The Cave Woman Diet
In spite of it's name, this diet does not include being
dragged by the hair, hunting with clubs or skinning big game.
Though you might feel good enough to do all of those things.
What it does include is a return to our evolutionary roots.
As a student of anthropology, I read every book I can find
on ancient homonids and their culture. In January of 2002, while
cruising Amazon.com for something new about our primitive cousins,
I came across two books on ancient hominid diets. Out of curiosity,
I ordered them.
In a nutshell, about 12,000 years ago the last Ice Age ended.
Within 2,000 years of the ice sheet receding, agriculture began
and new foods became the staple they are in today's diet.
This new diet, called Neolithic, had an immediate effect on
human health. Skeletons of Neolithic farmers show poor nutrition
compared to the previous generations of hunter-gatherers. They
died younger, were shorter, had more cavities in their fewer
teeth and showed the first evidence of obesity.
The problem with the new diet of the Neolithic period was
that we didn't evolve to eat those new foods. The small
human digestive tract is unique among primates. We have only
one stomach and a relatively short large intestine. We are more
suited to digesting and extracting nutrients from meat, fruit,
nuts, and some vegetables.
This was of particular interest to me since I knew I was
allergic to wheat and was also lactose intolerant. If I couldn't
digest those items, maybe there were other items I couldn't
digest and just didn't know it.
After reading both books, doing some research on the Internet
and at my local library, I fashioned a diet for myself. And
the Cave Woman Diet was born.
On January 16, 2002, when the last kid returned to college,
I began my diet. Since the previous January, I had been exercising,
lifting weights and generally killing myself to lose a grand
total of ten pounds. And it took a year! Not a very satisfying
result from so much effort.
I began by purging the kitchen of every slide of bread, every
cracker, every package of pasta, and every cream-filled pastry.
I was ruthless.
Next, I went to the store and bought meat. Beef, pork, chicken,
fish and shrimp. Then I hit the produce section. Fresh vegetables
and fruits nestled in the shopping cart next to nuts and dried
fruit (without sugar added) and eggs. The rules for eating were
simple. Eat nothing that couldn't be found in nature. Eat
only when I was hungry, even if it was every two hours. And
eat only enough to satisfy my hunger. No gorging.
I began my eating day at 9 am. I scrambled an egg in a small
amount of butter and topped it with a dash of cheese. At 11
am, I was back in the kitchen eating pastrami or corned beef
(not processed but from the deli). Just a couple of slices rolled
inside a thin slice of cheese.
At one, I had lunch. Usually a left over item from dinner
the night before. Pork chops, a stuffed pepper, a ground beef
patty. Whatever. I made a small salad to accompany this with
a teaspoon of salad dressing. Between three and four in the
afternoon, I was hungry again. This is when I got out the fresh
fruit and nuts. usually apples and walnuts. I munched them while
I fixed a dinner of steak, chicken, pork or fish. I also prepared
the fresh vegetables for the meal. I'm partial to broccoli,
cauliflower and carrots, but I also ate snow peas, mushrooms
and other vegetables, though no corn or beans.
By eight or nine that night it was time to drag out the fruit
again for something to snack on.
At the end of five days, I had lost three pounds and my chronic
indigestion. Goodbye Tums! And I was never hungry since I ate
all the time. Previous dietary study indicated that to change
our metabolism it is necessary to eat often. This reprograms
the body to stop storing fat.
The second week I droppef four pounds and my energy level
skyrocketed. I was not just cleaning house, I was cleaning closets
and kitchen cabinets and organizing items for a yard sale. Interestingly,
I had no more sinus headaches or joint pain and had eliminated
the use of over the counter decongestants and arthritis pain
At the end of six weeks, I had lost twenty pounds, my clothes
no longer fit and I had energy to spare. I was sleeping soundly
and my anxiety level was greatly reduced. I felt better than
I had in years.
I had continued a modified version of my daily workout during
this diet period. Chronic back pain had plagued me since my
twenties and I used exercise to keep my muscles from seizing
up. I had to wonder if my diet would have been as successful
without the twenty minute a day workout. So, at the end of my
third week, I put my wheelchair confined husband on the diet.
He lost twelve pounds! A man who cannot move lost weight. I
knew then I was definitely onto something.
I thought at the end of six weeks, it was safe to add a few
goodies back into my diet. I missed a few things like a slice
of bread with my meat and cheese and an occasional sip from
a root beer float. Only in moderation, of course.
Those small indulgences made me sick. Tummy ache, diarrhea,
headache. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out
that modern foods were making me sick and probably had been
all my life. That was pretty strong motivation to continue the
Cave Woman Diet.
I am now at my ideal weight. I no longer suffer with indigestion
and allergies. And I am more energetic and productive than ever.
My coaching business is taking off, my writing business is flourishing
and I feel and look better than I have in years.
So, get out your loincloth, sharpen your stone tools and
become a Cave Woman! Eat the way Mother Nature designed us to
eat. Once you brake the addiction to grains and sugars, you
will never want to touch them again.
For Further Reading