Can A Caveman Recognise It? (Healthy Habit #1)

When you do your food shopping, think to yourself for each item ‘can a caveman recognise it?‘ If the answer is no, then chances are that this food is...

When you do your food shopping, think to yourself for each item can a caveman recognise it? If the answer is no, then chances are that this food is not going to be good for you, so don’t buy it!

Why to do it?

The aim of this healthy habit is to encourage you to only eat foods where you can recognise the plant/ animal of origin, which, in turn, will encourage a more natural and healthy diet. Carrying out this simple exercise when you are shopping for food will provide the foundation of a healthy diet, which can be built upon once it has becomes natural. There will be some exceptions to this rule, one which jumps to mind is dark chocolate – there is no such thing as a dark chocolate tree which grows dark chocolate fruit, or a wild dark chocolate animal which can be stalked and hunted, but it is still healthy to eat (within reason). These exceptions are quite few and far between though, and only eating foods which a caveman can recognise will make you eat healthier, and might surprise you how much processed food you eat.

Aside from encouraging a much healthier diet, this is also a practice of self discipline. Give this habit some thought and you will realise that it is very restrictive to a typical modern diet, and you will begin to see just how far away from a natural diet yours is.


Cans & can’ts

Struggling to know where to start or what things to eat or avoid? Here are some examples:

  1. Frozen lasagne ready meal. Can a caveman recognise it? No. There is no plant which grows frozen lasagne, nor is there an animal you can hunt to get lasagne. Yes, it will have been made (hopefully) from beef/ potatoes etc which can be found naturally, but the food which you are purchasing is not naturally occurring.
  2. Fruit/ vegetables (including potatoes) – Can a caveman recognise it? Yes! All fruit and vegetables are great to eat.
  3. Milk – Can a caveman recognise it? Not really, and it is unlikely that a caveman would have thought to milk a wild cow.
  4. Eggs – Can a caveman recognise it? Yes. Eggs might not have made up a staple part of their diet, but they would have eaten eggs when they found them, and they would know what they are.
  5. Pasta/ bread – Can a caveman recognise it? No.
  6. Carbonated drinks (coke, energy drinks etc) – Can a caveman recognise it? No.
  7. Pork chop – Can a caveman recognise it? Yes – its from a pig – yum!
  8. Sausages – Can a caveman recognise it? No. You might be surprised to see how little meat actually goes into some of these!
  9. Cereals – Can a caveman recognise it? No.
  10. Honey – Can a caveman recognise it? Yes. Honey would have been quite sought after, but rare.

As you can see, you are mainly limited to meat, fruit and vegetables, with a couple of exceptions like eggs and honey. You will probably need to re-think a lot of your meals!


Too strict? – Here to help

Give it a try, but if it is too hard then don’t worry, it is extreme, and there are some benefits to being modern man which can make it easier. As long as you are not lactose intolerant, a small amount of milk is perfectly alright. Milk is a source of many nutrients, and although it is not natural to be drinking it, it isn’t going to do any harm, and having some milk for breakfast (no cereals though) and in your tea is only going to make your life a little easier.

Sauces and oils are also technically off the list, because they are refined and processed products which cannot be found naturally, but they add flavour and as long as they are used sparingly they won’t cause any real harm. You shouldn’t feel guilty about adding a little mayo to a tuna salad if it is replacing a sandwich and a packet of crisps.

You can also follow the 80/20 rule if you like, which means that 80% of the time you follow this eating habit, and the other 20% you eat what you like – it is still a step in the right direction, and will still improve your health.

Image courtesy of spyker3292

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.

    The Health Cloud was created in December 2011 by Craig and Morg who have been friends since high school. Our focus is to educate our readers with unbiased health articles and on the side we run our own online health shop. This website is for you, so drop us a comment or send us a tweet, we always take the time to reply!