Paleo diet adherents are often thought of as heavy meat eater, but vegan fitness expert Ellen Jaffe says you can be a vegan on a 100% Paleo diet.
In her bestselling cookbook, Paleo Vegan: Plant-Based Primal Recipes, Jaffee and co-author Alan Roettinger combined the principles of the Paleo and vegan diets by eliminating animal protein and replacing it with healthy plant-based proteins.
The result is a hybrid Paleo vegan (or “Pegan”) diet that can satisfy the palates of both Paleos and vegans.
Jaffe says the Paleo and vegan diets have more in common than most people realize. Both diets are largely plant-based, and have been touted for enhancing natural weight loss, preventing disease and promoting anti-aging health.
The Paleo diet emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods. The vegan diet excludes all animal products but allows grains.
According to Jaffe, people who say a Paleo-vegan diet isn’t possible have a skewed understanding of how much animal meat caveman actually consumed.
Culinary genius Alan Roettinger, author of Extraordinary Vegan, co-authored “Paleo Vegan” with Jaffe. Alan said substituting hemp seeds, nuts, and protein-rich vegetables for animal protein makes a Paleo-vegan diet nutritious and delicious.
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, said Alan. Despite what people may think, the respected private chef said hemp seeds and chia seeds alone are a plentiful enough source to build and sustain tissues, even in athletes.
Roettinger said creating recipes that are both Paleo and vegan for Paleo Vegan was surprisingly easy.
“The fundamental principle of a Paleo diet is 99% identical to my own approach to a vegan diet, which is simply to adhere as much as possible to nature’s standard for food: fresh, whole, raw, organic, local, and diverse,” said Alan. “No processed foods (especially sugar and refined oils), no dairy products.”
Chef Roettinger continued: “Where we differ is minimal. A vegan diet excludes meat and includes beans and grains. So aside from the meat, we’re really on the same page. And that’s something to celebrate!”
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, Beyonce and Jared Leto. They 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, the 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.