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Success! Completed my Whole 30 yesterday - my third, and I think my most successful. This time I’m really focusing on reintroduction- I now view it as even more important than the W30 part. W30 is just a necessary step to get you to a baseline so you can have a successful reintroduction.  I’ve done reintroductions before, but honestly, I just wanted to get through them and be “done.” And my mentality was really that I was done after the W30 portion anyway, so it wasn’t effective. Nothing effects me dramatically and I wasn’t tuned in to looking for subtle, longterm effects, so I pretty much convinced myself I could reintro everything and I’d be fine. But ultimately, that led me right back where I started.

This time I see reintroduction as just the beginning and I’m fully committed to at least another month of thoughtful, careful planning, eating and observing. Just like with my W30, I planned a TON, really down to every meal for a month (this inevitably changes as time goes by, but it’s nice to start with some structure.)  I have goals and metrics that I know I want to watch for - mostly energy, mood, and cravings.  I’ve had Tigers Blood pretty much ever since the second week of the program, and I want to see how reintroduced foods effect that.  And finally, I know, I know, W30 isn’t about weight loss, but I lost 9 pounds (just checked the scale for the first time in a month, and resisting daily check-ins was an accomplishment itself.) Now what I want more than anything is to maintain that.  I don’t know if I’ve ever maintained a stable weight in my life, and for me, that’s the key to whether or not I truly have Food Freedom.

So here’s my schedule, for the most part:

1.  Start with wine, 3 days.  Here I’m going to have wine with dinner just tonight, the rest of the reintroduction is really to check to see if cooking wine has an effect.  I have so many recipes that are almost W30-compliant just with cooking wine, if I find that has no effect, it will really open up a world of cooking for me. What I’m looking for here is the effect on my skin- I have rosacea and wine is a huge trigger (sob), so it’s important for me to know how much I can get away with drinking wise and cooking wise.

Then just one day Whole 30, assuming all goes well.  If not, it’s back to W30 indefinitely.

2.  Added sugar.  I’d like to see what this does to my cravings, so during this phase I’m going to be careful about separate sugars (which right now is just fruit at meals for me- it’ll be interesting to see if I start consuming more.). Here I’m looking at regular non-compliant bacon, a Vietnamese dish of “caramelized chicke,” Siracha with my scrambled eggs, sugar in marinades, an almond milk latte, sweet pickle relish in deviled eggs for the super bowl, etc.  Again, nothing independently sweet, but things that contain sugar to see what it does to my Sugar Dragon.

3 days back to Whole 30.

3.  Non-gluten grains. I generally think of non-gluten grains as being relatively healthy (especially whole grains like farro, barley, etc.), but I need to see if they’re healthy for me.  I’ve reintroduced these before and found no startlingly I’ll effects like things with digestion or joint pain, so here I want to pay closer attention to subtle, long term effects.  I’ll likely eat this for a longer period, 4-5 days.  I’m not quite sure how to measure this, but I want to see if this effects my fat adaption and moves me back to sugar adapted. Not quite sure how to judge this.  Probably by monitoring my weight, but also to see if I get energy slumps in the afternoons, mood changes, and/or cravings.

3 days Whole 30.

4.  Switch to slow roll/Food Freedom.  I have a weekend trip to Vegas and I’ve been carefully plotting Whole 30 options (steakhouses are where it’s at!), but I anticipate I may come across an item that tempts me out of my plan. I want to practice my FFF skills here - thinking about is it worth it, and will a few bites satisfy? After coming back, I plan on a mini-reset of one week.

7 days Whole 30.

5.  Next up- soy.  And specifically soy lattes in the morning (which I know also have sugar).  Here I tried these before during reintroduction and just had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. Again, nothing striking, but maybe a subtle increase in depression?  I def want to monitor this, so I’m doing soy separate (and just soy lattes- I don’t miss much other soy), and will get a veinte a few mornings in a row to see how I feel.  But likely these will just go back to a very once in awhile treat.

2 days Whole 30.

6.  Then the rest of legumes, which I honestly don’t much miss.

3 days Whole 30.

7. Then dairy, which I do.  Most of this reintroduction I’ll focus on cooking dairy- sautéing with butter vs. ghee and milk/cream in my soups. But in the final day, I’ll test a full-on cheese plate, which is a nice occasional treat. It’ll be nice to see if it can come back as a treat.

4 days Whole 30.

8. Finally, gluten. Again, which I don’t miss much, so it’s probably not an ingredient I’m looking to add back in myself, but since it’s in so much stuff when eating out, I’d like to monitor the effect.

et voila. That’s it. I think that puts me at mid-March, so I’ve got some work to do/time to put in!

 

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12 hours ago, TJHigh said:

I generally think of non-gluten grains as being relatively healthy (especially whole grains like farro, barley, etc.)

Faro and barley have gluten

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@kirkor thank you!  Wow, good to know.  I’ll adjust my plan/meals accordingly.  I don’t miss as much non-gluten stuff as I thought then!  Just rice and corn, so I’ll focus on those two in that phase, and move farro to my last week.

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Phase 1- Wine! So far so good, but the real test will obviously be how my skin looks tomorrow. So far today I’ve had chicken braised in wine for lunch, steak with a wine marinade (along with roasted potatoes and charred shishito peppers with herb-infused oil. Such a great dinner!) plus, two glasses of wine.  Note to self- stock up on half bottles- great for limiting consumption because it eliminates the guilt of “wasting” an open bottle.  

Nothing interesting to report (yet), but at the very least I’m pleased that reintroducing wine hasn’t caused me to binge or reach for non-compliant foods.  In fact, I feel great!  Hopefully tomorrow will stay just as uneventful.  The remainder of the week I’ve just got cooking wine planned. 

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@TJHigh You are so planned out! This is amazing. I'm in a similar place it sounds like (finished 3rd Whole 30, best one yet, didn't take reintro too seriously before) and looking at a very similar reintro pattern as you, with significantly LESS systematic planning, but I'm sticking to a similar super slow roll with a consistent intake of a little of something and trying to see long term effects. And I'm trying just one individual component of a food group (soy sauce, my heart!).

I'll stay tuned into your progress and findings, and whatever happens. I'm so curious about the added sugar here and there and the desire for sweet things. That's where I started today, a salsa with added sugar, a spice rub with added sugar. The food tasted weirdly sweet to me, but definitely did not make me want dessert. I'm really curious to see how it goes for you, and how it plays out over the course of a week or so.

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Thanks @chichi and @AnitaC!  So far so good with the wine reintro!  I had two-ish glasses with dinner last night (the half bottle is definitely going to be a key to my success going forward), and it was great to have it back as a nice pairing with a nice meal, and a glass after to relax on the couch.   I was really pleased to see that it didn't effect my willpower with respect to other foods, even though I had olives and marcona almonds on-hand (traditional drinking snacks for me), and some dates in the cupboard (my favorite "compliant" Sugar Dragon fuel) - I didn't reach for any of it.  It also didn't make me eat more than I normally would at dinner.  So all in all, for the day-of, a success!

But now...the after-effects!  My skin looks good, I can't say that I see any increased redness or little bumps, but if I'm being honest, my skin may feel a little sensitive/raw.  I know red wine causes my rosacea to flair up, but I was hoping just two glasses wouldn't make it too bad.  I'll really be able to see more when I get home tonight and wash my face.

But other than that- not surprisingly- I have a hangover!  I made a real effort last night to drink extra water, but I still found myself dehydrated during the night.  Leg cramps during the night and woke up with a very dry mouth.  I also don't have the chipper mood I've had during my last few weeks of Whole 30.  Most days I've been waking up without my alarm, or at the least, with an early alarm with plenty of time to get ready/relax before the day.  This morning I was not feeling it- only dragged myself out of bed at the last possible minute in time to get ready for work.  I don't have the gym scheduled for today (thank goodness), but I'm pretty sure if I did, I'd either have to skip it or push it to the afternoon.

Looks like I'm going to have to file wine in the only "worth-it" category to accompany a special meal, and only if I don't have ambitious plans the next day (you know, like "work.")  This is a big change from how I was using wine before - which is to say it's basically how I recovered from work.  Yikes.  Good to know though.

And I'm still not done with the reintro of wine- today it's in both of my cooked dishes, but I won't be drinking it separately.  I will be very curious to see if I can regain my Tiger's Blood tomorrow even if I have it in cooked dishes (god, I hope so!)

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Finished second day of wine introdction (yesterday was just cooking wine, so meals/eating looked very Whole 30ish but for the wine as an ingredient.). I felt fine physically yesterday, but my mood sucked for most of the day.  But I don’t think it was food-related - just a crappy day at work.  I followed my plan, including making dinner (didn’t throw in the towel just because I was “done” with my 30 days and order Chinese, didn’t drink a bottle of wine because I was reintroducing wine and had a bad day, etc.) then I had a nice, long awesome bath!  Went to be early and am now up for a hopefully relaxing morning before I get ready  to go to work.  Going to have a nice breakfast and I have the rest of the days food prepped and planned.  I’m planning on a run after lunch to combat the pm slump I faced yesterday.  Basically- I want to see if I can get my Tigers Blood back, but I need to make sure my other behaviors support that.

Other than the low mood yesterday, I don’t seem to have any effects from the added wine.  Skin looks good, I slept well and woke (fairly) easily, and my mood now (for the whole 45 min I’ve been awake) is good.  Feeling ready for the day, and the weekend. Tomorrow is one day back to W30 before I add sugar on Sunday.  I continue to develop my reintro plan, which is obsessively laid out (I could look on my phone and tell you what I but it’s really just a structure that I alter and adapt as the days get closer. Basically it helps bc I looooove crossing things off lists.  So now I get to cross off today’s “wake up early and have a relaxing breakfast” item!

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Things are going great with reintro!   I finished my final day of added/cooking wine yesterday, with no “separate” drinking wine.   That in and of itself has been an accomplishment.  Frankly, I was afraid that psychologically once I “allowed” some wine back in, I’d justify adding it more than I’d originally scheduled.  For example, yesterday I was faced with a tough/annoying project at work, which I fiiiiiinally finished, and just generally wanted to celebrate the end of the week- a glass or four would be my normal way to cap off a week. But I didnt do that  yesterday, even with wine “allowed.”

Yesterday was a great day as far as mood and energy- Tiger’s Blood def came back and is back today too.  The only blip came yesterday when I was exhausted in the evening, ready for bed by 8, if not sooner.  But I don’t attribute that to anything other than a long week at work, an afternoon run and then a long, cold walk home.  I also don’t have any new or different cravings, and no snacking has snuck back in.  My meals still keep me full for the recommended 4-5 hours, and other than an occasional, fleeting desire for something sweet- the cravings are reasonable and easily ignored.

So today is the middle of Day 4 of reintroduction for me, and it’s a day back to pure Whole 30 eating before adding added sugar in tomorrow.  I’m really proud that I’m this far into a really well-planned and focused reintroduction, with my motivation still going strong to keep going.  It does feel like it requires just as much commitment (and for me, probably more as I’m making up my own rules, to some extent) as Whole 30, and it’s the most effort I’ve put into a Reintroduction, by far.

So I def hope to keep checking into this thread with updates that follow that original plan I posted in my original post. I imagine there might be slight tweaks and rearrangements, but for the most part, I hope it’s another month of careful reintro and observations until I finally establish my baseline Food Freedom in March.

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I'm still following. For my reintro roll I had soy sauce for the first time today with lunch, as well as mixed nuts that may have had soybean oil on my salad at dinner. So far, nothing digestive to report, and I'm really hopeful that holds true. I don't need to eat soy sauce every day or even every week; I just like the option of ordering at an Asian restaurant. My energy levels have been pretty normal with the occasional added sugar--sweetened cranberries in jerky the other day, ketchup with potatoes yesterday, etc, other than feeling lethargic today but I'm on the tail end of a cold and stayed up late with friends so, as expected.

I think the thing I'm experiencing is like, now that I'm not officially on the W30, my dedication to and enthusiasm for meal prep is waning (it did during, too, maybe it's just cyclical), and I don't think I ate quite enough the last two days. Don't have cravings for something sweet, or snacks, just want like MORE roasted veg under my eggs, but ran out of prepped food and ripe avocadoes etc so just didn't pursue more. It's good that I don't just pour tortilla chips on my plate, but not eating quite enough out of laziness is a cycle I let myself fall into often, which leads inevitably to panic hunger at some point when work stretches out and I don't have stuff ready, and then yeah, I end up eating chips or whatever, literally whatever I can get, and have to work really hard not to crash after that.

Do you ever experience flagging enthusiasm for your planning? It feels like so much... vigilance. The part where you're off the rules, which is the way I need it work for me (LOL I'm never making a list that says "have a relaxing breakfast") is the scary part! This helps, though, continuing to check in and hopefully, gradually get comfortable out here in the world again.

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@chichi Yes!  This is totally happening to me right now!  I’m definitely over meal prep and I think the thought of being so vigilant with cooking for another month is the most daunting part.  I do a lot of prep on Saturdays and Sundays and it was difficult to get through yesterday and is looming in my mind today (not in a good way.). I haven’t quite figured out what to do about it yet, other than schedule a few extra meals during the week at the Whole Foods hot bar for a work lunch, or grabbing a salad at Chopt for dinner for both me and my husband. I’m also raiding my frozen supplies.

Like you, I hope it’s cyclical and that with a bit of a break this week I’ll be re-energized next week.  I’ll work on it and let you know if anything inspires me. Not sure if trying new and exciting recipes is the way to go, or to fall back on known favorites.

For now, I’m going to the gym and hope it gives me a bit of energy/motivation for meal prep.  I’ll see how added sugar goes, but for now I’ll note that yesterday evening I did have some bad cravings- and for the first time during my Whole 30 and beyond I gave into a snack craving and had a handful of dates and pistachios. Which writing it out seems pretty benign compared to what my pre- Whole 30 snack binge could have looked like (lots and lots of cherry hearts- those awful/wonderful jelly valentines things. Love.) But still! I want to be conscious of what caused it and continue to avoid. The only thing I can think of is this food boredom since yesterday was back to a W30 day.  We’ll see!

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@TJHigh I suspect the desire to snack has something to do with the change in blood sugar that goes along with (in my case) occasional added sugar and (in your case) wine, not just the psychological component. Like you said, nuts and dried fruit is objectively better than jelly beans or something, but the mental cloud around the snacking is the part I hate most, and if that comes back, I'm still in the same boat, even if the snacks are comprised of unsweetened dried mango and pistachios (for now). It just opens the door a crack, and it's a lot of work pushing it closed over and over again. The reason I pursued this whole thing in the very beginning was to use my brain for my life outside of food rumination and obsession. It's like a fine line to navigate, being always prepared to feed yourself well, and not succumbing to constant food planning, obsessing, ruminating.

I think eating out at solid places is a good idea. Literally not having to shred the carrots for my salad and wash the grater is a wonderful treat. Grocery shopping always helps push me back into the rhythm of kitchen management, too, like it's just another chore and sometimes I get behind on folding laundry or whatever but I don't panic that I'm never going to be able to fold all the laundry again, which is for whatever reason where my brain goes when I get behind on food prep: I'll never be able to do this! Yes, I will, and  sometimes I'll be on top of it, and sometimes I won't, like the rest of my life, and it's fine, no need to tip the boat about it.

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Following bc I am also in reintroduction and it's nice to know we go through the same things. I did a wine reintro on day 1 and it was good, but after 2 glasses, I was craving dessert so I am weary of adding alcohol on a regular basis. Saturday I did dairy and I was ok most of the day (whole milk latte, cheeseburger) until after dinner (taco salad w small bit of cheese and sour cream). I had terrible gas pains after that, and I assumed it was the sour cream. But now, idk if it was the dairy or the cilantro dressing I used because yesterday I had the same dressing (and no dairy) and I got the pains again. It reminded me of an old thought I had that I was sensitive to cilantro. I will try a dairy reintro again after the other things. I will also *maybe* try cilantro again, Not sure.

I am really feeling the food prep fatigue...but for me, I don't mind the prep/cooking. It's the dishes! Holy cow, I had no idea how many dishes we would have to wash every day. It is exhausting! We spent 2 1/2 hours last night (most of superbowl) making veggies for the week, since that is usually our struggle in the morning while getting ready to head out the door. We have not eaten in a restaurant since December 31, and to be honest, i don't miss the food, but I do miss being waited on lol...I think we will try eating out soon. 

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Yesterday was my first day to test added sugar, but I didn't really start until dinner.  (I'd planned to have an almond milk latte from Starbucks since I know that has added sugar, but that plan was foiled by my local shop being out of almond milk, oh well!)  But I went all in for dinner!  I made superbowl snacks - deviled eggs with non-compliant bacon and sweet pickle relish and then Trader Joe's mini hotdogs in organic BBQ sauce, (plus crudites for my veggie needs).  Felt fine, didn't trigger a binge or snacking or cravings, all was good.  But then early in the morning I woke up and my fingers/joints felt extremely swollen and stiff.  I was super-groggy so couldn't really be sure, and when I woke up for real this morning everything was fine.  No swelling or pain - and in fact, during the day my rings feel exceptionally loose.  I'd convinced myself I was dreaming, but just saw another thread where the exact same thing happened to someone else who added sugar.

Other than the joint swelling/pain, I have no additional symptoms to report.  I had that almond milk latte today, plus caramelized chicken and cauliflower rice for lunch (extremely sweet and extremely good).  So far, none of that has triggered any negative effects - not even increased cravings or an awakening of the Sugar Dragon.  I also seem to still have an even mood and energy, even during the typical 3 pm slump.  I have more added sugar planned for dinner, albeit significantly less than what was in my lunch (just ketchup on top of my meatloaf and some added sugar on the dressing of my green beans.)

I'm a bit of two minds as to how to proceed - on the one hand, I really want to know if the added sugar caused the joint swelling/pain, on the other hand - I'm pretty sure it did.  On the other other hand, the symptom wasn't that bad and was obviously very fleeting.  It might be worth it to go through the scheduled reintroduction to see how bad it can get.  Admittedly, I'm really eating a lot of added sugar, way more than I normally would, because I really wanted to truly test the effects.  So if it doesn't get any worse, this might be a good indication of the outer limits of what my body can handle?

I think I'll definitely keep going through the end of the day - not least of all because I HATE wasting food, but also to test for the reaction tonight.  If I have it again tonight, especially if it's significantly worse than last night or lasts longer, I'll discontinue the added sugar reintro a day early.  I'll definitely report back!

(Side note- as I've mentioned, this is the first time I've really committed to a detailed reintroduction and my other half-assed reintros revealed very little and I convinced myself I had NO food sensitivities or negative reactions, so I'm actually oddly excited to have noticed a potentially negative symptom lol!)

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That you're excited for a negative symptom is pretty funny! I get it, though. It makes me curious--what made you take the Whole 30 trek in the first place? Or come back to it? If you don't seem to have much in the way of negative reactions to any of the major food groups that this eliminates.

I'm experiencing the same thing with my legume testing--kind of don't really want to eat the legume foods right now, but I DO want to test my reaction in a 'controlled environment' so I'm making myself, because at some point, I'll like to have the option of hummus at a restaurant with few options. (I also had sweetened pickle relish and regular barbeque sauce for the super bowl... it was GROSS. I've never been that crazy for barbeque sauce but I will def have no qualms about turning it down in the future.)

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Ok, yesterday’s reintro of ALOT of added sugar seemed to go alright.  No joint pain or swelling in the night, maaaaaaybe a slight stiffness this morning?  More importantly, no cravings or energy dips.  I felt a bit out of sorts this morning (no immediate Tigers Blood upon waking), but that was likely due to a late night wake up call by my dog.  After things settled down this morning, I am now feeling more energized and happy.  

One thing I think I have learned, while I may be physically ok adding some sugar, I don’t really like it that much taste-wise.  This is just too much sweetness these last two days and my meals just don’t feel/taste as light and healthy, or just nourishing.  So I’m going to cut the experiment a bit short- the only added sugar tomorrow will be in a homemade relish/salsa that I put over grilled short ribs.  Yum, if anyone is interested: Bone Appétit boneless short ribs and salsa criolla

@chichi Very good question about why I’m doing this (sometimes I wonder myself lol!). While I don’t have acute negative reactions like allergies or digestion issues with any one food, this way of eating makes me feel much better overall physically and mentally.  I think having nourishing meals every 4ish hours that are protein and plant-heavy and avoiding snacking really does help my body/metabolism function the right way.  I have vastly improved energy and mood, and I lose the excess weight that I carry when I’m not eating this way.  It’s about a 10 lb range, but I makes all the difference in the world to me- it’s the difference of an entire wardrobe worth of choices and just generally recognizing my own face in the mirror.  Writing that out sounds a little dramatic, but I’m beginning to see it’s true.  

I think I’ve come to understand that I will always be the type of person that thinks about food- I love to eat and cook, and so I’m either going to be eating poorly and thinking (or rather obsessing and beating myself up over poor choices), or eating well and thinking (which on W30 means planning meals and thinking about the best options, but also feeling really good about my choices). So if I’m going to think about food no matter what, I just prefer doing it in a positive way. I think that’s why I’m trying to find an ultimate eating plan that feels right to me.  I don’t want to do/ can’t do a Whole 30 forever, but I need to find a sustainable eating plan for me that maintains the mood/energy/weight benefits I see with W30.

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Late in the afternoon yesterday I experienced another reaction to all the added sugar- I had a definite energy and mood crash.  Right about 3/4 pm I got decidedly hangry and all my energy/motivation to go to the gym later vanished.  This wasn’t just the absence of Tiger’s Blood, it was more than that- it felt like a definite sugar low.  I was much hungrier for dinner than I normally get, and in a different way - like I’d abruptly run out of fuel.  So I moved my dinner time up to 5 (instead of snacking), and literally drug myself to the gym.  I did put some of the sugar energy to good use- I found I had plenty of energy for a longish and fastish run.  But gathering up the willpower to go and start felt almost insurmountable.

So, lesson learned- eventually “added sugar” just starts to act like sugar sugar.  For me, the tipping point came after about 2.5 days of a lot of added sugar, so now I know I can have some, but certainly not a lot.  Today I’m moving back to just a very small amount of added sugar- some in my ketchup at lunch and about 1 teaspoon in tonight’s relish. I’ll see if that’s enough to move me back to my regular energy usage (and hopefully even to Tigers Blood.). But even if it doesn’t, I know I have full Whole 30 for two plus days to fix me up after that!

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@hotwheels I really enjoy those monster salad bar places, especially now that I'm not worried about whether sunflower seeds are roasted in peanut oil, etc. It's totally worth the $15 bucks sometimes to have a giant slaw/salad bowl with 20 ingredients prepped by somebody else. (And yeah, no dishes!!)

@TJHigh It's amazing how your body recovers after you've eaten without much sugar for ~40 days, I think you'll be right back off your sugar train when you go to your 2 days of W30 food.

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Reintro of sugar complete! I’m very happy to report that yesterday I was right back on track with full-on Tigers Blood! I have to say, it’s very comforting to know that feeling good comes back so fast during reintro if/when something is off.  I think it makes the idea of reintro easier, knowing that just a few days of W30 can fix you right up (as opposed to doing a full 30 days again.)

Yesterday I still had some added sugar, as mentioned, and it seemed to be the right amount.  Everything about my meals looked W30ish- following the template for portions, etc., with just some minor sugar snuck in.  No ill effects, and it felt like a true W30 day.  So, lesson learned- some added sugar is ok on my FFF, as is cooking wine!  

Looks like I’ve got 2 of my 8 steps done, and I see this is day 9 of me reintroducing.  Honestly, I may be more proud of my commitment to reintroducing than I was to staying compliant during the actual Whole 30!  Throughout my life, I’ve found losing weight to be easy- I’m good with rules (for anyone that’s read Gretchen Rubin’s work - I’m an Upholder), but I’m terrible at maintaining.  I just sort of fold when there is no structure, so now I’m giving myself structure.  I feel like my momentum is back after transitioning from completing W30 to focusing on this plan.  I even made myself a new calendar.  With stickers. I bought stickers.  I feel insane, but it works for some reason.  I have my completed W30 calendar on my fridge with 31 big red Xs and it motivates me every time I look at it.

Ok, off to start the day.  Back to W30 eating, which, by the end of this I’m confident will just be...eating.

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2 hours ago, TJHigh said:

Ok, off to start the day.  Back to W30 eating, which, by the end of this I’m confident will just be...eating.

Right?? This is the first post-W30 where I'm not looking at croissants like potential land mines. Multiple times I've been offered dessert--even gluten free, 'natural sugar' brownies with blackberries (all sugar ultimately comes from plants, as long as it's not corn syrup I don't think the difference matters that much) --and I've thought, is this really special? Am I really going to enjoy it? Do I feel like I have to eat this, out of social obligation, or some brain habit of getting dessert after a meal? And so far, it hasn't been really special, and any desire I might have to eat is just to avoid social awkwardness.

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Ok, so yesterday I experienced probably my worst failure of my W30 and subsequent reintroduction.  Day 2 of my back-to-W30 eating in between added sugar and non-gluten grains, everything was going great. Then a stressful episode at work, followed by heading home on Friday evening to my comfort wine.  Which turned into three comfort wines.  Which led to after dinner snacking- compliant jamon and almonds and dates, but honestly, it might as well have been a hot fudge Sunday based on how it made me feel. And honestly, it probably made me feel worse mentally than it did physically. I’m just really beating myself up about it today.  I thought I had a handle on this work stuff and was proud of how I was overcoming this really upsetting incident, then one little thing crept back and sent me into a tailspin.  

Objectively, I know it’s not that bad- the only non compliant thing I had was wine, and I’m back on track today, it’s just not what I wanted for myself and I guess it has me worried about the next time I’m faced with something similar. And I don’t know what to do today to move past it. I’m home alone, it’s raining so doing something physical isn’t really an option. I want to do something to treat myself well/kindly, but I don’t know what that is.  I feel like going back to bed, but so far I’m just frozen on the couch watching soccer.

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I also reintro'd a drink finally, had a couple glasses of champagne. It's tough, man! especially because I wasn't in the 'controlled environment' of my home and routine, it's hard to make decisions that I feel sure of. But I approached it as like, yeah I might be jittery with this tomorrow and have to deal with that, but it's just one night, I'll be grateful to bet back to my normalcy after this. (I was super jittery today, and 'hangover hungry' even though I didn't have any other parts of a hangover.)

I think the important thing @TJHigh is not to get wrapped up in a narrative about this one event. You've just had pretty positive meal/food experiences, one on top of another on top of another, for some 40-odd days. If you gave as much narrative weight to every single one of those moments as you're giving last night's 3-wine&snack event, then it would be clear that your ultimate trajectory or pattern is overall good, and improving. Take comfort in that; trust yourself. It's easy to let one event (that feels like and maybe is a recurrence of an old and frustrating behavior pattern) convince you that your stuck in that pattern, when you're totally not! Everybody's trajectory probably looks pretty up&down sometimes, especially when you zoom in.

I would not view this as a 'failure.' It was just a decision you made, just a couple of decisions. I would try to look at how you feel a little clinically--with some objective distance. Probably not entirely related to the food/wine, like you said, significantly psychological, and probably stress about work stress (a cyclical little devil).  Even if it takes you a couple days to get out of the funk, I think you will! Wishing you well.

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Thanks @chichi! I am feeling so much better today- I managed to move past it and realize it really was just a blip in the context of over 40 days.  And it wasn’t even that bad as far as what and how much I ate (all compliant and maybe an extra glass of wine and some dates/nuts).  I finally realized I was still mad about the work thing and I was just misdirecting the anger. 

So I got back on track and reintroduced non gluten grains in the form of rice in paella.  The meal itself was amazing, with lots of W30 compliant dishes, and the paella was an amazing treat.  Felt fine until the middle of the night when I had severe heartburn- it almost made me throw up.  But it was also the type of heartburn that passes very quickly when you turn over onto a different side.  I don’t have any more rice planned for the reintro, just corn in the form of polenta tonight and later some whole kernel in a dish.  I’m wondering if I should make a quick risotto ish dish for lunch? Eh, I think I’ll just stick with the plan. I really don’t eat a lot of rice normally, so I’ll prob just wait until the next time it comes up naturally and make sure to pay attention. I wouldn’t mind trying to recreate that paella at home some day!

Another thing I learned this week- last week I got really burnt out on the endless weekend meal prep, so I took advantage of my telework day last week and did a lot of the prep I’d normally do during the weekend, and it really made a difference. I feel like I have a true restful weekend again, and if i had had to do prep yesterday, I definitely would not have, which prob would have led to non-compliant choices out of necessity.  As is, I have everything I need already for the week with just a few sides I need to make as needed.  So while the weekend prep strategy usually works well for me, this week a break from it was essential.

Other than that, I’m excited to already be on Step 3 and see how that all goes.  Other than the heartburn, I feel great today.  Not overly heavy/full/bloated, and my energy and mood are good, and my weight didn’t tick up. So all he markers I can think of to observe seem ok.  I’ll be on the look out for a pm crash though (although I have a run scheduled, so that usually prevents it.)  probably need more than one meal to see culmulative effects anyway, so this reintro is scheduled through Tues. 

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Added polenta tonight for dinner- the only non-gluten for today. Interesting observation- it was really hard for me to judge the appropriate portion. I served myself about a half cup of polenta with a lot of Sunday sauce- prob about 2 cups. I finished all the sauce and left some of the polenta, which seemed like a fairly reasonable portion (it filled my plate.)  But I thought I was still hungry and wondered if I’d be really hungry during the night, so much so that I almost went back for more.  Then after about 10-20 min I started feeling really full. It was pretty much the opposite of how I feel when I eat a Whole 30 meal- there I seem to get full right as I finish eating dinner, but then a bit after eating I feel lighter and there’s no heavy-full feeling. I think heavier starches like polenta may be easy for me to over eat because the satiety signals take longer.  It’ll be interesting to see how hungry I am tomorrow for breakfast. If it’s just the normal, yup I’m ready for breakfast/stomach growling, or famished and lightheaded/really hungry.  And just generally how my energy levels react.

Today’s energy was good - no dips and I had the energy for a long run.  Good mood all day, too. I did have further twinges of heartburn, but it never became full blown.

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This morning I feel relatively good, albeit tired (can’t blame the non-gluten grains for that- that’s entirely the fault of a little white dog who wants her breakfast at 3 am. Ridiculous.) I’m hungrier for breakfast than normal, but within reason, and my energy seems good (so far.) One thing I’ve noticed is that my stomach feels slightly acidic all the time, if that makes sense? Like kinda rumbly/gurgling, but not hunger growling necessarily.  I’ve read articles before where people talk about trying to eat more “alkaline” vs acidic? I never paid much attention, but it might be interesting to compare my typical W30 diet and see if it’s considered more alkaline vs the non gluten/polenta possibly being acidic? Who knows, it may just be rando heartburn.

One other thing I’ve been tracking since W30- my weight, which has consistently been going down liiiiiiitle by little, and now has stopped going down and may be trending slightly upward.  Definitely could be a random fluctuation, but I’m going to keep my eye on it.  I would’ve expected the scale to go down a bit today based on my activity level yesterday and “good” eating (by which I just mean I had three full meals and no snacking), instead it went up the tiniest bit.  I’ll stay vigilant today with the eating plan (again, just no snacking but a normal amount of polenta at dinner for a true test), and see what happens tomorrow. I hate focusing/relying too much on the scale number, but I don’t have another objective way to measure fat vs sugar adaption. Tracking my energy and mood is iffy at best given the other variables around those things.  I have two more non-gluten days to go, so hopefully that will be enough to see if it’s a true trend and not just a fluctuation.

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