Has anyone ever heard of or tried the pegan diet? I had never heard of it until my husband showed me a magazine article entitled Going Pegan. The term “pegan” which was coined by Dr. Mark Hyman, is a combination of the paleolithic diet and veganism. We decided to give it a try and let me say that I am so happy my husband brought this article to my attention!
What we do is follow the 75/25 rule where 75% of our meal is plant-based and the other 25 % comes from organic grass-fed animal protein. I have never been a huge meat eater so this is very easy for me to follow. Its also nice to know that I can enjoy some chicken or steak once in a while just as long as its not the main event of the plate (so to speak).
According to Dr. Hyman, these are the guidelines for a pegan friendly diet:
- PLANT -BASED FOOD Make 50 to 75 percent of your plate low-glycemic, plant-based items. Choose organic, raw and local when possible.
- PROTEIN Eat protein with every meal and snack. If you eat animal products then make sure they are sustainably raised or grass-fed and no more than 25 percent of your meal.
- GOOD-FAT FRIENDLY Eat plenty of healthy fats and omega-3-rich foods like avocados, olive oil, coconut, raw nuts and seeds.
- BAD FATS ARE STILL BAD Avoid highly processed vegetable oils high in inflammatory omega-6 fats like canola, sunflower, corn and soybean. Instead, cook with ghee or coconut oil and use extra-virgin olive oil to make salad dressings and to drizzle over cooked vegetables.
- LIGHT ON THE LEGUMES Eat no more than half a cup of beans each day. Choose smaller beans like lentils, black and garbanzo beans over large starchy beans.
- GRAINS Eat no more than half a cup of low-glycemic grains like quinoa or black rice per meal (no more than 1 cup per day).
- GO FOR GOAT Avoid dairy. If consuming, try organic goat or sheep products only as a treat.
- NO FLOUR POWER Cut out refined and whole-grain flour products to avoid gluten and blood-sugar spikes.
- TRICK OR TREAT Make sugar an occasional treat. Maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar are fine in small amounts, but skip added sugars.
- DON’T FAKE IT Choose foods low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and GMOs, and avoid chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG and artificial sweeteners.
I will admit that some of these guidelines are hard for me. I have to do better about my portions when it comes to grains, I am in love with Fairlife milk, I like goat cheese but I also love other varieties like cheddar and feta, and I have a love affair with chocolate! So I just have to modify and most importantly, LISTEN TO MY BODY!
For me, its about evolving and eating in a way that matches my values and lifestyle. I may never give up dairy or wheat or even sugar completely but any diet that encourages eating organic, grass-fed, humane and sustainably-raised poultry or beef is A-OK in my book.
If you are interested in learning more about the pegan diet, then I encourage you to visit this website: http://drhyman.com/blog/2014/11/07/pegan-paleo-vegan/.
Have a great week!