Over a year ago, I was at the grocery store and overheard a woman talking loudly about the Caveman diet. Although I found her prattle a bit obnoxious, I was intrigued enough to go home and check this diet out.
A few weeks later, while visiting my sister-in-law, a registered nurse, we enjoyed several unusual meals: no potatoes, grains or sugar. Instead, we ate lots of vegetables, meat, fruit and nuts. As she is so petite, I asked her about this style of food. She advised that their family followed the Caveman Diet. She then explained that this style of eating was very satisfying. Avoiding sugars, grains and potatoes was eliminating any form of sugar. Instead, she ate grass fed or wild game meat, fish, eggs (the only dairy she consumes) veggies, mushrooms, fruit, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
Before we left, she gave me The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. I read this book on our flight back, carefully taking notes. This was not just about food, this was an entire lifestyle change! My husband, an enthusiastic carnivore, was all about pursuing this diet. I, on the other hand was not as eager to pursue this diet. I love bread and pasta and always enjoyed an afternoon sweet. Then again, when I was slim and trim, I avoided all of these things.
Although the first few weeks seemed odd, we soon learned to adjust to this new lifestyle. A lot of food is about habits – eating mashed potatoes with meat, toast with eggs or a sugar laden dessert for dinner. My husband found the adjustment much easier. After the short adjustment period, I found that I had more energy and the fat around my waist was starting to get smaller.
To make the Caveman Diet work for us, we found that eating at home was the key to our success. This way, we could control how we cooked the food and made sure that we consumed the correct ingredients. Because I want to get all of the necessary fruits, vegetables and fiber, we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. For example, instead of relying on milk products or cheese for calcium, we eat vegetables such as kale, bok choy or collard greens, as well as almonds for calcium.
When we go out for a meal, we usually go to American style steakhouses and order a meal with just vegetables and either fish or meat. We ask them to not bring the bread bowl to our table. As many people already follow the high protein, Atkins Diet, we have found that most restaurants are both accommodating and prepared to handle our requests.
Although I feel healthier with the Caveman Diet, I still am tempted. What can be tough – and where I tend to cheat – is when there are celebrations and cake or other treats are served. Sometimes I avoid such gatherings and it seems unnecessary to miss out on social occasions to avoid a food group. Often, I will bring a bowl of cut up fresh fruit, with chopped nuts, on top of the delicious fruit.
Yet, because of our success, many of our friends are now following the Caveman Diet. Following this diet with someone else is also helpful. Most of all, despite avoiding several foods including all grains, our meals are full of healthy variety and taste!