Has Paleo ruined you? I think it's ruined me. Everyone talks about how once you go Paleo you become hyper sensitive to non-paleo foods, such as pizza, deserts etc...Well, I've noticed this lately and last night it all came to a head.
My wife and I were tired after work and picking up our little one from school so we decided, meh, its Friday let go get some chicken wings. We can keep that Paleo-ish if we ask for the unbreaded wings and get the hot sauce on the side and we can get extra celery and carrot sticks! Our decision was made, we headed to "St Louis Wings & Ribs - Devilishly Good!"
We take our seats and start looking at the menu and I dare to ask the server "Do your sauces have corn starch", she looked at me like I was some sort of fruit cake, rolled her eyes and said "corn starch???" I said "yeah, its sometimes used to thicken up sauces" She said I'll go ask "The Chef", (I didn't know working a deep frier required a chef but, whatever). She comes back and tells us that it depends on the sauce and that some do and some don't but they don't know which ones. I felt like telling her to just read the box it comes in.
We ordered the Ribs & Wings combo, wings unbreaded and sauce on the side. We also asked for extra coleslaw (which is probably made with industrial oils anyway) but we made the decision to go there and were not about to leave. After all, it was Friday night and we were letting loose after a long work-week.
They come back with our food, and of course the wings are smothered in sauce and there's no coleslaw. I tell the server and she takes the wings back to redo them but leaves the ribs. The ribs were okay, just ribs with BBQ sauce on them, nothing special. And when she comes back with our un-breaded, un-coated, sauce-on-the-side wings, we ask about the coleslaw. She says, yeah we don't have any coleslaw, were all out but that she'd bring us some celery and carrot sticks. We thought great, veggies! She then comes back saying they also dont have celery or carrots sticks! I understand that this is a Wings place/Sports bar and by the looks of it, other folks there didn't look like the types to really go for celery sticks - they were too busy eating their breadsticks and drinking their beer to notice the celery sticks missing from their pound of suicide wings, I get it. But celery sticks are synonymous with wings! Anyway, I digress. The wings were okay too, nothing special. I dipped them in the sauce sparingly as I found it uber salty. They did not offer anything else to replace the celery sticks (love my celery stick). Oh well.
We ate our meal, paid our check and went home. I immediately felt the effects of the sauces and oils in my stomach as gas was building up. My stomach was not happy, I spent most of the night curled up in bed and in pain.
Even up to this morning, I was not well, stomach cramps etc...I even had to skip my workout. I could not even imagine myself doing one single burpee in the state I was in. It wasnt until I had a good breakfast of eggs, sausage and avocado that I started to feel better.
Sorry for the long winded rant, but to get to my question:
Has anyone suffered at the hands of a "cheat" meal? Have you ever wondered, is eating a paleo diet also cause for concern in terms of being able to eat foods that dominate our otherwise 'standard' diet? Making us weaker instead of stronger?
I'd say being on SAD is like being a drug addict or alcoholic - SAD food both gives you a high and makes you feel crappy, but if you have it all the time you sort of build a tolerance to it. Once you go paleo and get off of all the SAD crap, you start to feel healthy, and you lose your tolerance for the crap. Then if you have the crap, you feel a million times worse than when you were continuously eating SAD.
As someone who had alcoholic tendencies a few years back, I liken this to the decision to stop drinking for the most part. I almost never have more than one drink now, and I feel it right away because I lost my tolerance for alcohol. But my life is so much more vibrant now that I'm not drinking a ton every day. It's the same with SAD for me - I'm happy to trade my tolerance for crap food for the health and vibrancy I feel on paleo.
Yes I have experienced it, and no it doesn't bother me. It just makes me think of what crap people are eating and I'm glad I don't do it.
Here's my take on it.
It is possible to build up tolerances to poisons by ingesting small amounts on a regular basis, and eventually your body stops sending you signals that you have ingested poison.
So, you can choose the convenience of not reacting food-like substances and pay for it later in life when the slow damage starts to add up, or you can re-sensitize your system to what is poison and what isn't for you and pay a more immediate price. A nutritionist I once saw called this, "Reawakening the intelligence of the gut."
You have to weigh the benefits versus the risk for you. If for instance you know you are about to be deployed and relying on MREs waking your gut up might not be the best idea, being doubled over with diarrhea out in the field would certainly be a detriment. Save the clean eating for when you get home. But, if you have free choice of what to eat, make choices that will support your health long term are probably best even if it results in some inconvenience of not being able to tolerate as much fake food.
On a side note, I have found that 2-3 weeks of steady broth consumptions seems to lesson the effects of my cheats. I'm thinking that extra gelatin helps with the integrity of the gut lining, and can help keep some of those weird chemical out of my blood stream, or at least slow the speed they make it across that barrier.
I have to wonder if you would have felt good after eating that stuff pre-Paleo, but were just so used to feeling poorly that it didn't register.
I don't think paleo makes us weaker. I think that when you have lived paleo for a time and have felt how it feels to be healthy and feel awesome, only then do you have something to compare with, and only then can you feel how the foods we're not adapted to eat make us feel.
When I think back to the time when I ate SAD, I remember that I felt horrible after every lunch at school. I was bloated and felt like crap. But I didn't know better, I thought it was normal...
I'm not convinced that most deleterious effects of cheat meals aren't psychosomatic in nature.
I too agree with (the other) Norwegian girl, Nance, Jaych and some of you others. Paleo has healed your body and made you more sensitive to what and how you feel. Celebrate it!
You know that those sauces you had were made of substances that are simply not intended for humans to digest. What you feel in your stomach is just one thing. What is harder to recognize are the various effects of the toxic load that has been building up in your body. Lack of energy and strength are symptoms of this, just like numerous other "modern" diseases and ailments.
Paleo doesn´t make anyone "loose tolerance" for anything, it just makes it clearer to us what we can and can not eat. What a gift!
I agree with norwegian girl. I'm pretty sure I had negative reactions to SAD my whole adult life, but since I felt horrible all the time I didn't even connect it to food.
After a few weeks of clean eating, I experienced what it's like to feel good and it was a revelation. I cheated with wheat twice with awful consequences, so there'll be no more of that. Other neolithic treats, like corn chips or ice cream, have such mild consequences I wouldn't notice them at all if I weren't looking for them. So that's okay once in a great while such as holidays.
We should consider ourselves lucky that we're healthy enough our bodies will fuss when we eat junk. I consider it a sign of much improved digestion myself, and I listen most of the time.
I don't think it ruins you, I think it makes your body more sensitive to toxins, especially wheat. At least that has been the case for me. I have avoided wheat since the end of May, last year. No cheating. Since then I had one little bite of cake in July or August......no effect. But last week we had a retirement party for a friend at work. I organized the party and ate two small/medium pieces of pizza, a piece of cake and some ice cream. The next day, I expected the bloating in my face, but I did not expect the feelings I had. I craved more cake. The feeling did not pass until later in the afternoon the next day. An uncomfortable feeling, to say the least. But it does reinforce my ban against wheat, grains and unhealthy fats.
I know that gluten is definitely going to bug pretty much everyone after being gluten-free for even a couple days, let alone a weeks or months, but I was REALLY surprised at how crappy oils seem to really affect me. I ate at a HuHot this week and hadn't had restaurant food, any grains or sugars, etc. for 4 days, and just the minimal sauces I used on my beef and veggies was enough to give me stomach cramps.