By the end of this holiday season, much as with the grinches heart… all of my clothes feel to be about two sizes too small. My very irritable insides also feel as though they have taken a beating and need some time to heal. I have been wanting to try a paleo diet for a very long time, and I have given up dairy many times in the past, but since I do not eat meat this wasn’t a change I wanted to make lightly.
The parts of the paleo diet that appeal to me are its gluten free/grain free and non-processed nature. My goal for 2014 is to transition to a modified Paleo type diet tailored to meet my vegetarian needs. What follows is my plan for myself to follow in the upcoming months. I am by no means a dietitian. If one happens to read this, please feel free to comment and let me know what I am missing or getting too much of.
My Modified Vegetarian Paleo Plan
- Free range organic eggs will be allowed in lieu of meat for protein. Quinoa will also be allowed after 1 month and beans/lentils will be allowed after 2 months. If either the quinoa or beans/lentils cause discomfort to my innards upon their re-introduction that will be something I will need to think about for the long term. I will be adding nutritional yeast and a pea protein powder ( I use Source Naturals) to meet my protein requirements.
- Vegetables of all kinds (with the exception of the white potato) are allowed and will be the main focus of my diet. Mushrooms of various types are to be eaten every day. Sweet potatoes may be eaten in moderation. Juicing isn’t part of the traditional Paleo plan, but I intend to juice some of the vegetables as well.
- Whole fruits may be eaten 1-2 servings daily. My focus will be on berries, especially the blueberry. Fruit juice will not be allowed.
- I will allow myself to use coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and flaxseed oil for cooking and baking. Avocados will be used for dressings.
- All nuts (with the exception of the peanut) are allowed. Nut butters, and roasted nuts are also ok.
- No grains are allowed. I will miss my Udi’s bread (for those that already know me, I have already been gluten free for years… gluten makes me very, very ill), but am excited to try out a few flaxseed based “bread” recipes.
- No dairy is allowed. So Delicious has a great coconut milk creamer substitute and I enjoy their unsweetened coconut milk with a little added stevia. The canned plain/pure coconut milk is also ideal in many situations. I still need to look into cheese substitues for my recipes however. Daiya is a good dairy free cheese, but I would like to be a bit more unprocessed than that. Follow Your Heart also has a few cheese alternatives, and a great “Mayonaise” alternative, but I would like to use that only after the first few months and even sparingly then. If you have any unprocessed cheese suggestions or recipes that work, please send them my way!
- No sweeteners or sugars are allowed. I will, however, be allowing myself to use pure stevia (i.e. not the stevia with sugar alcohols or gluten in it).
- No alcohol is allowed.
- I will also be eliminating coffee (gasp!) and sticking to tea (I LOVE the Yogi Ginger tea), and water with or without lemon.
This pretty much sums it up! I promise to post updates on how it is going, and any alternatives or recipes I find that work for me. Cheers to a healthy New Year!