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The 20% Feelgood Thread

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  • The 20% Feelgood Thread

    I can think of nothing outside of religion itself that inspires such full-on religious zealotry as success with a diet does. Even professional sports can't quite compare. There's no doubt that the atmosphere of the forum lately has been getting more intense as people go to extremes to get the body they want (ie. 100% carnivorism) and the ensuing debates erupt. I feel I've got nothing worthwhile left to contribute to any discussions here since the kinds of discussions going on seem to require degrees in biology.

    So I'd like to take things back a notch and re-embrace a crucial component of the Primal Blueprint which is that "20%" that is our security blanket/safety net/de-stressing zone/what have you.

    Winter is setting in, which means a fitness buddy is more important than ever to keep up that motivation. The thought of going out at dawn for sprints and then a nice long walk is not appealing at all at this time of year. As for me, I have no fitness buddy. I'm stuck living at home and going nowhere thanks to stupid choices in university and the nature of the city in which I live. So I've decided not to stress about my body at all over the holidays. I'll do my Krav Maga three times a week, keep IFing and eating two meals a day mostly of meat and vegetables, do some pullups every now and then, but that's it. Neighbor invites me out for a DQ Blizzard? You bet. Buddy from Calgary comes to visit? Yes, the "Mile High Mud Pie at Montana's" tradition will live on. Christmas baking? Don't mind if I do.

    Heck, I had Rice Krispies, Kraft Dinner, and then tater tots and pork-n-beans with my ham at dinner the other day. I feel perfectly fine.

    Now, come Spring, I'll be getting into Crossfit and hopefully by that time I'll be in a better financial position to afford my own place and surround myself with health-minded people, but for the time being I'm not going to stress over it.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  • #2


    Oh I'm so excited for christmas baking. It will all be grain free, but it will contain honey, maple syrup and in some cases *gasp* refined white sugar!!!

    The more I see the less I know for sure.
    -John Lennon


    • #3

      Winter = hibernation tendencies for me! Lots of snuggling, dozing, hot mugs of coffee (though now black not milky)...

      I'm fortunate in that i work physically and outdoors. Bet I won't be saying that in January, haha!

      But Xmas?

      Yes, there will be alcohol, and sugar, and no doubt flour too. My compromise will be to eat "pre-PB" but ONLY homemade badness.

      Homemade is cheaper and nicer anyway - always has been!

      I'm aiming for damage limitation but I'll make sure I damn well enjoy every last bite of naughtiness!


      • #4

        I plan on making these in the near future as part of my 20% A friend gave me a couple his mom made and they were the best cookies ever...Mmmm

        Also, I was thinking of this earlier, of what treat I would really want to indulge on and there's nothing like the chocolate-dipped pretzels from Bernard Callebaut - so rich, even pre-PB I could only eat a few at a time and I love chocolate-covered pretzels!


        • #5

          For Thanksgiving dinner today I am going full-bore 20% - bread stuffing, gravy with flour in it, cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie with regular wheat crust. I could have striven to make it much more Primal, since I am hosting, but hell, Thanksgiving is once a year and I'm just going to live it up.

          My blog: Pretty Good Paleo
          On Twitter: @NEKLocalvore


          • #6

            @Primalchild it is all about attitude. I walk more in the evenings during the (Canadian) winter than the summer. You don't need weights because you need more clothes. The stars at night seem so much brighter in the winter. When the full moon blocks them out you can't help but enjoy the brightness of the full moon reflecting off of the snow. Who needs street lights?

            So don't let winter throw you off course... winter is 25% and officially doesn't start for another month.

            I agree with your 20% though. I gained 5 lbs over the deer hunt. I didn't beat myself up, I just got back into the 80% mode and I've lost the 5 plus two more. One bad week in Nov. though is 25%. I rest my case.

            Personally I think it is important to live each day as if it is my last... because one day I know I will be right.


            • #7

              Love that this thread was started.Staying primal is pointless if it becomes so rigid and unenjoyable.

              Come holidays, what really gets me are the xmas drinks at the cafes- hot cocoa, gingerbread and eggnog lattes. Irresistible in the cold weather. Ive prepared myself with heavy cream, cocoa powder, and coconut milk. Must find a nice eggnog recipe..yum.


              • #8

                My weekly 20% consists only of 2 or 3 servings of rice, which I soak for 2 days before cooking, and sweet potatoes on the night before weight training... Occasionally I go to a Japanese/Korean restaurant and have sushi, which I plan on doing at the end of this semester (I deserve it! lol)

                And sometime this week I'm going to make something like a banana & peanut butter fritatta (or something of the sort), and eat it with milk... I've been wanting it for so long, and it's not even too unprimal, besides the peanut butter.

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                • #9

                  I don&#39;t really leave myself much room for 20%. I have sort of an "all or nothing" personality, but I did give in today and have a bit of pie and some cookies. I think I prefer Primal foods, and I find that these little splurges only teach me how much I don&#39;t really need them anymore. I honestly don&#39;t enjoy them as much as I used to. It&#39;s sort of sad in a way. Like breaking up or losing an old friend- lol.

                  With that being said, I&#39;m looking forward to some really yummy (and Primal!) treats for Christmas. I have a fantastic nut butter brownie recipe that I&#39;m going to use to make muffins. There are also macaroons, and maybe some sweetmeats (date & nut balls). Then there&#39;s the eggnog and the mulled wine. I will be enjoying both, probably quite liberally.

                  The rest of the time I&#39;m quite content to be mostly Carnivore, and have been enjoying essentially a single daily meal. It&#39;s convenient and filling.


                  • #10

                    Primalchild - love this thread! I tend to be someone that likes to be in total control, bur having said that, what I love about primal is that if you do go off primal, you know that going back on will sort you out very quickly indeed. I don&#39;t see it as a way of life that should hamper your social life either, given that most of the people we know are CW, you can&#39;t expect everyone to lay on a 100% primal food offering. Having said that, I&#39;m not averse to saying no to some foods and asking for more flesh!

                    For me, Chanukkah is coming up, there&#39;s a bar mitzvah tomorrow and tons of food is on the horizon. Traditional feasting at this time is really not primal, but I will select the odd treat (cheesecake with the biscuity base, please!) and load up on the salmon. And I won&#39;t beat myself up about it.

                    High Five for this thread. Let&#39;s all take a step back and relax.

                    Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate!


                    • #11

                      Yeah, I must confess I have fallen victim to a Starbucks Gingerbread Latte (they only do this at Christmas, and it&#39;s yummy. And yes I went for the cream on top) and a tub of special edition Haagen Dasz Mascarpone, passion fruit and truffle ice cream (it sounded amazing).

                      I&#39;m also a member of a chocolate tasting club and get gourmet chocolates sent to me every couple of months - but on the plus side, this has made me so snobby about chocolate that I can no longer eat stuff like Snickers or Cadbury&#39;s (although I&#39;ll polish off the odd bar of Green & Blacks).

                      Actually I&#39;m pretty naughty, really.


                      • #12

                        Yesterday I ate turkey, turkey, and more turkey...with chipotle pear sauce on top, which has SUGAR in it! Dang, that stuff is good! Followed up with some COOKIES!

                        Afterwards, my loverly daughter showed me a new hiking spot at the local state park. A 25 minute walk up a steep, gravelly hill to a sort of impromptu "shrine" that somebody started among the boulders at the top of the hill; painted rocks and crockery and feathers in little piles here and there, beads hanging off the trees, and a journal in a plastic bag in which to add some profound thoughts. I think it&#39;s going to be my new favorite place for a while.


                        • #13

                          Indiscreet I&#39;ve been thinking about your snobby chocolate club a lot lately I want in! But I think I&#39;m okay with just buying a fancy 100% bar every once in a while and having that last for a month or so.

                          Thanksgiving was almost completely primal for us, though with liberal amounts of dairy And I made a "real" pumpkin pie for the hubby with a regular pastry crust and sugar and everything (he&#39;d been begging for a real one), and just did custards with the leftover filling instead of making a sugar-free dessert for myself (the wheat gives me problems). And I made whipped cream with sugar also, another request from the hubby. So I had more sugar and dairy yesterday than I have in a while, but it was delicious The turkey turned out amazing, I made green bean casserole from scratch (homemade cream of mushroom soup is to die for by the way), mashed cauliflower, and turkey gravy with no flour (just reduce the drippings until they&#39;re thick enough, and voila! gravy).

                          I don&#39;t have any plans for my 20% over the holidays, though I have been craving a holiday latte...the only thing stopping me is the gut wrenching pain I had last time I drank milk, and I will not use soy milk (gross). I had whipped cream yesterday though, and it didn&#39;t hurt...maybe a holiday breve will be okay!

                          You are what you eat,
                          and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


                          • #14

                            Great post PrimalChild. This weekend was my 20% and I have no regrets. When we ate out, I tried to keep it as primal as possible and also enjoyed small amounts of well-made dessert.

                            My mum, who is visiting us, said something yesterday that made so much sense. She&#39;s completely supportive of my diet and the sweet-heart that she is (like all mums are), she&#39;s been making Primal versions of my childhood favorites. She wanted to make these rice-flour based snacks - something I would include for my last meal - for us and I was totally against it, not because I didn&#39;t want them but because I know I would have no control over them if they were in my presence. She said, "Follow your WOE but ocassionally indulge in things that you love and practise portion control, so you don&#39;t feel deprived and then go on an all-out binge. Occasionally enjoying something you truly like is not going to kill you." So, anyway, she&#39;s making it today and I&#39;m IFing so I can eat a little bit of it this evening and not feel guilty about it. These snacks also hold a lot of nostalgia and memories for me.


                            • #15


                              I don&#39;t really leave myself much room for 20%. I have sort of an "all or nothing" personality


                              Although thinking twice, I do have a lot of diary in the form of pure cream and aged cheese, and red wine. So I can still deviate from being 100% primal without increasing my carbs that much...

                              “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                              "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull