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The evolution of Paleo

THE GIST

A combination of Paleo and vegan principles, the pegan diet is trending as a healthy option for omnivores. There are a handful of rules that shape the diet.

First, it prioritizes whole, unprocessed ingredients that are sustainably raised or farmed. Second, it bans gluten, dairy, added sugars, and processed foods. Third, it limits legume intake to one half cup per day. Lastly, it considers meat, poultry, and seafood as sides, not main dishes. You can still get carbs from fruit, vegetables, and low-glycemic grains like quinoa.

EXPERT INSIGHT

If you eat every food group, you're likely consuming ingredients that cause inflammation in some people, like dairy and gluten, says Bethany Snodgrass, holistic health coach and operations manager at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York City. The pegan diet reduces that risk by cutting those foods out and focusing on fresh produce, which is full of inflammation-fighting phytochemicals.

These benefits will manifest in your workouts, Snodgrass says. “This type of diet fuels performance and recovery.”

THE BOTTOM LINE

Going pegan is ideal for fit bodies who eat meat. Adopting the rules one at a time will help you stick to it in the long term, Snodgrass says. Try this sample pegan menu she created to see if the diet is right for you:

  • Breakfast: coconut yogurt with berries, flax seeds, and chia seeds

  • Snack:hummus with sliced bell pepper

  • Lunch: bone broth-based soup with collard greens, red cabbage, arugula, onions, carrots, broccoli, and parsnips

  • Snack: apple with green tea

  • Dinner: salad of greens with roasted carrots and asparagus with two ounces of grass-fed filet mignon