I can't believe we are already halfway done with our Lenten 40-Day Paleo challenge! Even though it has been hard, it has actually gone by pretty fast. We are starting to discuss what we are going to do once this 40-days is over, and we have come up with some interesting ideas. We do not want to just drop everything we have done up to this point and go back to our old ways, BUT we do not want to live our lives never eating our favorite foods. In my opinion, life is too short not to have the things you love. So we are looking for some sort of compromise with the Paleo life.
A lot of "experts" recommend living Paleo by the 80/20 rule where you stay Paleo 80% of the time, and eat whatever you want 20% of the time. This seems to make sense to me- you aren't torturing yourself by avoiding your favorite things forever, but you are still reaping the benefits of Paleo. My dilemma is- a 7 day week doesn't break down to 80/20 very well. So we are thinking of doing 5 days a week Paleo and 2 days a week free to eat anything. This is closer to 75/25, but still has the same idea. The point is this: stick with Paleo for most of our lives, but still have the foods we love (especially on the weekends!).
The other compromise we might make is to allow minimal amounts of dairy throughout the week. Some "experts" argue that small amounts of dairy are okay, so we are probably going to follow that. This means, we will be able to eat a little bit of cheese or a glass of milk when we want. The big no-no's like grains, sugars, and processed foods, will stay limited to our "off" days. Let's be honest- this is primarily because I miss cheese so dang much. Hard core Paleo-ites can attack me all they want about it!
As we continue on, I am getting a lot better about eating vegetables and meat as primary parts of my meals (we both are). I still enjoy my fruits and nuts as snacks, but I think we are becoming more and more truly Paleo. The one thing I cannot deny: I still REALLY miss cheese. Everything else I have found decent replacements for, and even though I found a semi-replacement for cream cheese, it is not the same. I LOVE CHEESE. I still have trouble falling asleep some nights as I lie awake dreaming about it. Yeah, this is becoming a little psychotic, I know. Regardless, I am already dreaming about my first non-Paleo meal, and it definitely involves plenty of cheese.
I'll continue on with my updates along the way as we get closer to the end. Let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas for us post-Lent or if you have experience with 80/20. And as always, keep following our meal and recipe successes!