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Primal Nutrition

Good nutrition is critical to living healthy and performing at maximum potential. Every athlete has probably heard the old adage “you don’t put diesel in a high octane gasoline engine” I have always had a good metabolism, healthy blood pressure, and thought I ate relatively healthy, but sometime around new years 2009, Colleen and I both became obsessed about a new way of thinking and eating that will forever change the way we eat and understand food. We were, unfortunately, a product of our environment and slaves to what the US government both recommends AND subsidizes. The food triangle we were all taught in school couldn’t be further from the ideal diet.  I won’t go into more of this detail because I already have in these earlier posts:

Eat Like a Caveman

More Caveman Dieting Discussionposter3

Read those and thumb through all the rich information brought to light and hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of why the USDA triangle is so jacked up. Anyways, if you are lazy and don’t feel like reading all that, I will provide a very condensed version of dietary recommendations below. I am not a nutritionist. But I don’t need a degree to figure out what is good and what is bad for me. Furthermore, I am living proof that the diet works- anecdoctal evidence that many P.H.D Nutritionists couldn’t provide you. NATURE IS SMARTER THAN SCIENCE. Just remember that. Science is simply a man made system used to observe and interpret nature. If it is so fundementally sound, I’m not sure why it has failed the nutritional needs of our country so badly. Here ya go:

Caveman’s Dietary Guidelines
Low carbs during regular meals is key. ELIMINATE the following from your diet:
Processed Carbs:
sugar, anything with high fructose corn syrup, bread, tortillas, pasta, muffins, anything with wheat or flour
for those that drink a lot of beer/alchohol, cut back, if not eliminate. Alcohol is a poison to your body. You wouldn’t put cyanide or antifreeze in your body, so when you think about it, why would you put damaging amounts of alcohol in it?

Natural carbs:
Potatoes
Rice
Beans
Higher fructose fruits and veggies, mainly corn and bananas.
Dairy (lactose is a sugar that can whack out your insulin response too)

ADD if you aren’t already eating:
lots of leafy green lettuces
different colored fruits and veggies-variety is good- don’t be afraid to try funky veggies like beets and rudabaga
lean meats-high quality beef, chicken, fish, wild game. The more natural the better, i.e. grass fed/ free range/ wild caught, etc. Some fatty meats are ok too. I love bacon, chorizo, and carnitas (mexican pulled pork) Try to limit these types of meats as they are processed.  I would also add eggs to this category. I have replaced milk and cereal breakfasts with eggs. Lots of eggs! Don’t buy into the cholesterol myth either.
plant/monosaturated fats- nulow-carb-pyramidts, seeds, avocados, olive oil

IF you are committed to this simple diet, you DON’T have to limit portions, because your body will do it for you once you get all the junk out of your system. You will see results, I guarantee. Here is the kicker though. Those first two weeks might be tough. You will probably feel weak, tired, maybe even light headed. Be patient and have faith that your body will soon adapt to the fo od it was meant to eat. You must be willing to sacrifice your results in a race or two and some of your training intensity during that time, but trust me, subduing short term pleasure is well worth the results you’ll see long term.

These guidelines apply to everyday meals. There are times when extra carbs can be beneficial, such as pre/post race, and during, but that is whole other topic. Take baby steps for now. For more info on this diet, check out the book The Paleo Diet for Athletes A lot of my recommendations come from there, but also from personal experience.

One last thing to add involves how you prepare and eat your food, i.e. cooked versus raw. In almost all instances, food closest to its natural state will be healthier for you. Please check out my post on raw food here.

More Caveman Diet resources:

http://www.paleodietonline.com/

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/start-diet.html

For a full listing of all my posts related to Nutrition, click here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Walsh permalink
    March 23, 2009 9:39 pm

    Greg,

    Awesome site! Count me in.

  2. colleenquindlen permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:21 am

    Great nutrition post!

  3. April 21, 2009 9:39 pm

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

Trackbacks

  1. Happy Monday!!! « The Official Blog of Greg the Caveman
  2. Interested in Paleo Diet? « Ride Blessed

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