Saturday, April 9, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How to eat like a caveman

I firmly believe that the main reason why obesity, diabetes, cancer and many other so called lifestyle diseases is unhealthy changes to our staple diet. The main culprit is the huge amount of refined sugar that is added into virtually anything. Hyper-processing and artificial ingredients don't help either.

I've spent a few decades in ignorance of how the food I ate was responsible for deteriorating health. I am lucky that I have found an alternative way before my health problems got more serious than various unpleasant allergies, obesity and insulin resistance. Many more people continue to hurt their bodies with terrible food choices backed by flawed recommendations and guidelines.

The way I have reversed this downward trend has been to reject our modern diet and instead try to eat like the cavemen did.

I am by no means the inventor of this approach. The caveman diet, the primal diet and the paleo diet are all common names used for basically the same philosophy. I found my way to natural eating through a bout of low carb dieting. While many will consider primal eating a form of low carb dieting, I think primal or paleo eating is more natural and more sustainable than strict low carb eating. The reason being that eating primal is less restrictive in many ways and allows for more flexibility.

My approach to primal eating is very simple: I strive to only eat things I could have found in nature myself. That means that boxed meals are out by default. The same goes for frozen TV dinners and processed foods. I also borrow some tips from the low carb community in avoiding natural foods that are high in sugar. Typically this means I don't eat corn, potatoes or fruit. Other than these natural foods pretty much anything is fair game.

Strict primal or paleo eating forbids grains and to some extent diary products as well. I allow myself grains if I want to, but my requirements of the ingredients being clean and naturally restricts my grain consumption as well. Where I differ from standard primal philosophy is that I will enjoy home made bread made if it is made from clean flour. I also indulge in dairy products, typically butter, high quality cheese and my best friend kefir.

So, if you want great health, that means a lot of foods are out. Junk food of all kinds is out. Soda, juices and other sugar-water variants are also an absolute no-no. The same goes for virtually any preprepared meal. If it is boxed, needs to be microwaved in a plastic container, has ingredients that sounds like the periodic table or in other ways does not resemble real food I do not touch it.

So, with all these restrictions, what is left to eat?

I eat as much as I want of these things:
  • Meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Kefir
In addition Ieat these things in moderation:
  • Home made bread
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low sugar fruits and berries
I make a point out of making as much of my food as I can myself. This ensures that I can get meals that only contains food I feel comfortable eating. It also means I am in control of how the food is prepared and that the food is fresh and of the best quality I can get. Finally, making your food yourself is a great way to take responsibility for your own diet. It eliminates all possible excuses for eating junk and puts you in the driver seat of one of the most important areas of your life.

Shifting to a primal diet takes a great deal of courage. For one, eating like our super-fit ancestors flies in the face of many of the things people take for granted about food and health. It takes a firm mind to eat saturated fats and cholesterol when the rest of the world are convinced these things are deadly. It takes effort to find out for yourself what makes most sense for you personally, rather than relying on what some TV celebrity tells you to eat.

The benefits of eating naturally are almost endless. Returning to normal body weight, restoring proper body chemistry and hormone levels, reversing type 2 diabetes are well known effect. In addition primal eaters report all sorts of health benefits from curing allergies, reducing inflammation, improved joint health and even restoring thinning hair and reducing sunburns.

Eating primally has changed my life and I firmly believe that anyone would benefit from eating this way. However, I believe even firmer that no one should eat anything because someone else tells them to. The food we eat are directly responsible for our health and as such we owe it to ourselves to never eat anything without a conscious decision of how that food will affect our bodies. Keep an open mind and find a healthy way to eat that is right for you!

  1. I think I can subscribe to part of this. I have trouble though, believing more beef is preferable to oatmeal for breakfast, and I really can't subscribe to lowering fruit. I love the nothing prepared though, and i DO get that most grains sort of addict us and slow us down. I think I'd just go NO meat, before I went ALL meat.

  1. Hi Hart!
    Thank you for your comment. I think the most important thing when picking a diet is to do what is right for you. I eat less fruit because I can tell sugary fruit is not great for me, but what works for me is not necessarily good for other people. Pay attention to what you eat and make your diet yours and you should be doing good.

    If you do decide to give up ALL meat though, keep in mind that you have to be extra careful to get all the nutrients you need.

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