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SWYPO Foods

Posted Sep 25 2012 10:18am

Oh heyyyyy, day 16! How you doin’? We’re doin’ just fine. Juuustttt fine. Today, I want to talk about Sex With Your Pants On foods. Please, allow me to explain.

The Hartwigs discourage re-creating your favorite junk foods so they’re Whole30 compliant. They call this “SWYPO” (Sex With Your Pants On) because, as they say, “It’s good… but it’s not that good. You can tell yourself it’s okay, it’s still pretty good, you’re totally satisfied… but that’s kind of a lie. Because you know exactly how good pants-less sex feels.”

It’s difficult for some people to understand why these foods might be not such a great idea on the Whole30. I’m pretty on board with their rationale, which is this:

  • Sad Paleo-ified versions of amazing foods like pizza, pancakes, ice cream, etc., are just that: sad. Why waste your time eating a lesser version of a great food? You can pretend to be satisfied eating that food, but the truth is, nothing can satisfy you like the real deal.
  • SWYPO foods are a gateway drug. When you eat Paleo pancakes, you’re inevitably going to crave the real thing eventually. Why set yourself up for failure?
  • Eating sweet foods can still promote an unhealthy psychological/hormonal reaction, even if you’re using “approved” foods to sweeten. Sweet foods are sweet foods, and if you eat a Paleo dessert after your Whole30 dinner every night, you’re always going to crave dessert. You’ll never get out of the habit.
  • Some foods are okay to substitute: spaghetti squash for spaghetti, lettuce for a tortilla, etc., but think carefully about whether you’re just prolonging a long-time addiction by eating these foods.


But these are PALEO pancakes!

I understand these arguments for why SWYPO foods are a no-no, but I have a slightly different perspective:

  • SWYPO foods don’t make me feel like crap. When I make my banana pancakes with egg, banana, and coconut flour, they do taste enough like real pancakes, but they don’t make me feel like real pancakes (bloated, sluggish, etc.). That’s pretty awesome.
  • Paleo-fied junk food is still a lot better for you than regular junk food. It’s just a better choice, period. And sometimes, in the real world, we have to learn to make the better choice, not the perfect choice.
  • SWYPO foods promote learning how to modify recipes and getting better at cooking. I’m all in favor of people becoming more skilled in the kitchen!

But the bottom line is, during your Whole30, you should just stay as far away from all forms of junk food as you can, Whole30-compliant or not. It’s not hard to do for 30 days. After your 30 days, I encourage you to experiment with SWYPO foods as long as they don’t become aneed. They should still be considered a treat even after your Whole30. You can abstain from junk food for 30 days. You really can.

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