With only 4 days left of my Whole30 after today, I’m definitely in the home stretch! It’s hard not to think “26 is PLENTY, I can just stop now”. But 26 is not 30. 28 is not 30. 30 is 30. And anything worth doing is worth doing right. And after the 30 days, there’s the reintroduction phase. If you’re like I was during my first round, you might be a little bit nervous for this part, simply because you started to feel so great over the last 30 days and don’t want to do anything to screw that up. But this part is SO important and is really a big chunk of the “why” of the Whole30. You spend 30 days eliminating a lot of foods that are known to be inflammatory and cause a whole slew of physical, mental, and emotional issues, and creating better eating habits, and that part is wonderful and good all on its own. But THEN, you get to reintroduce these groups of food one by one, waiting a few days in between each one to see how your body reacts. This information is pivotal in moving forward with your eating habits and knowing specifically how YOU respond to certain foods. For me, I previously learned that gluten very directly and clearly causes a flare in my RA joint pain, that corn and dairy make my skin breakout, that sugar gives me anxiety and heart palpitations, and that eggs cause stomach pain and discomfort (I learned that after my third Whole30, not the first, because I did not eliminate them the first two times I did one). So please, I beg of you, don’t skip the reintroductions. Here’s a link to the Whole30 page that talk about reintroductions and how to approach them: https://whole30.com/step-two-finished/
Ive talked to a few people who told me they are starting Whole30s in February, so I wanted to include links to some shopping lists that other people have created for stores that most people have access to. I know I use and post about a lot of products that come from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and depending where you are you might not have any of that around you. I mean, most things are available on the internet these days anyway, but I get that a lot of people want to shop at a brick-and-mortar store. So don’t think that you can’t possibly do a Whole30 if you don’t have any specialty grocery stores nearby. That’s what we call an excuse. And we all know what those are like... Plus, there are many instagram accounts and websites dedicated to finding Whole30 compliant products at places like Walmart, Target, Aldi, etc. Now I haven’t looked at labels for every single product on these lists, but they come from reputable bloggers who have done one or several Whole30s, so they’re pretty trustworthy. But this also goes back to what I said about being your own biggest advocate and being responsible for your Whole30 and checking your labels. A product that might have been compliant when the post was written might not be anymore due to the manufacturer adding an ingredient like sugar, or a filler, or whatever it might be. Unfortunately they like to do that. So here’s a couple of links to Whole30 shopping lists from Walmart: https://littlebitsof.com/2017/10/whole30-walmart-must-haves/
And one from Target: https://littlebitsof.com/2017/01/whole30-target-must-haves/ (she wrote one of the ones from Walmart as well, and has them for Sprouts, Aldi, TJs, WFs, Amazon, and a few others).
And if you google search “Whole30 shopping list ___________”, and fill I the blank with whatever store you’re looking for, you’ll likely find several things that you can find at that particular store. Like I said, just make sure you READ. THOSE. LABELS. Ok, I promise I won’t say that to you again. Maybe. I make no guarantees.
Anyway, I don’t have very many new food pics to show you, since we’ve reached a point where we are starting to repeat some of our favorites that I have already told you about, but we did try these chili lime chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s that are super easy to make (just toss in the fridge the day you’re going to make them so they can thaw and grill when you want to eat them). They’re in the frozen food section and come with 4 preformed patties in the box (I also included a pic of the box so you know what you’re looking for if you want to try these. You’re welcome to all of you visual people like me). We served them on butter lettuce buns with diced red onion and sliced avocado, as well as grilled onions and oven roasted cabbage wedges on the side. And yes, that’s a sauce drizzled over the cabbage. You should be sensing a trend here. I have a problem. There was also a chipotle burger sauce that I didn’t show because I didn’t want the pic to be too saucy.
I also wanted to include my favorite new sparkling water. I love plain old water and have no problem drinking more than enough of it, but I know that’s not the case for many of you or maybe sometimes you just want to drink something with a little pizazz. Obviously you’re limited when it comes to beverages on the Whole30 (no alcohol, no fruit juice, no milky/sugary coffee drinks...), so sparkling waters are a good way to change it up. I’ve always been a big fan of La Croix, especially their coconut and cherry-lime flavors, but I recently discovered Waterloo and their watermelon flavor. It’s like a fizzy summer in a can. WHO DOESN’T WANT THAT?! Especially this time of year when it is not at all hot outside, but maybe you’re dreaming of warmer days ahead. Their grapefruit flavor is also delicious. I like to drink these in a fun glass (because everything is better in a fun glass) with a few pieces of sliced fruit, like strawberries or cherries.
The next time I talk to you I’ll be a Whole30 graduate (again, times 4, no big deal...). I hope that some of you have been inspired to do one yourself, or maybe now feel like it might not be as hard as it seems. After my Whole30 is over, I’ll transition more into how I incorporate Whole30 eating in most of my everyday life, while also indulging here and there but keeping it gluten free!