For the second or maybe third time since I began this blogging adventure, a reader came up to me in the street, just a bit ago. Now, the first time was in Whole Foods and man was I proud. Cart with veggies, eggs, butter, some raw milk, yogurt and some sort of quality meat…
This last time was breaking a fast with a cheat meal — just now. As I said in my yet-to-be aired interview with Jimmy Moore, if you are going to cheat, then cheat! If it’s going to be a burger, then go ahead and make it a double — with cheese — and get the fries too and use catsup if you like it. The one thing I won’t do is get a regular soft drink. It’ll be either a diet soda or iced tea. But I was never a sugary soda drinker, even before.
So while it would be nicer for a reader to run into me when I’m preparing and enjoying something like this — a sous vide salmon with lemon butter dill sauce and roasted asparagus…
…nope. Rather, it was a fast food joint. Sure, I could have shamefully walked on by after our conversation, but instead, I simply said, "well, I’m going in for a burger." And I did.
Now, mind you, this wasn’t a McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, or even the higher quality Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s in the east). This was In-N-Out Burger, a privately owned family operation on the west coast for 60 years with no plans to ever franchise or go public. They have no freezers, no microwave, no heat lamps. Everything is fresh and high quality. They even cut their own potatoes for fries at each location. They have their own meat processing plant where they cut & grind their own beef from chuck that they purchase and inspect for quality, piece by piece. As fast food joints go, it’s the creme of the crop. Here, you can read about the history and the quality. So, while I don’t think any fast food — or restaurant food, for that matter — should play a daily or even moderately important role in anyone’s life, it is gratifying to know that some places still care about quality.
So, cheat, but go for something reasonable and tops in quality in its league. Want pizza? Then go to a gourmet joint. A cake? Go to a French pastry shop. Meat loaf, brown gravy and mashed potatoes? Go to the famous local mom & pop diner that’s always packed.
And above all, do it guiltlessly. Remember, while "paleo" is indeed an effective mythology, a principled framework we model and use for guidance, it’s neither authoritative, dogmatic or religious in nature. What you need to do is to get things 80-90% right, pay attention to how you feel primarily, and lift your head high when you go for a splurge.
Unearned guilt is for losers like this: