Don’t Cheat

*Note from Sarah: Here’s another post from Lisa.  You can catch up on her story by clicking here. You can also find Lisa on Facebook!

As many of you probably know, I first approached Sarah a few months ago for help because I was struggling with several autoimmune issues and after hearing about paleo, I sincerely hoped that finally I had found the answer I was looking for.  The title of this post is “Don’t Cheat” and any of you who have read either Everyday Paleo or The Paleo Solution know that Sarah and Robb both recommend NOT cheating for at least the first 30 days and then reassessing from there.  Sarah recommends to never cheat with anything that contains gluten and to cheat mindfully and to realize that cheating equals a setback for most folks; especially if recovering from an illness or if fat loss is their goal. With autoimmune; cheating takes on a whole other meaning, and here’s my story about how I learned the hard way.

Don’t cheat

Even I can screw things up, please learn from me……

A while back, my family and I went on a little get away for spring break. This was really my first big travel since going Paleo except for a day trip here or there.

I knew the area we were visiting well, including of course all of my old favorite dinning holes, pre-Paleo…..Amongst my favorite noshing pits lies in my opinion; the best gluten free pizza in the world.

I was able to turn my head to everything and even the pizza, for a while. Yep, you know what’s coming, “for a while” is not a good start.

So eventually I did it, I had the pizza. I figured I was all good, come on, it’s one little individual sized gluten free pizza, and besides I was on vacation (and had been eating Paleo all the rest of the time), RIGHT?!?!

I must confess, as I sat, ordered, and waited for my warm dough baby to arrive, I had Sarah swirling in my head like a huge tornado. All her words of advice and wisdom “Don’t cheat Lisa. Just one bite and it will be like starting from scratch”. It was like she was the little angle sitting on my shoulder, and on the other side was the little guy with the pitch fork staring her down!! I could hear her clear as day, but nope, not even Sarah could save me form this moment.

That one moment of heavenly pizza bliss, turned into 2 weeks of hell….My thyroid got mad, my IBS found me, and my workouts had to be revamped due to the fatigue from my Hashimoto flair up…Not to mention, the overwhelming carb and dairy cravings I had to fight all over again, because those got stirred up too.

I suffered through it, drank tons of water, got lots of rest, went back to Paleo basics, and finally came out the other side. Was that pizza worth it?  If I am completely honest, in the moment; yes. But – for the 2 weeks of hellish aftermath and having to start from scratch; nothing is worth that…

Until next time
Much joy and happiness


  1. Teresa says

    I can so relate to this post. I have been doing Paleo since last September & have been diligent about sticking with it. I’m a single mom and have two kids & found it a nice retreat to be able to cook helathy for me and my family. I recently in the last month have gone back to work, I’m working 4 nights a week plus picking up two extra shifts a week. I’m finding it very challenging to cook & maintain my work schedule. I have been “winging” it for lack of a better word, and it’s NOT WORKING!! I have noticed my carb cravings are through the roof, I also struggle with thyroid issues and I have noticed I have no energy & am so tired. I need some motivation to get organized to be successful! My weight is up 5 pounds already and I am so hard on myself about it. Thank you for this post, it reminds me of what’s important even when it’s challenging.

    • Lisa says

      Teresa, Dont be hard on yourself, just be true to yourself. Take some time with a cup of tea and figure out how you can make this work for you. and if you really want it. Clean eating definetly needs planning, and is not a grab and go lifestyle. But you can do this and we are here for you to support you in your journey…hugs

    • Mandy says

      Hey there! I just wanted to say that I recently started a very intense nursing program, and my slowcooker has been VERY helpful for keeping good food choices around. If you google freezer crockpot meals or something like that, you can find sites that detail how to make up a bunch of meals at once and freeze them- so like for a couple hours of work on a sunday, you can end up with 8 or 10 different meals to freeze and then put in the crockpot at your convenience- it’s really easy to make them paleo-friendly too. I will either start them before I leave in the morning, or even do it overnight so I have something to pack for lunch and then stash the leftovers for later. hope that helps!!

  2. TJ says

    To be honest, this whole “cheating” concept baffles me a bit. If you have autoimmune issues, then “cheating” is ridiculous, you simply can’t do it. If you were allergic to peanuts, would you ever “cheat” by eating peanuts? No, of course not, because you’re allergic – you can’t “cheat” with something that destroys your body.

    On the other hand, this kind of dogmatic mindset for healthy people without autoimmune issues doesn’t make sense to me. Striving to avoid “cheating” is an insane struggle to avoid enjoying certain simple pleasures in life, like the occasional slice of pizza.

    People quit “diets” and “lifestyles” all the time because they can’t meet the kind of barrier set by posts and advice like this. Find your personal balance and what makes sense for you. Paleo will only be successful if it is promoted as a lifestyle that anybody can do, without stressing out and hearing about how they’ll have two weeks of pain (when most people won’t) when they have the occasional cheat meal.

    So, “Don’t Cheat” is a bit broad for the title of an autoimmune-specific post like this.

    • Sarah says

      If you have read this blog at all, you would know that this blog is very much about figuring out what works for you, and obviously so is this article. I’m sorry if you were thrown off by the title but for Lisa, “Don’t Cheat” has to be her mantra in order to remain healthy. She’s passionate about helping others with autoimmune and I want to support her passion and this title says it all for her.

  3. says

    Wow, powerful cautionary tale… I’m about to finish 30 days strict (the Whole30) and contemplating my next move.
    But I don’t get it; why did your body go so crazy? What was in the pizza that you weren’t usually eating? Also, how could you tell that your thyroid got mad? I have Hashimoto’s, and I never have any idea what’s going on with my thyroid…

    • Lisa says

      Benji, I usually eat no dairy or grains, gluten free or not, so I think it was just to much, I also deal with Celiac so it kind of pushed me over the top. My thyroid is kind enough to let me know it is bothered by swelling up. lol…But thats ok I listened, and learned….

      • Dutchie says

        It’s definitely a self-discovering journey when it comes to what one can handle as a cheat.
        For instance, Ray Peat recommends dairy/icecream when dealing with thyroid problems.

        When it comes to myself…I’m still figuring it all out ’cause sometimes I can handle some pizza or icecream seemingly fine,then on other moments it makes me sick.
        But the worst thing of it is,is that it usually leaves me wanting/craving more the day after(or some hours later,or sometimes right after) bc “it gives me such a ‘happy blissful feeling”.
        According to Matt Stone it’s bc the body/adrenals ‘view the meat&veggies&fat style /Paleo eating’ as being in starvation-mode over time,even though you as a person might not feel hungry. He has many followers,lots of former Paleo’ers/GAPSers,not sure what to think of it.

  4. says

    I agree! I’m doing Paleo for overall health. I was healthy before. Slightly overweight, but nothing unamangeable. I did Paleo with no cheats at all for 4.5 months. Then my newborn nephew got sick. Down the hill I went. It’s been a month and I’ve been eating like crap and need to restart myself, but am having trouble. I know what to do, I know how to do it, I just have to start my meal plan and get back on! Easier said than done.

  5. Lisa says

    You are So right Angela, one slip really does make for a slippery slope, but with summer approaching and all the great fruits and veggies showing up in the market. I say use this warm summer weather and the fabulous sunshine a time to renew and rejoice in your health!! Keep us posted..hugs

  6. Michelle says

    Me too; last week I made my kids some pizzas on portabella mushroom caps and one couldn’t finish hers so I tried it – in other words a mouthful of cheese and tomato. I’ve been feeling awful since and extra sensitive to the sun. So fatigued.

    What about coconut? I’ve been using coconut oil and “manna” – is it a “nut” I should eliminate?

  7. Sheri says

    I have been told by several people who are following a Paleo lifestyle that its ok to cheat or just follow it 80/20. One has even mentioned that his doctor recommends that you need to “shock” the body once in a while so its not such a shock when you do cheat. I have auto-immune issues. So to me, this is like telling a diabetic to go on a sugar binge now and then so the comas are easier to handle! Makes no sense to me!! If I cheat by eating inflammatory foods such as peppers, nuts or nightshades I pay the price for 3-4 days following with swollen, painful joints. How in the world would that be a good thing to do to my body? No thank you. I came down with the flu last week. Along with my immune system doing its good thing and attacking the virus, it went into overdrive and went after my joints as well. Could hardly close my hands or walk. And every joint in my body was involved. Because of Paleo, I understood what was happening and that it should calm down, which it did, but it took 4 days beyond when the fever broke and the “body aches” would normally disappear. Thanks but no thanks to cheating. My body and I have an agreement to try to be good to each other. It’s working – why mess with it?

  8. Stephanie says

    Vacation is the WORST time to slip up. I had a half of a piece of bread (slathered in Irish butter) while we were in Ireland last fall and lost half of a day with, lets call them stomach problems. Couldn’t leave the room. I was really upset that I missed that time but I learned a valuable lesson.

    • Lisa says

      Exactily, it’s fine to make mistakes, we always will. Its what you do with the mistakes, and that you learn from them..cheers to your success!!

  9. Trish says

    Thanks for this…just started Paleo for real this week and so far things are fine, but I know the time will come where I want to cheat…I will definitely think twice :)

  10. Lisa C says

    I am so glad to see this post! I was in the Paleo Zone for 6-8 weeks. The biggest change I made was to quit drinking, one I did that I dropped into the zone in about three weeks. The “zone” for me was when food was no longer a big focus, I was able to eat nourishing food and I was never hungry. If I was a little peckish (hungry) a few nuts would work. I dropped over 10 lbs and I felt great… then I cheated.

    One week ago today, I went to an amazing restaurant and had wine and desert and I was off the wagon (a bit) . Beer and some carbs on Saturday and I gained 5 lbs back, just like that. Now I am back to thinking about food and really having to show self-control, I want to eat everyhing. Today was a little better, I have been on track since Sunday, but was the cheat worth it, absolutely not. It was an interesting lesson to learn and one I don’t want to repeat.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing your story, I am so glad you enjoyed the post. That what it is really all about, finding YOU and what works to make this a lifestyle for you. You are a going to be wonderfully successful with this, I can tell..:)

  11. Nancy Veasey says

    I had been ill for almost 13 years I guess and actively searching for a cure for about 10 so when I stumbled across Paleo 7 or 8 months ago and it worked ………I have never looked back……………and so I will share with those that might be tempted the simple decision that I made for myself after my initial 30 days………all those foods that are now off of my Paleo plate ……….I have no desire for because I know that to me and my system the taste or flavor is only masking what it really is to my system which is POISON ……….I don’t plan on eating or drinking any cleaning products under my sink and I don’t plan on knowingly eating bread, pasta,pizza or my once absolute favorite Hummus ……….because 13 years of being exhausted all the time or not being able to receive a hug from my husband or children because I would be in excruciating pain and finally being free from that is way better than any cheat I could imagine and the losing weight aint to shabby either but I know for me it just clicked to take the poison position on those foods that made me ill for so long. I know we’re all different and some will be tempted by different things I’ve got other areas in my life I’ve still to conquer but I hope this may help someone else to decide it’s just not worth it but if you do fall don’t beat yourself up chances are your gut will do that for you :) pick yourself back up surround yourself with people that love you and get going just like Lisa did :)

    • Lisa says

      Thank You Nancy, I love hearing success…and you are right, untill you feel the pain of an AI issues, you don’t get it..I am so glade to hear you can enjoy loving, warm hugs again!! They are the best

  12. PaleoNewbie says

    Thank you for this post! I’m on day 5 of my first 30 and I was just thinking: “I’ve been good for the week, I’ll just knock down some nasty food tonight and reset tomorrow”. I’m definitely reconsidering, now. I think some water and sleep will be better than the donuts I had in mind.

  13. Jeannine says

    When I first switched to Paleo, for several weeks I was 6 days super strict, 1 day not so strict. I’m talking full-on gluten-y pizza every Friday night, with maybe even a breakfast sandwich w/ cheese earlier that day from Panera or Starbucks. SO NOT PALEO, but it was what I choose to do. That got old real quick. I noticed how great I would feel during my super strict days, & how gross I felt the next morning after my not strict day. Then it became every other Friday thinking less is better, & I was still feeling super gross the day after. Finally my body told me to stop it, feeling sick, bloated & gross was not for me, I cut out all of my planned cheat days & never looked back. I totally LOVE eating Paleo, LOVE how I feel & look, & follow Sarah’s philosophy about no gluten when I make a non-Paleo food decision. Over the past year, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had corn tortillas or rice with sushi, & I do eat goat cheese about once a month on top of a yummy bacon wrapped egg creation. When I make a non-Paleo food decision, I enjoy a small portion, & I do not beat myself up about it later.

  14. says

    what was it about the pizza that was so bad if it was gluten free? was it the cheese? I had a GF vegan pizza the other day and feel like that is relatively fine (for me, but should be for most).

    • Lisa says

      I also have Celiac, and a gluten free diet was not enough to heal me. I had to go grain free. So even though it was gluten free, my body is use to no grains no dairy…

  15. Clayton says

    You know what really gets me, is burnout on cooking and cleaning. I have a rotating work schedule, and my wife has been very busy the last 8 months with school. Burnout from cooking and cleaning really get us. I don’t know if it’s laziness or what, I’m sure some of it is, but when your both tired, busy, and stressed it’s tough for me to not eat bad. I really don’t have any health problems and I felt great when I did the first 30 days of paleo, lost weight and everything. But, I think I need a support group or something.

    What do you do to motivate yourself when your okay with feeling what you thought was normal? We are both really good at giving in to our food cravings so that doesn’t work too much. Would it just be that I need to work on life simplification? what do yall think or do?

    Thanks in advance

    • Sarah says

      Clayton, getting burned out is not an uncommon problem these days, eating paleo or not! I’m also working on simplifying our lives and trying to focus on stress reduction and how to live life to the fullest rather than always living life full throttle. I have another website which is fitness and nutrition program that also has an amazing forum where you can chat with other people, have direct access to myself, Jason Seib, and our other moderators, and you’ll find the most incredible support network in the paleo community anywhere (ok, maybe I’m being biased, but it’s amazing…) And yes, cutting back on other stressful things in your life, working on prioritizing and food prep on the weekends, having several “go to” easy meals that require little prep and clean up, all of those things are essential as well. Finding time to do things that are nurturing to you, take walks, be outside, stress LESS about the mess, etc. You’re not alone, it can be done, keep us posted and we’ll help you here also!

      • Chayrl says

        The easiest thing for me to do when I don’t feel like making a meal (kids are grown, only have to worry about myself), is to make sure I have plenty of left overs in the fridge. So grabbing some cold chicken, sliced tomatoes, hard boiled egg (I also keep pickled eggs in the fridge) olives is an easy way to stay on track!
        Always make extra when you are cooking!!!

    • Lisa says

      When my life gets a little crazy and I get into that state. I take the stress off by getting pre cut veggies, apple gate deli meats for quick roll ups, things like that…and remember this is about enjoyment not perfection. Do the best you can when you can, but don’t make it an excuse to eat badly……like Sarah said we are here for you, so ask away and we will help…

  16. maria says

    I understand Lisa’s situation, since she has autoimmune to deal with.

    However, for myself, this no cheating turned out not to be a good policy. I found I easily overate if I never allowed myself things not paleo that I was craving. On a very deep level, some part of me was never satiated, and so I ate too much. And during the past year, doing paleo strictly (and no, no nuts etc that are the usual culprits) I gained well over 10 kg. And it is not muscle.

    So now, I have decided to ditch diets (in both senses of the word), and learn to eat intuitively. Listen my body, and eat whatever the hell I want. I have already discovered that for me, wheat and dairy are not good, oats and rice and spuds work well. As does full-fat dairy in small amounts.

    And I feel better than I ever did on paleo, I no longer feel deprived, I am satiated on all levels, and my hunger signals have returned to normal. I know when to stop eating, and I don’t want to eat more. I also don’t think of food constantly, my constipation (constant on paleo, with extreme bloating as well) is gone and I am much happier.

    I just wanted to put this out there, but not to diss paleo. I think as a framework it is wonderful, there’s so much good about it. Just to say that maybe it is not for everyone. All the best to you.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Maria, your words are always welcome. And you found a happy YOU in a clean eating way, which is great.

    • Sarah says

      You’re right Maria, it’s NOT for everyone. To me what you are describing IS paleo. You figured out what works for you – and the crazy thing, the premise of what paleo is (avoiding grains & dairy) is what is working for you – and then you eat whatever else the hell you want, as long as you feel good! There’s a slide that I discuss in my workshop about how to not stress about this whole thing and to yes, eat whatever you want to and the majority of the time, people don’t want to eat, grains, dairy, or legumes, because it makes them feel awful. It’s good to experiment after those first 30 days to see what you can and cannot tolerate and you did that, which is awesome. For me, I can eat some rice and potatoes now and then and do awesome but anything else puts me over the edge in regards to my health but it took me a while also to figure that out. Getting my relationship with food sorted out was a huge step in the right direction and yes, not constantly thinking about food is so liberating once you decide that this lifestyle IS NOT a diet and in fact a way to figure out exactly what your body needs and how to fuel it. Thank you for sharing your story!

  17. Michelle says

    I am in the same boat. I have been Paleo for a few months now and my psoriasis and IBS have made fantastic improvements (especially my psoriasis. IBS had gotten much better after going gluten free a couple years ago) I know better, but sometimes Qudoba nachos seem to be calling my name! The double edged sword for me is that I do not react right away. If I have a few too many corn chips, I may bloat a bit (ok, maybe more than a bit… we’re really talking food baby size), but it takes a few days for my skin to remind me why I made this lifestyle choice in the first place. When you’ve made a lot of progress, it can be very easy to tell yourself it’s ok to “cheat” a little. Why not? You’ve made great progress! Have a little reward! Those of us who’ve made this change for autoimmune issues just can’t get away with it. But sometimes we need a physical reminder.

  18. Dawn says

    I do not have AI issues but I do have a compulsive overeating disorder. What worked for me was to swear off sugar and starch as an alcoholic would swear off booze. I knew one bite would send me into a binge. I have been starch and sugar free since December 13, 2011. In that time I have lost 45 pounds and have switched to full-on paleo. I could never do paleo before because of the eating disorder. Once I got my head figured out with that I was able to segway into paleo. I use a 12 step program to deal with my life issues so cravings are not a problem. The two of them together (the 12 step program and paleo) are a powerful combination to combat compulsive overeating.

    • Adair says

      I too am a compulsive overeater and the paleo lifestyle has been such a wonderful addition to my program. I am glad that you are also working it one day at a time.

  19. says

    OH MY GOODNESS I can’t believe it affected you for weeks — that sucks, I am so sorry. I would not have thought a gluten-free “cheat” would harm you so much. Hopefully now you’re back on track! I thought feeling like hell for three days was bad, thanks for giving me perspective!

  20. Leslie says

    I have been contemplating going Paleo for several months now and got Sarah’s cookbook as a mother’s day gift. (BTW, every recipe I have made from it has been wonderful!) I had already been eating low carb and grain free/sugar free since Jan. Then I sort of fell off the wagon at Easter with some sugar and it sure has been a slippery slope ever since! I have had sugar occasionally and some gluten free grains (like tortilla chips) more than once. I have gained some weight back and mentally feel awful again. Physically, what really makes me feel bad is gluten and it is not worth it to me to eat it (after a week long binge last fall it took me 6 weeks to feel better).

    So anyhow, I just wanted to say I love this blog and I plan to start Paleo on June 3. I would start earlier but we are heading to CA for a Disney vacation and I just don’t want to even try to start something new during a vacation. Reading the blog and my new cookbook are really making me look forward to the change. I have also read that this could help with acne, so I’m encouraging my daughters to try it with me (anyone have experience with that?).

    I am really hoping for weight loss (10-15 lbs) results so any tips for a newbie with this goal would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks!

    • Clayton says

      My wife and I are starting the 30 day paleo challenge on June 1st. So we’ll be writing about it and probably checking up here too for help. Good luck to you

  21. Lisa says

    Hey Leslie,dairy can be a big factor in acne, so yes Paleo could help as it removes dairy from the diet….you are going to rock this in June, what a great I’m to get your mind back in the game, all the fresh, clean whole fruits and veggies tht come out will be lovely for you to enjoy….we are here for you to offer whatever support you need. Have a fabulous time at Disney….:)

  22. Adair says

    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to read this today along with all the comments. I have Celiacs disease along with other food sensitivities and paleo eating is the only way I feel whole. Long story short, my Navy husband and I just moved to Guam and the transition has been rough. I have found myself making excuses for my poor eating and lack of exercise. I am starting to see it in the mirror an have been feeling the effects for even longer. I am going to take this evening to sit down and work out a seven day food and exercise plan to get me back on track. Thanks for always posting exactly what I need to read…whether I like it or not.

    • Lisa says

      Welcome Adair, we are here for you, Sarah has a link to my FB page at the top of this post, everyone there is dealing with an autoimmune disease or looking for support about one….come on over and visit us…when having an autoimmune issues it can change things up some….would love to support and help you all I can..

  23. Jessica Newman says

    I was thinking about this and realized that a lot of Paleo foods are “cheats” for me! For years I was only worried about fat and calorie intake and cholesterol. I LOVE red meat, bacon and sausages. But, I would avoid lots of eggs, red meats and bacon and sausage because they were unhealthy and had too much fat, right? I know that I can’t just inhale these with no regard to how much I’m eating and I make sure to get clean, grass fed options. Also, I balance them out with veggies and chicken and fish — but its so freeing not to have to worry about fat :)

    • Lisa says

      That’s fabulous Jessica and so what I think it’s all about…find how a clean, whole foods, Paleo plan can work for ….YOU and it sounds like you found that, way to go….

  24. says

    I applaud your candor; this admission will help a lot of people. It gets much easier with time and practice to not cheat, especially when you are no longer sidelined with illness, deprived, restricted, or hungry like when grains were in your life. A few wild roller coaster rides, some episodes of trial-and-error, and we all come to understand where we can dabble, where we can cross the line, and where we cannot. Soon you’ll know all your limits and not be tempted or interested in a walk on the wild side!

    • Lisa says

      Thank you Paula, I have really tried to share my truths through this journey, sometimes its hard, because with truth can come judgment…but I made a pack with myself that i was going to put it all there so others realize they are not alone….

  25. Monica says

    Hello! Recentley I have discovered the Paleo diet, and purchased the book as well. I would like to start it, more as a lifestyle change rather than diet. My only hesitation is I am a college student going into my senior year. I live on campus, in apartment style living. I don’t know if the time commitment it takes to prepare food is something I will be able to stick with. I feel like I’ll stick with it until summer is over, and then fall back into bad eating habits when I return to school. Advice? Thoughts? Please help. Thankyou!

    • Lisa says

      Hey Monica, Sarah actually had a college student Erika posting her time eating paleo on a students budget….she has since graduated, but she did it…and you can too….once you do paleo for the summer you won’t want to eat any other way come fall, so don’t even worry that Far ahead…it will just all naturally fall into place….and you are so right make this a lifestyle change not a diet or it will never work…that’s been my motto through all of this find what works for YOU,!!

  26. Steven says

    Hi, I read this site from the UK and have found it pretty useful over the past year or so. Having been fairly sporty all through life I was diagnosed with Diabetes about 4 years ago. Th UK treatment is generally to prescribe drugs to help the muscles absorb insulin and to advise a diet with a food pyramid with small amounts of protein and large amunts of fibre, generally grains and vegetables. Over three years of this every six months my sugar levels would be assessed and whilst controlled at or near the top of a band they increased and my medication was increased as well. The doctor said that eventually my overworked pancreas would give up and then I would need insulin. I then read a couple of books, one by Loren Cordain that made me sit up and think. I am fairly intelligent but not really on the science side and the books were difficult to fully understand but it did seem that the UK dietary advice was nothing to do with treating diabetes and all about trying to prevent heart disease. As a fairly fit person with low cholestrol and good blood pressure that was not a particular concern, what did concern me was finding a lifestyle that helped my sugar levels. About a year ago I tried cutting out/seriously cutting down starchy carbs and looked to vegetables and some fruits to fill the gap, I cut out anything labelled “diet” or low fat and upped my protein. The last two check ups my blood sugar has been bumping along the bottom of the band and I hope to get lower still. Paleo is a healthy lifestyle and even eating out, sometimes especially eating out, is quite possible to adhere to. Cheating does have its costs, in my case carbs bring on tiredness the hardest times for me is business meetings where the only offering is sandwiches and breakfast, my long suffering wife does try not to come up with breakfast cereals all the time and even makes a meusli with lots of nuts and fruit and very few oats but it just seems the hardest meal. I try to exercise 4 or 5 times a week and actually now in my fifties feel fitter than perhaps 10 years ago, and although my weight is perhap 10-15 pounds down from where it was I am getting into suits that I had long pushed to the back of the closet. Thank for the website it is good to read about people who have achieved a lot

  27. Laura says

    Thanks for sharing your story! I started the paleo lifestyle in early March, and I haven’t looked back. I was skeptical at first, but I decided to give it a shot — what did I have to lose? If I didn’t like it, I’d simply go back to what I was doing before. Well, what I found is that my gastrointestinal distress ended once I gave up the breads, pastas, beans, rice, etc., that I loved and ate in large quantities.

    But, I do occasionally have a non-paleo item — like a few tortilla chips at our favorite Mexican restaurant, a scoop of ice cream, etc. These items are few and far between, and I keep the portion sizes small enough that they really don’t affect me a lot. However, this past weekend (Memorial Day), my husband and I took our kids and a group of their friends to a baseball game, and there was nothing I could eat. I was so hungry I ended up having some pizza. And I certainly paid for it the next day with, to put it delicately, GI distress. SO NOT WORTH IT!

    People make fun of me for my “pickiness” when we are eating at restaurants, but I don’t care — I know now what works best for my body.

    Thanks for your posts!

    • Lisa@ Autoimmune, Paleo and YOU says

      Laura, awesome story, thank you for sharing….I hear you on the GI issues, no doubt grains and dairy just suck all the way around…lol

  28. Jessi says

    Cheating sucks. It really does. I don’t have any diseases or ailments that would keep me from eating the SAD. However, since going primal/paleo I’m starting to see the “problems” the junk food was causing. I never realized before my stomach ached after eating copious amounts of pasta, and corn and breads. Or how lethargic I felt after eating those things. And just like Lisa said, it’s always worth it is, in the moment. However the aftermath usually makes you wish you could turn back time. I’m still trying to kick the junk food cravings I picked up while visiting family for a week! Granted I tried to stick to my guns and eat the best options available, but there were a few “treats” a little too often probably.
    Great post!

  29. says

    50% of my patients have autoimmune conditions, and unfortunately, they are on the rise. It is amazing how one “cheat” on gluten can completely throw them into a flare-up. With that said, that flare-up can be a very good learning tool.
    Gluten can break down the junctions between the cells in the gastrointestinal tract leading to more food allergies. Most people are unaware that hemp and oats, despite being gluten-free, can lead to food allergy reactions with gluten-sensitive people because of their molecular structure and similarity to gluten.

    Dr. Mathers

    • Lisa@ Autoimmune, Paleo and YOU says

      Hi Dr Mathers, I have been reading up on some interesting info that says all grains contain their “own” forms of gluten….and the more I am working with celiacs, myself included. I am seeing how we just do not do well on any grains, so you are right there definetly has to be something to it.

  30. says

    I must admit I don’t eat 100% paleo all the time, but I do eat well and stick to the foundations of the diet. The last time I strayed off the paleo path (fried chicken wings) I was toilet bound for about a day and a half. It may feel great to crush a whole pizza at the time, but the after effects aren’t a lot of fun. The bottom line is you should know your body and know what it can and can’t handle.

  31. Clayton says

    We are on day 11 of the 30 day challenge and it’s gone about 99% good so far. I do have a question on alcohol. We wanted to get some beer and talked about what kind would be best (or the least bad) I chose miller 64 with low carbs and all, she chose redbridge wheat free beer, it’s a normal beer with 127 calories and 12 g carbs. We are going to drink, I just want to make the best choice. What would you think is better, or is there something else you would recommend?
    Thanks again.

    • Lisa@ Autoimmune, Paleo and YOU says

      Hey Clayton, I am going to leave this one for Sarah to answer, as i don’t drink, and am not familiar with your options….but I do love that you are looking for the best way to make this lifestyle work for YOU in a way you will follow it for a life time….and that is what it’s all about, a lifestyle not a temporary thing!! Way to go…

  32. sam says

    I have just recently been tested for gluten and lactose intolerant as well as egg yolks and sugar!. Since eliminating these from my diet I feel so much better. I would eat healthily for a few weeks and then ‘treat’ myself with a pizza or a chocolate cake or something. That night I would bloat in the face, literally gaining weight visibly and within 3 days Ive gained weight and bloated like Im 6 months pregnant.

    I did the master cleanse for a week to purge everything out of my system and start afresh and yesterday thought I would treat myself to some gluten free corn chips.. not knowing what they might do. I dont usually eat processed foods such as bread, pasta, rice, chip in general. My junk is chocolate and pizza. So back to the corn chips.. OMG, my stomach is so so bloated and I am constipated on top of that, I feel like I have a plug in my butt lol my face is beginning to fill in the cheekbones and I dread how I look tomorrow. Im so annoyed as I was beginning to look slimmer and for the first time in a LONG time was feeling what it was like to have a non-bloated stomach – I didnt realise I was walking around in so much pain as I had gotten used to it.

  33. Cassandra says

    I wish I had read this article two weeks ago… I definitely thought having ONE burger on some bread would work out just fine… Big mistake. I’ve been so ill, IBS flared, Body, Face, and Feet are bloated. I felt exhausted, and my starch and sugar cravings spiked. Ugh, never again… hopefully I can remember how terrible it made me feel just to have couple slices of french loaf :-(

  34. Karen says

    Glad to read all the comments. I have been soooo tired in the afternoons. It’s like hitting a brick wall. I have been eating Paleo since March; however, I have been letting little bite cheats in here and there. I realize now that really there is no “little cheat” a cheat is a cheat; one bite or one whole “anything”. So off I will begin again to renew my commitment to make a choice, and to not choose “YUM” over health and well being.

  35. Stephanie says

    I have to agree whole-heartedly with the no cheating when suffering from inflammatory diseases. I was put on the paleo (hunter/gatherer) lifestyle by a Naturopath after feeling extremely fatigued. I thought it was a change in altitude, but boy was I wrong. Recently, I left home for a few weeks to attend a special school. While there, I was unable to cook for myself, and was left with a microwave, small fridge, and no utensils. I had been told no plastic (estrogen problems), and to stay on this diet. Well, needless to say, I was unable to maintain my standard meals while at this special school, and have been struggling with weight gain, fatigue, abdominal problems (bloating, discomfort), and disruptions in sleep every since I returned. I have been trying to get back into the habit of cooking 100% perservative/GMO free/grain free/gluten free, but it is a slow return. To caveat on the subject, eating out, or in a school facility, threw me into a 15 pound weight gain that has been slow to go away. I will never do that again….

  36. Brigitte says

    Hi, I’d like some advice, im still in my teens and my mom and dad are doing paleo so I go along with it but every now and then my mum might make apple pie or the equivalent and I cant resist the urge to eat a really liberal piece. Is this bad for me?

  37. Emily says

    I’ve been eating paleo for exactly a month today. I’ve gone down two sizes in my pants and I can see changes. My biggest concern is that I feel like I’m bloating. I’ve been very strict and have not cheated once. I’m second guessing my success and I don’t know what to do to help my belly fat issue. It felt like it was going down for a while and now I feel bloated. I’ve been doing an hour of strength training yoga every day for the last two weeks and I’m noticing some toning going on in my thighs and calves. I guess what I’m looking for is some advice. I will admit that the last week or so I haven’t been getting more than 6 hours of sleep and I’m a little stressed out with school (college student). Could that be causing bloating?

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