I get asked the same questions a lot. “Is (insert craving of choice) Paleo?” Or, is (blank) okay to eat? The short answer is usually no. But, the slightly longer answer is a little more diplomatic and leads to a greater rate of success in the long term.
Everyone has their food and beverage dealbreakers. We’ll define a dealbreaker as any particular item(s) that if I said you could never have again you would tell me to go pound sand (or something else a little more colorful).
The most common dealbreakers are beer and peanut butter, and with very good reason because there really isn’t a good substitute for either item. I have yet to find a gluten-free beer that is not disgusting, or that remotely tastes like the style of beer it is trying to imitate. (Note to any brewers out there, sorghum is not the answer. Find a different grain, perhaps buckwheat, or remove the gluten from barley).
And let’s not kid ourselves, almond butter is bullshit. Oh my gosh, this almond butter is so good. I can eat jars of it. Calm down. Stop trying to convince yourself that it is good, because it’s not. Sunbutter sort of tastes like peanut butter, but by that point you might as well have the real thing.
For some people if you’re going to make a dietary lifestyle like Paleo sustainable for the long haul, you’re going to need a little wiggle room. It doesn’t matter whether something is Paleo or not. What matters is if that item is good for you as an individual. If you repeatedly have a bad reaction to a particular food or drink every time you have it, you may want to avoid it.
My approach to Paleo is to use it as a general framework to find out what works best for you. As far as physical health goes, beer and peanut butter are not going to get high marks. But as for your mental well being, if that’s what you need to keep everything else in check, and you’re still obtaining your goals, so be it. Just don’t over do it.