This tenet has to be one of my favorites- and most helpful when struggling with primal life.
When I first began a eating paleo, often at social gatherings, if I had something on my plate that was a not a raw vegetable or a piece of plain grilled meat, I would be teased with “is that paleo?!”, “that doesn’t look paleo to me…” or “cavemen wouldn’t have been able to make those almond flour cookies.” It got irritating, but wasn’t completely unexpected- I think it is hard for people to accept a way of eating that isn’t a “diet” and that completely dismisses the types of of food that many love (that are also making them sick and obese.) My only argument/response was usually that it wasn’t supposed to be eating exactly like a caveman, but adapting those principles into modern life the best I could.
It’s comforting, especially when beginning a paleo/primal journey, that it isn’t about all or nothing. Life takes us many places, and if we tried to be perfect all of the time we would potentially make ourselves crazy (like diets! Too much restriction leads to binging.) Many people try to eat 100% paleo and find that it doesn’t work for them, that sometimes they just can’t always have a snack on hand or a meal prepped that follows the primal guidelines, so they use an 80/20 rule or a 90/10 rule (80% paleo/20% incorporation of non paleo/primal foods).
For me personally, I try not give myself a strict number. My journey is about a long term change, so I try to set myself up for success, make the best choices possible when in a situation where I am not controlling the food, and don’t beat myself up when I have a “non paleo” food. I ate the same foods for years and years, so completely changing my habits and tastes might take time- and the same goes for you! Just yesterday (Valentine’s day) I had a moment of weakness and grabbed a cookie off a plate of baked goods because I wanted it. Sure I could have skipped it, but I’m human, so sometimes I do things without fully thinking. I began to feel guilty but I quickly dismissed those thoughts and moved along with my day. I bet you that about 4 years ago on Valentine’s day, one cookie was nothing- I probably spent the whole day eating over processed junk and being a total glutton. So my path has improved overall and that is what is important.
If you’re having trouble, or want to be honest- keep a journal. Look back in 6 months and if you see progress, than you are doing just fine.
More recently I have begun to incorporate more primal lifestyle changes, other than just food, so I am really having to trust the journey and keep moving along through setbacks- do you have any particular aspects of primal or paleo life that you struggle with? Any tips that have helped keep you on the journey without beating yourself up over small hiccups? Luckily the primal and paleo communities are growing, and there is a plethora of information available for any problems you may be having along your journey.
If you have any questions, or just want to discuss an aspect of your primal life- we have a handy dandy “Ask an Expert” button on our page that will connect you directly to one of the Barefoot founders who will be more than happy to give you their thoughts and wisdom on anything you may need, even if it is not product related (Barefoot is more than just a food store, we’re here to help.) Check it out on our site, right below the large header photos.
Come gather around the warm glow of the fire and listen, watch, share, discover, and be inspired by the conversation. It is here where we explore stories, and new ideas. Pull up a rock.