In recent years, low carb diets have been getting a lot of love and attention once again, and one of the most popular of those diets is the paleo diet. The paleo diet has gotten a lot of love from experts and health and fitness fanatics as a more nutritionally sound low carb diet than previous ones such as Atkins. While a Paleo diet has enjoyed much enthusiasm, a surprising plant-based form has garnered much attention. Famous Doctor Mark Hyman described himself as a Pegan in a blog back in November 2014 and the idea has become more widespread and gained in popularity since. 

We’ve given a brief rundown of what a paleo diet is as well as its supposed health benefits and how a vegan paleo diet, or Pegan diet, differs from its counterpart. We’ve spelled out exactly what foods to emphasize, what foods to omit and have even given you meal ideas to help you be successful at navigating a vegan paleo diet.

What are the health benefits of a paleo diet?

Many people go on a Paleo diet in hopes of losing weight and seem to be able to achieve this, at least initially. Other reported benefits include better mental clarity, more energy and less inflammation. Thus far the evidence seems to be lacking in definitive benefits however that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist or that people aren’t experiencing them. It seems fairly logical that a paleo diet would aid in weight loss and lowering inflammation as it cuts out all processed foods which contribute to both excess weight as well as inflammation in the body. 

How is a vegan paleo diet different than a regular paleo diet?

A vegan paleo diet removes all animal products such as dairy, meat and eggs and emphasizes plant-based fats. A vegan paleo diet is automatically a far healthier option as it removes foods that have been linked to heart disease and cancer and replaces them with foods that have been shown to have protective nutrients in them. Not only is a vegan paleo diet far healthier and more nutritionally dense, it’s higher in fiber meaning there is less chance for constipation. Additionally, a vegan paleo diet does not contribute to the needless suffering of animals and can leave you with a clear conscience as you meet your dietary goals.

Foods to Emphasize on a Paleo Vegan Diet:

  • Healthy whole food fat sources such as avocado and fresh coconut meat
  • Healthy fat sources such as nuts and seeds and their butters including coconut butter
  • Healthy oil fat sources such as avocado oil, and coconut oil
  • Low starch or no starch vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini
  • Some starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets and sweet potatoes
  • Low glycemic and lower sugar fruits such as berries, lemons and limes, and grapefruit

Foods to Eliminate on a Paleo Vegan Diet:

  • All grains including quinoa, millet and buckwheat and all grain-based products such as breads, crackers and pasta (unless they are made from paleo-friendly foods)
  • All beans and bean-based products such as tofu and tempeh
  • Refined sugar and cane sugar
  • Most processed foods - some crackers, chocolate and snacks are paleo- approved

Brands and Products to Check Out for Your Pegan Diet

The following products can be great ways to round out your vegan paleo diet and give you a sense of eating more satisfying and “normal” foods. We suggest using these as compliments to a diet high in healthy fats and vegetables.

Almond Crackers - Simple Mills

Cassava Chips - Siete Foods

Yogurt - Cocoyo or some varieties of Coyo or Laava

What do I actually eat on a vegan paleo diet?

A vegan paleo diet can be full of simple and easy foods or more complex ones. You get to decide how much time and energy you want to give your diet and therefore just how varied and creative your meals are. Our above product suggestions can be great to keep on hand to make sure you stay full and satisfied. Be sure to check out our article on the best low carb recipes as well as vegan keto recipes for additional meal planning ideas. The following suggestions are some of our favorite healthy and easy meals to eat to stay satisfied and nourished on your vegan paleo diet.

Breakfast Ideas

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  • Smoothies - replace the banana with an avocado. Try smoothies with lots of frozen berries, leafy greens or cacao for a healthy and higher fat option.
  • Chia Pudding - Chia pudding is a great high fiber and filling meal and can be made the night before. Consider sweetening it with stevia or just a bit of almond butter and berries.
  • Parfait -This is actually a great quick and filling option with the right products. Just be sure to be one of the yogurts suggested above and a grain free granola. Top it with some fresh berries and it’s a delicious and beautiful breakfast.

Lunch and Dinner Ideas

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  • Wraps - Consider using coconut or almond-based wraps for a delicious and filling meal. We suggest adding in a hearty dose of fat such as avocado or a nut butter dip, some of your favorite cooked vegetables and some leafy greens. You can even make a cauliflower hummus or a nut-based burger for something a little more familiar.
  • Bowls - We love bowls, especially when you use cauliflower rice as a base. Consider adding in lots of cooked low starch veggies, perhaps some sweet potatoes or carrots, an avocado and additional dressing to make it filling and delicious.
  • Spaghetti - Veggie based spaghetti is a delicious and comforting meal minus the grain coma. We love using either raw zucchini noodles or cooked sweet potato meals then adding a variety of sauces such as a cauliflower alfredo, an avocado pesto, or make a bunch of veggies and a pad thai sauce for a more complex and flavorful dish.

Snack Ideas

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  • Veggies and Dip - Fresh veggies with an avocado hummus, a cashew ranch or a thick coconut yogurt onion dip can be a delicious and refreshing snack. 
  • Yogurt with Berries - keeping yogurt on hand at home and at work is an easy way to make sure you always have a fatty and filling snack. Topping it with berries gives it a fiber and antioxidant boost.
  • Crackers with Dip  - Flax or almond based crackers with a hearty dip is an easy and quick snack.
  • Chocolate - Grab one of the chocolate brands we mentioned above and enjoy! For an extra filling snack top it with some coconut butter or almond butter.

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