Is following a partly Paleo diet the way to go? Are weekend ‘cheat’ meals acceptable? Can being 85% Paleo work?
I really don’t recommend it. I understand the value of the concept, though. If you’re brand new to Paleo and the idea of never having pizza or a baguette or ice cream again, ever, is making you think twice about even trying Paleo, it does make sense that in order to placate your mind and the emotional component of eating that the idea of sometimes eating a non Paleo food or entire meal would, indeed, seem somewhat comforting.
But there’s a caveat.
Let’s use gluten as the sneaky little toxin that it is, for argument’s sake in the following example.
Most of us, even those who are skeptical about Paleo, can at least acknowledge that gluten does a lot of harm. Fair enough statement? Even if you’re like me, and do not have Celiac disease, but have a strong intolerance to it, you can recognize the discomfort it causes even in very small doses.
If you’ve already deduced that when you have something that contains gluten, you get a bellyache, or your skin breaks out, or your joints hurt, you can put two and two together and see how clear the cause and effect nature of eating gluten is.
Understandably, it’s less noticeable when you have not made the correlation between how you feel and what you ate, but science shows what’s still going on, nonetheless.
So then, if you know gluten wreaks havoc on the GI tract and consequently on the whole body, period, you must acknowledge that even a little bit is not a good idea.
At the same time, if you’re someone who used to visit fast food restaurants often and hardly ever ate anything green and leafy then, yes, eating an 85% Paleo diet is far better and healthier than a not-at-all Paleo diet.
I do strongly encourage people to at least try being completely Paleo for a couple of months, though, just to fully experience how very good you can feel. More often than not, when people do this, and then reintroduce old favorites, their bodies have gotten reconditioned to clean, fresh foods and what used to be a go-to treat becomes too sweet, too salty or too nauseating.
Give full Paleo a try. We all have to do our own trouble shooting and see what works and what doesn’t. By going 100% Paleo for just a month or two, you’re starting with a clean slate, in effect, and you will be better equipped to see how you personally respond to different foods.
If you find that if you eat dairy now and then, and it causes you to feel congested, bloated and gassy, but you honestly feel it’s ‘worth it’ to eat that ice-cream sundae, that’s your call. You always have a choice.
I’m simply stating that I don’t advocate doing anything that you know is going to make you feel less than great!
Just eat food! Real food. Paleo food.