My Whole30 Story & How I Plan to Eat After

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I officially have 7 days left of my first Whole30! After finishing Whole30, you don’t want to revert back to your old ways of eating (especially right away!) What happens after your Whole30 is one of the most important parts – reintroduction.

This is your chance to pinpoint the foods that make you feel no so great – and possibly cause other symptoms.

My Plan for Eating after Whole30

Snacks

One of the guidelines for Whole30 is to try and eat only 3 meals a day – no snacks. I tried my best to do this, but found that I needed a few snacks to get me through the day! I may not have broke my snack habit, but I did at least train myself to reach for healthier items.

If i’m hungry, I will continue to reach for an apple and almond butter, some trail mix, or even an RX Bar. This will require keeping fresh produce and sugar-free snacks on hand, which I think is a great habit that I formed during my Whole30!

Coffee

This will probably be one of my biggest takeaways from my Whole30 – I do not need sugary-creamy coffee in my life! I was worried about breaking this habit, but I am now very satisfied with my coffee and full-fat coconut milk.

Another resolution I made was to not spend ANY money at Starbucks for the month AND not spend any money on coffee. So far I have been able to stick to both of those! I plan to keep that going, with a few special occasions for a Starbucks coffee treat (but still skipping the sweetener and creams!)

Cheese and Dairy

Cheese was another quick, go-to snack for me. I would add cheese to almost every meal! Surprisingly, I missed cheese and dairy less during the Whole30 than I thought I would! That tells me that I probably don’t need it as much as in the past. I am interested to see if it causes any symptoms once I reintroduce it. If not, I’m planning on cheese and dairy in moderation (maybe once per day).

Grains

Grains are another item that I would like to reintroduce and make note of any reactions. I do miss having some rice, quinoa, tortillas, and tortilla chips in my diet! I think adding those items back to my menu would help me sustain the other healthy eating habits I developed.

Gluten

Gluten is the exception to the grains that I mentioned above. My husband had stomach issues a few years ago and went gluten-free for almost a year. His stomach issues disappeared with no other intervention required. He now eats mostly gluten-free, but isn’t as rigid as he was in the past.

After a reintroduction to take note of symptoms, I would like to be mostly gluten-free (with the exception of a tasty beer on occasion!) I also plan to avoid “gluten-free” versions of items (bread, bagels, pasta) and stick to mostly whole foods for my meals.

Let’s be honest… will I have a pizza and pasta on occasion? Absolutely, I’m not a monster! But I will make sure that it is a mindful decision and WORTH IT!

Legumes

I really miss legumes and think that they are the number one item that I would like to reintroduce in my diet. You eat A LOT of meat on the Whole30 plan and as someone trying to reduce my carbon footprint on the planet, I would like to reduce my consumption of meat. That would be easiest with legumes to substitute as my protein!

I love a good garbanzo bean salad, black bean taco, or chili with beans! Here’s to hoping that legumes do not cause me too many negative side effects to make me rethink their spot on my new menu lineup.

Soy

Soy is another item that I think I could live without. It might be tricky because of how often soybean oil and soy lecithin is added to items, but if I can easily check a label for ingredients – it seems worth it to avoid. I also plan to reintroduce and take note of any reactions.

Alcohol

Another honest moment – I’ve made plenty a New Year Resolution to quit something like alcohol and have NEVER stuck to it. This Whole30 is literally the first resolution I have ever kept to myself.

I have gone lengths of time without drinking, but feel that my drinking is currently in moderation. I will reintroduce and have the occasional glass of wine or beer.

My Plan: Modified Paleo Diet

Basically I plan to follow a Paleo Diet, which avoids packaged, processed foods and includes items that could be found by a typical hunter/gatherer during the Paleolithic era (hence the nickname the “caveman diet”!) I will make a few changes as mentioned above, to include legumes, a little dairy, and some sugar (honey, maple syrup, etc.)

I would also like to incorporate more recipes that use paleo ingredients, but are not allowed on the Whole30 – such as pancakes, muffins, cereals, pizza crust, etc.

To read more about the Paleo Diet, go here.

Lessons Learned

All in all, I feel like I learned some valuable lessons from Whole30 so far.

  1. I can stick to something that I set my mind to! I usually don’t follow through with “diets” or other restrictions, so making it this far is a huge accomplishment.
  2. Have a “why”! I honestly wouldn’t have made it this far unless I was sick of feeling the way I did. I was getting plenty of sleep, drinking tons of coffee, working out, eating healthy-ish and still feeling low energy most of the time. Getting to the bottom of why I felt so sluggish and had stubborn weight loss kept me motivated through the program.
  3. I think I do better with a plan that has rigid guidelines as opposed to simply making better choices. I know these restrictions might have the opposite effect on others. Do what works best for you!
  4. Eating more whole foods may be difficult and expensive, but it is worth it! I already see a huge improvement in my energy levels, focus, and general mood during the day.
  5. Keep an eye on portions. At first I was eating as much as I wanted and choosing recipes that had a ton of fats, like full fat coconut milk, avocado oil, etc. I think being mindful of portions and to fill up more on vegetables is important.
  6. Whole 30 *can* be expensive. I had planned to start a strict grocery budget for this year, but Whole30 threw that out the window! I am learning to prioritize what I spend my money on. To me, high quality meats and organic produce is more important than Whole30 compliant sauces and snacks. The sauces and snacks really add up, so I will be looking for ways to make these items at home!
  7. Meal Planning and Prepping can be time consuming. I like to eat a variety of foods and meals, so my meal planning and prepping can take a lot of time. Luckily for me, I enjoy doing those things and use it as my downtime (weird, I know!) Choose a day that works best for you, play some great music, and dig in! To simplify the process, check out some of my meal plans. They even include grocery lists to make it more simple!
  8. You eat ALOT of meat. This is my main complaint about Whole30. Without legumes, dairy, and grains – you really fill up on a lot of meat. I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint and all of the meat really adds up! I’m looking forward to having beans and yogurt as other protein sources again.
  9. ADDED SUGARS ARE IN EVERYTHING! Seriously, read your labels. This was a huge eye opener for me and I want to avoid unnecessary sugar in the future as much as possible. The caveat, it might cost more so looking into homemade options is the way to go!

Have you followed the Whole30 plan before? What were your thoughts? Comment below!

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