When it comes to health goals, the phrase “everything in moderation” has got to go. Would you tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation? Would you tell a diabetic to consumer sugar in moderation? To get from point A to point B you have to be extreme and say “no” — and sometimes for a very long time. Maybe forever. If I did things in moderation, I wouldn’t achieve such great health goals — I’ve freaked out more than one doctor in my lifetime with my health success by being an extremist.. So, don’t talk to me about “moderation.” You ain’t gonna win.
Now, this post isn’t about healthy people going on vacation and bringing food into their hotel rooms because they’re afraid to eat at a restaurant. This post is about people who have a health goal — whether it’s reversing diabetes or losing weight. If you’re serious about something, you gotta stick to it until you get to where you want to be.
As followers know, I’ve been doing the paleo diet for over a year now. For the first few months I was pretty rigid in it. During those first months, I developed fab abs (in my 50s!) and was able to raise my blood pressure to “normal.” That thrilled me because all my life my blood pressure was “too low.” Doctors said “too low” was better than “high” — but for me, I like to be perfect. I also impressed the ladies in the front office at my dentist. They thought I had my teeth whitened! No, my teeth got whiter from eating paleo!
But like anything else, when you’re feeling good and happy, you start to slack off. I’ll never forget, it was around Halloween when I had my first fun-sized bag of chips after four months of avoiding them. They just didn’t taste the same, but I ate them anyway. Then came Christmas and like everyone else, I indulged. Of course the little belly came back, but the blood pressure stayed normal because I was able to get right back into eating paleo. The paleo lifestyle is a win/win because it’s one of the few lifestyles that is so easy because you’re never hungry. The reason you’re never hungry is because you’re feeding your body with beautiful nutrients from good fats (grass-fed butter, avocado and coconut oil). So, now at this point I was eating about 80 percent paleo but also some grains.
Now, if I didn’t know a thing or two about health/nutrition, I wouldn’t have had my own health column in The Patch online. Nor would I have had the opportunity to present lectures on the paleo diet at local libraries. (You can see this awesome article about me that ran in the Observer: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/caveman-diet-discussed-in-long-valley/article_225401a6-6fcd-5968-8968-355e730c439a.html?mode=story
This week, I got into a sweet groove again after buying a package of paleo coconut wraps. I started making avocado/tomato sandwiches with them and also putting some extra grass-fed butter into my bulletproof coffee. Still not 100 percent paleo, but because of the extra fat — I noticed I lost about three pounds in a matter of a few days! The belly was going down again!!
My mistake was sharing this on Facebook.
Leave it to a “joy stealer” to come along and shoot me down. (NOTE: I coined the phrase “joy stealer” to define this sort of asshole: When someone is speaking positively of something they love, whether it be food, their husband, their career, etc. and another person shoots it down, it’s called “stealing joy.” And that is not a live-and-let-live mindset. If you do this, shame on you!)
A woman who drinks three yeasty beers with her lunch had the nerve to tell me “Everything in moderation. Fat is unhealthy.”
It cracks me up. People can drink like fish. Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Go to McDonald’s on a regular basis. Put chemicals on their hair. Avoid exercise. No one bats an eye. Then because I had an avocado in a coconut wrap — I have to hear, OH MY GOD I gotta watch my fat intake or I’m gonna die!!!
It’s pretty silly, right? I first said that back in 2004, defending my raw food diet (which is pretty close to paleo, actually … ever since I became paleo, my raw food intake increased dramatically). On day after a minor surgery, before I was self-employed and was still working in an office, I was eating a pineapple for lunch because pineapple is great for healing.
A snooty woman turned her nose up at me, scrunched her face, did the Elvis lip thing, and whined, “You’re gonna eat ALL THAT?”
But she never ever questioned the man who had three slices of pizza for lunch ever day. And she never questioned the ladies who had buckets and buckets of Chinese and Mexican take-out — not once ever making a fresh salad.
No, no, no … it’s the HEALTHY PERSON that people are skeptical of!
Thinking about all this, I came to the conclusion that people who say, “Everything in moderation” are those who feel guilty about their own shortcomings like the yeasty beer chick.
So, before you act like a JOY STEALER when you see someone eating 100 percent raw, or paleo or vegan … or doing the Master Cleanse … Don’t be an asshole and shoot down their goals with the ultra ridiculous “moderation” comment. Let people be and come to their lovely place on their own time. “Moderation” will always be around. Your health, maybe not.
Thanks to grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocados — consumed daily!
Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an author and public speaker. She is available to present the lectures “Paleo for Beginners” and “Eat Well During the Holidays.” Will travel. Email Maryanne for pricing and availability: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryanne is also the author of “Love Cats” — a romantic/erotic fiction story that takes place in the 1980s and is definitely not for the moderation-minded! “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/