Whole30: Reintroduction, learning from mistakes and starting over

Whole30 reintroduction

It’s been an interesting week.

I finished Whole30 on Sunday last week (have a look at my Whole30 results) and I’ve spent this week reintroducing dairy, grains, sugar and alcohol back to my diet.

The Whole30 website has some instructions on how to reintroduce the off-plan foods. We are supposed to do it slowly during 10 days, one food group at a time in order to know how our bodies react to them.

In my experience, this reintroduction period is hard, so if you’re just about to enter it, plan well.

Starting reintroduction: Monday

As I finished the program on Sunday, I started the reintroduction on Monday this week by adding dairy. I had some feta cheese both with my lunch and dinner because surprisingly that had been the ingredient I had missed the most. I’m not sure if choosing feta was the wisest thing. Why? Because the feta cheese I have is made of goat’s and sheep’s milk instead of cow’s milk. The milk protein is different. I’ve read that cow’s milk protein, casein, could be what causes problems and symptoms and those people that have problems with cow’s milk might be  OK using sheep’s or goat’s milk products.

So that was perhaps my first mistake. I also had a small bar of milk chocolate on Monday. I’m not sure if I was supposed to have that either but at least that was a cow’s milk product. I didn’t get any symptoms from it but I have to say that the chocolate tasted so sweet. That chocolate bar is just 5 bites but I had three and had to have the rest later in the evening. That has never, I repeat never, happened to me with a small bar of chocolate 🙂

Going back to Whole30: Tuesday and Wednesday

In a way it felt good to go back to Whole30 for a couple of days after Monday. But on the other hand it was difficult too: my cravings were back.

I’m not sure whether it was mental or physical – Do I crave the off-plan food because of the fact that my mind knows I’m no longer or Whole30? Or is it because I had off-plan foods, in particular that bar of chocolate, on Monday and now my body reacts by craving more sugar?

To tackle the first issue (about being no longer on Whole30) I think that it would be important to still consider oneself on Whole30. Just because I no longer follow the program 100 percent does not mean that I no longer follow the program. I should consider the reintroduction phase as part of the package.

And perhaps having so much sugar on the first day of reintroduction wasn’t very smart either.

Reintroduction: Thursday

Thursday brought grains – and more mistakes (*sigh*) – back to my diet.  I had some Indian food. The good thing is that I brought back a variety of grains: basmati rice and naan bread (wheat). The bad thing (= the mistake) was that the Indian food had also some dairy (the sauce and raita) and it was quite spicy.

Sure, I had already reintroduced dairy on Monday (but I did it poorly without enough cow’s milk products) and there should be nothing wrong with spicy food.

However, the symptom I got after eating this was a cough. Now, I’ve had cough before, but I would have really liked to be sure what caused it. Was it the amount of dairy, or spicy food (cough can be a symptom of acid reflux – and spicy food can cause it), or grains, wheat in particular. I have a suspicion that wheat is the culprit. But I do not know it for sure. The Holistic Works writes more about the connection between wheat and cough.

Reintroduction: the rest of the week

I admit it, the rest of the week has been a mess. I’ve had candy, cheese puffs, soda and wine. Not huge amounts, but some. And I’ve noticed what I’ve known for a long time now: Sugar makes me feel sick. I’ve felt so tired, lethargic and dull after eating it. Alcohol I’m fine with, but eating sugar is just plain stupid. I have to seriously reduce the amount of sugar in my diet.

Whole30: Round 2

By Friday we (me + lovely boyfriend) had already made up our mind:

We felt so good on Whole30 that we are starting round 2 on Monday next week. Now it won’t be Whole30 but Whole25. I know that there are probably some purists that say we should follow the rules as they are but then this is my life and I make my own rules 🙂 It will be my birthday on 4 December (I’ll be 36 years old, closer to 40 than 30…) and I’ll have Christmas party at work on the same day so I really want to let my hair down, eat something from the buffet and have some bubbly on that day. Shallow, yes perhaps, but that’s how I want to do it.

Round 2: Will I do something differently?

I do want to learn something from round 1 and the two things I will focus on this time around are: exercise and new food recipes.

I didn’t do any exercise while on Whole30 the first time. This time I plan to do plenty: I will walk and do Jillian Michaels’ exercise DVD. My goal is to do some form of exercise for 30 minutes a day. That I believe I can do.

I’m not sure which DVD I’ll do yet. I’ve done 30 Day Shred before and I think it’s brilliant but I’ve also bought Jillian’s 6 Week Six-Pack and I’d love to do that one. I’ve not tried it yet and I’m afraid it will be too tough (I’m not in a good shape). So I’ll start with the Six-pack workout and switch to Shred if the DVD is too difficult.

And then the new recipes. I didn’t try any new recipes while on Whole30. I did eat delicious food and I wasn’t bored but I regret not trying anything new. This time I plan to try at least 1 – 2 new recipes a week. New recipes and ideas will make it easier to change the diet and the whole life style in the long run too. I also bought a spiralizer and plan to learn how to use it properly.

I’m really excited about doing Whole30 again and can’t wait to feel and see the results.

How did you manage the reintroduction phase and have you considered doing Whole30 all over again?




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