I have been officially done Whole 30 for a week now. Let me start by saying that I felt great at the end of the month. I definitely had that “tiger blood” running through me and I had tons of energy.
And now let me say that I kinda made a mess of my reintroduction. For those familiar with Whole 30, you know that part of reintroduction normally includes adding back the different groups of foods that might be problematic, one at a time, and seeing how your body reacts. The other option is to just ease up on the sugar restriction and keep eating Whole 30-ish, and then choose off-plan foods that you decide are worth any possible unpleasant side effects as they come along. That’s what you’re supposed to do. I, on the other hand, tried to add foods back a little bit faster than that. This made me feel gross, but I’ve gotten back on track and started really paying attention to what foods make me feel great and what foods make me feel less-than-great. Because I want to feel great all the time!
So here’s my 5 things that happen after Whole 30:
- Everyone assumes now you can eat whatever you want: The number of people who congratulated me on finishing Whole 30 and then asking what I ate to celebrate was hilarious. Everyone assumes that you live on hard-boiled eggs and carrots for a month. No one wanted to hear that I was trying rice crackers and hummus, which, for the record, have no weird side effects for me.
- You want to eat the favourite foods you haven’t had in a month, but you’ll also be surprised what you don’t miss: I missed cheese. And ice cream. And beer. These are things that I want to be able to eat in small doses in my normal life going forward. I did not miss the Rice Krispie squares or gummies I used to be able to munch on at work. I did not really miss having a glass of milk when I could have a glass of homemade unsweetened iced tea. I didn’t miss a lot of junk food. All this, to me, indicates that these aren’t foods I really love that much, they’re just things I eat because they’re there. These are things I eat out of habit. These are the things that I probably don’t need to bring back into my diet. (Disclaimer: milk is a very healthy part of a lot of people’s diets, but I’m still trying to see if it is something that makes my body happy.)
- You have some weird reverse withdrawal to sugar: Two days after finishing Whole 30, we were working on a white chocolate truffle recipe at work. I figured it wouldn’t really be that much milk so I’d just see what happened. Never mind the milk, what about sugar!? Within 15 minutes, my head was killing me. I was jittery and could not focus and was just all over the place. Is that what I was like before? How on earth did I get anything done? I did have sugar in other forms over the weekend and found it just makes me feel sluggish and unable to focus. I’m not likely to completely cut sugar out of my diet permanently, but it’s worth thinking about what tastes good enough to feel so gross.
- You just want to be a normal person again: By the end of Whole 30, I just wanted to eat like a normal person. I want to not meal plan or prep or have to think so far ahead. I want to just say “sure” when someone offers me a piece of something, instead of politely declining. But eating the way everyone else does clearly was not working for me, and doesn’t make me feel as great as eating Whole 30-style. Normal is overrated anyway.
- You start to wrap your head around what can be a “normal diet” for you: This is going to be an on-going project that changes over time. I want to feel as good as I did for the last month, but I also have to balance that with work and my sanity. My compromise here is that I am trying to eat Whole 30 as much as possible when I’m prepping my own food. But I’m also not being super difficult if I’m a guest or I’m out for a meal. I’m not eating potato chips, I’m eating pop corn with avocado oil and sea salt. I’m not eating chocolate chip cookies, I’m eating cocoa coated coconut chips (new favourite find). I’m not eating white pasta, I’m tossing a little bit of quinoa with my vegetables for a salad. I’m trying to find a balance where I feel great and get to eat the foods I like. Obviously this will look different for everyone, and what stays and goes in your diet is up to you!
Have your done Whole 30? What did your introduction look like? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!