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The Paleo Diet : Eating Like Our Caveman Ancestors

By HERWriter
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term, “eat like a caveman.” This hunter/gatherer approach to dieting is the foundation for the popular Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet claims to be “the world’s healthiest diet.”

Experts of the Paleo Diet say that their diet plan is different from the average low carb diet. “Like others it is higher in protein, but it is premised firstly on a historical basis: because for millions of years our ancestors ate substantially less carbohydrates (i.e., less grains, refined sugars, starch, bread, processed carbs, etc.) than in the modern, western diet. In fact, they ate virtually none of the above foods. Then, the agricultural revolution came with cities, civilizations, and different foodstuffs.”

According to PaleoDietLifestyle.com the Paleo diet is high in animal fat and proteins and low in carbohydrates. “A Paleo diet, also known as Paleolithic diet or caveman diet is all about natural foods to help achieve great health and a perfect physique. The human body evolved for more than 2 million years with the food found in nature: game meat, fish, vegetables, wild fruits, eggs and nuts.”

Lou Cordain, Ph.D. one of the leading experts on the Paleo diet told RunnersWorld.com, that the Paleo diet is good source of fuel for athletes. “You'll likely increase your protein and fat consumption, while modestly lowering your carb intake. But since the carbs you do eat will come largely from fruits and veggies, you'll be swimming in healthful micronutrients. The protein will come from lean meats with low levels of saturated fats, and from fish with high levels of healthful omega-3 fats. You'll get more healthy, monounsaturated fats from canola oil, walnut oil, and olive oil. These fats won't raise your heart-attack risk; in fact, they'll probably lower it.”

He co-authored the book Paleo for Athletes with Joe Friel, a marathoner, cyclist and triathlete. In the book, Friel helps implement certain carbohydrates to help optimum performance. According to RunnersWorld.com, “He does this in great detail, explaining how to get the best carbs before, during, and after races and workouts. He's particularly precise about the postrun period, breaking it into three separate 'stages' to make sure you transition from fruits and fruit juices to potatoes and sweet potatoes, and finally to a mix of carbs with more proteins.”

Below are some recipes from the Paleo Diet Lifestyle:


• 3 tbsps olive oil
• 2 tbsps raspberry vinegar
• ¼ cup of fresh raspberries, crushed to a puree
• 8 cups of baby spinach
• 2 cups of fresh raspberries
• 4 tbsps walnuts; crushed
• ½ red onion, finally chopped
• 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette: olive oil, vinegar and crushed raspberries. Combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients: spinach, raspberry, walnuts, kiwis and onion.
3. Drizzle with the dressing, toss well and serve.


• 1lb. of mixed mushrooms, chopped with tough portion of stems removed
• ¼ cup of butter
• 2 onions, chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• Handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• ¼ cup of so of red wine
• ½ cup of heavy cream or full-fat coconut ilk
• 2 green onions, chopped
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Before chopping the mushrooms, rinse them to remove any excess dirt and then pat dry
2. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the butter
3. Stir-in the onions and garlic. Cook until they begin to brown, about 7 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper; continue to cook until moisture evaporates completely
5. Add the wine or stock as well as the heavy cream or coconut milk and stir well to ensure that the flavors are dispersed evenly
6. Once the stew has simmered for a few minutes, add in the thyme leaves, green onions and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning. Allow to sit on a low heat for a few more mnutes so that it thickens.

Online References:

ThePaleoDiet.com – The Paleo Diet. Web 29 Aug. 2011

ThePaleoLifestyle.com – The Paleo Lifestyle. Web 29. Aug. 2011

“Should You Be Eating Like A Caveman – RunnersWorld.com” – Runners World. Web 29. Aug. 2011

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed August 30, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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