The Human Diet

The Paleolithic Diet – also referred to as the Caveman Diet – is a nutritional strategy largely inspired by evolutionary biological research of ancestral hominins (like what I discuss here). The basis of this diet is to emulate the eating habits of our ancestors through eating natural foods as would be available to hunter-gatherer type societies. Some strategies also urge dieters to emulate the timing and volume of ancestral eating habits, such as spacing out  meals to several small ones or “grazing” upon morsels and snacks dozens of times over the course of the day.

In contrast to modern Western dietary norms, the Paleo Diet rejects consuming processed foods, high-carbohydrate foods, and dairy products. The core of a Paleo Diet would contain primarily nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, fowl, eggs, and lesser amounts of red meat, vegetable oils, honey, and salt. Most Paleo Diets trend toward a lot of raw eating but they also encourage creative and honed cooking practices that offer delicious and satiating meals. With some basic cooking skills a Paleo Diet meal with only natural ingredients can beat out any modern dish made of processed carbohydrates, high salt, excess fat, and artificial additives.

Caveats on this diet are few, if not none. The primary challenge may lie in conditioning yourself to stop craving “junk” food and to begin to desire natural, “Paleo” food. The other issue may lie in budget. Typically, raw and fresh produce, as well as organic options, tend to cost more than their counterparts. Despite this, the research on health benefits from a nature-oriented diet such as the Paleo Diet are significant. Any time you see a mention of a “super food” usually it is a natural fruit, vegetable, or nut that fits right into the Paleo Diet. With the elements of the Paleo Diet being highly healthy, the absence of processed sugars, artificial ingredients, and preservatives eliminates negative health agents from your diet; and the increase of phytonutients and a suite of antioxidants and vitamins adds positive health agents.

Tip: Every day, nurture any desire or craving you may have for natural unprocessed foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, oily fish and lean meat. Learn to graze on small amounts, and drink plenty of water. Drink a lot of water before a meal so you start with a full stomach to slow down your consumption and defend against satiety-lag.

Dietary exemplars:
-Protein: Meat (ex: Birds [chicken] and fish), Eggs, Nuts (ex: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts), Legumes (ex: black beans, green beans, snap peas)
-Sweets: Fruit (ex: blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, peaches, pears)
-Fiber and Greens: Leaves/Stalks/Fruit (ex: broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, squash, okra), Roots and corms (ex: carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, swedes, garlic, onion)
-Fats: Oil (ex: olive, coconut, canola oils), poly-unsaturated fats (non-hydrogenated)

My Ideal Paleo Meal:
A “salad” of:
Greens: kale, spinach, chives
Fruit: tomato, apple, cranberries
Corms/Roots: onion, garlic, beets, carrots
Protein: turkey, sunflower seeds, cashews, black beans
Dressing: olive oil
A dessert of:
Orange and bananna
A beverage of:
Clean, clear water

 

13 Comments

  1. Awesome post! Currently I’m focused staying hydrated, juicing all of those roots. I love coconut/kale combo anything. Nuts… almonds! Blend with water and a little or no agave nectar… 😋

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    1. I love me some roots and agave or honey! Sounds like you know what’s up! Do note the function of large, tuberous roots for the plant is for energy storage and so they are high in carbohydrates as well as minerals and antioxidants.

      My favorite combo for sustained energy and nutrients is a salad (or an adapted smoothie/juice with Greek yogurt and ginger) containing kale, cabbage, carrots, (or beets), cranberries, apples, topped with proteins of sunflower seeds and almond slices, black beans, shredded turkey, and dressed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic and onion powder. That’s a lunch!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s money my friend! 🙌

        My favorite salad is greens with lots of spinach, shredded chicken breast, slivered almonds, raspberry vinaigrette or lemon olive oil dressing.

        I love seaweed far a snack. And if I want to treat myself, indulge… I’m addicted to sushi. 😝

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems we are geared for a wide variety of foods. With modern agriculture we are narrowed to a select, profitable few, and those lack traditional nutrients as well. Diets are like knowledge. A wide variety for a healthy mind and body. Great post as usual Tom.

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    1. Exactly Jim! Our diverse omnivorous diet facilitated our encephalization and sophistication leading to civilization, which ironically has lead to a nutritional simplification (via complicated processing) of our diet, thus failing to accommodate our hungry brains. So to extrapolate on what you said, “diets are like knowledge…”, diets can be knowledge literally in the biological and neurological sense that they can make or break our human potential and indeed proper variety shall facilitate variety of ability in body and mind.

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  3. I gave Heather the book Paleo Coach. She was also saying she had read not to eat nuts. So you should let her know that nuts are fine.

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