be following these rules. I require portable breakfasts, as I eat breakfast in the car on my way to work most days, in the form of muffins or breakfast sandwiches or smoothies. This will not change. I will use approved ingredients to make them Whole30-compliant.



Another modification I plan to make is with regard to the start-over rule. If you slip up on the program, even accidentally, you’re supposed to re-start the 30 days. I won’t be doing that. I am a busy human. Busy humans are busy. Busy humans make mistakes. Busy humans don’t have time for ridiculous punishments for landing on the Whole30 naughty list. (See previous post; I really can’t stand the condescending attitude of the authors… but the premise of the program seems sound, so I’m trying it. Be forewarned: I will not be masking any snark). Bad vegetarian. Bad!


I plan to adhere to the rest of the rules (no sugar or sweeteners, no alcohol, no peanuts, no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites). I will also refrain from weighing myself, taking measurements, or counting calories/macros, as recommended.

Those are my planned modifications! If I stick to this plan, I’ll consider it a success. If I change the plan along the way, so be it. My goal here is to get back to cooking and eating whole foods and kick the junk food. I have no gluten or dairy sensitivities, but will eliminate gluten and most dairy for the sake of experimentation. That’s not my primary objective, though.

Feel free to share your thoughts on Whole30!

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