I have seen a lot of questions asking why people started on the paleo journey, but my question is more about why people may be holding back from 100% paleo, or or what made people give it 100%? I see a lots of posts on here where people say "I'm 80% paleo or I'm whatever% paleo, this is strange to me because if you really believe in this thing why not give it 100%.
I never hear vegans say, Im Vegan, but I eat an occasional steak. If you are vegan you probably wont even walk into a restaurant that serves steak. This was my experience as a vegetarian. I just decided one day to be a vegetarian, I had a few slip ups and within a month meat was gone and I never looked back. With paleo it is not that easy for me. I have been working at this thing for 8 months and the lightbulb still has not clicked on for me to make me give it my all. Logically I know It is what is best for me, I have experienced the benefits first hand, but I still hold on to those few security items every once in a while.
I have been reading Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas and in the book she states that eating trans fats from vegetable oils just once stay in your system for 2 years. She also mentions that eating gluten once a month if you have celiacs is basically the same as if you eat it all the time, in terms of the effect on the body.
I feel like an Alcoholic that says "I'm 80% sober. Well you either are sober or you are not. I want to give this thing 100% but ned help making the mental switch.
My questions are:
1) What made you finally give it 100%?
2) Why are you still holding back, and what is your vice?
3) Are we loosing all the benefits with the occasional cheat?
Anger. Anger was it for me. Once I found out that most of the ingredients in damn near all the food in the store were poison, put there to increase the profits of billion dollar food companies, who then bribed our government into endorsing and subsidizing their poison, so that they could make even more money off the poisoned, ignorant, obese, sick, trusting public, it was really easy to walk away from sticky-buns and soda. When I walk by the cereal isle in the store I no longer see breakfast food, I see scheming greedy bastards licking their chops, selling 5 cents worth of puffed wheat for 4 dollars a box to a bunch of obese kids and parents who just don't know any better, because no one has told them that the cartoon rabbit on the box is a lying piece of shit trying to take their dollars away from them.
Sugar is addictive, MSG is a neurotoxin, oxidized vegetable oil is poison, I'm a sucker paying top dollar to eat industrial waste.
Not anymore. I snap bones and suck out marrow because I hate the snake oil salesman pushing the post-workout powder. I eat mostly raw liver and laugh my ass off because the sugar barons don't get to harvest my dollars. I put medium rare kidney on a bed of homemade kraut and suck down the juice so the drug companies don't profit on my disease. I boil bones and feet in a pot for 2 days and drink it straight to spite the industry that tries to tell me I need to buy their pills and supportive shoes and lumbar support seats and sunscreen and fat burning drinks. I eat sheep fat by the handful and watch people slamming down Monster drinks, because they have 'energy'.
I am a man. I am not a crop. I will not be harvested. I will eat every part of everything that moves. I will not pay to be poisoned.
For me life isn't all about diet and diet, by far, isn't the only factor that influences health. So, if I'm having dinner with family, I can skip the bread but I'll eat the CAFO steak that's been marinated in less than wholesome ingredients. Having a relationship with family that occasionally includes less than optimal food choices works really well for me. Now, if I were really ill and had to pay close attention to everything I ate that would be another matter.
Also, I don't relate to the word "cheat" or to the concept of "holding back." Health for me is a balance of relationships with people and with food. Usually the balance is skewed in the direction of eating the food I prefer and sometimes I make the choice to nurture some other part of me (e.g. my relationship with others.)
Trying to be 100% and never cheating runs the risk, for me, of being obsessive. I understand that for others, 100% is a desirable goal. But it's certainly not, in my judgment, better to be 100% Paleo than to not be. That's a very personal matter.
Pain. Depression. ADD. ETC. I have a colonoscopy tomorrow, but I know the results will be negative. 7 days in to Paleo with a 1% of cheating its amazing how much better I feel. I have been suffering from IBS,GERD,Depresseion etc. for 7 years, and reached a point where I could no longer take the pain. I had been looking for a one stop medication where I could take a pill and eat all the crap food I wanted. I want to be healthy. I want to feel healthy. I hate waking up feeling angry, tired, sluggish, etc. After doing research for a while I found that I had a choice. Either pop synthetic toxic pills (increasing in number every few months) or change my diet. Although it has not been a total Joy Ride, I can already see that this is my solution. Change is hard, but it looks like there may be some kind of light at the end of this tunnel.
(1) For me, I am always giving it 100%, but that includes not beating myself up if I have to make exceptions. The 100% lives in my intentions. I'm not a football fan, but Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
(2) My 'vice' is craving the social interaction that comes with enjoying a meal out with friends (and dried mangos, zomg!).
(3) The stress that comes with adhering to my version of paleo 100% of the time would likely outweigh the benefits of actually adhering to it.
Also, consider the principles of hormesis. A little 'poison' can actually be healthy once in a while.
Why don't I attempt 100% paleo?
I like dairy and it likes me so why would I give it up?
If you want to be 100% you can never trust anything you don't source and prepare yourself which means you can't dine out or eat a meal prepared for you by others. I like eating out, I like the social aspect of sharing a meal. Its kind of hard to maintain relationships when you set yourself above or apart from others over food choices.
It takes time to find and maintain ongoing sources of 100% paleo food. I've got eggs, beef, wild game locked down. Still looking for pork & poultry. As for produce, I do what I can with a small suburban garden and a short growing season. I'd rather buy local and non-organic (smaller carbon footprint), than organic trucked/shipped in from thousands of miles away.
1) What made you finally give it 100%?
For me, eating 80/20, I was only getting worse and worse. It took months before I realized I was actually gluten intolerant and that my weekly sandwich or baked good was taking more and more of a toll on my health. After months of 80/20, I was feeling as bad as I'd ever felt in my life. Sleeping 12 or more hours a day, suffering through the most crippling depression I'd ever experienced, low-energy all the time, mood swings, migraines, terrible PMS, bad skin, joint pain. Finally I decided that if I actually wanted to be better, I had to go 100%.
2) Why are you still holding back, and what is your vice?
My only vice these days is coffee. I've given up everything else, including alcohol.
3) Are we losing all the benefits with an occasional cheat?
I don't think so, unless you have an autoimmune condition. I have rosacea and severe gluten intolerance, so for me, cheats are never worth it. For someone healthy, with no autoimmune issues, I'd say "Cheat away!"
I was eating 80/20 for a few weeks (with a few binges thrown in) when I had this lightbulb moment of thinking "Why would I ever want to allow myself 20% of crap? It makes me feel like crap 20% of the time... and I want to feel like crap 0% of the time."
I just stopped wanting to eat junk. Thus, 100% paleo.
I agree with Twinkletoes, there are many different opinions on what Paleo is. That being said, even if you try to stick with your diet 100% it will be very difficult. Unpaleo ingredients are ubiquitous and impossible to completely avoid. You just do the best you can. Don't worry, be happy!
After I did my first Whole30, I could not imagine adding anything back to my diet that was not Paleo. My reasons are 100% health related, and my diet is 100% Paleo. That means I carefully purchase and prepare virtually everything I eat.
Over time I've tried eating in restaurants or at friends' homes, and the results are painfully horrendous. So it's not that I have some overwhelming commitment to Paleo, Paleo, Paleo. It's simply that it is what works for me. I have even given myself permission on unusual occasions to venture off the path. I just can't bring myself to do it.
It's just going to be different for everyone. I mean, not one sock fits all and every body is different, right? My goals are different than yours.
Me: eliminating food items, the few that I had to, wasn't hard. It was changing my sleeping habits, more sleep!, screen time, none two hours before bed and never in bed unless sick!, things along those lines were where I had difficulty. Screen time is good - sleep I'm still working on.
All in all, outside of a few bits and bobbles, I'm quite happy with what I have going on. Eating well - my way, skipping about and making sure there are good times and smiles to be had. I'm kind. I don't restrict myself so much that I can't celebrate with friends or if I'm traveling or on random adventures. IMO it's overall health: physically, mentally, socially, personally where it's at.
I know too well, unfortunately, that life is too short so I'm doing what I can to extend mine but still making sure that I'm enjoying myself.
Note: Check out the Whole9 elevator pitch. It's damn fine.
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