Paleo and Vegan = Pegan
“A compromise between two popular diets, the pegan diet allows for 75% veggies and fruits and 25% animal proteins, whole grains, lentils, and fats such as avocados, coconut, and nuts/seeds. Peganism has the ability to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of diabetes according to Mark Hyman, MD.”- Posted in Live Naturally Winter 2016.
I think the takeaway here is that by doing the difficult work up front (cutting out sugar, junk food, excess refined carbs such as alcohol and white flour), one can really begin the journey toward adopting a diet that is rich in a wide variety of foods, is less focused on what one can’t consume, and is based upon personalization. How does one do this?
First, be open to self experimentation. Be curious about foods and how they effect your energy levels. This is a skill in self awareness and takes time, but is well-worth the effort. Second, get out of your comfort zone and try different recipes. Buy foods you normally don’t buy and find a way to cook it up! Third, have your blood tested by your doc (MD or ND as long they are willing to run a panel of markers and offer holistic advice). This will take the guess work out of how what you eat is effecting your blood chemistry on a physiological level. Some people can consume a handful of nuts daily whereas others may get a spike in their blood lipids. Genetics and lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep patterns, breathing, and exercise will all have an affect on your blood and overall health as well. Take general recommendations with a grain of salt and continue to search for your very own personal best! But, you have to start somewhere, so committing to programs like the Whole 30 can be a great way to still eat delicious food, learn how to meal prep, and eat clean while getting rid of the tie to junk that pollutes the body. This allows you to detox and beat food addictions to substances like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Afterwards, the fun part begins of adding in foods that may or may not be a good fit for you. More on this next time!