I am trying to adopt the paleo lifestyle but there are certain things I am hesitant to give up, like a protein shake after working out just to get it in ASAP. I recognize the concept of, say, 90% is better than 0%, but I am wondering how much that sets you back in terms of the different chemistry that is going on in your body as a result of eating paleo.
Many of us use protein shakes pwo. 90% is better than 90% of your other options. Just do it and keep your shake. There may be a day you decide to replace it with real food. Or maybe not. It's your call to make. Don't let some of the minutia we get into here on PH (or any other board) keep you from jumping in. Just hit the big points (no grains, no crap oils, no legumes) and let the rest work itself out how it best suits you. It's a process. Just do the best you can with where you are right now and enjoy the journey. Welcome!
As for me I rarely cheat but that wasn't always the case. I usually use paleo treats to keep myself happy. I leave the path on occasion when I deem it special enough or important enough. Sometimes I suffer. I always gain a few pounds. But I get right back on the wagon and carry on.
I read recently on Sisson's blog that he intentionally blows off the PWO meal for a few hours to force his body to burn some fat. So maybe the ASAP thing is not quite as important as some think. personally, I can't tell any changes in gains whether the PWO meal is immediatly after the workout, or a couple hours later. the quality and size of the meal seems to mean much more.
As to your question, I find that beer too many days in a row 100% halts fat loss, and slows strength gains a lot too.
Context, good sir.
The best part about eating whole, real food is that once acclimated, most people don't have to worry about the fine(er) details. The body is a miraculous thing, fuel it right and it'll take care of the rest.
As far as the protein PWO. If you're trying to put on size, and you don't have serious blood sugar issues, then why not? There are many suggestions on this site as far as protein powders with less of the crud in them. Jack Kronk did a bang-up job Here
But, a hearty steak and some potatoes will do just the same.