Sensible Vices: Round 2

Sensible VicesWhat can we say? We love our vices: those delightful, scrumptious, indulgent little morsels of gratifying transgression. O.K., this isn’t really how we look at it, but it’s kind of fun (and relatively harmless) to linger for a moment in imagined decadence.

In reality, our vices are simply healthy pleasures, satisfying and rather sensible indulgences. More Tom Hanks than Steve McQueen. More Jane Austen than Candace Bushnell. (Whatever floats your boat – you get our meaning.) The point is, these are vices that come without the guilt. What a deal! 100% satisfaction with no self-imposed penitence. Sign us up!

Fat, Fat, and More Fat


Doesn’t it feel good just to say it?? “What are you going to crave when the carbs are all gone?” people ask. “What is there to enjoy in life anymore?” Simple answer in our minds. Butter. Bacon – those chewy, salty strips of heaven! Oils of all flavors from the tangy to the spicy and savory. Sweet cream, rich nut butters… Well, you get the idea.

Don’t you love the look on peoples’ faces when you say that? Without the carbs throwing your body into havoc, you can indulge in whatever variety fat you like (minus the trans and interesterified, of course). Just make sure they’re stored and “prepared” properly. No heating the polyunsaturated fats, please!

Mid-Day Nap


Anyone recall nap mats from preschool/kindergarten? About 1:00 or so, the teacher would put on some soft, relaxing music, dim the lights, and instruct all the children to lay quietly. Those were the days!

Now we find ourselves in the office or plant, on the road, or at home juggling kids or work throughout the afternoon. Isn’t it time somebody called a siesta?! Research has found that naps enhance memory and reduce the chance of coronary-related death. Even the anticipation of an afternoon snooze is enough to lower blood pressure in study subjects.

Those of us who work at home might have a little easier time “organizing our day” to catch a few zzzs now and then, but those of us whose professions bring us to the office, factory, work site or “traveling office” might have a harder time of it. Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be great to start a petition around the workplace?



So, the petition got canned (or maybe you did after sending it around). Did you know tequila, as well as a number of other spirits, have zero carbs? Whoa! Yesiree, Bob! Just because you’re going primal doesn’t mean you have to live in the stone age when it comes to the after-work cocktail. Once again, indulgence in real quality pays. When it comes to tequila, go for 100% Agave.

We think tequila is best enjoyed straight up with some fresh lime, but check out this article for some zero and low carb mixed drink options for tequila and other spirits. And, we would be sorely negligent if we didn’t advise moderation for nutritional sake among “other” reasons. Ever heard (or perhaps had the misfortune of experiencing) “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, Floor!”?

Skip Your Workout


Of course, we’re fitness freaks, gym rats, you name it. But sometimes the body has its own agenda, and we’re better off listening to it. For a variety of reasons, the body can sometimes just feel drained, drowsy or simply bushed. Everybody needs a break once in a while, and physical recovery is important.

And sometimes life just happens on the way to the gym. Your daughter’s college visit trip, that last-minute meeting with a client, the major plumbing issue that requires your attention (and waiting presence for a 4-6 hour window): As long as “there will always be tomorrow” doesn’t become “there will always be next month,” you shouldn’t beat yourself up over missing a session in a regular workout routine. You’ll go back with a fresh muscles and motivation.



While we aren’t diehard fans of all dairy, “the power of the cheese” is right on. However, we do believe in skipping the weirdo processed stuff reminiscent of school lunches. Play it snooty and go for the good, aged stuff. Not only is aged cheese a fermented food, it contains little to no lactose.

It’s also got good fat (see #1), essential nutrients, and a wallop of protein. But this will all be mere peripheral chatter once you’re actually enjoying. The satisfaction surpasses all of the above.

(Side Tip: For those interested in dipping their toe in the raw arena, try a good raw [non-pasteurized] import or local specialty.)

The Caveat

There’s always one. Whatever your “vices”, be sure they’re not self-destructive. Drugs, alcohol, days off and rich foods can quickly derail your health and your life, so choose smart.

Comments? Additions? Share your thoughts on these and other sensible vices.

PinkMoose, In Praise of Sardines, arbyreed,, nicholaslaughlin Flickr Photos

Further Reading:

The Original Sensible Vices

The Art of Compromise

How to Eat More Chocolate and Drink More Wine Every Day

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24 thoughts on “Sensible Vices: Round 2”

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  1. I’ve heard tell that napping is best done in under an hour (power nap? Is that an oxymoron?). Apparently an hour and a half or more of nap leaves one even more tired out.

    Also, great way to combine alcohol and cheese is Fondue! Just use veggies and chunks of meat instead of bread.

    1. People laugh at me for taking 3 hour naps, but they don’t leave me more tired out, no! The 3 hour nap leaves me ready to party!

  2. Mmm…tequila. Have you hugged your toilet today?

    Don’t forget dark chocolate! I love a couple squares of Lindt 85% chocolate with a glass of wine. It’s heavenly, low-carb, and not exactly unhealthful.

    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

  3. I fully agree that every office in America, no, the WORLD should have a 1pm nap time. Think of it; right after lunch time your boss comes out of his cave and and throws a few really comfortable sleep time mats on the floor and we all go to sleep for 1 hour. I genuinely believe everyone in the office would be 1000 times more productive and 1100 times nicer. It’s good to know too that tequila is apart of the primal diet as well.

  4. Ah, such a good list. I eat butter straight, and I have a batch of homemade goat cheese aging on my counter right now (my first attempt!). Naps are delightful (as are napping kittens). It was indulgent just to read this list.

    Food Is Love

  5. Huckleberry-
    Do you make your own butter? Try Kerrygold Irish Butter.

    That reminds me of kindergarten. We had mats and were suppossed to take a nap after snack time. Yeah right.

  6. Crystal,

    I have made my own butter before, but don’t do it regularly. Is Kerrygold from pastured cows? I bought the Organic Valley special pastured butter already once this season and it was tasty.

    Food Is Love

  7. Great news about Tequila. Even a 20min nap is a great rejuvenator. Right now my body has its on agenda, and I’ll take the time off to restructure my work outs and start fresh when I get feel better in a few days.

  8. Scott,

    I think that we may be kindred spirits. I read your blog each day and I was just about to share my “vice.” I have it about 4-5 nights per week and it includes – you guessed it – Lindt 85% dark chocolate with about 4 oz of red wine. Simply divine.

    My other “vice”. A double shot of espresso in the morning. Rich, creamy and heavenly. No need for anything else.

  9. I can testify to the validity of the tequila, but not the poetry.

    Drinking 100% pure agave will not produce the floor, unless one consumes the entire bottle.

    Not being a Mixto, but pure agave does not result in the sickness or hangover tendencies exhibited by the Mixtos.

    You also do not have to spend a fortune for a quality 100% agave. Widely available is 1800.

  10. Granted, the alcohol in tequila is metabolized differently from carbohydrates (not metabolized by the glycolytic pathway like glucose), but it is usually included under the general category of carbohydrates (since it can be converted to pyruvate)and actually has more kcal/g than sugar (4 vs 12.

    1. I’m guessing whatever “sweetens” the tonic is a carbless sugar substitute like splenda or sweet n low. distilled liquors don’t have carbs, but they do have calories.

      it would be the same as saying this steak has 400 calories but zero carbs.

      Gin has no carbs, diet tonic has no carbs, so the mixed drink doesn’t have any.

      hope this helps!

  11. Sex was mentioned in round one but I think it deserves its own paragraph. Not that missionary style, sweet talk, lights off rubbish but that filthy, sweaty, nasty, loud kind with ripped stockings and lots of dirty talk that we all think about when masturbating. It’s calorie free and is a workout on its own.Just my opinion. By the way, sex is my main motivation for being primal and training 😀

    1. That should of course read “Good girl!”. It was the image you created in my head that got me all caveman like and distracted……

  12. “When it comes to tequila, go for 100% Agave.”

    If you’re buying “tequila” that isn’t 100% agave, it is being falsely marketed. If it isn’t agave, it isn’t tequila….

    …. that being said, coming from a frequent flyer to the Oaxaca Valley, there isn’t anything wrong with an excellent mezcal!

    1. I’ve recently returned from Vacation to Jalisco, Mexico (the State where Tequila comes from). I learned quite a bit about Tequila while there.

      According to Mexican law, tequila only needs to contain 51% ratio of Agave to be legally called tequila.

      This is why Jose Cuervo and other bottom shelf Tequila’s are so cheap, cause mean hangovers and are widely considered rotgut. They have the 51% agave, with 49% being cheaply made sugar alcohol (cheap rum).

      Unless a bottle of Tequila has “100% Agave” on the label, it is almost guaranteed to be a blend of 51% or more of distilled Agave and cheap sugar alcohol.

      As for the color of Tequila…

      If it’s brown-ish/gold and the label calls it “Gold” that too, is most likely rot gut rum/agave blend, colored with caramel coloring.

      Colored Tequila that comes with a 100% Agave statement on the label could still be colored the same way…but usually not.

      Look for the words: Reposado or Anejo.

      Reposado means it was aged in a White Oak Barrell for less than a year, Anejo means 1 year or more.

      The longer the aging, the darker the color, as the agave becomes infused with the essence of the barrell wood, just like whiskey and real, cask aged rum.

      Stick to the 100% Agave Blanco (unaged distillate), Reposado or Anejo, and you should have none of the problems associated with the cheap, rot gut 51% Agave “Tequila.”

  13. Thanks! I have a problem where I beat myself up if I ever indulge in anything, which is part of the depression and social phobia that I’ve had for more than a decade, so it’s REALLY good for me to read things like this. Also, I’ve noticed since I started eating Paleo and exercising (just walking, really) and having more sex like Elise mentioned I feel much better. The problems are still there, but I can deal with them and recognize I don’t need to feel like guilty and sad and anxious all the time. Yea for enjoying life! I’ve actually been so happy and energetic lately that it’s gotten a bit on people’s nerves, lol.

  14. Can anyone tell me if arrack (a coconut based alcohol) has carbs? We drink quite a bit of the stuff here in Sri Lanka.

    Also, since alcohol is a form of sugar, and a paleo diet tries to avoid sugar (as I understand), why is it supposed to be good for you in the first place?


  15. I am an IPA man. That is my vice. I try to keep them to a minimum but I am not on a rigid schedule.

    I just try to limit other grains, and eat as healthy as possible.

  16. And who could forget Robb Wolf’s NorCal Margarita?

    Thanks Jen Dubya for posting this on your blog…

    2 shots of 100% agave tequila
    Juice and pulp from one lime
    Soda Water, to taste

    The lime pulp and juice are mixed first, then add the ice and soda water!

  17. Just wanted to mention I think Mary Jane should be mentioned. Too many benefits to mention, plus new reports that it may help reverse some types of cancer…even lung! Go figure.

    1. I would just mention that ingesting and vaporizing would be the preferred method. All of the benefits of MJ and none of the drawbacks of smoking