Whole30 Day 22: The Loaded Question

by Jen Burdick

Let me first preface this with an acknowledgement of just how horrible my fierce blog mate, Tara is feeling. Despite her unwavering commitment on her path of Whole30 compliance, she’s down and out with the plague. Your fellow reset-ers are sending you healing vibes in the form of triple washed kale and no sugar added kombucha.

Given Tara’s state of being, I can’t help but feel guilty that I’ve had my first taste of the infamous Tiger Blood we’re all promised at the onset of our 30 day journey. I’ll bottle some and send your way, pronto, friend.

I woke this morn feeling energized, de-bloated, de-puffed, fog-less, and ready to take on whatever the world decided to toss my way. Who knew you could feel like this? And on a Tuesday?


Spawned from this feeling of euphoria, we made the call (Tiger Blood drunk, maybe?) to just keep this thing rolling from here on out. They say it takes 21 days to build a new habit — and with 22 under our belt, feel like we’re hitting our stride. We’re pretty darn proficient in our prep and kitchen game at this point, and the way we feel is too glorious to let slip come day 31.

Side note: I need to rightfully acknowledge the ‘darn proficiency’ is 70% due to Territory’s role in our lives, 20% given the existence of sheet pan recipes, and the other 10% is brought to you by my husband, because I’m mostly a disaster on the cooking front. Actually, let’s take 5% from Territory and give it to Melissa’s hair. Seems fair.

When I say we’ve decided to keep things ‘rolling from here on out’, I mean, of course, with some carefully chosen non-compliance exceptions. And this my friends, is the essence of Food Freedom. The long game we’re all playing. The practice of indulging in delightful nom noms and perfectly paired libations in moments you deem “worth it”. And then returning to your regularly scheduled programming — whatever that means for you — and then indulging again when something else comes along that’s ‘worth it’. And so on.

So, that’s ultimately the question, when is it ‘worth it’? When is it not ‘worth it’ and FRICK, what does ‘worth it’ even mean?


As I continue my nightly read of Food Freedom Forever, I’ve come to learn it’s a big ‘ol question — wrapped in lots of moving variables. Personally, I’ve got a lot of stock in the reintroduction phase to surface a bunch of the answers.

If you’ve been reading the posts up to this point, it will be a zero percent surprise to you that I’m a feeler. I react to, and make decisions based on the feels. So, embarking on the reintroduction phase and carefully listening to how various ingredients make me feel, both physically and emotionally, will be my primary driver of answering whether or not the noms are ‘worth it’.

Will I discover hoping back on the dairy train will leave me stranded in Pimpleville? Will the sugar in my beloved energy balls result in the return of the dreaded Sugar Eyes I’ve been SO HAPPY to rid my face of? Will I be asked excitedly by obnoxious strangers, “Oh, yay! When’s your due date?!” after I’ve enjoyed (an entire basket) of tortilla chips at my fave taco spot?

If so, imma pass. #notworthit

Or will the consequences be a bit tamer, a little less egregious, and I’d be willing to deal with them if it meant I could spend an afternoon at my favorite vineyard, hand in hand with a perfectly blended petit verdot?

Yeah. Count me in. #worthit

There’s all sorts of goodness (hello, nearly every NSV under the sun) that comes from a 30 day reset/elimination adventure. But, perhaps most awesome of all, it gives us a squeaky clean slate to truly determine how various food groups impact how we look and feel — which is really quite exhilarating when you start to peel that one apart. Ideally, once you’ve wrapped the 10–14(ish) day reintroduction period, you end up with a program manual of sorts. Instructions on how to keep that machine of yours running in mint condition.

So, my advice: don’t friggin’ skip this part (like your’s truly pulled first go ‘round). You’ve worked hard to give your gut a scrub down, don’t go make a mess of it.

If it hasn’t yet been made clear, I’m nerding out about the reintroduction fun. Mapping out my schedule, when I’ll try what, in what order, how much, etc. Fear not — I’ll share for stealing purposes when it’s ready for consumption.

Meantime, felt it appropriate to share today’s win. A constant along my Whole30 journey has been hunger. Just couldn’t seem to eat enough. But today, folks. Today, I had a breathtakingly huge lunch — I OD’ed on protein, for sure. And I feel great about it. As I write to you all, nearly 6 hours later, I’m still satisfied and a very happy camper. It feels like my biggest NSV yet.

Behold one of my Territory faves: Tex Mex Brunch Bowl. In an effort to make it lunchy vs breakfasty, I subbed Applegate grilled chicken strips for the sausage. Frick, it was delightful.

PSA: if you reside in the DC, SoCal, San Francisco or Dallas areas and want to give Territory’s Whole30 Approved meals a whirl, use code JANW30 when creating your account to snag $50 off your first order. Or just click the magic box below.

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