I’m standing in front of the open freezer, staring at a lovely collection of chocolate that has been stored there for the past 30 days. It’s dark; the children are in bed. I nibble my lower lip as I debate how bad it would be if I ended my last day on Whole 30 with some celebratory chocolate. The internal dialogue sounds like an argument between two-year-olds: nonsensical and completely void of logic.

It’s the last day of the Whole 30 challenge, and the siren song of chocolate is calling me. It’s been calling me for the past week, and I’m growing weaker and weaker.

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The light from the freezer is the only light in the otherwise dim kitchen. I get cold and shut the door. Last day. I can do this.

This past week has been the hardest of the entire challenge. I don’t know whether it’s because I know the end is near, or because I’m feeling a little more stressed, but the temptation to give up is so strong. On more than one occasion, I have wanted to throw in the towel and make pizza, get burgers and ice cream, or grab some chocolate after supper.

The purpose behind my decision to complete a Whole 30 challenge was to “reboot” after a stressful and poorly fueled December. I also wanted to readjust my taste for less sugar. It wasn’t about weight loss (because I don’t think I lost anything), and it wasn’t about discovering which food are problematic for me; I’ve already done that from previous challenges.

So now that January is over and I’m looking and planning for the future, I’d like to share what my life after Whole 30 will look like.

Life after

A lot less strict

The Whole 30 rules are very strict, and if you mess up and eat something not compliant with the guidelines, you are suppose to start completely over. It’s not meant to be a lifestyle, its meant to be a period of time where you make you health the focus and find out which foods trigger you to poor choices or loss of control. I plan to stay loosely within the guidelines: Lots of fruits and vegetables, quality fats, quality meats, limited sugars and grains. But I plan to have way more flexibility

More wine, chocolate, and ice cream

These are my choice treats. Definitely not everyday treats, but every once in a while, I plan on having a little chocolate, or a glass of wine, or some ice cream. Not everyday and not at the same time, but I think having some of your favorite treats once a week or so make life enjoyable. Nobody needs to be totally rigid about everything they eat all the time.

Life's short; eat ice cream

Limited grains and sugars

Grains are one thing I’ve noticed don’t sit well with me. I don’t know if it’s every grain, but I have noticed trips to the bathroom after things like pasta, rice, and quinoa. It’s not severe enough that if I ate pasta once I would be seriously damaging my health, but I noticed a definite intestinal issue, So I plan on avoiding more often than not. And I think we can all agree that sugar isn’t beneficial to our health when consumed frequently and in large quantities.

Enjoy reasonable amounts of “tolerable” food.

Some things like dairy and legumes are ok for me, and I plan on including hummus and cheese in my diet. Maybe not everyday, but a couple times a week. Cheese is something I’ve really missed this month and will be happy to include it in my diet again.

Cream in my coffee

Hey, coconut milk isn’t bad, but I like real cream in my coffee – no, I’m not talking about nondairy coffee creamer, I’m talking about full-fat, heavy whipping cream. No matter how hard I try, I still can’t muster the desire to drink my coffee black.

Going out to eat

We never really go out that often, but we have some gift cards I would like to use. Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming up this month, I’d love to go out with my husband!

Life is meant to be lived, and while I believe strongly in a highly nutritious diet, limited sugar, and plenty of fruit and veg, I also believe in balance.  I hope to shoot for a 80-20 or 85-15  in my diet, meaning 85% of my diet will be clean and nutritious, and 15% will be foods that bring me joy, but maybe aren’t as healthy.

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So for tonight, no chocolate. I can practice self control and finish the challenge with strength and determination.

When your girlfriend offers you chocolate.

But, yeah. I’m totally planning on having some chocolate tomorrow.

Did you complete a Whole 30 challenge this month? Let me know how it went! Email me at cate@runrunmommy.com

Interested in Whole 30? Check out these related posts:

Whole 30 Week One

Whole 30 Week Two

Whole 30 Week Three

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