Tag Archives: Whole30 reintroduction

Reintroduction: Rules Are For Breaking (Oh Well!)

It’s been exactly seven days since Whole30 ended. Remember when we were going to reintroduce foods very carefully one-by-one on a specified schedule? Yeah… that didn’t really happen. I blame ice cream and birthday dinner at Barbette and friends brunch and the fact that I’m just plain out of willpower. 30 days is a long time to be so strict, and adding another 10 on for reintroduction was apparently more than we could truly handle.

So we didn’t stick to a schedule, but I still think we’ve been pretty good. Below is what reintroduction has looked like since my cookie-baking incident.

Gluten Free Grains

Cookie day was also the official gluten-free grain day. I ate a little bit of quinoa with lunch. It was fine., I guess? I kind of had to force it down. We planned to have some jasmine rice with our curry pot roast for dinner but neither of us really wanted any rice. Turns out we just aren’t into GF grains like I thought. Friday night we really wanted pizza, but weren’t sure we were ready for straight-up gluten pizza crust yet, so we got gluten free.

Can we please discuss GF pizza crust? What the hell IS that stuff? We ordered from Pizzeria Lola and all the reviews said they were known for having great GF pizza. If that’s the best there is… forget that. Go for the gluten my friends. Eat real pizza. GF crust has the texture, consistency and flavor of bad frozen pizza. No thanks, no way. I pretended to like it because PIZZA (duh!) and the melty cheese was delightful.

GF Grains Verdict: My body reacted fine to them both times but I’m just not really into it. I’ll likely have rice with my sushi, and when we go out for Asian/Thai/Chinese (but in reality I would prefer come cauli rice instead).

BEER & Wine (A Redux)

Friday night (GF pizza night) was also beer night! I wanted to test my reaction to beer as a gluten source stand alone. Mainly because I’ve had a huge fear this entire time that I would react poorly to beer. My first beer was a Surly Cynic (a top 5 beer for me), and later in the evening I had part of a Boom Island. Unlike my first experience with wine, I found the beer to be delicious right off the bat. It did take me forever to drink– 3ish hours total — and yes, I felt tipsy all the way through. I didn’t sleep the greatest, which I know is typical when alcohol is involved, and had a small hangover the next day. Other than that… no major reactions to the gluten! I tried another beer (Bell’s Two Hearted, another top 5 for me) last night and did great with that as well.

Out to dinner on Saturday I decided to give wine another chance. I started with a dry white, which I really enjoyed. With my steak I had a pinot noir, which was my favorite so far. Again, I was such a slow drinker… barely finishing my two glasses over a 3.5 hour dinner. And I definitely couldn’t have driven afterwards. Turns out I’m officially a cheap date. I also felt significantly crappy when I woke up the next day.

Beer/Wine Verdict: It’s a go in moderation. I’m certainly more susceptible to hangovers now and one or two drinks seems to be my current max. I’m fine with it as there’s rarely an occasion that actually merits more than two drinks (maybe a wedding or bachelorette party?). In which case I’ll make that decision in the moment based on how I feel. And with the knowledge that I’ll be paying for it significantly the next day.

Additional Reintroduction Thoughts

I still haven’t had straight-up gluten- or not in a significant amount. At dinner on Saturday night I had a couple bites of baguette (I mean we were at a french restaurant) and piece of breakfast quiche that had regular pie crust on Sunday. I do plan to have pizza or pasta or something, but I just haven’t really wanted it yet. I never thought I’d say that as gluten was a huge part of my life pre Whole30, but so far it’s been the reality. No legumes yet either, which I don’t miss in the least.

Dairy and I are getting pretty serious. It’s really the only non Whole30 category that is sneaking into my diet almost daily in moderate amounts. Some cheese in my eggs some mornings, or a latte every now and then. It isn’t a ton, but I seem to react well to it and really appreciate it. I’m trying not to eat it every day but I can say that I’m not going to be a strict no-dairy paleolite. Yes, I think I made that word up. What do you call someone who’s paleo, anyways?

Sugar is delightful but too much gives me a headache. Dairy agrees with me but I will get a rumbly tummy 2 hours on the dot after I have some. I still drink a TON of water. I’m gravitating towards Whole30/paleo foods even now that I don’t “have” to. I want veggies with every meal and I find myself appreciating/enjoying meat like I haven’t ever before. (Especially my grass fed steak at Barbette. HOLY CRAP that was good.) I’m still losing weight but I’m really not trying, it’s just happening. Coffee stays black unless it’s a delicious macchiato or some other purposeful indulgence. I’ve started to really want pasties and pie so at some point soon I need to stop a bakery and satisfy that urge. I’m obsessed with trying recipes from my paleo cookbooks.This day-by-day approach seems kind of reasonable and sustainable. I still grocery shop Whole30 with the exception of butter. Whole foods (not the store, but that too) are amazing.  I feel healthy and fit. I’m still in awe that we did this.

I know a few people out there are considering starting their own Whole30’s. I have to say that I fully recommend that you do. I’m working on compiling a list of Whole30 resources all in one post for those who have been asking. Look for it in the next few days– and let me know if you do decide to start this journey! I’m here to help.


Reintroduction: Phase 1.5 (The Trouble with Sugar)

Now I understand why Whole30 warns against Paleo treats and sugar. Holy cow is it a slippery, slippery slope. Once you reintroduce sugar, it’s incredibly hard not to let your Sugar Dragon fly free.

It started with ice cream. Just one little trip to Sebastian Joe’s on dairy reintroduction day. It was heavenly. Then, with no intention, we were back the next night… even thought it was technically a Whole30 day. We justified it that we’d eaten Whole30 for all our meals and we’d already reintroduced dairy so it was no big deal. And it was a beautiful summer night. and we wanted a date night. (Tim and I can justify just about anything.) The ice cream was delicious, if not as great as the first night.

I’ve been looking forward to trying some paleo baking since I got my new cookbooks a couple weeks ago, so I spent my lunch break today attempting Danielle Walker’s paleo chocolate chip cookies from Against All Grain. The non-Whole30 ingredients are: coconut sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Oh and dark chocolate chunks. I had Dove dark chocolate promises instead of 70%+ paleo dark chocolate. It’s more sugar, but what the hell… I really wanted to bake some cookies and wasn’t going to head to the store just for chocolate.

I was chopping up the Doves and daydreaming when I realized that I’d been doing the “one for the recipe, one for me” game with the chocolate pieces. I’d eaten at least 2 Dove’s worth of chunks without even really noticing. Whoa, mindless eating was back… and only a couple days after Whole30 (33+ days with NO mindless eating at all). I quickly added the chunks to the batter and put away the extras. When the cookies were in the oven I started to do some cleanup and turned to the dough bowl.

And here’s when I realized that I have a serious “food with no brakes” problem. I was curious about the dough (I was so much stickier than traditional chocolate chip cookie dough) and grabbed the spatula to have a taste. Five minutes later I looked down and had literally eaten all of the extra dough from the bowl with a spoon. (Full disclosure: it was AT LEAST three full cookies worth). What the HELL was I doing? I didn’t even really want it! I literally only intended to have one bite and use the rest for a second batch or toss it.

It is absolutely amazing to me that this could have happened. After 34 days of perfect eating all it took was ONE batch of (paleo compliant!) cookies for me to fall into an old routine. It makes sense to me now why Whole30 cautions against paleo treats and is so clear on their “sugar is sugar is sugar” and “a cookie is a cookie” stance. Sure, these ingredients on their own are far superior to ingredients in regular cookies. But according to my habits, cookie dough is cookie dough… and I fell into a horrible pre-Whole30 habit with no effort at all.

And yes, I paid for all of that sugar- and quickly. Less than 30 minutes after my dough binge I had a searing headache and generally felt “out of it”. Not to mention the guilt in shame of my overindulgence, and the disappointment I felt in reverting back to an old habit so intensely.

Sugar Verdict: Proceed with extreme caution, and only in scenarios where brakes are included (i.e. sharing one restaurant dessert with others). Baking, even paleo, should be reserved for special occasions only.


Whole30 Glossary: Learn more about the terminology, like “food with no brakes”.

Reintroduction: Phase 1 (Wine & Dairy)

We started our reintroduction phase a little early (dinner on Day 30) with some red wine. I have to say, I expected this to be a complete non-issue. I love wine, I love wine with dinner, and this seemed like an awesomely enjoyable plan.

I don’t remember exactly what wine we had- it was a red (cab maybe?) 2011 Trader Joe’s reserve wine. Full bodied and not at all sweet which is usually my preference. We each poured a glass, got really excited, took a sip and… what the hell? Why does this taste so strong and intense? Do I like it? I’m not sure that I like it. No, I’m sure I like it; it’s just been a while. Better have some more. It took me three hours to drink one glass of wine. And if you know me, this is not usually the case. Tim had two glasses in the same amount of time (he’s 6’4″, mind you) and admitted that he felt kind of drunk. We didn’t finish the bottle.

I went to sleep just fine but woke up at 2:30am with horrible nightmares and some stomach cramps. Tim told me he also slept poorly and had strange dreams. DAMN YOU, WHOLE30, FOR RUINING MY WINE TIME.

Wine Verdict: Jury’s out. I plan to try another glass when out to dinner on Saturday to reevaluate. I’ll try a lighter red or maybe a dry white to experiment. My pre-Whole30 self loved wine way too much for me to call it quits after one go.

Of all food groups, I’ve been most excited to reintroduce dairy. I mean please… we’re talking about CHEESE here.  I adore cheese like a good Midwesterner. I firmly believe you cannot have too much cheese. I’m sure it’s not recommended to follow up your wine night with dairy reintroduction right away in the morning but the cheese was calling my name and I just couldn’t resist.


We kicked it off with some herb chevre in our morning scrambled eggs. It was heaven. I’m still thinking about it. I realized that I’ve really missed that creamy sensation and texture in my food the past month. There’s really nothing like it, at least not that I’ve found. I also added some organic half and half to my coffee. It was flat-out disgusting. No one is more surprised by this than I am, really. Prior to Whole30 I’d probably had black coffee twice in my life (and never by choice). I LOVE fancy coffee drinks, creamers, etc. Apparently that’s no longer the case. This tasted… sour, maybe? I can’t describe it. I drank less than 1/3 of my mug before heading to Caribou for something black. I’m shocked  but at least I’ll spend less money on coffee drinks, right?

…I also had some mid-afternoon chocolate. Chocolate, my lover, I’m so glad we’ve rekindled our romance. Don’t panic – my chocolate was Paleo/Whole9 approved. Dark 72% cacao organic chocolate, to be exact. And I just had one square. And it was so delicious. Here’s a great article about how to look for compliant chocolate, if you’re wondering.

But the real star of the show was heading to Linden Hills after dinner for ice cream at Sabastian Joe’s! I have been on a countdown to ice cream since Whole30 started. I LOVE ice cream in the summer. It’s nostalgic and cute and wholesome and I just adore the entire concept. I had a cup of swiss almond chocolate and Tim enjoyed some chocolate praline pecan.

I am thrilled to say that, unlike coffee creamer, ice cream did not disappoint in the least. The first bite was AMAZING, and I wish I could say I was one of this people who found it “too sweet” or “not worth it” after two or three bites. Nope, not a chance in hell. All two scoops were gleefully eaten with no hint of remorse or slowing down. So apparently that whole “things become too sweet after Whole30” benefit did not extend to me. I’m not even upset.

And the best part? I appear to be tolerating dairy pretty well! About 90 minutes after the cream in the morning and 90 minutes after the ice cream at night my tummy got a little rumbley – as if I was hungry. There is no way I was hungry given what I’d eaten, so that seems like an interesting side effect. But so far, that’s it.

Dairy Verdict: Bring it on- in moderation. I don’t need to have dairy every day but I’ll likely be making it part of my regular diet. I enjoy dairy, my body agreed with it, and in my humble opinion dairy is the the weakest of the Whole9’s manifestos.

Tomorrow (probably) will be non-gluten grains like rice, corn, etc. Aka the boring ones. Woohoo.

Reintroduction (What Happens on Day 31?)

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

Damnit, Peas (Apparently We Cheated)

First time here? Learn about Whole30 by starting with this post.

Peas. I don’t even really care for peas. They’re fine at best- when and if I even notice them at all. You can imagine my frustration when I discover that this stupid little green vegetable made me cheat on my Whole30.

It seemed like such an innocent evening. Tim made delicious salmon, I captained broccoli slaw with guacamole and fresh fruit. But we needed more veggies so I popped open the freezer, poured some peas in a dish and called it a night. But wait… PEAS ARE A  FREAKING LEGUME, not a bonus veggie! This was a fact that we both failed to recognize until
I was laying in bed last night wondering where in the world a terrible headache came from. Wtf, peas and your legume sneakiness?!

I can’t believe I’ve been brought down by PEAS. If I was going to cheat it would have been on one of the following: A glass of Silver Oak, a black velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, a Matts’ Jucy Lucy or maybe even some ice cream from Sebastian Joes. But peas? No, I will NOT “give peas a chance.”

After some agonizing, I’ve decided that I’m not starting my Whole30 over just because of some accidental peas. Because it was just that- totally accidental. We’ve been doing fantastic and I’ve been keeping us as strict as I can manage for the past 17 days. I’m not throwing that out the window now. And honestly, I’m glad this happened. Why? Because now I can confirm that Whole30 is working.

I essentially had a mini introduction experience with legumes yesterday after The Pea Incident. My energy level today was soaring- especially for a Monday- but I was having some symptoms that I couldn’t quite explain:

  • Headache, round 1. This started around 3 and continued up until I started my fitness class after work. I chalked it up to it just being a Monday.
  • Bloating. I’ve been bloat free since about day five… So what gives today?!
  • Anxiety. My physical anxiety symptoms have been super under control since starting Whole30, but today that all-too-familiar sore neck, stiff back started up.
  • Headache, round 2 as I was laying in bed and then BAM! I remembered the peas.

Sure, this could all be coincidental and not related to the peas. But that would be a very, very lucky coincidence. Particularly that my research is showing that many people react to the reintroduction of legumes with (guess what) headaches, bloating/digestive discomfort and anxiety! This is incredible to me– my own little bodily science experiment. This is proving to me that these 30 days will be worth it and can really help me make sustainable, effective changes for my future. It will be really interesting to see if these same symptoms occur when I officially reintroduce legumes after Whole30.

So, there it is. Maybe I’m a cheater. And maybe some will think I’m not dedicated for not starting over. But I’m way too proud of how far we’ve come to call it quits now.