What I Learned During the Reintroduction Phase of My Whole30

After my first Whole30 in October 2016, I attempted to do the Slow Roll introduction and I didn’t really learn that much about what does and does not agree with my body. This time, I planned to follow the Fast Track reintroduction and make a point to evaluate how each food group made me feel before deciding if I would add that food back to my diet and how often I would do so. I did really well on day one, but then life happened and I fell off the reintroduction wagon…

Day 1 – Legumes

  • What I ate: For breakfast, I had a banana with peanut butter and raisins. I had cauliflower fried rice with ground beef and veggies (made with soy sauce) and some strawberries and a homemade dark chocolate peanut butter cup (made with a recipe I found on Pinch of Yum). I had a blueberry Larabar as a snack around 3:30, and then had baked salmon marinated in a soy sauce based marinade and steamed broccoli.

Days 2 and 3 were supposed to be back to Whole30 eating while I evaluated how legumes worked in my diet, and I did well with that during breakfast and lunch, but when I got home Jeff wanted to go out for sushi, and it sounded wonderful, so that’s what we did even though that was off the plan. I still feel really good about the choices I made when we went and I didn’t overeat, which is a major improvement for me.

The same thing happened on Saturday (what should have been day 3 of my reintro and another Whole30 day). I did pretty good with eating Whole30 for most of the day, then my mom called and invited me to go to the Mexican Kitchen, which is my favorite Mexican place in Columbus, MS, and I drove over there to meet her for dinner. I learned last time I did the Whole30 that corn in any form is not the best for me (it makes me so bloated), but I decided it was worth it to be a little bloated for some Mexican Kitchen tacos.

One thing I have already noticed is that something I reintroduced has made my skin break out. Because I did not follow the reintro plan correctly, I have no way to pinpoint what food group caused my skin to react that way. This is why you should follow the rules, I guess.

While I have not followed the reintroduction plan correctly, I am still trying to make good choices and be mindful about what and how much I am eating. I think February is going to be all about finding a good balance and figuring out what works best for me. I’m planning to eat mostly Whole30 meals during the week and then give myself a little more freedom on the weekends. I’ll see how that goes and report back at the end of the month.


My Whole30 Reintroduction Meal Plan

The end of this month’s Whole30 is drawing near, and that means it’s time to begin planning for the reintroduction phase! With my first Whole30, I tried what is called the “Slow Roll” introduction, where you keep eating a mostly Whole30 diet and add foods back as they seem “worth it” to you. For example, you continue with clean eating, but when you go over to your mom’s house and she has your favorite chocolate cake, you indulge, then you go back to eating mostly Whole30. I didn’t do very well with that type of reintroduction, so this time I am going to do the “Fast Track” reintroduction. In this reintroduction, you reintroduce a different food group that was eliminated during the Whole30 for one day, then go back to Whole30 eating for two days while you evaluate how the new food group affects you and decide if you want to add that food group back to your diet and how often you want to do so.

Reintroduction is kind of scary. You don’t want to wreck all the progress you made during your Whole30, after all. But it is a vitally important part of the Whole30 program because it is what helps you learn most about your body, your relationship with food, and achieve your Food Freedom (I am currently reading Melissa Hartwig’s book, Food Freedom Forever, and will have a review up soon!).

Here’s my Whole30 Reintroduction Meal Plan, which I will begin on February 1st:

  • Day 1 – Reintroduce legumes (peanut butter, beans, soy sauce, edamame, peas)
    • Breakfast: 1 small banana topped with peanut butter and chopped nuts, 1 chicken and apple sausage link, coffee or water
    • Lunch: Chalupas with mixed greens, carrots, bell pepper, cucumbers, and onion
    • Dinner: Grilled salmon (with marinade made with soy sauce) and roasted broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, carrots, and edamame with soy sauce
  • Days 2 and 3 – Back to eating Whole30 while evaluating the effects of legumes on my body.
  • Day 4 – Reintroduce gluten-free grains (oats, quinoa, corn, popcorn, rice)
    • Breakfast: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats topped with a sliced banana, chopped pecans, and cinnamon
    • Lunch: Turkey lettuce wrap with popcorn on the side
    • Dinner: Fried rice with chicken and veggies (including corn), made with coconut aminos instead of soy sauce (because I want to see how only the rice and corn affect me – not the soy sauce)
  • Days 5 and 6 – Back to eating Whole30 while evaluating the effects of gluten-free grains on my body.
  • Day 7 – Reintroduce dairy (milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, frozen yogurt, coffee creamer)
    • Breakfast: Greek yogurt mixed with almond butter as a dip for sliced apples, 2 slices bacon
    • Lunch: Loaded baked potato with butter, chopped grilled chicken, green onions, and buttermilk ranch dressing
    • Dinner: Chicken and broccoli casserole (made with sour cream and cauliflower rice)
  • Days 8 and 9 – Back to eating Whole30 while evaluating the effects of dairy on my body.
  • Day 10 – Reintroduce grains containing gluten (bread, bagels, pasta, pretzels, crackers, muffins)
    • Breakfast: Blueberry muffin with 1 ground sausage patty and fruit salad
    • Lunch: Turkey and avocado sandwich on whole wheat bread with carrots, cucumber slices, and bell pepper slices on the side
    • Dinner: Spaghetti with pesto sauce and grilled chicken
  • Days 11 and 12 – Back to eating Whole30 while evaluating the effects of gluten grains on my body.
  • Day 13 – Begin my personalized Food Freedom plan.

Other things you might want to reintroduce include: Alcohol (day 12 or 13), different added sugars (honey, cane sugar, maple syrup, etc), food group combinations (like gluten grains and dairy together).

This is just a sample meal plan based on what I am planning to do for my Whole30 Reintroduction. You can find out more about the reintroduction process in the Whole30 book or on the Whole30 website.

You can find this great Whole30 reintroduction calendar on @melissasfoodfreedom Instagram page (get the calendar here).