Niche- Health and Fitness
The Paleo diet heavily depends on meat to give your body the protein it needs. It also includes vegetables to provide for other nutrients. What about vegetarians? They do not eat meat. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan and looking for a diet to derive better results from your workouts then the Paleo diet is the best option for you. Even though this diet is reliant on meat, you can substitute it with other vegetarian foods.
Principle of the Paleo diet
The Paleo diet is based on the rationale that everything related to fitness and diet based on Do what you are built to do. For ages, humans have evolved to survive. For the better part of this process, they have been hunting and gathering meat. Non-vegetarians cite this fact as the reason why eating meat is important. This fact is what the Paleo diet is based on too. However, as a vegetarian who does not believe in killing animals, you can change some things to follow that Paleo diet.
A breakdown of Paleo diet shows that it has approximately 40% carbohydrate, 35% fat, and 25% protein. The staple foods are free-range and wild meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, nut-like seeds, sweet potatoes and other tubers, etc. Grains form the core of the staple diet of vegetarians and vegans alike, and Paleo diet eliminates it. Worse still, every major source of protein like soy, beans, and quinoa is also not included.
Paleo Diet Options for Vegetarians and Vegans
Before you throw up your hands in despair, you must remember that every Paleo diet is an approximation of the real food pattern of our forefathers. We do not get the nutritious and fibrous vegetables and meat like they used to eat. Since the non-vegetarians are actually consuming poor substitutes of the real Palaeolithic diet, vegetarians can do the same thing. Therefore here are the diet options for you to follow your vegetarian Paleo diet.
Option 1: Lots of Eggs
Barring the vegans, many vegetarians eat eggs on a regular basis. Some versions of Paleo recommend one egg per day. That is a moderate intake as meat already provides the protein required. Since you are a vegetarian, you can eat more eggs to fulfil your protein needs. If you make eggs the primary source of your protein intake then you have to eat a dozen of them every day. It is a bonus if you love eggs.
Option 2: Grain-like Seed and Hemp Seed
Grain-like seeds contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Your options here are seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. This Paleo diet option focuses on these grain-like seeds to fulfil your protein intake. You can cook quinoa seeds like rice or make it into pasta. This helps you to get some variety in your meals. Hemp seeds are rich in protein and healthy fats.
Option 3: Soaked or Sprouted Beans and Legumes
This is easy for us vegetarians to follow as this option is closely related to what we already eat. It also provides for many good sources of protein. Soak the beans for at least 24 hours to remove the anti-nutrients in them. Cook them properly to remove their toxicity. Sprouting them adds more benefits to them.
As you have realized by now, Paleo diet is possible for vegetarians. You don’t need meat to get the body you want and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Follow these options as a vegetarian or a vegan and reap the rewards yourself.