I've been mostly Paleo for a few months now. I'm not eating any grains, am keeping the sugar way low, not using any of the cheap oils (canola, soy, etc.). I was consuming about a cup of grass-fed raw milk almost every day for the past couple of weeks. It didn't nearly bother me as much as pasteurized organic milk or cheese from the store (which caused morning congestion), but I'm still not sure exactly how healthy dairy is in one's diet, so I'm going to take a break from that for a little while to see what happens.
I am currently eating meat, mainly free range poultry, wild caught fish, and every once in a while some grass-fed red meat, in addition to at least one organic egg per day. I'm also currently taking Carlson's Cod Liver Oil for vitamin D and omega-3.
I've been a gluten-free vegan before, but I found I just wasn't getting enough nutrition (blacking out when I got up, lack of energy, no menstruation, etc.). Then I found the Paleo/Primal diet, which has been really great for me. I have a lot more energy and motivation to exercise. I've never really had any big health issues or problems with my weight (I am slightly underweight and thin & lean, and have always been than way). I'm not a big eater, but I love cooking. I would eventually like to transition to a grain-free vegetarian diet, though. I know this question has been asked before, but I was wondering what the current opinion would be. My reasons for wanting to try this would be mainly ethical. I wouldn't want to have an animal slaughtered if I could help it, because I love and have great compassion for all animals.
So, that begs the question, would a vegetarian Paleo diet work?
Protein: Protein being for the most part pastured organic eggs (would 2-3 eggs a day be a lot?), maybe hemp protein or some raw cheeses thrown in there every once in a while. (Is the raw cheese and raw yogurt preferred over straight raw milk if dairy is included? Not sure how healthy it is for a fair amount of the protein to come from milk protein.) Maybe spirulina/chorella powder in green smoothies? I also have trouble when I eat too many nuts, (plus they are high omega-6 anyway) so additionally some almonds as an occasional snack.
Omegas: For whatever reason, the omega-3/omega-6 ratio is REALLY important to me. Ideally, I would want to have say, double 3 than 6. I found this supplement, derived from algae (thoughts?): http://www.allvitaminsplus.com/895634000362.html
Misc: Then of course plenty of organic green veggies, small amounts of berries, coconut milk, cooking with: butter, ghee, coconut oil or pure olive oil. I eat lots of salads, and love baking with coconut flour which of course requires eggs. If I want something sweet that's quick and easy, I usually go for a piece of dark chocolate. I use stevia frequently followed by small amounts of honey or pure maple syrup.
I don't want to eat any of the "seed-like grains" if possible, and same goes for beans - they just seem like not the healthiest sources of protein that just act like fillers in the diet. My main goal here, just like anyone else's, is to live the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible through optimal nutrition and lifestyle choices.
Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated...I know how experienced some of you are in the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. Thanks so much!
I guess it depends upon your definition of "works". To avoid retyping a boatload, you can check out this link for my 2 cents since I am a lacto-ovo eater that follows an Ancestral approach to my eating.
The short version of the above link -
As per the Archevore approach, my definition of a Paleo diet has been primarily based on avoiding the ubiquitous Neolithic Agents of Disease
Optimal...no. Better than SAD...absolutely!
EDIT - Since "Guest" asked about specifics of what I eat, I decided to expand my answer. Here's what I wrote on Facebook for the International Paleo Movement Group regarding "Vegetarian Paleo Notes" - http://www.facebook.com/groups/116409718456748/doc/119210618176658/
In case you cannot access the FB group, here is the text -
I am a Lacto-Ovo Archevore (http://www.archevore.com/get-started/) with a hint of Perfect Health Diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/). Stephan Guyenet (http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/) has been a HUGE influence.
Archevore 12 steps with my vegetarian-specific editoral in UPPERCASE
Elminate sugar and all foods that contain flour. CAN BE 100% COMPLIANT AS A VEGETARIAN. NOTE THAT I EMPHATICALLY INCLUDE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AS TOXINS TO BE ELIMINATED
Start eating proper (animal) fats - USE BUTTER/GHEE, COCONUT OIL
Eliminate gluten grains. Limit grains like corn and rice, which are nutritionally poor. THE ONLY GRAIN I EAT IS WHITE RICE. YES WHITE RICE IS BETTER THAN BROWN RICE
Eliminate grain and seed derived oils (cooking oils) Cook with Ghee, butter, animal fats, or coconut oil. Use no temperate plant oils like corn, soy, canola, flax, walnut, etc. - USE BUTTER/GHEE, COCONUT OIL
Favor ruminants like beef, lamb and bison for your red meat. EAT PASTURED EGGS (INCLUDING YOLK) AND/OR OCEAN FISH. IF YOU ARE LACTO VEGETARIAN, CLEARLY YOU CANNOT ADHERE TO THIS STEP.
Make sure you are Vitamin D replete. Get daily midday sun or consider supplementation - CAN BE 100% COMPLIANT AS VEGETARIAN
2 or 3 meals a day is best. Don't graze like a herbivore - CAN BE 100% COMPLIANT AS VEGETARIAN
Attend to your 6s and 3s. Pastured (grass fed) dairy and grass fed beef or bison has a more optimal 6:3 ratio, more vitamins and CLA. If you can't eat enough pastured products, eat plenty of fish. I DO NOT FAVOR (HYPER) SUPPLEMENTATION OF OMEGA-3. MY FOCUS IS THE ELIMINATION OF EXCESS OMEGA-6 VIS-A-VIS VEGETABLE OILS. EVENTUALLY YOUR O-3/O-6 WILL BECOME MORE FAVORABLE.
Get proper exercise - emphasizing resistance and interval training over long aerobic sessions. - CAN BE 100% COMPLIANT AS VEGETARIAN
Most modern fruit is just a candy bar from a tree. Go easy on bags of sugar like apples. Stick with berries and avoid watermelon which is pure fructose. Eat in moderation. If you are not trying to lose fat, a few pieces of fruit a day are fine. FRUIT IS UNESSENTIAL. IF YOU ARE NOT OVERWEIGHT AND LIKE FRUIT AND/OR USE AS POST WORKOUT GLYCOGEN REPLENISHMENT, THEN FINE. I EAT VERY LITTLE FRUIT SINCE GOING PALEO, BUT TO EACH THEIR OWN.
Eliminate legumes - I EAT TRADITIONALLY PREPARED LENTILS (SOAKED, SPROUTED, ETC) EXCLUDING SOY. THERE ARE ENOUGH ISSUES WITH SOY THAT I FEEL IT PRUDENT TO AVOID. IF YOU FEEL OTHERWISE, "SOY BE IT".
If you are allergic to milk protein or concerned about theoretical risks of casein, you can stick to butter and cream and avoid milk and soft cheeses. - I EAT COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF DAIRY. BEYOND BUTTER/GHEE, MY PREFERENCE IS FERMENTED DAIRY FROM RAW SOURCES IF POSSIBLE WITH THE NEXT BEST BEING ORGANIC, LOW TEMP PASTUREIZED. SEVERAL OF THE ALLEGED ISSUES WITH DAIRY APPEAR TO BE CORRELATED WITH GLUTEN. THEREFORE GLUTEN MAY BE THE PRIMARY PROBLEM
Dont forget lifestyle changes
2-3 eggs/day is nothing compared to what many people eat. I usually have 5-8.
Not sure why you'd want double the omega 3s as 6s. It doesn't make much sense biologically, 2:1 in favor of 6s seems to be preferred, or at least 1:1.
Omega 6s in and of themselves aren't bad, it's when the proportion gets out of control that it becomes a problem.
Paleo means eating what was available with the seasons as well as hunting when game was available too. I was a vegetarian for 10 years. (long time ago). Don't shy away from meat.
Research Yields Surprises about Early Human Diets Teeth Show Fruit Was the Staple
By Boyce Rensberger May 15, 1979 issue of the New York Times
To cope with these challenges, the scientists believe primates developed different strategies. Gorillas essentially became herbivores, chimps evolved into fruit specialists and hominids became omnivores, which was a wise path to follow.
Meat is rarely eaten but on special occasions they eat goat, mice and fish http://www.lehigh.edu/~dmd1/art.html
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