Morning Puffins,

How was your weekend? Was it as awesome as mine? What steps in regaining your own health did you take? Did you take a slip off the wagon to visit the donut shop this weekend? If so, don’t beat yourself up. That’s the worst thing you can do.


Which brings us to our topic of today. The 80/20 principle, which can be found over at Mark’s Daily Apple and a host of other websites. Granted he isn’t the first person to come up with the idea, but he is the person, at least in my humble opinion, that explains the nature of the principle the best. The idea behind it is simple. Strive to eat as clean, in this case as primal/paleo, as possible 100% of the time. In reality, you’ll probably only eat clean 80% of the time. The other 20% isn’t something worth beating yourself up over. Now, the key here is to not let that margin slip to something like 60/40 or 70/30…Then you are in trouble because you’re lubing yourself up to go down the biggest slip-n-slide ever into a large pile of health problems awaiting at the end.

Now, some people, myself included, like to reserve the 20% for special occasions. Such as the weekend. My wife and I went out with another couple for dinner. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings. I was intending to have a steak and a sweet potato. Lo and behold they don’t serve steak…Uhm…What? Ok. I’ll have the wings then. Oh, and in honey BBQ sauce…Oh and Onion Rings, oh and 2 tall guiness. Not very paleo or primal at all…However, I had a good time, I enjoyed a rare treat for myself, I drank a little too much, revealed a few personal details shrouded in misunderstanding, and HAD A BLAST! The next morning, I made my bulletproof coffee and got right back on the horse to good health. I didn’t beat myself up.  You shouldn’t either.

Guilt…The Nutrition Killer. The only thing more notorious for the rapid derailment of one’s health goals is, uhm, perhaps Kripsy Kreme? Those things are damn delicious…I don’t care who you are. Anywho, guilt over a bad meal, nutritionally speaking, causes us to binge on other “dirty” foods. You tell yourself, eh…What the hell I’ll just eat better tomorrow. So after the pizza you ate with your buds, you all go out for ice-cream or some such nonsense. I don’t blame you. Peer Pressure sucks. Then you feel guilty about the ice-cream and you say…well I’ll just enjoy this weekend and eat better Monday…This cycle repeats itself until the next weekend, and the next week, and yadda yadda yadda…You never get over that guilt because you don’t break the cycle…That is until your belt breaks first.

The best way to not get sucked into that cycle is to not feel bad about eating that first “dirty” meal. Life is too short to way every macronutrient against another at every single meal. No one wants to sit at a table with a bunch of friends munching on pizza while you are eating celery and tuna salad. That’s not fun. I don’t blame you for having that pizza. The thing is, you can start again fresh the next meal. Or even better, you can evaluate how your body feels and determine if that pizza was worth the symptoms you are suffering from now. Then you can make a better informed decision later down the road the next time pizza night with the boys/girls shows up.  

The important thing to remember is that you don’t want your ratio of 80/20 to slide into 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, 40/60, etc. Taking control of your health means taking control of your emotions as well. On a completely related note, eating clean also regulates your mood and makes you less prone to these food coma inducing binges due to guilt. So, that’s another reason to keep your nutrition in check.

In short, eat as clean as you can as close to 100% of the time. Don’t guilt yourself because you slipped up on a meal. Just make a note of how your body felt post meal time, and get right back on track with the next meal. Live your life. Don’t think you can’t enjoy non paleo/primal/whatever diet of the month you’re doing foods just because they aren’t on the list. Remember to moderate and control these things.

Until next time,


  1. tardisrv says:

    Found your blog from the MDA forum, hello! Does Buffalo Wild Wings not have the naked tenders anymore? My co-workers used to eat there all the time just after I had my gastric bypass, and that’s what I always got, with the veggie sticks. One just opened near me, and I was excited to have another naked chicken option (Popeye’s has naked tenders again, too).

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s