Why We Don’t See More Vegetarian Cavemen?


This is my response to:

Washington Post/ Wellness Section, 4/3/2014, written by Hope Warshaw 

Here is Warshaw’s article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/is-a-paleo-vegetarian-diet-possible/2014/04/01/33c7147e-b50f-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html

My Response:

Hope Warshaw has questioned whether it possible to follow a Paleo vegetarian eating plan? Ms. Warshaw began by stating that there were only a couple of short-term Paleo studies on a relatively small number of people which did not constitute an evidence base to her. Considering that our Paleo ancestors lived, reproduced and thrived 200,000 years ago [and we are descendants of those people], that to me seems like a fairly long enough study, and the evidence is clear as those Paleo people did not have the diseases of aging that we have today. How much longer of a study would one need?

Most historian experts believe that [IF] there had been Paleo vegetarians, which is highly unlikely because their diet was so inadequate, they would have been too weak and exhausted to hunt or run from the predator animals and they would have been eaten, or they simply died of starvation and/or disease. In any case, vegetarians didn’t survive, as there are no accounts of vegetarian Paleo cavemen ever existing.

In the same article, Julie Jones mentioned that today’s Paleo people need to eat grains as well as legumes to obtain dietary fiber. Since I’m sure Ms. Jones thoroughly researched the Paleo diet; she already knows that 2/3 of a typical Paleo plate of food is organic vegetables, with a small amount of organic fruit, seeds and nuts. Only 1/3 of the meal (a moderate amount) is actually meat. We feel that properly prepared fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, along with seeds and nuts contain an abundance of healthy fiber. In fact it certainly has more fiber and deep-nutrition than the processed foods that most people eat.

We do not follow a vegetarian diet because it is our belief that the healthy fats, necessary minerals like iron and zinc, critical vitamins A, D, K2 and B12, and the complete range of amino acids /proteins necessary for optimal health absolutely cannot be acquired by eating only plants. Plants are missing many important nutrients. The problem with a vegetarian diet is that sooner or later it leads to deficiencies.  These deficiencies then lead to low energy, difficulty concentrating and then to very serious health issues.

To process grains an animal needs to have more than one stomach (like a cow, or a sheep) in order to break down the plant’s fibers and extract any nutrition that is available. The human body has only one stomach, more like a dog or a cat than a cow, humans are simply unable to obtain all of the necessary nutrients in grains with the equipment that God gave us.

While a vegetarian diet may be used as a cleansing program for a very brief period of time, it is our belief that it is not wise to eat that way long term without serious dietary deficiencies and a greatly increased risk of serious disease.

Warshaw stated that there were nutrition pitfalls for modern Paleo people by eliminating whole grains and legumes from the diet because it might leave people deficient in iron, zinc and some B vitamins. (Was she confused?) Iron, zinc, and the entire Complex of B vitamins are provided in abundant amounts in animal foods, particularly organ meats and egg yolks which Paleo people consume copiously!

However, the very nutrients that were of concern to Jones are the very ones that are missing in a typical vegetarian’s diet. (That’s why I think she must have been confused!) We all know many vegetarians that are anemic and catch every virus that goes around.  Many are sick nearly ALL of the time, most are taking B12 supplements because they can’t get B12 in their food. All you have to do is look at how pale they are, and the unhealthy condition of their skin, nails, gums and hair to clearly see that they are suffering from malnutrition. One of the earliest signs of deficiency in children raised on a vegetarian diet is serious tooth decay.

One of the guidelines in the modern Paleo diet, in addition to avoiding ALL grains, is that we do not consume vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, Crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

We also eliminate refined sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box and has a bar code, we don’t eat it.

THIS is no doubt the REAL reason why many people are ‘unable’ to adopt Paleo nutrition; this way of eating requires a great deal of planning and discipline, and staying far away from processed, junk food. One actually has to get into the kitchen and COOK (every meal!) Instead of driving by and ‘picking something up’ on the way home because they forgot to go to the grocery store, or forgot to thaw something out, or are just too ‘tired’ to cook.



Turner-McGrievy made points that it is a healthy move for people to eat plant-based foods instead of animal foods in order to cut down on saturated fat and cholesterol. The popular misconception about saturated fats and cholesterol started in the year 1950 and confusion has been widespread about the ‘dangers’ of cholesterol ever since.

Contrary to this ‘flawed’ view, which is not scientifically sound, saturated fats do NOT clog arteries or cause heart disease! Saturated fats play many important roles in our body’s chemistry and is critical for optimal health! (for more details, see The Truth About Cholesterol

Human beings have been consuming saturated fats from animal products, milk products
and the tropical oils for thousands of years. The truth is; it was the introduction of modern
processed vegetable oils that has caused the epidemic of degenerative
diseases; it never was and never will be the consumption of saturated fats.

~ Chef Lynda

3 thoughts on “Why We Don’t See More Vegetarian Cavemen?

  1. Thank you Chef Lynda for this amazing information. It’s so frustrating to continuously read false information about real food and real health. I’m so glad we have source’s such as your column to get true information.

  2. While I love you to pieces, ChefLynda, I think you might have missed the original point and ultimate conclusion contained within the quoted article.

    The original point/question: Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?
    The conclusion: Yeah, but why would you want to? And even if you could follow a paleo/vegetarian diet for some length of time, you might suffer from lack of nutrition in the end.

    The article wasn’t knocking Paleo. Nor was it knocking Vegetarians. It was asking if the two could be combined; and if so, would there be a benefit?

    (Plus, I think it was published so as to cause the need to rally the troops – as that sells newspapers and advertising space.)

    1. The reason I felt the need to ‘right the wrong’ is because the facts that were stated by the writer and all of the other people she quoted about the Paleo eating plan were entirely wrong and thoroughly misleading.

      Many people reading her article that aren’t fully versed on it have gotten the wrong message about what Paleo is all about and have been totally confused.

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