Home > Paleo Life > How I ended up eating like a cavewoman

How I ended up eating like a cavewoman

By that I mean an adoptee of the Paleo Diet.

Well, to answer that question, I came to it purely by accident. As I blogged before, I have been struggling with insulin resistance for some time. I read up on the subject and altered my diet to a Low GI diet. Although the symptoms diminished somewhat under a low GI diet, I still had problems like fatigue, stomach cramps and an inability to lose weight.

I was in a Catch-22 situation. To get healthier and evade diabetes, I have to lose weight, but I simply couldn’t no matter what I did. After reading about the Paleo Diet I realise that this is because most of the vegetables I was taking was of the starchy variety – french beans, long beans, endamame — and that I was still consuming grains such as white rice, rye and quinoa. And oh yes, I was drinking a lot of Diet Coke. Thanks to my high starch diet, my energy levels would dip around 3pm, and to perk myeslf up I’d reach for a can of Diet Coke, thinking: “Oh, at least it has zero calories”.

Well, my inability to lose weight made me go a little crazy, and I gave up adhering strictly to the Low GI diet. I went overboard, indulged my cravings for bread (I do miss it still, honestly) and sweets (chocolates, ahoy!). Weekends would be an “all you can eat” party. I would stock up with chips, a big bucket of ice-cream and proceed to sit on my ass all day watching TV while consuming the junk. That was “relaxation” for me; a reward after a hard week’s work.

At the start of this year, my insulin resistance worsened to such an extent that I’d crash in the middle of the day, unable to do anything else but sleep. Desperate, and realising that diabetes was knocking at my door, I saw a doctor. He put me on some medications and on a strict diet which was actually quite Paleo, although he allowed minimal amounts of grains.

I continued eating the way he prescribed, lost a tonne of weight quickly – about 10kg worth in the first two months – and found out about Loren Cordain and the Paleo Diet. Everything he taught echoed my own beliefs about my own diet. Adopting it – or rather, ‘continuing’ it – was just natural. The only thing I modified about the doctor’s diet was to add more protein, eliminate starchy vegetables and grains (though I allow myself an occasional three spoonfuls per day), and lots more vegetables.

I lost an additional 8-9kg on my own and I can tell you that it has been effortless. I didn’t even do much exercise (as compared to my previous efforts), and I later realised that that was exactly what I should do – not exhaust yourself with too much cardio.

Afternoon crashes are a thing of the past, though my energy levels do dip somewhat if I ate too much for lunch. I have so much energy I’m sure I’m pretty irritating around the office, bouncing around with a big ass smile on my face. Sometimes I’d work till midnight and still feel like I can chug on some more. I feel ridiculously wonderful.

And this is really thanks to the Paleo Lifestyle.

So, if you want to lose weight and regain your energy, I’d encourage you to adopt it too. However, I believe that 20% of human beings on the planet are fortunate enough to process grains and do thrive on a high carb diet. Still, that leaves 80% of the human race who still have good old Paleolithic genes, and if you’re one of the 80%, you need to eat like your great (1000x) grandma.

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  1. Cheryl Hadden
    August 11, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I read with great interest your account of overcoming your insulin resistance and threat of diabetes. I lost my best friend to diabetes last year and find myself inching closer to that crossover point into full blown diabetes.
    I know the medical profession doesn’t have a clue and all too ready to give out pills for life.
    I was reading the reviews for the “Oiling of America” and there was a link to this blog.
    The major difference between the diet the book promotes and yours is the inclusion of grass-fed meats with lots of fat, more milk fats and most of the grains and legumes are soaked first before using. It keeps you feeling full and satisfied, you eat less but have more energy.
    And since I’ve never been one to be able to “diet”, this works for me, it’s very similar to how I used to cook when was a struggling newly divorced mother and didn’t have a lot of money. I cooked from scratch, used a lot of lard and butter (my one splurge) whole grains.
    I agree that the current modern diet is a fraud, geared to ensure that we become obese and diabetic, complicated by liver and kidney problems.
    It makes sense though, because it’s a great moneymaker, medically speaking. No profit in being fit and healthy, but tons of money to be made from keeping people sick, overweight and fatigued all the time.
    I do wonder where the author of the “Paleo Diet” got the idea that ancients ate lean meats? I know that my American Indian ancestors valued the fat of the animals and used it in nearly everything they ate.
    It’s a key ingredient in Pemmican, which is a preserved meat,fat and fruit mix.
    I’m going to get the book and follow the blog. The blog is so encouraging and you’ve great success with your diet plan, I enjoy reading it and the suggestions are on my to do list.

  2. August 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Hello Cheryl and thank you for stopping by my little barely-updated blog!

    I believe Lauren Cordain said that animals back then weren’t as fat as our industrially-grown ones? But, nevertheless, I’m not the sort to listen to a person’s advice 100%, since I believe that everyone’s different. What I do is I listen to my body, and my body seem to lead me to the right way of eating that’s just suited for me.

    I noticed that I felt better eating higher fat in the first half of the day. If you head over to http://www.marksdailyapple.com, you’d notice that he recommends high fat meats and says that we shouldn’t be afraid of fat like that book you were talking about.

    So, what I do is this — mornings and afternoons I eat high fat meats such as liver, roast chicken with the skin, minced pork. Around evening, when I don’t need that much energy any more, I’d eat fish or lean breast meat.

    If I want to slim down that week, I concentrate more on leaner meats. I also practise intermittent fasting which seem to work as well.

    My weight loss has slowed down a lot because I only have 10 or 15 pounds more to lose, but the Paleo and Primal (from Mark’s Daily Apple) way of eating is keeping me sane, fitter, and happier. On this diet, I’m just not as hungry, I don’t get insane cravings, and I have tonnes of energy. And top of this — I can lose weight! All great bonuses.

  3. January 10, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really
    nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. Cheers

  1. May 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm
  2. February 29, 2016 at 10:59 am

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