Well. It’s been nearly five months since I completed my first Whole30, and I’m ready for another go-round. This is Day 3 of round two, and I have a few thoughts I’d like to share on this second time through the plan! I’ll be doing things a little differently, while still keeping to the basic spirit of the regimen.
I’ve had to look back over my notes from last time to see what worked for me and what didn’t. It’s so easy to fall back into old habits, even after an utterly transformative experience like the Whole30. The stresses of life wear on my self-control, celebrations count as excuses to splurge, and before I know it, I’m back to ignoring my hunger signals and mindlessly reaching for starchy foods, both salty and sweet.
I think I will likely find myself returning to a month-long regimen like this whenever I feel like I need to hit the reset button. It is actually a big relief to commit to saying “no” to the foods I am most prone to eating out of comfort rather than hunger for a set period of time. So from now until December 4th (yes, that includes Thanksgiving, though I won’t stress about a spoonful of flour in the gravy or a drizzle of honey on the fruit salad), it’s bye bye to grains, legumes, alcohol, and sweeteners.
Whether or not to eat grains (or just gluten, for that matter) is a contentious subject in the nutrition world. For me, I know that one serving of grains leads to cravings for another serving, and then a little bite of something sweet won’t hurt . . . and before I know it, carbohydrates are making up the bulk of my diet. Eliminating them for a while helps me to recognize when I’m truly hungry, and when I just feel like satisfying an emotionally-driven craving.
As for how I’ll be doing things differently this time, I’m including dairy (well, fermented dairy, anyway) in my diet. Organic, homemade whole milk yogurt more specifically. I’ve never had a problem tolerating yogurt, and I feel good after eating it, especially when it’s fermented long enough to be nice and tangy. I’m also reaching for other fermented foods more consciously. Sipping kombucha or water kefir (a cup a day) feels like a treat, I’m and looking forward to making batches of sauerkraut and preserved lemons next week.
The Whole30 allows for eating nuts, but last time I was on the plan, I noticed that eating an ounce or two in one sitting didn’t work well for me. This time I’m not excluding nuts entirely, but I do know that grabbing a fistful to quell my afternoon hunger isn’t the best idea. Better to pair a 1/2-ounce or so with some grass-fed beef jerky and a piece of fruit. I also have a big batch of bone broth in the freezer (Mine’s darker than Michelle’s since I used roasted beef bones), a nice option for hydration and nutrition between meals.
Last of all, I’m hewing closer to the Whole30 Meal Planning Template from the get-go. I discovered this part of the plan a week or so into things last time around, and it was a total “aha” moment. The plan isn’t just about eating the “correct” foods, it’s about putting together satiating, balanced meals that tip the scales in favor of vegetables, with reasonable servings of protein and fat. Once I started following the template, I found that I was less hungry between meals.
So that’s the plan. Thanks for reading this, you guys. It helps to stay accountable in this public space, and I appreciate your support! Expect to see some Whole30-friendly recipes here over the next few weeks as I make my way through the program a second time.