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Post Whole 30: Now the real challenge begins.

Megan H

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30 Days seemed like such a long time. Then I set my sights on 52 days, and now that's over too. I can't remember what I was eating before my W30, but I know it wasn't as good for me or as delicious as how I'm eating now. The problem is, 52 days isn't actually that long and with a plan to stick to, I was fine. If something wasn't compliant, I didn't eat. It was at simple as that. Now...it's not so simple. I didn't keep a W30 log because I never felt I needed it. But post-W30 has me nervous, so for the time being, I'm going to use this space to keep me on track.

So, Day 53

Today I wanted to reintroduce dairy. Dairy has never quite sat well with me. I had milk in my cereal and tea and loved ice cream, but couldn't touch a milkshake without having an upset tummy. Really good quality ice cream always left me feeling icky. My occasional latte was hit and miss. Sometimes it was fine. Sometimes I'd feel a bit dizzy or have a tummy ache. I don't like cheese, cream or yogurt, so milk was my main concern.

Breakfast: W30-OK mini frittatas with a skillet full of vegies sautéed in about 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

About 1 hour later I had a cup of tea with a splash of milk. I hadn't even finished the cup before I felt lightheaded, spaced out and a little dizzy. I've had milder versions of this before, but never much to concern me. This time was different. A real reason to avoid milk? A shock to the body after 52 days without it? I'm not sure.

Lunch: Cajun and garlic seasoned prawns cooked in butter, served on a salad of lettuce, avocado and roast vegetables (THIS WAS AMAZING).

In the afternoon I tried another cup of tea. This time an even smaller dash of milk. The spaced-out feeling returned, but it wasn't as strong. Enough to notice though.

Dinner: Left over W30-OK pesto chicken with a ridiculous serving of vegies. Put 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the vegies.

So milk? I'm not surprised I had an issue. I've always been sensitive about it, but not enough to cut it out. It's out for now while I reintroduce other foods, but will see how the occasional white tea fits. I never ate much dairy so avoiding it won't be hard. It might even wean me off my summer ice cream habit. (Ok who am I kidding. I like them in winter too). It seems butter isn't an issue but I never buy it or cook with it anyway so it won't be in the picture anyway.

Ah back to two days of regular W30 now.

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Today is my last day of a Whole100, and I honestly don't feel all that interested in reintroducing anything. I like what I'm eating now, and I feel better than I have in years. My previous Whole30s, I couldn't wait to have some of whatever I had missed, but this time I'm not missing anything. I may try some honey in my coffee tomorrow, and possibly some cream later in the week. I just keep thinking "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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I'm in a similar mind Maryann, but I figure there will be some occasions when I'll either want to eat, or find it hard to avoid certain foods, and I want a clear understanding of how they affect my body. So I'm going through with reintroduction, and then will cut them back out if I feel it's not working for me. Milk looks like it will be one of those things.

So Day 2.

Breakfast: Had a breakfast shift so I'd whipped up a batch of mini frittatas last night and chopped up some vegies. I cooked up the veg and heated the frittata and breakfast was ready in minutes. This was the forward planning I lacked 52 days ago.

Lunch: left over roast vegies cooked in olive oil with left over chicken thigh meat.

Snack: 3 mini frittatas. I had lunch earlier than usual because I had an appointment so ate these just before heading back to work at 5pm.

Dinner: Plateful of steamed vegies and chipolata casserole that's been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks.

My stock of freezer meals is running a little low and for the first time in weeks, I felt completely unmotivated to plan anything. Sitting in the hairdressers gave me some time to get some ideas, but planning yummy meals in advance has been a big reason I've found W30 so easy and fun. I hope this lack of interest isn't a sign of things to come. Anyway, I stocked up at the co-op, visited my lovely butcher and have a free morning tomorrow so in the kitchen I shall be.

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Thanks Krista. I still consider myself as being on Whole 30 aside from the reintroduction days, so it's not hard so far. The challenge will be once I finish reintroducing everything and realise there's no real reason not to eat certain foods, such as the Easter eggs still hidden in my cupboard.

I got over my little cooking slump and straight after breakfast (omlette with so many vegies they wouldn't all fit in the omlette and had go on the side of my plate) I put a beef + veg stew in the oven, and got a tomato and vegie soup cooking on the stove. Then I made some little meatballs, which I will put in the soup for protein. While things were cooking for a while, the hands-on cooking time was only about 30 minutes.

Lunch: Vegie soup with four little meatballs.

Dinner: Beef stew with a huge side of steamed vegies.

I really can't stress the benefits of planning and preparation. I ended up only having a 20-minute lunch break and then 30-minutes for dinner so to have everything ready to go and just needing a zap in the micowave is brilliant. Even during my super-short lunch break I cooked up the steamed vegies so they only needed reheating when dinner came around. (I work next-door to where I live so I actually get to be at home for all my meals - a luxury I know).

I'm so in the habit of prepping, I've already measured out the rolled oats I'm having for breakfast tomorrow. It's wheat reintroduction day!!

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Ah wheat reintroduction day. Another one for the books!

I started with a bowl of oatmeal (made with water, not milk), and cut up an apple in it. I can't shake the "vegie, protein, fat" template so had the last of the mini frittatas. Two hours later I was hungry. When my break came up at work I had to cook a second breakfast of some sauteed vegies and a fried egg. This is the first time I've been this hungry this early since I started W30.

When I finished my shift at 12, I needed to eat again. Just a quick avocado and carrot sticks to sustain my while I popped down the store.

I had lunch at 2.30. I usually survive until this time just on eating the one breakfast at 7am, but today I'd eaten twice since then. I had a chicken breast and roast vegies on top of egg noodles. One hour later I had a shower and looked 5 months pregnant. I was so bloated and crampy I went to bed for a little bit just to lay down.

Dinner was a late on: I didn't finish work until 9pm. So I cooked some rice and vegies and had that with leftover beef stew. The rice didn't seem to affect me, but I think my body didn't like eating so much so late. I forced myself to stay up a little longer than usual so I wasn't going to bed on such a full stomach.

Today's lesson? Grains do not a substantial breakfast make. I felt unusually hungry all day because I didn't set myself up right. And I'll lay off the egg noodles. I haven't tried bread. Will leave that for a week or so. It's not something I have often anyway.

Back to "normal" for a couple of days now.

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A regular W30 day.

Breakfast: Frittata made with leftover roast vegies.

Lunch: 1 small avocado and carrot sticks, big bowl of vegie soup with 5 meatballs thrown in.

Dinner: Leftover beef stew, massive side of steamed vegies + side of savoy cabbage sauteed in ghee.

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W30 is second nature these days.

Breakfast: Skillet full of onion, red onion, peppers, mushrooms and grated sweet potato with three eggs scrambled through it.

Lunch: Last serving of vegie soup with 5 small meatballs thrown in.

Dinner: Leftover Rogan Josh, parsnip mash and steamed carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and asparagus. The stew was delicious even from the freezer. The lamb still so tender. Will be cooking that one again for sure!

Have found myself getting a little hungry in the morning but realised I've stopped having my morning cup of herbal tea. No reason, just keep forgetting.

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Finally, a reintroduction day with no major issues. I always did love my sugar!

Breakfast: Big bowl of stir-fried vegies with 3 meatballs and 2 scrambled eggs

Black tea with 1 sugar

Lunch: Pesto chicken and vegies.

Black tea with 1 sugar.

Dinner: Rogan Josh, steamed vegies and roasted carrot sticks with cumin and honey.

So far so good. I expected the tea to taste super sweet after having no sugar for nearly 60 days (I'd really cut back on fruit too...only a couple of pieces for the last month) but it was fine. I used to be a 2 sugar gal so hopefully I'll stick with having less from now on. I am wide awake at 11pm though, but that might have something to do with going to sleep at 8pm last night.

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Sooooo....yesterday was my birthday. It isn't exactly an accident that I'm done with my reintroductions in time to eat freely for it. I knew the day would involve some chocolate and cake and of course it did. And I knew I wouldn't feel great after it all and of course I didn't. But I did set myself some sort of limitations. Aside from the cake and chocolate, I wanted to keep as close to paleo and the W30 principles as I could.

Breakfast: Paleo-friendly pancakes (had honey so not entirely W30) with strawberries, raspberries and kiwi fruit. Crème Egg,a bite-size Cherry Ripe and two pieces of fudge.

Lunch: Cajun chicken flatbread pizza. Everything on it was compliant (no cheese), except of course, the flatbread. A mixture of salads: Again, most ingredients were compliant all though I had two baby potatoes. I skipped the lentil and bean salad - I haven't reintroduced legumes yet.

Drank water and finished with a piece of carrot cake.

Dinner: Steak and salad. Didn't touch my jacket potato but did eat peas. About a tablespoon of BBQ sauce. Drank water. Could barely finish my meal after the huge lunch though.

Dessert: Crème Egg brownie. It was incredible! Had some more chocolate over drinks.

Late night: Another birthday cake was presented at about 2am so struggled down a slice of that.

Today: I had 1.5 drinks and feel like I drank a bottle of gin. I don't at all feel guilty or bad about what and how I ate yesterday, although I did spend most of the day feeling absolutely stuffed! I really didn't like how I felt this morning so that's a good lesson. It's not something I'm keen to repeat on a regular basis. I was worried my body might have a more immediate reaction to all the junk I put in it yesterday, but I always knew my body had a high tolerance for sugar so looks like that's still the case (aside from today's sugar hangover!!) Although I have a sugar dragon, I wasn't interested in slaying it while on W30. I just wanted to kick the habit of eating it without thinking, which is what I've done. I made very conscious decisions to eat how I did yesterday. There was no mindless snacking, no disappearing block of chocolate etc. It wasn't hugely excessive, I could stop at one or two pieces of chocolate etc, which is not something I would have done pre-W30.

I'm also still away from home so have eaten out for breakfast and lunch today. I haven't given too much consideration to eating paleo or remotely W30. I told myself I would continue to eat W30 at home but relax when I'm out. (Although I'd forgotten that and spent a while trying to work out where to go for lunch that I could get compliant food until I realised I didn't have to worry about that if I didn't want to).

I'm am looking forward to starting my new paleo lifestyle tonight though.

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I've been sitting here reading the post whole30 reintroduction blogs in an effort to figure out, "how do I want to eat when I'm done with whole30?" My spouse and I have talked a bit about it and, for the most part, are planning to stick with whole30... at least for at home meals. But I want to reintroduce dairy and grains so I will know, for sure, if I need to avoid anything when eating out. Thanks for posting your experiences thus far!

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You sound like you are doing well!!

I am on day 32 and I only had one small cup of yogurt and felt like I was cheating!! So far so good, so it looks like I might be able to enjoy some dairy (esp. cheese) when I am out or having company. But I agree, I feel too good to go back to eating grains and all that processed stuff. I feel even better than I did when I was doing Paleo since December (because I wasn't super strict). I now long feel that a terrible day warrants a grill cheese and french fries and a bag of m&ms. I know that I can prepare these healthy foods and I REALLY do like them! Is it a lot of work? yes, but I feel much better for it... If I can take time to read and respond to these blogs and check Facebook and Pinterest a million times a day, I certainly can spend an extra hour or so making healthy food for myself and my family.

Does that mean that I will never ever eat cake, pie, chocolate, candy, cheese, milkshakes, ice cream, pizza and bread again?? NO WAY! But unless it is a special occasion or I can justify that I really want and it isn't for comfort or laziness, then I will be sticking to the plan (i hope!).

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