Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo…no, I am a Pegan!
What do you eat?
I was reading somewhere that Dr Hyman has coined a new term for healthy eating: P-EGAN or Paleo-Vegan, and I realized this is pretty much how I eat too. It is a great road map to healthy nutrition. So what is a Pegan?
First of all, it is about eating a lot of vegetables… Clean, organic vegetables. The more color, the better…and the more tastes the better! Think of the sweetness of a red pepper and the tartness and bitterness of kale or chard. Eat a blend of cooked and raw vegetables: raw food is harder to digest if you have an already taxed digestive system! Choose mostly low glycemic vegetables, and less starches, like potatoes or sweet potatoes which are higher on the glycemic scale.
Eat some fruit too, but do not go overboard in the sweet department… Think berries, apples, seasonal tangerines before you consume large quantities of very sweet grapes, bananas or pineapple. The key, once again, is to cover the color spectrum. This will ensure you get your load of phytonutrients, which help protect the body against disease. Choose seasonal, local and organic whenever possible. Pesticides and other chemicals have no place in a healthy diet. Pick a bag of organic frozen berries in the winter and toss them in a saucepan with a little lemon juice, eat them lukewarm. Delicious!
Eat less or no grains…Ditch the cheap, GMO, pesticide-laden wheat…choose organic quinoa if you need a better grain. And eat it sparingly. Most grains are genetically modified and contain large amounts of pesticides and herbicides, especially rice. Do not replace wheat with gluten-free products that are no better than the product you are replacing…Read labels!
Watch out for good fats! We need lots in our diet. Add coconut fat, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil on your salad, grass-fed butter on your vegetables. Eating fats does not make you fat! (Eating sugar and wheat does…)
Eat local, grass-fed or humanely raised animal, they will not have been fed artificial hormones or antibiotics! Find a farm, there are plenty, that raises their animals in a proper manner and support their business. Good for you, good for them! You do not need large amounts of animal protein. There is a quantity controversy around Paleo advocates: you do not need to consume a pound of bacon at one sitting! A small palm-sized piece of meat is enough to satisfy most bodies… The same goes for fish. Choose wild fish over farm raised, and pick smaller rather than larger fish. The larger, the more mercury it will contain in its body. Indulge infrequently where tuna and swordfish are concerned. Eat eggs if you can get them from a farm where they are raised outdoor, free to roam and pick at the ground. Eggs are good for you, contrary to what you may have been told for years!
Skip dairy products. Most dairy today is produced by cows fed GMO corn, antibiotics and growth hormones…a cocktail no human should consume! The food industry is pushing to add cheese to just about everything… It is not a healthy way to go! I am Swiss…no one loves cheese as much as I do, but quality and quantity are two different things. Choose a good, aged cheese and savor. A small bite will go a long way. If you have access to some raw milk directly from the farm, try and see if you can handle that.
Want to make it simpler? Just focus on real food! Eat a plate covered mainly by vegetables, some animal protein and a great healthy fat. Drink plenty of good water. Smile, enjoy life, surround yourself with people who lift your spirits… and you will be ahead of the game, every day!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!