Whole30 certified! What next?

My last day of Whole30 was spent in sunny Spain where I am on a business trip. To my surprise it was going well for me until my colleague decided to have a McDonald’s for lunch. Cruel! Especially when you have to sit opposite him watching (and smelling) his finger licking food. Luckily I resisted and put my sunnies on, ignored the smell of fried gluten and watched passerbys enjoying their milkshakes in a 30 degree heat.

So despite temptations I completed 30 days of an elimination diet which most of whole30 fans believe is a lifestyle change and the very beginning of a healthy clean eating for life!

I’ve learnt that 30 days of controlled clean eating is not an impossible challenge. I am very happy and proud of myself as I didn’t believe I could do it. Now I’ve done it, completed, finished I feel accomplished but also in the same time I feel as if I’ve reached some sort of a target and I am not too sure what next.

The challenge was accepted 30 days ago and 30 days later there seem to be no celebration with trash and binge eating as I thought would be in order when I was embarking on this long journey. I feel like I could continue. In fact I want to continue. So, should I start another 30 days?

No

The next stage, which is not reached by many is to start reintroducing the foods which were eliminated initially. Reintroduction must be done in a timely manner i.e. One day with dairy and two days without. Only reintroduce one food at a time. The purpose behind this (as my training partner Kim, who has now fully reintroduced everything, noted to me) is to observe your body’s reaction to foods which were eliminated. It might take up to two days to see how you get on with dairy or gluten free grains. So, this stage might take another 10 days or more before returning to “normal”. What’s normal though?

To me, the normal is gluten free life. Post Whole30 it is also dairy free life.

What I’ve missed on Whole30 and what will be returning to my food diary:
– protein shakes – I never drink more than three a week, but they are my fall back nutrients needed after training when I am lazy and tired to cook – they are good when needing a speedy recovery. I carefully choose my protein shakes and try to buy good quality ones and pay a bit more as it’s worth it
– gluten free grains – breakfast granola is something I miss when I train in the
morning. Easily prepared and quickly consumed offering great start to my day
– coconut yoghurt (contains a small portion of tapioca starch)
– occasional treat – when you train hard to achieve something in the gym or even at work – treat is a really good way to recognise these efforts. Whole 30 taught me to not do this but I disagree and don’t want to carry on without recognising and celebrating successes (I hope this doesn’t read that I won’t continue being disciplined and).

What will NOT be returning to my food diary:
– refined sugar (in many ways sugar is nasty). I have avoided fizzy drinks for long time now but occasionally sneaked in brown sugar to my coffee or tea. I also have a sweet tooth for chocolate, but with the whole30 I learnt to appreciate natural sweet flavours – ie sweet potato really is sweet, berries are sweet too, ginger is sweet and spicy… Before whole30 I couldn’t think of any of these being sweet enough for me.
– rice – being gluten free with celiac d. means that rice is used to substitute gluten. I used to eat rice cakes believing they are the healthiest thing in the world – they are not. So, I am leaving rice out as much as I can for as long as I can.
– alcohol (!) – a big shout! Especially from somebody with a big social network and job which requires meeting clients for lunches, dinners and drinks. I’ve decided that it has to stay out of my day to day life and the only allowed consumption is on holidays.
– many other foods and preservatives such as soya, maize, colourings etc etc the list of individual ingredients goes on and on… I only listed a few major groups

What have I learnt?
– discipline
– focus
– cooking the new way
– preparation and planning
– timing meals and planning portions according to body’s output

Whole30 in figures:
This is the bit where many go wrong. They ask me how much have I lost? It was not a diet to start with, I didn’t intend to lose anything.

I am still a size 8 as I was when I started and I prefer it as it is expensive to drop sizes because you have to replenish your wardrobe again.

The only major difference is my tummy is not bloated and is flat.
My face and skin have a healthy glow and complexion.
I go to sleep and wake up in the same time without having to take any sleeping support.
I am only tired or fatigued because I upped my training levels during the whole30 and that might not be advisable but I still did it.

It was well worth it and the whole30 comes highly recommended by me. I am not enforcing anyone to do it I am just referring to it as a very good mental and physical test for anyone of any age or size.

Good luck!

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