I love pizza. And hot dogs. And pierogis. Being born and raised in Chicagoland, there are certain foods that are central to our existence. Mine are:
- Chicago Dogs
Some may say that Italian Beef belongs on that list, but personally, pierogis are a much bigger deal. But I digress.
What is notable about that list is that all three contain lots of carbs in the form of dough (pasta/bread). As someone who has adopted the Paleo Diet, grains are off-limits for me. This is a conundrum, because many of my favorite foods contain grains. What is a Paleo guy to do?
Well, first of all, there are the analogues. Sherry has done a good job of finding recipes to make pizza that is pretty darned close to the real thing. Is it a 1:1 copy? No, and I don't think it's possible. But it's close enough that it scratches the itch. The same goes for hot dog buns.
Second, there's the special occasion exemption. Every now and then, like a birthday or other holiday, I allow myself to eat non-Paleo foods in small amounts. I have only had pizza once in the last two years and hot dogs once as well (for my birthday this year), and honestly, it's been enough for me.
Third, it just comes down to priorities and mind over matter. My priority is my health. Eating non-Paleo foods results in short-term gratification that is harmful to my long-term goal of attaining good health. Why would I willfully sabotage a long-term goal for short-term gratification? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Life without pizza, hot dogs, and pierogis is actually pretty amazing. Do I miss those foods? Certainly. But I don't miss how I felt when I used to wantonly eat those foods. I never want to feel that way again!
You can do it. There are plenty of foods out there you can continue to eat; some of them are most likely among your favorite foods. I don't suffer on Paleo, and neither will you.