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  • Any "pragmatic" Primals here?

    I'm wondering, if there's anyone else here who share my "pragmatic" adaptation of the Primal lifestyle?

    What I mean by this is that I focus on mainly eating "clean", i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, and avoid stuff like sugar, bread, pasta, pizza and processed food in general, but I also eat stuff that contains "evil" things like wheat and corn starch, as long as they are not the main ingredient/base of the food.

    For example, when I'm at a restaurant, I'll order a steak with veggies, but I don't really care if they used milk, corn starch or white flour in the sauce. As long as I don't have any allergies, I figure the amount of "bad stuff" I'm eating will be so small that it's not going to be significant.

    Another example: when I eat a (home-prepared) chicken salad for lunch at work, I will use a standard salad dressing from a bottle, which probably has a couple of "nasty" ingredients, but I figure as long as the dressing is only a small part of my meal, who worry about it? I know I could bring some organic sour cream from home, but then I'd also need to bring a spoon and wash it afterwards (yes, I'm lazy), the bottle is just so much easier.

    The reason I started to think like this was that I found it very hard to stay clean if I had a "either or" mentality. Unless you can source everything you buy and prepare all your food yourself (which takes a lot of time and energy), getting hung up on the details just gets stressful IMO.

    I guess I view it as sort of a "middle path" that works out well in practice and doesn't stress me out worring about whether I should eat A or B or not. It also makes things very much easier when you are not in full control of your food.

    So, I'm curious, is anyone else also doing this? Or, if you did in the past, and eventually switched to a completely Primal lifestyle, have you noticed any difference between then and now?
    Norak's Primal Journal:
    2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
    2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
    2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

  • #2
    I'm pretty much the same way. In part because at work they supply us with lunches. While I have tried, numerous times, to get just meat and veggies, I still end up with meat in gravy, etc. The bad stuff like breads and sugar filled deserts, I either trash or give away. I'm out in the middle of the desert so my shopping choices are a bit limited and I have to do the "meat is meat" mentality since either a) it is not grass fed or b) it is but I don't read Arabic so I just deal with it.

    Same when I'm at home in the US. We have a large family and I'm the only PB one so I have to make allowances but like you said, the amount of "bad stuff" I eat is so small that I don't lose any sleep over it.
    Randal
    AKA: Texas Grok

    Originally posted by texas.grok
    Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
    http://hardcoremind.com/

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    • #3
      I'm new to this so I haven't had a chance to reach "100% pure, perfect primal-ness," but for the long haul I'm sure everybody has to make their own allowances for PB to work for them.

      Right now as a week 2 newbie, I'm having a hard time saying good-bye to my beloved legumes, so I'm finishing them off and *thinking* a lot about how life could be without them. Grains, OTOH, were no sweat. Dairy is another love of mine, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, cream in my coffee..... Many people give up dairy completely, and I may, but this morning I have a hard time considering a life without a bit of dairy.

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      • #4
        Me! Me! Pick me!

        Right off the bat, I knew there was no way I could do grass-fed or organic, so I'm doing the best I can anyway. Then I decided that rather than using the 80/20 rule for things like ice cream or cheesecake, I'd go 95/5 and use my 5% for condiments and things I have little to no control over.

        Yesterday, I ate totally primal except for about 1/4 cup of ketchup, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce on top of my meatloaf. Then there was the small glob of bbq sauce DH put on top of it because it was a bit dry
        Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

        F/49/5'4"
        Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
        CW: 146.8 lbs
        GW 140 lbs
        A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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        • #5
          Originally posted by belinda View Post
          Then I decided that rather than using the 80/20 rule for things like ice cream or cheesecake, I'd go 95/5 and use my 5% for condiments and things I have little to no control over.
          That's exactly how I view it too. I guess in one way it was easy for me, because I hardly ever ate pasta, pizza, bread, cakes or pastries even before going Primal, so once I dealt with my (serious) sugar addiction, the only things I had to "give up" were hamburger buns and hot dog buns. The "bad stuff" never made up a significant part of my diet (except the soda and candy, which I'm now off), so I don't really feel the need to "cheat" with "forbidden food" anyway.

          In a way, my way of eating was "mostly Primal" with tons of sugar, now it's just "mostly Primal".
          Norak's Primal Journal:
          2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
          2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
          2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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          • #6
            I'm with you, too. I don't sweat the condiments much. I avoid most sugar and wheat, but am not stressed about the tiny bit in Japanese-style soy sauce, the only kind that tastes good with sushi. I still use some dairy, mainly butter, really good cheese on occasion, artificially sweetened yogurt if I need a sweet fix. I can rationalize all the "evils" of 0% yogurt, but I figure it's my 5%. I still use about 4-5 pieces of fruit a week, usually in lunches.

            I did the Whole 30 Challenge in April, where I did have to stress about the details. It was annoying, although I felt fabulous on it. I guess I have to find the tipping point between the fabulousness and the annoyance. And then live there.

            Right now, losing the sugar and grain products and 99% of the processed crap is a huge step up in overall intake. I try not to stress about the rest.

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            • #7
              I don't sweat it. I don't sweat the small stuff. Not only am I a pragmatic primal, but I am also morally pragmatic.

              I think, do you agree? that cutting out the bread and sugar, that's really much of the battle, then you have some room there, to wiggle.

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              • #8
                You can only tread your own path.
                No point worrying a out 'failing' at this grok life. You are where you are and it's OK.
                Hence my pb moniker.... almostGrok'd.

                infinte love & gratitude!!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dado View Post
                  I think, do you agree? that cutting out the bread and sugar, that's really much of the battle, then you have some room there, to wiggle.
                  Yeah. That's what I think too. If you eliminate 95% of the bad stuff, the last 5% isn't going to matter (unless you are allergic or intolerant, of course), so there's no point in obsessing over it.

                  I'm glad to see there are some other pragmatic people here as well, because the forum sure is full of threads with "holy" discussions and heated debates over principles and theories...
                  Norak's Primal Journal:
                  2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                  2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                  2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone but I just had a piece of bread with my lunch. If this gets out, they may take away my loin cloth.
                    Randal
                    AKA: Texas Grok

                    Originally posted by texas.grok
                    Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
                    http://hardcoremind.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Primal is what Mark says it is. And Mark is a pragmatist. He says so. The 80/20 principle is an important part of primal.

                      I have to pretty much avoid wheat and gluten because they make me sick. However, if I go to an oriental restaurant, I don't sweat the soy sauce and it doesn't seem to be a problem. I do avoid sugar when I can. I pretty completely avoid processed foods.

                      I eat dairy, legumes, potatoes and some rice . . . because I am not willing to give them up. I am doing quite well. Would I be a bit healthier if I gave them up? Maybe. But I'm not going to find out.
                      Ancestral Health Info

                      I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

                      Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
                        Primal is what Mark says it is. And Mark is a pragmatist. He says so. The 80/20 principle is an important part of primal.
                        I agree, but from most of what I've read here so far, people seem to be using the 80/20 principle in the context of "I eat ice cream once a week" or "I have a <favorite pastry/pizza/pasta/burger> 2-3 times a month", not "I don't have cheat meals or carby snacks, but I eat gravy with corn starch regularly and my breakfast sausages contain wheat flour and milk."

                        Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
                        I have to pretty much avoid wheat and gluten because they make me sick. However, if I go to an oriental restaurant, I don't sweat the soy sauce and it doesn't seem to be a problem. I do avoid sugar when I can. I pretty completely avoid processed foods.
                        I try to avoid processed foods as much as I can, not because I'm holy against it, but I simply find that "real" food tastes much better. However, for some types of food, like condiments and sauces, I just can't be bothered to make my own (also, it's not always practical to do so). Say I order a burger at a diner, I'll throw away the buns, but I'm not gonna bother with scraping off the Thousand Island dressing.
                        Last edited by norak; 05-16-2011, 05:50 AM.
                        Norak's Primal Journal:
                        2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                        2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                        2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by texas.grok View Post
                          Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone but I just had a piece of bread with my lunch. If this gets out, they may take away my loin cloth.
                          LOL! Excuse me while I go start a thread to tattle on you!

                          I am most definitely a pragmatic PB'er. I am no good at extremism. I have eliminated 90% of the sugar and grains from my diet, and I feel great. I figure as long as I am losing weight and achieving my goals, it's all good.
                          cj

                          height: 5' 10 1/2"
                          2/20/11: 210
                          9/19/11: 185.5
                          goal: #170

                          "Decide what to be, and go be it."

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                          • #14
                            I'm the same. I don't think the spoonful of cornstarch and soy sauce in my otherwise 100% primal (home-cooked) Chinese stir-fry or the tiny bit of HFCS in the ketchup I eat once or twice a week will kill me I think it's pretty much impossible to be 100% primal if you enjoy traveling, eating out or having a social life.
                            My food blog, with many PB-friendly recipes

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                            • #15
                              I'm pretty pragmatic when it comes to my diet. I'm paleo (with dairy) when I'm at home, but if I'm out don't let my dietary restrictions get in the way. I've become increasingly strict with paleo eats though over time. Don't think I'll ever become one of those "radical fundamentalist" cavemen, screaming eternal damnation and disease if a drop of soy sauce touches someone's tongue.

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