When I decided to give the paleo diet a try, my biggest question was “Do I stay vegetarian or not?” I know many vegetarians who successfully switch to a paleo diet but my biggest problem is that I’m a chronic on-again-off-again vegetarian (currently hovering in the “semi on” state) so when push comes to shove… I usually get pushed. I know that without a clear commitment, I will have decided to go back to meat. And if I go back to meat I’ll probably devolve into eating it at every meal (even if at first I say it’s “just once in a while”) and then I’ll end up stuffing my face with McDonalds quality meat. That’s not going to end well.
So, as part of my commitment to have a clearly defined paleo diet meal plan, here are the guidelines I’m putting in place,
Vegetarian is the default: whenever there are options choose vegetarian.
There is never an excuse for a meat “snack”: chomp on some nuts, carry around an apple, or even drink water to pass the time until I can get my hands on some veggie food.
If given the choice between a paleo meat and non-paleo vegetarian food, opt for the meat. If it’s possible to remove the meat and still have a healthy, sustaining meal do so. If not, eat only a small portion of meat.
If given a choice between non-paleo meat (for instance a hot dog) and non-paleo vegetarian options (for instance, beans or pasta), go vegetarian. Not being able to keep paleo is not an excuse to abandon the veggies!
If I eat meat more than 3 times (times, not days) in a week, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with myself about what’s going wrong.
A completely vegetarian, healthy, nourishing, sustainable paleo diet is the ultimate goal.