Give yourself a high five! You just finished 30 days of nutrition boot camp. The Whole 30 has come to an end. That is if you want it too. Some people choose to continue on with The Whole30 program for another two weeks, month or forever! Now, we don’t expect you to give up all those foods you still love if you don’t want too. This was meant to be a 30 day reset for your body. Now that it is over you have become an expert on nutrition and can take away new healthy eating habits to implement in your everyday life! How exciting is that!? Now, on to the next step of the program. The Whole30 Reintroduction Phase.
Pizza, Ice Cream & Beer OH MY!
Just because the Whole30 is over, doesn’t mean you can go crazy with pizza, beer and ice cream with a cherry on top. That would be a complete waste of your 30 days! You would wake up the next morning feeling like a bus hit you and have no idea what made you feel that way. Was it the five beers you had with your pizza or was it the late night ice cream with chocolate syrup? Probably all of them! But, this reintroduction phase is just as important as the first 30 days of this program. Now that your body is “clean” it’s time to find out how it reacts to “dirty” things being put back in its clean environment. Lucky for you there are two different ways to go about this reintroduction phase.
Option 1: Fast Track Reintroduction
This is a 10 day reintroduction period. Super simple and it is all mapped out for you in The Whole30. The 30 Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. Basically, each day you introduce a new element that you were missing before. Most people can’t wait to have a glass of wine, beer, vodka whatever your drink of choice is. Go ahead! You earned it! Just have a couple of drinks. It’s been 30 days you’re probably a lightweight haha and you want to be coherent enough to evaluate how your body is feeling after a couple of glasses of vino! After your night of fun and drinks, stay Whole30- compliant for the next 2 days. (If you choose not to reintroduce alcohol start day 1 with legumes. If you do, legumes will be day 4)
Reintroduction Days 1-10
Day 1 (or 4): Try legumes and see how your body reacts. Have some pinto or black beans. Maybe even some peanut butter! It’s helpful to write down how you felt before and after you reintroduce these foods. The next 2 days you will remain Whole30- compliant.
Day 4 (or 7): Try out NON-GLUTEN GRAINS. This is important because you will reintroduce gluten grains later in your reintroduction phase. Some non-gluten grains you could try are white rice, oatmeal or a sandwich with gluten-free bread. The next 2 days you will remain Whole30- compliant.
Day 7 (or 10): Evaluate dairy. Have some yogurt in the morning or that beloved creamer in your coffee. Enjoy some butter or sour cream on your potatoes! Again, the next 2 days you will remain Whole30-compliant
Day 10 (or 13): Reintroduce gluten-containing grains. Wake up and have some whole wheat oatmeal or a muffin. You can even have a beer! Then return to being Whole30 compliant for 2 days.
What have I done…
Now you may feel pretty crappy over these 10 days or so because you are introducing all of these foreign foods to your body. Remember when all you could think about was that moment when you could eat a bowl of ice cream or have the biggest slice of cheesy pizza? You may not have the same reaction now haha. Sure, they tasted good when you ate them but, how did you feel afterward? That’s the million dollar question. Now you can decide how often you want to incorporate these foods into your diet if it all. You may realize that dairy makes you break out or gives you a terrible stomachache and it’s not worth putting yourself through that. You may decide that a glass of wine is worth the headache ( I know I do). Ultimately you decide what foods you have and when you have them. That’s what this Whole30 program was all about! To show you how to have a life with healthy eating habits but, also incorporate those foods that you love when you want and how you want. Moderation is key! You are in control of your nutrition and now you know how to create a healthy, sustainable, and balanced diet that will keep you on track for the rest of your life.
Option 2: Slow Roll Introduction
This schedule doesn’t follow a particular timeline. The timeline is made by you and you decide when you will introduce a particular off plan food. The beauty of this is that you get to eat mostly Whole30 compliant until something so finger-licking good comes along that you decide to indulge and see how it affects you. You get to continue to feel all those wonderful side effects of being compliant and also decide when it is “worth it” to indulge in moms famous banana bread or some wedding cake. After you eat, don’t forget to evaluate how you are feeling. The side effects may not be as severe as the Fast Track Reintroduction day. However, if you choose to eat some wedding cake at your best friend’s wedding be prepared for the side effects.
Deciding What’s “Worth It”
This is a great concept and I personally have learned a great deal from this mindset. Stopping and giving yourself a second to think about eating something instead of just grabbing and mindlessly snacking has really changed how I view food. I used to just pop a cookie in my mouth, snack on chips or whatever was around when I got home from work, take a donut from the break room or drink a glass of wine during the week just because. In all of these moments I never once thought about, is it worth it? Is this cookie, donut or glass of wine really worth it right now? Do I need it? Is it a special occasion? Do I really want to indulge? Thinking back just about every answer would have been no. I didn’t need those snacks. I was putting all this sugar and crap in my body that I really didn’t need. So, when life happens and there are donuts in the break room and you are starving because you ran late this morning and didn’t have the breakfast that you were hoping for. Stop and think is this worth it? Is this something that I really want or need right now? What’s my reason for eating a donut right now? Is this a special occasion? If the answer is no then walk away proudly and grab an apple instead. If you decide heck yea! It’s the last day of school and I deserve this donut! Then eat that donut proudly. It all comes down to is it worth it to you.
The time has come…
The time has come my whole30ers to set you free. You have gained all the knowledge that you need to live a healthy, sustainable and balanced life. You will have slip ups, no one is perfect. It’s how you get back on track and take accountability that matters. If you find yourself slipping up too much do another round of the Whole30 and give your body that reset it needs. You know how your body reacts to certain foods and you have the power to introduce them as much or as little as you want. Go young whole30ers and prosper in your health!
What are you most excited to reintroduce to your diet?
Are there any foods you are worried about reintroducing?