Was It Worth It?

Those who follow along on Facebook and Twitter got to see a cheat meal in real time last night.

Big cheat Indian. NOT #paleo #primal. Nonetheless, delicous.

I hesitate to call it a “cheat,” as we were actually attending the HS graduation party for some longtime friends of ours, originally from India. My wife had their son in her 5th grade class. So, it was all about the event and since I love the taste of Indian food, and, I just hit my target of 180, time to ease up.

But man, did I ever get nuclear heartburn. Once home and ready for bed at 11:30, I had to resort to the teaspoon of baking soda. Then, around 2am, I wake to the damn heartburn again. Awful. So, another teaspoon of baking soda…

Then, around 5:30… let’s just say “lower intestines,” and leave it at that.

7:30; I wake up viciously, nauseatingly hungry. The kind of hunger that makes you almost vomit.

Now, here I sit at 12:30pm, still having eaten nothing and finally feeling normal again, with normal hunger. Just took some of that leftover tri-tip outta the fridge. …Maybe with some scrambled eggs.

About an hour later: There, recovery. Room temp leftovers: tri-tip and pork loin, accompanied by half an avocado — all drizzled with Greek EV olive oil and sprinkled with parsley.


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  1. David on June 13, 2009 at 12:48

    Hi Richard,

    remember I emailed you about 6 weeks ago – same scenario: food and drink that I'm no longer accustomed to. Same results, just substitute nausea for heartburn. It took a day to flush out. Funny thing is, that afternoon I went for a long run and held up pretty well – about 18 hours fasted, probably a bit de-hydrated, severely cranky – and put in more time and distance than usual.

    You mentioned your progress. Here's mine – in the last two months I'm down over 17 lbs and two inches on the waist. I plateaued at 179-182 for weeks, but today was under 175. Another 15 lbs to hit my weight target … but what I'm really interested in is eliminating visceral fat. I know what I used to weigh and what I looked like when I was in optimal condition 20 years ago. I also know what I used to eat!


  2. Lute Nikoley on June 13, 2009 at 13:05

    Earlier this week when in Kentucky for our grandson's High School Graduation, our last evening there, Monday for dinner I wanted to go to a restaurant called Hofbrauhaus. I pigged out, with 3 huge sausages, mashed potatoes, sourcraut, red cabbage, a quart of German Dunkel Beer, and a couple bites of cherry chocolate cake. Result? 0 heartburn, nausea or any sign of indigestion.

    Wasn't hungry again until next day dinner back in San Jose. I pretty much stayed paleo all the other days, except I ate more meals than I normally do, because some people still eat on a schedule. Dinner most of the time is the only meal I eat, except maybe for a piece of fruit, some nuts and cheese. Haven't had heartburn for years, and stopped taking acid reducers several month's ago.

  3. Skyler Tanner on June 13, 2009 at 15:16

    Digestive enzymes are the trick here. When I'm consuming mass protein, they're what I need to get through the day without any digestive nonsense. When I'm leaning/pure paleo, it's not needed.

    So yes, cheats = digestive enzymes and insulin managers. All is well.

  4. Chris - ZTF on June 13, 2009 at 22:57

    The nauseating hunger upon waking is awful. Had it a few times years back after gorging cheap chinese food. A good tip is to take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar in water before bed after a heavy meal…

  5. Skyler Tanner on June 13, 2009 at 16:16

    I've been a big fan of a probiotic from RPN called "Gut Health" which contains a unique, protein-hungry strain of cultures. It's quite reasonable on the wallet as well.

  6. Ryon Day on June 13, 2009 at 12:41

    I notice the same thing after my cheat meals. In general I love food of all sorts and never feel guilty about eating whatever I want, but the consequences are pretty monumental these days.

    I too feel ravenously, sickeningly hungry after cheat meals for some reason. It is odd and disconcerting. I generally fast an entire day after eating a S.A.D-type meal.

  7. Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2009 at 13:13

    I still have some annoying subcutaneous fat in various places that's too thick. Live you, I probably have about 15 pounds to go, and hopefully that does the trick.

  8. Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2009 at 15:24

    I had thought the yogurt might do the trick on that score, one reason I loaded up. But, alas, no joy.

    I have been experimenting with Mark's Master Damage Control Formula and it contains probiotics. I must say that I have clearly felt the difference in digestion (and elimination) generally (just not last night, and it must be said that was a break fast and I don't take sups during fasts, so it had been a couple of days).

  9. Katelyn on June 14, 2009 at 11:06

    Yucky! ;) Carbage is never worth it.

  10. Elliot on June 14, 2009 at 16:09

    I feel your pain. I once went toe to toe in an Indian restaurant with a man from India and a man whose parents were Vietnamese immigrants. I would take a bite, take a drink, breathe, take another bite, …. That was the easy part.

    I was just fine until I got on a plane the next day. I survived, but was in mortal panic of having the most embarrassing moment of my life. Fortunately, I found out I had more intestinal fortitude than I'd have ever imagined.

    Note to self: never eat spicy food within a couple days of travel.

  11. Monica on June 14, 2009 at 18:41

    I used to have a stomach of iron until I developed some severe acid reflux in my late 20s, early 30s. After going "paleo, primal" that eliminated this issue. I can eat bread without getting heartburn.

    However, any time I have grains, bread, or sugar in high quantities (as in more than a bite) I get some pretty uncomfortable intestinal issues going on — not acid reflux, but a lot of gurgling. That's completely new to me. But I've had enough bouts with this now to know that it just isn't worth it for me. I do love things like naan and rice (the bread seems to cause more problems than the rice) so it's hard for me to take just a spoonful or biteful. But if I just don't take the first bite, I won't be tempted at all.

  12. ethyl d on June 15, 2009 at 09:59

    Same thing here. I cheated at an Egyptian restaurant yesterday (hummous, pita, khoshery, basboosa–along with low-carb legal fare), and yes, had hearburn all evening and trouble falling asleep last night. But I had a good time enjoying the meal.

  13. minneapolis J on June 15, 2009 at 18:09

    David and Richard,

    . I weigh about in the same range as you guys. also like you Richard I seem to have some thick skin around the abs. Even at a fairly low body fat percentage, I still have that bad thick skin. In good lighting I can see great abdominal definition, but other places not. Not sure why that is the case.

  14. Richard Nikoley on June 15, 2009 at 18:25

    Well, once I get another 10 off I just aint going to sweat it anymore. I suspect about 165 will be ideal, about as lean as I'll want to get.

    That last few percentage points toward perfection are likely the hardest.

    But, I want to enjoy a few pleasures in life, such as my scotch whiskey, and that's probably going to keep me from being totally ripped. But, we'll see.

    Right now, I'm off the sauce completely, wine too. We'll see what a couple of weeks like that does.

  15. TrailGrrl on December 31, 2009 at 15:48

    I did even worse… After being totally off of the stuff for a few years when I went total paleo, I had a protein drink. Omigod! Got cramps right away from drinking something that did’t even taste the least bit good. Now I need a good fast. Fixing filet mignon for dinner tonight to ring in the New Year.

    I feel your pain. I’ve pretty much given up spicy food. I love Indian food but the total wrecking of my GI tract and the sleepiness aren’t worth it. Thai seems to be ok, but I pretty much stay mild these days. Mexican isn’t really that spicy and I tend to stick to carne asada or carnitas or a ribeye ranchero and some guacamole.


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