melissa_hartwig on Instagram

Melissa Hartwig

@Whole30 headmistress, NY Times best-selling author, SLC local | #yearofstrongandbendy Converse books #church burgers wearing last night’s eye makeup

What do you friends have to do with Food Freedom? When I was in early recovery (from drug addiction), I knew I was in a good place when my friends were more likely to suggest an early-morning run + breakfast than going out at night for drinks. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who support your healthy habits and growth mindset is a mission-critical part of any habit change, including changing your diet and working your food freedom plan. Take a look at the invitations you've been getting lately. Are they supporting your new healthy habits, or making it hard to sustain them? If all your friends want to do is party, drink, or meet up to eat crappy food, you're swimming against the tide here. • I'm not saying you have to drop all of your old friends... although setting boundaries on what you'll do with them might be a smart thing. (I have some friends who I see on my terms only, because their terms always seem to involve copious amounts of alcohol.) At the very least, though, you DO have to make some new friends to support the changes you've made, or it will be nearly impossible not to backslide into old habits. How do you find these people? Doing the activities you love (or want) to do... and taking the first awkward step of introducing yourself. Go to the same yoga class four weeks in a row, and get to know the regulars. Chat with the girl you always see at the gym. Join a CrossFit, Orange Theory Fitness, or other group exercise class. Find a meet-up or group in your area to hike, bike, or trail run with. Join a book club. Volunteer for a charitable orgnization. Join a Whole30 group led by one of our Coaches. • You might have to do a few activities alone before you start to connect with others, but that can be a really empowering experience too. The point is, by actively cultivating a group of friends who will support your efforts, reinforce your growth mindset, and probably introduce you to other healthy pursuits, too, you'll solidify your food freedom habits faster and more securely. • #myfoodfreedom #whole30fff #friendsandfoodfreedom (pic via my health-minded friends @greatist. I’ll have breakfast with you guys any day.)


I almost never pre-order fiction, but after I read The Naturalist by @andrewmayne, I immediately pre-ordered the next one in the series. • I love biology. I love the process of scientific investigation. I love scary-smart probably-on-the-spectrum main characters who say out loud all of the things you wish you could say but don’t because you have some semblance of social competence. Basically if you’re a nerd AND a smart-ass AND you love well-written plots with perfectly paced twists, you will love this book. (I liked the second one too, almost as much as this one.) • #melissahartwigreads #crotchshot #thenaturalist


Asking for a friend. (Thanks, @againstallgrain.) #myfoodfreedom #canwemakethesewhole30 #noshameinmycremeegggame #myfavoritetimeofyear #cauliflowererrthang • EDIT: I eat the real deal, sticky foil and all. Recreations = not worth it in my Food Freedom.


“How do I start my own #yearofstrongandbendy?" My answer depends on your level of fitness and familiarity with yoga, weightlifting, and training principles, but let's assume you're new(ish) to fitness or returning to it after a long break. # 1. IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING: @tmacfitness TMAC20 workouts. Todd incorporates yoga, bodyweight strength moves, AND cardio all in the same 20-minute workout; there's even a "Strong and Bendy" video featuring me! His beginner series videos are solid gold, but ALL videos are scaled to your level, designed to keep you safe and build strength. The instructors also offer lots of coaching cues along the way. # 2. Find a good yoga class with a hands-on teacher. "Intro” or “Level 1" classes are ideal. You may have to hit a few classes/teachers before you find one you click with. # 3. At home, try @lizette_pompa's YouTube channel (with new workouts every week, many tailored to beginners and building strength), or @letsstartyoga 1.0 by @jessicaolie, an e-book that teaches you basic postures and how to create your own flows. # 4. Work with a trainer to learn basic strength moves like squatting, deadlifting, and pressing. This is good prep for going through a beginner's progression like Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength (book) on your own. # 5. Look to Instagram for inspiration. @lizette_pompa is my favorite, but I also love @alexzandrapeters, who offers variations of more advanced poses using blocks, a strap, or the wall, and @marysia_do, who gives full-length tutorials on many different postures. # 6. For strength and mobilty, I love @moveu_official, who offer fun (not always PG) tips for moving well, @strengthcoachtherapy for his cool warm-up and activation drills (could be legit workouts all by themselves), and @dr.jacob.harden for walking you through many common exercises. I will also do more with beginner scales for my flows! # If you have questions, I'll try to help; just remember, I'm not qualified to teach you how to exercise. Also, I have zero financial ties with any of these people, although I occasionally make @tmacfitness buy me dinner. # #melissaexplainsstartingstrongandbendy 🎵: Bassnectar


No, I didn’t get a fresh tattoo. This is my @lumenkind Mindful Mark. It’s a tiny temporary tattoo with different designs to represent different intentions, like receive, love, center, or mine, flow. • The idea is to put them somewhere unexpected but prominent, so you see them often, to remind yourself of your desired intention. They fade after 3 to 5 days, allowing you to conscientiously renew your intention, or set a new one. • I found them at @sxsw, and chose “flow” as a reminder to stay open to all of the possibilities the event had to offer. I found myself looking at it often, and it really did remind me of my intention and the happy place from which I set it. I’ve also received a ton of compliments on it, which is fun. • What if you used one of these to reinforce your growth mindset, reminding you that you are #Whole30, or you are a healthy person with healthy habits? I can imagine it working really well for your 30 days or during a vacation, stressful time, or period of new habit-setting, especially if every few days, you chose a new design and different placement. • You can find them at @lumenkind, I ordered a set of 32 ($20). I paid for mine and have no incentive to recommend them to you; I just really loved the idea, the designs, and the way such a small thing has made me really happy. • #melissaselfloves #flowstate #mindfulmarks


SWIPE ->. This week at my @sxsw panel, @sophietee stepped up to the mic to ask a question. In summary: “You’ve spoken before about increasing diversity and inclusion in the Whole30 community. What are you doing to foster this?” Here is my answer, on the spot, unrehearsed, and unedited. • It’s not comprehensive or perfect. (I misspoke @jarretthill’s name in the moment, apologies.) I inadvertently left some groups out. I forgot to mention other initiatives we’ve been discussing as a team. • Still, I’m sharing, because despite not always getting it right, it’s important that we are transparent with our efforts, and as the CEO, it’s important that I be able to answer questions like this when asked out of the blue in a room full of people. • As someone pointed out to me today via DM, “You’re not there yet.” No, we aren’t. But this is a long-term effort, we are learning as we go, and I hope you are starting to see the changes we have been implementing. Thank you for your continued support, and to those of you guiding, advising, and helping us with this effort. • #whole30 #diversityandinclusion #whole30representation #melissaexplainswhole30representation


I picked up this move from @beachyogagirl, and it’s become a core, shoulder, and tricep staple. Spoiler: I can only do like three before I die, which is part of why I like them. • Scales: just hold plank on the foam roller, OR go from plank to chaturanga and back, OR try just the elbow push-up (skipping chaturanga). It’s all wicked on the core. • #yearofstrongandbendy #foamrollerchaturanga @xcelfitness


Today at @sxsw, I had the pleasure of listening to psychologist @doctorramani lecture on dealing with narcissists. It was the most interesting and relevant hour of my week. • Most of us probably have experience with narcissists, whether it’s in a relationship, a friend or family member, or in the workplace. While narcissism is on a spectrum, she explains in her book, “Narcissists tend to be pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside. While they are often successful, they are also controlling, manipulative, entitled, vain, and lacking empathy.” If this sounds familiar, here are the takeaways from today’s talk: • She said this three times in a row: THEY. DON’T. CHANGE. So pay attention to the red flags; look to behaviors (not words); and look for patterns, not isolated incidents. • Dump them (ideal), or distance yourself (stop handing over your soul). If you must communicate, stop doing it face to face. Create boundaries, like a list of topics you will not discuss or parts of your life you will not share with them. • Enter “the zone” before you have to deal with them. Breathe. Get focused. Put on your suit of armor. Don’t go in defenseless. • Cultivate other healthy relationships. Stop throwing a disproportionate amount of time and energy into the abusive one. It will never be enough, and it was never about YOU being enough in the first place. • Show yourself compassion. Practice self-love. Self-love is the greatest middle finger of all time, and after time spent with a narcissist, you need to show yourself compassion and grace more than ever. • Be careful with forgiveness. Forgiveness, for a narcissist, equals permission. You can let it go, but be cautious in extending forgiveness. • This discussion was so incredibly satisfying, mostly because I have enacted all of these tips and then some to great effect in my own life. If you need guidance identifying and stepping away from this type of toxic relationship, see her book, Should I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist. #selflove #narcissist #sxsw2018 #sxsw (image: @susanhyatt)


Today on my flight from LA to Austin, I sat next to a woman likely in her 40's. We didn't speak until the flight attendant came by with a snack tray. I declined (I had plenty of snacks from Expo West), but she picked out a few things. • After a moment, she turns to me and says something. My headphones were in, so I pull them out, after which she says again, "I wish she didn't show me these," with a sheepish grin. She's holding a package of chocolate-covered Oreos. I hadn’t glanced over at her choices; I was immersed in my movie. Yet she felt the need to make a humorous excuse (apology?) for her food choice to me, a total stranger. • I didn't know how to respond, because I see this simple exchange through a very specific filter now, and it makes me sad. For the fact that her offhand comment speaks to guilt, shame, or pre-regret for her choice. For the fact that in her world, it's not okay for her to simply WANT the Oreos and enjoy them without attaching morality or justification to it. For the fact that she chose the Oreos and ate the whole bag, when maybe she didn't want them at all. • I realize this is just my story about her situation, and that perhaps I'm projecting, given what I do for a living. Maybe she grabbed those Oreos joyfully, and made a joke simply to be social. But I don't think so. I wish I had said something profound in return, but it's not my business, so I just smiled sincerely and said, "Enjoy." I'm still thinking about it, though, sitting next to someone new on my second flight of the day. • Here is my wish for you: Should you be presented with a bag of chocolate-covered Oreos on your next flight, may you consciously and deliberately evaluate whether they're really worth it, and if you really want it. If the answer is no, I want you to pass with ease, knowing you're making the right decision for you in this moment. But if the answer is yes, I want you to eat those Oreos with so much joy and satisfaction, drawing it out as long as you can and giving your seat-mate a giant, Oreo-crumb-filled grin when you are done. That is your food freedom. • #myfoodfreedom #whole30fff #whole30 #changeyourlife


What we’re doing over at @whole30 these days: • 1. Disrupting the food industry with revolutionary partners like @Applegate; proof that your voices are being heard and change IS happening. 2. Planning charitable events with partners like @tessemaes, making healthy food more accessible to food deserts. 3. Supporting @whole30 Certified Coaches like @paleobailey, who help us share our life-changing message in their local communities, worldwide. 4. Collaborating with partners like @thenewprimal, who offer scholarships to deserving Coaching candidates. 5. Giving talented creatives like @thewholesmiths a new platform to share her message, with her Whole30 Endorsed cookbook to be published by @hmhcooks in June. 6. Meeting Whole30 success stories like @kaleandcarrotsticks, who legit made me tear up with her story yesterday. Go read her post. 7. Sharing time with those who paved the way, like @marksissonprimal; a trusted mentor, beloved friend, and all-around incredible human being. • We’ve come a long way, and we are just getting started. We are #Whole30, and I have never been more proud to lead this community or this movement. Thank you for your continued support, connection, and loyalty; without you, there is no Whole30, and I don’t forget that for even a second, ever. • #changeyourlife #iamwhole30 @natprodexpo #expowest (Applegate photo: @kim_morales)


I can’t decide what’s better, capturing the @whole30 team taking a ski-shot, or @miiikeyv’s photobomb in the background. (Relax, it was just @whole30approved @zupanoma drinkable soup shots. As far as you know.) • @natprodexpo was a huge hit; see my Story for favorite finds and our fun hot dog event with @applegate! #whole30 #expowest #whole30approved @jenlkendall @kscottscoop @inexactscience #SOUPSQUAD


Happy #internationalwomensday to all my fierce, unapologetic, collaborative women. Know your worth. Find your voice. Stake your claim. Stand your ground. And use both hands to raise your fellow sisters up. • Who run the world? #weruntheworld (shirt: @forever21)