Paleo Drawbacks

It just wouldn’t be fair to go on and on praising this diet without fessing up to some side effects. Admittedly, most of these are minor and laughable, but here they are, none the less:

This stove is immaculate compared to mine.

  1. One Heckuva Dirty Kitchen. The stove top is a constant disaster. Bacon grease, egg splatters, recongealed butter, salt crystals and pepper granules, a dehydrated onion piece that I’ll have to remove with a sandblaster. The iron grates on the burner are too gross to touch with my bare hands, they are just caked in grease. Because I’m cooking almost every meal every day, the stove takes a lot of abuse and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the mess.
  2. Teeth Excavating. Let’s be honest—eating this way leaves a lot of stuff stuck between the teeth. Flossing before bed is a fascinating retrospective on what I’ve eaten that day. Toothpicks are helpful in this regard. I highly recommend Desert Essence’s tea tree oil toothpicks, I’ve taken to carrying them in my purse for dental hygiene on the run. Bonus breath freshening!
  3. Clothes Don’t Fit. There’s a phase when looser clothing is flattering and then there’s hobo-chic, when you’re holding your pants up with a random rope tied around your waist. Oh darn. Guess I have to go shopping. If you managed to keep your “skinny” clothes around, go dig ’em out! It was such a thrill when I put on summer clothes and they were loose, whereas last year, I was afraid I’d have to give them away for being too tight.
  4. Oh great! Who invited the insulin surge?!

    The Social Thing. This is truly the only serious one in this list and it can be a bummer. I find that things go better when I’m in control of the entertaining, because no one even notices the food adheres to any particular philosophy other than delicious. Many people struggle with this problem with friends and family, and it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for me either. I try to be as easygoing as possible when I’m at the mercy of someone else’s hospitality, and fer petessakes!, don’t say a word about how their birthday cake is going to give everyone cancer. Or whatever. Just smile, be gracious, and either eat what you’re comfortable with or totally blow it and chalk it up to your 20% off-plan allowance. Hopefully, you have a Paleo/Primal partner in crime with whom you can gossip and gripe about it later.

What drawbacks, if any, have you experienced?


9 Responses to “Paleo Drawbacks”

  1. Aside from my first light-headed, nauseous night shift at the hospital months ago (which you helped to me to correct immediately, I might add :), the only other setbacks have really been having enough meat, veggies and the like ready to go in the fridge. Living in Vallejo, it’s a struggle to get a Whole Foods often (not that I would want to blow all of our savings each week by frequenting this hotspot) or even a TJ’s, so we’re now thinking of getting a CSA-inspired meat box each month to see what we can do with it. AND, I’ve invested in a SousVide Supreme, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have more things on-hand and ready to go! I’m LOVING this new way of eating and starting to finally get the hang of it all…phew! ;)

    • That’s awesome, Jess! Glad to hear everything’s smoothing out for you. You’ll have to let me know how that SousVide works for you, I’ve been thinking about it but not wanting to commit yet. And yes, go for the CSA! I’m considering one for the winter when the Farmers Markets go on vacation.

  2. The biggest drawback I’ve found since switching to this way of eating has come in the form of side effects from NOT eating this way. If I eat some sugary dessert when out for social occasions I’ve had stomach cramps almost immediately. In addition, if a friend serves pasta then the next morning after I’ve consumed all that starch I feel bloated and groggy. It’s like a hangover without the benefits of drinking more than I should the night before. The good news is that this just proves all of the theories around the diet to me. The last and possibly worst side effect that I’ve suffered is that I feel as though I’ve become more judgmental about the way other people eat. Suddenly I’m mortified by the sight of someone eating a whole grain bagel…eek!

    • OMG, totally true, all of it. The judgmental part is so hard sometimes. I feel like such an ass, but it’s especially hard to bite your tongue when others are complaining about not losing weight or needing to exercise more.

  3. Honestly, my only real drawback is that my food budget has gone up. No two ways about it – grains are cheap (especially since we used to eat a lot of unprocessed ones like brown rice bought in bulk).

    But I am glad you mentioned the burners! Ours have gotten so greasy that the pans slide on them when cooking. Not safe! 409 is now on the shopping list regularly :D

  4. i’ve combined paleo w/ warrior/IF and try to eat a little fruit during the day and one big paleo meal at night. not 100% compliant yet but have dropped about 3% BF in the last 2 months. so if i wore more real adult clothes i might be having problems w/ the hobo-chic look. ;) i haven’t run into problems of illness when eating processed carbs/dairy, so idk know if that is b/c my compliance isn’t high enough or i just don’t have any latent allergies. but i agree w/ shannonCC, my food budget is way up. i used to try to get 1-3 vegetarian dinners per week, not out of any sort of moral obligation, but b/c a pound of beans is $1 while a pound of meat is $5 or more. still, the shrinking waistline is worth it. and that’s all w/ conventionally farmed foods. no way could i afford organics, my food budget would double again if i went to Whole Foods.

  5. Biggest drawback I have is that the more compliant I am (and I am *really* compliant with no grains)the worse it hurts if I am out with a friend and opt for beer instead of wine or booze. The last two times I had a beer — and I really mean one stinkin’ beer each time — I woke up the next morning with the joints of an 80-year-old man. Wow. It’s freaking me out a little because my wife and I are going to be in Munich during Oktoberfest. Based on a recent Robb Wolf suggestion, I think I am going to have to start inserting a little beer back into my life a few weeks before the trip, so I can at least get my body used to dealing with it. ‘Cause let’s be serious…I am not going to Germany and abstaining entirely from beer.

  6. Love this post!

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