Not Craving Anything…
And I do not have super human will power. However, I have been asked this very question on much more than one occasion.
“Nell, what is your one cheat food?” or “Nell, how often do you go off the Paleo wagon?” and “Nell, what do you do when you have one of those sugar cravings?” are typical inquires I get from blog readers and clients alike, particularly those who are either considering trying Paleo or are in the very early, and sometimes skeptical stages.
When I explain that I’ve been Paleo since 2005 and I don’t do cheat meals, let alone cheat days, the response is often either a jaw-dropped stupor or a head-tilted look of disbelief.
Yes, I definitely went through a day or two of feeling considerably less than optimal back when I first began following the Paleo diet, but luckily, I’d already read the first two of Dr. Cordain’s books, so I knew that this was a brief phase to be expected and that it should be rather transient.
If you consider yourself to be a sugar addict and you’ve given it up cold-turkey before, that would be a good comparison. It may be difficult, but it’s only difficult for a very brief time.
As far as longevity with following a Paleo Lifestyle, the longer you sustain it, the easier it gets. If you’re eating properly, as in meals consisting of the balanced Paleo macro nutrient ratio, eaten evenly throughout the day and well timed with regard to exercise, you’ll experience steady energy levels without blood sugar surges and crashed. This sets you up to continue making rationale food choices, rather than if you were to wait too long before eating, crash and then put yourself in a situation where a sugary coffee drink and a cookie seem like a good idea.
For me, once I learned that a latent allergy to gluten had been the cause of years and years of stomach distress, and I associated feeling horrible with ingesting gluten, the idea of eating anything with gluten in it became completely repulsive.
I used this analogy today with a blog reader:
It’s like a case of having food poisoning from a restaurant and knowing it was that piece of fish you ate that wasn’t quite right that makes your stomach turn at the mere thought of ever eating that dish from that restaurant again.
Identify the culprit, remove it, feel great. Then, perhaps test it again to make sure, validate your hypothesis and then, at the very least, you’ll know what you’d be in for, if you chose to eat that food again.
So many of use are mildly to extremely allergic not just to gluten, but also to soy and to dairy and to peanuts and many other foods that are simply not naturally part of the Paleo diet, and as such, not foods we are supposed to be eating.
Do yourself a favor and give it a try.
Wouldn’t it be nice to find out early that a certain food does not suit you well and cut it out now, rather than to continue eating it blindly and then find you’ve developed leaky gut, or Crohn’s, or colitis, or acne, or joint pain or chronic fatigue or rosacea or…
OK, I’ll stop.
See where this is going?