Gotta love a diet that lets — nay, encourages — you to eat bacon. It happened with Atkins in the ’90s, and it’s happening again with Paleo. Of course the bacon has to be unprocessed (like cave grandpa used to do), but still, bacon!
You also gotta love a brand that knows its customers. At the annual 2014 Reebok Crossfit Games in Carson, Calif. this past weekend, Reebok handed out boxes of Reebok-branded bacon to athletes in an effort to tap the Paleo bacon-munching market. Uncured, containing zero nitrates, preservatives, MSG, or sweeteners, and sourced from a Paleo Magazine-endorsed meat provider, Reebacon was packed with dry ice in shoe box-esque cardboard boxes that read “We Believe in Bacon.” Butcher cut-marked pig illustrations wearing Reeboks leapt from the packaging.
There was also a Reebok Bacon Box food truck, from which Crossfit attendees could sample all sorts of porky snacks, from bacon-wrapped pork belly to bacon-wrapped and chorizo-stuffed dates. Sadly there’s no indication that Reebacon will make its way to stores, though we might be down for a collab with Nikale.
Ahhh, the Paleo Diet. This 21st century brainchild of Dr. Loren Cordain suggests that modern Americans cut out grains, dairy products, refined sugars, and legumes in favor of a diet closer to the one followed by our Paleolithic ancestors. We took four of Cordain’s recommended foods and asked a very intelligent, very healthy-looking caveman to weigh in with some advice for modern Americans hoping to get the true Paleo experience.
Dear Modern Readers,
I get it. I really do. Your eating habits have evolved from tracking mammoths and killing saber-toothed tigers to dollar menus and drive-thrus. You yearn to return to the heavy-browed physical prowess of your Paleolithic ancestors, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m here to help you. Below, I’ve outlined four basic foods of the Paleo Diet and offered some tips to help ease your transition to your healthy, happy, and hairy caveman self.
Beef = Mammoth?
The health benefits of eating “beef” begin with the sheer physical effort required to bring one of these animals down. You will be running and leaking terror-sweat from every pore of your body in order to avoid being trampled and/or gored by your dinner, which means that (assuming you survive) you’ll have burned over five hundred calories before you even take your first bite!
Helpful tip— make sure your spears are sharpened and the “stab” setting is on (hunting with a dull spear is the most common dietary mistake made by modern Americans).
Feathers > Food
Poultry is always a popular choice for cavemen who enjoy spending hours painstakingly yanking individual feathers out of bloody carcasses. When properly caught and prepared, the health benefits of eating poultry include increased manual dexterity and temporary satiation after hours of physical labor.
Helpful tip— go ahead and roast your bird as close to an open flame as possible. The carcinogens from the charred bird won’t begin to affect your health until way past your expected lifespan.
More vegetables, less death
Nothing beats a delicious handful of insect-infested seasonal veggies! Keep in mind that as a Paleolithic human, you probably spend most of your time either hunting things that want to kill you or gathering plants and hoping they won’t. Make sure you’re well-versed on poisonous versus non-poisonous greenery.
Helpful tip— Dirt and urine can overpower the taste of individual vegetables. Make sure you shake off as much soil as possible, and try not to forage too close to animal marking sites.
Fruit is natural Splenda
Since you have no other access to sweet and/or sugary foods, fruit provides a much-needed burst of flavor to your diet. Just be careful while climbing any kind of fruit tree, because a fall and the resulting broken bone could be a Paleolithic death sentence.
Helpful tip— Enjoy fruit while you have it, since the cold climate and short summer months make seasonal fruits a limited luxury. Avoid feelings of deprivation by painting pictures of fruit on the nearest cave wall.
The key to Paleo success is holding your food to a higher standard. Will buying that chocolate cupcake give you nourishment, exercise, weaponry, and an enormous pelt to keep you toasty warm during the winter months? If you answered “no,” you might want to reconsider your eating habits. If you answered “yes,” quit bragging and share your cupcake.