In a nutshell, about 12,000 years ago the
last Ice Age ended. Within 2,000 years of the ice sheet receding,
agriculture began and new foods became the staple they are in
today's diet. This new diet, called Neolithic, had an immediate
effect on human health. Skeletons of Neolithic farmers show poor
nutrition compared to the previous generations of
hunter-gatherers. They died younger, were shorter, had more
cavities in their fewer teeth and showed the first evidence of
The problem with the new diet of the
Neolithic period was that we didn't evolve to eat those new foods.
The small human digestive tract is unique among primates. We have
only one stomach and a relatively short large intestine. We are
more suited to digesting and extracting nutrients from meat,
fruit, nuts, and some vegetables.
This was of particular interest to me since
I knew I was allergic to wheat and was also lactose intolerant. If
I couldn't digest those items, maybe there were other items I
couldn't digest and just didn't know it.
After reading both books, doing some
research on the Internet and at my local library, I fashioned a
diet for myself. And the Cave Woman Diet was born.
On January 16, 2002, when the last kid
returned to college, I began my diet. Since the previous January,
I had been exercising, lifting weights and generally killing
myself to lose a grand total of ten pounds. And it took a year!
Not a very satisfying result from so much effort.
I began by purging the kitchen of every
slice of bread, every cracker, every package of pasta, and every
cream-filled pastry. I was ruthless.
Next, I went to the store and bought meat.
Beef, pork and chicken. Also, fish and shrimp. Then I hit the
produce section. Fresh vegetables and fruits nestled in the
shopping cart next to nuts and dried fruit (without sugar added)
and eggs. The rules for eating were simple. Eat nothing that
couldn't be found in nature. Eat only when I was hungry, even if
it was every two hours. And eat only enough to satisfy my hunger.
I began my eating day at 9 am. I scrambled
an egg in a small amount of butter and topped it with a dash of
cheese. At 11 am, I was back in the kitchen eating pastrami or
corned beef (not processed, but from the deli). Just a couple of
slices rolled inside a thin slice of cheese.
At one, I had lunch. Usually a left over
item from dinner the night before. Pork chops, a stuffed pepper, a
ground beef patty. Whatever. I made a small salad to accompany
this with a teaspoon of salad dressing.
Between three and four in the afternoon, I
was hungry again. This is when I got out the fresh fruit and nuts.
Usually apples and walnuts. I munched them while I fixed a dinner
of steak, chicken, pork or fish. I also prepared the fresh
vegetables for the meal. I'm partial to broccoli, cauliflower and
carrots, but I also ate snow peas, mushrooms and other vegetables,
though no corn. By eight or nine that night it was time to
drag out the fruit again for something to snack on.
At the end of 5 days, I had lost three
pounds and my chronic indigestion. Goodbye Tums! And I was never
hungry since I ate all the time. Previous dietary study indicated
that to change our metabolism it is necessary to eat often. This
reprograms the body to stop storing fat.
The second week I dropped four pounds and my
energy level skyrocketed. I was not just cleaning house, I was
cleaning closets and kitchen cabinets and organizing items for a
yard sale. Interestingly, I had no more sinus headaches or joint
pain and had eliminated over the counter decongestants and
arthritis pain relievers.
At the end of six weeks, I had lost twenty
pounds, my clothes no longer fit and I had energy to spare. I was
sleeping better and my anxiety level was greatly reduced. I felt
better than I had in years.
I had continued a modified version of my
daily workout during this diet period. Chronic back pain plagued
me since my twenties and I used exercise to keep my muscles from
seizing up. I had to wonder if my diet would have been as
successful without the twenty minute a day workout. So, at the end
of my third week, I put my wheelchair confined husband on the
diet. He lost 12 lbs! A man who cannot move lost weight.
I was definitely onto something here.
I thought at the end of six weeks, it was
safe to add a few goodies back into my diet. I missed a few things
like a slice of bread with my meat and cheese and an occasional
sip from a root beer float. Only in moderation, of course.
Those small indulgences made me sick. Tummy
ache, diarrhea, headache. It didn't take a rocket scientist to
figure out that modern foods were making me sick and probably had
been all my life. That was pretty strong motivation to continue
the Cave Woman Diet.
am now at my ideal weight. I no longer
suffer with indigestion and allergies. And I am more energetic and
productive than ever. My coaching business is taking off. My
writing business is flourishing. And I feel and look better than I
have in years.
So, get out your loincloth,
sharpen your stone tools and become a Cave Woman! Eat the way
Mother Nature designed us to eat. Once you break the addition to
grains and sugars, you will never want to touch them again.