The basic idea of the paleo diet comes from a meal that was commonly eaten by older men. That diet was devoid of all the sweet things we spice our meals with. Despite this, the diet has recently become very popular. A major characteristic of a paleo meal is that there are fewer or no vegetables at all. On average, the paleo diet consists of 25% protein, 40% carbohydrates and about 35% fat.
A recent addition to the paleo concept is the vegetarian paleo meal. I know it sounds a little bit odd to talk about a vegetarian paleo meal since the paleo diet is generally lower in vegetable content, but it is possible.
Why go for paleo if you are vegetarian?
The best dietary choices right now are the vegan diet or the paleo diet. The major similarity between the two is that they are solely focused on fresh, whole, real and sustainable food. A huge advantage of combining the two diets is that it is grain-free, low on sugar and obviously low in animal protein.
Can you be a vegetarian paleo?
Admittedly, vegetarians will find it tough to stick to the paleo diet since they get their protein from plant-based sources such as grains and cereals. Those are off limits in a vegetarian paleo diet. This means you will no longer enjoy your wheat, beans, legumes, cheese and peanuts as sources of protein.
The good news is that it is indeed possible to be vegetarian while on the paleo diet. It is normal to feel a bit sluggish during the first week of trying it. Keep in mind that this can last a few days or even a few weeks. However, once this phase is done, you will slowly start feeling energized once again and the sluggish phase will be gone forever.
Protein options for a vegetarian paleo meal
One of the biggest issues with vegetarian paleo meals is where to get your protein. It should be remembered that proteins provide crucial nutrients. Therefore, do not forget this all-important part of your diet — rather, explore the alternatives.
The very first alternative is to increase your egg intake. Eating a lot more eggs is not harmful because this is the primary source of protein you have left. In fact, you may choose eggs as your primary source of protein (accounting for 50% of your protein). In this case, you can do a dozen eggs every day.
Another alternative is soaked or sprouted legumes. The paleo diet recommends avoiding grains and legumes due to their high content of anti-nutrients. To reduce the anti-nutrients, soak and sprout the legumes. Although sprouting will significantly reduce the anti-nutrient level, you may cook the legumes to rid them of their anti-nutrients even further.
In order to get best results with a vegetarian paleo diet, tune your mind to focus on the right foods. Also, try to control your environment in a way that does not tempt you to go back to junk food.