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The Caveman Diet


A few years ago whilst I was driving up to Scotland with a friend, he asked me a question and videoed the response, a sort of garbled ramble about cave man diets and my take on how we should really eat and why out digestive system is able to digest meats and harsh vegetables (a cow needs 3 stomachs to digest grass). There’s more to the question really as I started thinking about this a few years before. Two things came about then, there was the massive jump in CrossFit and its Paleo diet, and I read an article by Paul Chek on his take of the perfect diet. Both Look at a prehistoric diet of sorts.

So, here’s how I see it, though we are no longer “Hunter Gatherers” we should style the way we eat around a “Hunter Gatherer” style of eating. Ill come back to this, but firstly want to mention the big “Hoorar” on Vegan eating. If you want to “go vegan” on ethical grounds I get it, I don’t agree with it from a health point of view, but I get your ethical stand and though I have fun banter with 1 or 2 vegans wouldn’t try to take you away from your ethics.

So back to my take on it. Going back to caveman times we needed to eat meat and utilise all the items from the animal fur, bones, other by products as we were primarily carnivorous and we learned to hunt and catch food, but we also needed to balance our energy systems, if we kept meat over night we ran the risk of other animals search for food invading our sleep space (cave, home etc) so we would eat or gorge on meat at night and then have nothing in the morning, which is why we learned to gather non meat food sources (nuts, pulses, vegetables, starch based veg and fruits).

Even if we went out and caught a larger animal, more than we could eat in a day we would gorge on the animal using all of it as best we could then we would possibly have a lean period where we either only caught something small or didn’t catch anything so our bodies needed to be able to digest both veg and meat.

So, our bodies are basically designed to eat that way.

How would a diet look today then? So we don’t need to go out with a bow and arrow and hunting knife in hand but we should look at the basic way they would eat, starting with breakfast, something like nuts and maybe some fruit would be a good start, we need energy for the day ahead but we need sustained release of that energy, so a carb/starch base along with proteins and fats, is the perfect start to the day

Secondly a snack to keep the energy up through the morning through to lunch time. Maybe in hunter gatherer times you were lucky enough to have some meat left over from the previous day, but at lunch you need energy for the rest of the day again sustained release so starch and protein again as if we are lucky by the end of the day we would have caught some better protein fish or meat so could again gorge on that…. Again, if we caught a larger animal we would need to gorge more on the meat, but would have lean periods with no meat

Breakfast - nuts, grains and protein and fat

Snack - small carb and protein snack

Lunch - protein, fats and starches

Snack - small carb snack

Dinner – Larger protein snack with fewer starches

So, I would look at keeping a good balance if you are looking to turn vegan, I would possibly become a part time vegan and occasionally binge eat meat every week. If you are a meat eater, I would look at reducing the amount of meat you eat during a week but try to eat meat at least one, maybe twice and add fish to that too. As for dairy I would definitely include it in there but again not in huge quantities, eggs too are a great source of proteins and fats and are relatively slow release so they too should be included in a diet. There are also some grounds for a form of intermittent fasting here too

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