Note: this article was updated March 10, 2017 to reflect current WLC Suggested and Non-compliant foods lists.
As you can see in the nutrition chart excerpts below, grains of any kind are non-compliant at the Performance level, yet rice, quinoa, oatmeal, buckwheat, amaranth, and corn are compliant in moderation on Lifestyle and Kickstart levels. Legumes, similarly, are non-compliant on Performance level but some are allowed in moderation on Kickstart and Lifestyle levels.
So what gives, why are these foods OK for some players, but not others?
The answer is in two parts. The first part, and most relevant to WLC game play, is that we have different levels of play because there are different levels of players. The idea of the Whole Life Challenge is to help you create positive changes in your life. If the changes are so numerous and so large that the game feels impossible, there's little value in that. Incremental changes (that can lead to bigger changes) are far better than no changes, right?
The second part is that one player's physiology may be different than another's. Yes, grains and legumes can be highly inflammatory, but they aren't necessarily inflammatory for everyone. In creating the levels of the WLC, we had to make choices about foods for communities that are composed of wide variety of people.
Of course, the food rules for each level are meant to be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. Your specific intolerances to foods, especially those that can cause inflammation, should guide your choices. One of the best ways to know whether a food is inflammatory or not for you is to go completely off of it for 30 days, and then slowly re-introduce it...and see what happens, see how you feel.
Remember, the Whole Life Challenge is about YOU. Use the 8 weeks of the Challenge to discover and implement habits that you can use to live a happier, healthier life even after the Challenge ends.