Thursday, 4 February 2016

Whole30: Reintroduction

In my last post, I mentioned that my first goal for February 2016 is to complete the Whole30 reintroduction properly, something that I've never done before.  So how does that work?  And why is it important?

Well, for the duration of the Whole30, you're essentially clearing down your digestive system, eliminating all food groups that are widely acknowledged to cause issues for a number of people.  These are sugar, dairy, grains (gluten and non-gluten) and legumes.  So when the 30 days are up, your system is well clear of these foods and their effects, and you're essentially a real, live, walking, talking test environment.  You are your own control group.  Pretty cool, huh?

So on day 31, you reintroduce one food group in isolation. Just one.  And you need to go to town on it a bit, really dose yourself so you can make sure that you've eaten enough of it to measure any effects. Then you go back to eating Whole30 for the next two days, so that you can be reasonably sure that any effects you experience are as a result of eating that food group. And those effects could be on your body, your digestive system, your energy levels, your mood, anything at all.  You then repeat this for each of the food groups, with the exception of sugar, because really, it's probably best not to reintroduce that at all if you can bear not to, except things like a little added sugar in shop bought ketchup, bacon or smoked salmon that has sugar used in the curing process, that sort of thing.

Now the Whole30 website recommends that you introduce the food groups in order from the least likely to affect you (legumes) to the most likely to affect you (gluten grains).  I decided that I would use one of my Whole30 staples, a beef mince chilli, as the carrier for my reintroduction, so on Sunday I ate some with a metric fucktonne of peas and beans. Oh and some peanuts, but not with the chilli, just by themselves as a snack.

Doesn't that look delicious?  Peas and runner beans and edamame. Nom.  Given that legumes are listed as the food group that affects the smallest number of people, I was not prepared for what happened the next day.

Which was when my digestive system emphatically and indeed explosively demonstrated that it does not like being filled up by that amount of legumes. BAD TIMES. Aside from the suddenness with which I went from feeling slightly queasy (not that unusual for me first thing in morning) to legging it to the loo, I was really surprised by this, as I don't recall ever having had this issue before.  But I did eat more beans than any normal human being would eat in one sitting, so I think that once I'm done with the rest of the reintroduction, I'll do a bit more experimentation with (less) beans to see if it was just the quantity that I ate.  Please note that this experiment will be done on a day when I know I'll be spending all of the following day within ten metres of my toilet.

The good news was that in one giant incident all of those legumes were *ahem* out of my system, so I soon felt normal and ready to proceed to the next reintroduction on day 34, which was non-gluten grains.  I was very excited by this as I really missed rice during my Whole30.

Oh look at that lovely fluffy rice. Delicious fluffy white rice.  Lovely lovely rice that my stomach had no issue with at all.  I also ate some lovely sweetcorn and my stomach doesn't mind a bit.  Hooray!

So I'm halfway through the reintroduction process and at the moment the score is non-gluten grains 1 - 0 legumes.  Dairy will be reintroduced on Saturday (OMG CHEESE) and then gluten grains on Tuesday (OMG gluten grain reintroduction day is on Shrove Tuesday PANCAKES PANCAKES PANCAKES!!!!).

1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting! I think I might have to try something similar.