By Whole30 Certified Coach Judith Forman
Congratulations! You’ve finished your January Whole30 and are easing through reintroduction, on your way to Food Freedom. You’re feeling great and excited for all that’s to come as you explore your new relationship with food.
But, in the back of your mind, you’re already thinking about a future Whole30 and wondering if there’s any way you can improve upon your January round to truly get the most out of your experience.
While I wouldn’t rush into another Whole30 (we really want you to do reintroduction right and then live in your Food Freedom – deciding what’s worth it and when for YOUR body), things may get wobbly at some point. I mean, we are human, after all. And the best thing about Whole30 is that’s it's always there for you when you need it. You can hop back onto a full round or even a mini reset when your Food Freedom starts to feel shaky.
But, how can you improve upon your January round? Below, I’m sharing my best tips – along with wise words from other Whole30 Certified Coaches – to help you reap the most benefits from your future Whole30s.
- Follow the Whole30 meal template. This may seem like an obvious tip but I’ve seen plenty of people in my Whole30 group who don’t eat by the recommended Whole30 meal template. The meal template is there for a reason – it helps you feel full, ensures you get a wide variety of nutrients, and allows your body to run efficiently. If you’ve been eating multiple bowls of fruit daily or binge eating nut butter nightly, be honest with yourself. Your next round is a good chance to refine your meals and eat by the template. The most common issue for many: Vegetables at breakfast. If you struggle with that, ease into it by adding roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes to your breakfast plate, pile your fried eggs on a bed of arugula or spinach, or add pico de gallo or salsa to your meal. From there, you can branch out to a veggie omelet, a veggie stuffed potato, a breakfast salad, and roasted veggies with homemade dump ranch.
- Drink enough water. Check in with yourself and see if you REALLY drank enough water on your last round. If not, start to increase your intake slowly and see how you feel. Maybe treat yourself with a special water bottle or reusable straw to make your water consumption more pleasurable. I struggle with water consumption and got myself a water cooler in my kitchen with 5-gallon bottles to make sure I had cold water at arm’s reach during these months of working at home. It’s a small investment for me to make sure I am well hydrated, which is a key to success on Whole30 and for an overall healthy life!
- Be prepared. Life happens – and sometimes we are forced to roll with unexpected challenges during our Whole30. Look back at your January Whole30 and determine if you were well prepared with “emergency food” when you needed a quick meal. Did you have enough long-lasting protein (frozen burgers, cans of tuna fish, eggs, etc), veggies (potatoes, squash, onions, carrots, canned veggies, etc), and added fats (nuts, coconut milk, oils, ghee, olives, etc) on hand? Did you regularly order Whole30 meals from Cooked to save yourself time in the kitchen? How can you better ensure that you happily stay on track when times get tough? I like to pre-order some Cooked meals in advance of what I know will be busy weeks. My current self likes to take care of my future self!
Below are some additional tips from my fellow Whole30 Coach friends:
- Acknowledge the impact of stress and life events on your physical self. If you got frustrated in January with the speed at which you saw results, you may need to adjust your assumptions about the timeline of outcomes for yourself. For example, mommas who are just naturally sleep deprived because of babies/toddlers keeping them up at night may have a slower progression into some of their Non-Scale Victories. There is nothing they are doing wrong! Life is just happening, and their bodies are amazing machines carrying them through this life stage so things may just take a little longer.
- Find joy in your Whole30 journey. Gratitude for even the small things make a huge impact on your overall outlook and success with a round.
- Hone in on Whole30 mealtime habits.Eat slowly without distractions and eat at the table in a relaxed manner. These meal time habits are found on the Whole30 meal template. There have been several times, when working with clients, I have to remind them “what” we eat is important but also “how” we choose to eat is equally important.
- Add some variety to your meals by trying a new recipe from a different cuisine or looking up a Whole30 version of your favorite takeout dish.
- Explore different types of plated fat if you were leaning heavily on a particular type of plated fat in your January round.
From Stephanie Greunke, Whole30 Certified Coach and Whole30’s in-house Dietitian and Education Manager:
- Prepare for your next Whole30 with the mindset and planning required for a 40-46 day commitment to your health instead of just 30 days. Make sure the two weeks after your Whole30 are conducive to focusing on reintroducing foods that were eliminated so you can really discover how they impact your physical and emotional well-being. Remember, there is no Food Freedom without reintroduction, so use whatever tools you need to prioritize this part of your Whole30. This can include:
- Partnering with a friend, Coach, or our Whole30 community on Instagram to keep you accountable.
- Using the Whole30 Day by Day book to help you better understand the process and guide your journey.
- Creating a detailed schedule of what your reintroduction process will look like ahead of time so you’re not stuck “winging it.”
- Go into this with your heart and mind on fire with desire. There is NO way you’re going to ‘give in’ or ‘mess up.’ So often we commit to something until it gets too hard or uncomfortable and it’s easy to give in. Set the tone from the beginning and know there will be days with struggles that you'll overcome, even if your feet are dragging. Planning for struggle and envisioning yourself victorious will help you follow through without so much ‘negotiating’ with yourself.
Judith Forman is a Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at www.everydaywhole.com