I asked myself this very same question over and over again when I was first wrapping my brain around this new way of eating and living. Transitioning from a vegetarian ultra-runner who lived off of breakfast burritos, chocolate cake & Buddha Bowls, trust me when I said this transition was more difficult than any Ultra-marathon I’ve ever ran. However, once I got a good routine in place and learned how to break-up the transition into stages, I found there is a huge variety of healthy options to choose from:
- quality meats (grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild as much as possible)
- organ meat, offal and bone broth (I drink a cup of bone broth 5-7x/week)
- fish and shellfish (wild is best and I incorporate in 3 meals/week)
- Eggs (free-range, hormone-free, soy-free, cage-free)
- vegetables of all kinds (eat the organic rainbow, I eat 9-12 cups per day)
- Green vegetables (kale, chard, spinach, etc.)
- Colorful vegetables and fruit
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Sea vegetables (excluding algae like chlorella and spirulina which are immune stimulators)
- Edible Fungi, like mushrooms
- fruit of all kinds (eat the organic rainbow)
- herbs and spices (fresh and/or dried)
- quality fats (pasture-raised/grass-fed animal fats, fatty fish, olive, avocado, coconut, nuts, etc.
- probiotic/fermented foods (fermented vegetables or fruit, kombucha, water kefir, coconut milk kefir, coconut milk yogurt, supplements)
I was a vegetarian for 3 years and reincorporating meat into my diet was NOT easy, especially the organ meat and offals. It is a common misconception that The Paleo Diet is mainly comprised of animal products, but that is not true. The Paleo diet is a plant-based diet, with two thirds or more of your plate covered with plant foods and only one third with animal foods. I even reserve 2-days per week for going meatless!
Remember that “eating the rainbow” as well as “snout-to-tail” is super important because a variety of different foods supplies different essential nutrients that we may be missing out on otherwise.