Today is day 28 of my Whole30 and I've been doing a little bit of thinking about what I'm going to do day 31. Ohmigod you guys... I'm busting out here... with dinner I'm going to have my favorite low sodium spaghetti sauce* that has a wee tiny bit of added sugar!!! And I'm going to have it over baked eggplant with a nice Shelton's italian sausage on top.
So basically, the only thing that's changing right away is that there are a few natural convenience foods with a bit of added sugar that are going back in my diet. Pasta sauce, a little bacon... ummm... OK, so those two things are pretty much it. But man, on a busy weekday night (and Tuesday I'm seeing the eye doctor after work) it sure is convenient to pop open a jar of sauce rather than simmering a sauce from scratch, even if it means a wee bit of sugar.
And planning for this transition back to everyday eating is why I really liked having gone to hear Dallas & Melissa speak. They're big on context. Considering your food choices in light of your whole life. Are you insulin sensitive or not? How active are you? If you're active, how well are you recovering? What foods may have caused problems during the Whole30? What is your sleep & stress situation like? The Whole30 gives you an opportunity to see how food choices are affecting all those things.
If I step back and look at my life, here's what I see. I'm insulin sensitive and our whole family is active, so a few grams of sugar in otherwise good clean foods probably isn't going to be that bad. The artificial sweeteners on the other hand? Those have been messing me up badly, they're gone for good now, I'm not going back. I'm probably going to test out dairy and white potatoes carefully and see how I react. Duck eggs will come back, but only as a binder or occasional homemade mayo; chicken eggs are out, I'm just not going to play around with known intollerances anymore. Red wine, cider and beans will go back to being occasional party food.
Grains are another story. I don't think I'm even going to test out how I'm reacting to grains for several more months, or until I'm at the weight I want to be at for optimal performance. They just don't seem super necessary to eat, I'm fine without them. I don't even have really strong cravings for them. If I can get starches from sweet potatoes, root veggies and possibly white potatoes, then there's really no reason to add them back. On the culinary side, I've found plenty of veggies that can suck up yummy sauces... eggplant with Italian food, roasted cauliflower with Indian, extra cabbage in Thai curries. I may go back to sometimes having grains as special occasion foods (sushi!), but I'm not even going to try that out for some time. The same thing with eliminating seed oils, I don't have any good reason to make any changes there, so I'm just going to continue on the same path.
* Note on the Enrico's sauce: The jars I get locally has a slightly different ingredient list than healthyheartmarket.com, mine does have some sugar, but then has less overall sugars/carbs in a 1/2 cup serving. I don't know if they need to update their info, or I have a slightly different product (Enrico's has a few no salt added options).