Now I understand why Whole30 warns against Paleo treats and sugar. Holy cow is it a slippery, slippery slope. Once you reintroduce sugar, it’s incredibly hard not to let your Sugar Dragon fly free.
It started with ice cream. Just one little trip to Sebastian Joe’s on dairy reintroduction day. It was heavenly. Then, with no intention, we were back the next night… even thought it was technically a Whole30 day. We justified it that we’d eaten Whole30 for all our meals and we’d already reintroduced dairy so it was no big deal. And it was a beautiful summer night. and we wanted a date night. (Tim and I can justify just about anything.) The ice cream was delicious, if not as great as the first night.
I’ve been looking forward to trying some paleo baking since I got my new cookbooks a couple weeks ago, so I spent my lunch break today attempting Danielle Walker’s paleo chocolate chip cookies from Against All Grain. The non-Whole30 ingredients are: coconut sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Oh and dark chocolate chunks. I had Dove dark chocolate promises instead of 70%+ paleo dark chocolate. It’s more sugar, but what the hell… I really wanted to bake some cookies and wasn’t going to head to the store just for chocolate.
I was chopping up the Doves and daydreaming when I realized that I’d been doing the “one for the recipe, one for me” game with the chocolate pieces. I’d eaten at least 2 Dove’s worth of chunks without even really noticing. Whoa, mindless eating was back… and only a couple days after Whole30 (33+ days with NO mindless eating at all). I quickly added the chunks to the batter and put away the extras. When the cookies were in the oven I started to do some cleanup and turned to the dough bowl.
And here’s when I realized that I have a serious “food with no brakes” problem. I was curious about the dough (I was so much stickier than traditional chocolate chip cookie dough) and grabbed the spatula to have a taste. Five minutes later I looked down and had literally eaten all of the extra dough from the bowl with a spoon. (Full disclosure: it was AT LEAST three full cookies worth). What the HELL was I doing? I didn’t even really want it! I literally only intended to have one bite and use the rest for a second batch or toss it.
It is absolutely amazing to me that this could have happened. After 34 days of perfect eating all it took was ONE batch of (paleo compliant!) cookies for me to fall into an old routine. It makes sense to me now why Whole30 cautions against paleo treats and is so clear on their “sugar is sugar is sugar” and “a cookie is a cookie” stance. Sure, these ingredients on their own are far superior to ingredients in regular cookies. But according to my habits, cookie dough is cookie dough… and I fell into a horrible pre-Whole30 habit with no effort at all.
And yes, I paid for all of that sugar- and quickly. Less than 30 minutes after my dough binge I had a searing headache and generally felt “out of it”. Not to mention the guilt in shame of my overindulgence, and the disappointment I felt in reverting back to an old habit so intensely.
Sugar Verdict: Proceed with extreme caution, and only in scenarios where brakes are included (i.e. sharing one restaurant dessert with others). Baking, even paleo, should be reserved for special occasions only.
Whole30 Glossary: Learn more about the terminology, like “food with no brakes”.