February 01, 2016

On thresholds and discrimination.

It’s not that you just found Paleo, it’s that you’re not sure what to do next.

Maybe you’ve been doing Paleo for longer than a month, maybe you just celebrated your first year (mostly) off of gluten, grain, and dairy. You feel good, but you still want to feel better. What do you do now?

We get asked this a lot, so the good news is that you’re not alone.

Thousands of other people have walked this same path. Whether you’re celiac, gluten free, a cancer survivor, or looking for that performance edge, “strict” Paleo might not be enough for you.

Strict Paleo might not be enough.

The answer is not to become more restrictive, but to become more discriminating. Begin to unplug from the “form” of Paleo, and start to connect with what works for you. In the beginning, Paleo is a fantastic framework. It eliminates most of the general gut irritants found in modern diets, and it gives you a fairly clear way of understanding how to think about eating (and life.)

Become more discriminating, not more restrictive.

Once you’ve eaten Paleo for a while, you’ll invariably try a “cheat”. It might be a cheat meal, a cheat day, or even a cheat week. Don’t sweat it. Not only is that normal, we think it’s a requirement in order to find not only what works for you, but what doesn’t.

If you eat Paleo, sooner or later you'll cheat.

You may find that dairy is fine for you, or that you have to refine it to grass-fed dairy, or maybe just restrict it to goat’s milk only. Hell, you may be like me and react strongly to soft cheeses but be able to have a few slices of hard cheese with few ill effects.

You may also find that a bowl of oats in the morning works well for you, or that fresh baked bread at home is fine as long as you only have a slice or two. About the only thing you’ll consistently find is that sugar at the “normal” American dose has a strong deleterious effect.

Whatever you find, know that Paleo is only the beginning, and that what you’ve done by “going Paleo” is to tune in to what works for you. It’s a much bigger deal than you might have guessed at first, and as you look around you’ll realize that most Westerners are NOT in tune with their body, their diet, or their lifestyle in general.

Most Westerners are not in tune with their body or diet.

Being out of tune with your lifestyle is not incurable or irreversible. It’s a problem that is easy to solve with a few hours of reading and a 30 day commitment to eating strict Paleo. After that, you’re clearly listening to your inputs and can decide what tune you want to march to.

Being out of tune with your life is NOT incurable.

This shit ain’t rocket surgery, folks. You can do it.

If you’re looking for more, and want a few clear “next steps” in Paleo, check out intermittent fasting, Peter Attia, Barry Murray & fat adaption, ketogenic diets, and Wim Hof. For you folks who like your dietary advice from the beyond-the-bleeding-edge wild west, check out Jack Kruse. He’s crazy and probably wrong on a lot of details, but by God he’s right about cold water and sardines.

Enjoy the ride!

Liked this article?  Here are a few more for ya!

Nik Hawks


Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!

Too much reading...
How about dessert?

Too Much Reading...How About Dessert?


Sandy Ervin
Sandy Ervin

February 06, 2017

Great article!! It’s what I preach on a daily basis, especially when people start to get too caught up in being “strict” paleo!!!


March 02, 2016

Right on Gia, glad you dug it. So stoked to spread the idea that Paleo is just a beginning. Cheers, Nik@PT


March 02, 2016

Nik, What an exceptional share! Filled with truth, truth, and more truth. I have totally experienced the “Shit. I’m doing Paleo. But I want something else. But no, I can’t have it. I can’t live like this. But wait, I feel like crap eating that…” Etc etc Mind fucking myself into oblivion. But I’m totally cool with doing some experimenting now, and have found that, in general, foods hold great symbolism in people’s minds- people are dead set on believing that cookies are a treat and damn it, they ARE going to make me feel awesome! Dissecting learned associations with foods is a lengthy course- might not be achieved in a lifetime. And yes, Westerners are completely out of touch with their bodies and self awareness- it’s a blessing to know myself well, and being a Crossfit RAW Training girl, having the living shit beat out of me regularly has helped me get in touch- and fast. I am ecstatic to know of your company and to start trying your amazing treats! You ROCK!!! XOXO

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