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Paleo diet pegan vegan 2-min

Paleo is old news, it’s all about the Pegan diet now…

Have you heard of Pegan? It’s what you get when you combine Paleo, with Vegan. So…. How does that work?

Well, as we know, Paleo is eating natural, whole, unprocessed foods: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. Vegan is a whole step further than vegetarian and doesn’t involve any food that comes from an animal. So no meat (obviously), but also no eggs and no dairy. Vegans would typically turn to grains for energy and legumes (like soy) for protein.

Paleo diet pegan vegan 2-min

When Paleo + Vegan = Pegan, we’re left with just vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. There’s no grains, no legumes, no meat, no fish, no eggs and no dairy. The food would be GMO-free, ideally organic and free of chemicals and preservatives.

On a Pegan approach cooking is harder, as vegan friendly oils like vegetable, soybean, canolia, sunflower oil or margarine aren’t allowed as they aren’t paleo. Paleo friendly oils like animal fats (tallow, lard, bacon grease etc) butter and ghee aren’t allowed because they’re not vegan. This leave good old coconut oil, olive oil, and perhaps other nut oils like macadamia and avocado oil to cook with.

To make a Pegan diet work, you’d need to really focus on fats and proteins and would need to rely on foods like avocado, coconut and nuts for fat consumption – whilst at the same time making sure not to over eat nuts, and upset your omega 3/ 6 ratio. Protein would have to be sought from seeds, vegetables and nuts. The bulk of your diet would need to be plant food, with lots of leafy green vegetables.

My verdict on the Pegan Diet

I can’t help but see the Pegan diet as just too restrictive. I think it would be almost impossible to obtain sufficient B-vitamins from this diet alone, without supplementing. But I do think we can take a few things from this Paleo-Vegan approach.

Instead of focusing on having meat & fish in our diet, I think we should focus on the quality of that meat and fish. Where we can, we should be eating organic, ethical meat. Fish should be wild, line caught and we should consider mercury content. I think eggs are a great food to eat – but again, quality is everything. And where eggs aren’t stamped, we need to be even more careful to make sure we know where our eggs are from. I think a vegan diet places more emphasis on vegetables than paleo sometimes does – and it’s a good reminder that we should make sure we’re eating a wide variety of differently coloured veggies.

Would you go Pegan? Or is It a step too far?

Go vegetarian - eating meat is bad for the planet-min

Go vegetarian – eating meat is bad for the planet

I received an interesting comment on one of my blog posts the other day that I thought I’d share here.

TL;DR: Growing soybeans to feed cows is far too energy efficient, therefore we should eat less meat (or better still no meat).

Go vegetarian - eating meat is bad for the planet-min

Here’s the comment in full…

Hi there Suz

I have enjoyed looking through your site – so first I’d like to say thanks and well done, it looks great.

I’ve been following the paleo diet ‘craze’ for some time now – and I don’t by any means intend to undermine it by calling it a craze. Paleo appears to me to take advantage of fresh, natural ingredients from the earth which is highly commendable from a health perspective. Let’s be honest though, it is ‘crazy’ how many people are talking about the diet.

I follow a similar diet to this – although I mostly choose not to eat meat. The only time I generally eat meat is when I go out for dinner, and the only vegetarian item on the menu is ‘mushroom risotto’ (seems to be the most common offender) or some other dish that has chosen to substitute all its protein value for not so complex carbohydrates. Then, I make sure that I choose something that has been what I call ‘consciously produced’ and if possible locally sourced.

The reason I don’t cook meat at home, is because eating meat is so energy intensive for the earth. If you think about it, if we grow 1,000 sqm of soybeans (which we need to constantly water and fertilise) to feed 200 cows (also need water) to feed 100 people we have reduced our ability to feed about 900 people. Now I know that I will be criticised for the kinds of numbers I chose to illustrate this point, but really the numbers I just made up and probably are in a magnitude far greater and far sadder than I’ve attempted to illustrate. You get the point though.

The point is, that we should be taking responsibility for the imbalance of resources available to feed people in this world – and encouraging people to eat LESS meat not MORE. Especially in a country such as Australia where our weather patterns are so variable (an argument for climate change – something for another time) that in some places we have drought and in others we have torrents of floodwater destroying farmland.

Whilst I sympathise with people looking for an alternative way of life, one which provides them with lasting health, fitness, comfort and satisfaction, shouldn’t we find it simple to then realise that people in countries not as ‘lucky’ as ours wish for the same too? NO matter who you are, we all have one single thing in common – the desire to be happy. In fact even happiness is above the requirement for food and water in the hierarchy of needs, and most of the earth’s population don’t even have that.

Anyway, I’d like you to think about perhaps posting some recipes without meat – and helping people to see that the premise of Paleo, which is taking advantage of having access to clean, natural ingredients given to us by our Earth should mean that we take more responsibility in looking after the entity that provides them. Go meat free a couple of days a week, I promise it won’t kill you

Where to start?

Firstly, I would highly recommend everyone reads the “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith.

Vegetarian Myth Paleo diet

This book was written to address the popular thought that eating meat is bad for the planet and our health; whereas eating vegetarianism is thought to be the best move.

Before modern grain agriculture, animals grazed on the land, and returned nutrient rich manure that could work its way back into the soil. Land was rotated allowing nutrient rich food to be grown from it.

Now grains and legumes are grow intensively, leading no room for animals to graze naturally. Soil is completely depleted of its nutrients and animals aren’t able to take part in this vital circle thanks to widespread intensive grain agriculture.

This is why I completely disagree with the commentator, and actively seek out naturally reared, grass-fed meat – and think more people should to.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Vegetarian myth, and the comment I received.

 

 

The blood test results are in paleo weight loss slimming diet-min

The blood test results are in…

If you’ve been following my series on my weight loss struggle – and discoveries, you’ll have read how I’ve struggled to lose weight (despite my paleo diet and exercise), the tests I had done and experts I saw, my DXA body scan and how wildly out my metabolism turned out to be. This week it’s time for the results of those tests!

In Australia the test results all seem to be delivered to you at home – which is great as you don’t have to wait until your next appointment to get the results from your doctor.

Because I’d had genetic testing and various other tests, they all arrived at different times. The blood tests show your result, against a reference range which shows the range of average results they receive. This is great, but who tends to have blood tests? People who aren’t well. So in theory this means you’re comparing your results to people who aren’t in optimal health, which is perhaps not an ideal marker…

The blood test results are in paleo weight loss slimming diet-min

I quickly saw from my results that my SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin) result looked high, so distracted myself by researching this. Apparently a high result means the SHBG binds with testosterone, which means a low free testosterone count. Everything else looked fine, to my didn’t-go-to-medical-school-mind, so I assumed the problem was hormonal and eagerly awaited my appointment to see what the doctor would suggest to remedy this.

I didn’t get the result from the stool samples sent to me at home, but I knew that test was a complete waste of time, so wasn’t worried about that….

The doctor’s surgery

My doctor’s appointment finally came round and I knew exactly what we were going to talk about. The SHBG result and how to change it.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

Blastocystis hominis

I was completely floored when she said “You have a parasite, you must be exhausted!” I only took that test to tick all of the boxes. I’ve had no symptoms to indicate a parasite (especially not the sudden unexpected weight loss symptom. Why couldn’t I have had that symptom?), so would have bet my life savings on not having had one. It turns out the test results detected moderate numbers of a parasite called Blastocystis hominis which has apparently been living in my intestines. It’s contracted by accidently swallowing something that’s been contaminated with it. Perhaps even organic produce that hasn’t been washed properly? Or touching a door handle after someone else? Or drinking contaminated water or ice?

It can linger for many years, during which time I’ve backpacked around a lot of Asia, swam in rivers and lakes, eaten from street Vendors, shared food with other travellers – I could have got it from numerous places. I could just as easily have got it from a posh restaurant. I guess I’ll never know…

In terms of treatment, I could go the herbal route (through my naturopath) or take a specific antibiotic based treatment. The herbs take a long time and had a 50% success rate. The success rate of the drugs was over 90% and takes 10 days. Given that I just want to fix things and have more energy, I opted for the antibiotics – something I’m usually very against and haven’t taken for years. I also found out about a drug called Biofilm defence, which if taken just before the antibiotic apparently helps attack the parasite wall making the antibiotics more effective.

Are you a vegan?

Moving onto the blood test results, the doctor’s next comment was “Are you a vegan?! I only ever see Vitamin B12 and Iron levels this low in Vegans!” Whilst she was speaking she got a vitamin B12 injection out of the freezer to give to me then and there… Of course I’m not a vegan! I eat a decent amount of good quality meat – how can this be?! I do tend to eat more white meat and fish over red meat, but I would say I still have red meat a few times a week. It just makes no sense! Again, she commented on how I must be so tired all the time with not only the parasite, but being so deficient in Iron and Vitamin B12. Yes, I am always tired and worn out, but I’m always very busy too – isn’t this how everyone feels? I also think perhaps you get used to how you feel, and it can be hard to realise it isn’t normal. Wouldn’t it be interesting to swap places with your friends for a day, just to see what their version of normal feels like…

It doesn’t stop there…

There were also a few other items of interest from the test results….

My Homocysteine level also seems slightly elevated. Would you believe this can result in clots – i.e. pulmonary embolisms! This seems to be strongly linked to my vitamin B12 deficiency, interesting…

Ferritin was also low, given that this is related to iron storage – and my iron is low, this is hardly a surprise.

My copper levels were also high, and zinc low. These are inversely correlated, so increasing my zinc should help. After the antibiotics, I’m going to be taking the supplement Zinc piccolinate, which should help address this imbalance.

Once I finish the antibiotics I am also going to be starting a course of liver detox & immune herbs that the nautropath has prepared for me.

Quite a lot and I haven’t even got to the genetic results yet (I’ll open that can of worms next week….)

http://paleo.com.au/recipe-vegetarian-sweet-potato-boats-capsicum-stew-labna/

Recipe: Sweet Potato Boats with Roast Capsicum Stew & Labna

I thought I’d share with you another recipe from my new Paleo Vegan and Vegetarian recipe ebook. The recipes in the book are designed for Vegans and Vegetarians keen to ditch grains and legumes – and adopt more of a Paleo diet. In the book I aim to show how even without meat, making the right choices, it is possible to avoid grains, legumes and dairy. If you’re interested in the book and more of a vegetarian paleo approach, you can find it here.

This recipe is for sweet potato boats, loaded with a roast capsicum stew & labana – and will wow anyone you serve it to, vegetarian or not!

Recipe: Sweet Potato Boats with Roast Capsicum Stew & Labna
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Classic
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a recipe from my vegan and vegetarian paleo cookbook - enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 250 g or ½ lb each), scrubbed & halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, halves , peeled & sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 700g (25oz) jar roasted peppers, drained well & roughly chopped (make sure the ingredients don’t include sugar)
  • 8 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup mixed herb leaves (parsley, coriander, dill, chives), roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
  • ⅓ cup labna
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 180ºC (350ºF). Rub half the olive oil over the sweet potatoes halves and arrange cut side down on lined baking trays. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until very tender and beginning to caramelise. Remove from the oven, turn to face up and slit across down the centre- the cut should be about 1 cm from the ends. Press a spoon into the slit and push the sides apart gently to create a of boat shape to hold the stew.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions. Sauté, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until brown. Add the spices and salt and continue to cook for a minute or two, until everything is fragrant. Add the peppers and tomatoes and adjust the heat to a steady simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  3. To serve arrange 2 sweet potato halves on each serving plate and divide the stew between them. Garnish with herbs and sesame seeds and serve with labna on the side.

Recipe paleo sweet potato boats with roast capsicum bell pepper stew and labna vegan pegan diet-min

Paleo Diet Recipe Vegan Vegetarian Primal Vegetable Bake-min

Recipe: Vegetable Bake with Tomato & Basil Sauce (Vegan & Vegetarian)

I wanted to share with you one of the recipes from my new Vegan and Vegetarian Paleo recipe ebook. Whilst Vegetarian and Paleo might not seem to naturally go together, by avoiding grains – and making sure you get some good legume-free protein into your diet, it is possible to follow a Vegetarian Paleo diet.

My Paleo Vegetarian and Vegan recipe book shows how to transition into Paleo and is packed with recipes for grain, legume and dairy free recipes. Recipes demonstrate good Paleo protein sources and there are also plenty of Vegan options (i.e. no eggs or dairy). For those looking for a gradual transition into full Paleo, the book also details how to properly prepare grains and legumes, for those who aren’t ready to give them up on day one.

If you’re interested in the recipe ebook, you can find it here.

This recipe is a vegetable bake, full of flavours. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, this makes a great Paleo dinner!

 Vegetable Bake Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

  • 1 large eggplant (about 500 g or 1lb), trimmed & sliced in 1 cm thick rounds
  • 2 large zucchini (about 500 g or 1lb), sliced lengthways in ½ cm thick strips
  • olive oil, to brush
  • 2 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved & sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 x 400g (or 1lb) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup pitted black olives
  • ½ cup semi-sundried tomatoes in olive oil*
  • handful baby basil leaves, to serve
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

 * If you can’t find them in 100 % olive oil reconstitute sundried tomatoes in olive oil (to cover) with a clove or 2 of smashed garlic and a sprig of oregano.

The Paleo Primal Diet Vegetarian Vegan Recipe Ebook

Vegetable Bake How To:

Preheat oven 180ºC (350ºF) and put the racks in the top and bottom thirds. Prepare 2 slide trays with baking paper and arrange the eggplant on one and the zucchini on the other in a single layer. Brush liberally with olive oil, season, add the capsicums to the tray and bake for 30 minutes. Remove. Place the capsicums (bell peppers) in a plastic bag and tie shut. Sweat for at least 20 minutes before roughly peeling them (the skin will slip off easily), tearing into quarters and discarding the seeds and stalk.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, covered, for 10 minutes, or until they’re very soft. Remove the lid, add the garlic and stir for a minute then add the tomatoes and basil with some seasoning. Cover, adjust the heat to keep the tomatoes at a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives.

Grease a 20 cm2 (8 inches) dish. Arrange the eggplant in one even layer over the base (you can squish them a bit) then spread a quarter of a cup of the tomato sauce over the top. Next, arrange the capsicum (bell pepper) in a single layer, then the zucchini. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over this then arrange the semi-sundried tomatoes on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes out of the oven in a warm place.

Serve warm, garnished with baby basil leaves and accompanied by a green salad.

Paleo Diet Recipe Vegan Vegetarian Primal Vegetable Bake-min

80 paleo breakfast ideas primal diet network suggestions recipes-min

80 Paleo Breakfast Ideas

If it wasn’t for struggling to come up with different Paleo Breakfast Ideas, I’m sure more people would make the transition over to Paleo. Unfortunately, Breakfast seems to be associated with cereal, toast, bagels, crumpets and sugar laden foods.

Breakfast doesn’t have to equal grains! tweet this quote

I think a lot of people also get stuck in a breakfast rut making the same dish every day. Well, it’s time to break it up – try something new for breakfast tomorrow!

My biggest tip is to get used to seeing breakfast as fuel – it’s just another meal! And who wants to start the day off with a big sugar crash?

80 paleo breakfast ideas primal diet network suggestions recipes-min

I’ve come up with lots of great Paleo Breakfast Ideas for whatever your Paleo situation (no time, dislike eggs, want to drink breakfast, child friendly, SAD substitutes, vegetarian/ vegan or keen to impress) – there are certainly lots of options.

To prove the point, here is a HUGE list of 80 Paleo Breakfast Ideas to inspire you. And if you want even MORE, check out my very own Paleo Breakfast Recipe book, with over 100 pages of beautifully photographed step-by-step recipes.

Easy Paleo Breakfast Ideas

Here are some Paleo Breakfast Ideas for when you have a little bit of time in the morning:

1. Bacon, eggs, avocado, mushrooms & tomato

2. An omelette with your choice of meat, vegetables and of course – egg yolks as well as whites

3. Make a frittata with your favourite veggies, meats and cheese (if you’re more Primal than Paleo)

4. There’s nothing like steak and eggs for breakfast!

5. For a nutritionally dense Paleo Breakfast Idea, chop up chicken liver and scramble with eggs, mushroom, onions and capsicum (bell peppers)

6. Scrambled eggs mixed with diced bacon and avocado (my personal favourite!)

7. Soft boiled eggs and wilted spinach

8. Lots of nations wake up to soup – make a soup with bone broth – or try coconut milk and leftover meat and veggies

9. Sweet potato, sardines and a poached egg

10. Try substitution bacon for skirt steak and serve with pumpkin

11. Bake an egg in an avocado

12. Bone broth with an egg whisked in

13. Smoked salmon and fried eggs for a great protein boast

14. Smoked haddock with poached eggs and wilted spinach

No Time?

When you need a good, quick Paleo Breakfast and have no time to cook and prepare, here are some fast ideas:

15. Paleo Breakfast Casserole – the night before put your choice of ingredients in your slow cooker – and wake up to an instant hot breakfast

16. Egg muffins – cook these up with your favourite veggies and meat in a big batch – and help yourself from the fridge all week

17. Make up a batch of salmon and zucchini croquettes to dig into all week

18. Black Coffee

19. Got a couple of minutes? Scramble an egg in a mug in the microwave

20. The day before, roast some sweet potatoes, and some chicken and have waiting in a container ready for breakfast

21. Make up a breakfast salad the night before with nuts, olives, avocado – and dress with extra virgin olive oil to serve

Grab & Go/ Travel

With no time to eat at home, these are some Paleo Breakfast ideas you can have on the go, eat on the road or perhaps at work.

22. Take a can of tuna/ mackerel/ kippers/ sardines and some pre-cut raw veggies

23. Make a Paleo trail mix with your favourite nuts and dried fruit

24. There’s nothing wrong with beef jerky for breakfast!

25. Hard boiled eggs travel well and can be prepared in advance

26. Make a BLT sandwich using capsicum (bell pepper) as the “bread”

27. Coconut yoghurt

28. Take a halved avocado and a spoon

29. Pork scratchings/ crackling/ rind (whatever you like to call it!)

30. Make up nut balls with nuts, seeds, spices and coconut oil and store in the fridge

SAD Substitutes

If you’re missing your old SAD breakfasts, there’s a Paleo Diet grain-free equivalent for almost everything…

31. Make a Paleo cereal with your favourite nuts, berries and seeds in a bowls of almond milk

32. Or try a Paleo cereal using dried fruit, seeds and nuts and serve with coconut milk and a pinch of cinnamon

33. Paleo granola can be made up from your choice of nuts and served with coconut milk

34. Make up banana bread with almond meal – and bananas!

35. A coconut muesli with nuts, seeds and coconut flakes served in coconut milk

36. Make up a noatmeal – or a Paleo porridge substitute using ground nuts, seeds, eggs and coconut milk

The Paleo Recipe Book

Leftovers

These deserve their own category! Make sure you cook up extra dinner the night before – and you have a ready made breakfast. What’s wrong with steak for breakfast? tweet this quote

37. Sauté onions and mushrooms – and last nights leftover meat and serve over poached eggs

Something Fancy

If you have the time, there are some great Paleo Breakfast Ideas that are perfect for an occasional treat. I very rarely use nuts and nut flours, but they are great for special occasions – and especially good for showing your SAD friends just what is possible when you go grain-free:

38. Paleo pancakes with almond meal take a bit more time, but are well worth the effort

39. Or try sweet potato pancakes

40. Waffles can be made with coconut flour or almond meal and served with a berry sauce

41. A Paleo NoOatmeal is far better than the SAD equivalent and can be prepared the night before, and cooked up in the morning

42. Raspberry Crepes made with coconut flour or almond meal served with fresh raspberries & whipped coconut cream – and a pinch of cinnamon

43. Scotch eggs; coat hard-boiled eggs in Paleo Sausage mixture, cover in almond meal and baked – amazing with poached eggs

44. A Paleo platter with a selection of fruits, cold meats, pickles, olives, sun-dried tomatoes & blanched veggies

45. Make bacon baskets using a cake case as a mould and bake eggs in them

46. My salmon burgers

47. Stuff capsicum (bell peppers) with salmon, mushroom and tomato and top with pine nuts

48. Sliced onion wrapped with smoked salmon on a bed of lettuce

49. Your favourite seafood & veggies

50. Serve scrambled eggs in an orange half

No Eggs!

It’s easy to make every Paleo Breakfast include eggs – and it can be easy to get fed up of eggs! Here are some egg free Paleo Breakfast Ideas:

51. Kippers and dried figs

52. Paleo Sausages and kimchi

53. Pan fried zuchinni served with guacamole

54. Stuffed portabello mushrooms

55. Sautéed minced (ground) beef, greens, onions and carrots

56. Sausages with sauerkraut & stir fried veggies

57. Trout with mushrooms and tomato

58. Fry kidneys and serve with broccoli

all without eggs!

Intermittent Fasting for Breakfast?

Since I’ve been Paleo, I quite often skip breakfast altogether – have you tried skipping breakfast?

Eat Stop Eat

Paleo Breakfasts For Kids (and big Kids alike!)

If your family has recently gone Paleo, here are a few suggestions your children and toddlers will love!

59. Egg & roasted vegetable soldiers

60. Make berry muffins with eggs, coconut flour, nuts and berries

61. Raw or blanched veggies served with nut butter, guacamole and salsa dips

Paleo Vegetarian/ Vegan Options

If you still can’t face meat in the morning, how about these ideas? Or you could always try a smoothie!

62. Poached eggs and sweet potato (or even yam) hash browns

63. Sauté some greens, squeeze on some lemon and add an egg

64. Fry eggs in a capsicum (bell pepper) ring or onion ring

65. Steamed broccoli with sweet potatoes

66. Mash up a hard-boiled egg with avocado

67. Try scrambling eggs with mushrooms, onions and a home-made tomato salsa

Fruit Friendly?

It’s common to minimise fruit intake on a Paleo Diet, due to it’s high fructose content. If you’re targeting weight loss, it can be a good idea to minimise fruit and nuts. However, if you’re all for fruit, here are some fruity Paleo Breakfast Ideas. Remember berries have a lower fructose content and are loaded with antioxidants.

68. A nice simple fruit salad – served with whipped coconut cream

69. Even easier – a piece of fruit and a few berries

70. Make a warm fruit custard with eggs & coconut milk on the stove, nutmeg, cinnamon, berries a banana and some nuts

71. Chop up a kiwi fruit in coconut cream (or heavy cream if you do dairy too)

72. Wrap cubes of melon in prosciutto

Primal Breakfast Ideas

If your diet is more Primal than Paleo and you include some dairy, here are a few Primal Breakfast ideas for you.

73. Greek yoghurt with nuts, berries and your favourite spices

74. Apple and cheese is a winning combination!

75. Try the paleo cereal suggestions in raw milk instead of coconut

76. Bacon and tomato wrapped in cheese and lettuce wraps

Drinkable Breakfasts

A nice alternative – or something hand to have on the go is a smoothie or shake. There are some good options. Make sure you add in fat, perhaps an avocado or some coconut oil and enjoy your breakfast drink!

77. Green smoothies; try adding in Kale and spinach for a vitamin boast

78. Make an anti-oxidant berry smoothie with coconut milk

79. A veggie juice with coconut milk, carrots, broccoli and celery

80. A banana smoothie made with frozen bananas , coconut milk and almond butter

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration! If you’re after even more, please check out my very own recipe book, the Paleo Breakfast Recipe Book with a recipe to suit every single paleo breakfast situation! I’d love to hear your favourite Paleo Breakfast Ideas in the comments below! What’s on your menu?

paleo meets vegan vegetarian-min

Paleo Meets Vegan Meets Vegetarian

On the way to LAX airport from PrimalCon, my new friend Jennifer and I stopped off in Santa Monica for coffee (Jennifer) and tea (me). We got talking to an interesting couple, who seemed keen to find out about us, as soon as they realised we had different accents to them.

They were asking what we were doing in California, to which we replied rather vaguely, telling them we’d been to a health conference. The conversation then progressed onto health and how healthy our new friends believed they were. That’s where they proudly told us they were Vegan, clearly of the popular belief that that is the ultimate in healthy lifestyles. That wasn’t really a conversation I felt like having, so didn’t delve further. However, it wasn’t long before they asked exactly what our health conference was about. Before I could say it was a Kettlebell conference (I know, gutless – but this was Vegans on their home turf) Jennifer quickly announced we’d been to PrimalCon – and were Paleo, pretty much the opposite to Vegans. Carnivores. I filled the silence by explaining how we actually have a lot in common. We don’t eat feed lock, intensively farmed meat.  We are really careful to ensure our meat is ethical and comes from well cared for animals, in their natural environment and fed their natural diet. They seemed to accept this, before the woman started to tell us how she could never eat a cute, soft, cuddly, beautiful cow and how if she saw one she’d have to take it home so she could pat it and stroke it all day. Or something like that.

Cow paleo meets vegan-min

This conversation (and the book I’m currently reading “The Vegetarian Myth”) has got me thinking about the similarities and differences between being Paleo and being Vegetarian or Vegan.

Is it possible to be Vegan or Vegetarian and Paleo?

I’ve even seen increasing numbers of people on Paleo forums posing the question as to whether it is possible to follow a Paleo lifestyle as a Vegan or Vegetarian. Denice Minger has a talk about this very subject. With the absence of meat and dairy too (in the case of Vegans) this group often rely heavily on grains as a source of calories and legumes as a protein source. A shift from a grain and legume heavy diet, to a meat-free Paleo diet would be quite a transition, but theoretically possible – probably involving lots of nutritionally dense eggs. I guess it’s a lot easier for those Vegetarians who do eat fish (Pescetarians) – that would certainly make following a Paleo style diet a lot easier…

The Vegetarian/ Vegan is Healthy Myth

I don’t think it’s accurate to assume that just because someone is Vegetarian they automatically live a supremely healthy lifestyle. Whilst a lot of Vegetarians are healthy, there also seem to be a lot of “Junk Food Vegetarians”. So many processed foods have the “V” Vegetarian symbol. In fact, it would be very easy for a Vegetarian to conduct their entire diet through packets of processed foods, without a vegetable in sight. I think this is where Paleo differs. Whilst I’m sure industry will start to produce “Paleo Processed Foods”, they will never be Paleo – as the whole basis of Paleo is to eat natural, uncomplicated, whole foods.

From Vegetarian/ Vegan to Paleo?

A lot of people do seem to become Vegetarian or Vegan through concern for their health. It amazes me how many of those now following  a Paleo lifestyle used to be Vegetarian of Vegan, in fact, the 2012 Paleo Survey results show that over 38% of Paleo respondents used to follow either of those lifestyles.  I have a lot of respect for these people, as it can’t be easy to go through such a transformation. How do you start the process of telling your friends and family you now eat meat? Do you spend time as a secret meat eater before casually ordering a steak at dinner with friends?

Have you ever been Vegetarian or Vegan? Do you think Paleo is the polar opposite lifestyle?

Unhealthy Health Food IKU paleo diet healthy-min

Unhealthy Health Food?

I’m so disappointed with Iku.  When finding out how I eat, a few friends have suggested Iku, which is a whole food, “healthy” outlet, with a few locations around Sydney.

I’m not disappointed with options like McDonalds, as I doubt anyone goes there to fulfil their aim of having a healthy, wholesome nutritious lunch.  Iku however shares so many of my nutrition beliefs, yet tackles them with pretty much the polar opposite nutritional approach.

Iku strive on providing organic food, and local where possible.  I completely agree with this approach and can’t think of any other food outlet that goes this far.  This ensures produce that should be free from pesticides, fresher and being local, far more sustainable.  Tick!

They also try to keep foods as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal processing.  This is very in line with the Paleo approach.

Their foods are also all dairy free, additive free, preservative free and free from genetic modification – more Paleo approval for getting this right.  So far, so good.

But, then it all starts to go wrong.  They strongly believe in the nutritional prowess of grains and legumes, believing that they help to fight disease.  This is completely at odds with Paleo thinking, where legumes and grains have been shown to increase inflammation and reduce gut health.  Their ingredients “slow blood sugar responses”. Whilst Paleo, without grains, will take blood sugar responses out of the equation – surely this is far healthier.  Their menu is also designed to “keep cholesterol levels in check”, which is a clear reference to the outdate lipid hypothesis, to which Paleo does not subscribe.

It then gets even less Paleo.  All of their food is free of any animal product.  I can’t find any explanation on their site as to why they (presumably) perceive this to be the healthiest way to live.

Their tagline is “Feel great, have huge amounts of energy and a strong immune system”.  I’m not sure how I could possibly feel good consuming grains and legumes – and no meat.  I know it certainly wouldn’t give me much energy.  I currently have so much energy on my (fairly strict) Paleo diet.  As for having a strong immune system, this also puzzles me with all of those lectins, phytates & proteins like gluten in the grains and legumes.

I’d love to see a national chain of food outlets that would combine the local, whole, organic philosophy, with great quality meat – and not a grain or legume in sight!  Perhaps I’ll have to open my own!

Do you have well meaning “healthy” food outlets where you live?  That actually aren’t what you would consider healthy?

paleo meets vegan vegetarian-min

Paleo Meets Vegan

There’s an interesting talk at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow, as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas.  The talk is entitles “What We Are and What We Eat”, by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Foer has written a book called “Eating Animals”, and it sounds like he has a strong vegan, anti-Paleo agenda.

From what I’ve read, it looks like he is very concerned about cheap, factory farmed animal produce, which is a viewpoint I completely agree with.  However, whilst I tackle this by sourcing very good quality, grass fed, organic meat, with a minimal degree of separation between myself an the farmer – I wonder if Foer’s approach is tofu and grains?

I’m always interested in hearing and understanding differing viewpoints about diets and food sustainability, so I’m quite tempted to go along.

Must remember to take some beef jerky with me, I think they only sell sweets & crisps at the Opera House…