A lot of people cannot imagine life without eating meat.
Can you imagine not eating that juicy steak in a fancy restaurant nearby? Not be able to eat chicken, pork, and even seafood at least once a day?
For some though, they are able to do that. Those people are called vegans.
And then there are people who only eat meat, meat, and more meat. This type of diet may be a dream for meat lovers. It’s called the Paleo Diet, by the way.
What is a Paleo diet plan?
For starters, the Paleo diet focuses on eating meat as part of one’s diet plan. However, eating fruits and vegetables are acceptable as well. It’s basically adopting a caveman’s way of eating – gathering and hunting for food.
In fact, the Paleo diet is one of the “in” diets these days aside from veganism and vegetarianism. The last two are two different things, but this is a topic for another day. Then again, you can do your own research if you want to know more about this diet.
Also, the Paleo diet is a popular way of eating, even some popular celebrities swear by it. Among celebrities who adopt a Paleo lifestyle include Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Miley Cyrus.
The Paleo diet consists of 25 percent protein, 35 percent fat, and 40 percent carbs. Commonly accepted foods include:
- Free-range/wild-caught meat (chicken, pork, beef)
- Sweet potatoes.
On the other hand, these are foods that should not be eaten in a Paleo diet include:
- All types of grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice
- Starchy tubers like potatoes
- Chickpeas/peas, lentils
- Grain-like seeds (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth)
- Sugary foods except found in fruit
- Processed foods
Basically, you can only eat the kinds of food that existed during the time of our pre-colonial ancestors. Obviously, there were no canned and frozen goods during that time.
So, they hunted for meat and gathered produce since these were the available food source back then. Hence, the name of this particular diet plan.
Is there such a thing as a meatless Paleo diet plan?
Eating animal meat is a major part of the Paleo diet plan. It’s protein and fat-heavy diet plan. So we cannot seem to imagine a Paleo diet without eating animal meat.
However, this doesn’t mean you cannot follow a this plan even if you are a vegetarian. By now, you already have an idea of what our cavemen/pre-colonial ancestors ate back then. No processed goods, no junk food, no chocolate bars… you get the idea.
But you can still eat fruits and vegetables allowed in the Paleo diet as mentioned above. Sugar rush? You can get that from fruits. You can still also include oil (olive oil and coconut oil) as well as nuts and seeds in your diet. In other words, it is possible to follow a meatless Paleo diet.
The dilemma of adopting a Vegan AND Paleo diet
For vegans and vegetarians, adopting a this diet can be challenging. One, they are not allowed to eat meat – which is allowed in a Paleo diet. They do not eat animal meat as a major source of protein, but more on plant-based foods like tofu or mushrooms.
Soy products, beans, and quinoa, which are also good protein sources, are off-limits among vegans. Grains are also a staple for practicing vegans and vegetarians.
But remember, rice and other grains are a no-no in a Paleo diet. However, grains are an important energy source, especially for runners. So, where will they get that much-needed energy source?
Still, there are ways to adopt the same types of diet plans without feeling conflicted and confused. Eating any kinds of meat products allowed in a Paleo diet won’t make sense among vegetarians.
Then again, not all foods consumed in a Paleo diet aren’t the real thing anyway. For one thing, most animals raised for consumption are raised in farms instead of free-range. GMO fruits and vegetables are also a common thing nowadays, which are non-existent in earlier times.
There are some Paleo dieters who are able to eat free-range meats. However, these are either hard to find or expensive. So if you are vegetarian or vegan who wants to try a Paleo diet, here are some options to do.
Vegans are not allowed to eat eggs, but vegetarians can. A piece of egg contains about 6g of protein. To meet your daily 50 percent of protein needs, you can eat about a dozen eggs per day.
Sprouted/soaked legumes and beans
Legumes and beans are also great protein sources in the replacement of animal meat. Take note that these should be soaked first before eating. This helps in reducing the antinutrients which can cause indigestion even when cooked. Also, make sure to choose the fresh ones and not the canned versions.
Hemp seed/grain-like seeds
Unlike in a Paleo diet, quinoa and grain-like seeds are acceptable in a vegan diet. Likewise, hemp seed and sunflower seeds are also good sources of protein.
Not everyone may like a vegetarian lifestyle. The same goes for the Paleo diet. There are certain reasons why people choose a certain lifestyle or diet plan. Regardless, it should be for the betterment of your overall health.
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