Did you find yourself sweeter and kinder after Whole30 reintro?


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"I'm a Type 1 Diabetic for 31 years. For EVERYONE, bread/starches, lactose (dairy sugars), white potatoes, corn, etc increases blood sugar. The only items that keep my glucose even-keeled are Proteins (meat), low-starch veggies (the ones approved on W30), healthy fats, and sparing low-sugar fruits (like berries, NOT like mangos or bananas).  No amount of avoiding these items temporarily will have them break down any differently when they are consumed.  If you want great #s to continue, your great habits need to continue.


Personally, I "triage" things that up my glucose. Example: mashed potatoes are absolutely NOT worth it to me, so I don't eat them, EVER. A fantastic small dish of gelato while walking the streets of Italy, YES PLEASE!  & I just take a little extra insulin to compensate for the spike from sugar and milk. I never drink sweet beverages (lemonade other than made with stevia, regular soda, glasses of juice, "sport drinks," etc), as none of them are "worth it" to me. 


The book It Starts With Food (a.k.a. ISWF) goes into some pretty eye-opening description of what dairy does to blood sugar! Yikes, I didn't know when I was slamming quarts of it the years before my diagnosis...."

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One of my favorites...reading their story prompted me to order "It Starts With Food"




8 January, 2014

Nearly a year ago, Emilie and her friend Shayna left their homes in San Diego and set out on a year-long road-trip documentary project in a 1978 Toyota Odyssey mini camper. They tried to be healthy, but any way you shake it, life on the road catches up to you. In October 2013, they put their feet down and decided they wanted to eat clean and get a fresh start.  So they started the Whole30. This is their story.

Emilie’s Story

In February 2013, a friend and I set out from our homes in San Diego and embarked upon a year-long road trip.  In the months before departing, we gave up our apartments, sold our stuff, and traded in our cars for a 1978 Toyota Odyssey mini-camper. Our new home was 19 feet of retro ‘70s stripes and shag ceiling carpet. The goal was 50% fun exploration of the US and 50% work research for our documentary film; we had never been more excited.

Fast forward eight months: life on the road—from the west coast to the Rockies to Vermont to Brooklyn—had treated us well. And then… we arrived in The South.  After spending five days in Nashville doing some birthday gorging on “exotic” foods we don’t have in southern California (read: Waffle House), we knew we needed a change. When my camper-mate Shayna suggested we do a Whole30, starting right then and there, I quickly agreed (most likely because I was in the throes of a SonicBurger hangover and wasn’t thinking straight).


First Off, We Live in a Camper

The facts were these: well, first off, we live in a camper.  Not one of those fancy mobile mansions that are bigger than your parents’ house, but a tiny one with no running water, no refrigerator, and without an oven.  We have a three burner stove top, of which two burners work.  We own one cutting knife, a frying pan, a pot, two plates, and one mug (the other one broke and we didn’t want to spend the money to replace it). Until recently we were using plastic forks, but I splurged for two real ones at a thrift store in Tennessee. To store our food, we use a red cooler a friend in Cape Cod gave to us.

On top of that, we didn’t get a grant to do our documentary. We didn’t save up much to take on the road. We simply went. At this point in the journey we found our funds to be extremely S T R E T C H E D.  Hospitality and occasional freelance work kept us on the road, so it seemed like the most nonsensical time to stop taking free meals and embark on the pickiest eating season of our lives. But we were tired of feeling badly from putting junk in our system and we mustered up the resolve to say “NO” to stuff that shouldn’t go in our bodies.


Friends Until the End

I had tried doing a Whole30 before, but found I wasn’t able to do it alone. Having Shayna in the same boat (camper) as me helped tremendously in terms of Whole30 success.  The first major test of our resolve was when we went to stay with a sweet southern grandma just outside of Nashville.  If there was ever an evangelist for southern home cooking, Lee was it.  From the moment we walked in to her house, she smothered us with hugs and promises that she would feed us better than anyone else.

Though we had prepped her regarding our eating habits, I don’t think she truly believed us, or perhaps an intense paleo-style diet is just hard for an old school southern-paradigmed grandma to adjust to.  I don’t know if it was harder for us or for Lee; she seemed absolutely crestfallen that she couldn’t treat us to her cooking, which also seemed to be the way she showed love.

We had mentioned that we could eat eggs, so the next morning when we awoke Lee was already hard at work in the kitchen. I watched in horror as she dumped almost a full cup of half & half into the eggs she was scrambling. At the breakfast table I tried to make secret motions toward Shayna regarding the “infected” scrambled eggs while I munched on a hard boiled one. We never knowingly broke our Whole30 while there, but after the Scrambled Egg Incident, we realized that there were probably lots of non-Whole30 compliant ingredients unknowingly slipped into the meals we were eating.  We decided to start over, day one again, when we left Lee’s.


Creative Camper Cooking

From there came a lot of days where we were just on the road, not staying with anyone, and we got into a great habit of stopping mid-day wherever we happened to be (sometimes a McDonald’s parking lot, sometimes a state forest) and taking time to cook and eat a lunch. We were astounded by how creative we became with the allowed ingredients, and I must say it was kind of a thrill to be sitting on a blanket eating tilapia with Brussels sprouts and purple Asian sweet potatoes while watching people order Big Mac meals at the drive-thru window (for roughly the same price!).

Since we were living out of a cooler, we had to stop for groceries every couple days. We’d find what was cheap and in-season and eat that different ways for a few days and then hit the store again for whatever else was cheap and in-season in whatever region we were in.  Sometimes we would just buy local meat at the farmers market and hit the grocery for the cheaper produce.

We discovered some favorite foods among things we hadn’t really eaten before: spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. And all three really cheap. We could only really make the squashes when we stayed with someone who had an oven, but the sweet potatoes kept really well in the camper and helped satiate us on longer days. And when we discovered ghee, my whole world turned upside-down. Garlic and all sorts of different onions are cheap and can flavor a meal differently every time, and eggs are easy and keep fairly well.  Go-to meals on the run ended up being things like taco salad, “Cobb” salad, and leftovers from the night before.


Simple Pleasures

It was refreshing to be grateful for simple things.  At my vegetarian relatives’ house we ate vegetables at their table and then cooked meat in our camper for dessert. We washed dishes whenever we could, and sometimes ended up washing them “in house” (a good paper towel wipe-down in the camper). I was always a little anxious about the price at the supermarket checkout but once we looked at the receipts and divided the cost by two, we realized we were most certainly SAVING money by choosing to eat simply and not eat out, even when we bought the $5 carton of eggs.  Doing the Whole30 with a friend made it more fun and cheaper, since we could share the cost of basic cooking ingredients like coconut oil and ghee.

I’m not saying it was easy when we had to pass up free glasses of fine red wine at our friend’s bar in Durham, NC. But I can’t shout loudly enough about how good I felt eating clean, whole foods and how powerful it felt to say “no.”  Every time we finished a meal we marveled about our energy levels and about how satisfied we felt; I slept better too (in a camper on noisy city streets!).  In addition, I feel like I have a real jump-start on changing the way I relate to food; slowly, how I think about sugar and novelty foods is shifting.

Thirty days was just enough time to uproot my old habits and help me lean into a new kind of lifestyle.  I wouldn’t say our situation was ideal, but all in all, my thought is this: if you’re thinking about doing the Whole30 and aren’t sure you have the resources, just imagine two plucky film-making gals traipsing around in a 1978 campervan full of sweet potatoes, and be very encouraged.


Emilie and Shayna will be on the road until late February.  You can support them by sending them jars of ghee, hiring them ([email protected]), and following their journey on Facebook: facebook.com/holysmokesproductions;  Instagram:@holysmokesproductions; and Vimeo:vimeo.com/holysmokesproductions.

- See more at: http://whole30.com/2014/01/camper-whole30/#sthash.EAZqwZCR.dpuf
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Going Back to Original Factory Settings






In Conclusion…


"We want you to participate. We want you to take this seriously, and see amazing results in unexpected areas. Even if you don’t believe this will actually change your life, if you’re willing to give it 30 short days, do it. It is that important. We believe in it that much. It changed our lives, and we want it to change yours too."


"Welcome to the Whole30."


I believe the Reintroduction Phase should be taken as seriously as the Whole 30.


"It’s For Your Own Good"


Here comes the tough love. This is for those of you who are considering taking on this life-changing month, but aren’t sure you can actually pull it off, cheat free, for a full 30 days. This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here).” This is for you.


  • It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
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Going Back to Original Factory Settings








"You can do this. You’ve come too far to back out now. You want to do this. You need to do this. And we believe that you can do this. So stop thinking about it, and start doing."


I believe you can have a Goof-Proof Reintroduction Phase of a Whole 30.



Insulin Resistance

Metabolic Syndrome

Food Addictions

Binge Eating

Binge Drinking


"You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started. "


Reintroduction provides you with valuable information.

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A Goof-Proof Reintroduction Phase takes resolve and commitment, too.  I choose to take it seriously.
Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

Whole9 Moderator/First Whole30 May 2010

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I waited 4 months before I began to eat anything off plan. I don't think that a Whole120 is better than a Whole30, but you don't have to retest how you feel with any foods until you are ready. 

Do you know the forum rules? Review them at http://forum.whole9l.../6-forum-rules/


I think the value of doing a Whole30 is to begin seeing meat, fish, eggs, veggies, and fruit as the good stuff and to start thinking of everything else as an unavoidable evil that you have to deal with occasionally. 


Browse 400 Whole30-compliant recipes at 
Tom Denham's http://www.wholelifeeating.com

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