Life after the #Whole30

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This is the final article in a 4 part series that started on Paleo Foodies about my experiences completing the #Whole30 after being a vegetarian for 25+ years.



Image courtesy of whole9life.com

Congratulations on making through the Whole30! You should be very proud of yourself.  You overcame bad habits, battles of will power, constant challenges from the haters and doubters and many hours of food prep and dish washing.  You made it to the end.  Now what?

You can keep it up- During days 25-30, I am sure you have given this a lot of thought. Most people are feeling good, have tiger’s blood running through their veins and have mastered meal planning and maybe even eating out. If you are finding it easy, you might consider keeping up the lifestyle (but with bacon).  Or perhaps you aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for and want to hang on a bit longer to see if things improve.  Either way, if you can keep on going- why not?  You are eating fresh healthy foods, avoiding sugar and added food chemicals, and probably sleeping better too.  Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Go back to your old ways- I am sure that during the first ten days of the Whole30 you were counting down the hours until ‘normal’ eating again.  Some people simply don’t enjoy the experience of detoxing and breaking the emotional food associations.  Or they don’t see the results they were looking for.  Or they experience a lot of resistance from friends and family so it just isn’t worth it.  Of course if you are encountering negative experiences you will just want it to be over as quick as possible.  Don’t count yourself short though and consider it a fail.  You tried something new that not many other people can say they have done. This trial was a major undertaking to better yourself and your health.  That doesn’t happen very often.

Try a combination of the two- This is what I have been experimenting with.  What is the right ratio for me of obliging vs ‘cheating’ (although I hate using that word).  My Whole30 ended the day before my wedding anniversary.  I took the day to eat a nice meal out with my husband and have a glass of wine.  Honestly, I was worried my body would rebel against eating foods that I had avoided for so long.  But after that day was over, I had to consider what was next for me?  My husband wasn’t keen on eating meat three times a day or even keeping meat in the house at all.  We tried a compromise of non-complaint vegetarian meals for dinner (when we eat together) and then I could do that I like for breakfast and lunch.  A friend was going to try this 60% compliance too.  We both found that this gray area was really a black hole that sucked all of your willpower away.  Why be good during the day when you were just going to eat whatever you liked in the evening?  For me, I need the clear list of rules to follow and stick to so there is no question over what I can put in my mouth.

Now what? I definitely want to get back on the Whole30 program.  My husband and I talked about it a few times a week.  I have offered to buy my own meat from the butcher at the end of our street.  Next time around, I want to plan out my meals farther in advance to reduce cooking time and allow my husband to decide when he will eat the same meals I am.  Hopefully the 2nd round will bring pain relief from my fasciitis and tendinitis as I was close to complete relief at the tail last time.  We think my body spent the first three weeks acclimating to eating meat so it couldn’t do much else.


Do you have any tips for starting up the Whole30 or trying paleo again after a break? How did you find it?

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