Whole30 Day 28: We Meet Again, Old Friends.

by Jen Burdick

The anticipation is almost unbearable.

Not necessarily because we’re narrowing in on the final two days of our thrilling Whole30 journey, but for what lurks in the darkness on the other side.

Nervcited is really the only way to appropriately articulate my emotional state of being. A term coined by one of our fearless founders, Patrick (hi, Patrick! Thanks for the new vocab). In some ways, this moment in time feels very gameshow-esque, “Just give it a spin to find out what you’ve you’ve won!”

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For those following along with our day by day musings, you know it’s not a BRAND NEW CAR (please read in your best Oprah voice) on the other side of these 30 days, but rather, Part Deux of the reset. The Reintroduction. When you learn ALL THE THINGS.

Based on recent convos with fellow Whole30-ers over the past few days, this phase of the process seems to stir up the most confusion, anger, and full on “hell-to-the-nah” feelings of rejection.

Which, I totes get.

We’ve reoriented our lives over the past 30 days, in some ways, quite drastically, and to return to the comfort of the way things once were — is well, comforting. And at day 28 of 30, the toss-in-the-towel feelings have spiked exponentially.

No denying that I want to sit with a bottle, errrr two, of prosecco paired with an obnoxiously overflowing cheese board and just float away in some next level post Whole30 bliss.

But, truth is, that blissful float would in reality, look way more like a painful gross bloat. Followed shortly by way more time spent in the bathroom than any one wants. TMI?

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So, having learned the hard way my first trip around the Whole30 sun which ended in a Day 31 face plant into a pool of rainbow sprinkles, and thanks to a super sticky analogy Melissa pulls on in Food Freedom Forever, I’ve committed to a to-the-book reintroduction (or at least as close as I can come to it).


Aforementioned sticky analogy is about pets. Melissa leads you through a scenario in which you’re the lucky owner of a dog, two cats, a rabbit and a bird. You’re constantly struggling with allergies, and suspect your in-house zoo may have something to do with it.

You send your beloved fur/feather babies to hang with your sister (thanks, Jill!) for a month to see if that stops the snot, puffy eyes, and persistent hives. Over the course of those 4 weeks, your allergies vanish, you feel like a million bucks. So, it’s easy to argue that while adorable, your pets are causing you misery.

But, you committed to a month, and it’s been a month, and you’ve missed your little babies so badly! So, you bring them all back home. And duh. Your allergies return with avengence. It’s unclear, however which pet(s) is sending you back down the path of discomfort.

So now, you’ve not only spent a whole month away from your favorite things, but also erased all the goodness you gained over that time in a single day. You’re now right back where you started, or even a few steps behind because you now know just how good you can feel — and you flushed it down the toilet. And now you’re sad. And covered in hives.

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Maybe it’s just easier for me to think in pup terms, but this was a super helpful and much needed slap in the face as I whined about the pain-in-the-buttness of the Reintroduction Phase. So, I shall embark on the next few weeks as instructed, because why the heck not learn as much as you can about how your body responds to the stuff you give it? I’m over here trying to live my best life, for like the next 200 years.

If you’re onboard to do this thing as prescribed, or RX for the CrossFit dorks out there, here’s how to tango:

  • Bring back one variable at a time for a single day. And then return to your trusted friend, Whole30 Life for 2 or 3 days to give your body time to respond/recover.
  • Partake in this ingredient a few times a day so you give your bod enough to react to (exception here is alcohol — no need to have booze with every meal. I know, lame rule.)
  • The order of reintroduction should generally follow a least to most likely to be problematic scale. Typically, looks like this: gluten-free alcohol, added sugar, legumes, gluten-free grains, dairy, gluten.
  • Whole idea here is to learn how your body responds to ingredients you’ve eliminated so you know if/how much is ‘worth it’ if you do want to mix them back into your eats game moving forward.
  • Know you have sensitivities to some foods and/or not jazzed about bringing them back at all? No bigs. Skip ’em. I have a pretty severe reaction to gluten, so it most certainly won’t be part of my reintroduction plan.

Here’s a snapshot of how my Part Deux has been charted. My lovely in-laws are throwing us a post-nuptials celebration this weekend, so with that in mind, I’ll be Whole30-ing until then, and Saturday will be the big ‘BRING BACK THE BOOZE’ day. Fingers crossed the night doesn’t end in the fetal position.

Feb 3: gluten-free alcohol — wine, prosecco. Will stay clear of sugary booze — I’m reintroducing sugar as its own beast.

Feb 4 and 5: Whole30 life

Feb 6: added sugar — honey in tea, sugar in things like bacon, kombucha, etc vs pouring sugar on broccoli

Feb 7 and 8: Whole30 life

Feb 9: Legumes — specifically doing this for the English Breakfast Territory meal, and peanut butter

Feb 10 and 11: Whole30 life

Feb 12: gf grains — Tacos! We’re heading back to our fave taco spot to try this one on for size. But, hold the cheese, not there yet.

Feb 13 and 14: Whole30 life

Feb 15: dairy — sprinkle some cheese on breakfast eggs, use butter vs olive oil to cook din din

Feb 16 and 17: Whole30 life

Feb 18: Food Freedommmmmmm!

A quick reintroduction hack — if you’re not yet familiar with the Territory Mixitarian filter — you need to be. The ‘mix’ menu includes meals with natural sweeteners (like honey), legumes (hello, English Breakfast!) and gluten-free grains (quinoa, rice, and other nom nom tasties). It’s a perfect way to help support your reintroduction journey.

Still swimming in nervcitedness over here. Wee!


P.s. Tara wrestled with a “I can see the end so I want all the noms” Sunday rollercoaster — ended in footie pj’s, and a billion on-point giphys along the way. Enjoy!

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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