If you’ve read It Starts With Food or my previous Reintroduction posts, you may have noticed a distinct lack of “sweets” as one of the things to reintroduce to one’s diet. As I understand it, though, the controlled reintroduction of foods is intended to allow each individual to learn how non-Paleo food items make us feel. I would like to be able to eat the occasional piece of dark chocolate or use a little stevia in a recipe. The only way to know whether this will exact a huge toll on my body is to experiment; therefore, I added sweets to my reintroduction protocol.
I began with making creamy coconut chocolate chip cookies, intended primarily for my stepson. (He’s convinced this diet will mean starvation for him, despite the fact that he eats really well when he comes over; the cookies were intended as a demonstration that we weren’t a site of utter deprivation.) (Deprivation. With an “i.” Sheesh.)
I used the gluten-free Enjoy Life chocolate chips, along with some honey. I actually found the cookies both too sweet & too salty (??), but they were very creamy thanks to the coconut butter. When the chocolate ships were warm & melty, I didn’t care what the rest of the cookie tasted like. I did alright with the cookies, eating them right after dinner (which I’d planned so that the cookies would provide our simple carbs), although I did eat one extra. The problem came the next day, with the leftovers. I found myself snacking on them, despite not having needed to snack at any time in the preceding month, and despite not even liking them very much. My husband also overate and snacked, and I found him prowling the (former) snack cupboard that night, which is something he hadn’t done over the prior month.
On my shopping trip last week, I decided to pick up a few bars of chocolate, on the premise that we would have high-cocoa, good-ingredient chocolate around for when we wanted a little treat. I imagine I thought that we’d each have a little square after dinner? Or something? Well, it is less than a week later, and I have eaten my way through 3 bars of chocolate all by myself, mostly at odd times during the day. And I’ve begun getting treats at the local coffeeshop.
Verdict? Sweets are a slippery, slippery slope for me. When I reintroduced sugar (via chocolate chips) at 2 weeks post-Whole30, dairy was an occasional indulgence, but I hadn’t had any more wheat. Over the past week I’ve begun eating bagels, croissants, and danishes (the coffeeshop is a dangerous place when I am standing on a slippery slope), along with bars of chocolate and sugar-laden lattes.
At a minimum, I think sweets really need to be put into my “eat only on special occasions” column. I am going to experiment a bit more with non-sweetener treats like Paleo custard (bananas, coconut milk, eggs) and Paleo banana pudding. If I can’t eat these in moderation and on a purely occasional basis, then I’ll put them on the “not good for me” list.