As January comes to an end, so too does our first ever Whole30 challenge, so you might be asking yourself, “What now?” You’ll recall that the Whole30 challenge is not just about eating well for 30 days, followed by 335 days of gluttony and over-indulgence. You didn’t really think we were going to tell you to celebrate by ordering pizza, followed by brownies ala mode, and all washed down with a couple of beers, did you?
No, because these 30 days are just the start of establishing a lifelong healthy relationship with food. A relationship in which food nourishes you, fueling you for the activities you love. Helping you to feel well-rested, energized, and strong. A relationship where you are empowered, rather than controlled by cravings and mood swings. A relationship in which you truly thrive! And guess what, it might come with a slice of pizza too! So, how?
Well, do you have 10 more days? Seriously. If you read Dallas and Melissa Hartwig’s book It Starts With Food, then you know, now comes Phase 2: Reintroduction. Through this phase, we reintroduce our bodies to some of the foods we’ve eliminated during the past 30 days. We do so slowly, one group at a time, paying attention to how our bodies respond, and all the while keeping the rest of our diet as clean (i.e. Whole30 compliant) as possible. This phase only adds another 10 days, and will provide valuable feedback that will help you transition to a lifetime of eating well. The more you know, the better decisions you can make! Reintroduction looks something like this:
Day 1: Reintroduce and evaluate legumes (beans, soy, peanut butter)
Day 2: Reintroduce and evaluate non-gluten grains (rice, corn, gluten-free bread)
Day 7: Reintroduce and evaluate dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk, butter)
Day 10: Reintroduce and evaluate grains containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley)
Be honest with yourself through this phase, and pay close attention. The negative effects may not be immediately noticeable, but after a few days, maybe you notice a headache, upset stomach, feeling bloated or lethargic, etc. And maybe you’re ok with that because you really really really want that slice of pizza. That’s OK! As long as you are making a conscious decision to indulge in it, and to accept whatever negative consequences may come. We don’t want you to complete a Whole 365. It’s the Whole 30 for a reason, just 30 days (+10 of reintroduction) to serve as a springboard towards establishing lifelong healthy habits and smart food choices!
You’ll notice that there is not a reintroduction phase for alcohol, sugar, and processed foods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever have them. You don’t need us to tell you that they aren’t good for you, but if all you want in this world is a hot melty chocolate chip cookie, then have it…but savor it! We’ll leave you with this favorite quote from the book:
“Light some candles, put on some soft music, and get downright romantic with your cookie. Take small bites. Chew thoroughly. Savor the flavor, smell, and texture. Make it last. Share the experience with a friend or your family, or simply enjoy the quiet time Since we indulge partly to provide mental satisfaction, squeeze as much satisfaction as possible out of what you are eating.”