Melissa Hartwig was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. She co-owned a strength and conditioning facility with her husband Dallas until founding Whole9, a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, with him in 2009. She co-authored It Starts with Food: How the Whole30 Will Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways with him. She is in the process of earning her master's degree in health and nutrition education from Hawthorn University. In 2015 her title, The Whole 30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, made The New York Times Best Seller List.