Post-Halloween Re-Set


I have eaten way too much Halloween candy the past few days and I’m badly feeling it.

We were also on vacation in Florida for two weeks, and there may have been wine and mojitos involved.

And Dole Whips…

Did I also mention the Halloween candy?

Starting TODAY, I am beginning a variation of Whole30 that will hopefully bring my body back to balance, without crawling out of my skin like I did with the full-out Whole30 program back in September.

This time the goal will be focused on eating foods that make ME feel good, and not having it dictated for me. I also will be a little bit more relaxed about “100% compliancy,” meaning if there’s high quality nitrate-free bacon but it has sugar as one of the ingredients, I will eat it if I desire. I arrived at this conclusion because 1. I have a tendency to get too psycho over ingredients whether it be a program like Whole30 or Weight Watchers; 2. my issue is when sugar is obvious—like in candy and baked goods—and I don’t believe undetected sugar in bacon will awaken my sweet tooth; and 3. I’ve seen some Whole30’ers finding low-quality, nitrate-filled bacon and eating it because it doesn’t have sugar—ugh, that’s so much worse! This is all my theory though, so I’ll be sure to update you on this point as I go along. 

Applying What I Learned

One of the main purposes of Whole30 that I’ve always whole-heartedly embraced, is the personal lessons that come from an elimination diet. The Hartwigs often state that they never intended Whole30 to become WholeForever; instead, the end goal is to create a sustainable menu of various foods that will help YOU feel your best. And that might look very different than someone else’s menu.

Since completing Whole30, I’ve learned that peanuts/legumes and corn do not nourish or serve my body. I wouldn’t categorize them as I do gluten, but I certainly have some sensitivity to them. I actually think peanuts and peanut butter account for the major stomach pains I was having back in August.

One of my biggest complaints about Whole30 though, was their stance on Paleo treats, or what they called SWYPO (*shudder* I loathe this acronym!) In other words, if you made my super-clean, sugar-free, healthy No-Bake Vegan Brownies while on Whole30, you’re deemed a failure. What?! I say a HUGE NO to that Whole30 rule, and will welcome the end-product of anything made from 100% clean ingredients.

When you allow yourself creativity in the kitchen, you become excited about food. And when you’re excited about food, you completely forget that you’re on a diet, and it quickly becomes a lifestyle.  So take those clean ingredients, and make magic, people!

On the positive side, I also learned that dairy and I can remain good friends. YIPPEE!! I seem to have no trouble with yogurt, a few cubes of cheese, or a couple tablespoons of milk in my coffee. It becomes an issue when there’s a lot of cheese and crackers involved, and so I’ve learned there needs to be limits.

So what does this variation look like?


  • Vegetables (except peas and edamame)
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Natural fats
  • Healthy oils (coconut, avocado, EVOO)
  • Nuts (except peanuts)
  • Seeds
  • Seasonings and spices
  • LaCroix, Water, Tea (especially green), Coffee, Water with Apple Cider Vinegar, and Kombucha.
  • Using compliant ingredients HOWEVER YOU WANT! Including paleo bread, paleo baked goods, smoothies, etc.
  • Eating every 4 hours (if that’s 5 small meals, awesome. If that’s 3 meals and 2 snacks, that’s awesome too.)
  • Exercise! Include a variety of cardio, weight training, and yoga stretching.


  • No Grains (including corn and rice)
  • No Sugar (including coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and stevia leaves)
  • No Alcohol
  • No Legumes (this includes all beans and peanuts)
  • No Soy
  • No Carrageenana, MSG, nitrates, or added sulfates
  • No Bad Oils (peanut, soybean, corn, etc.)

Limited to Once or Less Per Day

  • Dairy
  • Other oils (sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, canola/rapeseed)

Example: If I choose to have some yogurt as breakfast, that fulfills my dairy intake for the day. If the next day, I know I’m making taco salad for dinner and I’ll want to sprinkle some shredded cheese, I will abstain from dairy all day as that cheese will fulfill my intake for the day. 

This variation allows for balance and, I believe, a more gentler transition into the 80/20 clean lifestyle that can be maintained forever.

I will live this for at least a week and let you guys know how it goes with updates on here and on Instagram (follow me @belowthefork)!!

Anyone want to join me!?

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Below the Fork where she encourages women to love themselves towards healthy. She is married with two boys, and lives outside of Philadelphia. She earned a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. Meridith writes about FASTer Way to Fat Loss, fitness, nutrition, Celiac Disease, and easy (but delicious!) gluten-free recipes at Follow her @belowthefork on all social channels.

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