I originally started writing this post a few months ago, and got really side-tracked with grad school starting, the gym getting swamped and just in general, way too many things on my plate at once. So I picked it back up and here we go:
“So some of you that I’ve talked with in the gym lately know that I took a very determined and purposeful jaunt off the beaten Paleo path back into non-Paleo land for almost 2 months. I binged and ate anything and everything I wanted, all the things that I normally don’t allow myself. I loved every minute of it. My ass and thighs gained a pound or two, not because I wasn’t eating Paleo, but because I was carbing it up and indulging. I am perfectly okay with that.
One thing I need to state first though, is that I purposefully did this and I purposefully decided that I was not going to feel bad or guilty about it for even a second. That is what made it possible and enjoyable. Why have a huge cheat only to feel bad about it? The purpose of a nutritional indiscretion is that you are letting yourself have something that you normally don’t for the sake of your sanity.
Now for the point of this post: get over yourself. Don’t take this personally, I say it to all of us collectively, including myself. If you walk around talking about Paleo-this and Paleo-that and worrying about whether potatoes are truly Paleo and that the black beans in the dip your co-worker made will send your soul to eternal non-primal purgatory, you need to get a life. Eating a Paleo diet is great, and for many of us, medically necessary. I fully endorse it and in no way do I want you to think that I am at all anti-Paleo.
But, during my absence from eating Paleo and blogging about it for my members and clients, I took some time to step back and look objectively at the Paleo community, and by association, the CrossFit community. One of the things that drove me mad was the amount of self-righteous bullshit I saw every day from the followers of this lifestyle: the people on my FB friends list that literally post every single thing they eat all day with pictures and then attack the non-Paleo eaters and make them feel bad about eating non-grassfed beef. Don’t be that guy. Then there are the chicks who go around giving seminars about why everyone needs to be Paleo and there is absolutely no other choice. If you’re not Paleo, you’re going to contract cancer tomorrow and die within the week.
You know what I learned? Eat some damn grains and sugar once in a while. Its not ‘good’ for you, but its good for you, if you catch my drift. It will remind you why you eat clean in the first place and it will let the rest of us know that you are actually human, instead of some repetitious dogma regurgitating robot that has a degree in oh, I don’t know English, Business, Sports medicine, Engineering, etc etc, but nothing nutritionally related at all, yet you are still an expert.
If you go to the grocery store down the street from me at just the right time, you might be able to witness me buying a box of cookies or a jar of (*gasp*) ketchup that’s full of sugar and definitely not organic. Guess what? I have a couple friends I’d like you to meet. Their names are ‘Who cares?’ and ‘I don’t give a shit.’
Before this turns into too much of a rant, I want to leave my readers with some encouragement. Eating a Paleo diet and following a primal lifestyle in a decidedly non-primal world is tough. REALLY tough. You have to be motivated. And maybe a little obsessive about things at times in order to stay on track. I figure if I eat the good stuff 85-90% of the time and the rest is just the good stuff that I don’t eat too often, I’m still doing better than 99.9% of America. Don’t let a day of cheat foods derail your efforts. Where a lot of us go wrong is we have a bad day and say ‘Well I f’d that up, so I might as well keeping f-ing it up and get fat again.’ In reality, just start again the next day. Write down everything you eat and enter it into an online diet tracker or a smart phone app if you need to. Share it with someone. Email it to me for all I care. Hold yourself accountable and let yourself have a reward every once in a while.”
In closing, here’s a great super easy recipe that you can make for a sweet cap to your dinner and it takes very little time and effort. It also uses the constantly in-your-face fall staple: apples. You can buy them by the bag at any local grocery store and many of us wonder…what can I do with bags of apples? Here you go:
Easy Baked Cinnamon Apples (and Cream, if you’re not a huge dairy-phobe)
Apples (however many you want)
Cinnamon (again, however much you want)
Butter, probably 2-3 Tbsp
optional: heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Core and slice the apples to the thickness you want (quarters, eighths)
3. Melt the butter in a glass baking dish
4. Coat each apple slice in the melted butter in the dish and sprinkle cinnamon over the slices.
5. Bake about 20 minutes.
6. Add heavy cream ( just a few tablespoons)
*optional, you can peel the apples, but I like to leave the peels on, they’re a little tart and they’re a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as some other nutrients that you won’t get in just the meat of the apple