1

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Do you experience paleo guilt?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 16, 2011 at 7:07 AM

Have you ever dug into a good meal prepared by a friend, restaurant, or a family member and then realized after you've taken a bite that it isn't paleo? That you've accidentally or unknowingly eaten something you had cut out of your diet? If so, do you feel guilt over it, try to counteract it, or do you just move on and chalk it up to one of life's mistakes?

I'm curious because I used to feel guilt over things I would eat (pre-Paleo days) and would think about it for the whole day. Now I don't really do that, but I have still had my moments where I drank tea or ate something at a friend's house and didn't realize until after a minute or two that there was something un-paleo in there.

I just want to know how you all deal with this or if you ever have!

Dd0244b4368083d25ae9eb8533211d2e

(160)

on September 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

so true. Just enjoy that meal and don't worry about it or try to "be good".

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:31 PM

@Aaron: You are right, and generally I think things are improving in the society. But with some members of the old generation, it's better not to fight. You know, the issue is not if you consider it rude, but if the other party considers it rude.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Yeah, what the bear said.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:49 AM

I think this question is more about mental/emotional responses to non-paleo food and the one you linked is about recovering physically from ingesting something that makes you feel sick.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:12 AM

Aaron: You make total sense on the gluten, if someone has celiac or something like that. That's an allergy. (I do cop to harboring unfair suspicions regarding the severity of some people's 'allergies'.) But if you (universal 'you', here, not you specifically) are someone's guest, they are unaware of your dietary habits, and they feed you something that you generally avoid, but eating it isn't going to cause physical distress, then I think Yes: That's rude. You have to gauge these things, too. It is far ruder, for example, to decline to try a dish that someone is proud of than some random side.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:47 AM

I really hate the idea that it's "rude" to ever not eat something, just because someone else prepared it. If it were just the 10g of sugar in a cookie, that'd be one thing, but for many of us the gluten is simply intolerable and there's also a good chance of kicking off carb cravings so that it's not just one cookie. If I cook something and someone declines it, it never occurs to me to wonder why, let alone be offended. Maybe she's not feeling well, is on a diet, has an allergy, doesn't like chocolate, is diabetic, just ate a big meal earlier, or a dozen other reasons. I just don't get it.

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11 Answers

10
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on September 16, 2011
at 07:51 AM

Enjoy the friend's company, be grateful that they want to feed you and move on. Life is too short to worry about little things.

Dd0244b4368083d25ae9eb8533211d2e

(160)

on September 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

so true. Just enjoy that meal and don't worry about it or try to "be good".

7
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on September 16, 2011
at 08:54 AM

Shit happens! Forget it and move on.

As long as whatever it is that you have consumed doesn't cause you health problems if you are sensitive to it then so what, you won't be doing it everyday. If it does affect you then deal with it and then move on. Just don't apportion blame to your friend. Be grateful that they are your friend and want your company.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Yeah, what the bear said.

7
3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 16, 2011
at 08:50 AM

I don't feel guilt and try no to stress too much about that, since that could be more unhealthy for the body than that food itself.

My theory is, that it is not that important what one eats occasionally, rather what one eats regularly is what matters. So I don't even treat it as a "life mistake". I tell to myself that maybe there was something beneficial in that food after all.

But of course, I try to avoid such foods if possible, and if not, eat as little as possible. Like if my mother-in-law bakes some cookies, it would be considered rude not to try them - and if my mother-n-law maintained bad thoughts about me, that would be more damaging that that little amount of sugar. So I eat a piece or two and move on.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:12 AM

Aaron: You make total sense on the gluten, if someone has celiac or something like that. That's an allergy. (I do cop to harboring unfair suspicions regarding the severity of some people's 'allergies'.) But if you (universal 'you', here, not you specifically) are someone's guest, they are unaware of your dietary habits, and they feed you something that you generally avoid, but eating it isn't going to cause physical distress, then I think Yes: That's rude. You have to gauge these things, too. It is far ruder, for example, to decline to try a dish that someone is proud of than some random side.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:47 AM

I really hate the idea that it's "rude" to ever not eat something, just because someone else prepared it. If it were just the 10g of sugar in a cookie, that'd be one thing, but for many of us the gluten is simply intolerable and there's also a good chance of kicking off carb cravings so that it's not just one cookie. If I cook something and someone declines it, it never occurs to me to wonder why, let alone be offended. Maybe she's not feeling well, is on a diet, has an allergy, doesn't like chocolate, is diabetic, just ate a big meal earlier, or a dozen other reasons. I just don't get it.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:31 PM

@Aaron: You are right, and generally I think things are improving in the society. But with some members of the old generation, it's better not to fight. You know, the issue is not if you consider it rude, but if the other party considers it rude.

4
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 16, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Personally I feel that guilt over a "non-paleo" food item is unhealthy and even probably orthorexic. You are trying to eat healthy and maintain a good lifestyle, but some slips are going to happen and may even be worthwhile. You can't be perfect all the time.

"Don't let perfect be the enemy of good"

2
476f96ad346d31e52328cb7c4665dfb8

on September 16, 2011
at 12:20 PM

This is actually the main reason I walked away from vegetarianism. It's too socially alienating. In many parts of the world (including many places in the U.S.) food is love. Turning your nose up at food cooked and offered to you with love from friends and family only serves to damage relationships and disconnect your further from society. Eating a meal cooked and served with love surrounded by family and friends nourishes the soul.

Obviously if you have an allergy or serious intolerance you're going to want to stay away from those foods, but for most people it is not a big deal to eat outside the paleo sphere once in a while.

I'm not saying you need to binge on every processed carb at the table, but if the soup has potatoes in it the world is not going to end. As much as possible, try to load your plate with meat and veggies and avoid or minimize the breads and grain-based sides. I've also found I can usually get out of dessert if I claim to already be too full from the fabulous dinner. But, no matter what, don't waste time or mental energy feeling guilty. Enjoy the time you spend in the company of family and friends and go back to your way of eating when you get home.

Now, the above refers to eating at the homes of friends or family. If you are at a restaurant, you usually have the ability choose your own food. Just make sure you ask questions before you order. You can't expect the restaurant to take food back because it contains grains or dairy if you didn't ask about it before you ordered it. But again, don't stress out about. There is almost no chance the food is going to be cooked in the same way you would do it at home. Even the best restaurants tend to use industrial seed oils (or worse) in their cooking.

What you eat on a regular basis is far more important than what you eat when visiting friends and family every once in a while.

2
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:42 AM

As a Catholic (since you mentioned it), I'm not guilty unless I knowingly choose to do wrong. So by the same token, no, I wouldn't feel guilt if I'm doing my best to eat right and something slips in there without my knowledge. (Regret, sure, but not guilt.) For instance, I was buying the sweet potato fries at a local restaurant until I found out they coat them with a little flour. It never occurred to me to ask about something so stupid. Now that I know, if I kept ordering them, then I'd be guilty; and since I'd knowingly be damaging my body, it wouldn't just be paleo guilt, but real (Catholic) guilt. Not that that stops me, on too many occasions still.

1
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 16, 2011
at 09:02 AM

Well, for me it would depend what it is. If it were something that were going to cause me physical pain, then I would stop eating it and deal with any problems if they arose. If it were just something like sugar in tea or whatever, then I'd drink the tea, forget it and move on.

0
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on September 16, 2011
at 04:31 PM

No guilt, but it's taken years of working on it to not feel that way. It's definitely a happier, less stressful way of being though when you arrive at that point. I did a lot of work with intuitive eating though that has really helped with it.

0
E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:34 PM

Thank you, Aaron, for explaining what I was thinking better than I could have (guess lapsed Episcopalians don't have as good a handle on guilt as Catholics do ;P ). My reaction would probably be along the lines of an internal "oh, sh*t", but definitely not guilt.

And if I knowingly CHOOSE to eat those fries or whatever, I may regret it later, but I still wouldn't feel guilty. Ain't nobody gonna make me feel guilty for eatin' somethin' I wanna 'cept me and I ain't gonna do that - life's too short.

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:42 AM

have yourself a good exercise session

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on September 16, 2011
at 11:49 AM

I think this question is more about mental/emotional responses to non-paleo food and the one you linked is about recovering physically from ingesting something that makes you feel sick.

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