Skip to content

Eat Like a Caveman

January 8, 2009


I was going to get into diet and nutrition on the Health Tip’s page a lot later down the line when time permitted, but I came across a blog entry that a certain close person published recently and I felt compelled to respond to it.  I should note that the title is not named so because my nickname is “Caveman” either. It actually has to do with eating like our ancestral humans did 10,000+ years ago.

I’m not sure why said author chose to compare a big mac to a handful of delicious, healthy nuts. I can see the point about the calories adding up, but they are natural and nutrient dense calories, not hydrogenated, processed, big mac secret sauce calories.

I’m not discounting counting calories at all. If it works for you and you enjoy the extremely rigid structure of doing it, then do it. Me, I’ve got better stuff to do with my time and resources. What if there were a way to eat quality food without having to count calories all the time? There is!! You don’t have to take my word though, just read all the articles below. Prepare to be blown away by the ultra simplicity and effectiveness of what is being dubbed the “Paleo Diet”. It’s a lot of reading and varied opinions/research, but I will sum it up for you.
The human body adapted itself over thousands of years to thrive off what food supply was available, namely wild game, fruits, berries, and nuts. There were no processed grains, fatty hormone injected livestock, or dairy products back then. Agriculture has only been a staple for humans for a few thousand years. Even more refined agriculture with the advent of the industrial revolution has only been around 200 years. The ultra refined diet that most Americans now eat has been in place for about 20 years. The human design is not going to change over a few thousand years, let alone 20!! This explains why so many people are intolerant to gluten, lactose, and other processed foods. It also accounts for the tremendous rise in diabetes and heart disease the last few decades. We are simply not eating what our bodies were designed to eat. It’s like putting diesel in a high octane gasoline engine.
To live and perform at maximum efficiency, all we need do is look to the oldest diet on earth, the caveman diet. Coupled with strenuous exercise, you will not have to count your calories- your body will do it for you. This is the true beauty of the diet. ‘Diet’ is a misleading term though, because it implies you are restricting food to perhaps lose weight. Cavepeople were trying to put on weight! Instead, let’s call it something like “what you eat” or “cuisine”. If you are overweight and trying to drop some pounds, that’s good, and I commend you for realizing the need for change. However, your overall health should be the main goal. The weight loss will take care of itself and you will become a strong, lean, healthy human.
Some footnotes though. While wholly possible to practice the caveman cuisine in its entirety, it is very impractical to do so with the way modern society is setup, and at times more costly. Believe me, if I could eat wild caught salmon, mahi-mahi, turkey, deer, and rabbit everyday, I certainly would. It’s either prohibitively expensive or difficult to obtain such products all the time. The caveman himself wasn’t always able to secure a meat source and was able to rely on items he was able to gather. Thus he was able to thrive off variety. With what food sources we, as Americans, have to choose from, there will be compromises and substitutions. I myself am a huge fan of milk, which is a prohibited item, unless it is raw. Well, it is against the law to sell raw milk in most US states, so I will try to find the least processed product I can, which would be organic milk. Raw organic fruits and vegetables are the best to consume, but have you seen the prices on these lately?? You have to know then what are acceptable substitutes.
I might not ever be as healthy as our ancestors were due to how American diet and food supply has changed over the past few centuries, but I will live happier knowing that I’m healthier than 95% of fellow Americans and stand a much greater chance of good health in my old age. Happy reading.

For starters, please review these considerations

For a highly academic take on eating like a caveman, check out this essay on Evolutionary Fitness by Arthur De Vany, Ph.D. Read the intro and then skip to page 22 for his take on eating. Feel free to read the whole article about training and living like a caveman for greater health as well, it’s just a bit lengthy and technical. Check out the rest of his website while you are at it.

For a super exhaustive (but wonderfully researched and priceless) reading, check out this website by Karl Loren. It’s a real eye opener whether you believe in the Paleo diet or not. Karl refers to it as the raw diet, but the basis is the same. If nothing else, I hope his information will get you to give up sugar and refined sweeteners.

For a more philosophical and even religious take, check out this well written blog entry by Bulletproofpimp.

If you are serious about giving this a go, here are some books that are highly recommended,  not only by health professionals, but by everyday folks who were suffering from the ills of processed food and converted to this diet to find huge success, health, and happiness. I have yet to read any of them, but they are on order. I’m especially interested in the one for athletes.

NeanderThin Ray Audette

The Paleo Diet – Dr. Loren Cordain

The Paleo Diet for Athletes Dr. Loren Cordain and Joel Friel (author of the Cyclist’s Training Bible )

The learning doesn’t stop hear. Do your own research and I think you’ll find more information and positive results than you ever thought possible. Good luck in your journey back to eating the way we were meant to eat!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: