After discussing the Whole30 with a few friends who have tried it/done it, I think it's safe to say that while, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that difficult of a challenge, it isn't easy either. Sure, it's fine if you have the time, focus, and commitment to plan and prepare all of your meals so that they're Whole30-compliant. But, when some of your favourite foods contain dairy (cheese and ice cream, anyone?) and/or you're used to six small meals a day instead of three, things can become a little tricky. You can forget about enjoying that hot sauce on your scrambled eggs in the morning, because it just so happens to contain sugar. And hey, your go-to bevvy from David's Tea? It has stevia.
In the past 27 days, I have dealt with bittersweet goodbyes (or "see you later's") to some of my favourite foods and slip ups, too: Thanksgiving dinner, friendly lunches, and most recently, the footy awards banquet, where I ate both roasted white potatoes and the teeniest amount of cheese (gasp!). I've learned to approach food as fuel and sustenance, not just as comfort and indulgence (but okay, indulgence sometimes, and for the duration of my Whole30 this means dates and dried coconut).
But all that aside, while it can be challenging (at first) to map out your Whole30 diet and figure out what you can and cannot eat, let's get real. It's only 30 days. And, now as the end draws nearer, I'm planning my next line of attack: the reintroduction phase.
Starting Wednesday, I will slowly reintroduce the foods and food groups that were eliminated from my diet 30 days past: alcohol, dairy, grains, legumes, and sugar - but wait, I'm kind of in a pickle here. It Starts With Food recommends that you reintroduce dairy on day 1, gluten-containing grains on day 4, non-gluten grains on day 7, legumes on day 10, and so on and so forth. But what if you already know how certain foods affect you? What if I already know that highly processed sugars make my joints ache and my thinking foggy? What if I already know that I have probably one of the lowest tolerances for alcohol out there and that when I have just three sips of wine, I start to get tipsy? I am already aware of these effects, just as I am familiar with the ways in which wheat or gluten also has an impact on my health and well-being. Therefore, I am most interested in the reintroduction of dairy, non-gluten grains, and legumes. So, my question is: can I reintroduce dairy alongside sugar and alcohol if I already know the effects of the latter two? That is, can I go back to consuming sugar and alcohol (in limited quantities, of course) right away and on the same day, while at the same time, reintroduce dairy?
Okay, you caught me. The truth is, R and I are celebrating Halloween this weekend with a party at our place and I'd like to have a sweet or two with a drink or few (woah, rhyming!), and I've stocked the fridge with a load of cheese.
Technically, you're supposed to reintroduce the eliminated foods or food groups one by one, but the approach that I've decided to take is to only schedule the reintroduction of foods with which I have yet to experience any symptoms. Again, these are dairy, non-gluten grains, and legumes. First up? Dairy (if you've read any of my Whole30 blog posts, this should really come as no surprise).
image via cannelle et vanille
DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist, physician, or any kind of health professional. Everything that you find on my blog is based on my own knowledge and opinion. If you require specific health and fitness advice, please seek a qualified health professional.