The One-Month Paleolithic Challenge

by Frost on January 4, 2011

I’ve reached a crucial milestone in my young life.

I’ve realized I can no longer eat and drink whatever the fuck I want and maintain the physique of a Calvin Klein underwear model. Until recently, the combination of youth and competitive sports have kept me lean and mean, but as a 25-year-old rec league floor hockey player, I have to think about my health more than I did as a 21-year-old playing rugby and ice hockey five days a week.

Not only that, I’ve decided that I am not content to be as fast, strong and ripped and I was at 21. I want to be in much better shape now than I have ever been in my life. So how the hell am I going to do it? Drum roll please:

The One-Month Paleolithic Challenge

Are you down with paleolithic fitness? If not, do yourself a favour and familiarize yourself with Mark’s Daily Apple, PaNu, or just the Wikipedia article. Basically, I’m going to eat like a caveman for one month.

I’ve actually been eating like a caveman for about a year now. But I’ve often been a bad caveman, i.e. a caveman who too-frequently “hunts” a plate of french toast with his breakfast or “gathers” 15 sugar-filled mixed drinks in two hours on cheap bar rail night. For the next month, I am going to be a near-perfect caveman, only eating foods that were available in my EEA.

Those foods are:

– All kinds of MEAT, including game, poultry, shellfish, seafood and eggs.

– Lots of FATS, such as avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, clarified butter (ghee), lard, tallow, duck fat, veal fat, lamb fat, fatty fishes (sardines, mackerel, salmon), nut butters, nut oils (walnut, macadamia), coconut flesh, and coconut milk.

– All sorts of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

– All sorts of NUTS AND SEEDS, such as Pistachios, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts

– HERBS, such as Parsley, thyme, lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, and coriander.

– SPICES such as Ginger, garlic, onions, peppers, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, vanilla, cloves, chilies

I am also adding high-fat DAIRY to that list. It may offend some Paleo purists, but I’m Scots-Irish so my gut can handle the stuff quite efficiently. Coffee is also exempt from the Neolithic-purge, I will continue to drink too much, though I will be making an effort to substitute red wine for beer and liquor.

So what does this mean to you, loyal blog reader?

I’ll be using this space to keep myself honest. Monday Night Caveman Updates will feature my progress, food and exercise diary so you can mock me ruthlessly if I puss out. I’ll also report on my energy levels, sleep quality, and a few other variables I’ll be tracking. At the end of the month, I’ll write a long post about my experiences, a compendium of all that I’ve learned about the paleolithic theory of human health, and post some pictures of my shirtless, flexing, vegetable-oil-slicked torso.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tuttle January 16, 2011 at 11:17 am

I hear ya. I’m 50, and up until I was 40 I bicycled everywhere, did lots of manual labor, and I could eat whatever the fuck I wanted and it didn’t matter. But ten years ago I got a sit-down job and…got fat and flabby. Two years ago I started doing a paleo diet and a rigorous exercise regimen (1 hour of rowing or running every morning, lifting heavy weights 4 days a week) and it’s really paid off. I’m stronger now than I was at 21 and almost as lean (I was 5 % body fat way back then, I’m 8% now).

raliv January 10, 2011 at 1:51 am

excellent stuff. I am doing the same. I did a Keto Diet for 12 weeks two summers ago and got shredded. Unfortunately, I did not feel good on it so I switched to Paleo for a week. Ketosis isn’t a healthy long term lifestyle IMHO. I felt amazing before having to can the entire diet completely. (School makes life erratic) My body felt amazing during that week. Tons of energy during weight training and runs.

So I am starting today. Your diet looks the same as mine. Good luck! I am looking forward to your updates.

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