I’m just going to say straight-up that I love carbs. I love bread, I love pasta, I love doughnuts, I love pancakes and I absolutely love cake. Until recently, I really couldn’t imagine going a whole week without those delicious carb-filled things.
And then I received a special delivery at Style HQ: a styrofoam cooler box filled with meals from Caveman Kitchen. Although I had signed up for a Style Trial, I was filled with dread at the thought of giving up carbs for whatever was in this cooler.
I knew that a “caveman diet” was another way of saying “paleo diet” but my only hint about what to expect was the writing on the side of the cooler, which informed me that they were “healthy meals delivered free from processed sugar, preservatives and gluten”.
With a sinking heart, I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably be eating steak and broccoli for the next five days.
While many people interpret the paleo diet differently, at Caveman Kitchen they go by Crossfit founder Greg Glassman’s definition of fitness: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat.
I took a deep breath and joined the tribe, sheltering my feast from predators (my fellow Stylers) in the safety of my car boot.
Later that night, after foraging through the cooler box for my first meal, I let out a few grunts when I realised I couldn’t find the microwave instructions I swear I had printed out earlier. Neanderthals were known as problem solvers though, so the first thing I did was bang the container in annoyance at myself jump online to seek help. To my pleasant surprise, there was a helpful REAL-LIFE person that appeared in a pop-up chat on the site and she was able to talk me through the heating instructions and provide some pretty good Monday night banter.
Throughout the week, I trialled delectable dishes such as Bavarian pork sausages with sweet potato mash, lamb moussaka, mango chicken curry and BBQ pork ribs. I didn’t miss the carbs. I didn’t even notice they were gone!
My favourite meal of the week by far was the lamb moussaka, which was chock-full of tasty vegetables, lamb mince and herbs and a sheet of eggplant in place of pastry. It was my third meal of the week and really had me reconsidering the whole paleo lifestyle and diet. If everything tasted as good as this, how hard could it be?
However, towards the end of the week my dinnertime carb cravings came back with a vengeance when I went for the butter chicken dish and the Italian meatballs with veggie spaghetti. Instead of rice, the butter chicken was accompanied with cauliflower. Instead of spaghetti, there was zucchini and carrot.
I wiped away the single tear sliding down my cheek and tucked into the meal. To my surprise, the substitutions were still delicious!
The Caveman Kitchen meals convinced me that I could easily cut out carbs at least a few nights a week for my health. But I can’t make any promises about saying goodbye to doughnuts for good. That’s a bit extreme.