Eating like a Cavewoman

“I’d like to order a medium-sized Italian salad, with extra chicken. And instead of the vinaigrette dressing, can I please have olive oil… on the side? And can I also get artichoke hearts on the salad.? Oh, and is there cheese in the salad? Okay, so no cheese either.”

That was me ordering a salad at a pizza place last night.  High maintainence, right? A few months ago I would have cringed at making such a fuss at a restaurant. A few months ago I would have ordered a slice of cheese pizza and a beer. A few months ago I ate gingersnaps like they were going out of fashion and was running to get midmorning soy lattes from across the street.

Many things have changed.

What started as a casual experiment with the Paleo Diet and the Paleo Diet for Athletes has evolved into something more serious. It’s not a diet. It’s not an experiment. It’s just how I eat now. Here’s kind of what it looks like. Tasty, right?

Paleo Diet


Foods To I Eat To My Belly’s Contentment: Veggies- all kinds. Meat, eggs, nuts, berries, seafood, most fruit, nut butters like almond butter and hazelnut butter. Oils and fat including olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil and seasme seed oil.

Foods I Steer Clear From: Grains- all of them -yes, all of them. which also means no bread or pasta. Potatoes, corn, peanuts, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy products.

Foods to Eat On Occassion: Honey and dried fruit.

There are a lot better resources, both in books and on the Internet, that explain better than I can the details and logic behind this diet. The basic idea is that you eat simple, whole foods, minimally processed and without perservatives, additives or chemicles. Basically, when you see a food, you ask yourself “Concieveably, could I have hunted or gathered this back in the day?” If the answer is yes- go for it. If not, put down the Twinkie, or the pizza slice, or the soy latte or the gingersnap and go eat something else. Pretty simple, right?

Except it’s really not that simple. Breaking habits, whatever they may be, is a difficult process and this one has definitely been a socially awkward adjustment. Say no to the bagels and donuts at work on Friday? Decline cupcakes? Walk past the award-winning French bakery and not stop for an Oregon croissant!? It’s hard stuff. But the results have been well worth it.

Changing my diet has been a humbling experience. It’s hard. It’s confusing. It’s demoralizing at times.  But I do understand better those who struggle with weight issues. I sympathize with those who deal with dietary restrictions that are not, unlike mine, a lifestyle choice. So, while I’ll continue to write about running until you’re sick of hearing it, I’ll also be adding posts about eating like a Cavewoman in the modern world.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in food, health, paleo diet and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Eating like a Cavewoman

  1. smchurchi says:

    I’m so intrigued by this diet; I just may start experimenting with it. Question: Can you eat balsamic vinigarette?


  2. heatherdaniel says:

    Yes, you can eat balsamic vinaigrette. I choose not to get the restaurant salad dressing if I think it may have soy sauce, sugar, or something else. Instead I apply liberal amounts of olive oil, salt and pepper. Pretty scrumptious stuff in my opinion.

  3. Marvin says:

    No pasta? How can you run without pasta? You’re excluding foods that are high in carbs needed in glycosis for generating energy. If this diet works for you, then stick with it, you have the most knowledge on what your body needs. If you feel tired all the time or feel dizzy on your long runs, then I suggest adding more carbs in your diet. There are wholesome alternatives such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread that are good for you.

    A concerned friend

  4. DR says:

    It’s the grain police…How can you LIVE without pasta?

    Veggies and fruit are carbs. Your body stores up unused carbs for use during exercise

    You don’t need grains.

    Yay Cavewoman.. you are going to love how your body improves on this diet. Energy, body composition, athletic performance, skin, etc…

    Some paleo science here –

  5. readysetchange says:

    I’m with the muscled shadowy guy above… boo grains! Mostly, that is. There are few gluten-free whole grains I won’t talk smack about.

  6. JS says:

    My brother got me on this diet and I LOVE it! He has lost about 35 pounds and I have lost about 10. Do you have receipes that you use? I can hardly eat another turkey and tomato roll-up or handfull of unsalted almonds for breakfast.

  7. range says:

    I started on a low-card diet in January and lost 40lbs. No bread, no pasta, no grains, no noodles. I do eat a bit of cheese and a bit of milk. Other than that, it’s mostly fruits, veggies, smoothies, meat, fish.

    I’m no where near as fast as you as a runner, but I’m slowly getting there. I’ve been running at least 5K a day now and feeling nice about it.

    It’s incredible to think that you actually run a 5K 16 minutes faster than I do.

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