So the reason I finally decided to try the Whole30 was because I knew enough people who found it really helpful and even do it regularly. Would I recommend it to others, then?
Yes, if they are concerned about potential food sensitivities and don't want to do a full on elimination diet. I am happy to know that none of the things I've been avoiding was making me feel bad in ways that I hadn't realized! It was also good to get a reminder that sugar and dairy aren't really my friends, even though they try to pretend that they are. They're so damn seductive.
I would give a few warnings, though. First, I find the online forums too negative and harsh to be useful for me. In one question, someone admitted they were new, and were wondering about crunchy foods. People who responded (including a moderator) quickly assumed that the asker was looking for snacks and were really rude about snacks being TERRIBLE FOR YOU. Well, that's not what the question was, and the topic of snacking, while discouraged by the whole30, is not a rule. Besides, that kind of question is between you and your doctor. Other questions I saw were met with a similar puritanical attitude, let me be more whole30 than you. I was looking to feel better, not be chided by trolls with nothing better to do.
Second, only do it if you can accept that you might not get any results. Most people do, but the whole30 leaves in things that bother a lot of people, like I realized the tree nuts were doing to me. In addition, while what we eat is extremely important, there are other causes to illness. I've heard from several people that did the whole30 and other eliminations for migraines, but never found a trigger. Research suggests that many migraineurs (so fancy) have a food trigger, but not all. So it might not help, and you need to be happy with knowing you don't need to fear cake if nothing changes for you. Or be happy knowing that cake WILL be a problem, and learn to avoid it. If you don't know, don't do it.
Third, this is a *paleo* diet. If you are looking for a robust elimination diet, you need to keep looking. White rice, select steamed veggies, and chicken is the strictest version. By keeping some of the top 8 allergens, like eggs and tree nuts, this is certainly not an all purpose elimination diet.
One thing Mr More Calories said at the beginning was that several people had told him how much they love how they feel on the whole30, but why don't they do it more? I think that staying mostly compliant is totally doable, so my guess is that the effort (or perhaps cost) is more difficult than they personally find to be worth whatever benefits they got from it.
I'm glad I tried it, and ready to eat a few things I miss. And I'll work on keeping the vegetables up for sure.