Sunday, 1 May 2016

Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work?

Paleo Vegan. Why another label? and isn't it a total contradiction? While I prefer just stating that I'm on a 'real food diet', when I mention the word paleo I get a lot of responses like 'oh, you eat a lot of meat'. Unfortunately it's an incorrect assumption that all Paleo followers eat mainly meat, yes it's based on about 38% protein but many of us modify the diet to suit our bodies and choose not to freely substitute meat for carbohydrates. There are a lot of other aspects to the Paleo diet that are very beneficial.

Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work?
My recent Paleo Vegan lunch spread I shared with some friends who left very happy, full and satisfied <3
The Paleo diet to me has always been about eating whole real nutritious foods that don't have an ingredient list. It includes foods that have a powerful role to play in nourishing and healing your body such as fermented foods and superfoods that are nutrient rich. Everything you put in your mouth should benefit your body. Meat is pasture raised, respecting and eating the whole animal. It also includes eating a rainbow of vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices and for me that is the main focus of my diet, with the addition of gut healing nutritious bone broth.

Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work?
My daily serve of bone broth made beautiful with chinese cabbage, pumpkin flowers and garlic #makingbonebrothbeautiful
One of the reasons I still use the term Paleo, even though I don't strictly follow the amount of meat it recommends, is the list of foods it excludes. The Paleo diet excludes foods that can cause damage to our bodies, mainly our gut, which is why I called my blog loveurbelly <3 The majority of grains and grain products like bread and pasta that contain gluten, legumes, corn and soy can cause health issues and damage. As do all refined oils and processed foods. Most of these foods are genetically modified, like corn that is modified to kill any bugs that try and eat it by exploding their stomachs (but it's apparently safe for us to eat??!) now knowing all of this, the Vegan diet is heavily based on grains and soy. Combining the two seems contradictory, but after reading Dr Hymans article based on a few little changes to both Paleo and Vegan diets, I found the name made perfect sense. Meat is a side, not the main dish which is exactly how I eat. He even coined there term 'Pegan', see here for a detailed explanation. 

I also wanted to mention Dr Mercola's nutrition plan (see here) which also has a reduced amount of meat, more good quality fat with the inclusion of fermented foods, grass-fed dairy and intermittent fasting. I actually identify with this diet closely and recommend further reading and watching his embedded videos in the link here. I believe in listening to your body, what works for one person may not work for another, so although you can follow a certain diet, protocol or lifestyle, pick and choose what works for you. 

The Paleo diet has evolved for me into a real food lifestyle. For me, it is also about conscious living, being present, making responsible choices to reduce my impact on the environment, reducing consumption and waste. Living life aware of my decisions, actions and choices. So if I had to pick the best description available, it would be Conscious Paleo Vegan. Conscious to represent how I choose to live and Paleo Vegan to represent the foods I eat and don't eat, which is mostly plant based with bone broth, some pasture raised meat and no grains or processed, refined foods. That's if I have to pick a label. Like most things, we change and adapt as needed and that includes my diet, but for now Conscious Paleo Vegan would suit best :)

Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work?
Part of our conscious living, at home we recycle glass jars and use re-usable stainless steel or bamboo straws to reduce our waste and impact to the environment
If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook you would have seen that I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Even though I started my Paleo real food diet over 4 years ago and found great improvement, after my move to Vietnam I believe a series of events seriously impacted my health. 

In 2014, we chose to pack up life in hectic Sydney and move to Vietnam to improve our lifestyle, work less and play more :) Within the first month I caught a horrible parasite and needed medication. My 80/20 rule switched the other way as my social life grew. I ate out a lot, which meant many non-organic pasture raised meals with heavy pollution and possible toxins, my health started to decline. I noticed I wasn't able to handle the occasional gluten meal or treat anymore. I suffered from extreme fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, joint pain. On the advice of my Doctor to include bone broth 3 times a day, I found it hard to do on top of my meals so I now have 3 bone broth (see recipe here) based meals a day, a rainbow of plants and some fruit with lots of vegetable juicing and supplements in between. I have found significant improvement and plan to keep going with this healing diet best described as Paleo Vegan.

Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work?
Paleo Vegan - Why another label and how does it work? If you look at this spread, how can it not work ;)
Love, create, explore and inspire <3
Mayxx

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