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Feeling Sick, Uncomfortable and Disheartened after going Off Track


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My husband and I recently completed the whole 30 and found the challenge enjoyable and eye-opening, all the things I thought I couldn’t live without I actually could pretty easily, we both lost a few pounds and felt pretty amazing.


I continued eating whole 30 for a few weeks after re-introducing fat free milk occasional which sometimes made me feel a bit queasy and brown rice which mad me bloated so stopped with that.  I had a night out and drank a few vodka soda’s over the course of the evening and had no noticeable reaction to it.


Fast forward a couple of weeks and I had 2 weekends where I went off track with a few different food groups and felt horrible as a result, I have had on and off of the past 2 weeks horrible stomach cramps which have had me lay on the sofa in a lot of discomfort,  I have had both constipation and diarrhea and feel pretty awful.  I lack energy and feel moody and not on ‘form’.


I have read through the forums and realize this is down to me not reintroducing properly and obviously I have no way of telling which food groups set me off as, I am now trying to eat compliantly for the next week and then will start to do a systematic re-intro.


My question is should it really take 3-4 days of feeling this bad after a weekend blow out or is something not right? I have been eating only compliant foods in between these weekends and still felt bad. I was really happy with the way I felt whilst doing the whole 30 but now I am very disheartened by how the effects of one ‘normal’ weekend of drinking, pizza and ice cream has on me.


Whist doing the Whole 30 I planned to stick to the food plan pretty much and read the book properly and thought I could go ‘off track’ track here and there on special occasions but now feel so bad I almost regret doing this in the first place, I have never reacted to food like this before and feel like I am now trapped into this plan and won’t ever get my stomach back to the way it was before?



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Hi There,


Sorry to hear that you are feeling lousy.  3 - 4 days is pretty normal after you go for a good off road.  I have reactions to dairy that will last at least 2 weeks.  So guess what?  Despite my love for ice cream and cheese - dairy isn't my friend and isn't allowed into my life on a regular basis.


Since you do predominantly whole 30 throughout the week - I would consider doing a whole 14(or until you feel much better) then do some solid and proper re-intros.


I never did proper re-intros either but I have managed to pinpoint what really bothers me over the last 2 years.  Dairy was the easy one to figure out.

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Thanks, I appreciate the response, should I wait until I feel mostly back to 100%  and then start the whole 14 or count it from this week, I started again on Monday? I'm keeping a food diary as well to help figure things out.


Can I ask do you get a 2 week bad reaction to dairy every time you eat it now? I feel quite sad at the thought of never being able to eat some of my 'treats' ever again if this is going to be the result.

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One thing that happens when you eat foods that irritate your body is that your stomach develops a thicker mucosal lining to protect you from the irritation. When you do a Whole30, part of that lining sloughs off because it is no longer needed. So when you eat irritating foods again, your body is not as prepared to protect you as it was and you feel the irritation more notably than you did before. However, if you keep eating irritating foods, the mucosal lining will thicken again and begin to provide you the protection it did before. 


Some people can eat off plan foods occasionally without noticeable symptoms, but for some the symptoms are quite noticeable.


It does occur to me that you may be suffering in part from a random stomach bug, flu, etc.When you are thinking about food it is natural to assume that the cause of your distress is something you ate, but eating Whole30-style cannot protect you from illness and certainly eating off plan can't. You might be suffering from bad luck. Doing a proper introduction is important to figure these things out.


You might start a Whole14 right away and begin reintroduction testing if you feel good at the end of it.

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Unfortunately yes I do.  But reaction is not only stomach upset, but an auto-immune (rather painful) skin condition.  (I also get it when I eat pork as well)


This doesn't mean I never eat dairy - I just do very rarely.  I have mourned dairy properly and have pretty much voted it off the island except for rare occasions.  It has to be really worth it for me.  So the deep fried ice cream that I had a Thai restaurant on my birthday - was worth it. 


But keep in mind - I am me and you are you.  What might be considered worth it for you, may not to me.  And also my reactions are not your reactions.


This is why doing a proper re-intro is key when you want to discover what is really worth it, and what really isn't. 


Start your whole 14 today.  Last few days you were feeling crummy, so it is important to have your system nice and clear before doing any re-intros.

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  • 2 months later...



2 months on I thought i'd give an update as I remember trawling through these pages when I was having the issues with my stomach problems, desperate to see someone that had been through the same problems and got back to 'normal' . I am happy to say I feel completely back to normal now but it was a rough 6-8 weeks of constant issues with my stomach, really unconformable bloating, gurgly feelings, nausea and all issues with going to the toilet.  It ruined many a weekend and evening where I couldn't eat anything and felt horrible despite being very strict with what I was eating.


At first everything I ate seemed to set me off and I kept a strict food diary and tried to keep to the whole 30 foods. I went to see a gastro doctor as I was at the end of my tether  and he told me to try antacids for 2 weeks, these didn't seem to help or make things worse but after 2 weeks I stopped taking them as directed and slowly felt better.  Leading up to this I had been slowly reintroducing items and now I seem to be OK with most things apart from rice.


To wrap up, although I agree with a lot of the principals around the Whole 30 and did feel really good while doing it the aftermath just wasn't worth it for me, I think the plan is far to restrictive and very hard to stick to long term and had I had any idea I would respond to the reintroduction the way i did I would never have done it. I did it as I wanted to improve what was already a pretty healthy lifestyle but still want to be able to treat myself now and again to a glass of wine or a bagel without being ill for 3 days after.    I have a pretty good diet in general and even now I stick to whole clean foods and avoid the obvious bad food like junk foods and sugary nastiest but in my case I think everything in moderation for me equals a happier life.

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