Hold onto your horses, kids, because I’m about to go on a serious rant. About Whole30 desserts and treats. And why you should give a sh*t about Whole30 SWYPO. Yeah, not even an egg-and-banana pancake. (Spoiler alert: it’s wrecking your Whole30 results, whether you know it or not.)
So. Friend. You started the Whole30 with a specific goal in mind: You want to lose weight, feel better, be the best you, eat healthier, feel better about yourself and your waistline, improve your relationship with food (and this is a key one here), get rid of sugar cravings, sleep better, look better naked, whatever it may be.
Do you really think eating “Whole30 treats” throughout the process is going to help you lose weight, look better naked, or achieve whatever those goals you had at the beginning of your Whole30 journey? A cookie is a cookie is a cookie people. Whether it’s gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 or not, IT’S STILL A FREAKING COOKIE. And that’s how your brain sees it – the psychology behind eating that food is not changing, and your relationship with food is not improving.
Sure, a cookie made with Whole30-friendly ingredients maybe be healthier than chips ahoy or your regular homemade chocolate chip cookie with white flour and tons of sugar in it.
BUT. We all know eating those kind of chocolate chip cookies isn’t going to help us achieve any of those goals above, right? It’s definitely not going to help you get rid of your sugar cravings, lose weight, or improve your relationship with food (meaning not using food as a crutch, or something you turn to when you’re upset). So why would a “Whole30” chocolate chip cookie do that? Answer: IT WON’T.
If you read the Whole30 guidelines, It Starts with Food, or the new Whole30 book (which you should have, if you’re even doing a Whole30 you silly!), you know what SWYPO is.
Whole30 Sex With Your Pants On is all about taking Whole30-approved ingredients and making them into treat-like contraptions to replace your old staples, like banana “ice cream” and banana+egg “pancakes” and other deceptively delicious treats.
And it is a NO on the Whole30. This also includes using tons of dried fruit to sweeten milkshake like drinks (with almond milk, of course), or making cookies/breads/muffins/etc. out of Whole30 ingredients.
The sad thing here is you can google “Whole30 treat” or “Whole30 desserts” and a million bagillion results will come up for Whole30-ified treats. And everybody from food bloggers, to Cosmopolitan, to Bon Appetit, are jumping on the “Whole30 treat” bandwagon. Sure, these treats may be using Whole30 “approved” ingredients. But are they a total violation of SWYPO, and could totally wreck your end results? YES, girl (or guy), YAS. But you know what? If you look closely at them, a lot of these “Whole30-compliant treats” aren’t even Whole30-compliant. Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, (sugar, sugar, sugar) abound. Literally I just found one “Whole30 dessert” recipe that had ¾ cup of maple syrup in it. I can’t even, people, I can’t even. WHAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT “NO SUGAR” FOR 30 DAYS?!
While those foods might not be all that bad in the context of your regular diet (hey, they are healthier than regular treats! You go, Glen Coco), they are strictly off-limits for the Whole30.
You want to have that delicious sounding maple-bacon chocolate chip cookie, waffle made from plantains or yucca, chocolate lava cake, or whatever other delectable treat when you’re not on the Whole30? More power to you. Those sound freaking amazing, and they’re probably a little healthier for you than “regular” aka gluten-and-sugar-filled desserts.
But don’t try and tell me they’re Whole30 compliant, even if they don’t have sugar in them.
The whole intention here is habit-breaking, and replacing your normal gluten-filled pancakes with an egg + banana pancake isn’t getting rid of your pancake cravings, the same way having banana ice cream with all of the delicious (but Whole30) toppings as a nightly treat after dinner isn’t going to get rid of that nightly ice cream habit.
Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free junk food is still junk food, even though it may not wreck your insides the same way gluten-filled junk food would.
If I’m being totally honest (which, um, I always am with you guys. Sometimes to a fault…sorry not sorry!), I will admit that in a past Whole30 (or two) I’ve “indulged” in one of those banana ice creams I talked about above. Once or twice. But life happens, we are not perfect, and you go on. I also wasn’t posting it all over social media like “Oh my goood best Whole30 dessert ever!!” Because that’s not a thing. YOU WILL BE OKAY. I promise. Just don’t take that as an excuse to have it every night, or even a couple times a week. And watch out for dates stuffed with almond butter. Those things are like CRACK. (Say crack again. Crack…thanks again, Mean Girls) And will definitely sabotage your Whole30 results once you put down a handful of those every night.
On another note, I’d also like to include (and squash into oblivion) the “Just a bite won’t hurt” mentality here. Be honest with yourself. Have you been sneaking an occasional glass of wine at night, sugar in your coffee, a pumpkin spiced latte, a bite of the cookie dough you made for your kid’s class, or that ridiculously delicious looking homemade maple pumpkin muffin at your farmer’s market? No one’s going to know but you, right?
Think of the Whole30 program in this way. You only get out as much as you put in.
So if you’re making yourself Whole30 “treats” or having “just a bite” of an off-plan food every night, a couple times a week, whatever…you’re not doing yourself (or your results) any favors. The program is designed to be 30 days for a reason – to get all the crap that may be making you feel like crap out of your system, so you can feel totally awesome and then observe how you feel when you reintroduce the foods of your choosing. Even if you’re having “just a bite” of something (or “just a few sips” of wine…aka half the bottle), you won’t get the best results from the program as it was designed. That food is still in your system, and how are you supposed to know how you would actually feel without it entirely for 30 days if you’re having “just a bite” here and there? And don’t you want to see just how awesome you can really feel, just like all these people and everything you’ve been hearing about?? (*ahem* looking better naked)
Whole30 SWYPO: just don’t do it. Rant over. Maaaaaybe.