The paleo diet is a way of eating like the people who lived during the Stone Age. Even though much has happened since then, our nutritional needs are the same. Our genes are still adapted to a world where the food we put into our bodies should be hunted, fished or picked in the wild.

The caveman didn’t have access to fast food chains, candy shops or soft drink-stands. Neither did they eat pasta or cereal. Their hunter-gather foods were high in protein, minerals, and vitamins and very low in fat. And were therefore, muscular, athletic and agile. Today, the average person living in the western world is overweight, stressed out, out of shape and has health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, allergies and diabetes (all related to diet).

a beginner's guide to the paleo diet

What happened?

Agriculture happened. About 10.000 years ago we went from being hunted-gatherers to becoming farmers. We started eating less and less meat, fruits, and vegetables. And instead we started to eat grains (bread, pasta, rice etc.) and different kinds of dairy products. Even though 10.000 years is a lot of time, it’s still only a fraction of human history, and our bodies still haven’t adapted to this kind of diet.

So what can I eat and not it with the paleo diet?

Rule of thumb: If a caveman could eat it so can you. If he couldn’t eat it, neither can you. So that leaves us with (lean) meat, fish, seafood, game, vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts and berries.

We also have to remove the grains, processed foods and dairy products. If you find that hard, try to limit these three as much as possible or consider one day when you can eat whatever you like.

How much should I eat and how often?

Another rule of thumb: Only eat when you are hungry. Our cavemen ancestors could sometimes go hours or even days without anything to eat. They didn’t have the fast-food chains, hot dog stands and the ability to eat every third hour, like we are told by following most diet plans.

When it comes to how much you should eat a good source of protein with each meal and some vegetables, root vegetables or fruit along with it. Simple as that!

A paleo diet meal can look like this:

Marinated chicken fillets with broccoli and carrot.

Fry the chicken fillets and season with pepper or curry (no salt)

Marinade: rapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pepper and fresh thyme.

Slice the chicken into pieces and pour over the marinade while the chicken is hot.

Serve with steamed broccoli, lettuce and grated carrot.

What are the benefits of eating this way?

The paleo diet is expected to contribute to a desirable bodyweight, because it is low in energy but high in volume, water- and protein rich. That gives your body the feeling of satisfaction before you have put to much food into it.

It is also expected to prevent diabetes and other health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. And of course food allergies such as lactose and gluten won’t be a problem anymore.

Why did I choose to try the so-called caveman diet?

Before I even knew what the paleo diet was, I was heading into that kind of eating habits naturally. Because of my intolerance to lactose, I started to become more and more aware of what I was putting into my body. And I always wondered why humans are the only species in the world that is drinking milk (from other animals) beyond infancy. Also agriculture and the consumption of grains haven’t been around for that long. In other words, that the paleo diet makes sense.

Does the paleo diet sounds good to you? Are you ready to unleash the caveman in you? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think.