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I sure can! When we're not strictly W30ing, our daily diet doesn't look too different. I flex a little more on added maple syrup in a souffle recipe or on some banana/egg pancakes, we might eat real bacon in a pinch, I may skip breakfast or lunch (never both), or we'll have white potatoes at dinner.

The difference for us is in the spontaneity. Sometimes, after the kids go to bed, the hubs and I may spend some time with our friends Jim and/or Jack, we might grab a frozen custard, or eat some candy corn. I might eat one of the cupcakes I make for the kids to bring to a birthday party. That kind of thing.

Our list of acceptable compromise foods, on a regular basis:

sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, etc)


white potatoes

beans (husband eats them with no issues)

Because of serious sensitivities, gluten is never an option in my house. Neither is HFCS.Dairy is VERY occasional.

I'm interested to see what everyone else eats!

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Hi there,

When I'm not doing a strict Whole30 I am still adhering to the plan a large portion of the time. As Robin mentioned, I just give myself a little flexibility.

- Occasional dark dark chocolate 80% or higher (I've found I can't control my consumption at a lower %)

- If I go out to eat I still try to inquire about food on the menu but I don't worry if I'm not able to determine the oil used, sugars, a little cheese, etc--I just do the best I can

- Organic heavy whipping cream in my coffee maybe 2-3x/week

- Occasional wine (this is extremely rare)

- If there is a truly special occasion like a birthday or the upcoming holidays I may have something I normally wouldn't like grains, more dairy, etc. (ex: my cousin's amazing date cookies which is a recipe handed down from my grandmother or a small piece of yummy cake for my son's birthday recently)--but this is really kept to special occasions only

Truth is...I really like eating this way and have found a ton of delicious recipes that I love--so I don't find it that hard.

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  • Moderators

Everything I cook at home is always Whole30-compliant, but I eat whatever I want in restaurants. I might eat out 3 or 4 times in an average week. I typically order meat and vegetables, but don't worry about seed oils, dairy or sugar in sauces, or really anything. I took my wife out on Saturday and ordered two appetizers that included off plan ingredients - felafel and spanakopita. The felafel was not special enough for me to order again, but the spanakopita was incredible, one of the best dishes I've had in a long time. I may go back for more next week. My main course was grilled meat and sauteed vegetables. I've never cared much about sweets, so never order desserts. I may eat a dessert 2 or 3 times per year if a friend has made something special. Last week I took my wife out to a new Indian restaurant and had soup that included lentils and drank a mango lassi, a traditional Indian drink made with yogurt. I'll never order the soup again, but I'll probably have a mango lassi every time I eat there.

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I only cook whole30 foods but I do make some exceptions for convenience. For instance there's a barbacoa recipe I love where I used to substitute chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because it had sugar in it. I now use the canned peppers even though there's some sugar. It only registers a gram or two on the nutrition label so in an otherwise sugar free diet I allow it. I go out once a week with friends for a couple cocktails. They often include something a little sweet but I always ask for them without added sugar where possible. I also eat fermented foods every day to keep my gut healthy. I munch on raw sauerkraut or fermented carrots while cooking and I usually drink 1 kombucha a day (which I am now brewing myself!). I keep sea snax at work because I use a pure salt at home for cooking that has no iodine so I make sure to munch on those to keep my thyroid healthy in addition to fish once or twice a week. Once a month I buy potato chips (*GASP*) and dip them in sour cream because I'd rather live alone on an island then give them up for life. I allow some conveniences when dining out too. Last night I went to a peruvian rotisserie and had some amazing chicken. I have no idea what spices were rubbed on it and the yucca fries I had as a side were surely fried in vegetable oil but for me it was a workout day and I welcomed the extra starchy veggies. I also eat sushi rice about once every other week. I'm torn with soy...i eat soy sauce occasionally out of convenience but have been known to bring coconut aminos out with me!

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Well, I'm not an expert/mod but I'll throw in my experience anyway.

I'm still trying to evaluate specific food sensitivities so have been doing much in the way of on-off W30 - 7 days on, one day off followed by 3 more days on, intermittent weeks long non-W30 stretches (like now), etc...I, too, try and stick to mostly compliant food while not on Whole30. What's different when I'm not on it is:

- A bit of honey in my tea.

- Non-compliant bacon finds its way into my world because my husband likes to cook it and it's tasty.

- I am a wino. Not like I was before, but I enjoy a glass or two a few nights a week. Since that is my slippery slope, W30 serves the dual function of helping me to remind myself I can live without it.

- Occasional intentional introduction of gluten, usually to remind myself of why I no longer eat it (asthma).

- Less strict at restaurants - I don't ask about what kind of oil, and sometimes I just love me some sushi.

But, as we know this is about much more than just what food we eat. Some newfound principles I (almost) never compromise on these days:

- Eating 3 solid meals per day (ok that's still food), including breakfast in the morning - I had never done this before, and now believe it's critical to my sanity.

- Stepping on the scale has become an infrequent occurence, I am much better off focusing on how my body feels versus what the stupid scale says

- Getting enough sleep. I've always thought this to be important but now that I recognize how detrimental losing sleep is, I am more adamant about minimizing distractions that keep me from getting to bed on time.

- Exercising according to how my body feels - if I set out to run 5 miles and I don't feel great and end up running only 3, I don't beat myself up about it. This makes me more likely to feel good about getting up and doing it again the next day.

That's my experience - everyone's is unique! Key is to remember that as a general rule (W30 notwithstanding), the all-or-nothing mentatily does no one any good. This is the biggest lesson I have learned.

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I'm also not an expert, but I'll add my $0.02.

For me the biggest digestive issues I have are with grains (particularly wheat and corn), legumes, soy and most dairy. I don't mind letting a little sugar back into my diet if whatever it is that contains it doesn't taste sweet. If it does, I consider it a treat and I only eat it after a meal (never when it's the only thing I'm eating or I'll be hating life a week later when I can't shake the sugar demon!).

At home, I always cook compilant with the exception of vanilla extract and the occasional white potato. When we eat out, I choose good foods (usually salad with meat sans dressing or meat with veggies as a side) but I don't worry about cooking oils or sauces unless they are creamy (which I avoid). Admittedly, there is the occasional french fry, too. I have a life-long weakness for good french fries. We also have sushi about once a month but I don't have soy sauce.

Whole30 changed a lot of habits for us. While I may have wine on special occasions, we had to give up our cellar club memberships at two local wineries because after our first Whole30, we started drinking way less. We just couldn't keep up with all the bottles we were getting shipped every quarter! And I also gave up stepping on the scale and putting anything in my coffee, too. :)

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I am also no expert, but I am on my 3rd Whole 30. Each one has been better than the last. This time, I added better sleep and life in general habits. It's been a great success. :)

I don't go off much inbetween W30. When I do, it's for something quite special. Or at least special to me. A cosmo out with my girlfriends, like Johnny, rice with my sushi about every two weeks, if I go home to San Diego and my mom makes her marinated grilled flank steak and brown rice pilaf...I totally partake. This Thanksgiving will be W30, but Christmas won't be. I'll have two very special things that our friends and family make in San Diego for Christmas. I do mine fairly mindfully and with some thought. Gluten and dairy are my two evils, so I really rarely have those. Maybe once a year. I also relax at restaurants and while I usually have a steak or some other hunk of meat and grilled or roasted veggies, I don't grill the server about it. I do make sure I am not getting some unexpected sauce, but if I do, I deal. I find it fun to be on W30 and fun not to be. :)

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  • 1 month later...

I've done 2 Whole30s and am starting another in Early January. Betweentimes I have some dairy (milk in coffee, sour cream in mexican food, some cheese) and a few sweets in social situations. I eat grain free in restaurants, whatever I am served in social situations, and at home I am pretty much compliant. Oh, I do drink wine pretty much every day.

I am very much looking forward to going back on W30. I do better if the decisions are taken from me, especially about wine.

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