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Whole30 Comes to Colorado. An Interview with Co-Creator Melissa Hartwig on the Popular Wellness Trend

Larina Chen | May 31, 2018 | People

You’ve probably heard of the Whole30 and all the craze surrounding it, but what is it exactly? Co-founder Melissa Hartwig explains it to us in her own words before journeying to Vail for the GoPro Mountain Games to connect with fans in June.


As one of the most influential people in the wellness industry, Hartwig’s movement is changing the way people look at food, one month at a time. “Food is love. Food is reward. Food is punishment. Food is soothing, comforting and relief for anxiety. Our relationship with food is so complicated that by the time we’re adults, we don’t realize the impact that food has on our lives. The program is about food, but not about food. Our diet is highly linked to how we view ourselves. Since many of us view food as a coping mechanism – the Whole30 is foundational in dispelling the notion that we need food as a crutch emotionally or socially.”

Based on the theory that it only takes 21 days to break a habit, the program is designed not as a diet or even as a “forever lifestyle” but as a wakeup call. In Hartwig’s words, “It’s pushing the reset button on your health, habit and relationship with food. It’s not meant to be a diet or a weight program – it’s a true reset for your cravings, hormonal balance, digestion and immune system.”

That’s the message she conveys each time she speaks at an event. It just so happens that Hartwig’s sister works in the public relations department for the GoPro Mountain Games and three years ago convinced her to come out to the event. The experience spurred her excitement to participate thereafter. This year, she will host the Whole30 Dinner Experience with a goal to connect with the mountain community and let people know they’re not alone. (Most users embark on the Whole30 solo.)

With so many fun activities during the Mountain Games, she can’t think of a better opportunity to meet Whole30 fans to motivate and support them. “Nothing beats that in-person social support. The motivation you get from being at an event doing something good for your health with other like-minded people who are promoting healthy habits is just great. The best of my job is connecting with fans personally and I wish I could do more. I love being there to give them an official stamp and letting them know to keep up the good work.”


The 30-day experiment is an education for how food impacts you, and once you obtain that information, you reach what Hartwig calls “food freedom.” That is when a sustainable lifestyle can be developed.

What’s next for the Whole30? Personal coaching to help navigate the stressful situations like business travel and how to tackle grocery shopping.

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