Can Vegetarians Be Paleo ? Yep You Can Be Pegan !

The Pegan diet is a modified version of the Paleo and Vegan diets.  The Pegan diet takes the best, most healthful qualities of both diets, creating an eating style that combines the best of two worlds!

A little background: The Paleo (or “caveman”) diet, includes foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods,and most dairy products are forbidden. A vegan diet consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds—and prohibits anything that comes from an animal.

According to Mark Hyman, MD, the Pegan diet looks like this:

  • Focus on the glycemic load of your diet. This can be done on a vegan or paleo diet, but harder on a vegan diet.  Focus on more protein and fats.  Nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines, olive oil.
  • Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados and yes, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.
  • Eat mostly plants – lots of low glycemic vegetables and fruits. This should be 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make 2 to 3 vegetable dishes per meal.
  • Focus on nuts and seeds. They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats and they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Avoid dairy – it is for growing calves into cows, not for humans. Try goat or sheep products and only as a treat. And always organic.
  • Avoid gluten – Most is from Franken Wheat – so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn); if you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.
  • Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly– they still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
  • Eat beans sparingly – lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.
  • Eat meat or animal products as a condiment, not a main course. Read The Third Plateby Dan Barber to understand how shifts in our eating habits could save the environment and ourselves. Vegetables should take center stage and meat should be a side dish.
  • Think of sugar as an occasional treat – in all its various forms (i.e., use occasionally and sparingly).

As much research I did, I could not find a complete list of Pegan foods, so as a Registered Dietitian, I decided to make one!


Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy Fats

  • Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, flax seed, chia seed, sesame seed, pumpkin)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado
  • Avocado Oil


  • Beans (Limit 1 cup per day)
  • Parsnips
  • Plaintains
  • Pumpkin
  • Acorn Squash
  • Beans
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Wild Rice (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
  • Black Rice (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
  • Quinoa (limit to 1/2 cup per meal)
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour


  • Coconut flakes
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar
  • Dates

Plant-Based Protein

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Seeds and Nuts
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Nuts
  • Peas
  • Seeds
  • Spirulina

Animal Protein (25% or less of plate)

  • Seafood/Fish
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Grass-Fed Meat
  • Pork
  • Bison
  • Turkey
  • Lam
  • Venison


  • Decaf Teas
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened coconut milk


  • Goat’s milk yogurt
  • Miso
  • Vinegar
  • Coconut cream
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Fish Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Yam Noodles/Shirataki Noodles

Article by; the thin kitchen


jennifer rice

Jennifer Rice is a lover of all things living and has dedicated her life to making a difference to all those who cross her path.
A passion for mind and body movement has led her into a long and successful career in pilates; teaching on a global scale, with clients in Canada, New Zealand, Dubai,LA and Jordan and more recently, Spain.
Her understanding of how the human body performs, combined with her extensive knowledge of nutrition and natural health therapies, allow Jennifer to be the complete wellness expert.
Not content to just help humans, Jennifer has a heart for animals and has been known to spend her time, when she isn’t working with clients or in her garden, at her local animal refuge centre, donating her time to our furry or feathered friends in need.
A wanderlust spirit keeps Jennifer on the move and her worldly outlook on life brings a refreshing point of view; always with a smile and an open heart

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