I've been hearing a lot lately about the Caveman diet, also sometimes called the Paleo diet, which basically asserts that we should be eating more like our caveman (and woman) ancestors. Read: no grains or legumes or dairy or refined sugar or anything processed. The idea is that, since the vast majority of evolution took place before the invention of farming, our bodies function best on foods you can hunt or gather, meaning meat, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Two popular books on this topic are the Primal Blueprint Diet by Mark Sisson and The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, and they both have very respectable sales ranks on Amazon and lots of positive comments. These diets' happy customers say that they've lost weight (almost) effortlessly, cured illnesses and have tons more energy than they did when following a traditional American diet. One of the liberating things about these diets is that, as with "low carb" diets, they don't demonize saturated fat—so if you're a natural carnivore you don't have to rule out steak. But unlike low-carb diets they don't demonize natural sugars like fruit either. Interestingly, some of the basic principles of living like a "caveman" are backed up by recent research I've written about on this blog, such as staying on your feet instead of sitting, and getting ample vitamin D through sunlight.
The caveman approach sounds great to me in theory, but I know that I'd find it hard to put into practice. Right now I'm vacationing with family who have huge blueberry bushes on their property, and today as I was sitting next to their pool and snacking on blueberries picked just seconds before I was thinking how very natural and caveman it all felt. But, delicious though those blueberries were it didn't prevent me from craving a nice sandwich for lunch, a craving I satisfied with cheese, avocado and tomato piled between thick slices of whole grain bread. The bread and the cheese are big no-no's on the caveman plan, but I can't imagine having gotten through the day without them, so I'm wondering: Have you tried one of these diets? If so, how did you learn to live without bread and dairy and other non "Paleo" food? Do you feel healthier when you eat this way?