Did you find yourself sweeter and kinder after Whole30 reintro?


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Whole9 Presents: Nutrition in 60 Seconds

 

This post was originally created in response to a reader’s request for our nutritional elevator pitch.  You know the elevator pitch concept – you’re hanging out in the elevator when your boss gets on and asks how things are going.  You’ve got 60 seconds to give him the big-picture details in a way that is complete, concise and engaging – not an easy task.

We originally created our “Paleo Pitch” back in May 2010, while recording our guest appearance on Robb Wolf’s podcast.    At the time, Robb called it the “Dubai elevator pitch”, a reference to the location of the world’s tallest building.  (We agree, it was a tad bit lengthy).  Since then, we’ve continued to refine and revise our pitch – and today, we’re re-releasing an updated version as part of our Manifesto series.

 

The Case For the Positive Pitch

While many people live and breathe the idea of Eating Good Food, they’re not always so good at talking about it. In fact, when asked, “What’s this diet you’re on?”  most people approach their response entirely the wrong way.  The first thing they mention are all the things they don’t eat – grains, dairy, legumes, sugar or processed foods. Trouble is, there is probably at least ONE of those food groups in their listener’s diet, and starting the discussion with a judgment of their dietary choices (whether real or imagined) immediately puts the listener on the defensive.

In addition, launching into the foods you don’t eat first immediately closes off further conversation if the listener jumps to some fast conclusions about your level of dietary fanaticism, or the restrictive nature of your self-imposed regimen.  After all, for most people, not eating any of those food groups is hard to wrap their head around.  Finally, that kind of lead-off also places you in the unfortunate position of then having to provide “proof” or scientific back-up for your rationale.  And as many of you have discovered, that’s darn near impossible to do in 60 seconds, especially when you’re up against such classics as, “Milk gives you strong bones,” or “Whole grains are heart-healthy.”

 

So we approached our nutritional pitch from a different angle – emphasizing the foods we do eat, why we eat them, and the general (and well documented) health benefits associated with the foods we choose. And then, it’s time to seal the deal with a personal testimonial – how this way of eating has affected YOU, personally. It’s hard to argue with, “Since my first Whole30, I’m sleeping better, my energy is through the roof, I lost 15 pounds, and my skin has totally cleared up”, right?

So here is our revised pitch, in all it’s positive, forward-thinking, non-confrontational glory. (And yes, we actually read this out loud and timed it. We are nothing if not diligent.)

Nutrition in 60 Seconds

I eat real food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat, seafood and eggs come from, and buy organic local produce as often as possible.

 

This is not a “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  I aim for well-balanced nutrition, so I eat both animals and a significant amount of plants.  I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.  And my meals are probably higher in fat than you’d imagine, but fat is a healthy source of energy when it comes from high-quality foods like avocado, coconut and grass-fed beef.

 

Eating like this is ideal for maintaining a healthy metabolism and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life.  It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food.  It also works to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune.

 

"So there you have it – 60 seconds that concisely summarizes, “Why I eat the way I eat.” So spread the Good Food Word and explain your dietary choices to friends, family, co-workers and nosy neighbors in a way that is approachable, relatable and, most importantly, maintains a positive spin on why we eat the way we do.(And feel free to use our “Nutrition in 60 Seconds” on your site or blog, too – just credit and link back to us, please.)  Do you have an approach or a “pitch” of your own?  Share it in comments."

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"There is a difference between "I'm never hungry in the morning, so I just skip breakfast every day" and "I deliberately, intermittently fast occasionally during my week." The first tells me your hormones are dysfunctional, and skipping breakfast every day isn't going to fix 'em. In addition, unless you're making an enormous conscious effort to get all of your daily calories crammed into two meals a day, you're under-feeding yourself, which is only feeding into that hormonal dysfunction loop.

Many folks use "IF" (or "JNE" - just not eating) as a shortcut to weight loss, or a compensation for metabolic issues. This is not advisable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that things get far, far worse instead of getting better when you add an intensely stressful protocol like IF or JNE on top of an already disrupted, over-stressed system.

However, if your Health Equation is in line, you are fasting truly intermittently, and you take pains to ensure you are adequately nourishing yourself with calories and nutrients during your feeding windows, I don't have a problem with this approach. The trouble is, there are very few people with all of their life "factors" in line enough to attempt to add IF - and it's dangerous to play around with if you've got other stuff going on in your context.

So to the OP, sounds like you've got it dialed in, and I'm good with that. "

 

"Melissa Hartwig"

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photo-thumb-6.jpg?_r=1403697759 Posted by Tom Denham 

Having read another of your posts, I think your weight loss goals are far too aggressive for someone whose body looks like yours. You are not eating enough to nourish your body. Not eating enough means that your metabolism slows to protect you from starvation. This makes losing fat very difficult. The best approach is to eat according to our meal planning template, which supports a good hormonal response in your body. 

 
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photo-thumb-6.jpg?_r=1403697759 Posted by Tom Denham

I suppose you are talking about Bulletproof Coffee made with ghee and coconut oil. This drink is acceptable during a Whole30, but not as a replacement for breakfast the way many people use it. Fortified coffee does not come close to meeting the Whole30 meal template standards of protein, fat, and veggies at meal. 

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photo-thumb-6.jpg?_r=1403697759 Posted by Tom Denham

The high blood pressure had nothing to do with eating eggs or meat. Eating foods that contain cholesterol has very little to do with the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Though doctors often propagate this particular myth, people with high cholesterol are making it in their livers, not eating it at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

 

 

My cholesterol has dropped 72 points in  77 days.  I've been eating 2 dozen eggs aweek.  It's not bragging if it's true.

 

 

 

 

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"Eating eggs, a banana, and some olive oil is not the same as combining those ingredients into a pancake. There are studies that show that how your brain *perceives* the food influences satiation. This is often cited with liquid food (smoothies or shakes), but experientially we see this with whole foods as well, depending on how they are combined. Pancakes bring up a totally different psychological response than frying some eggs and eating a banana. And it's that psychological response that we are trying to target with the program.

You may not have an affinity for pancakes, but we find that most people who complete our program do best without any of these comfort/trigger/reminiscent-of-the-SAD-stuff-you-used-to-eat foods. So, because we need to create one program that applies to as many people as possible, we rule these Paleo recreations out.

I don't have an affinity for pancakes either, and I could eat Paleo pancakes without having it send me into a craving spiral. But the rules are the rules, and all we ask is that people follow them for 30 days. In our vast experience, this sets everyone up for the best success possible. What you choose to do after the month is up is entirely up to you.

I hope this helps to explain our position. "

Melissa 

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If I could turn back time, I wouldn't have made so many smoothies.  For years, I made shakes a regular habit of mine.  They never filled me up.   The extra fruit I was adding elevated my blood sugar levels.

 

I haven't missed one.   I now prefer a meal of an avocado, hard boiled eggs, tuna/chicken and vegetables.

 

They may be easy and portable but they're more of a dessert than an actual meal.

 

The only urge I have to shake things up lately...is telling others that smoothies slowed my metabolism.  The milk and whey protein precipitated the same insulin response that sugar did.  Everything I was putting into those smoothies was undermining my efforts to be really healthy.

 

 

Making-a-Smoothie-at-Home.jpg     making-smoothies-in-blender.jpg  fruit-smoothies.jpg

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The reformed binger has to make a choice every day not to return to the scene of their last crime...driving a car with the backseat loaded with cookies, donuts, and whatever floats their boat.


 


As the tension, hunger, and feelings of deprivation build, the compulsion to eat becomes too powerful to resist: a “forbidden” food is eaten; a rule is broken. With an all-or-nothing mindset, you feel any slip-up is a total failure. After having a bite of ice cream, you might think, “I’ve already blown It, so I might as well go all out.


 


The relief that bingeing brings is extremely short-lived. Soon after, guilt and self-loathing set in. And so the  plan is another Whole 30 to make up for bingeing and regaining control.


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Binge-ing is not a treatment for a food addiction.

 

A compulsive connection to physical activity can become an addiction, too.

 

Exercise can be a passion or a problem.  The problem isn't going to the gym or running....

 

It's the addiction to the feeling that hours and hours of daily exercise are required to feel better about one's self.

 

Exercise dependence can bring you more injuries than health boosts.  Exercise addiction amplifies anxieties.

 

When exercise becomes all consuming....the passion becomes a problem.

 

 

"Tolerance: Needing more and more of the activity to achieve its initial effects.

 

Withdrawal: Increased agitation, fatigue, and tension when not exercising.“Intention Effect”:

 

Exercising for longer than intended on most trips to the gym. Lack of control:

Difficulty scaling back the duration and intensity of exercise.

 

“Time Spent”: Funneling exorbitant chunks of our day and night towards fitness-related activities.

 

Reduction of Other Pursuits: Avoidance of social engagements that don’t involve exercise, cancelling plans, or showing up late for work in order to exercise longer.

 

Continuance Despite Injury: Not taking enough time off to heal despite your doctor repeatedly raising judgmental eyebrows."

 

 

 

 

Refer to the Exercise Addiction Inventory, a shorter assessment tool designed by sports psychologist Mark Griffiths, Ph.D.

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General components of addictions, 
has redefined it in light of theory and applied them to behaviours such as
 
exercise,
 
dieting, gambling, video games, and the Internet.
 
These components are:
 
Salience – This occurs when the particular activity becomes the most important
 
activity in the person’s life and dominates their thinking (preoccupations and
 
cognitive distortions), feelings (cravings), and behaviour (deterioration of
 
socialised  behaviour).
 
For instance, even if the person is not actually engaged in the behaviour
 
they will be thinking about the next time they will be.

 

Mood modification – This refers to the subjective experiences that people report
as a consequence of engaging in the particular activity and can be seen as a
 
coping strategy they experience an arousing ‘‘buzz’’, "high",
 
"escape" or "numbing". 
 
 
Withdrawal symptoms – These are the unpleasant feeling states and/or physical
 
effects which occur when the particular activity is discontinued or suddenly
 
reduced,
 
e.g., the shakes, moodiness, irritability etc.
 
Conflict – This refers to the conflicts between the addict and those around them
 
(interpersonal conflict), conflicts with other activities (job, social life, hobbies
 
and
 
interests) or from within the individual themselves (intrapsychic conflict) which
 
are concerned with the particular activity.

 

 

 

Relapse – This is the tendency for repeated reversions to earlier patterns of the

 

particular activity to recur and for even the most extreme patterns typical of
 
the height of the addiction to be quickly restored after many years of abstinence
 
or control.
 
 
Mark Griffiths (1997) 
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Reintros.....Day 31.

 

Is it any wonder that the former desires and cravings lead to thoughts that lead to actions?

 

Day 31 arrives  and all planning for a proper reintro goes right out the window.  Then more guilt and more planning....another Whole 30.  We have to be mindful that this does not lead to more food and exercise addiction and periodic dieting.

 

Reintros are important.  They require planning like your Whole 30.

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"Reintroduction is a long-term process, not just a 1-day event. We encourage people to pay attention every time they eat an off-plan food, because sometimes the effects are cumulative (one meal of bread is no problem for me, three days of bread in a row is a huge problem); sometimes one food will affect you in ways others in the same food group won't (goat cheese= alien belly, parmesan cheese=no problem); and sometimes the effects are so subtle or psychological, you won't notice them at all until you've done two or three Whole30's and are more invested in and aware of the nuances of the program.


 


Remember, too, that your body builds up defense mechanisms against foods that irritate the gut. The mucosal lining gets thicker, the bacteria population changes, your immune system ramps up to deal with the troublemakers. These are all adaptations that may help you "get used to" the foods in question, but they're not healthy. If you have an immediate and serious reaction to a food you used to eat "without issue" during your reintroduction period, it's likely that your body has relaxed some of those defenses (because you've been without the trigger for 30 days), and now that you've reintroduced it, your body reacts quite strongly without those buffers. This doesn't mean your body "needs to get used to" the food--it means that without those secondary defenses, your body is quite strongly telling you, "No thank you." You would do well to listen to those signals.


 


We're planning on expanding our reintroduction guidelines in far more detail in our next project, but for now, feel free to modify the schedule as you see fit, and interpret the results as you see fit as well. We'll give you our best guidance, but ultimately how you choose to reintroduce foods (and whether you keep them in your diet after the program) is entirely up to you."


 


Best,


Melissa


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Moderator Since July 26, 2013

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The reintro schedule recommends reintroducing only one food group on a particular day (at all 3 meals in that 1 day), keeping all else Whole30 compliant.  If you were to have a reaction tomorrow, you won't know whether gluten or alcohol is the cause.  

Especially where this is a retest of gluten for you, I'd keep everything else Whole30 compliant today so you can be 100% sure of whatever reactions you have or don't have.

 
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Whole9 Moderator Since July 26, 2013

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The categories in the reintro are suggested categories.  You only need to reintro what you're curious about or that you want to eat again.

 

If you want to have alcohol again, then it would be prudent to do a controlled reintroduction before you put it routinely into your lifestyle again.

 

Some people split the categories, so they can further pinpoint specific food reactions. For example, some have a raw dairy day and a pasturized dairy day.  Some people have a soy day and then other legumes day. Some people have an oats day and the remaining non-gluten grains day.

It's your experiment - test what you feel best meets your needs.  Whichever you reintro, follow the protocol of one day per food group at all 3 meals, keeping all else Whole30 compliant. (The one exception to all 3 meals would be alcohol: one or two drinks would suffice.) Then return to 100% Whole30 eating for 2 days, then proceed to the next food group. On a reintro day and in between days, notice any physical or psychological reactions to what you ate.

Once you reintro a particular food group, you don't have it again until all your reintros are complete.

 

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Whole9 Moderator Since July 26, 2013

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To do a proper, controlled reintroduction, only reintroduce one food group at a time.  If you have alcohol, dairy, gluten and rice all on the same day and feel yucky afterward, you won't know the culprit.

Only reintroduce the items you're genuinely curious about or that you want to eat again.  

Follow the recommended 
reintroduction schedule of one day for reintro, keeping all else Whole30 compliant, two Whole30 compliant days, and then next reintro food group. Repeat until you are done, and once you reintro a food group, don't have it again until your reintros are done.  For everything but alcohol, have an item from the food group in question at all three meals in one day. On alcohol day, have 1-2 drinks.

In your case, I would test everything you intend to eat in Italy before your trip.  Enjoy your vacation and try not to go overboard on anything that caused you problems.

 
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Whole9 Moderator Since Nov 6, 2013

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I'm similar to kb except that since Whole30 wasn't my first elimination diet, I didn't need to do any testing to know that dairy, soy and gluten grains aren't good for me. Here's my reintroduction plan:

1. continue eating the Whole30 way, while not technically being on a Whole30--this is just how I eat.
2. do not schedule any reintroductions
3. when presented with a situation where it seems "worth it" to eat something off plan (like a tiny almond macaroon with mascarpone filling purchased just for me, or a taste of champagne for a toast, or the gluten-free but dairy and sugar filled--EEK!--cake my mom made just for me, etc.) Then I "test" it. I have a small portion, I watch my eating and my feelings for the next 24 hours or so and make a note. Whatever the reaction is, it goes into my math of whether it is "worth it" the next time. 
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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. 

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