Overall, it’s been incredible all of the Whole30 support Tim and I have both gotten throughout this process. From questions, to nice notes, comments and even people providing Whole30 snacks at events – it’s been awesome to be cheered to the finish line. But as today marks day 27 I keep getting the question “What are you going to eat on day 31? All the foods you missed? Can we go get cupcakes?” To that I say… I WISH.
Reintroduction is the next phase of Whole30 and will likely take an additional week-and-a-half after the original 30 days are up. While it’s tempting for me to load up day 31 with pizza, pasta, ice cream and beer, if I did so I would have completely wasted the past 30 days. Whole30 was an elimination diet science experiment- much like when a doctor helps a patient determine a food allergy. We’ve removed the offending substances for a period of time and now it’s time to test how our bodies reacts to the same foods with a clean slate.
Whole30 reintroduction comes by way of foods in specific categories. On day 31 we will reintroduce small bits of one category (we’re thinking dairy) while continuing to eat Whole30 otherwise. Then for two days afterwards we will go back to 100% Whole30 and see how that category affects our digestion, mood, sleep, etc. Here is (tentatively) how we plan to reintroduce:
Day 30 (dinner): Glass of wine. We want to celebrate!
Day 31: Dairy reintroduction. This will likely mean cream in my coffee, some cheese with lunch or dinner, and ice cream in the evening.
Days 32 & 33: Back to Whole30. See how dairy works in our systems.
Day 34: Gluten reintroduction. A piece of toast with breakfast, maybe we’ll go out for (cheese-less) pizza for dinner. A beer for sure.
Days 35 & 36: Back to Whole30. See how gluten affects us.
Day 37: Non-gluten grain reintroduction. I’m thinking tacos with corn tortillas, some quinoa or white rice. Perhaps a cocktail this night.
Days 38 & 39: Back to Whole30. Evaluate grains.
Day 40: Legume reintroduction. I’ll have some peanut butter and maybe some black beans. I’m not really looking forward to this day as I had a bad experience with the peas on day 15. I
Days 41 & 42: Back to Whole30. I’m interested to see if it’s a pea day repeat for me with a headache, bloating and anxiety.
Days 42 & beyond: Decide which foods we are willing to bring back into our diet, and essentially develop a sustainable diet from now until forever. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but now it’s free reign and we will be responsible for making our own decisions when it comes to health, food, and what our bodies can tolerate.
Sugar, some oils/fat sources and alcohol don’t have their own specific reintroduction days, so we’ll kind of add those as we see fit. Ideally, processed foods wouldn’t make their way back into our diet at all.
I’m not quite ready to commit to or even hypothesize regarding our “forever” diets. Will we be Paleo? Maybe. Will we just become good “clean” eaters? Very possibly. Will we return to our pre Whole-30 habits? I really hope not. It will completely depend on the reintroduction phase and how our bodies (and even taste buds) have changed during this experiment.
Finishing Whole30: Tips on reintroduction, “off-roading” and making a plan for the future