The pegan diet has been called the love child of both vegan and paleo and lucky offspring that it is, it combines the best of both. For those that need a reminder, paleo followers seek out foods that were hunted and gathered by ancestors including grass-fed meat, fish, eggs, nuts, non-starchy vegetables, fruits and good fats. The vegan diet majors on grains, fruit, vegetables and nuts and seeds but avoids any animal products or by-products, including honey.
In essence, a pegan diet it maintains the paleo ethos of ‘real’ foods as nature intended with added fibre and grains. A diet low in fibre results in poor digestion and thus the potential reabsorption of toxins.
I only wish I’d coined the term myself, but then again, the other way to describe the pegan diet is, well, healthy eating!
Why care about it pegan?
Because it is common sense. If you can’t pronounce what it says on the label you probably shouldn’t be eating it. If it is whole grain, low GI and high in fibre, it’s good for you and your digestion. Pegan is less restrictive than both vegan and paleo and therefore a more sustainable dietary approach long term. It’s also gluten and dairy free which supports many people with health issues.
For many people, the paleo diet contained an unsustainable amount of meat - hardly practical for families or those on a budget and often lacked fibre if not thought out very well. A vegan diet done without care and attention may lack protein.
Any nutritious diet that cuts out added sugar, hidden harmful fats and excess salt will help you lose weight, and that includes adopting the pegan approach. The key here is that the pegan diet contains naturally fibre rich filling foods, it’s easier to follow. A diet high in fibre can help you feel fuller for longer and stabilise blood sugar levels which can reduce or eliminate sweet cravings.
Depending on the intake of nuts and seeds and oily fish you may require some omega-3 supplementation alongside vitamin D which is nigh on impossible to get from food alone.
Here's a classic 'pegan' day on a plate...
Start the day with a vegetable smoothie with added fibre and healthy fats from chia seed and a digestive boost from a swig of fermented kefir.
Fuel mid-morning munchies with low GI gluten-free oat cakes topped with potassium rich banana
Max the veggies at lunch with a mixed-vegetable tortilla with walnut pesto and seasonal salad leaves. Add a baked sweet potato if you are hungry.
Pre-gym - Try a spicy lentil soup to warm up on a cold winter’s day or grab a handful of nuts and seeds
Savour vegetable sides as much as your chosen fish or meat at dinner - warm kale and peanut salad or cauliflower mash are pegan favourites.
Check out my recipe section for pegan-friendly foods!