Whole30: The grand finale

GUYS! Today is the last day of my boyfriend’s and my Whole30! Finally. I can’t wait to finally be eating more balanced meals. It’s probably because I wasn’t as strict about it as I should have been, but I don’t think it really helped me at all. If anything, I enjoy eating whole foods more and have found some great new recipes to keep in the rotation, but that’s about it. I don’t think eating cheese, bread, and wine in moderation is necessarily bad so I will happily add those back in my diet with no second thoughts.

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We are supposed to start our reintroduction tomorrow, but we have upcoming events that kind of screwed up the ideal reintroduction plan. The idea is to add back in one food group at a time so you know which group your body reacts to (if any). So, tomorrow we are supposed to add in one group, and then the following two days, we’re supposed to go back to eating entirely Whole30 to monitor how our bodies feel. The problem is that we are going out on Thursday and Friday. We’ve decided to start with gluten tomorrow (I’m FINALLY getting some donuts); the plan is to have donuts around breakfast, a bagel for lunch, and then homemade pasta for dinner. We plan to eat Whole30 until dinner on Thursday, where we are likely having burgers with buns (and cheese). Friday, we will be eating both cheese and chocolate in the evening (fondue for the win!), so we are going to try doing Whole30 for the rest of the day to minimize the impact. We’ll see how it goes. I’m actually surprisingly nervous about eating those foods again; I’m worried that I’m going to feel really sick for not having had them for so long. (I don’t think sugar will be so bad though since our vitamins have glucose in them. I didn’t take them regularly, but I took them enough that I’m hoping the sugar reintroduction won’t be so bad!)

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Feelings after second half: It got easier, for sure, but I never felt the “tiger’s blood” that most people report feeling during the last half of Whole30. I probably wasn’t eating enough filling foods (though I am not snacking as much as I used to–win). I also haven’t been good about drinking water (already failing at the New Year’s resolution); I felt really light-headed this past weekend when we went to a museum, and it was probably because I hadn’t had any water. I’m really trying to get better about it, but I hate going to the restroom. It feels like such a waste of time (weird, I know), but I really need to rethink that in order to get better about drinking water (perhaps consider it as a mini-break from work instead? haha…). Also, my gut in general doesn’t feel amazing, either.

Accidental and purposeful cheats: We use almond meal to make the “breading” for the chicken fingers (shown above), but the almond meal we just purchased this past weekend looks quite different from the normal almond meal. We may have inadvertently eaten some unapproved meal of some sort. Other than that, we’ve been doing well as far as accidents go. On the other hand, we have purposefully cheated (call the Whole30 police). While everything we ate was compliant ingredient-wise, it was not compliant in spirit. We bought and ate sweet potato chips dipped in guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday. We discovered the deliciousness that is a blended frozen banana (plus coconut milk to actually get it to blend) mixed with fresh strawberries. It resembles ice cream, so that’s a no-no. But, to be completely honest, I’m planning on eating it in addition to ice cream once we are done. It’s that good. We also had banana pancakes. It’s not the two-ingredient banana-and-egg combination–it’s probably better, honestly. I didn’t count that one as a cheat because I don’t like regular pancakes. I can only eat them with a million chocolate chips (or if it’s the only option and I’m ravenous). I actually craved these pancakes last week, which is a first for me regarding pancakes. A total win! They are also the perfect fresh strawberry delivery system. 😉

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New favorites: Besides all of the meals I’ve shown you in my posts, new favorites that I’ll definitely be keeping in the rotation include scrambled eggs with avocado, green apples dipped in almond butter, mixed nuts roasted with cinnamon (and freeze-dried strawberry “dust”–not sure if the dust will be staying around but roasted nuts is still much better than any other snack I liked before), and fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, peaches, grapefruit etc.). I liked fresh fruit before, but it’s going to become more of a snack food now and less of a I’ll-buy-this-only-because-I-crave-it type of food. We’ve been splitting a grapefruit every day for breakfast and it’s now become something I look forward to every morning. Coconut chips also proved to be quite a good snack, but I’m not sure if they’ll hang around. They’re not exactly filling or even that satisfying, haha.

Final thoughts: As I mentioned before, I’m nervous about the reintroduction phase, but at the same time, I’m SO excited to finally not have restrictions! A lot of people who do Whole30 end up not even missing the foods they aren’t eating, but I do. I don’t know if it’s because it’s what I’ve been eating my whole life and I’m used to it, or if it’s because my body feels weaker now than before I started Whole30. Chris and I both ended up losing weight, which was not part of the plan, but I guess it happens. (You’re supposed to not weigh yourself during the 30 days, but we had packages to send and needed to figure out how much they weighed.) If you’re considering doing the Whole30 and want to reap all of the possible benefits, make sure you follow their rules exactly or else you’ll probably end up like me: really indifferent and rather annoyed with the whole experience. I think the key to making this work (besides NO cheats whatsoever) is making sure your meals are super filling and satisfying. Nothing is worse than getting those hunger growls only a couple of  hours after finishing a meal! I hope these posts were at least somewhat informative; I plan to post again in about a month just to give a quick update on how the reintroductions went. 🙂

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Top photo: Kale and potato breakfast hash

Top middle photo: Mexican “breaded” chicken, roasted white potatoes, and lemon garlic green beans

Bottom middle photo: Blended frozen banana with coconut milk and strawberries

Bottom photo: Banana pancakes with strawberries

{All photos are via my Instagram!}

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8 thoughts on “Whole30: The grand finale

  1. Thanks for sharing your Whole30 experience. I was a little intrigued when you and Fran started doing it, but at the end of the day, I think I’m probably better off just eating more vegetables and whole grains. I still want to try the banana “ice cream” and pancake recipes though!

    • It’s definitely something I would only recommend if you want to figure out if you have some sort of allergy to gluten or dairy (and even then, I’m pretty sure there are tests you can do at the doctor’s office to find out, haha). It was kind of interesting making my body a “control”, and then reintroducing foods is like an experiment of sorts. #nerd But yeah, I wouldn’t do it again! I highly recommend those recipes–soo good. 🙂

  2. I’m so fascinated with this entire process and curious to hear if any of the “old foods” end up bothering you. I’ve been eating more whole foods lately because I’m trying to lose weight, but I don’t think I could stay on the Whole30 bandwagon for too long. (I really like beer. Haha.)

    http://bedknobsandbaubles.com/

    • The first day was kind of rough, but I don’t know if it’s because my body hasn’t been feeling well the past few days in general, because it was a shock to my body (especially having donuts first–which had gluten, sugar, and dairy, as it turned out), or because I actually have a gluten sensitivity. I just hope it’s not the latter, haha. I wish we could actually do the reintroduction phase properly! You could do a modified Whole30 and keep in the beer. 😉 I definitely missed wine.

  3. Honestly, I’m glad to see a blogger have a less-than-positive review of the Whole30. I appreciate that you’re constructive about your criticism. It’s certainly a refreshing change from the gushing everywhere else! I found the plan totally restrictive to the point of unhealthy (mentally and physically), and really unbalanced. I think I’m happier working in more vegetables and whole grains to my diet than eliminating a massive amount of things. And I love fruit, so I could never give that up easily!

    • I totally agree with you! I felt like it didn’t do for me what it seemed to do for everyone else, which was kind of a bummer but at the same time…it’s not that amazing of a diet, in my opinion. (Even though my boyfriend really liked it by the end of it.) I’m excited to start eating more “whole” foods in general in addition to all the stuff we weren’t supposed to eat while on Whole30. Fruit was one thing I probably should not have eaten as much as I did (apparently we were supposed to eat mainly meat and vegetables), but when a diet is already so restrictive, I just said screw it and ate it anyway.

      • I mean, it’s fruit. It’s delicious, and good for you. This is one of my main gripes with the Whole30 – it eliminates foods that are actually beneficial and part of a balanced diet. And then it makes you feel bad for not restricting yourself from eating foods that are beneficial AND you enjoy eating (unless of course someone is actually allergic to fruit, for example. And again, there are more reliable tests done by a doctor for that.)

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