Whole30 Reintroduction

Can you believe we have less than 2 days left of our January Whole30?!?! It really flew by for me and I am feeling great!

When I did my first Whole30 I felt so unbelievably amazing towards the end! I lost weight, I no longer had bloat at the end of the day, my chronic fatigue and headaches were gone, and my endometriosis symptoms were sooooo much better. I knew that I didn’t want this to be a 30 day diet. I started this wanting to learn more about my body and what was fueling it the best. Lucky for me, that’s what the Whole30 was meant for!! It’s not only a 30 day nutritional reset, it is a program meant to help you become more aware. More aware of your relationship with food, how the food you are eating is making you feel and last but not least…how to carry over a healthy relationship with food after the 30 days. But I’m not going to lie, when the end started getting close I started getting nervous. I didn’t want to start eating off plan foods and take a step back again in my health…not when I had worked so hard to get where I was. Eating healthy is so much easier when you have a clear cut guide to what you are and aren’t allowed to eat. It takes the guess work out and it takes away a great big margin of error. But the Whole30 program is not meant to last forever, as this amount of restriction for long periods is just not practical.

First, I started thinking about all of the foods that I had cut out for the past 30 days. I pulled out the foods that I wasn’t missing or that just weren’t worth it to me to add back in. Number one for me was gluten containing foods. I knew most of my problems (headaches, endometriosis, and hypothyroidism) are mainly caused by systemic inflammation, with a major culprit of that being gluten. There are so many options for healthier gluten free things that I knew I wouldn’t miss it much. Next up, milk. With so many delicious alternatives that I love (almond milk, coconut, flax milk, cashew milk) I could definitely leave that out. The main things I was missing were black beans, some gluten free grains (white rice, corn tortillas and chips, and popcorn), cheese and ice cream. Emphasis on ice cream!

Next came the Whole30 Reintroduction plan! They take you through the whole reintroduction phase in the It Starts With Food  and The Whole30 book, but they also have it in this post. It is super important to introduce one food group at a time so you can see how your body responds to it and so the results aren’t skewed by other ingredients (besides added sugar b/c that is hard to avoid when adding new foods). There is a sample plan introducing legumes first, non-gluten grains, dairy, and then lastly gluten- containing grains. They are in this order due to the potential effects the food can cause. Legumes are way less likely to make you feel like junk than gluten-grains. However, you can do them in any order you desire, just keep in mind that after dairy or gluten-grains it might take you longer to feel 100% and ready to move to the next food group. So here’s how it goes…

Day 1-Legumes: Eat some beans, peanut butter, soy sauce, etc. Just make sure that there are no other off limit ingredients. For the next 2 days, go back to eating strictly Whole30 and be super honest with yourself about how you feel. Are you bloated? Lethargic?

Day 4- Non-gluten Grains: Eat a slice of gluten free toast, some white rice and some corn tortillas! For the next 2 days, go back to eating strictly Whole30 and be honest with yourself about how you feel. Are you bloated? Lethargic? Achy?

Day 7- Dairy: Eat some yogurt, cheese, ice cream (we all know you want to try ice cream!), etc.   For the next 2 days, go back to eating strictly Whole30 and be honest with yourself about how you feel. Are you lethargic? Congested? Breaking out?

Day 10- Non-gluten Grains: Eat some whole wheat bread, pasta, cake, etc.  For the next 2 days, go back to eating strictly Whole30 and be honest with yourself about how you feel. Are you lethargic? Achy? Bloated? Gassy? Constipated? Craving sugar?

 

Use this calendar to help keep track of your reintroduction phase. You can keep it and look back at how the foods made you feel when you go to reach for an off limit food, so you can judge whether it’s worth it or not! Remember that it is super important to add in each food group separately to see how you react. So save the pizza for day 13 🙂 Also, I can’t stress enough that you have to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling!!!! You may really really like mac and cheese, but if you feel like garbage after is it really worth it?! If you feel like this fast track reintro is too much for you, then they also have a slow roll option.

When I went through my first reintro I followed along with the calendar. I found that my body tolerates legumes fine, so I will occasionally eat black beans and hummus. Also, I can eat white rice on occasion with no symptoms, but I can’t eat quinoa without getting bloated after. When it comes to dairy, I chose to only eat Goat’s milk dairy b/c I don’t feel bad after. Cow’s dairy makes me break out and always makes me congested 🙁 And as I said above, I chose not to reintroduce gluten-grains because it didn’t seem worth it to me.

After this reintroduction, I realized that I wasn’t missing out on anything! I decided to eat paleo full time, with treats when I think it is totally worth it and on my terms! Knowing that the off limit foods are shown to decrease my health, I just don’t miss them enough to add them back in on a regular basis! In the next few weeks I’ll be posting recipes that I use to help me feel like I’m not missing anything (think guilt free treats and dairy free ice cream!).

Congrats you guys!!!! You made it! I’m sooooo glad you followed along with me, thank you for the extra motivation! Please let me know in the comments how you are feeling.