Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for my FREE Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Shop LunchBots

The Paleo Superfood that will ROCK your tastebuds
Gluten Free Global Community

« Tahini-Olive Dressing & Your Chance to Win a Copy of Primal Blueprint Sauces | Main | Your Chance to Win a Copy of It Starts with Food »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Can I do the Whole30 while breastfeeding?

Chef Rachel

Yes, you can do the Whole30 while breastfeeding. Follow your appetite and eat as much as you need to of the nourishing whole foods allowed on the program. It's a super nutritious diet and would not be harmful in any way.



Hi Rachel! Just wondering if you received my last post with my Whole30 food portion questions...? Thanks!! xo alli

Chef Rachel

Hi Alli

I didn't see your question. Please re-post it.

I'll be doing a giveaway of this book so I encourage you to enter it. Will probably post it tomorrow.

Thanks for following my blog,



Hi Rachel!
I re-posted my question a second time for you yesterday, but it hasn't appeared. Maybe most of my posts are going straight to Spam..?

thanks much anyway!! xo alli

Chef Rachel

Hi Alli

I wonder if you might have forgotten to confirm your post by typing in the special letter code at the end of your comment. Please do try again if you have a question. I'd like to have everyone see it and also I would like to respond to it.

Chef Rachel

Hi Alli

Posts cannot go to spam without my reviewing them and deciding to delete, post, or mark as spam. Please do try again.

Btw: I emailed you yesterday to say you won Mark's sauce book. Could it have gone into your spam folder? Or maybe just fell below the line of emails you see right away? I need to confirm your address to send you the book!



Hi Rachel!
Yes, I will try posting my question a third time as best as I can recall what I wrote. If it does not go through this time , then perhaps I'm not meant to have it answered... ( or possibly your web master needs to check something out. :))

Can you please tell me in your personal and professional opinion what the weight in ounces would be for protein instead of using the Hartwig's "look at your hand and guess" your protein needs? Ditto for their "fill up your plate with veggies" and "hand scoop of nuts", "handful of coconut" and "handful of olives"?

For my health needs and goals, I have been directed to use a kitchen scale and I do it for all my food needs to make sure I'm getting exactly what I need and not under or over estimating nutritionally. I also use measuring cups and spoons. Spoons for fats and cups for some veggies.

My dinner guests would be none too pleased to see me scooping handfuls of coconut flakes or nuts or olives onto their plates. :) It's also way to vague for me nutritionally. The Hartwig's only clarify the amount of "thumbs of fats" as 1-2 TBS of fats, because Melissa apparently needed help with the "use your thumb as measuring utensil" set up. ;)
I'm guessing from that she's totally cool using her hand for everything else. :)

Can you please help with your best guess for what all these food measurements per meal would be in ounces/cups and spoons for women?

( and I'm not certain 4 -5 whole eggs are appropriate for me even if I can comfortable hold them in my hand...)

And for weight loss goals is it better to have 1 or 2 TBS per meal? Per day?



I hope it worked! I just posted a third time

Chef Rachel

HI Alli

I think it is wise to measure and follow recipes for most things. The idea of using your hands to eyeball portions makes sense in many ways because the size of your hand is relative to the size of the rest of your body and because it is not necessary to weigh and measure everything we eat for long term health and weight maintenance. Weighing and measuring can get tedious over time. I think it helps to set a pattern for meals and to pay attention to your appetite. If you measure foods long enough you will start to know what various amounts look like using your eyes.

The Hartwigs are not suggesting that you use your hands rather than utensils for cooking or baking or filling your guests' plates. They are providing a template for meal planning that is practical and can be used at home and when dining out and as a pattern for how to create produce dominated paleo/primal meals.

Without knowing your height, weight, activity level, percentage of body fat relative to lean mass, fitness goals, etc., I cannot tell you exactly how much to eat at every meal nor for the whole day. Different foods will vary in calorie density as well. I can only give you a rough approximation of what I would suggest as a starting point.

FYI: 1 egg is roughly equivalent to 1 oz. of meat or 1 to 1 1/2 oz of fish and about 7 grams of protein. I suggest 3 to 4 ounces by weight of animal protein, which yields about 21 to 28 grams of animal protein per meal.

From my book, The Garden of Eating

How to Eye-Ball a Produce-Dominated Meal

You’re about to eat and faced with an empty dinner plate. What do you do?

1. Choose a protein portion about the size of the palm of your hand. That should fill 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate.

2. Fill the remaining 2/3 to 3/4 of your plate with fresh vegetables (don’t forget the leafy greens) or vegetables and fruits (more veggies than fruits and more fibrous veggies than starchy ones). If you include a high-density carbohydrate (e.g., potato, sweet potato, yams, banana, or roots) choose a portion of one of these about the size of your protein portion, then fill the remainder of your plate with fibrous, non-starchy vegetables (e.g., cooked or raw leafy green or mixed vegetables).

3. Add a small amount of nuts, seeds, avocado, olive or coconut oil, butter, or salad dressing, or use a modest amount of acceptable fat or oil to cook or marinate 1 or 2 dishes. If you leave the skin on the chicken or eat a rich cut of meat, count that as added fat.

Even at breakfast I recommend eating leafy green or mixed vegetables (greens or flowering veggies + other colorful veggies; occasionally asparagus or zucchini could replace greens in a meal). Cauliflower & broccoli are examples of flowering vegetables.

For your starchy or dense carb dish, aim for a 4-6 oz. sweet potato or 1/2 to 2/3 cup cooked roots, tubers, or squash, or a piece or cup of fresh fruit.

Aim for a cup of cooked leafy greens or 2 cups of green salad.

For some meals you might want to have a main dish salad where everything is in one dish. e.g., 3 cups worth of salad + 3-4 oz. protein + 1 Tbsp. oil used in your dressing or the fat equivalent using avocado, nuts, olives, or some combination.

Cooking techniques vary. Sometimes I use the fat or oil in cooking (roasting, sauteing, stir frying); sometimes I add it at the table as a salad dressing, a nut butter or mayo based dip or sauce, or nuts or olives or avocado in a salad or I might use fat in a couple of forms in a meal.

So many factors go into how much fat or oil we need per meal and per day. 1 Tbsp. oil per meal is a good plate to start. Use less in a meal where you are using 2-3 whole eggs (each egg contains 5 grams of fat; 3 eggs = 1 Tbsp. oil in fat content).

Does that help? If you would like more detailed help fine tuning your diet, consider have a phone coaching session with me or a series of sessions to aid in your fat loss, meal planning process. If you don't already own my book, The Garden Of Eating, I encourage you to buy this for the great recipes and cooking strategies and tips. I can teach you more about how to use recipes and a system that makes it easy to create a sustainable way of eating, a pattern, and meal template.

You can email me for details on coaching.

Thanks for following my blog,



Hi Rachel!
That was super helpful. I kindof had a sense of the protein amounts you shared (guessed intuitively from previous plans I did in the past), but I had wondered if the Hartwig's Whole30 possibly had a new take on something for health that I didn't want to miss out on. Your variety regarding veggie take is very interesting, ditto for your eggs and fat intake. I have had the opportunity to read your book, as a friend of mine has a copy and she shared it with me. :) It is most definitely a huge awesome resource of interesting ideas and food tips. And yes, weighing can get tedious. I most assuredly agree. But sometimes my quick handfuls of nuts like cashews can get me into trouble. They are so delish, that my handfuls can sometimes "mysteriously" end up being a wee bit larger than my hand. ;D ;D
Measuring cups can often keep me in line by giving me some reference point.

Thank you!! xo alli

Chef Rachel

Hi Alli

Nuts are very energy dense. One handful can easily be 1/3 to 1/2 cupful of nuts. At 700 to 800 calories per cupful, those calories can add up quickly. Neither I nor the Hartwigs recommend eating them in that amount, unless you have very high energy needs and/or have trouble gaining weight.Two handfuls of nuts can easily add up to 600 to 800 calories, which could be 40% of your daily energy needs, 50% if you're on a reduced calorie diet.

As delicious as nuts are, I suggest using them as a condiment, a sprinkle on topping for fruit or veg salads or in or over cooked dishes.

If you want to eat nuts as a snack, you might want to measure out 1/4 cupful if you are trying to lose weight.

Ditto for nut butters (very calorie dense). 1/4 cup nuts = 2 Tbsp. nut butter. I have a recipe in my Garden of Eating Book for making something I call Fluffy Nut Butter, which dilutes nut butters but leaves them creamy, making it easier to spread them over cooked or raw fruit so they go farther. I also have a great cashew or macadamia dill dip in my book that's fabulous with blanched veggies as a side dish at any meal or as an appetizer.


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Contact Chef Rachel

Follow Me:



Blog Strategy By: