Happy September! I am a summer girl, so I am sad to see summer going so soon, but there are fun and wonderful things that come with fall too. And I can’t stop it from changing. Haha. This is my last Whole45 post! I want to share more about my Whole45 experience and reintroduction!
I’m going to get really honest here: When I planned to do this Whole45, I envisioned a “perfect” Whole45, one that I would do with my husband and make great new recipes all the time on. That’s not how it went. First, my husband decided he didn’t want to do the Whole45 with me. He wanted to do it for the right reasons, but, at the time, he felt that his reasons for doing it were not for his health. We had planned to do this together for a while, and I had done a Whole30 the year before with him. It was really fun and motivating doing Whole30 together before. I respect his decision, and he should only do it for healthful reasons, but I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed to not have someone doing this with me. I wasn’t planning on doing it by myself, and, honestly, it was a little daunting for me in the beginning. I had also wanted to make all of these great recipes all of the time and try lots of new ones. While I did use some new and great recipes, I ate a lot of simple meals too, especially while away from home when I didn’t have much of a choice. And you know what? That’s fine. I can still make great recipes and try new ones outside of Whole45. And it’s fine that my Whole45 didn’t look like the “perfect” one I envisioned. It was a really great Whole45– I enjoyed it, I felt really great, and it has helped push me towards a healthier lifestyle and future!
When I finished Whole45, I did a reintroduction period. I took it very slowly at first, so I was in that phase for quite a while. I did it this way because I didn’t care if I ate the foods I was reintroducing, and I didn’t want to reactivate my sugar addiction. When I reintroduced something, I just consumed that type of food during one day, whether with one, two, or all three meals, and then ate Whole30 style for at least two days after that to gauge how I felt before reintroducing something else. When taking it slowly, I had more than two days in between. The first thing I reintroduced was corn, in the form of corn tortillas and corn chips. I experienced some digestive symptoms that were not terrible but were enough to make me decide that I do not want to incorporate corn into my diet, unless there is something especially good that I want for a special occasion.
Next, I reintroduced dairy with cheese, sour cream, and ice cream. I experienced a runny nose while eating the cheese and sour cream, but that could have been influenced by the spices in the food I was eating. I did have extra mucous after eating it, though, which I was not surprised by because I have always noticed extra mucous when I eat dairy. I had more mucous later that night after the ice cream, and I even had it for the next couple of days after. Additionally, I did not sleep the full night the next two nights, which is unusual for me. Food, I have learned, affects your hormones which influence how well you sleep, among many other things. (I read about this in It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.)
Thirdly, I tried legumes– black beans and peanut butter (Peanuts are actually legumes, weird huh?). I experienced extra mucous in my throat after eating the black beans, which I did not expect. I also experienced mild digestive symptoms from the black beans, which I was not surprised by. After the peanut butter, I didn’t really notice anything except maybe feeling a bit bloated.
Fourth, I tried wheat in the form of a waffle, a flour tortilla, and whole wheat bread. I was surprised by some abdominal pain that day. It did not last long, but it was unpleasant. I honestly did not expect to experience much of anything from wheat/gluten, except maybe feeling extra anxious. I tried a bit more gluten on a different day and experienced abdominal pain then too. Wow! I really do not want to eat gluten. I also have suspicions that it may possibly give me hives. I’m not sure at this point, but it seems that I’ve had some hives show up on days I’ve eaten wheat/flour/gluten-containing foods.
I also tried rice, white and brown. I did not experience much from those; very mild digestive symptoms. I tried gluten free bread. I felt better after the rice than the gluten free bread, but it was still mild. Additionally, I tried refined cane sugar one day and organic coconut sugar another day. I didn’t notice any adverse mood effects from the coconut sugar, but it seemed I was more stressed out when I had the table sugar, and not just that day but at least a couple of days after.
Reintroduction was a really great tool for me. It was enlightening, and it’s great to know how certain different foods affect me. It will help me make choices going forward. I do not want to include these foods in my diet on a regular basis, and some I will be much less willing to indulge in on special occasions than others. If I do decide to have something super delicious and special that contains these types of ingredients, I will make sure not to eat too much of it. I definitely do not want to create problems for myself in the future by continually putting something in that aggravates my system.
Now, here is my last set of meals for my Whole45. It’s a lot! There are also other things I ate with some of the meals pictured or occasionally had as a snack that I did not get pictures of, such as a piece of fruit, beef or turkey stick/bar, sliced veggies or baby carrots, an occasional cold press coffee, and/or nuts. (Some of the pictures were taken on my phone and/or in bad lighting, so please excuse those.) Next, I will be posting some words of wisdom/an epiphany my husband had. I, personally, love it, and it describes so well why I choose to eat the way I do. You won’t want to miss it!