Nutritious Nuggets: Re-introduction of foods after an Elimination Diet

Our Whole 30 challenge is coming to an end in just a few days, but before you think about going out and face planting into ALL the things you were avoiding in the past 5 weeks. let’s slow it down. One of the main reasons many do elimination style challenges is to find out what foods are causing trouble with digestion, skin, headaches, etc. And, the easiest way to really determine this is by putting ourselves in a “scientific-trial where your Whole30 is the control and the one food group you are trying to evaluate is the experimental group.” This means instead of eating everything at once and hitting #allofthesymptoms at once we add in one food group and see how we feel. Below we’ll be diving in deeper on specifically how to reintroduce those foods in the next ten days and what questions we should be asking ourselves.

HOW TO RE-INTRODUCE FOODS

So it’s day 31 and you have absolutely no clue on what to do next, what to meal prep, where to go, all of the above. And, I’m here to say that’s perfectly normal. In some cases you might be wanting to prolong the challenge, maybe you’re looking to let it go on for a wee bit longer, you haven’t quite figured out what’s causing a symptom or haven’t hit your goal yet. That’s fine too. You do you.  Although I will remind you, it is whole 30 not whole 365 for a reason. Following the rules to the T your whole life, a.k.a no sugar in anything?!, not exactly the best lifestyle diet if ya know what I mean.

So Whole 30 has come up with a pretty nifty re-introduction protocol, It is ten days of carefully and systematically reintroducing food groups. The general guidelines are: legumes → gluten-free grains → dairy → gluten. The goal is introducing food groups that are going to give you the least amount of side affects after cutting them for 30 days.

DAY 1: Evaluate legumes, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant.

  • Legumes: chickpeas, beans, peas, and lentils

Day 2: Whole 30

Day 3: Whole 30

DAY 4: Evaluate non-gluten grains- while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant

  • Non-Gluten Grains: quinoa, certified gluten free oats, buckwheat, corn, Brown rice

DAY 5: Whole 30

DAY 6: Whole 30

DAY 7: Evaluate Dairy- while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant.

  • Dairy: yogurt, cheese, milk, butter, creamer

DAY 8: Whole 30

DAY 9: Whole 30

DAY 10: Evaluate Gluten while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant.

  • Gluten: wheat, rye, or barley

HOW TO EVALUATE

After each day of reintroducing, evaluate how these foods affected your day. (It could be immediate, hours later, or even the next day).

  • Did you need a nap or feel extra bloated after grains?
  • Was it harder to get out of bed the day after eating dairy?
  • Did soy give you a headache?
  • Did you have any stomach issues, skin issues, etc?

These will be different for all of us – but it’s SO important for you to know what these foods do to you so you can go forward choosing what you should eat “more of” and what you should eat “less of”.