Alcohol and Paleo

Believe it or not, one of the scariest things about adopting a paleo lifestyle isn’t giving up the foods that we are used to, it is giving up the alcohol. For many of us, we use alcohol as a way to relax, unwind clear our thoughts, or even just to treat ourselves at the end of a long day. Whether you choose to relax with a beer or you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, if you are thinking of going paleo you want to know where you stand with your favorite drink.

Is alcohol considered paleo? Technically it depends on where you are in your paleo journey. When you first begin walking the paleo path you are essentially detoxing your body from past unclean eating habits, especially sugar. If you start putting alcohol into your system at this stage, then your body will not be able to completely detox from sugar. This can be dangerous as sugar is highly addictive and many of us are reliant without even realizing it.

Another thing that you will want to be careful of is grains. While not all alcohol contains grains, the paleo diet has a strict ‘no grain’ policy. If you choose to closely follow the paleo guidelines, then you want to be on the lookout for grain-free alcohol. While they do exist, you may need to do a bit of research to see what is best for you.

If you have been following the paleo path for a bit, then you may choose to allow yourself some alcohol now and again, even if that alcohol contains grain. While this isn’t something that most strict paleo eaters would recommend, it is important for you to consider your life and what you feel will work for you. Many people have cheat days for other diets, days where they get to eat what they want without feeling like they are breaking their diet. If having a cheat day works for you, don’t be ashamed of it. Your health journey is your own and it is important that you find a balance between eating healthy and not depriving yourself of things you enjoy the most.

If you are a wine drinker you may want to consider looking for a bottle of organic wine. While you will still have to be certain that there are no grains, organic wine is a healthier alternative to regular wine. If nothing else, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that the grapes not have been sprayed so they will have very limited additives, if any.

For all other forms of alcohol, it may be difficult to find something that has a healthy alternative. From beer to vodka, most popular alcoholic beverages contain gluten, grains, or a combination of both. Again, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to find something that agrees with the paleo lifestyle, but it does mean that you will have to do your research and quite possibly bend the rules a bit on your paleo diet.

If consumed frequently, alcohol can wreak havoc on your paleo success. You will not only find it more difficult to lose weight but because most alcohol contains sugar, you might find that you start craving bread, sweets, and other foods that contain sugar. But if you take some time to do your research, and make a commitment to enjoying everything in moderation, then you should be able to enjoy alcohol in your new paleo lifestyle.

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