I’m done!!!!! Well, I suppose technically I’m done at 11:59 tonight, but whatever… Granted, I still have the reintroduction to go, and after looking into the reintroduction of foods, I’ve decided that this would be more aptly named the Whole42 … I guess that doesn’t flow as well … For at least the first time through the Whole30, you’re supposed to add each group of foods back in, one at a time, and for one day only, while continuing to eat Whole30-compliant meals. I know I don’t have to do their reintroduction, but I’m curious to see what effect everything I’ve been avoiding has on me. Although … I’m already planning on having a piece of pizza (and a cupcake from the baby shower last week) tomorrow, but I figure that’s allowed since it’s the Superbowl and the Pats are playing. (Go New England!!) Anyway – I think I’m going with grains containing gluten first, so I’ll add something with wheat, rye or barley in to each meal tomorrow. Then I’ll take the next two days to eat Whole30 approved meals and evaluate how I react to the gluten (if I do at all – I have a back-up plan if I do). The fourth day, I’ll add in dairy, then take two more days to evaluate. I think I’m going to add the non-gluten grains in next (so corn, oats, rice, quinoa), and legumes & peanut butter last.
Since this is my last official day of the Whole30, it’s probably a good time to collect my thoughts on the entire experience. It was ultimately easier than I thought, and I’ve already given some thought to doing another one, maybe during the summer when local produce is more readily available and I can paw through the CSA leftovers at work :-D. (I know people will probably think I’m crazy to have already thought about another one, but I’m curious to compare my blood work from my last annual to blood work while doing a Whole30. I’m just not willing to make another trip to the doctor for more blood work if I don’t have to). There are definitely things I’ve missed (I’m pretty sure they’ve come up in every post I’ve written …) like cereal and milk, cheese, popcorn, bread in general, and of course, sugar. The only thing I’m wary about adding back in is sugar. Not so much sugar in my coffee, but I want to be more aware of the snacks I’m eating or the amount of cookies I consume, and just generally make healthier choices. I’ve already pinned a bunch of recipes for desserts that use date paste instead of sugar – it’s still sugar, but I think dates are about as natural and unprocessed a sweetener as you can get! I’m curious to try the recipes, at any rate, as I’m always a little suspicious of recipes that sub out regular baking ingredients and claim that they taste ‘just like the regular version!’ One of my friends made black bean brownies once – we all decided they were straight up not good. And tasted nothing like regular brownies.
I have to say, I didn’t notice any immediate physiological changes – every time someone would ask me if I felt any different, I’d say I didn’t. But having thought about it a little more, I guess I do actually have more energy, feel better, etc. I’m terrible at making sure I get enough sleep – there aren’t enough hours in a day, so I’m usually up too late reading something. I used to have trouble staying awake during some days at work, but I realized the other morning (having gotten about 4 1/2-5 hours of sleep) that I haven’t actually had that problem lately. And according to one of my volunteers, my face looks ‘brighter.’ I may have LOL’d at that … And I think maybe my jeans fit better? It’s hard to tell … But I weighed myself before I started this, and I’ll weigh myself tomorrow and see if I lost anything! I will not be posting that info – if you want to know, you’ll have to ask :P.
I think the most important take-away from this experience for me has been simply that I have more self-control than I think I do, and it’s not really that hard to stay away from all the goodies that end up in our kitchen at work. Or in my house. I love baking, always have and probably always will, but there are better options if I want something sweet on a regular basis, like mangoes & cinnamon & coconut cream. Or an apple crisp with apples, cinnamon and some almond meal mixed with ghee sprinkled on top. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve felt the need to end every dinner with something sweet for a week or two. Granted, I’ve also walked by the candy jar at work multiple times a day salivating for this entire month, but I’d rather focus on the positive! 🙂 I made coconut date ‘mousse’ last night for dinner with some friends, 2 of whom did the Whole30 with me, and it was pretty good. Coconut milk in everything takes some getting used to, and I haven’t. But as something dessert-ish, it’s reasonably healthy. I assume it’s probably better for you than chocolate chip cookies, at any rate. Regardless, I’m happy that I’m pretty much done, and I’m happy that I did this. Now if it would just get a little warmer and less windy, I can start walking and work my way up to running again!