Every new year comes new diet trends and we’re on a mission to discover what they are and help you understand why they’re trending. It is evident that the general public is trying to move away from fad diets and instead move towards healthy ways of living. With that said, there is a strong emphasis on diets such as the vegan diet, the paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet, whole 30 and so many more.

With so many different diets come many conflicting restrictions. Should we eat meat? Should we not eat meat? Should we boycott eggs, should we give up dairy and so on. It is so easy to get lost in the overwhelming information.  Dr. Hyman has decided to read between the lines of these diets and has discovered that perhaps we shouldn’t be following one diet, but the combination of two. In a blog post, Dr. Hyman explains how he came up with the term the pegan diet which is a combination of the vegan diet and the paleo diet. The vegan diet is a diet that abstains from the use of any animal products or by-products. In contrast, the paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet is a diet that relies on foods that humans would have consumed during the Paleolithic era.

Studies have shown that both diets can help aid weight loss, improve heart health, lower cholesterol and even could reverse diabetes. While both diets are different they do have similarities and Dr. Hyman recognizes that a combination of both diets as well a personalized approach depending on your own personal health conditions, preferences, and needs could promote a very healthy way of living. The main thing to remember is that both diets focus on wholesome foods that are sustainably raised. We’re going to go over what is recommended and what is not recommended on this diet as well as some excellent recipes to help get you started. Keep in mind we are not medical doctors and we highly recommend that you seek your medical professional before making any changes to your diet.

1. Put Emphasis On Low Glycemic Foods

Both the paleo diet and a vegan diet can agree that foods that are low in sugar and refined carbohydrates are good for us. In fact, studies have shown that low glycemic foods could result in weight loss, lower blood sugar levels as well as lower the risk of heart disease which is a common problem among Americans.

In conclusion, avoid refined sugary foods and refined carbs. Instead, choose organic options such as green vegetables, nuts, fruits, and lentils.

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2. Enjoy Loads of Veggies And Fruits

Both diets will agree that a plate that is thriving in fruits and vegetables is the best way to go. Hyman recommends that 75 percent of your diet and your plate should be made up of low glycemic vegetables and fruits.

Keep in mind, the deeper the color and the more variety, the better! “This provides a high phytonutrient content protective against most diseases.” Explains Hyman.

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3. Consume The Right Kind of Fats

When consuming fats it’s important to put an emphasis on a diet that is thriving in omega 3’s. This fatty acid is essential for maintaining both a healthy body and brain!

Keep in mind that you’ll want to avoid vegetable oils, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil and especially soybean oil. That’s because these types of oils are highly processed. Instead choose foods that are high in omega 3’s such as olive oil, nuts, coconut, and avocados.

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4. Avoid Dairy

While some diets encourage dairy consumption, both the paleo diet and the vegan diet do not condone it. Not everyone is intolerant to dairy products but studies have shown that it may contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If you feel the need or urge to have dairy products try goat or sheep products but make sure it is enjoyed as a treat and that the products are always organic. There are plenty of dairy-free versions of your favorite dairy foods to try out too.

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5. Avoid Gluten

Gluten allergies and intolerances are on the rise and at a fast rate! Thanks to gluten, millions of Americans are suffering from inflammation, autoimmunity, digestive disorders, and for some, obesity.

While we don’t need to cut out grains from our diet entirely they should be enjoyed in very limited amounts. Try to stick to smaller portions such as 1/2 a cup per meal and choose low glycemic grains such as quinoa or black rice.

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6. Save Sugar For Special Occasions

It’s easy to give in to a sugar craving. After just a few butes, before you know it you’ve indulged in a whole bag of candy.
While on the pegan diet, it isn’t recommended that you give up sugar entirely (that would be unrealistic), instead, it recommends you treat sugar as a treat.

This includes all forms of sugar. This is great because you can strike a healthy balance with your sugar intake rather than eliminating it from your diet altogether.

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7. Limit Legumes

Legumes are widely known as a great source of minerals, fiber, and plant protein. However, Hyman recommends consuming less than one cup of legumes per day. Overindulging in legumes could cause digestive issues and could spike blood sugar levels in diabetics.

If you are going to overindulge in legumes, stick to lentils and try to avoid big starchy beans. Find out some tasty ways to prepare legumes for lunch abd dinner with a quick search online.

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8. Treat Animal Products And meat As A Side Dish

Reducing your animal product and meat consumption is not only good for your health but great for the environment too! Raising animals for consumption require enormous amounts of food, energy, water, and land. Some studies show that animal agriculture may be responsible for more greenhouse gasses than our world’s transportation systems combined.

In addition to the environment, over-consuming meat could have a negative impact on our health. Recent studies have shown that meat could pose a health risk for colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. You don’t have to give up meat entirely while following the pegan diet, instead, vegetables should be the star of your plate and meat should be treated as a side dish or a condiment.

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9. Choose Grass Fed or Sustainably Raised Foods

As we discussed previously, the pegan diet doesn’t discourage meat consumption entirely. However, Hyman explains that if you’re going to consume meat that you should make sure it’s grass-fed or sustainably raised.

In addition, if you’re going to consume fish, ensure to look for fish that are low in mercury and other toxins. Some great examples are sardines, herring, and other small fish. However, Hyman recommends that we avoid tuna, swordfish, and Chilean sea bass.

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10. Say No to Chemicals and Franken-Foods

The vegan and paleo diet both agree that when choosing foods its good to stay away from franken-foods. This essentially means any foods that have chemicals, additives, dyes, preservatives, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and artificial sweeteners.

Further, you’ll also want to look for foods that are low in pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and choose little to no GMO foods. Pay a visit to the organic aisles of the grocery store and carefully read the labels to avoid franken-foods.

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11. Pancakes

A gradual transition into a new diet could be the key to success. Jumping into brand new foods, meals and other things you’re not used to it can be both intimidating and unenjoyable.

Instead, transform your favorites into foods that are tolerated on your new diet! These pancakes are grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and definitely pegan diet approved! Better yet, the whole family will love them!

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12. Eggs Benedict With Asparagus on Portobello Mushroom

Perhaps you’re looking for a breakfast that is a little more gourmet. This eggs benedict breakfast is the perfect lazy Saturday morning breakfast and looks like it came straight from a restaurant.

Traditionally, eggs benny is made with English muffins, bacon, and poached eggs. While a few of those ingredients aren’t exactly pegan diet approved, this recipes proves that with a few substitutions you can indulge in your favorites effortlessly! A portabello mushroom takes place of the muffin, and asparagus provides a lovely crunch and flavor!

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13. Cookie Dough Bites

I don’t know about you, but when I have a sweet tooth craving, especially when it comes to snacking, I always crave chocolate chip cookies. A classic chocolate chip cookie recipe requires loads of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

These cookie dough bites could be the perfect snack to help you transition into your new diet. They’re gluten, sugar, dairy, and egg-free! But don’t worry, they have a lovely flavor that will have you wanting more.

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14. Cucumber Watermelon Salad

Leafy green salads can get old fast! To add some excitement into your diet try making this cucumber watermelon salad! It is so fresh and packs a ton of wonderful flavors.

What I love about this salad is that it’s simple yet the exciting flavors and textures will have you quite intrigued. Crisp cucumbers are paired with sweet watermelon and are complemented by soft avocado. Then, the salad is lightly seasoned with fresh basil, juice of a lime, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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15. Roasted Veg & Lentil Salad

In contrast, this roasted veggie and lentil salad contain savory flavors. Lentils are a great source of protein and as Hyman explained, if you’re going to consume legumes you’ll want it to be lentils!

In addition to lentils, this salad recipe is made up of roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, pepper, broccoli, and sweet potato. You’ll also make a delicious homemade (and healthy) salad dressing that adds an exquisite flavor. It’s a hearty meal that will definitely get you full and satisfied.

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16. Veggie Mushroom Burger

I get it, we’ve all craved a juicy cheeseburger at some time or other. Quench those cravings with a healthy and delicious veggie mushroom burger. These burgers pack a ton of flavor and the toppings make it even better!

Not only is this a meatless burger but it doesn’t contain any beans or grains! It’s a great way to add even more veggies into your day. The patties are made from mushrooms, caramelized red onions, almond flour, an egg and loads of seasonings that provide the wonderful flavor. A food processor will help them come together quickly!

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17. Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Enjoy these pegan-approved tacos for Taco Tuesday and your family will go crazy for them! From the taco meat to the taco seasoning, everything is homemade! But don’t worry you can have this meal prepared in well under an hour and the flavors will be well worth it.

The taco meat is made up of roasted cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts. The seasoning brings out the flavor you know and love but doesn’t contain any preservatives or added sugars that a store-bought mix might have. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, the taco meat will store well in the fridge for up to 5 days or 1 month in the freezer!

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18. Jackfruit BBQ Pizza With a Sweet Potato Crust

Pizza is adored by both children and adults alike. It’s great party food and great for lazy nights in but unfortunately a lot of store-bought or take-out pizzas contain sugary sauces and processed meats and cheese.

This jackfruit bbq pizza has loads of flavor and will surely quench your pizza craving. Before you scrunch your nose up at the word jackfruit, you’ll be quite impressed once you try it! It’s has a meaty/pulled pork texture that mimics meat perfectly! This pizza is vegan and paleo-friendly which means it is perfect for the pegan diet!

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19. Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry bliss bars are one of Starbuck’s most sought after treats. However, a traditional cranberry bliss bar is made from enriched flour, loads of sugar, and other ingredients that aren’t pegan approved.

However, we understand that cutting sweet desserts out of your diet is not entirely realistic. Instead, copycat recipes like this are created so that we can indulge in those crave-worthy treats without the guilt! These bars are made from loads of wholesome ingredients you can feel good about.

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20. Caramel Cheesecake

Another excellent dessert option would be this caramel cheesecake. This is nothing like your traditional cheesecake recipe but the flavors are unreal!

This cheesecake is gluten-free and dairy-free. You might be asking yourself how can you create a cheesecake without dairy? It’s actually quite simple. Cashews are an excellent cheese substitute and will provide the cheesecake with a lovely creamy texture. In addition, the crust is made from Medjool dates, shredded coconut, and a couple of other ingredients. Lastly, the cheesecake is paired with a gorgeous homemade salted caramel sauce that is seriously drool-worthy.

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Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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