Caught me? Caught me doing what? Eating a kitten? Was I naked? Did I have a bone punched through my nose and was I screaming oogha boogha?!
Hold on and rewind! Did I announce that I was going to reenact the past, by dressing in animal skins, living in a tree and clobbering animals for food, devoid of ANY form of modern comforts or technology? Did I state that I was hell bent on becoming that person who won’t accept dinner invitations for fear of being “poisoned” by “non paleo” foods?
I get upset when people get into a whole purist stance of what is and isn’t paleo. As if there is a Paleo bible somewhere that tells you what you may or may not eat.
Me being the type of person who has SERIOUS issues with authority, anything that suggests (never mind outright saying) that I am forbidden from doing or eating something, is going to be kicked right to the curb and never to be seen again. Just saying I cannot do something doesn’t work. I need to understand why. It is a matter of motivation through education.
Paleo to me isn’t just about food, it is a lifestyle (and no, it does not include running around scantily clothed in leather underwear). With regards to my food I choose to pursue optimal health by choosing foods I know will not:
- Give me pimples
- Make me feel hungover
- Ruin my digestive system and consequently how I absorb the foods I eat
- Get me downright depressed.
What does it mean? That after deciding to give this whole no grain, no dairy, no legumes and no sugars a shot AND after some serious tinkering and re-introducing certain foods, I now have a pretty good idea of what I can or cannot tolerate. I know what works for me and have become an expert on Carla.
This is what I know:
- Too much sugar (be it 85% chocolate, fruit or sweet potatoes) will make me unpleasantly jittery. I won’t sleep and then I will crash and burn.
- Wheat is a serious no-no. Eating any of it will leave me curled up on the floor with a major stomach ache and a destroyed digestive system.
- I can handle Milk (as long as it´s raw) on occasion and in small quantities.
- I seem to have no problems with a little white potatoes or rice every now and then.
In practice it means:
- I never eat wheat
- I will eat chocolate (even if it isn’t always 85% cocoa) and dairy as occasional treats
- I won’t pass up the opportunity to eat some good Thai food, rice and all.
I guess what I am trying to say is, doing something like a 30 day challenge is a good way to find out what works for you. See it as a way to re-set your system and set the basis to heal your body. Does it mean you need to be 100% clean (whatever that means…) ALL the time? As far as I am concerned: no.
Again, find out what works for you and consider the following:
- Do you have signs or do you suspect any auto-immune disease or inflammation? Skip the dairy, the grains and the legumes. Yep. I am afraid that is what it is.
- What are your body composition goals? Want to lose weight? Then, even if you find you can tolerate potatoes and rice, these would not be the best choice for your current goal.
Otherwise, kick up your heels a bit. Enjoy once in a while and by all means do not become neurotic and anti-social.
I for one am on my way to South Africa pretty soon and you bet that I am going to go and enjoy the delicious food at The Fat Cactus.