So yesterday I wrote all about the Primal Blueprint and how excited I am to put some of Mark Sisson’s concepts into practice. Primarily the fitness plan and I’ll reference the Carbohydrate curve (more on this in another post). But the biggest question still remains, How can two different systems of eating be so right for so many people but be so very different? And are they really that different? What do they have in common?
At face value the Paleo diet and the Vegan diet seem to be polar opposites. But when you really look at them on paper, they are not so different. They really only differ on certain points – meat, carb/grain intake, and in some cases the use of added fat and oils. So yeah, that may seem like a lot to some. But when you look at what they have in common you’ll see that the base of both methods, the part that really makes the difference is the same. Veggies!!!! In both programs you must eat your vegetables, especially greens. Sure you can go Paleo and eat meat and fat all day long, or go Vegan and eat processed Vegan packaged crap all the time. But if you do that and ignore the veg you will NOT meet your goals on either program! They key to both “diets” is plant matter and eliminating processed food. Somewhere between the two has got to be the perfect plan.
See this blog post on No Meat Athelete for a perfect example:
So I spent a whole day researching the Primal Blueprint and I thought it equally fair to re-do my research and reading on the Vegan diet as well. It’s important to look at this from both sides. Each program is, in it’s own way, the extreme and to find the middle ground I need all the info. I re-read my books, watched Forks Over Knives again, and I am reminded what got excited about being Vegan in the first place. Now, Paleo folks will argue that Forks Over Knives is vegan propaganda and that the science is flawed. But I can show you and equal number of vegan folks that will say the same about paleo. I am trying to figure this out for me, for my own body and health. What makes me healthy and vital and strong. Clearly I haven’t found it yet because I am still questioning what I’m eating, why, and who to trust.
I spent 3 solid weeks following the Whole30 rules. In that time I gained 8lbs and a full pants size. I felt decent – awake and alert. But my hair started falling out, my acne came back, and I had so much guilt over even looking at the canister of oats in my pantry. GUILT is not good when you are trying to follow a strict eating plan. The whole 30 has a lot of rules. For some that is a good thing, it’s structure. My experience with Veganism is much more lenient They don’t care what you eat as long as it’s not from an animal (Unless you are strictly following the FOK rules or the Engine 2 diet – they allow minimal fats). For some that is disastrous, they need rules or they will eat processed junk and be no better off then before they made any change at all. For me it works well. Much less stress over whether or not I’m breaking a rule and freedom to be creative.
So what do I want to do with my food now. That has been the question all along and it is what motivated me to start the blog.
I spent 3 weeks, 21 days, giving Whole30 and Paleo an honest try so I think it’s only fair to do the same with a vegan style diet. Now that I have been fully back to eating meat for several months it will be interesting to see what happens with the switch back to plant based food. I do enjoy having more protein in my diet and I’d like to avoid legumes a bit longer, so I will allow hemp protein, fermented tempeh and some egg whites (not vegan but I’m allowing to keep the protein up for the experiment). One of the big goals will be to make sure I get adequate protein and enough calories so I’ll make an exception to the Whole30 rules and I’ll be tracking my food, at least in the first week. I guess I’ll be eating much like the plan outlined in the linked article above. I think it’s a good plan to compare the Whole30 with animal protein to the Whole30 as a vegan/vegetarian. 3 weeks, 21 days, that’s the time most say it takes to see a change and develop new habits. Hopefully it’s enough time to find the best answer – at least for me. Let’s see what happens :)
Watch Forks Over Knives for free HERE
Check out an interesting blog post by a Whole Foods employee, Paleo goes Vegan