What Exactly Is Pegan Diet?
The Paleo Diet is something really interesting. You are taking the core ideas of two very different diets and combining them into producing something that logically should not work, but it works, and it works perfectly! For those of you who are entirely unaware, Pegan is a form of diet produced from the combination of both a Vegan Diet and a Paleo diet. Contrary to what some people think, the Pegan Diet includes animal and plant-based foods, including gluten-free grains, but excludes refined carbohydrates; it is rich in healthy fat but doesn’t allow dairy! In short, it brings a harmonious balance between a Vegan and vegan diet to ensure an individual gets the maximum health benefits! On the surface, the Vegan and Paleo Diets seem very different. They are! The Paleo diet encourages individuals to go on a diet plan that mostly asks them to consume fully organic and unprocessed meat and grains.
On the other hand, Vegan asks an individual to let go of meat entirely and only focus on foods provided by mother nature herself. So, how exactly do these two opposites work together? When mindfully combined and taking the best from each, the vegan and Paleo diets produce an amazingly balanced meal plan that benefits the body, mind, and soul. Veganism’s emphasis on vegetables and plant proteins provides many vital vitamins and minerals, whereas Paleo’s emphasis on unprocessed foods provides anti-inflammatory benefits. With such a wide variety of ingredients, beginners might need help to choose which ingredients they are allowed to follow. The simple and handy pantry list provided in this book will help you with that and let you know all the ingredients you can consume at a glance. When you’re on your Pegan journey, you’ll be astounded by the delicious dishes that can be made with such pure ingredients: mouthwatering Ratatouille, filling salads, decadent spreads, and refreshing sorbets. This book is designed to give you a taste of the fabulous recipes, possibly with the Pegan pantry. Once you get the hang of it, you can create unique recipes!
The Core Tenants Of Pegan Diet
Now that we have a basic idea of what makes up a proper vegan diet, we should look at the principles or the tenets behind the vegan diet. One must be aware of these tenets, as using the rule of thumb may need to be clarified. After all, a vegan diet is clear; one can only eat plant-based things. A paleo diet is also clear: one should eat simple, unprocessed foods. However, as a vegan diet is separate and less restrictive, the limitations and tenets could be more intuitive. The Pegan diet’s recommendations are sound:
- Fresh, locally sourced, preferably organic food
- Nothing refined or processed
- A focus on not raising blood sugar
Hyman has stated that the vegan diet can be defined by one simple rule: “If God made it, eat it; if man made it, leave it.”
Focus on having a mainly plant-based diet.
The first tenet is that one should primarily have a plant-based diet. Though, as we stated earlier, the consumption of animal proteins is allowed, most of the things one eats should be plant-based. A good rule is that half or a bit more than half of one’s plate should be filled with vegetables. About seven or eight cups of vegetables and fruits a day are the World Health Organization’s recommendation. They would serve as a great starting point. However, not all plant-based foods should be indulged in significant quantities. Some foods, such as starchy vegetables like potatoes and squash, should be more limited. Most of the vegetable portion is leafy greens instead. One of the aims of this diet is to help regulate one’s blood sugar, meaning that prioritizing low—glycemic index foods is essential to the diet, and having foods high in simple carbohydrates and high glycemic—index foods would defeat the purpose. Also, fruits and the principles behind modifying starchy vegetables should be limited. However, this tip is more for those who are still overweight and have a greater need to manage blood sugar. If one has no blood sugar problems, most fruit is delicate. Suppose one is plagued with controlling their blood sugar, however, primarily low. In that case, glycemic index fruits should be consumed, with sweeter fruits being treated every so often, being treated more like candy than a regular part of one’s dinner plate.
Make sure to consume healthy fats.
The second tenet would be to aim mainly to consume healthy fats. Fats are essential to one’s nutrition, but remember that it is best consumed in their whole food form. Some better fats would be found in unprocessed foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Some animal products with healthier fats include eggs and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. They use extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or even coconut oil to garnish uncooked dishes such as salads or to use when cooking would help. This is not a vegan diet; animal and saturated fat from unprocessed sources, such as meats, fish, eggs, butter, or ghee, is allowed. However, note that saturated fat is nasty if combined with refined sugars and starches. Also, common oils such as vegetables, beans, and seeds tend to be very processed. Thus, they are not recommended to be used.
Consume Meat in Moderation
One of the most surprising things people notice about the vegan diet is that it allows meat to be eaten, even if it takes a lot from the vegan diet. However, even if the heart is permitted, it is recommended that it is kept to a small amount per meal. It should act as a side dish or condiment, with the vegetables making up most of the meal. Some animal protein forms, such as insects, can be consumed other than poultry or grass-fed beef. However, this may be only for the more adventurous souls.
Eat whole grains and beans.
Make sure to include only whole grains in your diet and ignore other types of grains. Even grain flours should be avoided. However, these should still be limited to small portions of whole grains, about one cup maximum per meal. Even though some grains can have high protein content, the focus should still be on leafy vegetables. Beans are another excellent inclusion, but starchy beans should be avoided. However, lentils and other similar beans are good for you as they are great for introducing fiber, protein, and minerals into one’s diet. However, they should be cooked thoroughly to limit the number of digestion problems one may have, thanks to bean consumption.
Avoid processed sugars
While sugar need not be eliminated from one’s diet, processed sugars should be avoided as much as possible, as the pegan diet aims to steer us away from anything that could spike insulin production and elevate blood sugar. However, this does not mean one is banned from eating sugary things. Still, consumption should be minimal, and this should be seen as a treat, not a regular item in your diet.
Limit Dairy Consumption
People who adhere to the vegan diet or paleo must catch up on the most dairy. Dairy products are one of the favorite products of people worldwide. The fact that paleo and vegan diets limit this is one hump many people have a hard time overcoming. In this case, with the pegan diet, dairy is permissible. However, thanks to the high impact dairy has on the environment, due to the production process, it is advised to be consumed in limited amounts and, as much as possible, sourced from sustainable sources. However, dairy is a good protein source and can be treated as such.
Avoid chemicals and preservatives.
As much as possible, chemicals and preservatives should be avoided in foods. This includes chemical additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial sweeteners, or other junk ingredients. GMO foods are all right, though as much as possible, natural foods are better. However, as GMO foods are meant to make production more efficient, with more food produced relative to land use, they also improve sustainability. However, GMO foods also tend to go through a lot of processing, so they should still be consumed in limited amounts.
Choose Sustainably Produced Foods
As much as possible, food consumed should be grown sustainably. However, this is more for the planet’s and the environment’s health than personal health. Organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised meats should be used as much as possible. When it comes to fish, wild fish is always preferable due to the less dangerous chemicals, such as mercury. Still, again, one must ensure that they are sourced sustainably.
Incredible Health Benefits Of The Pegan Diet
The Pegan diet has many benefits, with weight loss being the most favorable outcome. But there are others, too, and when these things work together, not only does that help drop the number on the scale, but it aids in clearer thinking and helps lead to an overall healthier, happier life. This is no exaggeration. The Pegan Diet combines the best components of both diets and creates something special.
Lose Weight Effortlessly
That last word is no joke. Science reports that sugar and carbohydrates immediately get stored as fat if unused. On the flip side, healthy fats —a pillar of the Pegan diet—are not stored as fat because they are not processed in your liver. The body prefers to use fat as an energy source over carbohydrates or simple sugars, at least for the long haul. So unless you’re running marathons or working out for hours daily, you’ll never burn off those stored calories from sugar and unhealthy carbs.
On top of that, many people sit at a desk all day. However, eating the Pegan way is about more than calories in calories out. It’s more about what kind of calories and when. It focuses on the quality of our food choices versus the number of favorites. You heard it right: No calorie counting! And it works. In the early days of putting this book together, when I took my advice more closely, I lost the last few pounds I had wanted to eliminate for a while. And they have stayed off, too.
Helps To Reduce Belly Fat
Here’s the other kicker: eating too many processed foods and not enough whole, fresh foods, as we now know, can lead to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation lays the foundation for developing potentially harmful diseases and causes cortisol levels to spike, putting you under constant stress. The unfortunate reaction to that hormone imbalance is stored visceral fat. This lousy fat collects around significant organs and expands waistlines. Focusing on a colorful variety of fresh, whole foods in their purest form while minimizing dairy can prevent these hormonal shifts from reducing belly fat. And—you guessed it—by shedding belly fat, you also shed the pounds. While exercise is not the focus of this book, adding minimal strength training to your routine will boost the Pegan lifestyle powers. You will notice more muscle definition. Lean muscle mass burns calories more efficiently throughout the day than belly fat. This is imperative not just for weight loss but for weight maintenance once you reach your goal.
Helps You With Food Craving
Have you ever experienced out-of-control cravings for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Pizza at any time of the day, bagels, ready sandwiches, or chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate in any form? Admittedly, those were my crazy cravings before I shifted into a Paleo, then Pegan, lifestyle. There’s a reason why these high-protein, low-carb, low- or no-sugar diets work. Carbohydrates and any form of sugar, even in the form of an artificial sweetener, cause insulin levels to spike. Suppose you eat carbs or sugars frequently throughout the day. In that case, even if it’s in the form of what is considered by some to be healthy, like orange juice, whole-wheat toast, or gluten-free pasta, insulin remains high throughout the day, even at night. In prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, this can lead to insulin resistance. For the record, vegetables are carbs, too. However, they don’t have the same impact on blood sugar because of their high fiber count. That said, beans and grains are also high in fiber. Still, they have many hard-to-burn starchy carbs, too, which is why the Pegan diet outlines optimal choices and encourages moderation in this category. Carb consumption has addiction-like characteristics; it leads to cravings for more and more carbs (so don’t blame your lack of willpower). Like alcohol abuse, too much insulin can lead to a fatty liver. Double yikes.
Helps To Regulate Your Appetite
Too much insulin also causes problems with appetite control by blocking leptin in the brain. You’ll think you’re hungry, even if your body has all the energy it needs. By not stressing over calories and focusing on choosing high-quality, fresh, whole foods, you’ll see how much your body will naturally regulate your appetite every time you sit down to a meal or eat on the run. You will remember what it feels like to be truly hungry and be able to give your body only what it needs. You will also become more familiar with what it feels like to be complete. However, the Pegan diet is about eating until you’re full, not stuffed. And it’s hard to load yourself on broccoli, right? When your ability to perceive a sense of fullness improves, you will likely eat less in general, leading to more weight loss!
It Makes You Less Lethargic And Clears Up Mental Fog
The energy boost you’ll feel when you kick processed carbs and sugars to the curb is life-changing. At least, it was for me. Two things cause this: The lack of sugar in your diet helps ward off those erratic, emotional, addiction-like behaviors and cravings for unhealthy foods; also, by increasing our intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, walnuts, grass-fed beef and butter, and low-mercury fish, we’re sending energy to and feeding our brain. Neurons crave fat; they fire better when you fuel them with it. Recent studies show that healthy fats are not just great for heart health; they are more critical for brain and nerve health. Besides the mental clarity you will experience, eating vegetables and other foods in their natural state will provide you with more energy to fuel your day than you ever imagined.
Improves Your Gut Health
You might be hearing more about probiotics and gut flora, and there’s a reason. Scientists, dietitians, doctors, and nutritionists see the connection between poor gut health and everything from digestive tract problems to disease development, weight gain, and belly fat. These experts report that most people have low amounts of good and bad bacteria in their intestines. That’s not anyone’s fault, though. It has more to do with how food is grown in the United States and how drugs are prescribed or, perhaps, overprescribed. Soil health, especially in nonorganic plots, is not excellent in this country, to the extent that even organic farms have had to work hard to develop the proper nitrogen levels to grow fruits and vegetables with nutritional adequacy. There are toxins in many forms in the environment, from pollutants in the air you breathe to the water—including carbon-filtered water—you drink and even from the furniture you sit on. It would help if you had more pre-and probiotics, or good bacteria, to fight off these toxins and stay regular in your gut flora. Sure, there are probiotics in fortified dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. Still, these products tend to have a lot of sugar, not to mention nonpastured dairy sources. You can obtain just as many good probiotics from a wider variety of fruits and vegetables and antioxidant-rich prebiotics such as onions, leeks, garlic, and others in the Alum family. I also like to take a refrigerated probiotic pill each morning on an empty stomach to ensure I’m getting all I need.
Helps With Good Cholesterol
As I did, your total cholesterol level may rise after eating the Pegan way for some time. That’s likely due to the rise in healthy cholesterol levels (HDLs), even if the harmful cholesterol levels (LDLs) stay the same or, better yet, go down. As we now know, neither saturated fat nor eggs are the villains they once were portrayed. Processed foods, oils, sugar, and processed carbs have been linked to high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, which can cause heart disease. So go ahead and eat that healthy fat; choose pastured proteins and nontoxic fish to ensure you get omega-3 fatty acids, not the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids found in meat, corn-fed animals, and processed foods.
Improves Your Palate
Try cutting out sugar entirely for a week, and you’ll notice how sickeningly sweet anything with sugar becomes, even certain fruits! This is also true of salt. You will soon see how overly salty things can taste when dining out when you scale back on restaurant food and cook your meals using good-quality salt in moderation. The good news is that contemporary chefs are starting to veer away from salty toward savory and acidic flavors. After adopting the Pegan diet, even once-detested broccoli has become my favorite. There are many ways to develop food flavor without extra salt or sweeteners. This can be achieved by adding a little extra garlic and onion, which are powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, as well as fresh or dried herbs; spices for heat; fat in the form of healthy oils and butter; and acid in the form of roasted tomatoes, vinegar, or a splash of citrus. Nuts and seeds round out a dish with that nice crunchy texture we crave; no need to look for that in chips anymore. When combined, hitting all these senses will prove that healthy is also very delicious.
Re-invigorates Your Skin
This is a fun one. When I cut out sugar and unhealthy carbs, save for treats on rare occasions, I noticed that I didn’t have to wear as much foundation and that my skin glowed and softened a little. The Pegan diet improves your skin by increasing quality fats, foods rich in Vitamin E (such as avocados), collagen in Homemade Bone Broth, pastured, bone-in meats (yes, it’s OK to gnaw on a bone like our Paleo ancestors!), and beta carotene found in orange- and deep-colored vegetables.
Helps To Change Your Lifestyle
Eating the Pegan way will dramatically change your life for the better. As you can see, you will not only look and feel better, but you will be better equipped to tackle life’s many mental and physical challenges. That sounds like a tall order, but making wise food choices and refocusing your goals will free you up from all the time spent wondering what, when, and how to eat while fueling your body and brain with the ingredients they need to perform at their best level. No more yo-yo dieting and fleeting results. Your new best you will become the permanent you.
What To Eat On A Vegan Diet
The first step into embracing the Pegan lifestyle is to stock up your kitchen pantry and fridge according to your diet requirements. Remember that the following is not an exhaustive list but should give you an idea of the essential items you will need. Choose wisely from them based on the types of meals you will prepare instead of just running out and buying everything at once. I kept the list as simple as possible, so you should be able to get most, if not all, of the items at your local grocery store.
- Red Apples
- Artichoke Hearts, water-packed
- Baby Spinach, fresh
- Basil, fresh
- Bell Pepper, green, yellow, or orange
- Berries of different colors, such as strawberries, raspberries,
- Bok Choy
- Cabbage, Red, or Napa
- Chard, Swiss
- Chives, fresh
- Cilantro, fresh
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Lettuce, Boston, Red Leaf, Or Romaine
- Onions, Yellow Or Red
- Oregano, Fresh
- Parsley, Flat Leaf
- Peppers, Jalapenos, Or Serrano
- Rosemary, Fresh
- Squash, Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn, Yellow Or Summer
- Sweet Potatoes
- Tomatoes, Fresh
- Meat And Poultry
- Beef, Grass-Fed
- Bison, Grass-Fed
- Butter, Grass-Fed
- Chicken, Pastured, Or Organic
- Eggs, Pastured or Organic
- Game, Elk, Or Venison
- Lamb, Pastured, Grass-Fed
- Pork, Pastured, Or Crate Free
- Turkey, Pastured
- Arctic Char, Wild
- Clams, Canned Or Fresh
- Crab, Canned Or Fresh
- Herring, Wild-Caught
- Mackerel, Atlantic Or Pacific
- Salmon, Wild Caught, Fresh Or Canned
- Sardines, Fresh Or Canned
- Tuna, Line-Caught, Fresh
- Nuts And Seeds
- Almond Butter, Raw/ Dry Roasted, Unsalted
- Almonds, Raw
- Brazil Nuts, Raw
- Cashew Butter, Roasted, Unsalted
- Cashews, Raw
- Chia Seeds
- Hazelnuts, Raw Or Dry Roasted, Unsalted
- Macadamia Nuts, Raw Or Dry Roasted, Unsalted
- Pecans, Raw, Unsalted
- Pine Nuts, From Italian Sources
- Pistachio, Raw Or Dry Roasted Unsalted
- Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Or Dry Roasted, Unsalted
- Sesame Seeds, Toasted
- Walnut Oil
- Walnuts, Whole, Chopped Or Raw/Unsalted
- Pantry Essentials
- Avocado Oil
- Broth Or Stock, Unsalted
- Cacao Powder, Raw
- Coconut Flakes, Unsweetened
- Coconut Oil
- Dates, Medjool
- Honey, Raw
- Hot Sauce, No Additives
- Maple Syrup, No Additives
- Mustard Dijon
- Nori Sheets
- Nutritional Yeast
- Olive Oil, Extra Virgin, Cold-Pressed
- Salsa, No Sugar Or Additives
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce, Gluten-Free, Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- Tofu, Sprouted
- Tomatoes, No Sugar Or Salt Added
- Vanilla, Extra Pure/No Alcohol
- Vinegars, Balsamic/Red Wine/Cider /Sherry/ Coconut/Rice
- Wasabi Paste
- Spices And Herbs
- Bay Leaves
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Cinnamon, Ground
- Cumin, Ground
- Curry Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Nutmeg Whole
- Onion Powder
- Oregano, Dried
- Paprika, Hot
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Thyme, Dried
28-Day Vegan Diet Weight Loss Plan
|1||Vegan Smoothie||Quinoa Salad||Lentil Soup||Mixed Nuts|
|2||Overnight Oats||Chickpea Wrap||Grilled Portobello Mushrooms||Fresh Fruit|
|3||Vegan Pancakes||Vegan Burrito||Stuffed Bell Peppers||Carrot Sticks with Hummus|
|4||Chia Seed Pudding||Vegan Chili||Roasted Vegetable Stir-Fry||Almonds|
|5||Avocado Toast||Vegan Sushi||Vegan Spaghetti||Vegan Protein Bar|
|6||Vegan Smoothie||Mediterranean Salad||Cauliflower “Steak”||Sliced Cucumber with Guacamole|
|7||Vegan Waffles||Quinoa Bowl||Vegan Tacos||Fresh Berries|
|8||Tofu Scramble||Vegan Stir-Fry||Butternut Squash Soup||Trail Mix|
|9||Vegan Yogurt with Berries||Vegan Sandwich||Vegan Pizza||Sliced Bell Peppers|
|10||Smoothie Bowl||Vegan Wrap||Vegan Curry||Celery Sticks with Peanut Butter|
|11||Vegan Pancakes||Vegan Salad||Vegan Stir-Fry||Dried Fruit|
|12||Overnight Oats||Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad||Vegan Lasagna||Vegan Protein Shake|
|13||Vegan Toast with Nut Butter||Vegan Sushi||Stuffed Bell Peppers||Cherry Tomatoes|
|14||Vegan Smoothie||Vegan Burrito||Vegan Tacos||Mixed Nuts|
|15||Vegan Waffles||Quinoa Bowl||Lentil Soup||Fresh Fruit|
|16||Tofu Scramble||Vegan Chili||Vegan Spaghetti||Carrot Sticks with Hummus|
|17||Avocado Toast||Vegan Stir-Fry||Vegan Pizza||Almonds|
|18||Chia Seed Pudding||Mediterranean Salad||Roasted Vegetable Stir-Fry||Vegan Protein Bar|
|19||Vegan Yogurt with Berries||Vegan Sandwich||Cauliflower “Steak”||Sliced Cucumber with Guacamole|
|20||Vegan Smoothie||Chickpea Wrap||Vegan Curry||Trail Mix|
|21||Vegan Pancakes||Vegan Salad||Vegan Lasagna||Dried Fruit|
|22||Overnight Oats||Vegan Sushi||Grilled Portobello Mushrooms||Cherry Tomatoes|
|23||Vegan Toast with Nut Butter||Quinoa Salad||Vegan Tacos||Mixed Nuts|
|24||Vegan Waffles||Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad||Butternut Squash Soup||Fresh Berries|
|25||Tofu Scramble||Vegan Stir-Fry||Vegan Spaghetti||Vegan Protein Shake|
|26||Avocado Toast||Vegan Burrito||Vegan Pizza||Sliced Bell Peppers|
|27||Chia Seed Pudding||Vegan Sandwich||Stuffed Bell Peppers||Almonds|
|28||Vegan Yogurt with Berries||Mediterranean Salad||Lentil Soup||Trail Mix|
Adjust portion sizes and ingredients to suit your preferences and dietary needs. Also, remember to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water or herbal teas.