Culinary expert and vegan chef Alan Roettinger says you can enjoy natural weight loss and optimal health on a Paleo vegan (or Pegan) diet.
The Paleo and vegan diets have a lot more in common than most people think, said Roettinger.
In his bestselling cookbook Paleo Vegan, Alan combined the Paleo diet’s emphasis on dairy-free, gluten-free whole foods with the vegan focus on meat-free, nutritionally-dense ingredients.
Roettinger co-wrote “Paleo Vegan” with vegan advocate and fitness coach Ellen Jaffe Jones. She tackled the part of the book that discussed the weight loss and health benefits of the hybrid diet, while Alan came up with delicious recipes.
Despite the strict parameters he had to work with, Roettinger said it wasn’t hard to create Paleo-vegan (Pegan) recipes because he’s used to accommodating people’s dietary restrictions as a former personal chef.
“As a private chef, I’ve almost always been given a set of parameters to work within — preferences, likes and dislikes, dietary rules — and my job has always been to create something wonderful within my clients’ guidelines,” Alan told Examiner.
Roettinger said the fundamental principle of a Paleo diet is 99% identical to his own approach to a vegan diet, which is to adhere as much as possible to nature’s standard for food: fresh, whole, raw, organic, local, and diverse.
The Paleo diet also excludes dairy and processed foods (especially sugar and refined oils), as Celebrity Health & Fitness previously reported.
“Where we differ is minimal: A vegan diet excludes meat and includes beans and grains,” said Roettinger, who also wrote Extraordinary Vegan. “So aside from the meat, we’re really on the same page.”
Alan has been a vegan for the past seven years and has never felt better. Most people think you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet, but Roettinger said this is completely false.
“The main sources of protein on a Paleo vegan diet are nuts, seeds, and protein-rich vegetables,” Alan said. “Hemp seeds and chia seeds alone are a plentiful enough source to build and sustain tissues, even in athletes.”
Roettinger continued: “Unlike meat, which offers little more than protein and saturated fat, seeds contain protein plus essential fats, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, with very low amounts of carbohydrates. The Tarahumara of northern Mexico are known to routinely run a 100 miles on a handful of chia.”
Vegan Diet’s Weight Loss, Anti-Aging Benefits Touted
Both the Paleo and vegan diets have huge celebrity following. Famous Paleos include Tim McGraw (who credits it for his jaw-dropping 40-pound weight loss), Adriana Lima and Megan Fox.
Celebrity vegans include Demi Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jared Leto. They have all credited the plant-based diet for giving them more energy, helping them lose weight, and staying youthful-looking.
Experiencing easy weight loss and improved health on a vegan diet isn’t surprising to medical experts like Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
“The more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose,” said Fuhrman, author of The End of Dieting.
Fitness expert Robb Wolf said the Paleo diet, which is largely plant-based, prevents disease in addition to promoting natural weight loss and boosting energy.
“The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the only nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic,” said Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution.