Making The Paleo Diet Vegetarian
In paleo terms a vegetarian paleo diet is not considered optimal because of the need to include beans and legumes and the fact that it’s difficult to get enough good quality protein, but I believe it is still possible to modify the diet and get results with weight loss.
Step one is to cut out all grains and grain products, processed foods, junk foods, and excess sugars. When you are trying to lose weight one of the key objectives is to normalize you blood sugar levels. Most processed foods, junk foods and sugars are the obvious contributors. But grains and grain products like rice turn to sugar once they hit the blood stream as well. So for weight loss purposes they are best left out all together.
Eating loads of fruits and vegetables is obviously not going to be an issue for a vegetarian but you want to minimize starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes due to their high GI and sugar factor. You also want to limit your fruit intake to one piece a day.
The next step is you need to include lots of protein into your meals. This is one area vegetarians need to address regardless of weight loss because if you are just eating vegetables, then you are consuming way too many carbohydrates. This can affect your health in many areas so you absolutely need the balance
Eggs: will be a staple source of protein and should be used the most.
· Dairy: Because many people find dairy can slow down weight loss, I’d cut it out for the most part but I would recommend eating cottage cheese because it is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians.
· Beans and legumes: cooked and prepared very well. These contain some protein but also carbs as well so choose the higher protein ones like adzuki, garbanzo, and kidney beans or some lentils.
· Soy products: organic, non-GMO, fermented forms of tofu (the firm is better), tempeh or natto. Soy products are not considered optimal but for vegetarians they need to be included.
· Supplements: A good quality protein supplement will often need to be included in order to meet your overall protein requirements.
· Nuts and seeds: a good handful a day.
The key is to rotate your protein sources on an everyday basis for best results.
Next will be good quality fat sources. Despite popular belief, fat does not make you fat. You need fats for your brain and many other bodily functions. Fat also makes you feel fuller and is a great addition to any vegetarian diet.
You need to include avocadoes, eat olive and flaxseed oil dressings, coconut oil, sesame oil, macadamia or pecan oil, good quality butter or ghee, some healthy homemade mayonnaise, and nuts and seeds. Cut out all the vegetable oils such as soy, canola, grape seed and so forth as many of them are hydrogenated and processed.
So What Might A Day On Your Plate Look Like?
Breakfast: A huge mixed vegetable omelet drizzled with light olive oil
Lunch: Some adzuki bean patties and salad, topped with cottage cheese and mayonnaise
Dinner: A tofu egg bake with vegetables or a lentil and nut loaf made with egg and served with steamed vegetables and guacamole.
One piece of fruit
· A protein shake smoothie made with your protein supplement and some mixed berries or banana
· A handful of nuts
· Vegetable egg muffins
· Vegetable sticks and guacamole
· A bean patty topped with cottage cheese
You can see how all the meals will be a combination of protein, vegetables, and a small amount of good quality fats.
So I hope that’s helped you see how you can change the paleo diet to suit the vegetarian lifestyle. And the tips I’ve given you here will not only help you lose weight but they will improve your vegetarian diet overall.