24

votes

Has Paleo ruined you?

Commented on January 21, 2015
Created March 03, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Hi hackers,

Has Paleo ruined you? I think it's ruined me. Everyone talks about how once you go Paleo you become hyper sensitive to non-paleo foods, such as pizza, deserts etc...Well, I've noticed this lately and last night it all came to a head.

My wife and I were tired after work and picking up our little one from school so we decided, meh, its Friday let go get some chicken wings. We can keep that Paleo-ish if we ask for the unbreaded wings and get the hot sauce on the side and we can get extra celery and carrot sticks! Our decision was made, we headed to "St Louis Wings & Ribs - Devilishly Good!"

We take our seats and start looking at the menu and I dare to ask the server "Do your sauces have corn starch", she looked at me like I was some sort of fruit cake, rolled her eyes and said "corn starch???" I said "yeah, its sometimes used to thicken up sauces" She said I'll go ask "The Chef", (I didn't know working a deep frier required a chef but, whatever). She comes back and tells us that it depends on the sauce and that some do and some don't but they don't know which ones. I felt like telling her to just read the box it comes in.

We ordered the Ribs & Wings combo, wings unbreaded and sauce on the side. We also asked for extra coleslaw (which is probably made with industrial oils anyway) but we made the decision to go there and were not about to leave. After all, it was Friday night and we were letting loose after a long work-week.

They come back with our food, and of course the wings are smothered in sauce and there's no coleslaw. I tell the server and she takes the wings back to redo them but leaves the ribs. The ribs were okay, just ribs with BBQ sauce on them, nothing special. And when she comes back with our un-breaded, un-coated, sauce-on-the-side wings, we ask about the coleslaw. She says, yeah we don't have any coleslaw, were all out but that she'd bring us some celery and carrot sticks. We thought great, veggies! She then comes back saying they also dont have celery or carrots sticks! I understand that this is a Wings place/Sports bar and by the looks of it, other folks there didn't look like the types to really go for celery sticks - they were too busy eating their breadsticks and drinking their beer to notice the celery sticks missing from their pound of suicide wings, I get it. But celery sticks are synonymous with wings! Anyway, I digress. The wings were okay too, nothing special. I dipped them in the sauce sparingly as I found it uber salty. They did not offer anything else to replace the celery sticks (love my celery stick). Oh well.

We ate our meal, paid our check and went home. I immediately felt the effects of the sauces and oils in my stomach as gas was building up. My stomach was not happy, I spent most of the night curled up in bed and in pain.

Even up to this morning, I was not well, stomach cramps etc...I even had to skip my workout. I could not even imagine myself doing one single burpee in the state I was in. It wasnt until I had a good breakfast of eggs, sausage and avocado that I started to feel better.

Sorry for the long winded rant, but to get to my question:

Has anyone suffered at the hands of a "cheat" meal? Have you ever wondered, is eating a paleo diet also cause for concern in terms of being able to eat foods that dominate our otherwise 'standard' diet? Making us weaker instead of stronger?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 07, 2013
at 11:39 PM

I sympathize with you, and I too would like to know more about food avoidance leading to new intolerances. It looks like the main responses to this question are from ideologues who insist that you felt awful before and didn't know it, which is a) unfalsifiable, b) unparsimonious, and c) a blanket assumption they apply anytime paleo appears to have any negative effect on anybody.

15f6abc25968560665b205476132ea7e

on July 19, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Same here! I had cystic acne for years as a teenager that cleared up after I'

C0237fd9e277fcef496d538beda1f35b

(287)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:50 PM

Totally agree. I'm not ruined, but I think I've ruined my husbands life :) Some of the extended family doesn't understand why I'm not bothered by saying no to something. Gas and bloating does not equal "enjoying my food" in my book.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:22 PM

I don't get sick eating wheat or sugar or toxins. I don't feel my best, but I'm not sick and sometimes I feel fine or even great. I adhere to paleo because I'm going more for the carrot than the stick.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:52 PM

Have you been to Bandanna's BBQ in Rock Hill? I don't think they have wings, but the smoked meat is sooo good, you don't even need sauce :)

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on April 12, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Once in a while, I need some chicken wings. Go for the papa johns unsauced wings. I'm gluten sensitive, and they don't cause me trouble. Oh, and lots of BBQ in St Louis is cooked with beer. That is a total killer for me.

E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on April 02, 2012
at 01:44 PM

I also struggle with a lack of significant and immediate symptoms when eating non-foods. To me cheating means cutting corners on food quality or skating too close to my sensitivities; I agree with your "treat" distinction for non-foods. So I'm cheating my own dietary integrity rather than someone else's imposed rules. Michael Pollan quotes someone French (very helpful, I know) who said foods must be "good to eat and good to think", and it's the good to think part that keeps me on the rails most often - rancid oils, factory meats, neurotoxins engineered to be addictive? Ew. No thanks.

E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:30 PM

I agree. With all the fatigue, gas, bloat, joint pain, headaches, stuffed up sinuses, etc. that I lived with as my daily 'normal', I doubt I would have noticed a difference if I ate an extra piece of bread or whatever. Now I notice how half a piece of bread or other processed crap makes me feel.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Yeah, I thought he was getting a bit "dramatic" as well. To be ruined? As in, no longer able to eat crappy bar food? Hmmm...

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Agreed. The oils do me in more so than gluten. In fact, where I used to consider salads a safe eat-out meal, I now skip them because I know the restaurant won't have quality olive oil for dressing.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:21 PM

I hear you about eating out. Trying to choose a paleo-friendly restaurant is often more hassle than it's worth!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:18 PM

Yup, the lethargy hits me after most non-paleo meals.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Gluten "cheats" don't bug me much, but industrial oils cause tons of problems. I think we all react a little differently to various substances.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:13 PM

This is my theory as well. For example, I didn't realize my lack of gas (still some, but MUCH reduced) until after a cheat meal that brought it all back...along with stomach pains.

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on March 25, 2012
at 05:09 AM

For me, I'm pretty sure that's not the case. It is completely clear to me that the few beans and little shreds of cheese in my salad last night shouldn't have bothered me. Except that it did, and I had miserable tummy stuff all night long. I actually am very resistant to the idea that a little cheat can bother you, except that I receive consistent evidence to the contrary. Guess I'm going to have to change my beliefs :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 05, 2012
at 12:57 AM

No wonder, those oils smell like exhaust fumes from your car. EWW.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 04, 2012
at 02:51 AM

I totally notice this too. Like when I went to try some chinese, incorrectly thinking that I will be safe with small portions, veggies, and sonething grilled, oops! Felt like crap for a day. I feel it again when I drive by one sometimes. My theory is its "food punishment."

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 04, 2012
at 02:45 AM

If I even look at birthday cake, like those frankenfood things people bring to work, I get a bit nauseous. I have a theory about this, it's called "Food Punishment..." :)

Medium avatar

(8239)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Very cool - you've used cause-effect to determine what works for you and what doesn't, vis-a-vis wheat. I've been largely grain-free for a year, and last week experimented with eating some corn. Corn ships, to be exact. Not a vast amount, just nibbled while waiting for my seafood salad at a restaurant. No ill effects, that I could tell. Do I plan to make corn part of my regular diet? Nope. Especially not corn ships: crappy oil, useless calories.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Kurt Harris discussed this phenemenon while on a Healthy Skeptic podcast some time ago. We do pay more attention to our bodies and notice the benefits almost immediately. Then, when something goes wrong we ask ourselves "what could be causing this?" Often times the diet change gets blamed when the very condition more than likely would have manifested without the change.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Hmm, the mind is very powerful but I didn't even know wheat was behind my symptoms until I stopped eating it and they went away. Even so, I was SURE I could get away with one little shortbread cookie but I didn't. So, I have to say--corn and ice cream, no symptoms; wheat, even a little, BAD symptoms. Maybe you should hypnotize me and we'll see what happens. :-))

D3921bf1a4e27fdf65c52e98f845dd45

(100)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:00 PM

I had a cheat episode just a few days ago, someone had left over birthday cake in the break room at work , thought to myself "How bad could one piece be?" Had stomach cramping and diarrhea withn an hour and continued for about 6 hours, I assume until all the bad crap was out of my system. Won't do that again!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:28 PM

I really thought having that burrito would be no big deal. It's just one burrito, come on....

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:24 PM

I don't cheat on grains other than the occasional corn chips. The only cheat I really feel is beans. Beans destroy me! The corn chips or candy I have sometimes don't affect me at all really.

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39 Answers

44
03bb06ced2ae02a265909342d4cf3e75

on March 03, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I'd say being on SAD is like being a drug addict or alcoholic - SAD food both gives you a high and makes you feel crappy, but if you have it all the time you sort of build a tolerance to it. Once you go paleo and get off of all the SAD crap, you start to feel healthy, and you lose your tolerance for the crap. Then if you have the crap, you feel a million times worse than when you were continuously eating SAD.

As someone who had alcoholic tendencies a few years back, I liken this to the decision to stop drinking for the most part. I almost never have more than one drink now, and I feel it right away because I lost my tolerance for alcohol. But my life is so much more vibrant now that I'm not drinking a ton every day. It's the same with SAD for me - I'm happy to trade my tolerance for crap food for the health and vibrancy I feel on paleo.

16
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 03, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Here's my take on it.

It is possible to build up tolerances to poisons by ingesting small amounts on a regular basis, and eventually your body stops sending you signals that you have ingested poison.

So, you can choose the convenience of not reacting food-like substances and pay for it later in life when the slow damage starts to add up, or you can re-sensitize your system to what is poison and what isn't for you and pay a more immediate price. A nutritionist I once saw called this, "Reawakening the intelligence of the gut."

You have to weigh the benefits versus the risk for you. If for instance you know you are about to be deployed and relying on MREs waking your gut up might not be the best idea, being doubled over with diarrhea out in the field would certainly be a detriment. Save the clean eating for when you get home. But, if you have free choice of what to eat, make choices that will support your health long term are probably best even if it results in some inconvenience of not being able to tolerate as much fake food.

On a side note, I have found that 2-3 weeks of steady broth consumptions seems to lesson the effects of my cheats. I'm thinking that extra gelatin helps with the integrity of the gut lining, and can help keep some of those weird chemical out of my blood stream, or at least slow the speed they make it across that barrier.

16
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Yes I have experienced it, and no it doesn't bother me. It just makes me think of what crap people are eating and I'm glad I don't do it.

D3921bf1a4e27fdf65c52e98f845dd45

(100)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:00 PM

I had a cheat episode just a few days ago, someone had left over birthday cake in the break room at work , thought to myself "How bad could one piece be?" Had stomach cramping and diarrhea withn an hour and continued for about 6 hours, I assume until all the bad crap was out of my system. Won't do that again!

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 04, 2012
at 02:45 AM

If I even look at birthday cake, like those frankenfood things people bring to work, I get a bit nauseous. I have a theory about this, it's called "Food Punishment..." :)

12
4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I have to wonder if you would have felt good after eating that stuff pre-Paleo, but were just so used to feeling poorly that it didn't register.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:13 PM

This is my theory as well. For example, I didn't realize my lack of gas (still some, but MUCH reduced) until after a cheat meal that brought it all back...along with stomach pains.

E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:30 PM

I agree. With all the fatigue, gas, bloat, joint pain, headaches, stuffed up sinuses, etc. that I lived with as my daily 'normal', I doubt I would have noticed a difference if I ate an extra piece of bread or whatever. Now I notice how half a piece of bread or other processed crap makes me feel.

C0237fd9e277fcef496d538beda1f35b

(287)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:50 PM

Totally agree. I'm not ruined, but I think I've ruined my husbands life :) Some of the extended family doesn't understand why I'm not bothered by saying no to something. Gas and bloating does not equal "enjoying my food" in my book.

9
Ed396719d9726e8e576773b2cb9cdf64

on March 03, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I too agree with (the other) Norwegian girl, Nance, Jaych and some of you others. Paleo has healed your body and made you more sensitive to what and how you feel. Celebrate it!

You know that those sauces you had were made of substances that are simply not intended for humans to digest. What you feel in your stomach is just one thing. What is harder to recognize are the various effects of the toxic load that has been building up in your body. Lack of energy and strength are symptoms of this, just like numerous other "modern" diseases and ailments.

Paleo doesn??t make anyone "loose tolerance" for anything, it just makes it clearer to us what we can and can not eat. What a gift!

9
29518a2572c5fe3a851170a9b1c315f3

on March 03, 2012
at 07:07 PM

I don't think paleo makes us weaker. I think that when you have lived paleo for a time and have felt how it feels to be healthy and feel awesome, only then do you have something to compare with, and only then can you feel how the foods we're not adapted to eat make us feel.

When I think back to the time when I ate SAD, I remember that I felt horrible after every lunch at school. I was bloated and felt like crap. But I didn't know better, I thought it was normal...

8
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I'm not convinced that most deleterious effects of cheat meals aren't psychosomatic in nature.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:28 PM

I really thought having that burrito would be no big deal. It's just one burrito, come on....

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on March 25, 2012
at 05:09 AM

For me, I'm pretty sure that's not the case. It is completely clear to me that the few beans and little shreds of cheese in my salad last night shouldn't have bothered me. Except that it did, and I had miserable tummy stuff all night long. I actually am very resistant to the idea that a little cheat can bother you, except that I receive consistent evidence to the contrary. Guess I'm going to have to change my beliefs :)

8
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:30 PM

I agree with norwegian girl. I'm pretty sure I had negative reactions to SAD my whole adult life, but since I felt horrible all the time I didn't even connect it to food.

After a few weeks of clean eating, I experienced what it's like to feel good and it was a revelation. I cheated with wheat twice with awful consequences, so there'll be no more of that. Other neolithic treats, like corn chips or ice cream, have such mild consequences I wouldn't notice them at all if I weren't looking for them. So that's okay once in a great while such as holidays.

We should consider ourselves lucky that we're healthy enough our bodies will fuss when we eat junk. I consider it a sign of much improved digestion myself, and I listen most of the time.

5
60df87f218e4239986b927a6ff41515b

on March 04, 2012
at 12:24 AM

I don't think it ruins you, I think it makes your body more sensitive to toxins, especially wheat. At least that has been the case for me. I have avoided wheat since the end of May, last year. No cheating. Since then I had one little bite of cake in July or August......no effect. But last week we had a retirement party for a friend at work. I organized the party and ate two small/medium pieces of pizza, a piece of cake and some ice cream. The next day, I expected the bloating in my face, but I did not expect the feelings I had. I craved more cake. The feeling did not pass until later in the afternoon the next day. An uncomfortable feeling, to say the least. But it does reinforce my ban against wheat, grains and unhealthy fats.

5
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I know that gluten is definitely going to bug pretty much everyone after being gluten-free for even a couple days, let alone a weeks or months, but I was REALLY surprised at how crappy oils seem to really affect me. I ate at a HuHot this week and hadn't had restaurant food, any grains or sugars, etc. for 4 days, and just the minimal sauces I used on my beef and veggies was enough to give me stomach cramps.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:16 PM

Gluten "cheats" don't bug me much, but industrial oils cause tons of problems. I think we all react a little differently to various substances.

4
938c35148bb17d8f8b2c62c9a46c783b

(135)

on March 03, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Oh yes. I'm 95% paleo and a cheat meal=instand migraine and stomach problems. It has gotten to the point where old favorites look as appetizing as a cactus plant!Last night I decided to have rice noodles and I felt like vomiting almost right after. I've also noticed that non paleo foods make me so lethargic. :)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:18 PM

Yup, the lethargy hits me after most non-paleo meals.

3
847e436d1fafed6de6648dd9546b23e0

on April 01, 2012
at 03:48 PM

"Making us weaker instead of stronger?" Turn it the other way around and the answer will be easy: Did you have stomach cramps, pain, diarrhea when you changed from SAD to paleo?

3
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Even on the SAD diet I would occasionally feel horrible after eating out. Now, I'm much healthier, leaner, and more vibrant. Am I a little more susceptible to feeling bad after a night out? Perhaps, but since I feel so much better the vast majority of the time, I'm okay with it.

I think the alcoholic metaphor works well here. Sure, you can't "hold your liquor" as well anymore, but you're healthier. Which is more important? What's the real down side here? This is a question only you alone can answer. If it's not worth it and ignorance is bliss, by all means go back. This isn't The Matrix. You can go back to SAD if you like. Me, I'm glad I picked the Red Pill.

3
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on March 26, 2012
at 05:43 AM

I reject the description "cheat" as it keeps being used in this context. You don't owe anyone your dietary fidelity. You're not telling someone a lie. You choose, with your full agency, to eat or not eat something. Sometimes foods we choose come with consequences, and this can be just as true for strict paleo foods as SAD foods. If there is a food that absolutely everyone can eat with no negative consequences, I'd sure like to know what it is.

Personally, I do not experience this dramatic assault on my system that so many people here report when I treat myself to non-paleo foods. And in a way, I regret that. It would be so much easier to be able to be religious or dogmatic about paleo, rather than having to keep doing it because I know it's the healthiest and most ethical choice, based on science and the current state of our food/agricultural system.

If I got sick every time I ate pizza or tacos, I'd certainly never eat them again, even for a treat (not "cheat") meal. And I don't have the luxury of confirmation bias with which to console myself when I'm craving (or indulging) in non-paleo treats. I wish others who share my situation would talk about it more, and share what keeps them on the path, over the long haul.

E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on April 02, 2012
at 01:44 PM

I also struggle with a lack of significant and immediate symptoms when eating non-foods. To me cheating means cutting corners on food quality or skating too close to my sensitivities; I agree with your "treat" distinction for non-foods. So I'm cheating my own dietary integrity rather than someone else's imposed rules. Michael Pollan quotes someone French (very helpful, I know) who said foods must be "good to eat and good to think", and it's the good to think part that keeps me on the rails most often - rancid oils, factory meats, neurotoxins engineered to be addictive? Ew. No thanks.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:22 PM

I don't get sick eating wheat or sugar or toxins. I don't feel my best, but I'm not sick and sometimes I feel fine or even great. I adhere to paleo because I'm going more for the carrot than the stick.

3
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on March 04, 2012
at 05:23 AM

I never did believe in 'cheat meals' the way I look at things everything we eat is a conscious choice, we can certainly make poor choices when it comes to food and we can make great choices, no need for guilt, self doubt, etc at all. If I make a choice to eat gluten or refined vegetable oils or lots of sugar I have also made a choice to suffer the consequences as well. Over the last few years I have lost any and all interest in SAD food, not even the slightest temptation, it just happened naturally. The smell of baking bread or a fresh made pizza has about as much interest for me now as wanting to eat rocks. Now a vine ripened tomato just picked from the garden or a juicy, rare grilled grass fed t-bone steak makes my stomach rumble immediately.

I only drink water and home made kombucha (fermented so long I could probably use it as an engine degreaser). I used to live on pizza and coke. When I go out with friends or family I usually do not eat and I find I can enjoy their company in a more satisfying manner now. No one I know thinks I am strange or questions my life choices, I am accepted for who I am not what I eat (or don't eat).

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 04, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Yup! I have worse symptoms from industrial oils than I do from similar amounts of gluten.

I avoid both like the plague.

In my mind, I've regained my normal sensitivity to "non-food" and I have no problem with this.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 04, 2012
at 02:51 AM

I totally notice this too. Like when I went to try some chinese, incorrectly thinking that I will be safe with small portions, veggies, and sonething grilled, oops! Felt like crap for a day. I feel it again when I drive by one sometimes. My theory is its "food punishment."

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 05, 2012
at 12:57 AM

No wonder, those oils smell like exhaust fumes from your car. EWW.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Agreed. The oils do me in more so than gluten. In fact, where I used to consider salads a safe eat-out meal, I now skip them because I know the restaurant won't have quality olive oil for dressing.

3
028e70a250f38bd61fa81b0e0789bb6e

on March 03, 2012
at 07:47 PM

I think when we come to paleo diet, we become much more sensitive to our health problems, either due to becoming more health conscious, or such problems happen less, or both. When I used to eat like crap, acnes on my face is rather normal. Now, occasional pores can get me worried. A scar that doesn't heal for two weeks would make me feel like it's been there for a year.

Also, after hearing Paul Chek's talk on paleo summit yesterday, I feel that now is probably the first time we care about such problems--at least for me. In the past, there are many "important things" that "prevent" me from care about such problems, such as ... video games. Who cares about poop and sleep problems when they play mario kart at 3am?

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Kurt Harris discussed this phenemenon while on a Healthy Skeptic podcast some time ago. We do pay more attention to our bodies and notice the benefits almost immediately. Then, when something goes wrong we ask ourselves "what could be causing this?" Often times the diet change gets blamed when the very condition more than likely would have manifested without the change.

2
37c0a9190e30a5a42902e6fd82f30bfd

on March 29, 2012
at 01:30 PM

I was always bloated prior to going paleo. If something had an especially strong effect on my system I noticed it. Otherwise I was numb & felt generally crappy always. It wasn't until going paleo I realized that wasn't normal. So NO paleo hasn't "ruined" me.

2
Medium avatar

on March 04, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I have followed the basic precepts of Paleo/Primal for over a year. I chose to do so not because I had health problems or "food issues" but rather because I was in good health and wanted to stay that way: healthy, fit, vital, robust. And I knew diet was a huge factor in that. These days, when I find myself diverging and eating foods that aren't specifically part of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle, I do not experience any setbacks per se. Frankly, I think a large part of the reason I don't experience "problems" when I diverge, is that I do not expect to, and it does not enhance my identity, my sense of self esteem, to be able to report, "Oh, I cheated, thus I feel sick." Conversely, I think many Paleo adherents decide that if they do diverge from the approved Paleo menu, they will "pay" for it. That is, they expect to have problems, and when they don't "feel well" after eating non-Paleo foods, they feel moved to hypothesize maladies (food allergies, food sensitivities, leaky gut) for which they have no empirical evidence. Or on a more mundane level: "I usually don't eat wheat, and last night I ate a slice of bread, and today I feel sick as a dog." Please note: surely some individuals DO have specific physical maladies, apart from believing they do. Yet I have to assume that, for many, expecting the worst, causes "the worst" to show up. The mental component of issues related to food, is a very large component. To the degree that one doesn't account for this component, one tends to find oneself at the effect of the latest set of sensations.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Hmm, the mind is very powerful but I didn't even know wheat was behind my symptoms until I stopped eating it and they went away. Even so, I was SURE I could get away with one little shortbread cookie but I didn't. So, I have to say--corn and ice cream, no symptoms; wheat, even a little, BAD symptoms. Maybe you should hypnotize me and we'll see what happens. :-))

Medium avatar

(8239)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Very cool - you've used cause-effect to determine what works for you and what doesn't, vis-a-vis wheat. I've been largely grain-free for a year, and last week experimented with eating some corn. Corn ships, to be exact. Not a vast amount, just nibbled while waiting for my seafood salad at a restaurant. No ill effects, that I could tell. Do I plan to make corn part of my regular diet? Nope. Especially not corn ships: crappy oil, useless calories.

2
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:41 AM

I didn't realize how crappy I felt on a daily basis until I was well. Now, when I eat something off the paleo grid I realize how crappy it makes me feel and I know it's food based and not "in my head" (depression, anxiety, fatigue). I DON'T need a pill, I just need to understand bad food makes me feel bad...which is a connection I never made before going primal (I do dairy). I always thought my body was wrong and medicine was the answer(upon doctor recommendation). Freedom. It hasn't ruined me, it's set me free.

1
2d58c4968798bf56fe7509f254c68ce3

(169)

on April 14, 2012
at 01:38 AM

It's not weaker. You've become more receptive to the signals that your body sends. How many years did it try to give you signals NOT TO EAT THAT and you did it anyway? After a while the body stops sending signals and just gives up.

It's a very good sign when you become more sensitive to the things that are fu**ing you up.

Tell your body I say congratulations. It deserves a run in the park.

1
25002bfd90ea3a7fa705bd7d94bcc274

on April 06, 2012
at 05:54 AM

I did it with yougurth icecream, it said natural, my sister insisted, so I went for it... bad idea, the thing didnt feel good, but tasted great.. 15 mins later I started to feel very anxious, not nice thing were happening inside me.. I ended up vomiting the thing... not nice. tempations will allways be there.

Cheating is not funny anymore, it involves undoing what you already acomplish. But that how we learn right?

1
Ffc3a5f25a2f8a90bbab93872619675b

on March 26, 2012
at 12:58 AM

One thing to consider... Perhaps your system reacted to one or a couple foods you ate that night. Since your meal included so many items you haven't eaten since paleo/feeling better, it's hard to say it was the non-paleo foods altogether. Maybe it was just the gluten or the yeast.

Also, since you're relatively new to the diet, you can expect that you body is still adjusting (the flora and fauna is changing, etc) to the new normal. I went off gluten 3 years ago out of necessity (I have a "true" allergy). After suffering so long, my health didn't immediately recover and one thing I noticed in the first year was how hard to keep track of the foods that bothered me because they changed all the time. Sometimes I had problems with corn. Other times not. Sometimes chocolate, other times not... and so on. As time passed and my body adjusted (healed) more and more, I haven't had acute problems with anything except gluten (wheat, barley, rye variety).

On another note-- While I would take health over tastiness or convenience if given a choice, I'm not going to pretend like I don't get what you mean when you use the word 'ruined'. My sensitivity to all gluten grains increased when I went off wheat and that can make me feel really vulnerable because, fact is, we live in a SAD world and what if you get hungry and didn't pack a Paleo-snack? What if you're accidentally contaminated? Or what if you travel to another country and can't communicate well with a waiter? Or what if, god forbid, you want to live life to the fullest and try all the wonderful things that come your way-- like that decadent chocolate cake on your birthday? But you can't really enjoy it because you know it will cause ill-effects later.

There is a give and take here. Of course I'm immensely grateful for my health and vitality. Of course it's worth it. Nevertheless, there are many things I miss about my SAD days (ha!). I miss not being able to pull up for some wings after a long day. As a Portlander, I sure do wish I could just kick back and enjoy one our many microbrews-- even the wheat-free ones... Or... Thankgiving just isn't the same without my traditional stuffing. Not gonna lie.

1
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:50 AM

I'm confused as to why you called this question "paleo ruined me" - I thought your story clearly highlighted how Paleo has healed you and made you - and your body - fully aware of the damaging foods all around you in the SAD diet. It was rather reinforcing actually. I find as time goes on that I am always less and less interested in eating any SAD foods because I don't want to end up feeling like crap! And it doesn't take long to Paleo-fry your own chicken wings at home... there is a superb recipe on Paleo Comfort Foods - YUM!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on March 26, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Yeah, I thought he was getting a bit "dramatic" as well. To be ruined? As in, no longer able to eat crappy bar food? Hmmm...

3c2c94c61d6e403f12bad15180f43d19

on January 21, 2015
at 03:32 PM

It did ruin him. As explained in my comment below (or wherever), it likely drastically decreased the amount of fermentable substrates reaching the colon, and populating beneficial gut bacteria. It's sad, watching people continue to perpetuate the low carb lie. Paleo? Fine. Low carb Paleo? You're asking for metabolic, gut microbiome, sleep, and a whole host of other problems. 

3c2c94c61d6e403f12bad15180f43d19

on January 21, 2015
at 03:32 PM

It did ruin him. As explained in my comment below (or wherever), it likely drastically decreased the amount of fermentable substrates reaching the colon, and populating beneficial gut bacteria. It's sad, watching people continue to perpetuate the low carb lie. Paleo? Fine. Low carb Paleo? You're asking for metabolic, gut microbiome, sleep, and a whole host of other problems. 

3c2c94c61d6e403f12bad15180f43d19

on January 21, 2015
at 03:32 PM

It did ruin him. As explained in my comment below (or wherever), it likely drastically decreased the amount of fermentable substrates reaching the colon, and populating beneficial gut bacteria. It's sad, watching people continue to perpetuate the low carb lie. Paleo? Fine. Low carb Paleo? You're asking for metabolic, gut microbiome, sleep, and a whole host of other problems. 

1
F514c59692c45189d46cc01c34961153

(375)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:57 AM

I was always a "healthy" eater, but after being primal for a few months and then paleo, my sensitivities to food grew tremendously. I hate eating out anymore, which is a good and bad thing. It is also such an inconvenience because I'm only 20, meaning I don't have my own house/kitchen. Thankfully my mom follows a primal way of eating, making things much easier at home but not at school.

It is very scary to think what I used to put into my body, I used to occasionally have those slip ups/cheats but my reactions were so severe, especially after eating this way for 6 months(I would get cysts/bipolar moods) that I just don't anymore.

I used to be able to eat an outrageous amount of peanut butter m&m's but when I binged due to stress last time, my face and neck broke out with cystic acne which I'd never had before.

My whole body feels "clearer" and I wish I could help people because I know that most basic skin issues could probably be fixed by just dropped gluten/grains and dairy.

As for your wings experience, mine was similar but I was able to get away from the nasty sauce and got some spicy seasoned rub instead. I think this kept the belly ache to a minimum.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:21 PM

I hear you about eating out. Trying to choose a paleo-friendly restaurant is often more hassle than it's worth!

15f6abc25968560665b205476132ea7e

on July 19, 2012
at 05:55 AM

Same here! I had cystic acne for years as a teenager that cleared up after I'

1
67cb237a57b4351459d6f9faafdcd00d

on March 03, 2012
at 08:56 PM

If I go strict Paleo for a week or more the effects are more noticable. If I have a little grain here and there it's not so bad. Like I made chicken salad for lunch last week and since tomatoes are most definitely NOT in season I had some flax seed crackers with it. They were wheat based, but all in all not as heavy if I had made a sandwich. Those didn't bother me, but the pasta I had later in the week did. I think it's all in moderation. I am eating way less wheat than I was and none of the crappy HFCS or stuff. No cookies, bread, cereal etc. There are some things that I like though and it's tough to give them up so I don't. I just don't eat them everyday like I did before.

0
3c2c94c61d6e403f12bad15180f43d19

on January 21, 2015
at 03:22 PM

It's a good question. Whether the foods you're having issues with are "SAD" or not, the real problem is, you probably took a gut flora hit because I'm guessing your version of Paleo is low to extremely low on the macronutrient Carbohydrate. 

As it turns out, for me, and for many many others across the web and world, skimping on carbohydrates fusses with good stomach bacteria, and eventually leads to disgestive problems of all types. I was the same way: could eat anything, and feel fine. After lower carb Paleo, I developed pretty insane food sensitivities. This is NOT simply a case of: the body adjusts to eating "SAD" or "Poison" foods, and when you stop eating them, you have a reaction the next time you bring them in. 

It's more: Not feeding your stomache enough carbohydrates, eventually leads to less fermentable substrates reaching your colon, and thus feeding your microbial ecology. The myriad of health problems that ensue from out of balance gut bugs? Well - one would be informed quickly by reading about the issues people develop on lower carbohydrate diets. 

I like Paleo. I like Robb Wolf, Kresser, and most other proponents (except MDA - MDA is a tool, shuttling out grossly innaccurate information to mezmorized and obedient readers), but they're all pretty wrong about carbohydrates, particularly when it comes to pretty healthy people already. 

Healthy digestion? Don't go on low carb version of Paleo. Overall pretty healthy? No major problems? Don't go on low carb Paleo. More: make sure you're getting substantial amounts of nutrients, and train your body to use them as energy, to store as muscle, and to keep you fueled without keeping you fat. 

I eat 300-400G of carbs a day, and am lean. This is because I fixed my health problems that I developed while going low carb (metabolism took a total hit), and got my body functioning correctly again by sleeping well, eating lots of probiotics, and eating a ton of carbs. Oh and doing some strength training AND cardio. 

Eat more carbs. Eat more food. Do this consistently. I guarantee these issues will go away. If they don't, consider a probiotic supplement for a month, and perhaps some Betaine HCL (Hydrocholoric acid = stomach acid). 

0
4f828fd11d2d1d595a1653baa5e3e77b

on May 08, 2013
at 02:27 AM

I'm 17 and sometimes, I feel like Paleo has ruined me. I don't get super sick from anything (yet) but a few ounces of full-fat fro-yo put me in a fog earlier today- I fell asleep on the bus to a softball game, my stomach was gurgling, and I couldn't shake the bloated feeling all day. My friend ate twice the amount of yogurt I had plus gummy bears and marshmallows, and she was fine, as she is every day after a processed SAD meal. It's been a while since I had something unhealthy with gluten (I consider steamed dumplings a cheat, but not one of the same magnitude as bread/pizza/pasta), but I expect the same results. In addition to the physical effects, I feel guilty whenever I slip up. Sigh. With great knowledge comes great responsibility. Still, I wouldn't trade this lifestyle for ignorance.

0
Ad210d4c73352ac8ecdd0ad199e9d944

on May 07, 2013
at 09:26 PM

I've only been paleo for about 2 months now. I had a hard time in the beginning adjusting to all the restrictions. It was also a hard concept because I was such a calorie counter before, now there are many days that my calorie count is so low, but I'm full. I made the mistake a few days ago... I was hungry and feeling sick to begin with, so I just wanted comfort food. I didn't care what was healthy, I wanted comfort..with that came a cookie, two French toast sticks and a handful of crackers (can you tell I was craving carbs??) Now this Italian girl has grown up on homemade pasta and sauce and fresh breads, so I should have been fine with this little indulgence right?? WRONG!!! Oh my goodness, so sick! I felt 100x worse then before I ate. Stomach cramps, shakes, migraine... Ugh, not worth it, plus I was bombarded with guilt for cheating on my lifestyle choice.

So after all that, I don't think you're ruined. I think after being paleo for a while, you manage to cleanse your body and when you put bad things back in it, your tolerance is gone and your body lets you know it's not happy.

0
F43b98ed21ca3e08c0970980b77841f5

on February 10, 2013
at 02:57 PM

I did a 30 day strict paleo challenge!! I celebrated my success with my favorite ice cream, I ha a cheese steak etc... I basically took 2 days off. The 3rd day I was extremely sick with a fever, severe stomach pains, diarrhea & fatigue. The fever lasted 4 days, the rest are still going on 7 days later. I went t the ER and they diagnosed me with enterocolitis. They said it would go away in a few more days, but I am having my doubts. I've been back on paleo the whole time I was sick & no improvement. Did paleo ruin my digestive system? Did a couple days off ruin it?? I am not a happy camper. Haven't worked, worked out or even left my house for a week. Is this permanent?? I wish I never did the challenge. It can't just be a coincidence.

0
F8f75d1f0620d1d20ea73de25a0d7856

on May 05, 2012
at 11:13 AM

Sounds like some of you are gluten sensitive and some aren't. The chicken wing oil is prob ably used for the breaded version as well. Craving sweets after eating sweets sounds like a candida uprising.

0
847e436d1fafed6de6648dd9546b23e0

on April 01, 2012
at 03:53 PM

... same post twice, sorry...

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 04, 2012
at 03:56 AM

With every cheat comes strength and fortitude. Let the cheat teach you a lesson about that poor food choice.

0
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on March 04, 2012
at 03:35 AM

Same with me, I see it as the SAD diet as being something that our body adjusted to. killerbee pretty much summed it up for me. I wouldn't say that Paleo is what made my body sensitive. I would say that the SAD diet is what put my body in constant pain (and the numbness), and leaving the SAD diet releases me from the pain that I am so used to, and once I go back on it, that's when I truly realize how deep of a pain I was in, and how horrible it is compared to the freedom I feel on a paleo/non-crap diet. I feel much better cutting out the crap, even though it means no more tolerance to regular food.

0
C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

on March 04, 2012
at 02:54 AM

Yes, I've had your experience. I had it the weekend after my birthday when my friends took me out and I had gluten free barbecue chicken pizza and hard cider. I've had it on too many occasions to count when I went and ordered food that had an unfriendly ingredient in it, unbeknown to me.

The thing is...

Even before I went paleo I had problems with corn. My body tries to run any corn product out of town as fast as it can. It's not like all of a sudden I developed this problem by going paleo. It has been there far, far longer.

That, and the soy jitters, and the wheat hives, and the unexplained pain, and the brain fog, and the brittle blood sugar levels...

So no, paleo hasn't ruined me. Paleo has given me the opportunity to experience life without constant sickness. So sometimes I slip and get occasional bouts of that same sickness. It's still better than anything I could have hoped for previously.

0
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:26 AM

I don't enjoy low quality food, but I can eat it with no problems other than blood sugar issues if I eat too much sugar or starch. Over New Years, I was down in Florida with family, and we ate a lot of take out food. Several times I indulged quite heavily on white Italian bread dipped in olive oil, and it had no noticeable effect. My quick snack of choice when I'm on the road is two slices of convenience store pizza... doesn't bother me a bit.

And, it's not like I'm newly off a SAD diet and still tolerant of it. I've been eating healthfood store food since 1982. I started shifting away from the whole grains and beans in September 2003, becoming quite strictly paleo a few years after that.

0
F12658db6c0bf63b1541a16ee6078a4f

on March 03, 2012
at 09:33 PM

I don't follow a strict paleo diet, I try to eat paleo about 70% of the time and 30% of the time I eat along the WAPF lines (mainly because I still eat dairy). I have noticed that junk food and sweets make me feel cruddy. In a pinch, I bought some store-bought ketchup the other day, and my husband and I could barely stand it because it was so sweet to us! If I do fall off the wagon and eat SAD for a few days out of convenience, I feel "blah" and have intense cravings for some real meat and vegetables.

0
Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:32 PM

My husband has backed off on Paleo for this very reason. He was tired of feeling lousy on the rare occasions he had a piece of pizza, or had pie on Thanksgiving. He now eats wheat a couple of times a week, and has noticed no ill effect (in the short term, anyway). We both have noticed how bad we feel after eating SAD, and I really don't think it's that we used to feel that bad all the time. I think we have lost our tolerances for high-carb foods, wheat, and veggie oils.

0
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on March 03, 2012
at 07:23 PM

My cheats are extra potatoes. I was allergic to milk and malt (in almost every wheat product), so my diet was almost free of that stuff anyway.

When I was learning about paleo, my teachers were talking about cheat meals, and how awful they felt after eating pizza. I learned from their example. But as I got more into the eating, I wondered why they wouldn't 'cheat' with something that was real, whole, food, but not 'paleo'. Like potatoes, or legumes...

And of course, chocolate. :)

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