The premise of the paleo diet is to acquire protein mainly from animal meat products, but then there’s this variation called the vegetarian paleo diet. Wait, what? Can a vegetarian also do a paleo diet? Is that for real? Well, you will not be disappointed. There is really a paleo diet for vegetarians.
The paleo diet or “paleolithic diet” is a diet technique that mimics the eating habits of humans during the Paleolithic period. To mimic the paleo diet and also the vegetarian paleo diet, this means that you’ll be saying goodbye to your rice, your favorite pastry products, bacon and other processed meats, and soda.
But, why is that so? Well, it would be logical since humans during the Paleolithic period didn’t eat bread or drink soda at that time. You’d have a hard time finding any Coca-Cola factory during that period! Humans in those times were hunter-gatherers. They hunted for meat and gathered fruits and vegetables to grow on the field. However, these early humans did not yet develop agriculture.
Yes, that’s right. The Paleolithic period is a pre-agriculture era. Thus, if you’re really pursuing the paleo diet, you might just have to say goodbye to your favorite food choices. Luckily, you can still cheat sometimes.
How the (Vegetarian) Paleo Diet Works
This section tackles how the Paleo diet works. If you have prior knowledge of how this diet works, you can skip this part. But if you want some refresher, then indulge yourself.
This diet creates a ketogenic effect in the body. Now, imagine cutting the entire carb intake. How will the body then generate energy? Since carbs are taken out of the equation, the body enters in a process called ketosis. This process uses body fat to create energy. Therefore, your body is finally using those stored fat from your burgers, pizza, fries, and soda.
However, vegetarians wouldn’t really experience such changes since they’ve already given up on the meat products. People who’ve been acquainted with the vegetarian paleo diet wouldn’t really feel the effects stated above.
Myth: Vegetarians Don’t Eat Meat at All
The Pegan or “paleo vegan” is a variant of the paleo diet or a shorter term for a vegetarian Paleo diet. But, how does it work? Apparently, a vegetarian is not a person who completely avoids meat. That’s your first busted myth for the day.
A vegetarian can be classified into different categories. In fact, there are vegetarians who don’t eat meat but eat eggs. They are called “ovo-vegetarians.” Sometimes, you’ll catch some vegetarians eating turkey or KFC’s fried chicken. These vegetarians are called pollo-vegetarians. They eat chicken although it is considered meat.
But wait, some vegetarians also enjoy some cheese and butter in their diet. Although the vegetarian “myth” is strictly fruits and veggies, lacto-vegetarians actually exist.
Paleo and Vegetarians Can Go Together
The vegetarian paleo diet is not really a hard diet for vegetarians, except if the person is a strict vegan. Since the paleo diet requires fruits and vegetables, vegetarians might really not find the Paleo diet a hard diet. The key to a successful Pegan diet is being able to determine your body’s needs. All humans have different bodily needs.
To make this Pegan diet work properly and correctly, it is better to consult your physician or a nutritionist. Again, all humans have different bodily needs.
Protein, Protein, Protein
The Paleo diet also focuses on protein intake. Animal products, leafy greens, seeds, and nuts contain protein, and these food choices are your food buddies in the Paleo diet.
Vegetarians are not into indulging in animal meat unless some of them exclude them from the not-to-eat list. However, vegetarians get their protein mainly from beans, legumes, and some grains. Protein can also be derived from non-animal products. Therefore, this will raise no concern about that in a vegetarian paleo diet.
The Vegan Caveman
A vegan caveman eats mostly fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, nuts, and nut-like seeds. If a vegan wants to enter into a caveman diet, these food selects would probably be just a walk in the park. A vegetarian’s diet and the Paleo diet share a lot of characteristics when it comes to fruits and vegetables. If you’re already a vegetarian, the Paleo diet will not be hard for you.
Your Flexible Pegan Menu
Your nutritional compass in a vegetarian Paleo diet goes like this: “Too much of something is bad, as well as less of something.”
You aim for a balanced diet. Just because a strict Pegan forbids dairy does not mean you’ll not eat dairy. It’s up to you. Remember, you’re going Pegan, and finding protein is really scarce when you don’t consider meat in your daily meals.
- Eat eggs. One cup of scrambled egg provides 24 grams of protein. Your body needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Eggs can help. Eat them.
- Eat fish and shellfish. You are limiting yourself to veggies and fruits. Extra nutrition from seafood such as omega-3 and vitamin B12 can be obtained.
- Eat food with healthy fat. The clue there is “healthy.” Oils like coconut oil contain healthy fat. Don’t restrict yourself. Not because it’s “fat,” it’s already unhealthy.
Benefits of Being a Pegan
Many advocates of a vegetarian paleo diet could give you many detailed benefits that it can bring to your body, but here’s something that you can remember by heart and mind. A Pegan diet lets you eat the healthy stuff.
This diet excludes generally all detrimental food selects in your menu. What’s important is that you’re only consuming food that is really beneficial to the body. Thus, the Pegan diet benefits are numerous and need no enumeration in this manner. Just remember that you want to feel good, eat well and live good.
A Pegan diet is one of the many variations of the Paleo diet. Many people praise its good effects on the human body. However, people have different bodily needs. Consulting a physician or nutritionist is the best step before engaging in this diet. Are you thinking about doing this diet? Try the vegetarian Paleo diet now and see if this is the best diet for you.