Tips & Tricks for a Delicious Whole30® from Founder Melissa Urban

Last Update: September 29, 2023

Who says Whole30 has to be hard? Certainly not Melissa Urban, founder of this 30-day program, who says her number one tip for success is to “keep it simple.” And we’ve found the perfect way to do just that.

Meet Whole30’s newest line of dressings and dipping sauces—from Creamy Balsamic (who thought balsamic could be creamy? We’re intrigued…) to Elderberry Vinaigrette, they’ll make any breakfast, lunch or dinner interesting. “On the Whole30, dressings and sauces are life,” Urban emphasizes. “They add flavor and variety, and effortlessly pull together simple ingredients.”

See how we plan on using these items and Urban’s tips on how to remake your routine and reset your plate.

Meet the Lineup: Whole30 Dressings & Marinades

Creamy Balsamic Dressing & Marinade

With the perfect balance of tart and sweet—without a trace of added sugar—this Whole30 Creamy Balsamic Dressing & Marinade brings rich, well-rounded flavor to your plate. We recommend it drizzled over salads and roasted vegetables, or as a marinade for grilled chicken.

House Ranch Dressing & Dip

Eating your vegetables just got a lot more fun. This kid-approved dressing is full of creamy and tangy flavor, but free of GMOs, gluten, and added sugar. Chop up some carrot sticks and dip away.

Elderberry Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade

A classic vinaigrette gets a superfood twist, and we’re here for it. This Whole30 Elderberry Vinaigrette delivers a pop of vibrant color and sweet-and-tangy flavor. Toss into your next salad or use to marinade red meat.

Buffalo Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade

It’s time to spice up your mealtime routine—this Whole30 Buffalo Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade has a little heat and a little tang. Without gluten, sugar, or GMOs, we’ll be serving it up on salads, steaks, or tacos.

Stay tuned for one additional Whole30 dressing and dipping sauce, their Secret Sauce, which is coming soon. And while you’re shopping for diet-friendly pantry essentials, add our new Thrive Market Condiments to your delivery order. They’re Whole30-compliant, paleo-friendly, and range from sriracha to BBQ sauce.

Melissa Urban’s Tips on a Healthy Reset with Whole30

For Urban, a successful Whole30 is best paired with genuine acts of self-care. “Finding pockets of routine and reliability amongst so much uncertainty can help you find your footing as the seasons shift,” Urban says. “Dedicate a few moments in the morning to self-care before looking at your phone or put meal prep back into rotation.”

And whether you’re joining the September Whole30 or plan to later this fall, Urban wants you to remember that “Whole30 is a self-experiment, not a diet.” The program doesn’t emphasize counting or restricting calories, but instead, focuses on teaching you “how foods work in your unique system. The Whole30 is just a means to your Food Freedom end, where you’ll get to take what you’ve learned to create the perfect, sustainable diet for you.”

In the midst of Whole30, you may experience burnout. The best way to remedy this is to remember you “don’t have to cook fancy recipes every night, you can eat the same breakfast most mornings, and leftovers are life,” Urban explains. “You’ll quickly discover that whole, fresh ingredients can be the star of the show.”

The best way to stick to your schedule? “Cook once, eat multiple times,” Urban recommends. “I’m a huge fan of cooking two pounds of ground meat, adding in a variety of whatever veggies I have on hand, and storing it in the fridge unseasoned. One day, I’ll add tomato sauce and serve over spaghetti squash, the next day I’ll add taco seasoning, crisp lettuce, and hot sauce and eat with jicama taco “shells.” It keeps meal prep easy without getting boring.” This version of meal prep and meal planning saves you time, money, and keeps you on track with your health habits. Whole30 stress, be gone!

Must Try Recipe: Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Salad


Looking for an easy way to incorporate these new dressings and marinades? Check out Urban’s new favorite go-to recipe: Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Salad. The air fryer cooks up the tangy and spicy chicken breasts quickly and retains their juiciness. If you don’t have an air fryer, follow the oven method.

Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thick sides pounded to make of even thickness
½ cup Whole30 Buffalo Vinaigrette
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup thinly sliced celery
½ cup shredded carrot
3 to 4 tablespoons Whole30 Ranch Dressing
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine chicken and Whole30 Buffalo Vinaigrette. Massage to coat. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

If you’re using an air fryer:

Preheat air fryer to 375°F. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Add the chicken to the air fryer. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 170°F, turning once, about 15 minutes. Let stand while making the salad.

If you’re using an oven:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat an oven-safe skillet over high heat for 5 minutes or
until it is very hot (cast iron works well). Place the chicken on the hot skillet and cook for 1 minute. Cook for 1 minute, then turn and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until no longer pink in the center, the juices run clear, and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes.

Salad assembly:

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, celery, and carrot. Add the Whole30 Ranch Dressing; toss to combine. Divide salad among four serving plates. Slice the chicken. Top the salads with sliced chicken, avocado, and cherry tomatoes. Season to
taste with black pepper. Sprinkle with chives.

Recipe photo by Nader Khouri.

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Lily Comba

Lily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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