Dancing with the Devil

*Note from Sarah: Lisa is back as she continues to share her journey with us.  You can read her earlier installments and get caught up by clicking here.  Thank you Lisa!

Dancing with the Devil

Oh no, just when I think I have it figured out, those gooey, milk chocolate, melt in your mouth, sweet yolk filled eggs appear. Just when I think I have a handle on things, happily skipping through the grocery store, fruits, veggies and lean protein in hand. I stop in my tracks, and, what do I see peering at me across the way. When did they get here?

It can’t be, I finally have control, or so I thought. But oh yes, sitting cute and cozy in their little box, they called my name, so sweet and chocolaty. It’s the Easter crème egg. Those delightful, creamy, gooey filled eggs.  Once a year they come out, that’s it. ONCE A YEAR!! And now they are here to taunt me.

At first I loved seeing the eggs, they brought me back to a happy place filled with memories. I quickly ran to them, grabbed them, began smelling them and started filling my basket with them. The world was spinning!!  Oh my Gosh what was happening. This was no longer a place I wanted to be. That’s when I got mad. “Snap out of it”, I said to myself, “Get out of the store now” J

When I got home, I sat and thought for a while. What just happened? How had I given food; sugar to be exact, the power to bring me happiness over health? Why had so many of my happy memories become about food, and not tasty healthy, clean Paleo food, but processed sugar filled food!! How had I let that happen?  Or had I, did I really have a choice?

My childhood days went something Iike this. I woke to a nice warm set of eggo waffles swimming in a sweet tasty syrup. Later I would sit down with my friends, innocently eating my pb and jam on white bread, topped off with chocolate milk or a tasty fun colored beverage in a box. After school came the snack for champions, Oreo cookies, dipped so lovingly in a big cold glass of milk. Dinner was always good, a nice delicious salad with chicken or steak, yum I would devour it like I had not eaten in days (My body probably actually was starving). I thought Saturday nights where the best, I got to go to the market and pick out the biggest frozen dinner I could find!! Usually pot pie or scarios, with a side of mashed white potato and that little cup of goo they called a brownie.

I know my parents loved me. They only wanted the best for me, it was the norm, everyone ate this way. It was all over the TV, and accepted by society. The problem is, that was 30 years ago and sadly not much has changed.

We are a nation of sugar addicts, you can sugar coat it (yes pun intended) all you want. We are addicted, I am addicted, sugar is only one addictive bite away and once you take the first bite it is almost impossible to fight the next one. It is everywhere, and in everything. With all the names sugar now goes by, you practically have to be a scientist to even figure out if it is in the food you are eating.

For me sugar is a daily struggle and probably always will be. I still long for it, some days I morn it, some days I even cry for it. But now, most days I am stronger than it, I look it in the eye, stare it down and know I will win.

I wish I had never shook hands with sugar, or those processed boxed foods. I crave them as a memory, a comfort to my past, something that brings me back to my childhood, my mom, dad, and that warm feeling of acceptance and safety.

I can say though, eating Paleo and following the paleo rules has truly rid my physical cravings. The way I feel and the energy I have, is bigger than any sugary treat will ever be. ” I once again quickly discovered another reason it is so important that Paleo becomes a lifestyle. It really does become more than just changing the foods you eat, it become about changing YOU!!

 My kids are still young enough that I can change their future, break the cycle of what society says is normal. Set it up so that their warm comforting memories will one day be taking the family walk, laughing, playing soccer, dancing, or cooking a great Paleo meal in the kitchen together (check out Everyday Paleo). Basically creating a new normal, or should I say bringing back the old normal? ….oh wait I think they call that a Paleo lifestyle!!!

What’s your sweet memory?

Until next time.  Much joy and happiness.


To come chat with Lisa and learn more about where she is getting her support visit Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness!


  1. riddlewellness says

    I feel like I could have written this entire thing! Cream eggs are my favorite Easter memory and candy in a package by far! I also grew up with a mom who made all dinners from scratch, including all our baby food. However I have memories of Count Chocula cereal (or whatever it is called), Suzy-Q’s, Twinkies, Pinwheel cookies, etc. This was the norm and what everyone ate. Now when I try to explain to my mom why I am paleo and she looks at me like I have 2 heads…..My children will know better! Thanks for a great post!

  2. Dennis Murray says

    Mashmallow peeps, twinkies and every type of cereal: all staples of my childhood.

    I avoid center store as much as I can when I shop!

  3. Dannielle says

    It’s sort of funny that you wrote about these dreaded eggs. The other night, my girlfriend who lives in Canada and recommended Paleo to me, left a post about eating a Cadbury Egg… that her husband had brought it home for her and had force fed it to her.. practically shoved it down her throat. Oh,how I laughed. This was never one of my all time favorite sweets so it doesnt bother me. But I did tell her that I was going to create a Paleo version just for her.. lol. Not sure I can, but if I do, I’ll be sure to send it your way.

    • Lisa says

      How cool, I am originally from Canada….
      Now the important part. If you ever master a Paleo easter creme egg I will love you for ever!!! lol

  4. Veronica says

    Just remember how these “gooey ooey “wonderful” chocolates” made you feel afterwards. It works every time! ;- ) Then bake some wonderful brownie bites Paleo friendly please!

  5. says

    Since going Paleo we don’t give out kids candy anymore. We make special meals and paleo treats on holidays. For Valentine’s Day I got them books and am going to make Paleo fruit pizza for dessert. For Easter I usually get them bathing suits, sunglasses, beach towels, etc. They love our new traditons and I’ve never had one ask were the candy is!

  6. Kate says

    It’s hard for me to say what might be the right way to introduce your kids to eating this way, since sugar was not available to me as a child, and as a result (for me, anyway) became a guilty, somewhat shameful, disordered-eating-type behavior for me once I hit adolescence. I don’t have happy memories of family gatherings that included sugary treats – my mom was a Type 1 diabetic, so the only candy we had in the house was purely for her to use during insulin reactions. We never really talked about sugar or emotional eating – by the time I was a teenager, my mom had a healthy attitude toward her body and her her diet – in retrospect, she basically ate a primal diet, and as a result, did a fantastic job managing her own diabetes. However, once I discovered processed, sugary foods outside the home (donuts, soda, etc.), they became a shameful, almost addictive, rebellious presence in my life. Sugar was “bad” and I was 13…of course I wanted to be “bad.” Also, because my mom was “so good,” (she hadn’t been able to eat anything that was a dense carbohydrate source since she was very young – she was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 13, in the 50s, where Type 1 diabetes was only recently not a death sentence) I didn’t feel like I could talk to her about it. I overate sugary foods all throughout my teenage years, became predictably chubby, felt a lot of guilt about sugar and sugar foods, and even though I don’t have a particularly addictive personality,sugar is still definitely a “demon” for me. I’m only just not starting to be able to acknowledge that and deal with it. As a result of my own experiences, I find that I am really unsure about how I would deal with introducing my own children to a paleo/primal dietary template – going to something like this was definitely “natural” for me, since it’s how I grew up, but I also recognize the adolescent need to rebel, and if your parents eat paleo/primal…well, sugar definitely became my way to draw a line in the sand and “rebel.”

    Anyway, I loved this post – definitely a lot of food for thought.

    • Lisa says

      Kate, Thank you so much for sharing this. You are so right, sometimes deprivation (if done in the wrong way) makes us want to dance with the devil even more.

  7. says

    my family of four is really struggling with sugar right now, especially my two children, ages 9 and 11. i snapped the other night after listening to my daughter talk about cake for well over an hour and told my kids i feel like one of those cartoon characters with a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. the angel is perfectly fit and strictly paleo, while the devil is talking incessantly about cake and cookies and ice cream and candy and chocolate. and the devil has a chorus: billboards, commercials, advertisements online and in magazines and mailers, conveniently placed products in the grocery store, and my children and extended family always asking for or offering sugary treats. i feel like i need blinders and ear plugs to drown out all the temptations, but what i really need is strength and will power.

    a few months ago at our local fro-yo shop i overheard a very beautiful and fit lady tell her friend: “every time i crave something sweet, i go and lift something heavy”. brilliant.

    • Lisa says

      Molly, Totally been there, my kids are 14 and 12, the whining about no junk in the house, actually I beleive their exact words where “Mooooom there is NOTHING to eat” as they looked at a fridge full of food!!! lol. It was enough to make anyone pull there hair out. Now they love all the Paleo options….As you probably aready know, Sarahs book and blog, have great ideas for transitioning the family especially the kiddies. If I can be of any help let me know.

      • AddieMay says

        it’s not easy to transition an entire family to eating Paleo especially when the kiddos are used to SO much sugar. Deprivation only makes them crave it more when they are out of the house or away from you. I recently found some almond & rice based crackers that are wheat and gluten free.. .http://bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=517&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Nut-Thins-Brand&utm_term=diamond-crackers&utm_content=C …they aren’t something i have in the house on a regular basis, but buy them here and there to let the kids feel like they are getting the chips/cracker fix. Heck every once in a while i want some crunchy cracker something. If it’s not readily available in your house they kids will grown to understand that and they won’t go hunting for the cookies and candy that aren’t there. I have also taken to making the kids fruit smoothies was coconut milk in them, if you use frozen fruit, the consistency is that of ice cream and the kids are never the wiser. They now ask for the with breakfast and as snacks on the weekends!!

        Speaking of demons thought…bread is (was) by far my tormentor!!! I have been loosely eating Paleo for about 2 years, some dairy here and there and of course bread and tortillas were my cheat foods. I recently read an article about gluten and what it does to your body YUCK….so mid January after eating way to much crap for the holidays i decided to go on a strict Paleo diet void of ANY GLUTEN…it really wasn’t very hard for me to say no to gluten foods once i was so clear on what exactly they were and what exactly they were doing to me. Low and behold though here comes Super Bowl…i decide a piece of pizza wouldn’t kill me, i’d been SO good. i could not in my life have ever been more wrong of any one thing, everrrrr. I felt so bad mentally AND physically after eating this “bread” that used to be so comforting and almost equaled love to my brain. My stomach was upset, i was gassy, my intestinal function was NOT right for a couple days…that was just the physical stuff though, i think the mental battle that ensued was much worse. I beat myself up, “why self are you eating crap that you know isn’t good for you? you know it’s not good for you and you know it’s not going to make you feel good yet you still want to eat it as a “treat” food?!?” i forced myself to look at the reasons why i had made this choice over the course of the next couple days. I wrote down reasons, aahhh HA moments and just simply how i felt. (one of my reasons was just a simple sketch of my new summer bikini that i bought) I compiled all of my writing and made a note in my phone…it’s titled READ BEFORE EATING GLUTEN…i wrote myself a little reminder about how it made me feel mentally and physically and a little question at the end to myself…”is this going to make me feel good AFTER i eat it?” if not, than why are you even contemplating eating it??!!! I have a very strong resolve now not to eat anything with gluten and none of the junk. I do let sugar sneak in here or there (usually in the form of fro-yo) but i now choose when to let it in, it doesn’t run me!!

        p.s. Hawaiian shaved ice (just the ice) topped with fresh fruit and coconut milk is an amazing dessert substitution. it totally hits the spot in the summer!!

        • Kathy says

          can you share your coconut milk smoothie recipe? I want to start making the kids smoothies for afternoon snacks. I am in the process of transitioning myself to paleo (probably about 80% there with good and bad days). I have cut down on family junk food. I do make the kids cookies, but use all almond and coconut flour and sweeten with maple syrup (not paleo, I know, but a step in the right direction). I am always looking for ideas and would love the smoothie recipe! Thanks in advance!

  8. Katherine says

    I’m so glad to read this post, as I am about anyone who struggles with fighting sugar and cravings. I have loved and coveted sugar my entire life, but didn’t lapse into utter despair about it until the last decade. I have tried various things and even had success abstaining from sugar, but didn’t realize at the time my issues had become complicated even more by intestinal candida…it makes my old cravings look like child’s play. I turn into a monster now if I imbibe even a little — think Godzilla en route to the grocery store. When I’m eating paleo, my body feels perfectly satisfied and I love my life. And yet. My emotions sometimes take me down that path, the one where I don’t think, I just inhale. Or sometimes it is nostalgia or the feeling “I should be able to have just a little of this and be done with it.” But then a week later, I come up for air, having had a tragic week of eating, remorse and loathing. But I always get back on track and try again. And I am learning about myself all the time, so it’s not for nothing, but I would love to never have to travel down that path again.

    • Lisa says

      Thanks for sharing Katherine,
      I too have totally been down that inhale till you rememebr to come up for air situation…I think that most sugar addicts will never be able to just have a bit and walk away. In my opinion sugar addiction is no different than other addictions, it is just more accepted.
      Hang in and stay strong, we are totally here to help you.

  9. Julie says

    wow- this is soooo what I needed right now! I’m new as of January to the Paleo way of life, and I literally just bought a cream-filled egg last week! I haven’t eaten it though. It’s sitting in my desk at school where I’m telling myself that when I absolutely need it, it’s there. I might throw it away… thoughts to a newcomer who is still struggling? I, like you, am a complete sugar addict.

    • Jan says

      I too had sugar cravings. I began my Paleo lifestyle journey one year ago. Throw that egg away. You will be glad you did.

    • Lisa says

      Step away from the egg!!! The devil is in your desk, just waiting for you to dance with it… It will win every time. You are stronger than me though, I would have inhaled that baby ten time over by now. lol

  10. Jess K says

    Creme Eggs were always my downfall. So far this year, I have been able to avoid them but they do call my name. And you are right, Lisa, sugar will always be calling me. Even on days when it has been all week and I have been so…good… I give in and put brown sugar or maple syrup in my coffee. Self control where are you??

  11. says

    I, too, have conquered the physical sugar cravings. I have iron-clad willpower as well. But it certainly is hard to put those emotional food memories to rest…My sweetest memory is my family riding our bikes to Braum’s Ice Cream on warm summer evenings and each getting an ice cream cone (mint chocolate chip for me, rocky road for daddy and pecan praline for mom…the same every time!), enjoying it sitting on the warm brick outside and then riding back home.

  12. says

    Oh this hit home with me. Especially the part about how we were eating back then and how our parents actually loves us and wanted the best for us.
    I’m a parent now, and I find it SO DAMNED HARD to stear my daughter clear of the sugar. It’s impossible, actually, since she’s in kindergarten everyday and the food (“food”!) is included – I can’t make her lunch. And when she comes home, she craves “dinners” that come in those little bags… just add water to the glucose syrup and MSG, and you’re all good to go. It’s frustrating beyond words.

    • Lisa says

      It is hard Jeanette,
      But just like our parents, I know you are doing the best for your daughter that you can do. Hold on to that and feel good about it.

  13. Wenchypoo says

    Sarcasm ON…Well, they’re chocolate = Paleo. They’re also eggs = Paleo. Therefore, chocolate eggs should be Paleo, right?…sarcasm OFF.

    Personally, I quit celebrating the holidays because none of them are pet-friendly. Easter Schmeester, I say. There are better Paleo-friendly candy recipes out there!

    • Lisa says

      “Sarcasm ON…Well, they’re chocolate = Paleo. They’re also eggs = Paleo. Therefore, chocolate eggs should be Paleo, right?…sarcasm OFF.”

      Love it..

  14. says

    Oh those are my FAVORITE pre-packaged sugar filled holiday treat! But… what I miss more than anything in the world, and can no way be replicated in any way shape or form, is a fresh piece of New York style crumb cake… I grew up eating in on saturday mornings, straight from the bakery. It’s amazing how attached these sweet foods are to our childhood memories.
    Thank you for showing me that I’m not the only one who just MISSES some of these things sometimes… a relief to know that not everyone is paleo-perfect.

  15. Cris Campos says

    I have started Paleo a week ago, and cravings don’t begin to describe how I feel. I, being the type A personality I am, instead of easing my way into the Paleo life style, dove right in giving up sugar, grains, dairy and even caffeine all at once. What I miss the most is actually not sugar, is cheese…Gosh, I miss cheese…but it is nice to know I am not the only one that struggles. Now that my intestines are no longer trying to kill me, and my body somehow has gotten somewhat used to my new lifestyle, I am looking forward to a long and healthy life, no longer filled with mid-morning and mid-afternoon lows and crazy cravings I could not even begin to explain.
    Once again, thank you for sharing :)

  16. Caroline O. says

    I completely understand what you are saying about sugar being a slippery slope. I often find that I don’t crave it until I “cheat” then I crave it again like crazy.

    But honestly, with the eggs, (which were also my favorite as a child) and many other things I grew up liking I avoid the internal drama by telling myself I can have one if I want. I allow myself one “cheat” day a week (Usually Saturday) If i want it, no matter how awful and processed it is I can have it on that day. No guilt. In the beginning, I found that I did it a lot. I also allowed myself to notice that it (usually) did not taste as good as I remembered, how it made me feel and whether or not I felt it was worth it. Most of the time I felt it was not but allowing myself to eat it without guilt and objectively analyze the result has made it easier for me to pass on these kinds of things in the future. As a result, I “cheat” less and less on my cheat day and don’t feel deprived at all.

    Also, I was reading a post just this morning on whole9life.com about “The Whole30 Gone Bad” which basically talks about those of us who are compulsive (me) stressing just as much over not eating sugar as we ever did about eating sugar. Which is in some ways just as bad. It was easier, historically, because sugar/processed food were less available but I am sure there were lots of other bad decisions to be made. I am getting off the stress treadmill and allowing myself to make a bad decision and learn from it every now and then.

    • Lisa says

      Caroline, I once tried the cheat day …it turned into a cheat yr, no joke!!
      That is the great thing about Paleo, you can make it your own….you rock

  17. says

    DUDE, they have released the Cadbu–I’m sorry, “Creme Eggs” SO EARLY this year. I swear on whatever holy relic you wish, my grocery store had them on JANUARY 3rd this year. JANUARY. THIRD. Last year I know they didnt have them until at least after Valentines Day. So, yeah, ill be dodging those four-colored orbs of delicious crack for MONTHS AND MONTHS.

    I promised myself that I would have ONE this year, on actual easter sunday. Since they’re “buy two get two free” i know the checker is going to look at me strange when I insist on only buying one.

  18. Danielle says

    Okay Lisa…. I have to confess…. I ate half a box of those valentine Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries (hanging my head in shame). They weren’t even good! Just memories of years gone by…….. Thanks for the awesome post.

    • Lisa says

      Danielle, No one can blame you for wanting that comfortable, warm, feeling of years gone by. That little child comes out in all of us…You never have to hang your head in shame here, hold it high and be proud that you confessed…. doesn’t it feel good lol :)

  19. says

    I completely understand the mental struggle. It’s out of sight out of mind then bam there it is…a choice. Sometimes I give in but I’m learning and growing in this paleo process & I like it:). Today is Valentines and my son’s school has a no candy/ food policy for any event ( including birthdays) and I think it’s brilliant. No candy battles today! Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  20. Kelly says

    Wow, this is totally what I needed to hear today! It’s so empowering to know, and really internalize the fact that I can take control, where as for years I played victim to the lack there of.
    I am not eating Paleo just quite yet, but I’m really interested to find out more; so I’m glad I stumbled onto your website today! Thanks for sharing this message!

    • Lisa says

      Hi Kelly, welcome, you will find tons of great info here to get you started when you are ready….ck out Sarah’s podcasts….tons of great info on any subject you can think of…

  21. Maria says

    Oh thank you! I just yesterday fell of the wagon. I thought I would just eat a bit of dark chocolate, but ended up eating a whole bar. And the result is not pretty. My heart beats like a maniac, I spent the night In the toilet and now I feel like an old woman. What’s worse, I fear this will negate all the progress I have made. But surely it will not? Once it is out of my body, O can just resume my paleo ways and be no worse for wear? In fact better, since I learned a valuable lesson: sugar and I do not mix, nor do caffeine and I. Also, the chocolate did not even taste good to me, but somehow I could not stop!

    So in short: will one night negate my progress? Or can I just forget it and live on, a little wiser?

    • Shannon says

      You’ll be fine!! It can be a real eye opener to see what we tolerate, isn’t it? I do worry when I see people get so upset about cheats/mistakes, though. Paleo has been great for me, but perfect paleo can be such a high standard. I think it can help to find some paleo foods you just love and that love you back, so you can still enjoy treats. I don’t mean to downplay the importance of eating well, but one chocolate bar won’t derail everything else you’ve done. Now, if you’re eating one every night, that might not be the best idea….

  22. Erin says

    I thought I was doing well on my paleo journey, but I’ve fallen into the trap of convience. It’s not fast food as I’ve never eaten that, but the thought that it’s easier to whip up pasta and garlic bread for a quick dinner than remember to get something out of the freezer the night before. The past few days have been one downfall after another and I can’t look myself in the face right now. I actually think I might cry!! I am just about to go clean out my cupboards which is something I should have done from the beginning but I thought I was strong enough to stand against the temptation. I do have to say though, it’s not the creme eggs that get me, it’s the Mini Eggs. I LOVE them!!!! In years past, I’ve bought 4 or 5 of the large bags to store in the fridge just so I wouldn’t have to go all year without them…not this year. I am stronger than that and I WILL do this!

    • Shannon says

      Don’t beat yourself up!! Paleo can be a real struggle. I think it helps to see it as a process–pick one aspect of paleo to work on at a time, and then when you’ve got that under control move onto the next step. Going all in at 100 percent for everything, I think, is a recipe for failure. What is your biggest obsticle? Meals? Snacks? Sugar? Pick one and attack it. For me, I HAD to get meal planning under control before I really tackled the sugar beast. And I needed to deal with SB before I pushed my kids on their snacks. That way you have a list of smaller victories pushing you forward. Most of all, we’re human. If you mess up, pick yourself up and move on. We’ve all been there, (as in, my stomach is hating me for those little candy hearts I ate today). It gets easier, I promise!

      • Erin says

        Thanks! I really think it was too much trying to do it all at once! I’m working on meals and meal planning and from there I’ll work on the rest. I know that if I cheat once, I’ll do it again, so I am trying my hardest not too! Some days, and times of the month, are easier than others.

  23. maddy says

    OMG! Reese PB Cups are my downfall! Luckily I’ve found a way to make healthier (and Paleo!) versions that get devoured everytime; they’re made with raw chocolate, coconut oil, homemade almond butter and the freezer! Sometimes some extras are thrown in like, nuts, or dried fruit. Yum!

  24. sam says

    Great post

    Do zou feel anz cons on paleo diet. Like me I better fit with perfect health diet with less protein and incuding safe starches like fruit and sweet potato. When I was eating protein for breakfast lunch dinner I felt heavy sore muscles no energy for workout, constipated.. etc. Now I do IF eat only twice lots of veggies and green juice in the morning and feel much more better

    • Lisa says

      Yum, I love my green juices and green blended smoothies….it’s great that you are listening to your body, that’s what it’s all about take the paleo facts and make it yours…..

  25. sam says

    Yes I love it too, we have just bought new juicer norwalk the juice is so good and pulp so dry never have better breakfast then this green juice. First when I switch to paleo I have egg too after my green juice and then fish or meat at lunch and dinnes too. Now I have fish only in the evening and keep IF with green juice till lunch. I am friend with Natalia Rose so she advice me a lot how to do and how to listen my body. And I have to say that I have much more energy with less protein. I wish you best luck

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