The One-Month Paleolithic Challenge

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.