I hear people talk about the "80 / 20" way of eating Paleo, and when I they admit to what the other 20% is, it's usually that they eat potatoes, some sort of dairy product, or even just a chocolate bar. I haven't heard anyone admit to eating any grains, even whole grains, as part of that 20%... My wife loves to cook from scratch. She used to make our tortillas, some bread products, and delicious oatmeal cookies! I know this stuff consists of flour (she would use the unbleached or wheat flour), but for special occasions (maybe a couple times a month, or even when we go to a friend's house) is it going to "ruin" what I have accomplished (after I actually have accomplished something, I am on day 5 of the Paleo diet), or can I endulge in some wheat products every now and then?
Also, what about corn? I just planted my garden, and it has a ton of corn! I didn’t realize that corn is a grain and not a vegetable until this week. How much of this should I eat, or should I just give it away to friends? Another one of my favorite things to eat, was a very simple: corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. Trying not to look at the things that I can’t eat and trying to get excited about what I CAN eat. Any advice?
This is just one guy's free advice, but....
My advice is to commit to going 100% for 30 days. See how well you do (or don't do). Adjust (or not) from there. I never, ever felt as good in my entire life as I did when I was 100% compliant (with the Robb Wolf version of the Paleo Diet).
As for me, I've reincorporated some limited corn (like with the occasional corn tortilla), but otherwise I abstain 100% from grains.
I'd say to commit to full compliance with a program (Wolf's version, Sisson's version, Jaminet, etc.) and give it a complete, honest go.
If, after 30 days, you want to indulge then go for it. It's your life. Enjoy it the best way you know how.
I always wonder about how people calculate their 20% too. Is it 20% of each day? Week? Month? Etc. That could make a difference. Bottom line, what each of us eat is a very personal thing. Some people need to be at or near 100% paleo at all times, but others don't. It's all about how you're feeling physically (and looking, at least for me). You need to find what you're comfortable with and try not to worry about what others in the paleo world will think. I've finally stopped worrying so much about what fellow paleo people will think if I eat white rice or corn on occasion. I aspire to paleo, but if I want to have a (small) amount of white rice once or twice per month, I'm not going to sweat it. I do try to stay away from gluten and wheat at all costs though.
I think you need to find what works for you. I've done the 100% commitment thing, and yes, felt fantastic, but once I hit day 31 I went crazy! Now I'm trying to be mostly good. If I have an occasional cheat (today I actually had a piece of chocolate cake - it was delish, but feel like crap now) I don't worry about it. I'm finding this much more pleasant and sustainable.
If you think you can do the 100% thing, it's a great way to jump start, but it seems to backfire for me.
Good luck! Hope you feel as good as I do. (well, when I don't eat chocolate cake, that is)
I think of the 80/20 thing as always striving for 100% - but not beating yourself up or feeling like you've failed with the occasional unplanned neolithic food...
Have you (or I guess your wife!) checked out all of the Paleo recipe sites, like chowstalker.com there are "paleo alternatives" for everything using things like almond or coconut flour. I've seen lots of recipes for paleo tortillas for instance. I thyink these paleo alternatives are occasional treats, but clearly far better than their grain counterparts.
Since I've been Paleo I've found so many new and different things to cook. Hopefully you and your wife will be able to see this as an opportunity to discover new recipes and favourites - perhaps your wife will even be inspired to start her own Paleo recipe blog?!
Grains, even a little bit (esp gluten), cause a slew of health problems for many people, so they are avoided. You might see someone have cake on a bday, but not as a regular part of their 80/20. Eating bread regularly would be WAPF (Weston Price), not Paleo.
I suggest reading Robb Wolf's take on gluten. He's a smart guy who knows a lot of the Why behind what we should eat and not eat.
Good luck on your journey! You're gonna love how you feel. :)
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