I think a lot of you make excellent points.
I maybe have to re evaluate my position regarding the 20%. It is worth adding that although I allow myself a couple of non primal meals a week, I always try to avoid certain foods that I know I don't react well with - mainly gluten foods. Pizza is my downfall but I am looking into Meatza :D
Whenever I eat non primal I always try to make a primal choice (if that makes any sense). I guess it comes down to the fact that a couple of nights a week after training I just like to have a treat - maybe I should look into structuring this in a primal way though?
Thanks for any comments. It is all a learning curve for me at the end of the day as it will be until the day I die!
I am a firm believer that once a person tried Meatzza, pizza fails to impress any more. I hate pizzas (I tried making my own on CW, it was a bit better, but still I can't see the appeal), lasagnas and other pasta-based dishes smothered in that horrid combo of cheese and tomato sauce, but I love Meatzzas!
I don't structure my 20%, but I feel terrible when I eat gluten, so even my 20% is gluten-free. If I want pizza as a treat, I get gluten-free pizza. Our local pizzeria uses a wonderful GF crust from a local bakery and even sources local/organic/grass-fed ingredients, so it's a near-Primal treat. Domino's GF crust is surprisingly good, the ingredients are pretty simple (stuff like rice and potato flour). You have to ask for it, but the hearty marinara sauce uses olive oil as opposed to soybean oil in the regular sauce, it also has a lot of pureed veggies in it. My other 20% treats are things like rice, potatoes, chocolate, etc. I realized that I maintain my weight when I incorporate these things too regularly. While that's perfect for you, I still have some weight to lose, so I need to drop them.
Man, this thread has me wanting pizza now, and I'm trying not to cheat this month! Wonder if a tapioca flour crust would be considered Primal enough...
I'd say I'm 95%/5% and I find I have no urges to cheat.
My 5% comes on annual vacations, business trips, and social gatherings. I will gladly enjoy a cheat meal if it's a GREAT meal. Never just to eat something crappy just for the sake of eating it.
I never aim for my "20%"
I do have days where I have a dessert with my husband... a small portion of decadent, premium full fat icecream with real sugar. Or some such treat... A slice of pretty darn close to "primal" cheesecake...
It's a splurge for me...
But I never consciously shoot for getting to my 20%.
I think the idea was to Aim for 100% then the 20% was for the little things life throws at you so you can relax and enjoy life.
Actually... that's pretty much exactly what it says in the book right?
The thing is, the longer you do this... or at least the longer I've done it... the less those "treats" appeal.
The crappy oils taste like CRAP, they even start to smell awful if you are in a restaurant that fries a lot. :(
The chemistry experiments start to make you feel crappy...
Eating clean just feels better.
I sound like a weirdo even to me... I'll stop now.
I get confused about something. A lot of people talk like the 20% is just food. I take into account not sleeping enough, exercise (or lack of), sun exposure (or lack of), and diet. I am quite strict on my diet, but can be fairly lax in the other areas so I don't feel like I can really take 20% in food indulgences alone. I don't really want to anyway, but is this the correct way to look at it? Or is it somewhat relative?
The 20% thing isn't literally about programming one fifth of your food as non paleo/primal. It's more like a kinda bottom line or a way of looking at what's good enough in a practical sense. I don't get the concept of 80/20 other than if life gets in the way it allows us to weigh up the emotional/health/social cost and if required, to just go with it without beating ourselves up.
I save it mostly for social situations, if I'm served a meal at a friends house I'm not going to stress over the occasional dessert or glass of wine. When I'm at home I don't touch anything not primal, generally.
At this point, I'm going to have to structure my 20%. If I don't cheat in a controlled manner, I'll cheat in an uncontrolled manner, like raiding my emergency storage at night for packets of Swiss Miss. Bad girl! So here's my 20% plan:
Breakfast non-primal: 1 scoop whey powder in the smoothie.
Lunch non-primal: 1-2 ounces 85% fair-trade chocolate
Dinner non-primal: [URL="http://www.jonesdairyfarm.com/All-Natural-Golden-Brown-Mild-Pork-Sausage-Links-7-oz--P48C9.aspx"]3 Jones pork sausages [/URL]<-- might be mostly primal since the ingrediants are "pork, water, salt, spices, sugar." no gluten, nitrates, or MSG.
I have bG issues, and had noted several years before I started on insulin that a bad cheat meal, like pizza or pasta, screwed my bG up for 2-3 days. So weekly always seemed way too often to me to cheat. I set aside one day/month, usually saved for a social occasion, to be able to eat with friends or family without it being complicated for them. Also, I found it easier to "postpone" something I was craving than to think I could never have it again, so my monthly cheat kept me "good" the other 29 days.
That being said, I'm currently on GAPS and am being really strict, and intend to keep being really strict, as the intention is healing a gut and dealing with food allergies/intolerances. But there's also a built-in temporary notion to GAPS, when you come off it, you eat mostly WAPF-style, with occasional cheats.
To my mind, the 80/20 rule is to keep a LIFESTYLE change going. When you're in the emergency room and starved and there's nothing but a vending machine, when a well-meaning relative presents you with a chemical-laden sugar-free cake, when you have a job interview over lunch and don't want to be "weird" - the 20% leaves room for life stuff that doesn't fit, cause... well, most of the world doesn't eat right, so it's mostly full of crap food.