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I Tried The Caveman Diet by Laura Barnwell

By Guest Writers on Feb 06 2014

I wish to talk about the newest “lifestyle” diet I totally bought into a few weeks back. The Paleo (lithic) Diet, or as it’s more commonly known The Caveman Diet.

Now the reason I’ve never done a diet in my life is mainly due to the fact I have no interest in losing weight. My BMI is right on the brink of “underweight” and “normal” and every time I visit home I am likened to some unflattering object or another (rake, stick, waif and spelk (a north-eastern word for splinter) are just some of the regulars).

But I digress…a few weeks back I went for a physio session and got an extremely painful but wonderful massage from an excellent sports/ injury rehab therapist named Helen, who’s been helping heal my back from most of the year now (I fell backwards out of a taxi on a night out, and landed in the worst way possible, messing up my spine and shoulders somewhat. Not my finest moment…).

Anyway Helen started telling me about Paleo, and how beneficial it’s been to her. She reassured me it’s not about losing weight, it’s about eating like the caveman. After all, us humans have only been farming and processing grains for a fraction of the time we’ve been on the planet, not giving our bodies the time it needs to evolve and adapt to digesting them.

Cavewoman commences!

So I bought in, and decided to give it a go.

The rules: if you could hunt it, forage for it or pick it off a tree, it’s fair game. Anything processed, dairy, carby or hard to get a hold of is not. If I caveman couldn’t get a hold of it, I couldn’t eat it. Full list of caveman friendly food here

Day 1-3:

Ate like a palaeolithic pig. Telling everyone about it and being a palaeolithic douche.

Eggs and ham for breakfast. YES!
Nuts and dark chocolate snacking
Grilled salmon/chicken/steak/turtle/pork etc + broccoli/tomato sauce/carrots /spinach for lunch
Tea with a smidge of full fat milk
Giant steaks
Meat and or sweet potato/aubergine/courgettes and tomato ratatouille for dinner
It was all going so well!

Day 3-7:

I want to eat a vat of cheese, and carbs, and drink a whole pint of milk, even though I usually don’t do that. All of this on bread.

Eggs for breakfast started to make me feel sick. I missed yogurt and porridge. Plus I didn’t always have the time to make eggs every flaming morning.
If I didn’t pre-make my lunch I would end up spending about £10- £15 in Chopped. Even Pod and Wholefoods didn’t work because all of the delicious beans and grains they use.

Cheese is so nice, I don’t believe humans are not meant to have it.

Same situation with bread. The French are FINE.
Social eating is pretty much off the cards. Unless I wanted to be the one asking for “no dressing” with my salad (fundamentally don’t believe in ordering salads in restaurants anyway) But this would have alarmed my relatives to the point of rehab. I run a lot, and the lack of carbs were taking their toll. I was running slower and stopping sooner.

And the straw that broke the cave camel’s back? I was going out and wanted to eat a pizza. So I bloody well did. And it tasted like heaven-crack.

As some who can’t abide fussy eaters, I really didn’t want to be one of them. And once I had a bite of delicious dough and mozzarella goodness I told myself I was never going back.

Did I learn anything? YES actually!

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to diet ever in my life. If my metabolism ever kicks in, I’m just going to gracefully embrace the weight. Big girls are beautiful and it’ll eventually get the family off my case.

I realised the difference carbs made. And it wasn’t always good. As much as I craved carbs I realise now I don’t always need them in every meal, and so don’t. I don’t cut them out completely but did notice I was more energised mid-day if I wasn’t having big servings of potato/pasta/bread. Humans were meant to eat cheese. Fact. It’s expensive to eat palio and requires a lot of planning and forethought. Moderation is key…in moderation.

I really do admire people who can make this change and stick to it. It is for stronger souls than I. There are some excellent places to find recipes though, and a lot of them I still use, as a nice alternative to carb based dinners and lunches.

Laura's Blog - Foodandother