Steven from Holland asked me some questions and he gave me his permission to publish them:
“After your convincing speeches on food and the way cavemen are great consultants I have already changed my meal composition: (almost) no bread, potatoes, pasta and rice and lot’s of meat and fish!
Right now you can definitely pat yourself on the back; another soul won for the good cause 🙂
But this food intake also comes with challenges. Especially at breakfast:
- What to eat instead of bread? Stuff like meat and vegetables are just to hard to swallow in the morning. And trust me I have tried :D.
- I do cycling and for this you burn around 1000 carbohydrates an hour. The main source for these are bread, potatoes, pasta etc. What can I use as a substitute for this?”
I’m really happy to hear that you like it!
It all depends on if you want to have a strict paleolithic diet (i.e. caveman diet 🙂 ). I’m not strict, for example I’m eating dairy products such as cheese, butter and cream. I think the most important part is to have a similar distribution between fat, protein and carbohydrates as we’ve been developed for during the evolution, as well as to get all the vitamins, minerals, fat acids etc that we need.
Of course we were not made to drink the milk for calves and it is stuffed with cow specific hormones, but there are studies indicating that the milk fat is healthy while the proteins and milk sugar are worse for humans. Hence, I recommend to eat the fatty dairy products (>10%) and avoid light products.
Based on that:
Breakfast: I’m eating cheese omelet and also really fat Greek yoghurt with nuts (and berries if you like). There are also a couple of recipes here on the site (don’t know about their translation though, will try to improve it) for how to make healthy pancakes without using flour. One is based on eggs, cream and something we call “fiberhusk” in Swedish (anyone who knows a translation, please comment!). The other is with cottage cheese in it. I will also publish a non-flour-bread recipe shortly for those who can’t be without it. I always have boiled eggs in the fridge for the times you are in a hurry.
Regarding training: Of course it is easier to have some carbohydrates since this is the “fast fuel” for the body. But thinking as a caveman – you didn’t change your diet if you were going hunting for a couple of hours… I’ve written a little about this in Swedish – i.e. about training on fat energy instead of on carbohydrates. There are Swedish skiers and “ultraman” participants who successfully train and compete on fat rather than on carbohydrates (such as the gold medal olympian Björn Ferry)
I tried it for example during three weeks this summer when I was surfing and kitesurfing 2x2h/day without any pasta, bread, sugar, rice or potatoes. I increased the nut and yoghurt intake a bit though 🙂
But back to the cavemen – I would say teach your body to use fat as fuel (by eating fat the body learns how to use this by improving enzymes etc), and to perform better, the meal before training you can have some starch (carbohydrates). The carbohydrates you need you get from the sugary vegetables – roots such as carrot, beetroots etc (including potatoes if you like, but consider it one vegetable out of many and don’t fill your plate with only potatoes) as well as from nuts etc. If you want to ensure maximum recovery – just after training you should fill up with some carbs and proteins, I would recommend a banana and 2 eggs or similar (and then a real meal)
If you want to ensure best performance in competitions – you could eat one meal the night before stuffed with carbohydrates to ensure full glycogen in your muscles and liver. But not a whole week of this since that would then again ruin the body’s ability to use fat
Teaching your body to work on fat can give you better endurance – at least 10% of your body weight is energy stored as fat, while only ca 3-400g is stored as carbohydrates