Reintroduction is the key
Original Whole30

Reintroduction is the key to your food freedom

The next step in your Original Whole30.

Reintro - Do not skip this part

Don’t skip this part—it’s where the magic happens

You’ve spent the last 30 days eliminating a number of foods—some of which you really love. But your energy is rocking, you sleep like a baby, your cravings are down, and your digestion is humming. So how much do you really miss them? (It’s okay to say “actually, a lot.”) Yes, you’ve learned that avoiding or limiting at least some of these foods helps you feel and live your best, but you’re still ready to bring back some of your favorites.

This is where we’ll encourage you to be patient. If you bring back pizza, beer, and ice cream all in the same meal, how will you know which food to blame if your energy, cravings, digestion, skin, or joints suffer? You’d lose half the learning experience if you did it that way. And it would be hard (if not impossible) to determine the specific foods that work best in your body.

That’s why your Whole30 reintroduction follows a careful schedule. Previously eliminated food groups are reintroduced back into your diet one at a time, carefully and systematically, so you can effectively evaluate the impact. Throughout the process, you’ll pay careful attention to how the reintroduction of these foods impacts your energy, sleep, cravings, mood, digestion, inflammation, and other symptoms. You’ll then be able to compare how you felt during elimination (without these foods in your diet) to how you feel when you reintroduce them.

Reintroduction will help you identify the foods that lead to cravings, energy slumps, digestive distress, and unwanted symptoms in your unique body—lessons you’ll take with you for the rest of your life in your food freedom.

Reintroduction basics

Follow our Original Whole30 reintroduction schedule. Or, choose your own adventure and reintroduce food groups in whatever order you like. Just make sure to reintroduce only one food group at a time, and return to your Whole30 elimination phase for 2-3 days between each reintroduction group.


Take it slow
Take it slow

Reintroduction takes at least 10 days, but can take up to 30 (or more). The more patient you are here, the more you’ll learn about how specific foods impact you.

One at a time

Reintroduce each food or beverage group one at a time, like a scientific experiment. (Even if the last group caused no issues.)

Reintroduction days
Reintroduction days

On reintroduction days, the rest of your meals should be Whole30 compatible to isolate the impact of that particular food group.

Challenge your system

Include foods from that day’s reintroduction group in all of your meals (alcohol is the exception), and reintroduce enough of each item to challenge your system.

Added Sugar
Choose low-sugar options

Opt for whole-wheat bread over a blueberry muffin or plain yogurt over sweetened, so a big hit of sugar doesn’t complicate your evaluation.

Take breaks between groups

Return to the Original Whole30 elimination plan for 2-3 days between each reintroduction group to allow any negative effects to calm.

Reintroduction helps you eat the broadest variety of foods in a way that feels joyful, sustainable, and healthy to you.

After your Whole30, you’ll know how to include foods that are special, delicious, or culturally significant in a way that still supports your health goals.

Reintroduction schedule

Our Original Whole30 reintroduction schedule first brings back foods that are less likely to be problematic. As you move through the schedule, the food and beverage groups you reintroduce are more likely to bring on unwanted symptoms. Remember, these are generalizations, and your body is unique. Keep an open mind during reintroduction.

  • Added sugar (optional): cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, date paste, coconut sugar, monk fruit, stevia, erythritol, etc.
  • Legumes: tofu, tempeh, edamame, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas or hummus, natural peanut butter, or dry roasted peanuts.
  • Non-gluten grains: corn, popcorn, or 100% corn tortillas; gluten-free oatmeal; rice or corn-based cereal; ancient grains (gluten-free) bread or tortillas; rice crackers or rice cakes; rice (any variety); quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Dairy: milk or cream; butter; plain yogurt or kefir; cheese (of any sort); cottage cheese; cream cheese; sour cream; whey protein powder.
  • Gluten grains: whole-grain bread, wraps, or tortillas; wheat-containing pasta or couscous; wheat-containing crackers; whole-grain cereal.
  • Alcohol (optional): beer, hard cider, hard kombucha, wine, champagne, vodka, tequila, gin, rum, or any distilled spirit.
  • Days 1–30: Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 31 (optional): Reintroduce added sugar all by itself
  • Days 32–33: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 34: Reintroduce legumes all by themselves
  • Days 35–36: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 37: Reintroduce non-gluten grains all by themselves
  • Days 38–39: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 40: Reintroduce dairy all by itself
  • Days 41–42: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 43: Reintroduce gluten grains all by themselves
  • Day 44–45: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
  • Day 46 (optional): Reintroduce alcohol all by itself
  • Day 47–48: Back to Original Whole30 elimination
Planning your reintroduction meals

Planning your reintroduction meals

If you’re not using Real Plans, your best reintroduction strategy is to plan your usual Original Whole30 meals, then add one food from that day’s reintroduction group on the side, over the top, or to the recipe. Here are a few ideas:

  • Added sugar: Use sweetened nutpods in your morning coffee, glaze your protein in maple syrup, add honey to your mid-afternoon tea, choose a sweetened salad dressing or condiment, top your salad with candied pecans.
  • Legumes: Make your veggie scramble with tofu instead of eggs, dip your veggies in hummus at lunch, add black beans to your Whole30 chili.
  • Non-gluten grains: Add oatmeal as a side to breakfast, wrap your lunch fixings in a corn tortilla, add a side of rice or quinoa to your dinner.
  • Dairy: Serve plain Greek yogurt with breakfast, sprinkle cheese over your salad at lunch, top your baked potato with sour cream at dinner.
  • Gluten grains: Add a side of toast or low-sugar cereal at breakfast, add a whole-grain wrap to lunch, serve your meatballs and marinara sauce over whole-grain pasta.
  • Alcohol: Enjoy 1-2 glasses of your alcohol of choice with one otherwise Whole30 compatible meal that day.

Pay attention to these areas during reintroduction

As mentioned above, keep an open mind during reintroduction. Just because these food groups can be problematic doesn’t mean they’ll be problematic for you. You may reintroduce bread, oatmeal, or whey protein shakes and feel just as good. In fact, sometimes reintroduction brings positive benefits to energy, sleep, athletic performance, or mood. This is valuable information for your food freedom, and will help you figure out where, how often, and in what quantities to include these foods back in your diet in a way that supports your goals and lifestyle.

It’s also possible a few hours (or a day) after reintroducing, you do notice a negative impact. You might feel brain foggy or lethargic, your cravings may return, you might break out, your joints could swell, or you may feel bloated. A negative response doesn’t automatically mean you should completely avoid these foods. Some bloating, joint pain, or breakouts may be worth it, given how much you love that food, or how important it is to your family or culture. Make note of this information for your Food Freedom plan, and determine for yourself the role these foods will play in your diet going forward.

It’s impossible to come up with a comprehensive list of everything that could happen when you reintroduce different food groups. Various components of these foods interact with every person in a unique fashion, and the results may not be linear. (Yes, the ice cream may give you a stomach ache, but it could also trigger a migraine, the return of your seasonal allergies, or a breakout—something you may never have thought to associate with dairy.) In general, you’re looking for any noticeable changes—a reversal of an improvement, a return to feeling less than awesome, a decline in performance, or a resurgence of symptoms.

Here is a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list of areas you should evaluate during reintroduction, to determine if a particular food is having a negative impact. (Find an even more detailed list in your Non-Scale Victories checklist.)

Digestion • Energy • Sleep • Cravings • Mood • Anxiety • Attention/Focus • Self-Confidence • Skin • Allergies • Breathing (Asthma, Congestion) • Headaches/Migraines • Athletic Performance and Recovery • Pain • Inflammation • Medical Symptoms

What happens next? Food Freedom

What happens next? Food freedom

Food freedom is the final stop on your Whole30 journey. It’s where you take all of the valuable, personalized information you learned during elimination and reintroduction and use it to create a joyful, sustainable diet that supports your definition of health.

Learn more about food freedomRead Food Freedom Forever


Getting ready for reintroduction? Browse our answers to your most often-asked questions.

Yes. (Can we just say that?) Reintroduction is a necessary part of every elimination program. It’s where you learn the most about the way various foods impact you, and helps you identify food sensitivities or adverse reactions. Without reintroduction, you’ll miss half of the learning experience of the Whole30. (And that feels like a big bummer, considering how hard it is to give up the foods you love for 30 days.) Be patient, take your time with reintroduction, and use that knowledge to fuel your food freedom. We promise, it’ll be worth the extra few days. For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.
Nope. We’ve arranged our reintroduction schedule in order of least likely to be problematic to most likely to be problematic, based on watching millions of people complete the program. However, you can reintroduce food groups in whatever order you choose. If you really miss oatmeal and rice, reintroduce non-gluten grains first. If you are desperate for that glass of wine, reintroduce alcohol first. Just make sure you only reintroduce one food group at a time, and return to the elimination diet for 2-3 days between each food group. For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.
This is related to the below question. Most of the foods you’ll want to reintroduce likely come with at least some added sugar. But reintroducing high-sugar versions of grains or dairy can complicate your observations. Choosing lower-sugar options for these categories helps you evaluate more clearly the impact of each food group. If you figure out that plain yogurt with breakfast has no negative effects, then later in your food freedom you try a sugary yogurt with breakfast and your energy tanks, you’ll know exactly why. For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.
As mentioned above, some quantity of added sugar usually comes attached to other reintroduction food groups. If you’re happy to reintroduce only low-sugar versions of grains and dairy, you can skip this optional step. Once you know how plain grains or dairy impact you, you’ll be able to compare that experience to how you feel when you eat your mom’s chocolate chip cookies in your food freedom. But what if the foods you want to reintroduce are higher in sugar? If you really miss blueberry muffins, brown sugar oatmeal, ice cream, or strawberry yogurt, you’re going to want to reintroduce those. But if your energy dips, your cravings return, or your skin breaks out, was it the grains (or dairy), the sugar, or both? If you plan on bringing back higher-sugar versions of these foods during grain and dairy days, this optional step can be helpful. These extra three days will help you evaluate how added sugar alone impacts your energy, mood, hunger, cravings, and other symptoms, so you’ll be able to compare by the time it’s blueberry muffin day. (You can also add this step if you simply want to evaluate the impact of sugar by itself.) For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.

As counterintuitive as it may feel after 30 days of elimination, look for products that do contain added sugar for this step. Add sugar or a sweetened dairy-free creamer to your coffee, drink a sugary (or sweetened “diet”) beverage, glaze your tofu in a maple syrup glaze, use a ketchup or salad dressing that contains added sugar, choose a sweetened nut butter, add date paste to your smoothie, or top your salad with sugar-coated pecans.

This is a special situation. As these foods are made from compatible Whole30 ingredients, you might think, “I’ll just eat them as I choose throughout my reintroduction.” However, we’d encourage you to separate these foods from the rest of your reintroduction schedule, and turn them into their own reintroduction category. That means dedicating one day to reintroducing Pancake Rule foods only, then spending 2-3 days back on Whole30 elimination. In addition, pay close attention to how that paleo banana bread, cassava flour tortilla, or serving of potato chips makes you feel. It’s possible that the high quantity of alternative flour found in many of these foods will mess with your digestion, or that the return of tortillas, baked goods, cereal, chips, or fries brings back cravings.

Nope! There is no pressure whatsoever to reintroduce a food you don’t like or have no desire to eat. If you don’t miss peanut butter, skip it! If you never liked cottage cheese, don’t bother. The point of reintroduction is to figure out whether the foods you’ve been missing work well for you. The specific foods you reintroduce in each group is entirely up to you. For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.
You certainly can, if you already suspect one food in that reintroduction group doesn’t work well for you. The more carefully and systematically you approach reintroduction, the more you’ll gain awareness of an individual food’s effects. Just remember to take 2-3 days of Whole30 elimination in between each reintroduced food or food group. For more on Original Whole30 reintroduction, read this. For more on the Plant-Based Whole30 reintroduction, read this.