Friday, July 9, 2010

How to drink on Paleo....

Ok, going Paleo means no alcohol. Period. However, if you are less than super strict you might want a drink or two on a cheat day. Robb Wolf has been so kind to post a few recipes for Paleo drinks and i am going to replicate some ideas here, and add a little of my own twist, as well.

The Paleo margarita: high quality tequila, a squeeze of lime, maybe a shot of agave or honey to sweeten. Not bad, eh?

I've found that for me, the best things to keep me on track if I decide to have a drink, is to stick strictly gluten free. This can be challenging if before paleo you were a wheat beer champion, or just a beer keg stander, sorry Brutus, beer is way high on gluten so mostly, it's out! But wait, a few companies have seen a niche in the beer market for folks like you and I, as well as those others that just cannot tolerate gluten and haven created gluten free beer. Mostly these beers are made from sorghum and I've tasted a few. The most affordable option is red bridge lager. It's nice, smooth, and tastes like beer. Sort of. It tastes like average beer. But on a hot day, sitting by the pool, well it does the trick when poured into a plastic Solo cup, that's all I'm going to say. Now for the beer connoisseur who might actually prefer a beer with some taste, I'd highly suggest trying Quest's triple blonde. It's touted as a Belgian beer, but it's no Chimay, that's for sure. That being said, it's really tasty, especially if you have not had a nice tasting beer in some time.

There are other options as well. Note, that fruit, but not wheat, barley and the like are Paleo and gluten free (mostly). So guess what's usually OK? Wine. Fermented fruit. In fact, there is som scientific literature showing that wild critters (animals, including primates) will feast and become intoxicated on rotten, naturally fermented fruits. Probably an extreme rarity, but then so should be drinking on the Paleo diet, especially if you are Paleo for performance. So the occasional glass of red wine, even white wine is probably ok. Red is a bit better for you because of the health benefits associated with red wine, but either could do in a pinch (e.g., 4th of July picnic, just sayin'). Another good fruit fermentation based great tasting alcoholic beverage is cider. If you like cider, I suggest wasting your cheat day on a high quality product like Magners or Blumers . Both happen to also be naturally gluten free (according to their sites).

If you're a mixer, well don't despair. Although you must remember to still keep levels of alcoholic ingestion to an extreme minimum. It's important to note that I am in no way advocating that drinking alcohol is part of the paleo diet, it IS NOT! However, a cheat day is good, ok, advisable evens that you keep on track for the longer haul. So back to mixed drinks. Whiskey - and it's relatives, bourbon and scotch - are out. Corn based. I know, I know, trust me. I live in Georgia! I'd love me a glass, i mean shot of some jim beam, but.... Ok back to some things that you could probably choke back in moderation. Vodka. Yeah, you could have a little gluten free vodka. On the rocks with a twist of lime and some agave to sweeten. Or if you prefer it dirty, drop a few olive in there and add some olive juice, i find this dirty martini to be gross, but i hear many pele actually enjoy it. LOL.

Ok, well i could go on, but rather than do that, I thought I'd quit and let you try a few of these. Please remember: I'm certainly not advocating drinking, nor am I suggesting in any way, shape, or for, that drinking alcoholic beverages is "part of the paleo diet", so please don't ever quote me as saying that. Rather, what i am trying to do is supply folks with some ideas for allowing a divergence from strict paleo, a cheat of sorts. You should keep in mind that any drinking of alcoholic beverages that does take place should do so in extreme moderation. That is 1-2 drinks at best. Going on a bender could be disastrous and we wouldn't want that. So try to keep cool, and just sip away at your gluten free drink (you might want to peel off the labor of your GF beer if you Are macho and worried about people asking you questions and having to explain the entire paleo diet). In fact, people will ask. I like that they ask because it gives me an opportunity to educate them, however, this often leaves me sounding like an elitist as i drink my gluten free beverage, paleo margarita with a burger and no bun. It's the price you pay for being healthy.

So, enjoy and one last bit of advice, if you have not had a drink in a while, it may have the potency to hit you like a ton of bricks. A designated driver would be advised. Especially if you go for the Quest beer, at 8.5% ABV.


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  1. VEEV liquor mixed with homemade lemonade and fizz is amazing and low cal!