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Retreating To The Cave- The Paleo-Diet by Bill Allars

By DMorgan
Created 04/21/2012 - 4:07pm
Retreating to the Cave

Retreating to the Cave


If you’ve heard of the Caveman diet or the Paleo diet but have no idea how to get back to the cave, this article may be for you. As quickly as possible, I will provide you with a mechanism to get on to the Paleo bandwagon and reap some of the benefits of the Paleo diet. I’m not going to discuss the details and science behind the Paleo diet to any great extent, as there are multiple references on the internet that do a far better job of this than I ever could.

Paleo diet overview

The Paleo diet isn’t really a diet as much as it is a lifestyle change with the aim being to mirror the lifestyle of our ancestral hunters/gatherers. However, changes to the way you eat are a key part of the program.

A key component of the eating component of the Paleo diet is the removal of all processed foods and grains from the list of foods that you eat. It’s a stricter variant on the concept of “if you can’t plant it, pick it, or shoot it, you shouldn’t be eating it.” The logic behind this is:

From a Paleo perspective, there isn’t any difference between whole grains and processed grains—they’re both grains and they’re both out. For the purposes of this discussion, corn is also classified as a grain and is also out. Legumes (beans) are out because they can have a similar disruptive effect on the body and its digestive system.


The Paleo diet intends to convert you from a person who predominantly burns sugar for energy into a person who predominantly burns fat for energy. In this way, you can limit the effects of insulin on the body, reduce inflammation within the body, and allow the body to return to a more natural weight, which for most of us, is less than we weigh now.

If grains are out of the cave, what’s in the cave?

The cave is a wonderful place to be if you like to keep things simple. Here’s the kind of things that you can eat:

When looking for meat to eat, organic or grass-fed is preferred due to the animal not being raised on grains (which can introduce the same problems as eating grains). Meat provides protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals that are all able to be used by the body.

Fish, particularly those that are non-farmed, can be a great source of protein [2] and omega 3 [3] for the body. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are preferable but pretty much any fish is good. Shark and swordfish sit at the top of the aquatic food chain and can be high in mercury and other pollutants. Exercise care when eating these.


I once heard eggs described as nature’s vitamin pill and indeed they are. Eggs are also a wonderful source of protein. Try to find organic or true free-range eggs if possible. These eggs are easy to spot when cracked, as the yokes are a bright orange color as a result of the grass and insects eaten by the chicken rather than the grain of mass farmed eggs. Before they’re cracked, however, you will need to take people for their word. As you should have gathered from this, bacon and eggs and omelets are perfectly acceptable components of the Paleo diet. Good times.

Vegetables are all good. Pick up whatever is in season and away you go. Organic is preferred if possible. If not, be sure to wash produce before cooking or eating to do your best to remove the pesticides from the vegetables. If you’re focusing on weight loss, meat and vegetables are great. Try to avoid potatoes and other starchy vegetables if you’re trying to lose weight. Use potatoes, new potatoes, and yams in your diet if you’re an elite or endurance athlete in need of carbohydrates to refuel. As a hint, most of us aren’t elite athletes so the need for these is limited.

Fresh seasonal fruits provide variety to the diet as well as fiber. If you’re looking to maintain your weight, eat as much fruit as you fancy. If you’re trying to lose weight, eat it in moderation but don’t exclude it altogether. The reason for this is that fruit, to me, is a chance to introduce some variety into your diet. Berries are high in antioxidants and are delicious. They can be mixed with natural yogurt to make a healthy breakfast.

Oils are important to the body and should form a key component of the diet, provided they are the right kind of oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, and fish oil should all form part of your diet as they are high in omega 3. In simple terms, omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory agent that balances the omega 6 consumed in the diet. In pre-agricultural times, the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 was 1:1 or 1:2. Ratios today are in the 1:10 range or higher due to the limitations of our current diets. As such, it is important to consume oils that provide “good fat” for the body. Coconut oil doesn’t degrade at high temperatures and, as such, should be used for cooking in preference to other oils.


Nuts and seeds are ideal snacks for those following the Paleo lifestyle. Macadamia nuts are probably the best but only those without the chocolate coating. Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are also fine, but avoid peanuts because they are legumes rather than nuts. Beef jerky, if you can handle it, is also fine as a snack.

Dairy can be used on occasion but shouldn’t be a regular part of the diet. If you’re having milk, try to use full cream and non-pasteurized if you can find it. Yogurt should be natural or Greek and without artificial flavors.

Other tips for successful cave living

Some other things to consider once you’ve retreated to the cave are:


There is a lot of evidence emerging to support the Paleo style of eating as effective for improving an individual’s health and losing weight. It’s certainly well worth a try. Once the initial cravings for sugar dissipate, it’s easy to follow because it’s incredibly simple in concept. Try it for thirty days and see how it goes. You should aim to be at least 80 percent compliant. If you fall off the wagon during the thirty days, forgive yourself and get back on. At the end of thirty days, you may be surprised at how much weight you’ve lost and how much better you feel.

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