We are now about 10 days beyond the whole30 and I still haven't given an update!! First, let me tell you how we finished...
Day 1 - Ate Whole30 with the exception of some sweet potato fries and a small glass of wine after the kids went to bed. Felt bloated and had heartburn.
Days 2-3 - Ate Whole30 almost completely. (We split a root beer one night...)
Day 4 - Introduced legumes. We had black beans in our chili, peanut butter, and soy beans. Otherwise ate Whole30.
Days 5-6 - Ate Whole30 plus a little wine. No noticeable changes.
Day 7 - Gluten-free grains! We had gf pancakes with a little honey for breakfast, gf crackers for a snack, and stir fry with rice for dinner. I also made a grain-free chocolate brownie (no dairy) and we ate some of that. I was starting to feel a little general pain, but other than that just fine.
Day 8-9 - Back to Whole30. Jarrod and I are both fighting sinus pain, but I don't think it's diet related at all. I did have some gf crackers and peanut butter (against my better judgement) and fought a serious headache and muscle pain for the rest of the night. It could be unrelated to food, but I'm watching it carefully. It hit me that I'd been almost completely pain-free for about 30 days. No joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, etc.
Day 10 - DAIRY! This is the day Jarrod has been waiting for. He had some butter, I had some cheese. We had cauliflower pizza with parmesan and mozzarella for dinner and ice cream for dessert. I didn't notice any changes at all. Still feeling the sinus pain, but that's not coming and going with diet, it's staying...
On Friday we will add in gluten. This is our final introduction and essentially we will be free to eat whatever we want. Jarrod already knows he has trouble with gluten, so he's not adding that back in. I'll have some gluten and probably some dairy (it's hard to eat one and not the other!) but then plan to go immediately back to Whole30 after Valentine's Day. I anticipate that the weekend will have some cheese, wine, and cookies, so Monday-Wednesday I'll be strict Whole30 again.
I've learned a TON in this process. I've learned that I can live without cookies and diet coke. I've learned it is possible for me to say no to food. I've learned that I can feel so good or so bad based on what I've eaten. I have had zero food guilt for the past 6 weeks or so. That's incredible. I'm not taunted by food and do not feel the control food used to have over me. I have so much energy and feel really good.
I've also learned that this isn't as hard as I thought. Our kitchen is packed with approved foods and even the food that isn't compliant (for the kids) doesn't speak to me like it used to. I know how to shop for meals, know what we like and don't like, and know that we can live without cheese. I've learned how to eat in restaurants and stay on the plan.
While I'm nervous about introducing different food into my diet again, I know that I can always go back to the plan for a day or two to get back on track. I feel so in control and do not want to ever lose control over food again. I know it is apt to happen - the holidays next year will likely be rough! But I know it's easy to just jump back on the plan whenever I feel out of control.
Before starting Whole30 I thought that I was eating healthy. I didn't realize I was in pain. I didn't really understand the hold that food had on me. Now I feel fantastic, pain-free, and healthy. I've lost about 5 lbs. and my clothes fit better. I don't remember a time in my life where I felt better than I do right now. That's pretty awesome.