Going Caveman – The Paleolithic Diet Experiment


I have been thinking about trying the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet for a while. I’ve read a lot about it online and have found that unlike many other diets, from an evolutionary perspective, this one makes sense and sounds diabetic-friendly. Reading Eric Devine’s piece, Why I Eat Like A Caveman, was the turning point and I decided I’m going to try it myself.

The rules of the diet are simple – eat only what was available before the agricultural revolution. So dairy and grains are out. There are a lot of rules which can be found at the Introduction to the Paleolithic Diet, but from the reading I have done most of the followers of this diet are not as strict as the rulebook suggests.

So I have decided to do an easy to live with version of the diet which allows for coffee (without which I may not be able to function) and some alcohol (after reading Amby Burfoot’s interview with Boyd Eaton and Loren Cordain where both ordered red wine).

I’m not sure if Paleo will become a way of life for me or just a fun experiment, but I’m going to try it for a week or two and see how it goes. I do have some concerns regarding the change in diet. The first is my blood sugar control. I know that changing the way I eat, cutting down on my carbs will require finding a new balance in my insulin intake and that usually is accompanied by many lows.

The second thing I’m worried about is running. My dietitian forced me to start eating carbs regularly to supply me with energy (glycogen in my muscles) to run.

The Paleo Diet is basically a low carb diet with no dairy. I did some reading and found a guide for paleo athletes. The guide, based on a book called The Paleo Diet for Athletes, explains that serious athletes need to bend the rules of the Paleo Diet a bit since “we’re placing demands on the body that were not normal for our Stone Age ancestors”.

So starting Sunday morning I will be trying this new diet. I am sure I will lose weight at first (a nice byproduct) but I hope it won’t all be muscle and glycogen stores which I need for running. I also hope I will have enough energy to keep up with life.

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Michelle S
Michelle S
12 years ago

not trying to sell you on the vegan diet!  :-)  Have you started the Paleo diet?   i definitely think lots of us can find more whole-food based sources of carbs and better manage sugars.  i had a blog post on CSL about the changes in my diet: http://crazysexylife.com/2009/diabetes-meet-my-green-juice/

Catherine Price
12 years ago

Hi Michelle, Thanks for the link to the Brenden Brazier interview. Very interesting. (although I am no candidate for a vegan diet).


Michelle S
Michelle S
12 years ago

Hi Michael!  I was interested in that article too…. my diet has gradually evolved into a vegan diet, and I find I feel much better when I am high raw. Paleo is different obviously, but I think the high raw vegan diet makes sense in the same way: cutting back on stuff that is hard to digest because we can’t possibly evolve fast enough to keep up with “progress”.  have you read anything by Brendan Brazier?  I love his book, the Thrive Diet.   If you are concerned about running, check out his ability to do ironman competitions on a… Read more »

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