By Coty Fowler
In spite of it's name, this diet does not include being dragged
by the hair, hunting with clubs or skinning big game. Though you
might feel good enough to do all of those things. What it does include
is a return to our evolutionary roots.
As a student of anthropology, I read every book I can find on
ancient homonids and their culture. In January of 2002, while cruising
Amazon.com for something new about our primitive cousins, I came
across two books on ancient hominid diets. Out of curiosity, I ordered
In a nutshell, about 12,000 years ago the last Ice Age ended.
Within 2,000 years of the ice sheet receding, agriculture began
and new foods became the staple they are in today's diet. This
new diet, called Neolithic, had an immediate effect on human health.
Skeletons of Neolithic farmers show poor nutrition compared to the
previous generations of hunter-gatherers. They died younger, were
shorter, had more cavities in their fewer teeth and showed the first
evidence of obesity.
The problem with the new diet of the Neolithic period was that
we didn't evolve to eat those new foods. The small human digestive
tract is unique among primates. We have only one stomach and a relatively
short large intestine. We are more suited to digesting and extracting
nutrients from meat, fruit, nuts, and some vegetables.
This was of particular interest to me since I knew I was allergic
to wheat and was also lactose intolerant. If I couldn't digest
those items, maybe there were other items I couldn't digest
and just didn't know it.
After reading both books, doing some research on the Internet
and at my local library, I fashioned a diet for myself. And the
Cave Woman Diet was born.
On January 16, 2002, when the last kid returned to college, I
began my diet. Since the previous January, I had been exercising,
lifting weights and generally killing myself to lose a grand total
of ten pounds. And it took a year! Not a very satisfying result
from so much effort.
I began by purging the kitchen of every slide of bread, every
cracker, every package of pasta, and every cream-filled pastry.
I was ruthless.
Next, I went to the store and bought meat. Beef, pork, chicken,
fish and shrimp. Then I hit the produce section. Fresh vegetables
and fruits nestled in the shopping cart next to nuts and dried fruit
(without sugar added) and eggs. The rules for eating were simple.
Eat nothing that couldn't be found in nature. Eat only when
I was hungry, even if it was every two hours. And eat only enough
to satisfy my hunger. No gorging.
I began my eating day at 9 am. I scrambled an egg in a small
amount of butter and topped it with a dash of cheese. At 11 am,
I was back in the kitchen eating pastrami or corned beef (not processed
but from the deli). Just a couple of slices rolled inside a thin
slice of cheese.
At one, I had lunch. Usually a left over item from dinner the
night before. Pork chops, a stuffed pepper, a ground beef patty.
Whatever. I made a small salad to accompany this with a teaspoon
of salad dressing. Between three and four in the afternoon, I was
hungry again. This is when I got out the fresh fruit and nuts. usually
apples and walnuts. I munched them while I fixed a dinner of steak,
chicken, pork or fish. I also prepared the fresh vegetables for
the meal. I'm partial to broccoli, cauliflower and carrots,
but I also ate snow peas, mushrooms and other vegetables, though
no corn or beans.
By eight or nine that night it was time to drag out the fruit
again for something to snack on.
At the end of five days, I had lost three pounds and my chronic
indigestion. Goodbye Tums! And I was never hungry since I ate all
the time. Previous dietary study indicated that to change our metabolism
it is necessary to eat often. This reprograms the body to stop storing
The second week I droppef four pounds and my energy level skyrocketed.
I was not just cleaning house, I was cleaning closets and kitchen
cabinets and organizing items for a yard sale. Interestingly, I
had no more sinus headaches or joint pain and had eliminated the
use of over the counter decongestants and arthritis pain relievers.
At the end of six weeks, I had lost twenty pounds, my clothes
no longer fit and I had energy to spare. I was sleeping soundly
and my anxiety level was greatly reduced. I felt better than I had
I had continued a modified version of my daily workout during
this diet period. Chronic back pain had plagued me since my twenties
and I used exercise to keep my muscles from seizing up. I had to
wonder if my diet would have been as successful without the twenty
minute a day workout. So, at the end of my third week, I put my
wheelchair confined husband on the diet. He lost twelve pounds!
A man who cannot move lost weight. I knew then I was definitely
I thought at the end of six weeks, it was safe to add a few goodies
back into my diet. I missed a few things like a slice of bread with
my meat and cheese and an occasional sip from a root beer float.
Only in moderation, of course.
Those small indulgences made me sick. Tummy ache, diarrhea, headache.
It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that modern
foods were making me sick and probably had been all my life. That
was pretty strong motivation to continue the Cave Woman Diet.
I am now at my ideal weight. I no longer suffer with indigestion
and allergies. And I am more energetic and productive than ever.
My coaching business is taking off, my writing business is flourishing
and I feel and look better than I have in years.
So, get out your loincloth, sharpen your stone tools and become
a Cave Woman! Eat the way Mother Nature designed us to eat. Once
you brake the addiction to grains and sugars, you will never want
to touch them again.
Coty Fowler is a life coach for creative people. Whether
you write, paint, act, craft or would just like to, she can
get your life on track. She speaks your language.