SWYPO, or Sex With Your Pants On, is the term used by Melissa Hartwig, creator of the Whole 30, to describe recipe recreations of our comfort foods using compliant ingredients. A commonly used example is banana + egg pancakes, which are not allowed, even though banana and eggs are compliant ingredients. Pancakes, waffles and anything that attempts to mimick the real deal is out, because it doesn’t serve you well. And I agree!
Apart from the initial temptation to make paleo bread and tortillas, leaving all the foods I can’t stop eating behind is not excessively hard. I’ve done it before and I know what to expect. It’s all about the mindset (and of course I know it’s hard. I’m just trying to make it easier. Tough love applies to yourself, too.)
SWYPO closely relates to ‘Foods With No Brakes’, the foods we start eating and can’t stop eating. Like potato chips or sweets. Or almond butter; Foods With No Brakes don’t have to be junk to make you crave more. I watched Melissa’s live Facebook Q+A on this topic today (day 3) and I realised I could fine tune my approach and improve it for the 27 days to come. I didn’t sit down to evaluate my Foods With No Brakes at the beginning, but it is worth doing now.
Carbs are a big thing for me. I love them dearly, and I’m a massive bread-lover. I have my addiction under control, but always wish I could have seconds of my rye sourdough after having a slice or two for breakfast. My attitude towards bread is not healthy, hence it is a Food With No Brakes. And so is pasta, healthy crackers and rice cakes. Even oats in the morning! I can just eat and eat and eat. Luckily, these are all out by nature (wheat! gluten!), so it won’t be as hard to resist. Two years ago, I moved from Europe to England, where bread is like sponge. That quickly put me off the bread, because I couldn’t find anything I liked. Added to this, I wanted to lose weight and cleaned up my diet. I missed the bread at the beginning, but got very good at avoiding it, and then I didn’t miss it anymore. I know I can manage my addicition, because I have in the past!
I think we all need to learn restraint when it comes to nuts and seeds. They are so high in fat, which is why they are so more-ish. Not unhealthy, just incredibly eatable. Think about it, our ancestors had to crack shell after shell to get only a handful of nuts. They are so easy to overeat when the work has been done for you. I love peanuts the most, which makes it easy for me, because peanuts are a legume and not allowed. But I also love macadamias and brazil nuts, they are so smooth and satisfying. Yep, Food With No Brakes. So, because my diet is extremely limited but I must learn to moderate my intake, I’m going to limit my intake of nuts and seeds to one serving a day, or less if not needed. So that’s one tablespoon of almond butter, or one handful of nuts (almonds, brazils and hazelnuts).
Kale crisps, broccoli crisps, roasted chickpeas or savoury egg white puffs. Most of these won’t be allowed, because they’re deep fried. Good. But what about the dehydrated coconut chips? My health food store probably has an entire aisle of whole 30 compliant ‘snacks’ and ‘treats’. But that’s the entire point, a snack is not a treat. Needing a snack means you haven’t eaten enough at lunch, or it’s been 6 hours and you need to have dinner. Needing a snack doesn’t mean you deserve a treat. I often get an urge for something crunchy, so that counts as a Food With No Brakes. Because the crunch makes you keep eating it!
Weird, I know. I love hummus, but hummus is out by the rules, because chickpeas. Chickpeas are life, but not for the moment. I am looking forward to reintroducing hummus into my life next month, because I will miss it in my lunchtime salad. But it’s so delicious it deserves to be a Food With No Brakes, because I snack on it too. Ho-hum.
Cheese is definitely not up there with the carbs, but it’s pretty damn close. Once again, cheese is dairy, and dairy is out anyways, which is wonderful. I hardly ever buy cheese, apart from Parmesan for the occasional spaghetti, but if I am faced with a cheese platter or having a cold-cuts-and-cheese at someone’s house, you can bet #allthecheese will be on my plate. And I will go back for more. Dangerous territory, Food With No Brakes.
My conclusion for this #septemberwhole30 is that I really need to pay attention to my snacking habits, and I would really like to not be a serial snacker. Having a snack when you are too busy to cook is not the same as scheduling a snack in your day because it’s halfway between lunch and dinner and almond butter is delicious. I have been known to do that, and I want to break free from it.
My rules for this whole 30 are (yes I am writing these down here to keep myself accountable):
- No snacking unless the world comes to an end, or I am truly hungry and it has been 4-5 hours AT LEAST since my last meal.
- One serving of nuts a day if there is need for a snack, or as a source of fat with a meal (almonds with green beans, for example) at most.
- No sneaking to the fridge after dinner for a dessert fix. I don’t need to eat after dinner, and I’ll replace this habit with a cup of chai tea + almond milk.
- If I am more hungry than I should be and absolutely can’t wait for the next meal to eat, I will first adjust my portion sizes and then my macronutrient intake to rectify my needs before resorting to everyday snacking.
- Watching my potato intake. I’ll have potatoes once a day at most, because I am so limited on the vegetables I can eat (no sweet potato or squash or pumpkin or tomato or carrots or beets..) to limit feeding my carb loving brain.
If you haven’t done so yet, whether you are on your first whole 30 or millionth, I highly recommend drawing up your own list of Foods With No Brakes! It’s all about making up your own rules from there.
Good luck and stick around for more recipes, tips and advice on this #SeptemberWhole30. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram for daily updates!