We are hunter-gatherers

How to live like a caveman (woman) in a modern world

Image Source

Our genes have evolved over 2 million years to produce the creatures we are, and we are hunter-gatherers. Like the name says, hunter-gatherers hunted prey animals, fished for water creatures, and gathered fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Farming and agriculture are relatively new to us and our bodies haven’t had time to catch up. By living like a hunter-gatherer, we are optimizing our natural genetic expression.

For our ancestors, hunting, gathering, and fishing were three separate practices. Hunting required speed, agility, and weapons in order to chase down prey. Fishing required nets and poles. Gathering required patience, stamina, and knowledge of flora.

Cavemen (women) in a modern world

Image Source

In our modern world, hunting, fishing, and gathering have been replaced by shopping at the grocery store. They are no longer separate practices. Hunting takes us to the meat aisle, fish to the seafood isle, and gathering takes us everywhere else. Just like our ancestors, we have to watch out for poisonous foods. The only difference is that poisonous foods now take the form of ice cream, cookies, and snack cakes instead of berries, leaves, and mushrooms.

Many people are beginning to embrace the newest trend in dieting called ketosis. Ketosis severly restricts carbohydrates and in turn causes your insulin response to be very low. As with any diet trend, the research comes later. Even though ketosis can help people lose weight quickly, there hasn’t been enough research on the long-term effects of putting the body through ketosis.

Ketosis alone might be bad in the long run

There is some emerging research that says that a ketogenic diet by itself might do more harm than good. But isn’t ketosis a more efficient way of burning calories? Yes it is, but when we think about our ancestors, they were both hunters (meat) and gatherers (fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds). The majority of their diet consisted of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Once in a while, they would hunt down a prey animal.

What does this mean for us?

It means that consistent ketosis is not how our ancestors ate. They didn’t eat meat and high amounts of fats every day. Most of what they ate was fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds and occasionally, they would hunt down a rabbit or a deer or bring home a basket of fish. This means we can split our diet to eat like our ancestors ate. Five days of the week, eat like a vegan (gatherer) and two days, eat ketogenic (hunter). This more closely approximates how our ancestors ate.

The hunter-gatherer’s primary metabolic pathway was burning carbs that came from fruits, vegetable, nuts, and seeds. Their secondary metabolic pathway was ketosis. Think about it. They ate things they could forage in the forest most of the time. Once in a while, they would bring home a large animal or fish that they cooked and ate for days. When the meat was gone, they would return to foraging.

Exercising like a hunter/gatherer

This paradigm of hunter/gatherer works for exercise as well. Instead of engaging in high-intensity workouts often, follow the hunter/gatherer approach. Our ancestors gathered food by walking in a low-intensity exercise through the forest or working in a small garden. And once in a while, they engaged in a high-intensity work out to chase down a prey or run from a predator. This can be mimicked by walking 5 days a week and saving 2 days for a high-intensity workout like sprinting or lifting weights.

Author: T Ross

I spent the first part of my life playing piano and composing music. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and cognitive science. Then I became a User Interface Engineer for four years. I moved home to Raleigh, NC to be closer to my family and began to freelance. On the side, I created a company called Elemental Nutrition & Wellness that uses interactive resource calculators to give people the tools they need to lose weight and boost nutrition. Now I have my own practice as a holistic nutritionist. I help people meet their weight loss goals by fostering self-motivation. You can reach me at ross@elementalnutritionandwellness.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *