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  • All or nothing?

    Hi everyone:
    I wanted to tap into your collective wisdom for your advice. I had been reading and dabbling in PB since August. In January, I took the plunge with a 30 day Whole 9 experiment: no sugar, flour, alcohol, coffee, dairy. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it wasn't as hard as I would have thought.

    Flash forward a month. I've noticed that now my "once and awhile" decaf latte is now every other day and while I only drink wine once or twice a week, when I do I tend to have two or three glasses.

    So here's my question: have others found it easier to be very strict with their diets? I absolutely hate the thought of never touching my lips to another glass of wine or coffee, but I find that it is a slippery slope for me. For those of you who have been able to indulge with moderation (I see a lot on here about 20% non-primal food, which I know is a controversial position) how do you wander from PB without wandering to far. And for long time PBers, I'd be curious to know if a stricter lifestyle has been useful to you.

  • #2
    I think what it comes down to is to stop looking at things as 'deviating from primal'. Primal is a brand word, and imo not at all helpful to people with their goals. Oh damn, i didn't do his 'primally', i 'had a non-primal' day. It only reinforces our incessant reliance on all structures and constructs, and to punish ourselves when we deviate from said structures.

    3-6 glasses of wine a week? Geez, don't sweat it. That's nothing. Make sure it's top quality wine though No point drinking the cheap shit.

    Coffee? I know it's addictive(although you drink decaf), but really a decaf latte, although i wouldn't drink that stuff, is nothing to feel guilty about. Honestly. That said it depends on the milk. Homogenized, pasteurised milk is junk whatever way you swing it. IMO you are better off with real, caffeinated coffee and a little bit of cream every morning(again, this will not make you cancerous), but do what you want.

    Forget the concepts of diet, adherence and strictness. You've done your 30 days, and helped your body along the way. Some wine and coffee during the week will not negate that. Not even a peanut butter sandwhich a week will. Nor a bowl of pasta a week.

    With that said, i do find the 80/20 rule a bit idiotic. If one is commited to health, then the 20% rule is just an emotional crutch, IMO. THAT is the mentality that turns 'Primal'(i HATE that word) into a diet and not just a natural part of our lives. ''Yeah i'm committed to health but i'll be damned if i can't have my brownies and coca cola''. It's a bit weak imo. 20% in context is not so much, but it is a cosy escape route.

    Fuck percentages and rules imo. If you're at a party and someone offers you a cake just eat and not freak out, and enjoy it. But i personally would not SEEK this type of food as part of a regimen. It's not healthy, pyschologically speaking.

    Rant over.


    • #3
      So in essence, as long as you treat 'PB', 'paleo' or anyother shitty brand name as a diet, as something which is to be deviated from, then this is not health. Eventually you will deviate, not out of a healthy desire for an original and unique piece of chocolate cake(who doesn't like chocolate cake? Especially when it's made well and not mass produced), but out of an unhealthy desire to break out from your self-imposed, artificial structures.

      By this, i do not mean that eating junk food whenever you want it is healthy, as i outlined above, but it is unhealthy and not progressive to be beholden to the concepts of structure, diet and deviation from these two things. Ya get me?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rocco Hill View Post
        I think what it comes down to is to stop looking at things as 'deviating from primal'...

        ...So in essence, as long as you treat 'PB', 'paleo' or anyother shitty brand name as a diet, as something which is to be deviated from, then this is not health.
        I couldn't agree more. Most of us are drawn to PB because it promotes itself as a sustainably healthy lifestyle, but SO many people treat it like an "eat this, not that" kind of diet. I think the information provided by PB and MDA is very valuable, but I also know that new information is introduced every day. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life counting carbs and protein and eliminating various foods based on the latest study.

        I think the point is to train your brain to listen to your body and recognize healthy vs. unhealthy.

        I don't know about you guys... but I really didn't need Mark to tell me that junk food is poison (I can read an ingredient list) and I definitely knew that sugar causes rushes and crashes (and cravings for more sugar). I knew that a big bowl of pasta made me bloated and tired, and I knew that fat isn't the devil.

        The information from PB has really helped me to understand what food does to my body and why... and I'll use this knowledge to make healthy choices for the rest of my life. If you know that drinking a latte every other day isn't good for you, then you already know what you need to do. Try coffee with heavy cream instead. It's not a matter of being strict or eliminating coffee and wine from your life, just make adjustments (slowly, if necessary).

        The 20% rule is my least favorite part of PB. It makes the commitment to overall health... less of a commitment.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Prime View Post
          The 20% rule is my least favorite part of PB. It makes the commitment to overall health... less of a commitment.
          I think the 20% rule just depends on how you interpret it. I view it as a way of keeping people from giving up just because they did something 'non-primal'.

          Ie. I had half of chocolate shake last night, its not the end of the world, I didn't fail at staying in tune with PB, I simply had a shake. (And felt like complete and udder (heh) crap after!)

          On the other hand, I think there are people who say feel that they MUST use that 20% to indulge, and that's flawed thinking: I've been good this week, so today I'm going to have a super-sized value meal, deep fry some twinkies, and kill a large pizza.


          • #6
            Thanks for your feedback. I should have been clearer in my note: I don't think of PB as a diet. I actually am not trying to lose weight. I am doing this primarily for health and to balance blood sugar issues. The issue isn't about guilt. I know that I feel better when I eat this way, but if I don't have a stricter approach I'm finding it is easy to drift from it. Does that make sense?


            • #7
              I think u gata find what works for you as far as eating old favorites. For ejemplo:

              Holidays (Christmas, ThanksGiving...the big ones) are my designated eat anything you want days. So I few times a year I can enjoy whatever with my familly

              On my brithday I'm going to carefully (cause it only comes round once a year) pick out my favorite flavor of icecream (im thinking peanut-butter chocolate, but that could change buy April) buy a half gallon and either eat it all or stick some candles in it and let my familly have some and THEN i'll eat it all...

              And yeah I'm really strict too. I have to be. But Its easier knowing your not never going to be enjoying old favorites ever again. Like you i'm not trying to loose weight Im trying to get really fit, healthy, and beat down my depression...honestly so far so good!

              AND for those cravings in-between holidays, there's primal-substitutes. Almond pancakes are awsome, and you can make stuff out of coconut flour, and you can make cauliflour pizza. Some of this stuff takes a little more effort to make so I really only make these treats once in a while.


              • #8
                Originally posted by dmc View Post
                ... but if I don't have a stricter approach I'm finding it is easy to drift from it. Does that make sense?
                Then you are probably someone whom needs to stick as close as possible to PB. However, you're not in it for weight loss, so maybe you don't need a strict adherence. I don't know that Mark necessarily means 20% of the time it's okay to eat crap. I think he meant as an overall thing, like not being able to find the grass fed/finished meat or yes, the "indulgence." For some it seems to me that the 20% is a crutch. I just ate horribly non-Primal stuff today (stupid Italian cookies!) but I will not deviate again for a while. That's just how it worked out for me because it's not a Weight Watchers all or nothing, guilt inducing approach. If you can handle the latte and wine without going completely off the Primal wagon, then do it. I personally do not think it has to be all-or-nothing, then it becomes another Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Slim Fast plan, albeit with much better food!
                Starting weight: 168 lbs
                Current weight: 168 lbs
                Goal weight: whatever makes me look strong and healthy!

                Current goal: No More Muffin Top!!
                a real pushup, a real pull-up, weekly sprints

                Visit my journal:' Place for Primal Rantings...because everyone else thinks she's nuts


                • #9
                  i believe it is also how you qualify that 20%. For me the 20% includes having a glass of wine or reaching for the protein bar instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. When i was doing Xfit/Paleo it was explained to me that you can definitely do damage to your goals should you have that big indulgence of the whole pizza or the 1lb Hardee's Thickburger and fries.

                  I've found that adherence to the Primal lifestyle without the qualifying 20% has allowed me to see my goals.


                  • #10
                    I eat the best I can for my body all the time. This works best for me.

                    If I want something that some people would consider a not so healthy choice because it contains sugar like a qualtiy chocolate I choose one with a low sugar added and a high cocoa content that suits my palate. If I want pizza I make my own and choose the best and freshest ingredients I can.

                    I wouldn't choose to go out and pig out on refined junk. The few minutes it might taste good aren't worth it to me.


                    • #11
                      I agree with everyone else who replied. As far as your coffee & wine concerns; I have a small cup of black coffee every morning & I love a glass of red wine with dinner if its around. Just because these things werent consumed in the past does not mean they are bad. There are certain modern foods & technologies that benefit you & IMO coffee & red wine can add some benefits to overall health. As long as you recognize what you consume & avoid the obvious stuff that isnt ideal for your body your doing great. Listen to your body.
                      -Connoisseur Guy


                      • #12
                        i eat primal, however i do have one cup of coffee a day as well as a glass of red wine once or twice a week. just cutting the processed crap and grains has helped me tremendously! my stomach is never bloated and i am not as hungry as i was when i was eating low fat/high carbs. i eat anywhere from 45 to 85 grams of carbs a day. since i started i have not gone over 100 grams and i do include some fruit daily. good luck!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Prime View Post
                          The 20% rule is my least favorite part of PB. It makes the commitment to overall health... less of a commitment.
                          It is my favorite part of PB and the reason I chose it over paleo. The all or nothing be perfect or you are a failure mentality is a large part of why a lot of diets dont work. 100% is good for a diet. 80% is good for a lifetime. I think 100% is NOT committing to overall health, it is putting dietary Dogma ahead of mental, spiritual and social health.

                          If I felt I had to be 100% I could never go out to eat anywhere, not a restaurant, not at a friends home. Because I can GUARANTEE that there is not one single place around here I can get 100% grass fed organic NOT cooked in olive oil ...etc.etc. It doesnt mean I am eating at McD's every other day. It does mean I am just living my life without judging myself.
                          MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

                          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7