Whole 30 consists of two steps. The first part is the 30-day elimination. Next is the reintroduction step. To help you through the second step of the Whole 30 here are tips and mistakes to avoid for Whole 30 reintroduction.
What is Whole 30 Reintroduction?
During reintroduction, you bring back the foods you have eliminated from your diet for the last 30 days. Then you’ll spend the next 10 days or so reintroducing legumes, alcohol (if you want to), non-gluten grains, dairy, and gluten-containing grains.
You might be asking why you would want to do that since you feel amazing, look great and lost weight. But the reason for bringing back the eliminated foods is to see how your body reacts to them now that you have a clean slate.
Also, the creators of Whole30 know that your human and maybe you’ll want to have a beer or a bite of ice cream once in a while.
But first, it’s a good idea to know how these foods will affect you while you have a clean slate.
Suggested Whole 30 Reintroduction Schedule
- Day 31 reintroduce if you wanted gluten-free alcohol
- Day 31 (or 34) legumes
- Then wait two days to see how your body reacts
- Day 34 (37) reintroduce non-gluten grains
- Again wait two days to see how your body handles these reintroductions
- Day 37 (40)bring back dairy
- wait another two days
- Day 40 (43) reintroduce gluten-containing grains
Of course, you don’t have to follow this schedule. It’s a recommendation because it introduces the least troublesome foods back into your life first.
Also, you can decide to take the slow roll and not introduce these foods until you feel like it. If you feel like you can live without legumes or dairy you don’t have to reintroduce it right away.
Tips for a Successful Whole 30 Reintroduction
Make A Plan
Make sure to plan ahead. A week or so before your Whole 30 ends plan on how you will tackle reintroduction. Are you going to follow the suggested schedule? Or do you want to take the slow roll approach?
So, if you decide to follow the suggested schedule your meals can look like this:
Day 31: Legumes
- spread some peanut butter over an apple and have it with breakfast
- at lunch have some hummus with veggies on the side
- for dinner have some chicken fajitas with a side of black beans
Then on days 32-33: go back to your Whole 30 menu. Evaluate how you feel after having legumes.
Day 34: Non-gluten grains
- for breakfast have non-gluten oatmeal
- have a side of corn tortilla chips and salsa at lunch
- make stir-fry for dinner with a side of rice
Then on days 35-36: stick to eating Whole 30 compliant foods. Evaluate how you feel after having dairy.
Day 37: Dairy
- yogurt and berries for breakfast
- string cheese with lunch
- a scoop of ice cream for an after dinner treat
Then on days 38-39: back to the Whole 30. Evaluate how you feel after having dairy.
Day 40: Gluten grains
- waffle topped with almond butter and a banana
- chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Spaghetti with whole wheat pasta
Then on days 41-42: Whole 30 meals. Evaluate how you feel after having gluten grains.
Make sure to take note on how you feel after each reintroduction. Here is a free Whole 30 planner that has a place to write how you felt after each reintroduction.
Have the Right Mindset
When starting reintroduction know that you still have 12 days to go before you have actually finished the program.
During my first round of Whole 30, I kept telling myself that I could have all the things I wanted to eat when I was done with the 30 days.
This mindset did not help me to successfully finish the reintroduction step. I had to learn that I actually can’t have any of those things because that is why I’m doing the Whole 30 in the first place. I wanted to eat foods that are good for me and feel good from those foods.
You need to know why you’re doing the Whole 30 in the first place. And continue to remind yourself while going through the whole process.
Whole 30 Reintroduction Mistakes to Avoid
Skipping Whole 30 Reintroduction
I personally think the reintroduction is the hardest step of the Whole 30 process. I have been able to complete four rounds of the Whole 30. But it wasn’t until my fourth time doing the Whole 30 that I completed the reintroduction step.
It’s important to take the time to do the reintroduction step because you want to find out how these foods make you feel. If you skip this step and start eating whatever you want you will never know how these foods you eliminated from your diet will affect you. So you basically went through the last 30 days for nothing.
I have failed in the second step of the Whole 30 for my first three rounds. I couldn’t fight temptation anymore and face planted into everything I couldn’t have during the 30 days. I regretted doing it every time. Finally, on my fourth round, I committed to the process.
Eating All the Things
After my first round I took a trip to Seattle with my family and I was on the second day of reintroduction. I was tempted by too many goodies and just face planted into all the things. Macaroons, ice cream, breaded fried sticky chicken. Of course none of that was worth it, except the macaroons:)
But by doing that I completely ruined all my hard work for the last 30 days.
The second and third attempts were ruined by alcohol. I couldn’t wait to have a beer. Finally my fourth round I was determined to commit to the reintroduction process.
Alcohol wasn’t a factor for me this time around because I haven’t had a drink for 6 months prior to starting my fourth round. So that took away the temptation of wanting to stray from reintroduction.
My Reintroduction Plan
The first day of Whole 30 reintroduction I only had black beans to one of my meals. I have a peanut allergy and I don’t eat legumes too often so I didn’t feel the need to add it to every meal. I didn’t notice any bad reactions to the beans.
On the fourth day I had corn tortillas at dinner and some popcorn chips with my lunch. TMI but I got really bad gas from reintroducing these items back into my diet.
The seventh day was dairy. I had yogurt with berries for breakfast. Some cheese with lunch. And I couldn’t help not having ice cream after dinner. The only affects I felt from dairy was an hour after having cheese with lunch I got really, really tired. I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Day 10 was gluten. I had a waffle for breakfast and pasta at dinner. I noticed after dinner my mind was kind of foggy. I couldn’t concentrate. Then next day I woke up with stomach cramps. It wasn’t too painful but it was uncomfortable.
I’m really glad I was able to stick to and complete the reintroduction phase. Now I know what is worth it and what is not.
Finding Food Freedom
Whole 30 is not a short term fix. It’s about creating life long habits. That’s why the reintroduction step is so important. Because you need to know how these less healthy food affect you so you can decide if they are worth eating.