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What is the Reintroduction Phase of Whole30?

What is the Reintroduction Phase of Whole30?

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Are you nearing Day 30 on your Whole30 round and you are not sure what comes next? First, congrats on getting this far! You are so close to being done, 30 days, right?! Well, sort of, because now comes the reintroduction phase of Whole30. You may be feeling so amazing that you do not feel the need for reintro, but this is the last step of the program and you want to complete it all don’t you?! You have come too far to turn back now. Your body is cleansed and it is the prime time to truly see what affects you.

Are you Ready to Reintroduce?

Some of you may plan on going longer than 30 days due to a little blip, some of you are not seeing the results you want, others still have a major craving or sugar dragon rearing its head, and some of you have other chronic conditions (like diabetes). If you are in any of these boats, you may want to do a Whole45, 60, or even 90. Or another option is to finish the 30 days; take a day or a few off, have a glass of wine, and then start a new Whole30.

Why Reintroduce?

You need to reintroduce the foods to become armed with the information on what foods you need to avoid like poison, what kinds of foods you can eat with minimal issues, and which foods you can add back in at whatever rate you feel appropriate. The reintro phase helps you figure out how to eat for the rest of your life and so you can truly have Food Freedom. For some, the reintro is the hardest and scariest phase. I know it was for me!

What are we Reintroducing?

Here are the groups to reintro and some examples in each of the groups.
  • Gluten-free alcohol – beer, wine, or 100% agave tequila
  • Legumes – peanuts, soy, beans, tofu
  • Non-gluten grains – oatmeal, rice, corn
  • Dairy – yogurt, milk, cream, hard cheese, soft cheese, butter
  • Gluten-containing grains – whole wheat cereal, bread, wheat crackers, beer
    • (I think the gluten-containing grains can be tricky because it can be difficult to find items that fall into this category that do not contain a lot of other things (like sugar) that we were not eating the 30 days prior.)

Two Ways to Reintroduce

There are two approaches you can use for your reintro: The Fast Track or the Slow Roll. No matter which you choose, if there is a food or food group you did not eat prior to Whole30 or have no desire to add back in, you can skip it!

First Option – Fast Track

This is a good option if you want to get your reintro over quickly, but by doing this quickly you may experience a lot of the bad symptoms you had prior to W30 and in a short amount of time. Your reintro schedule could look like this:
  • Day One of reintro – pick a group and eat something from that group at each meal. Or if you choose alcohol, have a drink or two (don’t go crazy). Then you go back to being 100% Whole30 compliant for 2 days. During this time, you look for changes in how you have been feeling, your appearance, and if any of your NSV’s (like less bloating or sleeping better) go away.
  • Day 4 – If you feel back to your normal Whole30 self by Day 4, you try another group of food. Eat it for each meal. For example, if you choose legumes eat peanut butter on an apple, soy sauce on some sashimi, or have some black beans. Make sure after every reintroduction, you note how you feel. Wait two days again, really paying attention to how you feel.
  • Day 7 – do the same thing with another group. Wait two days and then go again on Day 10. Wait two days and go again on Day 13.
If you experience any symptoms, you should go back to 100% Whole30 eating until the symptoms go away. At the end of your reintroduction, you can determine what foods are always, sometimes, or never for you going forward.

Second Option – Slow Roll

In a nutshell, you keep eating Whole30 and if something comes your way you try it out. One benefit is your symptoms may not be as bad or last as long, but it can be more of a challenge to see if something causes you problems because you do not always know what caused it due to may items being added back in at once and over a longer amount of time. This process is often much longer, but some people like it because they feel less restricted and start to figure out what eating (or drinking) looks like for them faster.

Tips for Your Reintro

Tip One

Try and keep your ingredients as Whole30 as possible. For example, if you are going to reintro peanut butter make sure it only has peanuts and salt in it. If you choose one with an oil you have not been eating for 30 days or has added sugar, you will not know what caused you an issue, if you experience one. Another example is hummus. Hummus is traditionally made with chick peas and a lot of store brands have soy in them. It would be best to try and find one with as few of ingredients as possible and not any soy so you can try and determine how chickpeas do for you.

Tip Two

You may find that the day after adding a group in, you do not feel well. It may be difficult to know which of the foods you added that caused an issue. What I would suggest is to go back to eating Whole30 compliant until you feel back to your new, awesome Whole30 normal and then try just one of the things you ate on that day and wait two days. If that was fine, try another item and wait two days. You may be able to pinpoint exactly which one it was or you may find that all of them separate are fine. Maybe then this group becomes a sometimes food for you. You have learned that you can eat it, but only in moderation and not every day.

Tip Three

Some people find that they do okay with hard cheese and not soft cheese or vice versa. For this reason, you may want to try them on different days. This will make your reintro much longer, but I promise you the data you receive will be worth it!

Last Tip

The last tip I have for reintro is if you ever feel like you are getting out of control again or your sugar dragon is back, go 100% back to eating Whole30 until you feel back in control. That is the great thing about Whole30, it is always there for you to use as a mini or full reset. You can do a Whole7, Whole30, or Whole Whatever whenever you feel you need to. Or perhaps you didn’t reintro quite the way you wanted to and know something is bothering you (cough, cough, ahem, hubby, cough), try another Whole30 round.

Other Resources

Here is another great resource with more information about the reintroduction phase: Preparing for Whole30 Reintroduction. If you want to learn more about reintroduction and what comes after that, be sure to read this book: Food Freedom. If you still have questions or challenges, feel free to reach out to me or another Whole30 Coach!

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