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Recent Eats: What I’m Eating 12 Weeks Post-Whole30

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 12 weeks since I completed the Whole30. I wanted to do one final recap of where I’ve landed a few months out from my Whole30. I received quite a bit of feedback in my reader survey about a long-term Whole30 lifestyle not seeming realistic or relatable and I think that some of you thought that I was on track for Whole-restofmylife. I wasn’t. It just took time to bring the pendulum back to the right balance after going through such a radical and eye-opening experience. I wanted to be super careful to re-introduce things in a way that would really allow me to understand how certain foods impact my body and mind.

The short answer is that I’m back to eating pretty much everything I was eating pre-Whole30 minus dairy. The reason for the continued omission of dairy is: SKIN! I cannot believe the impact that cutting out dairy has had on my skin. I haven’t had a single deep, cystic breakout on my face since finishing the Whole30. (Note, it took a good 4 weeks for it to clear.) Pre-Whole30 my skin was breaking out like crazy. I blamed switching my skincare routine but even after discontinuing the products I was using it was TERRIBLE. Now that I look back to the end of last year, I was eating/drinking more dairy than I had in years. Cheese daily, greek yogurt every morning in my smoothie and I’d started drinking 2% milk in my lattes months prior instead of almond or soy. I’ve since started using the skincare products again and they are working wonderfully for my skin.

I thought that giving up dairy would be really hard but I honestly don’t miss it given the benefits it’s had for my skin. I don’t stress about having a little here and there but at this moment I don’t plan to go back to daily consumption anytime soon. I have also cut WAY back on soy and have pretty much eliminated processed soy products from my diet. I’m also a more careful and aware label reader these days. I’m still so glad that I did Whole30 and would recommend it to anyone looking to really dive into clean eating and understanding how the foods we eat impact both our physical and emotional health. I have had tons of readers, friends and clients do Whole30 after reading about my experience and I’ve heard great feedback from many of them.

Remember my #1 piece of Whole30 advice, READ THE BOOK! Knowledge is power!

So here are some recent eats 12 weeks after the Whole30.

BREAKFAST

Scrambled Eggs with a Paleo Banana Bread Muffin and Fruit

Scrambled eggs, paleo banana bread muffin with cashew butter, fruit.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Still OB-SESSED with sweet potatoes for breakfast. Sweet potato breakfast bowls were probably one of the best discoveries of the Whole30! Recently with melted coconut cream on top with the nut butter.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl with Scrambled Eggs

More sweet potatoes (topped with some of my dad’s homemade granola), scrambled eggs and coffee. BIG thanks to the Whole30 for finally breaking me of my hatred of eggs in the AM. I kept trying and finally figured out that I can do plain scrambled eggs. I don’t want them fried or with veggies or any other way…just plain scrambled.

LUNCH

Salad with spinach, apples, canned salmon, tomatoes, cranberries, almonds, avocado and balsamic/olive oil.

Salads, salads and more salads. Spinach, apples, canned salmon, tomatoes, cranberries, almonds, avocado and balsamic/olive oil.

Salad with arugula, spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, hummus.

Arugula, spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, hummus.

Remix Salad from Namastay Kitchen

Remix Salad from Namastay Kitchen add chicken and avocado with vegan coconut milk ranch.

Quinoa with broccoli, avocado and egg.

Quinoa cooked with broccoli, avocado and an egg.

Salad with Spinach, arugula, tomatoes, deli turkey, avocado, apples, pecans, cranberries and a buttered sourdough toast.

Spinach, arugula, tomatoes, deli turkey, avocado, apples, pecans, cranberries and a piece of my dad’s buttered sourdough.

DINNER

Island pork tenderloin with smashed potatoes and broccoli

Island pork tenderloin, smashed potatoes and roasted broccoli.

Green Coconut Curry

Green coconut curry over jasmine rice.

Salad topped with grouper

Salad topped with blackened grouper.

Chicken, quinoa, zucchini, tomatoes and hummus

Perfect chicken breasts” with leftover quinoa/broccoli along with sautéed zucchini and tomatoes and hummus.

Bronzed grouper with veggies and collards

Bronzed grouper over balsamic roasted veggies with collards braised with bacon.

ETC

Sunflour Baking Company Morning Glory Muffin

Morning glory muffin and almond milk latte from Sunflour Baking Company.

Oysters on the half shell

A big plate of oysters!

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie.

Coconut Milk dairy-free chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Coconut milk peanut butter chocolate ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce.

Very welcome additions back into my diet include: sweet treats (but I’ve cut WAY back!), wine, my dad’s sourdough and grains. I really, really missed rice and quinoa. They were some of the first things I re-introduced and have been great for me.

So there you have it. Life 12 weeks after Whole30 feels like a really nice balance. I’m super happy with where I’ve landed. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Fellow Whole30 Graduates, how long did it take you to transition back to normal and how did your normal change? Did you cut anything out long-term? 

Anyone else dairy-free? What are your reasons? Has anyone else experienced skin improvement when cutting out dairy? 

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Nathalie Cone April 19, 2016, 10:12 pm

    I start my first Whole30 on Monday. So nervous but excited. Hoping I see impact on my rosacea.

  • 2
    Dana star April 19, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Day 23 whole30… Feeling great! Better digestion/ sleep/ balanced…
    Can I ask what coconut ice cream brand that is?
    I have enjoyed the process of discovering how to make homemade almond milk and mayonnaise<– I don't think I will ever buy store-bought again 🙂

  • 3
    Cameron April 19, 2016, 11:48 pm

    Have you tried to reintroduce sheep or goats milk dairy? I know they are supposed to be easier on the digestive system. I don’t eat much animal protein, so it’s hard to give up all dairy as well when eating at restaurants. My skin has been terrible so I’m willing to try anything at this point!

  • 4
    Vickie April 20, 2016, 12:12 am

    I am about 8 weeks out of my whole 30. Also haven’t really eaten much dairy at all although I do miss it! Definitely eating way less snacks and no processed food at all. I’ve also treated myself on occasion when it’s really “worth it”. My good looks pretty much like yours does! So happy to know someone else feels the same way I do! It’s really a life changing diet. I’ll never think about food the way I did pre whole 30.

  • 5
    Hilary April 20, 2016, 5:28 am

    I also went mostly dairy free after my Whole 30. I realized that I ate a lot of whey protein treats, with cheese here and there and yogurt and was having some major stomach and digestive issues from it. Without it I seem to do so much better and my digestive issues have practically gone away completely.

  • 6
    Amy April 20, 2016, 7:45 am

    So happy for you about your skin! What about peanut butter? I don’t think I have seen you eat it since Whole30. Are you eliminating? I can’t get myself to like almond butter. And, will you go back to your oats for breakfast? You have me hooked on oats/egg whites/peanut butter. Yum!

  • 7
    Ashley April 20, 2016, 7:46 am

    Glad you did a recap of your experience and what you’re eating now.
    It’s so great that you found the culprit of your skin issues!

    I’ve been super strict paleo before, and everything in between. I’m finding now that dairy is absolutely fine for me, as are occasional gluten free grains, but gluten will always be a no-no (even sourdough, unfortunately!) It’s so individual!

  • 8
    Michelle April 20, 2016, 10:11 am

    For the past 5 years I’ve had a horrible itchy rash on my face (mostly around my nose and forehead), across my shoulder blades and on the palm of my left hand (weird, I know). I had NO idea what was causing this and went to the dermatologist. He prescribed a steroid cream and it did not work. Two months ago, I cut dairy out of my diet and I saw almost an instant improvement with the itching and burning. The marks are still there from the rashes, but I think with time that will go away as well. I tried eating some cheese a couple of weeks ago and the itching and burning came back worse than before.

    I miss dairy because of my love for cheese, but it’s not worth the torture of all these rashes.

  • 9
    micole April 20, 2016, 10:47 am

    I would love it if you did a recipe on grouper! I had it for the first time in St. Lucia and loved it, hard to get in Seattle but your dinners with it look amazing.

  • 10
    DeeDee April 20, 2016, 11:00 am

    Dairy does a number on my skin, too. It was one of the last things I eliminated when I started on my clean eating journey, and the hardest. (I’m from Wisconsin–we live and breathe cheese here.) It really did help clear up my breakouts (after getting rid of wheat cleared up my dermatitis–I was a mess!). Whenever I have more than a negligible amount of dairy I get a big zit the very next day. Some stuff just isn’t worth it!

  • 11
    Kaila April 20, 2016, 11:21 am

    Neeeeed that pecan pie!!!

  • 12
    Tara April 20, 2016, 12:41 pm

    i have cut down on dairy. i rarely use regular milk any longer and dont eat much yogurt. oddly if i bake with yogurt it doesnt seem to bother me ? or just have a dollop on like a taco. but yogurt on its own bothers me a ton. i do however lover cheese and cannot see myself ever giving it up. i have it several times per week. one interesting thing is that my boyfriend had problems with breakouts on his back. antibiotics would clear it up but it always came back. i finally cut back some of the dairy he/we ate and it definately helped. When he went to the derm and told him that the guy said that there is zero scientific evidence that dairy and acne are linked but he has so many patients that come in now and say that cutting out/down on dairy helped their skin situations that he almost feels compelled to recommend it. im glad you found something that works for you. its nice that its not a true allergy/intolerance so you dont have to worry as much about cross contamination. but wonderful to find something that works that is not a medication !

  • 13
    Annie B April 20, 2016, 4:23 pm

    I’m 12 weeks out from my whole30, too, and still eating 95% dairy free, grain free, sugar free. I found that I LOVE eating tons of veggies, but I missed smoothies, vegetarian protein sources (like Vega protein), and legumes, so those are what I’ve added back in. Super dark chocolate is also back, because it just makes me happy!

  • 14
    Sammetra Daniels April 20, 2016, 9:40 pm

    Just finished Whole 30 yesterday and I’m feeling really good! I’m sleeping better at night and experiencing less bloating after meals. Definitely going to reintroduce myself to foods I’ve been away from but in a more intentional way. Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

  • 15
    Kali May 13, 2016, 9:14 am

    I really enjoyed reading your Whole30 timeline. I’m on day 6 right now, and I can’t stomach another egg breakfast. I recently found a chia breakfast (actually it’s so good, I think it could be a dessert), so I thought I would share it.

    http://www.gritsandchopsticks.com/the-gravy-train/2016/04/mango-lime-chia-pudding.html

    Your blog has given me a few new recipes to try (like the crockpot salsa chicken), and it’s interesting to learn about the connection between dairy and your skin. I think dairy is something I may have an allergy to, but I’m waiting to see.

    Thanks for your post!

  • 16
    Nikki June 30, 2016, 9:50 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your Whole30 experience with us, Jen! It would be nice to hear about how Whole30 impacts your life and diet as you approach 1 year out and so on. I’m flirting with the idea and am getting the It Starts With Food book today. My primary motivation is to tame my sugar dragon (damn is she FIERCE), reduce bloating and belly flab and increase energy (I’m one of those people to whom others constantly say: you look tired!). Anyway we will see if I have the guts to commit to this.

    Ps great 6 am double shot this am. It was probably the first time at y2 (in nearly a year) that I felt like: whew I need to take a break. The heat + I took all of last week off probably had something to do with it.

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