WoollyMammoth - Copyright 2010 Trevor IrvinThe Cave-Man Diet, it’s all the rage. It follows the evolutionary dietary laws of ancient man. And in the words of one of the advocates of Cave-Dieting, “I didn’t want to do some faddish diet that my sister would do.” I couldn’t agree more, this isn’t faddish, it is merely a life style that has been dead for ten thousand years or so and what goes around is certainly bound to come around again every few millennia.

Here, quickly, is the gist of the Cave-Dude Diet:

  1. Food: Eat only foods around before agriculture began – red meat, nuts and berries, ferns, bark and other primitive vegetables (but not potatoes cuz apparently one Paleo-Dude’s website says they are poisonous) fish, fowl and other whatnot. You can drink water … No dairy of course, and unfortunately, no booze, since those early morons hadn’t invented fermenting yet.
  2. Exercise: You run around half naked and barefoot a lot of the time, jumping on jungle gyms, scaring the neighborhood kids, throwing and catching rocks, crawling in the neighbor’s underbrush … in effect replicating ancient Paleo-Man’s daily lifestyle of avoiding becoming Dino McNugget. (I think raping and pillaging may be permitted within this style of living … no worries, not so many laws back then.)
  3. Fasting: Since Paleo-Dudes had to hunt everything and they pretty much sucked at it, they went hungry a lot of the time.  So you fast for 24-48 hours, then go hog wild in the meat department of the local grocery store and start slobbering down handfuls of raw red meat to simulate the Feast/Famine cycle of Paleo-Man’s diet. Oh, ya gotta eat a lot of organ meat too … raw liver, heart, kidneys, tripe, a pancreas or two; you know all the horrible tasting shit we feed to our dogs.
  4. Bleeding: Paleo-Man got hurt a lot, usually by getting gored by a Woolly Mammoth or by unexpectedly traveling through the digestive system of an angry Tyrannosaurus Rex so they regularly lost a lot of blood. Since it’s rare to see a Woolly Mammoth “goring” these days, adherents to the Cave-Dude Diet give blood on a regular basis to more accurately emulate the primitive good life.
  5. Vegans: They don’t like vegans and I quote, “They regularly grumble about vegans, whom they regard as a misguided, rival tribe.” You can’t make this shit up; it was in the Times for chrissakes! Well, it sounds very tense between these blood enemies, and I agree, vegans are a noxious, elitist bunch and I propose eating them with a side of haricot vert and a good merlot. It’s also a perfect bumper sticker, Go Paleo – Eat a Vegan.

So Dude, I propose going Paleo!  It’s Nouveau-Ape for me; I’m the new Hunter–Gatherer. And since my wife is already a Hunter–Haggler (defined as a person who negotiates and bargains endlessly for really old shit at yard sales) we are halfway there! This will add meaning and depth to my modern and mundane life while cutting my massive waistline and turning me into a ripped, macho Cave-Dude.

I’ve kept a record, let’s begin:

Day 1 / 2:00pm:
FYI, I’ve returned from a 12 mile jaunt through the urban jungle and have replicated the “average” blood loss of Paleozoic man engaged in his daily rounds. I did this by simulating an attack from a triceratops by running a 4 foot stick through one lung; draining a couple quarts of my blood in the process (I’m a tad dizzy right now). I’ve used the resulting blood to Cave Paint “primitive symbols,” or “pictograms,” on the side of my house to spell out “I am bleeding profusely and need an ambulance right f’ing now!” So you see, I’ve succeeded in accurately re-creating man’s very first 911 call (Or in modern terms, healthcare in America today).

Day 2 / 6:00am:
After the EMTs stabilized me and a long nap I spent today crawling through the neighbor’s underbrush “Hunting and Gathering.” I managed to “gather” some ½ off coupons from a neighbor’s mailbox and then proceeded to “hunt” down an old cougar (Mrs. Fergusson), who had been lurking around the neighborhood for years. The “cougar” tasted a little gamey to be sure and a tad fatty around the middle, but I kept my eyes closed and her stringy thighs were satisfying enough.  I’m not sure Paleo-Man had to deal with chewing a pound of Revlon Age Defying Makeup and eye shadow off the face of a Neolithic Hottie, but nonetheless she was an exhilarating “kill,” so to speak. I just hope my wife (Cave-Goddess) doesn’t find out and try to hunt me or Mrs. Fergusson down. Anyhoo, this Cave-Dude diet and running around dodging cars is doing wonders for my waistline! Though mostly blood, I’ve lost 6 pounds so far!  I’m going to trim this 245 pound waistline down in no time!

Day 3 / 11:00am:
Aside from an alarmingly large festering wound and the hacking cough due to sleeping under the porch in 12 degree weather, I feel like a man half my age. I had to share some scraps of a Stouffer’s Turkey Tetrazzini this evening with a possum who had claimed it first. I would have eaten the possum, but he was big and hissed at me. I’ve lost another 8 pounds. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 12 / 5:45am:
This Paleo-Dude has been up for hours. The Urban Forest is alive with food at this time of morning. I’m currently running from house to house hunting and gathering “Dinosaur Milk” left there by an ancient Mathis Dairy Truck-a-saur. I know some of those purist Cave Man Diet assholes say “dairy” is not “Kosher,” but I doubt there were any “Cave-Rabbis” around back then making up food rules. Now, I must find a way to sneak back into my “cave” (Cave-Bitch threw me out cuz she found out about Mrs. Fergusson.) May have to hunt down some Paleozoic oysters containing a string of pearls from Tiffany’s to barter my way back into the house. Weight dropping like a stone, down to 215!

Day 19 / 8:00am:
I’ve been up since 5:00 unlike the lazy, useless city bastards I share this modern world with. You should start things off right with a protein laden Power-Paleo breakfast and insist that your “Cave-Wife” (or to those of you with marital problems caused by Mrs. Fergusson — “Cave-Bitch”) gets up at the crack of dawn to gather up some berries or chase down a drowsy muskrat for your breakfast. Short of that, maybe fry up one of your kid’s kittens to start the day. I’m a bit hungry, down to 170 pounds but drinking out of the birdbath not as bad as I thought. Cave-Bitch wouldn’t cook me anything, still won’t let me back in the house.

Day 28 / 7:30am:
I have been on a 48 hour “Simul-Fast” simulating a time of Paleo-Famine. I’ve lost 105 pounds and aside from some minor dizziness I’m feeling great. The lung damage from the stick I rammed through one lung to replicate a “triceratops attack” has healed nicely (thanks for asking). Almost no wheezing or gurgling sounds anymore. The neighborhood is beginning to run low on cats so I’m going a little farther afield now and including moles, voles and poodles in my diet. I took down a zebra at Zoo Atlanta the other night. I must say hauling a 500 pound zebra over a fence and stuffing it into my Volvo while avoiding the night staff was quite a trick. I’m not sure that Paleo-Dudes had SUVs for making good their getaways but then they didn’t have to outrun an irate security guard who has just drenched them in pepper spray either. I’m using the zebra’s hide as a blanket as it is still cold as hell here under the porch. Should have gotten that Panda too while I was at it. The possum has now moved in with me and provides a bit of much needed warmth (also, possum is a much better “listener” than Cave-Bitch). Need to eat soon, lost another 10 pounds.

Day 37 / 1:00pm:
Taking the day off from hunting and concentrating on staying warm. My new Paleo-Apparel line is coming along nicely. I am making loin cloths from squirrel skins and some very smart hats by stapling together pigeon carcasses, so though still cold, I’m tres fashionable to say the least. I am considering launching my new line on the Paris runways this spring and with all the weight I’ve lost I won’t have to hire models!  I’m sure PETA will have a slight problem with all the fur … But simply put, satin and silk were in real short supply ten thousand years ago. But if they choose to drench us in buckets of blood, all the better, we can sop it up and eat it with the Mastodon ribs and cucumber sandwiches I’ll be serving. Left foot going numb for some reason and I could really use some Neosporin ointment and deodorant.

Day 42 / 3:00am:
Getting enough fish in my diet has been a bit complicated, but I’ve begun nighttime raids on one of the wealthier neighborhood’s koi ponds with some success. The more affluent Druid Hill attorney population does seem to have a higher percentage of security alarms and surveillance systems and love to litigate, which has resulted in me being incarcerated once or twice. Apparently Paleo-Man was not able (nor had) to outrun squad cars or undergo humiliating full body cavity searches (resulting in the recovery of nothing of any real importance). Though being tazered is kinda like being struck by lightning which I’m sure Paleozoic man had to endure often, so that’s ok. Jail food good … first warm meal in a month.

Day 48 / 2:45 pm:
I’m fortunate to have a neighbor who is raisin’ city chickens, but they are beginning to wonder why the hens all of a sudden “stopped laying.” I just feign ignorance (which comes easily to me) and suggest they buy more “better” chickens. “Hunting and Gathering” from a hen house is an effortless method of egg collecting and far more satisfying than scaling 70 foot trees and raiding nests. Do you know how many English sparrow eggs it takes to make an omelet? … A frickin’ gazzillion! I’ve lost 140 pounds now, and I’ve got a killer set of abs but walking is becoming increasingly difficult and double vision is annoying.

Day 50 / 1:00pm:
I’m rising later in the day now as lifting my head is fatiguing. I’ve been doing some reading up on this Cave-Dude diet and one Cave-Advocate suggests eating lots of tuna … I’m beginning to have second thoughts about this diet. Was Paleozoic man really able to catch tuna? Did he invent the net or just wander into the surf and wrestle that little bastard out of the water? Frankly I’m too tired to find an ocean. I’m sure Paleo-Dudes had fly rods but for now I’m sticking to stealing trout at the local market. Broke down and had a “McSaurus” at McDonalds, but having a hard time keeping food down, fever is a little high … beginning to hallucinate and I think my knee caps are protruding somewhat.

Day 52 / 10:00am:
I’m in and out of consciousness but when I’m lucid the doctor keeps smacking me on the head and calling me the stupidest f— on the planet. She has me on an intravenous feeding tube and a ventilator and informs me I may need a liver transplant at some point. Most of my teeth have fallen out and I’m covered with sores. I can’t move my head to look down, but my wife (Sweet Cave-Goddess) says I’m missing a toe. Cave-Goddess says if I put an end to this stupid crap she’ll stop divorce proceedings and let me sleep on the couch so I may have to re-think this Cave-Diet. Most Cavemen would have been dead at least 25 years by the time they reached my age anyway, so I think I’ve beaten them at their own game. God, I want a Twinkie … but tongue … swollen … can’t … swallow.

Day 60 / 12:00 noon:
I’m home now, and getting around fine using a walker. I’m getting used to the colostomy bag and feeling stronger by the day. Cave–Goddess has forgiven me but unfortunately Mrs. Fergusson is no longer welcome over here and she used to make a killer cheesecake, I’m gonna miss that. Cave-Goddess says I owe her big-time and as soon as she doesn’t have to lift me out of the bed anymore I’m going to do something really nice for her … Maybe I’ll take her to a movie, I hear they are showing “One Million Years B.C.” starring Raquel Welch at the drive in…


Note: This story was written and illustrated by Trevor Irvin.

Trevor Stone Irvin

Trevor Stone Irvin

Illustrator and Designer living in the Candler Park area...At one time I worked at the Atlanta Constitution and then for CNN at the startup...it all seemed too much like real work so I went freelance...which my father defined as "being unemployed for a real long time".