I am interested to hear how often people are doing "paleo cookies" or "gluten free X" as their cheat-ish meal or snack. Once in a while I'll do a GF beer or a hard cider.
Do you think it's better to do the half-cheat of a "paleo X" or "gluten free X" or do you just go all the way less often?
I just let it happen when the opportunity arises, I don't plan a "cheat" and I never eat gluten (knowingly). If I'm out for a meal I may have a giant ice-cream or something for dessert, or special occasions like birthday, christmas I'll have bailey's cream in my coffee. I think every now and then it's good for the soul, although I truly beleive if you plan it, your focus is waaaaaay too much on the "cheat food". I never feel deprived with this way of eating anyway, meat and butter?? What's not to like :D
I don't, or, I should say, I can't. Even the smallest cheat into any sort of carb, gluten-free or not results in a screaming desire to eat more. I suppose I am rather like an alcoholic: I'm off "the stuff" for life.
I don't cheat much anymore because it is too painful. I feel much better without cheating so it get's easier over the years.
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It depends on the person. For instance, if you are an extremely gluten sensitive person with auto-immune issues, one simple "cheat" with a gluten containing food can impact your gut health for weeks or months. I am fortunate to not have any overt symptoms related to gluten or dairy (although I'm sure there are things happening behind the scenes that I'm not aware of). I do notice that if I have a substantial amount of empty carbs (gluten containing or not) I will feel like crap sometime after with sugar highs and lows. I find it's better for me to just kick my heels up every once in a while instead of having a small portion of empty carbs every single day. That's just me.
I make paleo brownies or cookies probably every other week. I like to share food with my friends and those go over the best. I will eat one a couple times a week instead of my dark chocolate with my tea at night.
I have red wine maybe once a week, I'll go through phases when its more often but sometimes I'll go weeks without it. Honey is something I have a couple times a week in my coffee or tea. It's not a daily habit, but I do enjoy my local raw honey.
It depends what you call a cheat too, I had green beans and a small amount of white potatoes last night. I don't consider that "cheating" at all, maybe stretching the boundries of Paleo. ;)
I found a place with gluten free pizza/pasta and I am going to try them out as a once a month treat.
I fully plan on having "real" cake (not gluten free) on my 40th birthday.
I don't have issues with gluten though and I do well with cheats now. They used to send me off my plan for days/weeks.
I make "paleo pancakes" about once a week, and a treat like almond flour cookies or banana bread every few weeks or so. I typically have a few glasses of wine or Norcal margaritas most weekends. I sometimes full-on cheat with regular bread or a cupcake at work, but the discomfort after really isn't worth the risk! I like my paleo-ized treats just as much as the SAD stuff, and gluten can really wreak some lasting havoc on my gut, so I think it's better to play it safe.
I have celiac disease, and I am extremely symptomatic with just small amounts so I don't "cheat" there. I've been glutened a few times and the effects were so bad that I haven't cheated with this, even though, knowing myself, I thought I would have given in to pizza by now.
So for paleo cheating, I don't consider myself strict paleo, just someone who has learned from experience that starches make me feel lousy. After I realized I have celiac disease, I quickly got bored with the celiac web groups and blogs, because all they wanted to do was replace every bit of sweet, starchy kind of everything, and I continue to naturally become averse to those kinds of "food."
So I avoid grains, but if on a rare occasion (like once every 3 or so months) I feel like eating spaghetti with rice noodles, I'll do it. I keep GF bread around, but I rarely eat it. I have to keep it frozen or the little loaves will go bad before I can use them. Sometimes, I'll make a thin crust GF pizza, but most of the time, I stick with meat and veggies. Some of the condiments I use have sugars in them, but I'm getting more serious all the time about making my own and restricting the ingredients.
I used to be a real carb junkie but over the years, after doing low carb diets and seeing how I felt, they just aren't as compelling. Years ago, before I realized I have celiac, I bought a bread machine. The novelty wore off more quickly than I expected. I can't explain why I find it easy to walk away form this stuff when I had no control in the past, but it's a transition I made. I think part of it is that wanting to feel good more than wanting food to improve my mood might be part of it, along with finding other ways to feel emotionally satiated. Maybe because I appreciate little things in my life and don't need food to activate those pleasure centers.
I've been through enough that I see diet as a process, not an all or nothing state of being. It's about figuring out what allows me to feel optimally healthy, and I don't believe there is one way that is going to work for everyone. I try to incorporate as many paleo concepts as possible, while also remembering that I'm NOT paleolithic man, I'm a product of my Northern/Eastern European relatives, who also had their own local adaptations and gene pool anomalies. That's why I incorporate the foods in my family's heritage (meaty cabbage or beet soups, pickled herring and other pickled items, etc) into my diet without the grains. I do what I want and don't worry about whether it's "cheating" or not. Our paleolithic ancestors likely didn't care about dietary "cheating" either.
The only "cheat" I participate in is having a small amount of white rice with dinner on Saturdays after my long runs. It's not so much a cheat for me, though, since it definitely seems to help my body replenish itself after endurance exercise better and faster than other starch sources.
However, I never allow myself even a bit of sugar (not even honey) because I know that would trigger some massive, massive cravings that I just don't want to deal with. Some berries or an orange are enough to satisfy my need for something sweet without throwing me completely off.
Im too much of a foodie, so there's no way I can be 100% paleo. I aim to be as close to 100% paleo as possible when I am at home, but when I go out to eat, I loosen the reigns a bit. If something has cheese in it, or comes with potatoes, or maybe has some sugar in it and it sounds like its gonna be "worth it"..sure, I'm gonna go for it. But I do my best to modify dishes out at restaurants to conform to paleo standards. Oh, and I go out to eat, maybe once or twice a week, so it doesn't happen too often.
I'm not very far into this, but I've noticed a trend where I will devour a packet of Green & Black's 85% dark chocolate once a month :D I make myself a bit queasy but it goes away and there are no bad consequences. And it's like my little treat for being so awesome, and to remind me not to obsess about stuff.
Like some others said I can't really cheat with stuff like wheat or sugar. I tried it, but it didn't end well. And it just hurts so bad, there's no tolerance anymore :( But the desire to eat that stuff isn't really there (except emotionally). I remember how it tastes and how it makes you feel, and then I look at the bone broth soups or lamb chops in delicious garlic sauce I prepared earlier and I know that the bowl of ravioli I'm eyeing won't really satisfy. The same with fruits, I used to daydream about mangoes; now they're a treat, but not for quenching hunger.
It's tricky when I'm with my dad though. He can afford lovely fresh fish and oysters and stuff I can only get in cans, but adds vegetable oils to them. It's a hard thing to get into without being pressed for alternatives (saturated fats) and getting shot down because everybody knows how awful they are.