Vegetarian and Paleo


Vegetarian and Paleo

If you are looking for vegetarian paleo recipes click here: Vegetarian Paleo Recipes Let me start by saying that I am an omnivore (omnivore) myself

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If you are looking for vegetarian paleo recipes click here: Vegetarian Paleo Recipes

Let me start by saying that I am an omnivore (omnivore) myself and that I also think that we as humans have been developed to eat plants as well as meat and fish.

Our digestion is made to deal efficiently with both animal and plant foods. Nevertheless, some people (an ever-growing group of people) choose to live as a vegetarian, and I respect that. This can be for religious, ethical or health reasons.

I have therefore been asked whether Paleo is suitable for vegetarians. And I want to clarify that in this article.

If vegetarian / vegan means to you that you avoid all animal products, you could theoretically also survive on pizza, soy crackers and cola. But since you are reading this blog and you are interested in the Paleo lifestyle, I assume you would like to have a more healthy lifestyle.

What do you eat as a vegetarian within paleo?
healthy fats
As you know, fruit and vegetables are super important at paleo, so that’s all right. Because as a paleo vegetarian you already have less variation, it is very important that you get to know all possible vegetables and start cooking creatively, also with herbs. A good rule is to use as many colors of the rainbow as possible in your weekly menu. . And no, dyes don’t count. 😉 Also add as many healthy fats as possible in the form of nuts, nut butters, avocados, ghee, …

The main source of protein in a vegetarian paleo diet may be eggs. They are also a good source of important micronutrients such as B vitamins and choline that you do not find in plant foods. Eat at least 1 egg per day (and preferably a few more).

You can also supplement with protein shakes to get enough protein. Not ideal, but it is an option … Also experiment with dairy: if you notice that your body can handle it, there is nothing wrong with consuming (raw!) Milk, (Greek) yogurt and the like now and then. And opt for the fat version, not the creamed or the lean.

If you cannot find enough protein in eggs and dairy and you prefer not to drink protein shakes, you may want to consider eating legumes and pseudocereals. That is, if you can prepare them correctly. Legumes and pseudocereals still contain a lot of harmful substances (that is why they do not fit into a paleo diet), which you can partly eliminate by soaking or sprouting -acid (that’s also what traditional peoples did!). This makes them easier to digest and can cause less damage to your body. Tempeh and natto (made from fermented soy) aren’t a terribly bad choice either, and are good sources of vitamin K2. Oh, linseed – also a good option!

Last but not least, nuts are also relatively high in protein, but unfortunately they also come with quite large amounts of omega 6 fats (while we just want to limit those types of fats in a Paleo diet)

As a vegetarian you eat less protein anyway than other paleo followers, you will automatically eat more carbohydrates. You can look for these in (sweet) potatoes, parsnips, pumpkins and other starchy vegetables. Fruit counts, of course, but unless you exercise a lot, you should still pay attention to this: most types of fruit can have a significant impact on your sugar level. We recommend eating 2 to 3 pieces of fruit per day.

Vegetarian and Paleo


Vegetarian, paleo and sports. How much protein do you need in combination with training?

Before I go into this question further; Just a fun fact about proteins. Did you know there is such a thing as protein hunger? In the book “The perfect health diet” more attention is paid to it. In short, it means that your body continues to feel hungry as long as it does not get enough protein. This also explains, for example, why people often (in the beginning) “do” so well on a protein diet. Ok, so far the Triviant questions;). How much protein should you eat as a vegetarian now? It depends on. What is your goal, what is your background, what else do you eat? Nice, you might think now, I don’t know anything yet. I’ll make it a little more specific.

If you really want to lose a lot of weight or do extremely heavy training, you can make up to 35% of your diet consist of proteins.
If you train quite heavily and want to build strength and muscle mass and be able to recover sufficiently, aim at about 25-30%.
If you are active on a daily basis, are a bit older, chronically ill or you experience a lot of stress, you may benefit from a slightly increased protein intake of around 20-25%.

Please note that the above guidelines are. Every person is different and different factors play a role. Generally speaking, if you are a fairly intensively active vegetarian, you want to focus on a protein intake of around 25%.

Imagine you are a woman who weighs 70 kilos, then your protein requirement (70 × 30) is 2100 kcal. 25% of 2100 kcal is 525 kcal. 525/4 (calorie value of protein) = 131 grams

What are good Paleo-proof protein sources for athletic vegetarians?

Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete recommends making eggs an important part of your meals. Make sure that your egg tolerates well. does it make you windy, tired or bloated? Then moderate your intake. Nuts and seeds are also a good source, but they are relatively high in fat. Again, balance is the keyword here. Occasionally nuts and seeds are fine, but certainly not every meal. Frazier also recommends eating, for example, hemp seed and the occasional buckwheat, quinoa or legumes. Take these sources from the 20% “non Paleo thought” and preferably after a workout, when your body’s energy needs are greatest.

When I supervise vegetarian athletes, I also advise them to include lesser known protein sources in their meals. And, if they find this appropriate in their choice to be vegetarian, eat quality fish. This ensures that you get a good variety in your meals. Think of seaweed, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. If you tolerate dairy, raw milk can also be a good addition to a vegetarian diet in combination with sports. Incidentally, I have also seen several times that people who do not tolerate processed milk can handle raw milk very well. Raw milk seems to contain a bacteria that breaks down lactose (Lactobacilli), which makes it easier to digest the lactose. However, it does not apply to everyone. So this is also a matter of trying. Try a few sips first and build up slowly.

Vegetarian and Paleo


Protein shake or not?
As a vegetarian you could boost your protein intake with, for example, a Paleo Shake if you have no problems with whey protein. Studies point out that milk protein are much more effective for muscle growth than, for example, a vegetable based on soy. In any case, a protein shake per day ensures that you are good with your proteins.

Otherwise you take a variant based on rice protein. But the problem with vegetable proteins is often that they do not contain all the amino acids that the body needs to make new muscle tissue. Your body needs all 22 amino acids for this process to work optimally, and if you miss a few, you drastically reduce the body’s ability to recover. It is difficult for vegetarians who do not want to take protein powder from egg protein, milk or whey to get good quality proteins.

Protein is often taken from sources such as quinoa, beans, tofu, meat substitutes made from soy and things like that. I am not a fan of grains, nor a super fan of pseudo grains and certainly not of soy. Keep in mind that we humans have only been eating grain for 10,000 years, and from an evolutionary point of view, this is simply not long enough that our bodies have adapted to this. There are many vegetarians who get their proteins from a variety of cereals, but eating that type of food involves many other harmful substances such as gluten and anti-nutrients. These are harmful to your intestines and ensure that nutrients are not absorbed. In addition, at best you only get 20% of the calories from grain in the form of protein. The rest are carbohydrates that ensure the production of insulin.

Taking supplements?
I would also recommend supplementing with Vitamin B12, a vitamin essential for energy, mood and our brain. Your body maintains a reasonable supply, but not supplementing it in a vegetarian diet can lead to serious problems in the long term.

Another micronutrient to keep an eye on is iron. Iron from animal sources is absorbed by your body more easily than that from vegetable sources. So eat larger amounts to get your daily amount. Preparing your food in a cast iron pan can also help a bit!

Vegetarian and Paleo