[QUOTE=Leida;1100697]I do not think I am Primal because, yes, I have read Mark's articles, and I am pretty sure that Primal concept is low carb unless you are a competitive athlete. He very clearly states that if you only lift like 3 times a week and do a bit of cardio, you should be below 100 g carb. I am that level of activity. I eat over 100 carbs a day.
Secondly, I gave up the war on the artificial sweeteners. I like gum, I have like 5-7 sticks a day, and would have a diet drink too once in a while.
Thirdly, I eat grains and do not think the non-processed grains are evil.
I am the closest to the high carb paleo, the Perfect Health Diet, but I do dairy, and sweeteners, and spices, and salt and whatever else that is forbidden by various Paleo. Heck, I even use soy sauce if I feel like it. I eliminate basically nothing but processed wheat and vegetable oils.
So, no, I do not fit into any category on the paleo-primal spectrum, and I do not consider myself anything but a normal person who tries her best to not obsess about eating.[/QUOTE]
From your descriptions, you're a lot closer to 80/20 than many posters who claim to be 80/20. I don't like labels either, but you've definitely made use of a Paleo/Primal template and tailored it to yourself, which is the right thing to do.
I think it is a very individual thing. I eat with a lot of dietary restrictions these days- no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no soy, no veg oil. Closer to paleo. Eat as many carbs as I desire (without grains and sugar it is hard to get those to add up). I don't feel obsessive at all.
I felt more obsessive when tracking carbs versus just avoiding foods that make me bloat and feel like crap.
I guess, it whatever makes a person more comfortable. I am more comfortable with not calling myself anything, because I am a stickler by nature. So when I call myself Primal, I feel obliged to follow the rules, and get pushed into the psychological conflict over an apple, that inevitably leads to overeating on the 'approved' foods with a crappy net result. Other people feel more comfortable with having a name to their WOE even if they bend the rules, and they would argue that they are doing it right, customizing it, etc. Whatever floats each person's boat.
I also have a level of discomfort I am willing to accept for eating a specific food. A touch of a bloat after eating cabbage is not gonna stop me from enjoying cabbages. I am not going do GAPS because I farted three times. And I am gonna still eat honey and be philosophical about the few zits popping up once in a while.
I still approach my eats "in the moment" if I'm cooking something, 98% of the time it's paleo/primal compliant. It's just how I prefer to eat. I love animal protein, and I've come to really like vegetables. I grew up eating animals with rice, but I know that when I visit my parents (once a week) I will be eating rice with them, so when I cook for myself I don't make it. I take the time I cook for myself to make sure I'm eating nutritiously.
When I don't have as much control over the food I just try to make good choices. I get food from Chipotle pretty often (once/twice a week) because they have better ingredients and they're so skimpy on their rice servings now that it doesn't bother me. I go to starbucks and get black coffee and add some half and half to it, sometimes, but very rarely, I'll add a little sugar or get a mocha latte drink (sweetened with choc syrup). I don't feel bad, but I KNOW it's not ideal - but I don't care that much. I don't stress about diet almost at all. I try to keep grains/oils/sugars to a minimum, but I end up eating them usually in social settings only.
I just try to make good decisions most often than not, in every aspect of my life, but I understand that I can't be perfect.
I think the OP has other issues to figure out. If eating more liberally helps you, who are we to say otherwise. However, don't just take what you've learned and toss it - apply it when you can. That's what knowledge is there for.
I think that one part of primal that is confusing is the vagueness and some mixed messages. The 20% alone is confusing. If I ate 20% junk food, I'd never lose weight. Or is it 20% including non-grassfed beef? Or 20% that accounts for not getting a full night's sleep? Or 20% related to the paleo muffins I made?
The carb thing is confusing. The "optimal" carbs require you to eat fruit and starchy veggies to hit those numbers (50-100 grams). Yet then he is iffy about anyone but athletes eating starchy veggies and fruits.
Honestly... I feel like he didn't actually think that out all that well (the carb thing). That said, for me, eliminating the soy, the oils, the grains, the sugar and allowing myself fats and protein have been a huge improvement to my life.
I think common sense gets lost sometimes when people want to follow something. I think emphasis should be placed on avoiding poisons more so than on eating the most "optimal" things all the time. Then that baked potato doesn't have to become this moral dilemma.
[QUOTE]I think emphasis should be placed on avoiding poisons more so than on eating the most "optimal" things all the time. Then that baked potato doesn't have to become this moral dilemma. [/QUOTE]
However, weightloss is a different beast than healthy eating. It's easy to avoid poisons. Much harder to craft a diet to lose the last 20 or 30 lbs. That's when "optimal" does count and regular consumption of certain foods may make weightloss harder for people, be it because that food creates cravings, slows a metabolism or doesn't provide enough satiety for the calories. It's not so much about "morals" and more about how much you want to lose the last 20 lbs. :) I could go for a paleo blueberry muffin right now. Nothing toxic or bad about that, but when I eat those things with too much regularity, I don't lose weight. It does bring to mind- is the last bit of weight loss worth it? You have to balance that out for yourself.
I think Chaco said it very well earlier in this thread. No matter how closely you actually adhere to the guidelines, you are at least aware of them now and buy into the idea of optimizing your diet in particular ways. You're operating with PB principles (loosely, at least, depending on personal opinions / research) as a background regardless of the diet you actually eat.
I have my own laundry list of non-Primal things I enjoy, but I call what I do primal (except that I would never actually call it that to someone's face! :) ) because PB principles inform the choices I make. As long as it feels consistent to you, do whatever thing you please.
Mark had a post recently where he said he didn't understand where anybody got the idea that the Primal Blueprint was a high fat, gorge on all the fat you can eat, low carb diet. He said that you can eat carbs if you are active. The only problem then is that he defined active as being fairly extreme, whereas lifting weights and walking most of the time he didn't consider active enough to eat potatoes and starchy things. I think that was a mistake on his part.
Mark's message IS a little confusing. Hopefully he is part way toward re-examining his message, maybe altering it a little. I have no doubt that low carb can help a lot of people (carbs make some fat people fat, but they don't make thin people fat). I also have no doubt that eating lots of starchy roots and tubers is fine for most people, even people who aren't extremely active.
Anyway, to the OP, if you didn't find cutting out grains and crappy vegetable oils to suit you, then rock on.
Primal is mostly about HEALTH and happiness. Optimal body weight isn't necessarily thin. It's probably not obese, though.
The 80/20 thing means don't stress. Follow the guidelines, don't be obsessive. Do what you can. It's important.
Some people who are already insulin resistant have a health problem that can be addressed majorly through diet. Many people are NOT insulin resistant and will do great if they just switched from processed to whole carbs (junk to fruit/starch).
It is not one size fits all, it is not a magic bullet. I feel bad for the people who are so upset by it. It's great.