When you cut out a dramatic amount of everyday foods, these vegan Whole30-approved brands make the elimination diet actually doable.
The Whole30 Diet (colloquially shortened to “Whole30”) is almost near Atkins-level popularity. The simple fact that there is an official Whole30 label and certification process is a testament to its mass following. Trends don’t get a label unless they’re a big deal, and brands want in. The program currently boasts 136 official Whole30-approved brands (75 that are vegan) with more applying on a weekly basis. From sauces to plant-based meat alternatives, we found these products to be essential in helping us stick to our plant-based Whole30 journeys. While we’ve completed our 30 days and are free to enjoy a wider variety of foods again (hello, soy latte, oh how we’ve missed you!), these vegan-friendly Whole30 brands are so good, they’ve earned a permanent spot on our shopping lists.
What is Whole30?
The 30-day elimination-style diet that claims to reset eating habits was co-created by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig in 2009 and truly took off in 2015 with the book, The Whole30. Up until the March 2022 debut of Plant-based Whole30, the diet was virtually impossible to commit to as a vegan, because in addition to all sweeteners, grains, alcohol, dairy, carrageenan, and sulfites, the program also prohibited most legumes. Yes, that means no beans and no soy. Meat and seafood, however, are fair game on the original plan.
The Plant-Based Whole30 program eschews all animal products but allows for legumes and minimally processed soy—think tofu, tempeh, and edamame. Textured soy products (TVP, used in many plant-based meats) and soy protein isolate (found in many protein powders) are not allowed. Grains (including rice, oats, wheat, and corn), any type of sweetener other than fruit (goodbye, maple syrup), alcohol, carrageenan, and sulfites are also no-go. You’re essentially left with produce, nuts and seeds, and minimally processed soy. After looking at the ingredient labels on most of our go-to condiments and store-bought products, we found that we also had to forgo these products as they contain at least one or more of the Whole30 prohibited ingredients.
One other hurdle: Whole30 disapproves of foods that attempt to mimic prohibited foods. For example, Banza “rice” technically does not contain any off-limit ingredients; however, because it is trying to emulate a Whole30 prohibited grain, it’s not allowed. Here’s where it gets confusing: single-ingredient items like cauliflower rice, which also mimics a grain, are allowed. We weren’t really sold on this rule; because of that, some items on this list may not have the official, physical Whole30 stamp of approval, but technically are compliant in regards to the ingredient rules (Siete tortillas, for example). Of course, you do you. If you want to comply to the tee, stick to just produce and items with the Whole30 label. The Plant-Based Whole30 portal also offers a wealth of information.
When you’re down to veggies, fruit, nuts, and potatoes for 30 days, you need some excitement to stay the course. Thank goodness for these vegan brands.
The New Primal/Noble Made
A spin-off of parent company The New Primal, Noble Made’s sauces and seasonings made us crave frozen vegetables and tofu. We sprinkled the Everything Bagel seasoning and nutritional yeast on everything and dipped air-fried tofu cubes into the complex, slightly spicy Sriracha Tahini dressing. Note: not all products are vegan, so check the label before you try out the other marinades, dressings, and barbecue sauces.
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