Book Club - The Paleo Vegetarian Diet

Do not be alarmed, I repeat, do not be alarmed.

Even though the title of this post contains the word 'diet,' I do not diet. Everything I do is a part of a lifestyle! A few weeks ago, I got this awesome book, 'The Paleo Vegetarian Diet,' in the mail. I am a hoarder huge lover of cookbooks, from lifestyle to meals I can whip up in 30 minutes (thanks Rachael Ray). But when I received this book, I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant to delve in. But coming across this line in the intro, I felt as if Dena was speaking to the choir me.

"This will thrill some of you and make others cringe, but there are no hard-and-fast rules that apply 100 percent of the time - in life and especially in a diet."

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Paleo (cave man/woman) diet. Meats, fish, veggies and fruit. It's all about the basics, and getting rid of sugar, processed foods and alcohol. Vegetarians are all about that meat-free life. Bring on the veggies! A big difference between these two (besides the obvious meat vs. no meat) is Paleo says no grains and vegetarians rely on grains for a source of their protein. But Dena Harris' book is all about combining the two. 

The book is broken down into three parts: the introduction of the Paleo Vegetarian (PV) diet, recipes and how to make it work in your own life. She stresses throughout the book, that it's ok to take this diet in baby steps. And realizes that a lot of us are probably wondering, "What the heck can I eat on this diet?!" 

Since I don't want to spoil the whole book for you, I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite sections! Let's be real, the word 'diet,' is a bit daunting, especially when it comes to dining out. When it comes down to it, Mexican is my jam. The peanut butter to my jelly. So, I truly enjoyed the breakdown of what to get at various restaurants. I'm all about a list, so here's the approved list of Mexican spots:

  • A fajita salad (sans tortilla bowl and tortilla strips)
    • Side order of black beans
    • Veggies (prepared in EVOO or butter)
    • Avocado
    • Salsa
    • Fresh tomatoes

Being that meals, in general, require a little prep, Dena suggests doubling recipes for the week!

This Breakfast Quiche (serves 4) and is the perfect dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • 8 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8x8-inch square pan, 9-inch pie dish OR muffin pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the chopped vegetables and stir to combine,
  5. Pout the contents of the bowl into the baking dish and bake for 25-20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serving Ideas:
  • Have your way with vegetables. Try a spinach-asparagus combo, a mushroom-red pepper quiche, or a Mexican-inspired tomato and black olive creation.
  • Quiche pairs beautifully with a salad or a grilled portobello mushroom for a light yet filling meal.
  • Quiche and half a baked sweet potato are an excellent recovery meal after a hard cardio session. 

The final couple of chapters put the "diet," into perspective. If you're anything like me, my #1 question with anything new is, "How is this going to work?" Am I right? As Dena lays out, getting enough zzz's is extremely important (lack of sleep causes cravings), making sure you're getting enough protein (and carbs) and strength training a couple times a week are all critical in making the PV work for you.

Now that I have a better understanding of the PV lifestyle (remember people, it's a marathon not a sprint), I may test it out for a week. Dena suggests to start small, but also set realistic goals for yourself. The PV diet is not for everyone aka people who like meat, sugar, bread...shall I continue? But with the 80/20 principal allowed on this diet, I can definitely manage 7 days (with one cheat meal)! I'll leave you with this final word from the book,

"This is your body and your life. Make the choices that are right for you."

Ready to see what The Paleo Vegetarian Life is all about, eh? You're in luck! 

To win a copy of this book, e-mail me at kmboring@gmail.com.

 Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. YASS! That first line is so how I life my life! Balance is key. But with her recipes, where does she get all her protein? From eggs?