This post is all about the best Pegan Diet breakfast recipes! What is a Pegan Diet? Well, we're glad you asked! We're sure you've heard of the keto diet and we just talk in our last post about an anti-inflammatory diet, and really when it comes to “diets” there are countless others but the relatively new kid on the block is the Pegan Diet which essentially is a blend of the Paleo Diet and a Vegan Diet.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what the Pegan Diet is, who created it, and what you can and can't eat while following the Pegan diet. Then of course we'll get into what this post is all… the best Pegan Diet breakfast recipes. Breakfast can often be the most challenging so if you're interested in following the Pegan Diet we’ll also discuss what Pegan breakfast recipes might look like to help make this way of eating a little bit easier.
Let’s dive in!
What is the Pegan Diet?
The Pegan diet is a combination of a Vegan diet and the Paleo diet. As you probably already know, a Vegan diet is focuses on plant-based foods without any animal or animal by-products. Meanwhile, the Paleo diet is a diet where you eat food that our “hunter-gather” ancestor's may have eaten. Both diets focus on whole, unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The cross between to two results in what is referred to as the Pegan diet which falls somewhere in between a low carb/high-fat and a high carb/low-fat diet. So we guess you'd call it a medium/medium diet? LOL
Vegan vs. Paleo
Now you may be thinking how on earth can you cross a Vegan diet with Paleo diet as they have nothing in common? Yup, we thought the same when we first looked into it as we know a paleo diet has a large focus on fat and protein, consumed largely from animal products. And, while it's true that on a Paleo diet suggests one consumes around eight to nine ounces of meat each day it also focuses heavily on vegetables, nuts, fruit and seeds….just like a Vegan diet. What they have in common is that both diets focus on clean eating with nutrient-packed, whole and unprocessed foods.
So, what exactly does your plate look like when you blend these two ways of eating? Well, 75% of your plate will be plant-based foods, and the remaining 25% of your plate will be animal-based foods (ideally grass-fed, organic, or sustainably raised).
Who created the Pegan Diet?
To give you a little more detail, let's do a background check on where the Pegan Diet originated. The Pegan Diet was created by Dr. Mark Hyman, a family physician who practices Functional Medicine. He created the diet to heal the body and promote longevity. According to Dr. Hyman, a Pegan diet promotes health by lowering blood sugar and reducing inflammation. So why is it important to reduce inflammation? Well, according to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases are on the rise and chronic inflammation may contribute to of them such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Back in 2001 it was predicted that chronic diseases would rise by almost 57% by the year 2020, and it has. Why the increase? Now, according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this rise may be the result of eating food that is not aligned with our genetic ancestry or our metabolism – does fast food come to mind, anyone?
Will a Pegan Diet combat Chronic Disease?
There has been a crazy amount of research done trying to determine which ‘diet' is best to combat chronic disease. Although there are many debates out there, no one can deny that a focus on whole, unproccessed food is the foundation. Both diet were disucssing today are based on this principle. While some researchers will say the paleo diet is the way to go, you'll find others which proclaim the Vegan diet is better. However, according to several studies, a hybrid of the two diets may promise an even better choice for avoiding chronic disease.
It is also thought to an excellent choice to promote a healthy gut microbiome. We have some great information on on how to keep your gut healthy so make sure to check out those posts when you're done here (check this one and here's another.) What’s more, the Pegan diet is not as restrictive as the Paleo diet or the Vegan which is thought to make it more sustainable or “doable.”
What Food Can You Eat on the Pegan Diet?
Now that we know more about the Pegan diet, and where it originated, let's talk about the most important part…what you can actually eat! The foods included in a Pegan Diet are packed with natural sources of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits and vegetables.
When possible, you want to choose fruits and vegetables that are low on the glycemic index which will have a lower affect at raising your blood sugars. These include non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, and fruit like berries. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are also acceptable but just in smaller amounts.
The pegan diet also focuses on pasture-raised animal protein, such as grass-fed beef, along with eggs, chicken, and pork. For more detail, you can check out this article on why grass fed and pastured raised animals are better for your health but in short, these products contain a healthy fat profile and less chemical and antibiotic exposure.
The fat profile of grass fed and pastured beef contains high levels of omega-3's. Omega-3s are considered anti-inflammatory and are great for heart health as they can lower blood triglycerides and have a positive affect on blood pressure.
Fish, another great source of omega-3s, is also allowed on the Pegan Diet. However, you’ll want to choose wild varieties and focus on salmon, herring, and sardines as these fish tend to have larger amounts of this anti-inflammatory fatty acid.
When it comes to other healthy fats, you'll want to include those that are minimally processed. These include unrefined coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, and avocado oil. You can also find healthy fats in nuts (like almonds or walnuts), nut butters (like cashew or almond butter) and seeds (like pumpkin and flax), which are a good sources of plant-based fiber which keeps you full.
In terms of other carbohydrate rich, starch foods, the Pegan Diet allows for small amounts of legumes such as beans and lentils, and gluten-free whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, and black rice. It's recommended to stick to about ½ cup of gluten-free grains and up to 1 cup of legumes per day.
Now if you're anything like us, the sweet toothes over here, you want to know about sugars. In terms of sweeteners, the Pegan Diet allows for maple syrup or honey… but only occasionally (darn it!).
What Foods Can You Not Eat on a Pegan Diet?
With the Pegan diet there is a ton of variety to choose from but there are some things that are limited.
For instance, cow’s milk, cheese, and yogurt. The Pegan diet recommends you avoid those forms of dairy but you can, however, consume products from sheep or goat in small quantities as they tend to be more easily digestible.
The Pegan Diet also suggests you avoid gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Yup! So you’ll want to skip that whole wheat toast in your Pegan breakfast. If you can’t do without your morning toast, not to worry – there are plenty of gluten-free options out there! More and more gluten free breads are making it to market these days providing many delicious alternatives! Our favorite is Schar. It's really the best gluten free bread we've found! We also want to acknowledge that gluten free bread can be a bit on the pricey side but as it's only meant to play a small role in your daily intake one loaf can go a long way! Schar bread freezes really well so we recommend storing it in the freezer and taking it out as you need it!
Industrial Seed Oils
Now, when it comes to refined sugars, like corn syrup and table sugar, it's a big No-No on the Pegan diet. As mentioned above honey and maple syrup are ok….but in small amounts.
The Pegan Diet is also particular on the types of fats you eat. You want to avoid using highly processed/refined oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. Why? These oils are packed with omega-6s, which if consumed in excess may contribute to chronic inflammation.
Other No-Nos are those pesky food additives that include preservatives, dyes, GMOs, and artificial sweeteners.
What are the Best Pegan Diet Breakfast Ideas?
Now, let's get to the good part! Providing you with tons of tasty ideas for a healthy Pegan Diet. While those sugar glazed donuts may be a thing of the past, read on for some tasty ideas that will start your day off right!
According to Dr. Hyman, breakfast is one of the most important tools for healthy living but we all know how hectic mornings can be. More often than not, you’re hitting the snooze button – and before you know it, there’s no time for breakfast. So you skip breakfast entirely, grab some coffee shop goods, or cruise through the drive-thru.
However, with a little time and planning ahead, you can easily enjoy a healthy Pegan breakfast to get your day off to a great start.
So what exactly is a good Pegan breakfast?
A Pegan breakfast includes some protein such as eggs, fish, or some leftover chicken from dinner, healthy fats such as avocados, seeds, or nut butter. Then, add some fiber from berries or other antioxidant rich fruit, and finally a low-glycemic carbohydrate from vegetables!
Pegan breakfast Ideas
- Smoothies made with dairy-free milk, berries, nuts, and seeds.
- Hard-boiled omega-3 eggs with some fruit slices.
- An omega-3 rich egg scrambled with sautéed leafy greens, and berries on the side.
- Tofu scramble with sautéed vegetables.
- Rice and beans
- Yesterday’s leftover from dinner like miso soup with leftover roast chicken.
- Homemade sausages and fried omega-3 rich eggs.
- Pancakes made from coconut flour, topped with blueberries.
Root + Revel's Best Pegan Diet Breakfast Recipes
We've come up with a handful of Pegan diet breakfast recipes you'll find right here on the blog!
No Bake Energy Balls: These are a perfect grab-and-go Pegan Diet breakfast recipe for those busy mornings. They’re filled with wholesome ingredients like dates, pumpkin, oats, flaxseeds, and pecans.
You'll get plenty of plant-based fiber, and immune-boosting Vitamin A. The addition of pumpkin pie spice makes them so delish!
Shakshuka Eggs: If you prefer a savoury breakfast, these Shakshuka Eggs are right up your alley! Shakshuka Eggs are eggs cooked in cumin-seasoned tomato sauce with peppers and onions. They're so full of flavor and will keep you full all morning long! This recipe also adds a little healthy twist to this classic dish. We add a swiss chard pesto that adds nutty savoriness to complements the creamy eggs!
Paleo Pancakes: Looking for a guilt-free way Pegan Diet breakfast recipe for weekend brunch? Look no further – these pancakes are fluffy and brimming with pumpkin and chocolate flavors. They’re also naturally sweetened with bananas, so you won’t have to drown them in a ton of maple syrup. Pegan breakfast can be decadent and sweet!
The Elvis Smoothie: Smoothies are always a great option when you’re running short on time. In just five minutes, you’ll have a creamy, chocolatey, nutty smoothie that is definitely Elvis-approved. We also threw in some spinach and chia seeds for some extra antioxidants, as well as omega-3s. Definitely a nutritionist-approved choice!
Blueberry Bacon Zucchini Muffins: We know what you’re thinking: “That’s a weird combination.” But this is definitely one of the best Pegan Diet breakfast recipes and it totally works. The crispy savory bacon complements the moist, sweetness of these blueberry muffins beautifully. And we sneaked in some zucchini because we could all use some extra veggies in our Pegan breakfast, right?
That's a Wrap!
Okay y'all that's a wrap! To sum it all up, the Pegan diet combines both vegan and paleo diets emphasizing whole foods and eating plenty of plant-based foods with some addition of animal-based foods. As always, no one diet fits all. What works for someone else may not work for you. So give it a try, and see if it works for you. We'd love to hear what you think of the recipes above and please share any of your favorite Pegan breakfast recipes in the comments below!
Much love & delish breakfasts!
Sarah & The Root + Revel Team