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To reintroductions and beyond...


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Starting a new journal to track my reintroduction phase. I regularly journal elsewhere so may not keep going after that but would be good to start looking at the other Eight as well as staying accountable for food of course.


Here's what I'm setting out to do.


1. Keep to the three-meal schedule with no snacking, and also to the meal template with protein and plenty of veg at every meal. Nothing should push these off the plate.
2. May incorporate IF again one or two days a week and see how that goes.
3. If the reintros go well, I hope to have dairy (at least yogurt, cheese, butter and cream), non-gluten grains and well-cooked legumes as an occasional part of my diet, and even gluten at least in the form of homemade sourdough (rye or wheat) every now and then. Of course if these do cause issues then I'll reconsider.
4. Sugar will be reserved for very rare occasions and alcohol to no more than one or two days a week.
5. Will be more relaxed about the above when eating out or with other people but when I'm preparing a meal, I should feed myself as well as I know how - which means action point 1!
6. Not getting on the scales again for a month. Hope to wean myself off this habit.


And here's the planned reintro schedule

16th (Saturday) Alcohol (wine / clear spirits; no gluten or sugary cocktails)

20th (Wednesday) Dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt)

23rd (Saturday) Non-gluten grains (rice, buckwheat, corn)

26th (Tuesday) Legumes (lentils, broad beans, maybe tofu)

29th (Monday) Gluten grains (rye, wheat sourdough)


Saturday's already happened ... with log that in a minute. Going to have my (template) dinner first!

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Alcohol reintroduction (Saturday 16th August)


Drink: 5 small glasses (125ml) of prosecco, 1 large glass (250ml) of rose wine. (Between 6.30pm and midnight)


Went to our friends' wedding and had the drinks with my dinner and at the reception. Drank a bit more than I had intended to; in hindsight could have done without the glass of wine and maybe one or two fewer proseccos too! Drank plenty of water alongside, danced a lot, didn't feel very drunk.


Effects: Headache the next day (until the afternoon), stuffy nose in the morning when first waking up, no other ill effects.


NB my dinner also had a little bit of unintended dairy - it was chicken with mashed potato and mushroom sauce and the mushroom sauce was made with cream. I left most of the sauce on the plate but ate what couldn't easily be scraped off the chicken/ mash. Whether this would have been enough to give me a stuffy nose, not sure, but will watch out for that after dairy reintro day.


Have otherwise kept to plan, except had only two proper meals (breakfast and dinner) on Saturday and Sunday with nothing in between on Saturday, just half a small pot of cockles on Sunday. Made up for it by having a big dinner both days.


Haven't had any sugar, chocolate, or any other little treats really, though had a little bowl of berries with coconut milk today after dinner. Surprisingly, I haven't really missed chocolate. I'm sure I'll have some again one day, but no rush.

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Today was going to be dairy reintro but might to gluten instead. Going out for breakfast and I know there's always a frittata on the menu (which has feta cheese but is gluten free) but my favourite menu item is a savoury pastry and if the filling they're doing today doesn't have cheese I could have that instead. BUT the pastry will likely have butter in it as well. Hmm.

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Dairy reintro day Wednesday 20th August


Dairy eaten today:

Breakfast: frittata with feta, buttered leeks, yogurt on the side.

Lunch: A ball of mozzarella

Dinner: Greek yogurt with berries.

(NB This is just the dairy I ate ... I did eat meat and veg too!)

Eyes felt a bit watery and sensitive this morning before any dairy. Might be the start of a cold, something's going round.


After breakfast: felt a bit dizzyheaded but this was probably due to second cup of coffee (should have skipped one or made the second one decaf).

After lunch: VERY full; that was a lot of food! Had to eat the whole ball of mozzarella because it needed eating within a couple of days once opened and I won't be eating dairy for a couple of days after today and didn't want it to go to waste. Digestion felt heavy for an hour and half or so but then back to normal.

After dinner: Feel fine, didn't really want the yogurt but ate it anyway for reintro purposes. It didn't taste as good as remembered. Pork chop was tasty. The berries were tasty. Yogurt ... bland.

Overall haven't felt any ill effects from the dairy today except for the feeling that I've eaten too much ... unsurprising, as I basically added dairy on top of a normal lunch and dinner. Actually looking forward to eating "normal" template meals again tomorrow.

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2 days post-dairy thoughts:


The dairy did slow down my digestion and I was a bit bloated and constipated yesterday (I did eat a big lump of cheese, to be fair to my gut!) but as far as I can tell didn't negatively affect my mood, sleep (if anything, I've slept better in the last two nights), skin or cravings. Gut feels back to normal this morning after one day's compliant eating.


Therefore I think I can handle dairy as an occasional addition to a meal, though the quantity of cheese in a single meal should be smaller.


I bought some 85% dark chocolate the other day but haven't eaten any yet. I realised last night I'm a bit scared of eating it in case it brings back sugar cravings, but also a bit confused about when I should eat it: certainly not in response to a sweet craving as that would feed the craving, but if I'm not feeling a craving for it, why eat it then?  :unsure: Should it just be for an occasional high-calorie addition to a meal, like with a packed lunch when hiking?

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Non-gluten grain reintroduction day (Saturday 23rd August)


Non-gluten grains eaten:

Buckwheat noodles at breakfast

Brown rice pilaf at lunch

Corn on the cob at dinner.


No immediate ill effects from any of these. Had quite an active day with a weights workout in the morning and a nice walk in the afternoon.


Also did have a little piece (5g) of 85% chocolate with a cup of tea in the afternoon after coming back from the walk. Felt OK and I didn't feel the need to have more but I think it helped I was with other people and if I had been alone with the chocolate bar might have felt differently.


Had an encounter with a Food With No Brakes on Friday - toasted some almonds to put in a carrot salad but there were some almonds left over and I went and finished these after dinner when tidying up. Just one more... then another one ... then all of them. Not a huge amount, an ounce at most, but this was the first instance of post-dinner snacking since starting my whole30. I think the lesson here is to only ever toast the amount of nuts needed for a recipe and not any extra ones. Raw ones I can leave alone.

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No noticeable effects from non-gluten grains.


Had a slightly off-road rest of the weekend with template meals but also some snacking and sweet things (peach sorbetto) and one rum cocktail on Sunday. Sugar seemed to make me more hungry the day after but I dealt with it by eating proper meals with plenty of protein and that helped.


Tried an Intermittent Fast on Tuesday, with a plan to have a bulletproof coffee in the morning but otherwise nothing until dinner. That was fine and felt easy at the time of fasting but then the after dinner snacking monster struck! IF just isn't worth it if it leads to evening snacking. So will stick to three proper meals for now.


Today is legume reintro day.


Legumes eaten:

Breakfast: broad beans

Lunch: runner beans

Dinner will contain some well soaked and cooked lentils.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Legume reintro was fine.


Then on 30 August I had some cookies at a friend's house. They were too sweet and gave me a stomach ache. The next day I had some white bread. The next three weeks have been pretty non-stop sugar cravings and I have binged on chocolate, bread, dried fruit, ice cream, cake, sugar covered nuts, you name it.


So that tells you all you need to know about my reaction to wheat and sugar, especially in combination! But it has been really difficult to snap out of it. I haven't been able to do it, despite knowing how bad I feel now and how good I felt during the whole30. I've put weight back on and have cystic acne breakouts again but the worst effect has been on my mood. I'm cranky, impatient, fed up, depressed, unmotivated to do anything except crawl under a blanket at home and watch tv.


I know I need to go back to the principles outlined at the start of this journal, just need the strength to do it and say no to the sugar monster.

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  • 4 months later...

Five months later I’m still in the same position as back in September, out of control with food and unable to resist sugar cravings. A lot happened; went on holiday to Argentina, moved in with my boyfriend into our new flat, then Christmas, so it never felt like a good time to try to take charge and start eating properly again. Since start of January I’ve tried to follow 5:2 intermittent fasting again but the best I can say for it is that it’s probably stopped me from putting on even more weight!


I feel exactly as I posted in September: grumpy, depressed, irritable, bloated, unmotivated to do anything, especially exercise. I thought it was the January blues but more than likely it’s actually to do with food.


Re-read my Whole30 journal from August to remember why it worked and why it was worth it. The difficult part was coming off the programme and riding my own bike. Couldn’t do it! Actually I came back on the forum today to find a group doing a Whole30 Lent I could join but now I’m not sure which would be more beneficial: trying to do another stricter programme or trying to get back on the "real life" bike. Would welcome anyone’s thoughts on this.


Last two or three years I’ve done just a sugar free Lent and was going to do the same this year. I wonder if that’s enough strictness and the rest can build on that. Sugar is the real issue for me; other than that the best things are to avoid snacking and focus on proper meals. No more intermittent fasting for now. It makes me binge.


Two weeks ago I decided to stop drinking coffee and was surprised how easy it was (although I now drink twice as much tea).


Might journal my food again for a while just to keep accountable and see how it goes.



Breakfast: 3-egg omelette cooked in butter, steamed broccoli, tea with milk

Lunch: Coleslaw in a vinaigrette dressing, sardines, pumpkin seeds

Dinner will be salmon with a buckwheat, tomato, avocado, broccoli salad.

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Not 100% committed yet but I might do a whole30 over some of lent, probably starting properly on the 23rd. I read this blog post and tick almost all the boxes on the "when should I consider another whole30".


Until then I'm going to do the best job I can riding my own bike and absolutely avoiding sugar.

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