Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Awakening the Inner Cave-Dweller


We’re down to one car here at Fun Central. My 12-year-old Renault Scenic died unceremoniously a few weeks ago and we decided not to replace it, because we are good Germans and like to think about the environment. This does put some pressure on me and Germany’s Top Husband, though, in terms of negotiating who gets the car when. I was fondly imagining I’d go grocery shopping this morning until he pointed out that he had a suit day in Heidelberg and the car was his. Off  he went, leaving me staring into the empty fridge wondering what the hell I was going to have for breakfast.

Turns out, it was a peach. Not a peach that was lingering in the fruit-bowl, but a peach that I had to hunt down by foot and then drag home, skin and eat.

There is something intensely satisfying about bringing your food home on foot. Here’s what I managed to scavenge by going into the Burg’s thousand-year-old town centre and walking around the shops there, instead of driving to the supermarket outside town:

1. Butcher: Thuringer sausages, both plain and spicy; marinated lamb chops (got the fourth free just by chatting to the lovely lady – that wouldn’t have happened at the supermarket); free-range eggs.

2. Greengrocer: a butternut (never to be found in a German supermarket), peaches, apples, grapes, cucumber, red peppers, a tin of marinated giant beans, a lettuce.

3. Schlecker: muesli, cleaning cloths, bin bags, snacks for the kids.

4. Bakery: Brezeln, both plain and cheesy, and a free chat about Germany’s chances for Saturday.

Then I dragged the whole lot home and pounced on my peach.

I have become a fan of the caveman lifestyle idea. Those of you who have been with me a long time know that diets have come and gone. There was Shangri-La, there was low-carb and long, long ago in the mists of time, there was Weight-Watchers.

But the caveman diet, I’m telling you, is the way forward. It has various names and proponents (paleolithic, caveman, primal blueprint), but the basic idea is the same: eat the way our ancestors ate, move the way they moved, and rest the way they rested, thus becoming fitter, leaner and healthier. It makes a lot of sense to me. Without wanting to repeat what the experts say, I point you to the best blog I’ve found on the caveman lifestyle: Mark’s Daily Apple. Check out his About section for tons of useful background information.

I’ve been acting the cave-dweller for the month of June. I’ve lost kilograms and centimetres, which is always pleasing. I am also happier, better rested and far less grumpy. And right now, I’m off to the pool in my mammoth-skin bikini for some caveman-like romping.

Want to join me?

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

10 thoughts on “Awakening the Inner Cave-Dweller

  1. Sounds like your hunter gather attitude is paying off! I am sure one is more selective on what you purchase as you have to carry the whole lot back home!

  2. Good for you and your caveman adaptations! I have to admit that I had grand intentions of walking or riding the bike to the new grocery when it opened a year ago. To date i’ve only taken the car. 1.25 miles. I’m so American; sloth and gas- consumption are our national pastimes. Why is it that I think nothing of walking a few miles for exercise, but never PLAN far enough ahead to have the time to walk to the store? That said, I guess I can relieve some of my guilt because I use a CSA and the farmers’ markets — all local and sustainably produced — and rarely make trips to the grocery.

  3. Love the sound of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the Burg! And glad you found butternut. I managed to drag one home kicking and screaming today too, though not on foot I’m afraid. The only live vegetables to be gathered on foot here at the moment are carrots. We’d need to adopt some chickens and goats if we were going carless here.

  4. Love the image of you and GTH living the caveman lifestyle. Hunter-gatherer sounds very healthy and I’m feeling suitably guilty about driving to the base store to fetch some teabags. The man there looks a bit neanderthal and he half smiled, half grimaced as he gave me free teabags. Which in itself made my day. And butternuts are my favourites. Butternut soup – yum.

  5. We have one car but in London, that feels like a complete luxury. Except on shopping runs involving king-size bags of nappies.

    I can’t of like the idea of going caveman, though am not entirely sure how supermum would react.

  6. Charlotte, I didn’t know I was a cave woman until now!! I always walk to get groceries. Walk or ride my bike. The whole experience is enhanced by never, ever setting foot in the mall, especially now we have a Saturday farmers’ market. Bliss. Well done you on the lost kilos – and a stroll around the ‘Burg’s old town sounds a whole lot more enticing than driving to a supermarket in the outskirts. I say make a habit of giving GTH the car!!

  7. I really love the idea of sourcing all your food locally. That has just got to be right, hasn’t it? Plus those real shops are so much more fun than the aisles of a supermarket. Good on you, Charlotte.

  8. um…I’ve read some about the caveman diet and I don’t know how seriously to take your commitment to this lifestyle (not in a negative way…) but please dont end up being of those folks who eats raw meat and nothing else, please, please? Because I’ve noticed this trend where people start out low-carb, and then move to the caveman diet, and then move to caveman-raw, and then to intermittent fasting, and, well – I just want you to be careful. All for the biking and walking to the grocery, though!

  9. Hope the butternut did not put up too much of a fight wen you captured it and dragged it back to your lair?? You are so lucky to live within walking/biking distance of shops other than a supermarket…

  10. The Caveman Power Diet increases energy, the ability to burn fat, and gets you in touch with your natural instincts. It’s not just a way to lose weight, it’s a healthy approach to making your body indestructable.Doing the the Caveman Power Diet is a very natural state for your body to be in, and you will feel the results immediately. Embrace it for what it is; animal motivation. It is a very open do-it-yourself diet, that encourages you to feel content in a way that suits you personally.”

    Remember to stop by our blog page

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