Please talk to me about 'no brakes' foods (and pervious eating)


AbbieTK

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My first post, thanks for having me here.  I've been reading with interest.

 

Today is Day 7 of my first Whole 30.  I come here from a moderately healthy diet beforehand, I'd say primal but with low fat yogurt and sweetener, to give you an idea - I'd been doing that for 6 months, and lost 5.5 stone in that time.  

 

I am enjoying the Whole 30 Program, sticking to it rigidly, but wondering if I'm relying too much on nuts/seeds etc.  I wondered how people come to the realisation that they cannot have these things?  Someone on another post said that if they can't control and item, they shouldn't have it at all.  I'm thinking maybe that is the case with me?  

 

Does anyone else avoid nuts/seeds and similar products?  

 

I've had issues with disordered eating all my adult life, and a history of substance abuse.  Long before I heard of Whole30 I knew for my own wellbeing I had to cut out wheat and sugar, so I suppose this is just another step.

 

But I don't wanna!  The resistance is a symptom, right?

 

Thanks for letting me think, would appreciate any experiences or thoughts :D

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I never ate nuts and seeds until I began my first Whole30, but I bought some when I started because I assumed that was the paleo thing to do. What I discovered was that nuts and seeds did not do a particularly good job of making me feel full very long and they were high in calories. However, if I started eating a handful, I would often eat a second handful or a third. My resolve with nuts was weak, so I stopped buying them altogether. After 6 months or so, I started buying them again with a rule that I would not eat them as a snack ever. I would only use them as an ingredient in tuna salad, salmon salad, etc. After another year or so, I stopped cooking with nuts except on very rare occasions. I now have a can of macadamia nuts in my pantry that has been there unopened for a long time. 

 

With four years of Whole30-style eating under my belt, I can say that you do not need nuts and seeds at all. If I had my way, I would ban nuts and seeds from the Whole30 because many people lose control of themselves and eat too many, especially when they eat them as a snack rather than as an ingredient in a recipe. 

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I feel the same. Whenever we have roasted nuts in the house, whether we're on whole30 or not, we pig out on them until they're gone. I stopped buying almond butter because it's expensive and I would find myself eating it with my fingers right out of the jar. However, I have not found the same to be true of raw nuts. I have two jars right now, one of raw almonds and one of raw pecans. I use the pecans in chicken salad and the almonds to make almond milk for my coffee. I occasionally grab a small handful of them to munch after a meal, or as part of a snack. And that's it. I stop and don't eat any more. I think it's the roasting and salting that makes them into food without breaks. Raw nuts are much less addictive.

 

That said, nuts are still high in calories and are not as nutrient dense as other foods, so other than a splash of home-made almond milk in my morning coffee, I don't eat them daily, or even weekly. 

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Great points about nuts, Tom and Vian.  My husband and I are starting our first Whole30 tomorrow.  We have followed a Primal diet for much of the past 9 months and roasted nuts sometimes disappear by the handful. Your point about keeping the nuts as an ingredient in recipes/salads, and not as an available snack, is one I will keep top of mind this month. Thanks!

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Food with no brakes is a personal thing.

If you find yourself eating something in a way that makes you uncomfortable, it may be a food with no brakes for you.

If you've had a time where you went "what on earth is wrong with me?" after eating a something unexpectedly, it's probably a danger zone.

 

For some it's not the item itself, but the way we eat it. For some, measuring some out rather than eating from a container is all it takes.

I find loose nuts are more of "no brakes" risk for me than nut butters (crunch maybe? could be the "handful" measuring? salt? not sure) and the biggest risk is eating them loose out of a container, where I really can't see how much I'm eating.

 

That said, I find nut butters are a bit dry for me on their own, so if I'm having them plain, I avoid having a drink until afterwards, this seems to create a good self-limit for me. Lunchbots also make a tiny container which I like for nut butter on-the-go.

 

Dates I can use in recipes okay, but eating them (even one) wakes the sugar dragon and all of a sudden I've eaten a whole bunch of them like an addict and I feel terrible (my blood sugar is a bit iffy). Even worse is one of the combos with dates, like nut butter and dates. If I eat no dates, I don't want them, I often forget they exist! So I just don't have them (I tend to avoid them in recipes too, possibly unreasonably at times), it's much easier than trying to have just one (that never works).

 

One thing I have found (for me) is that often when I crave nuts outside of a meal, what I really want is more protein, when I eat the nuts, I'm usually still hungry afterwards. When I crave sugar, it's usually because I've just eaten some, if I don't eat it, no cravings :)

 

I also have found that if I find myself in a sugar-spiral-of-doom where my blood sugar is all spikes and crashes (craving more sugar, getting more crashes, etc), then eating plain tuna is the best way to stop it in it's tracks (no mayo, no dressing, no seasoning, just plain tuna).

 

It's not nuts and seeds for everyone, for some it's mashed sweet potato or other vegetables, fruit etc. If it makes you feel crazy, question whether you have to eat it, and if there's a way to eat it which doesn't make you feel crazy.

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I am vehemently against weighing/measuring foods.  I don't do it anymore since discovering whole30...except with nuts.  If I want to use nuts as the fat source in the meal planning template, I get out my scale and weigh 1 ounce into my cup and put the jar back.  And that's it.  Otherwise, I feel like I would go overboard with them.  And they are extremely calorie-dense.  I've found that using the 'closed handful' gets me right around an ounce but I still weigh them because I can cheat a handful.  I can't cheat when there is a clear number on the scale ;) 

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With nuts, I always bring the portion I intend to eat with my meal.  I don't measure per se, but I'll put them in a little cup, or mix them into my food, or whatever.  That way, I don't have the temptation of "oh, just a couple more" out of the bag.

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For me - I border on these being foods without brakes, I think its a really personal decision you have to make so I don't use them as a snack, I elect to try and use them as a garnish for a meal more like you would use cinnamon or paprika.  On a salad I might sprinkle some sunflower seeds, and I only use nutbutters to make other things such as the Sunshine Sauce from Well Fed Paleo cookbook.  When I do use them in the sauce I acknowledge that is my fat for the meal and focus on what kind of vegetable and protein I want to pair with it.  

 

I love not "tracking" my food and not measuring.  I try to avoid snacks and just focus on eating a little more at the next meal or taking a mental note to back a bigger lunch the next day.  The only foods I would pick to snack on are "whole30" approved but go against the intention of the Whole30 because it would be a fruit and/or nut combination.  Once I get that jar of cashew butter in my hand with a spoon, watch out - it will be half gone before I realize.

 

I don't know if this is helpful at all - but congrats on your first week.  This is my "third" Whole30 and I am on Day 4 - using the forums is making it much easier to actually stick to which I never have been able to complete all 30 days before.  Good luck!

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When I sat down and plowed thru an entire can of macadamia nuts from Costco in 2 days, I decided that they were off the island! I do like to sprinkle sunflower seeds on a salad, and I do make roasted nuts for hubby, but I keep them in the freezer. I know if I was to buy a jar of nuts, they just go. Nut butters I am able to keep to a fat serving--think almond butter and celery and carrot sticks, or in a sauce. Nut butters don't seem to be no brakes for me. I have contemplated buying a variety of nuts in the bulk section so I can just get small amounts of each, roast them, chop them and keep them just for sprinkling over salad just a T for crunch. 

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