It shouldn’t be called Whole30. It should be called Whole42. With the reintroduction phase, The Whole30 is 6 weeks of redefining how you fuel your body.
I just completed Day 10 of the Whole30 program and wanted to share some things I have learned so far from going through Whole30 myself.
Why am I doing a Whole30?
I like to take a 3-week sugar hiatus after a holiday season filled with lots of unhealthy treats. This time I am just taking that a big step further.
I chose to try a Whole30 to get a better idea of how certain food groups affect my body. While I don’t have any health problems that I am concerned about, I’m curious to see if I could feel better than I do. I’ve also had a mild skin condition my whole life that I am curious to see if eliminating certain foods will actually clear that up.
There are numerous potential benefits of participating in a Whole30.
What CAN’T I eat on Whole30?
As part of the Whole30 plan, I have committed to giving up for 30 days:
- All sweeteners,
- All grains,
- Legumes (i.e. beans, peas, peanuts),
- Dairy, and
That is a pretty drastic change for someone who loves cheese, peanut butter, and anything wrapped in a tortilla shell as much as I do.
There is much more detail in the Whole30 program rules.
What CAN I eat on Whole30?
- Meats – Check labels on processed meats. The ham and sausage I had bought both contained sugar and possibly other additives excluded from the program.
- Vegetables – except for corn, peas, and beans (Green beans are ok because they are more pod than bean.)
- Nuts – except for peanuts
- Fruit and 100% fruit juice
- Coffee & tea (without sweeteners or milk)
Meal planning for Whole30
I started my Whole30 on a Saturday. Weekends are pretty easy for me because I control all of the meals my family eats on weekends. Weekdays are harder because my husband does a lot of the cooking since he gets home from work sooner than I do.
My family is not participating in The Whole30 with me, but they fully support my choice to do the program.
On that first weekend, I searched for some meals I could make ahead in a crock pot to make sure we would have meals available that I could eat on the plan.
Some of the Whole30-friendly dinners I planned were:
- Chili without beans
- Rosemary chicken & potatoes
- Egg bake with spinach, onions & tomatoes (I made my family their own version with ham, sausage & cheese)
- Taco seasoned pulled pork
- Grain-free meatballs
- Pan-fried tilapia
Breakfasts have been fruit with either a boiled egg or a veggie omelet (no cheese). Lunches at work are usually salads with raisins and walnuts, but no dressing, and either a boiled egg or meat leftover from a previous dinner.
My first 10 days
I have been keeping track of my water intake and all the foods I have eaten since I started Whole30.
Looking back at just my first week, I counted that I had eaten 17 eggs! I definitely feel like I need some more variety in my diet.
In general, I was doing great with the program until I hit Day 9 on a Sunday. I had planned dinners in advance. I made a few days worth of salads for work. I had lots of ingredients on hand that were Whole30 approved.
There was even a Friday in there when the rest of my family had pizza for dinner, and I had a meaty salad instead. And I was fine with that.
But when Day 9 hit, I was cranky. I fixed meals for my family that I couldn’t eat. All I wanted to do was add peanut butter to the celery I had as a snack, lick the spoon from the cranberry sauce I served, take a bite of mac & cheese with ham mixed in, and eat a cracker with cheese.
I felt bored with my food choices and annoyed because of it. I didn’t even take time to plan dinners for the upcoming week like I had the previous weekend.
Instead, I made a list of the foods I was missing. Somehow that helped. I started to think about how I could enjoy those foods after Whole30.
Some foods on my list were: peanut butter, cheese and crackers, quesadillas, chimichangas, refried beans, ice cream, and donuts.
I also focused on how I don’t really want to eat just any old donut. I want a Boston cream donut with chocolate frosting and vanilla cream in the middle. (I’m not going to waste my thoughts or future calories on just any old donut.)
Supplements and Whole30
One thing you may forget is to see if your vitamins contain ingredients that are excluded from The Whole30 program. I stopped taking my daily vitamin D and calcium supplements at the beginning of the program because they both contained corn starch (an unapproved ingredient). I continued to take my fish oil supplement because I didn’t see any banned ingredients in that list.
When I got to Day 10, I decided to resume taking my vitamin D supplements because I didn’t like how I felt like my mood had changed. I started to feel like I didn’t care. I didn’t care enough to plan dinners for the week even though I have committed to completing a Whole30. I consider vitamin D important part of my daily routine, especially during the winter months.
Because of that, I am ok with adding the vitamin D supplement back into my diet. I also have a prescription that contains corn starch that I did not stop for Whole30.
What happens after 30 days?
The Whole30 program has a suggested reintroduction phase that lasts 12 days and involves adding just one food group back into your diet for just 1 day and then going back to Whole30 eating for 2 days.
Repeat this every 3 days, testing just one food group at a time, and pay attention to how each reintroduced food group affects your body.
So, in my mind, it’s not a Whole 30; It’s a Whole 42. That is a 6-week commitment to redefining how you fuel your body.
See my Whole30 story after I completed the challenge.