The theory behind following the lifestyle of Stone Age people is that the human body is genetically coded for that kind of existence. It’s a way of life that involves lots of exercise and a diet far removed from what is typical today.
Living like a Hunter-Gatherer
The “Hunter-Gatherers” or “Paleos,” as they call themselves, try to eat as their ancient ancestors did. It’s a diet that was outlined by Ray Audette in his 2000 book Neanderthin.
Audette observes that humans are the result of millions of years of evolution, but agriculture developed only 10,000 years ago. Mr. Audette’s argument, is that our bodies are adapted to process the kind of food our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. As he puts it: “I don’t eat anything except what I could get if I were hunting on the African savannah naked with a sharp stick.”
A Diet Rich in Meat
Eat as much wild meat as you can, Mr. Audette advises. Eat a pound of bacon for breakfast, some pemmican (a Native American dried and powdered meat and fat dish) for lunch, and another pound of meat and some cabbage for dinner.
John Durant who lives in New York’s Upper East Side tries to follow this diet. Writing in Der Spiegel (February 11, 2010), Philip Bethge quotes Durant as asking “What did people eat back then? How did they move about? And what does it mean for us today?”
Durant’s answer is that Paleolithic people did not eat sugar or carbohydrates. There was certainly no chocolate, pizza, cheese, or any processed foods. There was fish and wild animals, and there were berries, nuts, vegetables, fruit, and seeds.
Followers Take up Evolutionary Fitness
Another aspect of Stone Age life was a lot of exercise. People had to move over large distances in search of their food, and they had to be agile enough to survive an encounter with a saber-toothed tiger or an angry wooly mammoth.
Arthur De Vany is a follower of the caveman lifestyle and the creator of Evolutionary Fitness (EF). He is a retired economics professor who describes himself on his website as,
“A former professional athlete and life-long student of exercise and metabolism, he is a living example of what he teaches at the age of 72 he is 6’1”, 205 pounds, and has less than eight percent body fat.”
The essence of EF is “Brief moments of high intensity” exercise mixed in with longer periods of lower-intensity exercise. De Vany says this “follows the natural patterns of all wild living things.” And, the fitness program is not onerous; the Der Spiegel article says De Vany “exercises no more than twice a week, and for barely an hour each time.”
Cave Dweller Training Camp
For those with a desire to take up the challenge of living a Stone Age lifestyle in the 21st century there are plenty of helpers. One is Erwan Le Corre, an early devotee of the concept; he calls it “Natural Movement” – or “MovNat.”
Le Corre runs a jungle training camp in Brazil that sounds like a cross between wilderness survival and extreme sports. Le Corre told Men’s Health Magazine in an article entitled “A Wild Workout for the Real World” that his course is “about rediscovering our biological nature and releasing the wild human animal inside.”
It’s all part of trying to reproduce in the modern world what formed the daily routine Stone Age people.