As you know, I’ve now completed the Whole30 diet and I’ve also semi-finished the reintroduction phase almost, kinda. So in today’s post, I’m going to tell you what foods didn’t agree with me when I reintroduced them, whether or not I cheated during the Whole30, my results and how I will be eating going forwards. I hope you enjoy!
The Reintroduction Phase
You can reintroduce foods as quickly, or as slowly as you like. I opted for the fast track because by this point I reallyyyy wanted to eat a grain of rice again, plus I would soon be travelling to Sheffield with my Mum for my Grandad’s funeral and I didn’t want to have to restrict my food choices at that time.
First up, I reintroduced legumes in the form of a mixed bean salad and some peanut butter. I was worried reintroducing beans would make me really windy but they didn’t at all. I don’t know how to put this, nor did I ever think I’d be writing this on my blog, but they made me do a rather large number 2. Yep, I just said that on the internet. Highlight of blogging so far. Forget detox teas, just eat a mixed bean salad. Anyway, moving on…
Next, I reintroduced grains. I had a bowl of porridge, a brown rice and quinoa mix with a vegan Indian curry and then white coriander rice in a naked burrito bowl. I’d been out all day so both lunch and dinner were ordered on-the-go, but from healthy places where I could check the ingredients and allergens online. I was absolutely fine with grains, much to my delight because I’d missed them!
Reintroducing gluten and dairy rolled into one for me, which is definitely not recommended as they are the most likely to affect you and you won’t know if it’s one or both if you eat them together. However, Michael and I decided to have an impromptu date night where we went out for sourdough pizza and then finished it with a waffle topped with ice cream. I was incredibly bloated, windy and uncomfortable afterwards so it’s clear I should avoid something, I’m just not sure whether it’s dairy, gluten, or both!
Did I exercise during Whole30?
Honestly, not really. I worked out a total of 2 days in the 30 days which is shocking, and embarrassing to admit. My plan was to not exercise in the first week, to see how my body reacted and then start working out from week 2 onwards. I fully expected to feel tired, crappy and have low energy in the first week, as that’s what the Whole30 timeline suggests will happen. For me it was actually the opposite – I felt great in week 1 and then crappy and tired in week 2, so my plan of working out in week 2 definitely did not happen. After that I was really busy so I only managed to work out twice. Shame on me!
Did I cheat?
In a word, yes. Almost daily in fact.
I ate regular, supermarket-bought bacon instead of searching for sodium-nitrate free bacon as Whole30 says you should. To me, this felt like a barrier that would have made it too difficult for me to follow. Let’s face it, the Whole30 is difficult enough as it is and having to search far and wide for sodium-nitrate free bacon, at the rate Michael and I were getting through bacon, would have given us an easy excuse to give up and eat a bowl of porridge.
I also ate a few too many Nakd and Primal Pantry bars. They are allowed on Whole30, but you’re probably not supposed to eat them as often as I did.
My Whole30 Results
A quick search on Google will show stories of people who have done the Whole30 and lost 10 pounds and more, dropped dress sizes and lost inches, which is amazing but I didn’t expect to lose so much myself. So how much did I lose?
I lost 5 pounds and a whole lotta bloat.
As I explained in my ‘why I’m doing the Whole30‘ post, it is suspected I have PCOS and my weight has been increasing or staying stagnant for a long time now, despite me working out and eating healthily. For this reason, I didn’t expect weight to just drop off me, but I hoped the Whole30 would help to balance my hormones and kickstart my weight loss, which I think it has!
I appreciate these pictures are at different angles, different lighting, taken on different cameras and in one I’m wearing a thong (oh hey stretch marks!) and in the other I’m wearing high-waisted leggings, but I hope it helps to show the difference. My back fat has reduced, going from being permanently visible to just sometimes, depending on the angle. My skin has cleared up massively. I wasn’t very spotty before and do get complimented on my skin, but the overall appearance, texture and glow has improved, making me look a lot healthier.
The result I’m most happiest with though, is how my tummy looks and feels! I used to be bloated almost 24/7, to the point where my tummy felt quite protruded, uncomfortable and I couldn’t even pull my tummy in. Worst of all, I was windy. Not such a big a deal when you have your own bedroom, but when you move in with your boyfriend, it quickly becomes an issue. During the Whole30, my flatulence almost completely disappeared (more so towards the end of week 3 onwards), my bloat disappeared and my belly flattened out a lot. I don’t have abs or a washboard stomach just yet, but I am hell of a lot closer now, than I was at the start of the year.
It’s clear now that I was eating something that was upsetting my tummy, but I didn’t pay close enough attention to my body before. I knew something was wrong and that I shouldn’t be so bloated and windy, but I ignored it because I enjoyed the foods I was eating.
How will I eat now that Whole30 is over?
I feel like I’ve finally found the ‘diet’ that suits me and my body in the Paleo diet. I’ve enjoyed the foods these past 30 days and enjoyed the benefits even more, so I’m pretty sure I will eat modified Paleo going forwards.
Why modified Paleo? That’s because I’m still undecided about rice, quinoa and oats. They are not Paleo and weren’t allowed on Whole30, but I really missed them and when I reintroduced them I was completely fine. I’ve been reading up on why grains are not Paleo and I do understand that point of view; it makes sense to me. But then I dream of a nice, homemade chicken curry with a side of rice, or a salad with quinoa tossed in, or overnight oats. I think I will eat a mostly Paleo diet, with the occasional bit of rice, quinoa and oats mixed in.
I’ll focus on avoiding dairy, soy, alcohol, cereals, bread, pasta, processed foods and refined sugar, but I will occasionally eat rice, quinoa, oats and honey. I need to work out what occasionally means for me – is it once, twice or three times a week?
I’ll also ignore all rules from time to time and eat something like a pizza, or non-Paleo dessert, or a Dairy Milk chocolate bar, or whatever the hell I fancy. There is no way in this lifetime that I’ll be able to never eat these foods again. I enjoy these foods, despite how windy they make me. My only rule around this is to make the most of these meals when I do ‘go rogue’. Instead of just getting a pizza delivery at home, I want to go out and explore the best pizza places in London, like Franco Manca or Homeslice. Instead of just getting a mediocre dessert from my canteen at work, I want to buy one of my favourite desserts and make a meal of it instead of scoffing it quickly in my lunch break.
So that’s my Whole30 results! Thank you so much for following along this journey with me. I’ll try to share more of my journey going forward as I start eating modified Paleo. I’m also joining a Crossfit gym so I’m super excited about that and will no doubt want to share that with you!
Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see, or know more about. Whether it’s Whole30/Paleo recipe posts, WODs from when I start my new Crossfit training, anything at all! Leave a comment below, Tweet me or email me and let me know.