I'm not a vegan, I'm a pegan
I have seen quite a few people go the vegan road, lose weight, look great, feel great, then after a long time they slowly spiral downward with muscle atrophy, fatigue, anxiety and end up pretty ill.
I am not a vegan, and people always assume I am. In no way am I disrespecting those that choose to be, and I respect their strength and choices to stand up to animal rights. I eat meat once or twice a week, and I source it from animals that are grass-fed, organic, grass finished and free range. I like to call them happy animals that roam our farm.
The choices for a healthy diet are endless, and they all claim to be the right way. Why can't we incorporate them all into one? I recently read an article by Mark Hyman, and he called himself a pegan! A paleo vegan! Now I know all the vegans out there will be like WTF...but you have your choices, and I have mine.
Dont get me wrong, I love the idea of a vegan diet (if you do it properly) - whole foods, clean, plant-based, full of minerals and vitamins, fibres and healthy fats. They not only eat great things, but they also are reducing their carbon footprint and raising awareness of the mass industries that are absolutely disgusting, cruel and unsustainable. But what happened if we completely changed our agricultural industry like Polyface farm?
After my 3rd year of studying nutrition, research has shown that this diet can't provide sufficient amounts of DHA and EPA (supper important omega 3's), zinc, copper and especially B12 - which is a major factor in genetic makeup, nerve cells, brain function, foetal development, immunity.... the list goes on. And, I find that a lot (not all) of vegans don't really educate themselves and replace foods with highly processed soy-based proteins full of absolute sh*t (below is a classic example...just saying).
Paleo, on the other hand, has many versions. It has been ridiculed as a diet and we are deem the meat eaters of the industry, but it actually concentrates on the quality of foods, where you source it, how you use it. It emphasises on fresh single ingredient produce, veggies, low fructose fruit and quality meats. They avoid gluten, grain, legumes, processed foods and nuts and seed oils. It highlights foods from the earth and ethical sourcing. This lifestyle has so many benefits and healing properties that has been proved to help alleviate chronic diseases.
Both these diets incorporate beneficial ways of eating, but don't use paleo as an excuse to eat excessive amounts of meat from Coles. It's a back to basics approach to eating seasonally, real, whole foods with healthy fats, veggies and proteins.
Here are the basic tips that Mark Hyman highlighted in eating a pegan diet and what I find my self doing 98% of the time (no one is perfect).
1. Avoid processed sugars
2. Eat lots of veggies
3. Stay away from pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMO foods
4. Eat healthy fats
5. Eat when you're hungry
6. Stop when you are full
7. Avoid processed oils - sunflower, corn, cottonseed, peanut etc...
8. Avoid processed dairy - avoid the milks that are deemed skinny, low fat, sugar-free, etc..
9. Use your meats as a compliment to the meal, not the main part - I eat meat 1/2 times a week but everyone is different
10. Think sustainable, free-range, biodynamic, organic and happy cows...its worth the price difference no matter what people say
11. Avoid grains - wheat products etc
12. Don't be fooled by the 'gluten-free' on the packet, it could still be full of sh*it
13. Drink water
14. Remember, we are all different, so what might be perfect for me, could be not so good for you, personalise what works best for you and eat intuitively. Your body will tell you when it's full