The Paleo community sometimes gets a lot of flack. There are skeptics who think we’re all too restrictive, we’re crazy, we’re misinformed. At the same time, there’s a lot of pressure from within the community at times. From lashing out at one blogger for using a non-stick skillet to berating others for choosing gluten free over strict paleo, there are always people out there ready and willing to point out another’s flaws.
As a result, I’m going to make sure this is entirely clear.
I’m not perfect paleo.
A huge part of my health is mental health. Trying to be strict, perfect paleo 100% of the time would drive me crazy – no going out for dinner with my new husband, no enjoying a drink with friends, no more enjoying some of my favorite foods and restaurants. I tried to make that all very clear by expressing in my About Me that I like pizza and beer – hell, I got married at a pizzeria.
In my experience (autoimmune disease free), my body is healthy enough to handle the occasional non-paleo meal. Sure, I might have some gut discomfort afterwards, but it’s not as if I’m going to drop dead the minute some gluten or dairy touches my tongue. I think constantly stressing about my food or depriving myself of some of the social aspects of food would be worse for my health. Being a perfectionist, in my opinion, leads to orthorexic thinking and behavior.
I still tell people I eat paleo. This blog is still Do You Even Paleo. (For now. I’ve admittedly thought about changing the blog name just because the label sometimes rubs me the wrong way.)
I want to get this out into the open. If you’ve finished a Whole30, 21DSD, or other challenge to try and refresh your relationship with food, there’s no reason to give up “paleo” because you don’t want to eat this way 100% of the time.
I choose to eat paleo most of the time. But I also choose not to eat paleo at times. It’s my choice to make—and amazingly, I still feel confident about a paleo lifestyle when a bit of sugar touches my tongue.
Some of the biggest names in paleo get it. They eat white rice or white potatoes, drink alcohol sparingly, eat cane sugar on occasion. But they’re still paleo, and they still believe in this lifestyle. Because that’s what it is. A lifestyle. Not a strict diet you have to adhere to. It’s a shift in the way you think about food—refocusing on healthy, nourishing foods…but still living your life and enjoying some of the not-so-nourishing yet delicious foods, too.
So no. I’m not perfect paleo. I don’t want to be.
I’d rather live my life, paleo style…but not restricted by a set of rules governed by the nonexistent paleo police.