Update…today is the last day of our Whole30 and we’re feeling fantastic!
Overall we’re experiencing sustained energy throughout the day and more restful sleep…both things we wanted to focus on this time around. Oh, and an added perk is we are spending so much less on dining out than we had been before, especially during the busy months of November and December. It’s nice to see those savings each week! I’m going to share some of the products we loved this time around that made meal prep easier, added flavor to our everyday meals, and helped make this Whole30 a success.
I took some time over the weekend to review the Whole30 Reintroduction guidelines.
(Also, check out this video from Melissa Hartwig for a great explanation of the reintro.) Although I’ve done the Whole30 several times over the past few years, I haven’t always completed the reintroduction thoroughly. I don’t recommend going that route because you won’t learn all you can from the experience. (In case you were wondering, in general I eat “Whole30-ish” most of the time, and enjoy treats occasionally. I don’t have any actual food allergies, but eating this way keeps me feeling so wonderful that I could never go back to eating the way I used to pre-Whole30…I wouldn’t want to!) I see the value in taking a few extra days to learn about how foods that I’ve removed from my diet are affecting me, by re-introducing them one by one. Thanks to the Whole30, I’ve learned to pay attention to how food affects me not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally, too!
The Whole30 has become a lifestyle that I love, because of the healthy relationship with food and habits I’ve learned! I’ve gained awareness of how food affects my body and how much it can benefit from eating the most nutrient dense foods. Each person is unique and you will never know if what you are eating is negatively impacting you unless you remove it for a while! With each round of Whole30 I’ve learned something different, which is why it is so important to do the reintroduction. And, I hate the idea of wasting any of the hard work I’ve done over the 30 days by skipping it!
Reintroduction can be done using two different approaches, depending on how you’re feeling after the 30 days are over…
Its great to have this choice because everyone is different! For detailed information on this, be sure to check out The Whole30 and this article. The first approach is the Fast Track, in which you add foods back in one by one over a period of 10 days. You continue to follow the Whole30 guidelines for 10 more days, while strategically reintroducing foods and noting the effect they have on your body. The second approach is the Slow Roll, in which you continue to eat Whole30-ish (relaxing on the no sugar added rule) for as long as you want to, and indulging in less healthy foods when you feel that it’s worth it. This is the approach I’ve taken with most of my Whole30’s, but this time around Ryan and I are going to do the Fast Track method. We want to carefully and intentionally add foods back in and note the effects. Of course, I will keep you all posted on how it goes…
Today, I also want to highlight some of our favorite grocery finds that kept us going during this Whole30. Grocery shopping isn’t my favorite weekend activity…there, I said it! But, over the years as I’ve become more adventurous and confident in my cooking skills, I enjoy the process more! And, I’m thankful that Ryan now does the big grocery shopping trip on Sundays and I fill in during the week with anything else that needs to be picked up. We’ve got our system down!
It’s interesting that when we’re doing a Whole30, we’d almost always rather eat at home or bring lunch to work because the things we are making are so delicious and satisfying! That is, as long as we have done the grocery runs and meal prep…
Food/Drink/Condiments: (as always, check labels as there are several varieties of these)
- Tessemae’s Dressings, Sauces, and Packets: We make our fair share of homemade dressings and sauces at home, but these are very nice to have on hand for days we are short on time or need something portable. Tessemaes can now be found at some traditional grocery stores, making it easier to find…Or you can order online from their site or Amazon. I believe that the packets are only on their site right now.
- LaCroix Sparkling Water: LaCroix has always been a Whole30 staple. We keep our fridge stocked with Cherry Lime, Orange, and Coconut. I like to enjoy one or two after dinner.
- Epic Bites and Bars: These took some time and trial to get used to, but now I love them! My favorites are the Chicken Sriacha Bar and the Bison Bites. Think of them as more of a jerky, and not a traditional bar…
- RX Bars: Love these bars to keep on hand for emergency food! Our favorites are the Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, and the Apple Cinnamon.
- Morton and Bassett Spices: My favorite brand to buy because they don’t have added fillers. I especially love the Chili Powder and use it on (almost) everything! I also use it when I make Chocolate Chili because I think it adds an extra kick…
- Frank’s Original RedHot Sauce: Ryan has discovered a love for Frank’s during this Whole30! My favorite use for it is in the yummy Buffalo Chicken Casserole that I’ve already made twice.
Kitchen Gadgets: (Little things that make a big difference, for easy meal prep!)
- Lemon and/or Lime Handheld Juicer Love these for getting juice quickly when making dressings or guacamole.
- Garlic Press Easy and less mess for getting minced garlic for recipes.
- Immersion Blender Game changer! Makes making sauces and dressings so easy, with less clean up.
- Mason Jars We use these all the time for food storage.
If you did the Whole30 with us or recently, which reintroduction strategy did you choose and what were your favorite grocery finds? I love to hear feedback from you all! Thanks for stopping by!
Photography: Stephanie Drenka
*Special thanks: Royal Blue Grocery. If you’re in Dallas, be sure to visit them to stock up on Whole30 essentials!