So here we are, last week of Whole30. And we've seen some great results, right? Maybe we look a little leaner, maybe our clothes are a little looser (or fit a little better), maybe we feel like our Sugar Dragon is mostly under control. Maybe we've seen some health wins we never expected to see. Maybe our body is finally functioning optimally, we're sleeping better, and we're feeling the Tiger Blood.
Or maybe we aren't.
Maybe you're frustrated by this point. Maybe you expected to see all the results you imagined Whole30 would bring you. Maybe you think this entire Whole30 thing was a big waste of time, or at least not worth the considerable effort it took to plan, cook (and clean! - oh, the dishes), and eat 100% healthy foods for a straight 30 days. Maybe you're ready to give up.
I've been there. Believe me; I did Whole30 for a few months, then continued with Paleo for a whole year before I saw the results I was wanting. And even then, they didn't all come! The Whole30 is amazing and can correct a lot of the imbalances in the body, but it's not a magic pill. You may never wake up one day and say "I'm done!"
You're not supposed to.
The health journey you started on about 25 days ago was just the beginning. You may not want to hear that right now, but it's actually good news! You've knocked out the hardest part - getting started - and you've proven to yourself that you can stick with it. So pat yourself on the back!
Now the real work begins. If you feel like 30 days is just not enough to heal your body, no one is making you start reintroductions on Day 31. Be brutally honest with yourself - is your Sugar Dragon REALLY under control? Have the health problems you brought with you to Whole30 REALLY cleared up to your satisfaction? Or do you just really want a chocolate bar? (Hint: if it's the last one, you're not ready.)
Here's another thing to consider: maybe some of the foods you're still eating on Whole30 are giving you problems. For example, if you have an auto-immune disease (or suspect one), you might try the Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP. The gist is that you still do a Whole30, but you eliminate certain foods that can be inflammatory in some people who have autoimmune tendencies. Some of the foods they eliminate are nightshades (tomatoes, peppers in every form, even black pepper!, eggplant, and white potatoes), nuts and seeds, eggs, and ghee. Maybe your body is reacting negatively to these foods and you don't even know it! If you haven't seen the results you wanted, you might try AIP. (Whole30 has a great printable for this. This list is the same but a little more detailed!)
Two other options to try are low-histamine and low FODMAP. (Those are the Whole30 shopping list links to those diets. Feel free to browse!) Here's another link about FODMAPs, explaining what they are. (Beware: mild profanity.) Some sources categorize FODMAPs differently, so be sure to listen to your body and figure out which ones work for you and which ones don't. The good news is, you can usually add back most of them with great success once you've done the elimination thing!
A few years ago, when I ate 100% Paleo for an entire year, I started with the AIP diet. I did that for about two months, then added in low FODMAPs. (At this point, you're probably wondering what I actually ate. It was a lot of root veggies, let me tell you.) After a month of low FODMAP and AIP, I began the slow process of reintroductions, adding one food back in systematically to determine how it made me feel. It was a long process, but now I know exactly what foods to avoid to help my body function optimally.
So for me (and Andrew!), I have several more pounds to shed (not the point of Whole30, sure, but a nice side effect!), I would like to continue getting better sleep, and I just don't think I can say no to all the sugar. So I'm staying. I'll keep eating the same foods, possibly start experimenting more with Whole30-compliant ingredients without staying strict to the "no pancakes" rule (because boredom), but I'm keeping it clean.
If you're not in the best place yet, why don't you join us? And if you are, enjoy your reintroductions. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message if you have questions about any of this or just need a little extra help navigating your post-Whole30 life!!