Why would I follow a Paleo-Vegan Diet?

After gaining a few pounds over the holidays, I knew I had to lose weight. I’ve been a strict vegan for over 20 years and I needed a diet plan that would fit in with my lifestyle. I became a vegan partially to try to preserve my health but also because of the treatment some animals receive.  Being healthy and acting in an ethical manner are two very important things for me. I wasn’t interested in a quick fix, I wanted a long-term solution.

One of the problems of strict veganism is in the quest to have an interesting diet many recipes use grain products as filler and add sugar to improve the taste. Sugar and salt are surreptitiously added to make a bland product more tasty. They make a soy mixture look like a hamburger or even a turkey!  

Many of the manufacturer of vegan products use grain derived fillers and binders to product a product that looks somewhat like a food item that non-vegans would enjoy.   All of these grain fillers and binders also add lots of calories and can pack on the pounds if you are not careful. This is most likely why there are overweight and obese vegans.

A pure vegan diet with no processed food can make it hard to gain weight but add in some of the foods that some people view as a way to make your diet interesting can add hidden calories.     

So What is a Paleo-Vegan Diet?

A Paleo-Vegan diet is a combination of paleo diet often called the caveman diet and a vegan diet which is devoid of any animal sourced products.  

A paleo diet involves foods that ancient people would have eaten.  Cave dwelling people! Everytime you wonder if a food is part of the paleo regime just ask yourself “What would Grog do?” (lol) Grog, (our resident caveman) wouldn’t have known how grain can make bread, or, how sugar is derived from beets or cane.     

A vegan diet is a plant based diet that is which has no animal products.  That means no meat (obviously) but also no animal derived products. For instance many people don’t know that gelatin is derived from animals.  There are many product such as makeup that have an animal component to them.

The Paleo-Vegan diet is healthy, natural and easy to follow. If you’re already vegan, cutting out processed foods, sugar, bread, rice and pasta need not be difficult. Conditions such as heart disease obesity and diabetes can even be improved!

Dr. Dean Ornish promotes the benefits of a plant based diet and his research has shown that consistently eating a plant based diet has actually opened arteries in the patients he has followed.

Is eating meat a bad thing nutritionally?

Eating meat in general is a choice you make and often eating meat concentrates pesticides and other chemicals in your system. The amount of biomass that cows and swine require means that the chemicals in your food are concentrated. You will always be faced with this dilemma if you simply buy your meat at a regular grocery store.

Factory produced meat is always fed with fast animal growth in mind.  This means most factory farms will be feeding their animals with mass produced feed which means pesticides are inherent in the production of mass produced food. Many animals are fed growth hormones and antibiotics to make the animals as big as possible in the least amount of time.  These chemicals end up accumulating in your system and can lead to health complications from irritable bowel syndrome to cancer.

You can also expect to pay a premium for organically raised meat but again it is your choice to eliminate meat or continue eating meat or reducing portions and partially replacing meat other proteins.  

If you choose to continue to be a meat eater and you include meat in your diet consider smaller portions of meat and only organically raised animals. Organically raised meat means there has been no pesticides used in the pastures where the cattle are raised and they receive no chemical enhancements during their life. That means no growth hormones, indiscriminate antibiotics and no animal byproducts are fed to cattle. However, antibiotics can be used to treat sick calves.  Producers of naturally raised beef must also keep records of their animals for life.

If eating fish eat only wild caught varieties and avoid fish farm varieties which are often disease prone due to overcrowding.     

Many vegans refuse to eat meat because of the unethical kill practices of some butchers while others refuse on principle of killing any sort of animal.  This is a choice you make. Our goal in this website is to give you the best of paleo and the best of vegan. In some cases we may even provide you with some alternatives to strict veganism or strict paleo.  

The idea is to provide you with a reasonable diet that is not hard to follow no matter where you live.  You won’t need a Whole Foods store or an organic store if you have reasonable and practical choices for your dietary needs.   

How do I Get Started on the Paleo-Vegan Diet?

In the rest of this article, I’ll give you a run down of paleo-vegan and how to get started.

When I started my paleo vegan journey, I had questions. Where will I get my protein? Will I be getting the vitamins and minerals I need? Read on and find out what you need to know.

What can I eat on a Vegan-Paleo diet and what I should avoid?

It’s really pretty simple when you think about it to eat both paleo and vegan.   Eating a paleo diet involves eating only unprocessed natural foods and eliminating most grains from your diet. If you were eating a strict Paleo Diet you would be eating meat and vegetables.

You would not be eating dairy products, and most legumes. You are allowed legumes that are low in lectins and phytic acids.  Regarding legumes there is a lot of research that shows that legumes are healthy but strict paleo does not permit them.

On the other hand nuts and seeds are allowed.  Healthful oils and fats are allowed. These include walnut oil, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils.  

How much protein do I need and where do I find it?

Many people believe that finding enough protein on a vegan-paleo diet is difficult but it is not.  Proteins are the main building blocks of your body, used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin, as well as enzymes and various tiny molecules that serve many important functions.

The recommended allowance for protein is 46 grams a day for women and 56 grams per day for men.  This may sound to you very challenging to get enough protein but don’t forget that almost all food has some protein in it.  Also you may eat more protein on some days and less on others. There is no need to be rigid in effort to include adequate protein.  Just remember that protein is needed to stay healthy.

Coconut milk used for a smoothie is about 5 grams of protein per cup.  Adding some cacao nibs and a banana can easily boost your smoothie to 10 grams of protein.  A 2 cup smoothie (sip it over the morning if you like) will give you a 20 gram boost to getting enough

A cup of avocado (2 grams protein)  or a cup of broccoli (2.8 grams protein) will add nicely to getting enough protein as well.  So a 2 cup smoothie and 2 cups of broccoli is 25 grams of protein and that alone is about one half of your daily protein requirements. Add in a cup of walnuts for 14 more grams of protein, a 100 gms of asparagus for 3 more grams of protein and a couple of pieces of high protein fruit  and you have met your daily requirement for protein.

Some Closing Thoughts

I am not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. I am not a chiropractor who is passing himself off as a nutritional expert. Chiropractors do not receive training in nutrition. Most doctors do not receive adequate training in nutrition.

Dietitians on the other hand receive training in diet composition which covers nutrients and vitamins and all of the dietary needs of  most people. Dietitians however her not trained in all of the diet regimes that currently exist. Dietitians can evaluate diets and make decisions based on their training and experience and most dietitians when asked for their 30 second review of any diet plan will say “eat a balanced diet and follow the food pyramid”.

Now you and I know there is a great deal of controversy over the food pyramid because it is based in grains. many people today think this is incorrect.  Many people have experienced benefits in their health and weight management by eating a vegetable based diet or Paleo Diet.

There are many choices out there for following a specific diet program and over time  I will cover many of them. South Beach, Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Restricting Carbs and the list goes on forever.  There are many diets that when explained by the author tend to make sense. And medical doctors who write some of these books will disagree with each other fiercely when comparing diets.  

So who’s right. Every day we find out new information on how our diets can be improved and what goes on inside of our bodies. Years ago saturated fats are the enemy and now looking at research we’re finding that saturated fats are not the culprit. Current research says that sugar is the main culprit in upsetting the balance in our system causing weight gain, inflammation and a whole host of other health-related  maladies.

What will the future hold?  I think I can say that vegan-vegetarianism will never be seen as a bad thing as long as we stay away from refined and highly processed foods.

So the choice is yours. You can choose to be a vegan or a vegan paleo.  In my quest for health and a general sense of well-being I think being a vegan paleo is one of the best  diet choices a person can make and maybe after researching this site and the entire food industry you will agree.  

Here’s to your health