The Paleo and Primal Diet. Eating Like a Caveman?

Here is a quick outline on the paleo diet, or what some call the primal diet.

Some of my favorite fitness blogs on the internet are big advocates of this way of eating and I just wanted to touch on some of the basics. The amazing thing about this way of eating is how wonderful it makes you feel. I certainly don’t follow this 100%, but implement many of these ideas into my own diet.

I still enjoy carbs a bit too much to be a true follower, but “go primal” when I can.

primal and paleo diet

[I don’t think I would enjoy cave exploration, especially back in the days of the caveman. I picture weird looking pale bald creatures with no eyes and sharp teeth running all over the place when you go too deep into a cave…and blood sucking mega-sized bats.]

A Quick Summary of the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is based around quality sources of protein and healthy fats. The diet consists of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, roots, fruits and vegetation. Dairy, grains, gluten, refined sugar, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats are to be avoided.

This is a low-carb diet focused on the way we ate before the agricultural era….the way we ate when we were “hunters and gatherers”.

Paleo and Primal Eaters Prefer Free Range and Organic Food

We all know that this is the way to go when it comes to eating fresh food. My girlfriend has recently turned me on to trying to go organic whenever possible.

I must say that it makes a difference in the way I feel. It tastes better as well. All those steroids and chemicals do bad things to the body. One of the side effects of pesticides is an increase in estrogen which leads to stubborn body fat.

What I Like About This Diet

Whenever I want to get extra lean, I follow a diet of animal protein and green vegetables along with the occasional fruit. When I eat like this my body begins to use a lot more body fat for energy.

Within 4-6 weeks I can get as lean as I desire eating this way and I feel great the whole time. I also enjoy the sense of energy that I feel. So if it helps me feel and look better, why don’t I eat this way all the time?

What I Don’t Like About Paleo and Primal Eating

Honestly, I simply enjoy fresh baked bread, pasta, rice, ice cream, cheese, and various other non-primal foods. Make no mistake about it, I agree with the followers of the primal diet for the most part…I just like some of this food too much to be 100% primal.

I’m guessing beer is out of the question as well, so that has to be a “no” for me…I follow some, but not all principles.

A 5 Minute Video Put Together by My Friend Methuselah

Methuselah over at Pay Now Live Later put together one of the best videos I’ve ever seen explaining this diet. In fact, I think this video is an instant classic as far as Youtube videos go. You can learn more about this diet in 5 minutes, than reading on the topic for 4 hours.

[Methuselah is one of the best teachers as far as fitness bloggers go. I am a big fan of his blog and probably don’t comment on his site as much as I should. He has a really unique writing style that is hard to explain…until you read his site for a while.]

My Suggestion About the Primal/Paleo Diet

Take an afternoon and read up on the subject. Implement a few of the things that fit your lifestyle and you notice a difference in the way you feel.

Even if you just switched to organic foods and replaced half of your grains with vegetables, you will get lean and feel less lethargic after meals. It isn’t all-or-nothing, you can “go primal” part of the week and get solid results.

Here Are Some Great Places to Begin Your Research

I’ve become friends with most of these bloggers, because all of us spend a big chunk of time building our fitness blogs. I am sure that I will miss many people, but here is a good list of starting points.

Mark’s Daily Apple: Mark Sisson has been talking about this way of eating for quite a few years. He has a book in the works on the subject, one of his most popular posts is called The Primal Blueprint.

Son of Grok: A man that goes by the name “SoG”…you gotta love it. He was inspired by Mark’s Primal Blueprint and put it to the test. You have to go to his About Me page and read his story (check out his slide show which shows the transformation). The guy went from flabby to ripped in less than 9 months and is extremely healthy.

Free the Animal: If there was a debate over paleo eating, I’d want Richard Nikoley in my corner. His whole site presents a strong case for going primal and eating the way our ancestors ate. This is another blog you will want to subscribe to. Here are his articles on Paleo Eating.

Art De Vany’s Evolutionary Fitness: This is a subscription blog, but some of his articles are free. When I have time I will probably order his DVD set…his methods are cutting edge. Another guy who I would want on my side in an argument.

Art is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. He is not only smart, he’s 71 and is in ridiculous shape. Go to Evolutionary Fitness to see what I mean.

The Paleo Cookbook, by Nikki Young: This seems to be the best selling cookbook on eating paleo to stay lean and healty. Nikki has included over 120 recipes. I haven’t read it yet, but may pick it up at some point to add in some variety into my eating. I hear it is solid info…The Paleo Cookbook

Note: I know I missed a ton of people who follow the primal-paleo way of eating.

I just didn’t want to have dozens of links in the article.


76 thoughts on “The Paleo and Primal Diet. Eating Like a Caveman?”

  1. I almost never leave comments, but i did some searching and wound
    up here The Paleo and Primal Diet. Eating Like a Caveman?
    – Fitness Black Book. And I actually do have some questions for you if you
    tend not to mind. Could it be simply me or does it seem like some of these remarks appear like coming from brain dead people?
    😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of every one of all your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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  3. Because of an advanced breast cancer diagnosis and the resulting chemotherapy and physical upheavals, I put myself on what I called a “caveman” diet- not knowing until now that such a diet has a following. I have not had a recurrence for 4 years and lost 50lbs. I am now at a healthy 130, and experience only minimal chemo side effects. Thank God for this diet. Don’t think I’d be alive today without it

  4. *bump

    Sorry for the bump 

    Just wanted to say that I lost 69kg without knowing I was eating a Paleo Diet. I just ate lean meats, vegetables and fruits like cucumber, bell peppers and tomato’s. And that was like 7 years ago. Also I think it’s wrong to call it a Diet. Now that I’m on my target weight and BF use 90/10 eating 90% of the time Paleo and maybe once or twice a month having some oats with yogurt. So you can go 80/20 or in my case 90/10 occasionally having some ice cream, bread like Rusty said and still maintain your good health.

  5. Sounds like a great diet. I need to find something to do. My concern is this: Organic doesn’t mean chemical free. Many people think that being organic means no chemicals at all. That’s untrue. I grew up on a small family farm. We used (and still use) pesticides to protect our crops. Man made chemicals generally wash off, so buy local instead of buying corporate. Organic chemicals, especially those made from plants, can be absorbed into plants, fruits, vegetables etc. and that means your consuming those chemicals. We don’t yet know the long term effects of “natural” chemicals on human health.

    I’m definitely cool with the non GMO and non steroid movement, but there are times when animals should get antibiotics and other medicines. As long as they’re slaughtered and processed after the medicines have metabolized and passed through their bodies, they’re safe.

    Other than that, I think I’d like to try this diet and get my boyfriend to try it too. I like the idea of eating healthy and feeling better.


  6. Pingback: Lean Meat Recommendation on Paleo Diet | Paleo Village
  7. This sounds a lot like the Atkins diet, how is it different? Also, if we all ate like this, what implications on food demand/supply and the environment would this have? I was just discussing the benefits of this diet with a friend and he raised these questions. He sites an old article in The Economist:

  8. I’ve been reading up on Paleo Diet for the last 3 days as I’m an out of control carb junkie and was diagnosed a T2 diabetic 6 years ago. This is currently the best source of info so far – liking the way you write, the video and everyone else’s comments and feedback! I’m currently about 50 pounds overweight (Obese according to my BMI) and really feeling the need to try and manage to cut out or at the very least hugely reduce my carb intake. Obviously being new to the subject do you or anyone else know of other T2 diabetics that have started this diet? Am off to read Son of Grok and Free The Animal but will be back!

  9. “Spread the word” Eat Paleo!
    What have we become; more IMPORTANTLY where are we heading. Now more then ever it is crucial that we “spread the message”. Are we aware of what we are eating? If not, why aren’t we aware. Eating is by far the most important thing we do with our day, whether we are an elite athlete or a stay at home mum, whether we are a high powered executive or a student. We NEED to be AWARE of what we are eating.
    The Eat Paleo diet is a diet high in animal fat and proteins and low in carbohydrates. Commonly known as the caveman diet our purpose here at Eat Paleo control is to primarily invoke awareness and SPREAD THE WORD!
    For more information, interesting facts, questionaires and “Spread the word” tools at your own conveience visit us at or “LIKE” US on our EAT PALEO face book page!
    For more informaiton or suggestions feel free to email us at

  10. Love the Paleo Diet. I agree it is the best way to lose weight but difficult to sustain. I can recommend a new book “The Paleo Solution Diet” by Robb Wolf which is both funny and informative. (see my review on

  11. I’ve looked through all these diets and personally believe in the ancestry diet – the one based on your genetics. Me, I have North European heritage and guess what nothing tastes better than a piece of fish and vegetables. I’ll rephrase that, pizza and every junk food tastes better but the fish and veg the most internally satisfying. A parellel would be a mistress is great for your ego and your hormones, but a wife at the end of the day is more internally satisfying.
    When I started on this similar to Paleo-diet eliminating dairy and eggs, my sense of smell started to get better, I stopped getting mouth ulcers, and I felt much better. With it I rediscovered that vegetables can taste just as good as junk food, if you allow your taste buds time to redevelop. I also discovered that my emotions became clearer because I had eliminated all the carbs and sugar from my diet. emotion. Thats all processed carbs and sugar were – suppressants.
    On another note, one of the best ways to judge what you should and shouldn’t eat is too take a look at profit. What is most profitable for the companies, because where there is the most profit is where companies target you to go. Ask any restaurant owner and very few will tell you that the mark-up for salads, vegetables and fish are profitable. And at the end of the day all that ‘certain’ people want you to eat is something that is profitable for them. You could see the scenario now in a company boardroom somewhere, “ok, we have a great tasting veggie burger with a salad which we can make 20c profit on or we have a ground beef burger we can make 50c on. Well there are a lot of over weight people here so lets spend our advertising budget on promoting the veggie burger. Lets take the lower profit margin and do something for the community”. I’ll stick with the Paleo-type diet thanks.

  12. wife joined me on paleo eating ,now 1.5 stones lighter,OFF blood presssure medication first time in 3 years.We love our food, i still have a drink, probably to much. Gimmicks i see you say, give me more, life transforming. Found my way here via marks daily apple video link, great stuff, planks are now in for me and out will go those back breaking sit ups, some excellent stuff here keep it up.

  13. You’re eating Paleo and you can’t find a good dessert that’s not just fruit. You work out hard, you eat clean, and now you’re realizing that Haagen Dazs or Chips Ahoy or whatever bullshit you ate before just ain’t in the cards for you anymore.

    Enter Paleo Treats. Let’s start by making it clear: These are NOT the be all end all of Paleo desserts, but they are pretty damn good. All Paleo ingredients, all organic ingredients, NO soy, NO dairy, NO gluten. Each treat has 7 or less ingredients, and they’re all foods you can pronounce (and grow in your back yard if you had to.)

    These are paleo treats.

    Get after it.

    p.s. If you’re really into it, write and we’ll give you the whole story; cattle ranch, camel farm, small boats on the high seas, dirt bikes, athlete on the world stage etc. But that’s all pretty boring compared to the taste…enjoy!

    Nik and the PT Crew

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