Vegetarian Paleo - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-14-2014, 01:29 PM
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Vegetarian Paleo

Been doing tons of research into various fad diets both in an attempt to disprove them (nutrition major) and in an attempt to integrate good concepts from each of them into my own eating plan. I've lost 60 lbs since I went veg in March mostly by eating whole foods in decent quantities and exercising a few times a week. My weight loss has stalled/plateued the last few weeks and I still have quite a bit to go, so I've gone on the great habit hunt again.

Enter "The Calorie Myth." I'm familiar with a lot of the research that went into it and have personally read quite a few of the studies cited. I'm not too happy about the execution, which to me comes off as just a revamped Paleo, but I am curious about the author's claims that his SANE eating plan can be used by vegetarians when he dismisses legumes/beans as being "too starchy" to be a reliable source of protein. I'm curious where most of my calories can come from if not from grains and root vegetables in the winter considering I eat pretty darn seasonally (tons of gratins, stews, soups, etc dot my diet in the winter) and it simply doesn't make sense to me to eat food that doesn't really occur at this time of year unless it is canned and therefore preserved to be available now.

Does anyone have experience with "paleo" eating, and if so, do you have any idea how it could be made to work for vegetarians? Even the Kindle book I picked up made the concession that "paleo" eating requires copious amounts of meats in the absence of legumes, soyfoods, and dairy, all of which are taboo to the eating plan. I agree that limiting starches is important for Americans as a whole because most of us like our chips, fries, cookies, and breads a little more than we should, but I just can't see this working.

Disclaimer: I don't buy the whole "lets eat what our ancestors ate" argument for paleo, particularly since I am native American and a traditional diet from my tribe would include many plants that have been all but driven to extinction alongside fish and game that are in much the same predicament. Besides that, most produce one can find in the grocery store is as far removed genetically from the wild varieties as we are from our ape ancestors. We've carefully cultivated and genetically changed the food we eat in ways we're only now beginning to understand. I do think that some of the principles taught are sound however, and it's always fun to try things out.

So let's see if we can come up with something together. If the author claims that vegetarians can eat this way, how would that be done? Where would we get protein if not from soyfoods and beans? I know there's a great deal in most fruits and veggies, but the author discounts a protein source unless at least 60% of the calories come from protein, so let's see if we can stick to those rules. This is a thought exercise, but I'd like to see what you all think.
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#2 Old 12-15-2014, 03:07 AM
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I'm terrible at this sort of thing, but off the top of my head here are some items that come to mind for higher protein that are not vegetables or beans or starchy grains (though they might not be over 60% protein):

wild rice (which is a seed not really a grain)
quinoa (again a pseudograin not a true grain)
hemp seed, chia seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed etc
almonds, walnuts
spirulina
some types of wild mushrooms I believe have a higher protein content

It might be harder to find plant proteins in some parts of the world naturally (in the wild as is) in winter, but I reckon there were far fewer people living in cold climate areas in paleolithic times. Meat I imagine was hard to come by also since man did not have the fancy weapons available that we have today or the tools to tear into flesh and cook the meat. And many native americans from the area where I currently live (NE Minnesota) cultivated stuff like wild rice in the autumn from the wild lakes and rivers and stored it over the winter as a source of plant food. I imagine they did the same with the variety of nuts/seeds available around here too. Wild roots/vegetables can also be stored all winter.

I don't think you are going to find too many plant based foods that are over 60% protein in and of themselves. A higher ratio of carbs is going to be a given on a vegetarian diet.

Years ago as an omnivore I was put on a strict anti candida diet due to yeast infections as a result of losing my ovaries/uterus at the age of 33. I was allowed only fresh meat (no cured meats) and nonstarchy low carb vegetables and a few nuts/seeds. My allowance of fruit was EXTREMELY limited and no legumes, bread/grains, no dairy, no processed foods. I did it for six long months. I felt horrible on that diet, no energy to speak of. Yes I went from 116 lbs at 5'5.5" to 102 lbs for that duration, but it was not sustainable to me. It did nothing to stop the yeast infections either (it was a hormone issue not a sugar one). The only positive from that diet for me was it taught me how to cook and to think about what I put into my body. I have maintained a low weight eating many different styles. As a vegan I am a healthy low normal weight and exercise 1.5 hours each day five days a week, sometimes six. I enjoy my beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables and whole grains and try to limit flour, sugar, and oils (stick more to healthy whole fats). I have so much more stamina and energy and this way of life is far more sustainable to me (and my argument is that it is more sustainable to the world than relying on a meat based or even nut based diet as nuts are expensive to cultivate and animals require a lot of energy to produce/process for food).

Have you ever googled other paleo vegan/vegetarian blogs to see what others do to make it work? I have run across a few of them but don't know which ones off the top of my head.

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#3 Old 12-20-2014, 03:21 AM
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The problem with nuts is that the protein is not bioavailable.



I assume you know what it means, but for those who don't: It means that while there is protein in the food, the body can't necessarily utilise it, so you only get the percentage listed in the chart.
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#4 Old 12-20-2014, 10:38 AM
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Whats the source of that, how was the data calculated, and in what physiological context was the data derived?
Percentages above 100% look quite suspect. Even an overpriced body building supplement in a fancy jar cant just manifest protein out of the aether.
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#5 Old 12-21-2014, 01:10 PM
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The few vegetarians and vegans I know who attempt to follow paleo as well do so by still eating beans and rice, but soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them. I can't say much outside of that, sorry!
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#6 Old 12-21-2014, 03:06 PM
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I don't get the whole paleo idea. I've never read that we shouldn't use heating or air conditioning, shun electricity, avoid all motorized transport, the use of electric or gas stoves, or any appliances. The age of paleo is so--last centuries. As in, we aren't Paleo man in any way, shape, nor form.

Paleo man didn't have the means to properly store, cook or grind grains, or properly cook beans. Why should we think that we should follow their diet, yet disregard every other aspect of their lives? Why don't those proponents think that by traveling faster than our feet would carry us is even worse? There are those who do, but that hasn't caught on at all.
maybe those Paleo dieters should give up their jobs, their homes, their cars, and go live in the wilderness. Then it would all make sense.

Somehow all the adrenaline, physical activity, and basic survival instincts we've been lacking for - centuries- seems to have completely changed our dietary needs if you ask me.

Didn't paleo man even have a working appendix?
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#7 Old 12-21-2014, 03:38 PM
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While I'm not a proponent of paleo, that doesn't really describe what their lifestyle Is about. They realize that their way of eating Isn't actually the same actually those in the paleolithic period, they just don't believe that things that are relatively new to human diets have typically been around long enough for us to be able for our guts to handle them, evolutionary speaking. Many who follow that way of eating do also take other lifestyle aspects into account and do things such as lots of functional exercise, going barefoot often, etc. At least all those I know do these things and also strive towards a more natural lifestyle. Again, not a proponent, but I also have read up on it and know many people who follow it...and they arent sitting there thinking they should live like actual cavemen. It's just a term that was coined and stuck.
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#8 Old 12-22-2014, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auxin View Post
Whats the source of that, how was the data calculated, and in what physiological context was the data derived?
Percentages above 100% look quite suspect. Even an overpriced body building supplement in a fancy jar cant just manifest protein out of the aether.
It's 150% relative to the whole egg from what I understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_value

Edit: Also whey is a really cheap source of protein (700g of top quality protein for 20 bucks; try getting that much from nuts) if you're eating it like a supplement and not using it to replace meals.

Last edited by RedPill; 12-22-2014 at 05:24 AM.
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#9 Old 12-22-2014, 10:50 AM
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Even if the bioavailability data is correct, beans are still cheaper after adjusting for that.
The last bag of beans I bought was $19.40 and contained 2429 grams of protein
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#10 Old 12-22-2014, 03:14 PM
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Even if the bioavailability data is correct, beans are still cheaper after adjusting for that.
The last bag of beans I bought was $19.40 and contained 2429 grams of protein
Good deal, but I'd rather drink a little water and whey rather than 100g of beans for the same amount of protein.
There is more to protein than just BV and amount though.
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#11 Old 12-24-2014, 03:47 AM
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Beans are a great source of not only protein but numerous other nutrients too.

http://beaninstitute.com/health-bene...-of-dry-beans/

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#12 Old 12-24-2014, 04:24 AM
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Beans are a great source of not only protein but numerous other nutrients too.

http://beaninstitute.com/health-bene...-of-dry-beans/
Like I said, whey is a supplement, I eat a lot of beans too.
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#13 Old 12-25-2014, 10:14 AM
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Nuts are too fat and calorie dense to be relied on for a source of protein anyway, but a little contains plenty of other good things for me to include them in my diet. For me getting enough protein means beans, nuts, quinoa, and a wide variety of food....key being wide variety of food. What we eat doesn't have 100% bioavailability of 100% of what we need 100% of the time...some foods need fat, iron from plant sources has a low bioavailability but doesn't mean vegans don't get enough iron. Overconsumption of protein has been linked to many issues like cancer and shouldn't be a concern for the average person, even the average person that exercises and lifts weight. For body builders and those that want and value large muscles protein then becomes an issue.

FWIW there are a couple of vegan paleo cookbooks out there. Paleos focus a lot of veggies and their importance, an area where vegans and paleo can meet in the middle.http://www.amazon.com/The-Vegan-Pale.../dp/B00E8CVRR6

http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Vegan-Pl.../dp/1570673055

Last edited by Tweety; 12-25-2014 at 10:40 AM.
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#14 Old 12-25-2014, 10:21 AM
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The lists on the wiki article and the list posted above are slightly different, but slightly (my guess is that list comes from a site promoting whey protein).

The criticisms about the bioavailability index were interesting. They were done with animals, not humans and humans might use protein differently. But was glad to read some stables in my diet like rice, soy and quinoa fair well.

Also of note, the more protein you consume, the lower the bioavailibility of that food becomes index becomes. Another point for moderation when it comes to protein.

Last edited by Tweety; 12-25-2014 at 10:41 AM.
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