9

votes

Hopelessly Vegetarian

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 23, 2010 at 10:47 PM

I'm a vegetarian, and not willing to give that up at this point in my life. I do eat both eggs and dairy, and take fish oil for the DHA.I also supplement with B12 as a precaution. I can't bring myself to actually eat fish.

I want to apply paleo principles to my diet as much as I can, and was hoping I could get some advice.

I should add that I'm a 23 year old guy, in apparent good health, and exercise regularly. I'd love to gain some weight (muscle), but I know that's really pushing it. Right now, my diet consists mainly of vegetables, eggs, mostly acid-soaked/fermented legumes, fruit, nuts, soy protein meat substitutes, and whole grains, with sadly common ventures into refined sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Please don't direct me to the "The Vegetarian Myth" or try to dissuade me from my vegetarianism. I know I'm making an emotional choice, not a rational one, and I've accepted that.

Thanks :P

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 28, 2011
at 05:09 PM

it's not paleo per se, (more wapf-y) but I found Jessica Prentice's "Full Moon Feast" really helpful for transitioning away from Vegetarianism

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on March 02, 2011
at 03:33 PM

So asking a question about why someone is interested in a lifestyle that seems antithetical to the one they're currently committed to in being mean? Point taken. Lighten up, Francis.

781527130fe24652afa3176284fe5d2f

(14)

on March 02, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Why are all paleos so mean? The guy is being earnest. Don't be a jerk.

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 25, 2010
at 05:04 PM

That was exactly my take. I didn't read in his initial question at all that he was making a transition, only that he wanted to apply paleo principles to his current vegetarian diet and "by god don't try to dissuade me cos I'm hopelessly that way." Hence my confusion. Whatevs.

7d5d98a0453db2ae67358a3169888aca

(263)

on December 25, 2010
at 11:52 AM

This question is basically "How can I be paleo without being paleo?"

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 25, 2010
at 07:32 AM

No, I'm not Jain. I'm a former Hindu, became an atheist about 3 years ago. And by "this point in my life", I meant I do plan on eating meat, perhaps just fish, eventually. I'm just not there yet. I'm really glad I decided to post this question, and glad Patrik let it stand even though he didn't like it - because I've learned a lot. With so many more options on a path toward genuine paleo, I think I'm much more likely to succeed.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 25, 2010
at 07:29 AM

Thanks for sharing your obvious wealth of knowledge, I really appreciate it. Obviously I have a lot of reading to do.. I did have sweet potatoes and walnuts for breakfast this morning, instead of oatmeal :)

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 25, 2010
at 07:27 AM

No, I'm not Jain. I'm a former Hindu, became an atheist about 3 years ago. And by "this point in my life", I meant I do plan on eating meat, perhaps just fish, eventually. I'm just not there yet.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 25, 2010
at 07:21 AM

No, I'm not Jain. I'm a former Hindu, became an atheist about 3 years ago.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:39 AM

Fish I think is usually the least liked type of meat, probably because fish from the store is typically already kind of old and fishy tasting and not nearly as good as fresh fish. If starting on meat, fish is not a good first step. Try something more neutral like chicken breast bits with lots of tasty cream sauce or somesuch.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:36 AM

One of my Chinese friends said that in his region of China, they had these giant yellow worms they would catch and scramble fry for breakfast and they would look like scrambled eggs and even taste similar! Back then, I thought it was gross sounding, but these days, I find myself quite curious what those were called!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:31 AM

Yeah, those meat subs are creepy. Some taste quite good and meatlike but what the heck is in em!?!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:29 AM

I think this is a great question. It will force us to think about biological equivalency issues. Sure, it's probably not possible to replicate everything perfectly, but the asker is already apparently aware of those issues so no need to argue. And I think we can at least do a lot better than the average SAD eater.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 24, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Thanks. Merry Christmas!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 24, 2010
at 09:47 PM

Ha! They may accidently eat the odd one in their veggies anyway.

40e925ddc9657e211c9a2ee83c2cc579

(364)

on December 24, 2010
at 09:12 PM

Legumes = lectins = leaky gut = autoimmune problems

7d5d98a0453db2ae67358a3169888aca

(263)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:40 PM

You're only 23 and it's too late in your life to eat meat again?

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:18 PM

David, excellent post, as usual one learns a lot from you!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on December 24, 2010
at 03:01 PM

thank you for posting this, jay. this question is actually apropos to my husband who now is trying to eat more paleo, but is also not willing to eat most animal flesh. i also have been vegetarian for most of my life and vegan for quite some time and i understand the emotional struggle that comes with reintroducing animal products into your diet. my husband does eat fish, so we have focused on that. he is also eating tempeh and soaked beans, but has given up all sugar and grain. it works for him. i have MS so im more strict. but thank you for the question and for everyones facinatinganswers.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on December 24, 2010
at 02:24 PM

Patrik, I've been wanting to send you a message about how much I appreciate the work you do on this blog. I'm glad your Christmas Spirit prevailed to let Jay's question stand. Keep up the good work, please! I do so miss Dr. Harris. It is so hard to get the good news on the Panu Forum because it is so cluttered with interlopers. At least Jay wants a serious answer.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:51 PM

Yeh, I also thought of the kitavans when I saw the bivalve-vegetarian thread earlier. I'd have thought that oysters etc might be even more objectionable than standard fish though. I love them (esp since I live next to a world famous oyster bed), but most of my carnivorous friends can't stand them!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:12 PM

Maybe Kitavan style, substituting scallops/oysters/clams/mussels for the fin fish that seem to give Jay the squeemies?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:01 PM

earthintruder I couldn't agree more. I've traveled this route from vegan to vegetarian to pescatarian to meat eating paleo, and it can be a tough journey. Several of my relatives are veg or pescatarian (paleo is quite possible there) and any moves forward are good. It can take quite a while to turn over long established ethical or health beliefs and the associated taste preferences, even when you know you need to change.

4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on December 24, 2010
at 07:06 AM

I agree that the idea of vegetarian paleo doesn't make much sense, but the transition from veg*n to paleo can be rough and doesn't necessarily happen all at once! I think that's something we can all try to understand. :)

3c04e97f68c270d7a03861e2daf75f68

(40)

on December 24, 2010
at 06:58 AM

My conversion to meat wasn't love at first bite as I had 20 years in the vegetarian wilderness. Once you really give it a go and experience the increased vitality an life free from carb craving, stable blood sugar, etc you'll never look back. Don't even get me started on bacon!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 24, 2010
at 06:31 AM

@Jay -- are you Jain?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 24, 2010
at 06:30 AM

@Jay -- stop digging yourself a hole. Consider it a Christmas question that I let this question stand as I find it beyond silly.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:49 AM

Thanks for relating your experience! I think I just need time for my emotions to catch up with my brain, and get used to the idea.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:47 AM

I didn't realize krill meant for human consumption was even available O.o Thanks, I will definitely look into your suggestions.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:41 AM

I've never thought of it this way. Thanks!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:39 AM

Then I'll take my snarky comeback, back. If you're really trying to get people to go paleo for their own good though, it would help to be less confrontational.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:36 AM

Being vegan/vegetarian isn't the problem so much as going paleo is. I used dairy, legumes (especially soy) for my protein, and I have to find another strategy.. but many of the responses have been extremely helpful. Thanks for the encouragement!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:28 AM

@Roger -- Good-bye and don't come back. And no, I cannot be moderated for I am the benevolent dictator that runs PaleoHacks.com.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:26 AM

@Jay --- I wasn't being smug and lucky for you I have just had a glass of wine and am feeling the Christmas spirit -- but next time, you're gone, veggie-man.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:01 AM

This seems to be a very common thing with former vegetarians/vegans. I have read almost that same sentence many times. I guess the body has a lot of delicious meat to make up for.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 24, 2010
at 04:16 AM

Actually, being happy meateater, I don't know. Do bugs count as meat for vegetarians?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 24, 2010
at 04:15 AM

Just don't watch any Disney movies with singing mollusks... :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 24, 2010
at 03:45 AM

Don't judge us based on Patrik! Look at all the helpful comments below. He's just being judgmental and rude. The moderator cannot be moderated?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:47 AM

I remember reading similar comments from Peter Singer ("Animal Liberation") years ago. Oysters and other bivalves - scallops, clams, mussels, etc - possess no brain, so can't be sentient and so really shouldn't pose an ethical problem for vegetarians. According to some theories of human evolution, a considerable portion of human diet at some stages would have consisted of sea life such as bivalves.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:47 AM

God I wish I had the personal strength for this... one day I will!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:46 AM

It's not remotely vegetarian. But I can bring myself to swallow a pill without a violent physical reaction :D

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:45 AM

^^ that's a different Jay.. I'm clear on the legumes issue.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:35 AM

I'm confused how fish oil is vegetarian. You're consuming fish, just in a processed form.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:29 AM

What about shrimp?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:42 AM

what's wrong with legumes?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:25 AM

Oh, sorry, didn't read your quesiton carefully enough. Fish oil is a good idea for Vegetarians.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Thanks for the article, it's really intriguing. I think I'll bring my self to eat salmon long before I can stomach an oyster :P But the article is definitely making my brain do somersaults.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on December 24, 2010
at 12:16 AM

Or he could go Paleo + Type A2 Grass-fed dairy. Granted it's not going to give the best results, but it will give him the chance to take a break from the possible gut-permeability effects of lysozyme in the eggs.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:14 AM

This was my basic game plan. I just wanted some assurance that I wasn't being completely crazy. Thanks for your advice!

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:13 AM

So true, on all counts.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:06 AM

I understand the omega-3/omega-6 predicament, which is why I decided to start taking fish oil. Algal DHA wasn't cutting it. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer!

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:04 AM

Fair enough. See my comment on Tim's answer above. Good luck!

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:02 AM

Okay so this answers my question below. FWIW, I was veg for 5 years vegan for 2, mostly for health reasons (as I understood them at the time.) I was challenged to drop veganism because I was getting sick, sick, sick. I was worried about my physical aversion to meat as well. That is, until I took my first bite of a grass-fed buffalo burger. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Good luck!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:01 AM

Like most human beings, my actions and behavior are influenced by both my emotions and my rationality. This is one aspect of my life where emotion wins. If you're able to say that the conflict between emotions and rationality doesn't effect your behavior, you're one in a million.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:58 PM

Thank you! I'll look into it.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:57 PM

Giving up the soy protein isolate is 1st on my list, but since I just ate some yesterday, I couldn't honestly leave it off...

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:56 PM

I'm struggling with giving up something thats been such a huge part of my life for so long, but I do see the logic. I'm just not sure I can overcome the physical aversion to meat :( Thanks for your perspective!

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:55 PM

True, but if he's going to be eating boatloads of them for protein, it probably wouldn't be wise to get that much O6 from the yolks. He will probably also be getting O6 from nuts. But in general the yolks are far superior.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:53 PM

There seems to be a high correlation between paleo dieters and smug, self-satisfied, snark. Thanks though!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:53 PM

im with Tim here. As long as your digestion can handle the amount of eggs you'll be consuming, you can eat eggs (and dairy would help with the macros) for all the protein you'll need. You'll need to eat a lot. My stool gets a little lose if i do over say 10 eggs in a day.

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:51 PM

Opt for the whole egg, not just the whites. All the nutrition and fat is in the yolk...only albumen (protein) in the whites. :)

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:47 PM

I think other people are covering the "helping" part, and yes I do agree that we should try to help. But I'm genuinely stumped as to why he's drawn to this diet when it's so antithetical to his current diet choices.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:45 PM

From what I understood, he wants to be as healthy as he can while eating vegetarian. It obviously isn't ideal and many of us don't agree, but shouldn't we at least try to help?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:22 PM

2) There must be some weird, crazy cognitive dissonance going on in your head about vegetarianism and quality of your choice: emotional vs rational. Best of luck.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:21 PM

1) There seems to be a high correlation between vegetarians and propensity for sweet tooth.

  • 902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

    asked by

    (787)
  • Views
    4.4K
  • Last Activity
    1522D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

16 Answers

10
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 24, 2010
at 08:24 AM

I don't think it's so implausible to eat a paleo acceptable diet while being your sort of quasi-vegetarian. Personally I prefer low-carb animal fat heavy paleo, but if you're modelling your diet on societies like the kitavans, then it's much easier.

If you're getting your calories from paleo carbohydrate rather than animal fat, then that already covers a lot of your nutritional requirements. The kitavans eat about 70% carbohydrate mostly from sweet potato. If you plug that into nutrition-data then it compares favourably to the same amount of calories from fatty meat in terms of micronutrients. There's no reason, in principle, why you couldn't get even more calories from sweet potato if you like. In the Kitavan case another 20% of their calories comes from coconut, which if you wanted to eat lower carb, you could obviously eat for a lot of your calories, but with the downside that this would leave you lacking a lot of nutrients.

With the paleo-calories and a lot of your micronutrients covered, protein is presumably the next big issue. Assuming you have no problems eating eggs though, this shouldn't be an issue in principle either. On a high carb diet you'll only need 10% (kitavan level) to 15% calories from protein, which should be 90-100g per day. Naturally eating more protein leads to higher satiety (one of the main draws of the paleo style of eating I assume), but for optimal healthy plenty of people think you should eat just enough protein to meet your needs (c.f. the Optimal Diet- which looks like a quack site, but is ably defended on Hyperlipid) or Perfect Health diet- which actually doesn't require the very low 50g of protein the main page suggests, see the colour supplement). If you're trying to gain weight, then of course you'll want more protein, but bodybuilders eating tonnes of eggs and milk is quite common. Eggs aren't the optimal protein source (less nutritious than meat, might provoke allergies/intolerance, more omega6 in the yolk), but are very widely eaten by standard paleos. Also note that eating sweet potato/potato (the latter is higher in protein and complete, but arguably less paleo) will give you 40g+ of only slightly incomplete protein. I would most definitely ditch the soy protein, given the soy is full of what are essentially toxins.

As to all the various nutrients that come predominantly from meat, hopefully your egg yolks will largely see to this. Also since you're not eating low fat vegetarian (as most are) and are eating dairy fat etc with your vegetables, you should have much better nutrient-absorption than is typical of vegetarians and should get some vitamin K2 as well.

I think that covers all the positive needs of a paleo-mostly-vegetarian diet, so what should be removed from your current diet? I would suggest the grains, totally, without reservation, given the potential long-term harm of gluten and the myriad other anti-nutrients therein. Legumes, even if fully fermented, I am personally suspicious of, but some people on here seem to think that properly prepared, they're fine (my view is that anything that needs that much processing to be tolerable is probably not healthy, whereas the converse view seems to be that after so much elaborate preparation they're bound to be safe). Soy protein as mentioned before, falls into the same category of wheat as something that will not merely be unnutritious, but disruptive in a variety of ways. Fruit, I would minimise, since there's no need for it if you're eating vegetables/tubers and fructose is better limited. I would view them as an indulgence to 'satisfy one's sweet tooth' rather than a staple, but some people on here think they're healthy (and that's certainly the Cordain orthodoxy). I would also suggest cutting the nuts, since you'll be getting enough omega-6 from eggs anyway.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:18 PM

David, excellent post, as usual one learns a lot from you!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:12 PM

Maybe Kitavan style, substituting scallops/oysters/clams/mussels for the fin fish that seem to give Jay the squeemies?

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 25, 2010
at 07:29 AM

Thanks for sharing your obvious wealth of knowledge, I really appreciate it. Obviously I have a lot of reading to do.. I did have sweet potatoes and walnuts for breakfast this morning, instead of oatmeal :)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 24, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Thanks. Merry Christmas!

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:51 PM

Yeh, I also thought of the kitavans when I saw the bivalve-vegetarian thread earlier. I'd have thought that oysters etc might be even more objectionable than standard fish though. I love them (esp since I live next to a world famous oyster bed), but most of my carnivorous friends can't stand them!

8
4e2a7b49a7196fb7fe1ca014b09c47ed

on December 24, 2010
at 02:46 AM

I recently switched from vegan to paleo. Not to discount the revulsion to meat that you've developed, but personally I'd recommend trying some!

I thought I'd have a lot of trouble adjusting to meat. When I was exposed to meat as a vegetarian/vegan, the smell of meat was always weird and unsettling. Extremely unappetizing! But when I took my first non-vegan bite of a grass-fed lamb satay, I couldn't believe how quickly that changed!

My first impression wasn't entirely pleasant, more like "What is this bizarre, unfamiliar food in my mouth??" But a second later, this ravenous hunger hit me and I just wanted MORE! I ate the entire thing, and then went on a week-long meat binge as my body realized that's what I'd been craving.

Just a thought... Good luck!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:39 AM

Fish I think is usually the least liked type of meat, probably because fish from the store is typically already kind of old and fishy tasting and not nearly as good as fresh fish. If starting on meat, fish is not a good first step. Try something more neutral like chicken breast bits with lots of tasty cream sauce or somesuch.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:49 AM

Thanks for relating your experience! I think I just need time for my emotions to catch up with my brain, and get used to the idea.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:01 AM

This seems to be a very common thing with former vegetarians/vegans. I have read almost that same sentence many times. I guess the body has a lot of delicious meat to make up for.

7
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:55 PM

I'll start with the obligatory caution since I think eating some meat is part of a healthy diet.

That said, I think you can be pretty darn healthy if you base a diet on the following:

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, truly pastured eggs (or omega 3 if you can't find/afford the real thing) (eat at least one per day), raw grass-fed dairy, grass-fed dairy fat (pasteurized ok if only eating the butter fat), lentils, beans, cruciferous vegies, coconut, macadamia/cashew/hazel nuts, cacao, and fruits. Avoid soy (too much omega 6) and get your protein from potatoes, buckwheat, eggs, and raw dairy.

Vegetarians have to be especially vigilant about keeping their omega 6 low since you are not getting much long chain omega 3s (mainly found in fish). Thus, you will have to make your own DHA and EPA from alpha linolenic acid, which is hard to do if you're drowning in omega 6 linoleic acid like most vegetarians (linoleic acid and linolenic acid compete for elongation by the rate-limiting D6D enzyme).

Vegetarians also often have too much sugar, their other fatal flow. If you keep sugar intake restricted to a few servings of fresh fruit per day and keep your omega 6s low, I don't see any reason why you can be very healthy on a vegetarian diet. You are relying on that egg for B-12, so don't skip it and feel free to have more than 1 per day or take a supplement.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:35 AM

I'm confused how fish oil is vegetarian. You're consuming fish, just in a processed form.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:46 AM

It's not remotely vegetarian. But I can bring myself to swallow a pill without a violent physical reaction :D

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:06 AM

I understand the omega-3/omega-6 predicament, which is why I decided to start taking fish oil. Algal DHA wasn't cutting it. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer!

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:25 AM

Oh, sorry, didn't read your quesiton carefully enough. Fish oil is a good idea for Vegetarians.

6
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on December 23, 2010
at 11:07 PM

Just eliminate grains, legumes, and dairy. Continue on as an egg eating "vegetarian", with fish oil supplementation. Give it a month or two. Eggs are ideal protein. Seriously do those eliminations, paleo on eggs can work just fine. You will certainly benefit from eliminating grains, soy, processed foods, legumes, dairy.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:14 AM

This was my basic game plan. I just wanted some assurance that I wasn't being completely crazy. Thanks for your advice!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:53 PM

im with Tim here. As long as your digestion can handle the amount of eggs you'll be consuming, you can eat eggs (and dairy would help with the macros) for all the protein you'll need. You'll need to eat a lot. My stool gets a little lose if i do over say 10 eggs in a day.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on December 24, 2010
at 12:16 AM

Or he could go Paleo + Type A2 Grass-fed dairy. Granted it's not going to give the best results, but it will give him the chance to take a break from the possible gut-permeability effects of lysozyme in the eggs.

5
5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:40 PM

Paleo != Vegetarianism. Period.

I'm curious to know why you're even interested in paleo in the first place. This diet is a rational one that attempts to closely follow dietary habits that our species have evolved with over millions of years, not an emotional one. So what's the draw for you?

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:01 AM

Like most human beings, my actions and behavior are influenced by both my emotions and my rationality. This is one aspect of my life where emotion wins. If you're able to say that the conflict between emotions and rationality doesn't effect your behavior, you're one in a million.

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 25, 2010
at 05:04 PM

That was exactly my take. I didn't read in his initial question at all that he was making a transition, only that he wanted to apply paleo principles to his current vegetarian diet and "by god don't try to dissuade me cos I'm hopelessly that way." Hence my confusion. Whatevs.

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:04 AM

Fair enough. See my comment on Tim's answer above. Good luck!

7d5d98a0453db2ae67358a3169888aca

(263)

on December 25, 2010
at 11:52 AM

This question is basically "How can I be paleo without being paleo?"

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:45 PM

From what I understood, he wants to be as healthy as he can while eating vegetarian. It obviously isn't ideal and many of us don't agree, but shouldn't we at least try to help?

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:47 PM

I think other people are covering the "helping" part, and yes I do agree that we should try to help. But I'm genuinely stumped as to why he's drawn to this diet when it's so antithetical to his current diet choices.

781527130fe24652afa3176284fe5d2f

(14)

on March 02, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Why are all paleos so mean? The guy is being earnest. Don't be a jerk.

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on March 02, 2011
at 03:33 PM

So asking a question about why someone is interested in a lifestyle that seems antithetical to the one they're currently committed to in being mean? Point taken. Lighten up, Francis.

4
Cc90fbe77713bec308986e32c696b066

(70)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:13 PM

I was vegetarian for 2 years and vegan for a year. So allow me to comment on vegetarianism, not necessarily try to dissuade you...

I surfed on the idea that yes, we are the only species that can make the conscious decision to not eat meat. But it is equally true that we are the first that can supply animals not only with a healthy life with their natural foods and free range, but also a quick, pain-free death. I envy this from any animal. They're going to die anyway, and in my opinion better than from the ruthlessness of nature and Darwinian struggle for existence. There are many sustainable farms that provide these things for them, and in that I found peace and appreciate the compassion. Just don't buy from factory farms, which is what paleo dieters encourage anyway.

Really think about it, and if you're still not convinced, drop legumes and all meat substitutes as well as dairy and grains, and just get over sugar. Hope you don't get sick of eggs :)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:31 AM

Yeah, those meat subs are creepy. Some taste quite good and meatlike but what the heck is in em!?!

5c14d1ca9a7f98d0be7c5a828410d146

(307)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:02 AM

Okay so this answers my question below. FWIW, I was veg for 5 years vegan for 2, mostly for health reasons (as I understood them at the time.) I was challenged to drop veganism because I was getting sick, sick, sick. I was worried about my physical aversion to meat as well. That is, until I took my first bite of a grass-fed buffalo burger. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Good luck!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:56 PM

I'm struggling with giving up something thats been such a huge part of my life for so long, but I do see the logic. I'm just not sure I can overcome the physical aversion to meat :( Thanks for your perspective!

3c04e97f68c270d7a03861e2daf75f68

(40)

on December 24, 2010
at 06:58 AM

My conversion to meat wasn't love at first bite as I had 20 years in the vegetarian wilderness. Once you really give it a go and experience the increased vitality an life free from carb craving, stable blood sugar, etc you'll never look back. Don't even get me started on bacon!

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 28, 2011
at 05:09 PM

it's not paleo per se, (more wapf-y) but I found Jessica Prentice's "Full Moon Feast" really helpful for transitioning away from Vegetarianism

2
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on December 24, 2010
at 03:40 AM

I think Jay gave you an excellent answer. I would add this: have lots of seaweed and krill. Seaweed is vegetable, and will provide many basic nutrients, and krill (almost at the bottom of the food chain) is the best source of the essential fatty acids omega 3, even better than fish oil. You could even have krill oil instead of fish oil: krill oil is actually better, and krill is a much simpler form of life than fish, which could work well with your ethical or emotional issues with respect to animal life.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:47 AM

I didn't realize krill meant for human consumption was even available O.o Thanks, I will definitely look into your suggestions.

2
14d2a231fb261051a036a6ab6ca7bebd

on December 24, 2010
at 12:39 AM

Serious suggestion here: How about eating insects? It's still pretty hard to find insect meat in the USA, but if you're looking for ethical, ecological animal protein there really isn't a better choice. My experiences with insect meals have been few but universally positive. Look into it!

And watch this: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/marcel_dicke_why_not_eat_insects.html

Good luck!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 24, 2010
at 04:16 AM

Actually, being happy meateater, I don't know. Do bugs count as meat for vegetarians?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 24, 2010
at 09:47 PM

Ha! They may accidently eat the odd one in their veggies anyway.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:47 AM

God I wish I had the personal strength for this... one day I will!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 25, 2010
at 03:36 AM

One of my Chinese friends said that in his region of China, they had these giant yellow worms they would catch and scramble fry for breakfast and they would look like scrambled eggs and even taste similar! Back then, I thought it was gross sounding, but these days, I find myself quite curious what those were called!

2
065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:12 AM

Could you bring yourself to eat oysters?

Here's an argument that they're an "acceptable" way to consume animal flesh, even for vegans:

http://www.slate.com/id/2248998/

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 24, 2010
at 04:15 AM

Just don't watch any Disney movies with singing mollusks... :)

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Thanks for the article, it's really intriguing. I think I'll bring my self to eat salmon long before I can stomach an oyster :P But the article is definitely making my brain do somersaults.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:29 AM

What about shrimp?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:47 AM

I remember reading similar comments from Peter Singer ("Animal Liberation") years ago. Oysters and other bivalves - scallops, clams, mussels, etc - possess no brain, so can't be sentient and so really shouldn't pose an ethical problem for vegetarians. According to some theories of human evolution, a considerable portion of human diet at some stages would have consisted of sea life such as bivalves.

2
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:39 PM

Drop the main culprits. Then, try to get a fat based diet by upping your fat considerably. Heavy cream, butter, and coconut products are a great way to do this. If you want to gain, you're going to need a high calorie intake, and starches might help too. Sweet potatoes and potatoes will be good. For protein, I guess you're going to have to eat a lot of egg whites and maybe some milk (hopefully raw) or yogurt. Make sure you are getting enough, it is crucial to building muscle. And finally, don't overdo the nuts and fruit. Moderation is key.

You may want to look at the perfect health diet, they have a few recommendations for vegetarians in the back.

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:51 PM

Opt for the whole egg, not just the whites. All the nutrition and fat is in the yolk...only albumen (protein) in the whites. :)

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:55 PM

True, but if he's going to be eating boatloads of them for protein, it probably wouldn't be wise to get that much O6 from the yolks. He will probably also be getting O6 from nuts. But in general the yolks are far superior.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:58 PM

Thank you! I'll look into it.

0
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:08 AM

Don't give up on gaining muscle while vegetarian. There have been a few successful vegan/vegetarian bodybuilders. They just have to work a bit harder at it is all. Just do a Google search.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:36 AM

Being vegan/vegetarian isn't the problem so much as going paleo is. I used dairy, legumes (especially soy) for my protein, and I have to find another strategy.. but many of the responses have been extremely helpful. Thanks for the encouragement!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 24, 2010
at 03:42 AM

All of the above are great suggestions. Also, you may want to browse Mark's Daily Apple for specifics on what his wife does. I think it's just paleo with eggs, and without meat. Very doable. It seems like you have an excellent grasp on things...best of luck!

0
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:49 PM

I'll start with the obligatory caution since I think eating some meat is part of a healthy diet.

That said, I think you can be pretty darn healthy if you base a diet on the following:

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, truly pastured eggs (or omega 3 if you can't find/afford the real thing) (eat at least one per day), raw grass-fed dairy, grass-fed dairy fat (pasteurized ok if only eating the butter fat), lentils, beans, cruciferous vegies, coconut, macadamia/cashew/hazel nuts, cacao, and fruits. Avoid soy (too much omega 6) and get your protein from potatoes, buckwheat, eggs, and dairy.

Vegetarians have to be especially vigilant about keeping their omega 6 low since you are not getting much long chain omega 3s (mainly found in fish). Thus, you will have to make your own DHA and EPA from alpha linolenic acid, which is hard to do if you're drowning in omega 6 linoleic acid like most vegetarians (linoleic acid and linolenic acid compete for elongation by the rate-limiting the D6D enzyme).

Vegetarians also often have too much sugar, their other fatal flow. If you keep sugar intake restricted to a few servings of fresh fruit per day and keep your omega 6s low, I don't see any reason why you can be very healthy on a vegetarian diet. You are relying on that egg for B-12, so don't skip it and feel free to have more than 1 per day or take a supplement.

0
630c94db61d822a0855533fafbeb11bc

on December 23, 2010
at 11:29 PM

The fundamental human principle that arose in the paleolithic is tools. And... one of the best tools for weight gain is dairy. Robb Wolf talks about this in a few of his podcasts, but I'm not sure which ones.

So... I'd echo what others have said about axing grains, legumes, and sugars. However, if mass gain is your goal, consider keeping dairy in the mix.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 05:41 AM

I've never thought of it this way. Thanks!

0
A912ff969107d3eda04ee78c683a6bc5

on December 23, 2010
at 11:27 PM

Aren't those fake meats either grain or legumes? How un-Paleo!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:57 PM

Giving up the soy protein isolate is 1st on my list, but since I just ate some yesterday, I couldn't honestly leave it off...

0
40e925ddc9657e211c9a2ee83c2cc579

(364)

on December 23, 2010
at 11:14 PM

If you're looking for paleo advice, it will probably be: Stop eating legumes and soy and start eating some meat.

Sorry.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 24, 2010
at 12:42 AM

what's wrong with legumes?

40e925ddc9657e211c9a2ee83c2cc579

(364)

on December 24, 2010
at 09:12 PM

Legumes = lectins = leaky gut = autoimmune problems

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on December 24, 2010
at 01:45 AM

^^ that's a different Jay.. I'm clear on the legumes issue.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!