We all know the stereotypes widely held about paleo dieters. Paleo is the “caveman” diet, right? All paleo enthusiasts are total carnivores, right? Not to mention animal haters and are destroying the environment. You can try telling people that we don’t eat the way cavemen eat, but aim to learn from how our ancestors ate and moved and lived so we can apply what they did right to our environment today. Try telling people that the paleo diet puts a huge emphasis on fresh fruits and especially vegetables, or that nose-to-tail eating of animals is the best way to honor that animal’s life which was sacrificed for our nutrition, or that seeking protein and nutrients from sources which are not in super high demand (small oily vegetarian fish, organ meats) is pretty darn good for the environment. It’s hard to get these complex ideas across to people who know very little about paleo to begin with, and a lot can get lost in translation.
What about vegetarians? They’re the enemy, right? Their grain crops are lacking in nutrients and leaching out of America’s heartland soil whatever nutrients are left. They are malnourished hippies whose bodies are starved for protein. Meat is what allowed our ancestors’ brains to grow to such massive size, right? We assume that vegetarians must continuously silence their bodies’ desire for real animal nutrients .
But do we have any common ground? I didn’t think so, until I happened upon the below video. If you have about 30 minutes, I highly recommend watching!
Paleo and vegetarians/vegans, we’re not all that different, you know? We care about living optimally with the help of proper nutrition. We agree that processed foods do not have a place in our lifestyle. We emphasize nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and nuts. So paleo may not have room for grains or legumes. So what? So vegetarians/vegans may not consume some or all animal products. That’s okay! We have enough in common that we can enjoy a wonderful meal together.
My close friend Pooja has been a vegetarian her entire life. When we were living together this summer, we discovered that while our diets had many differences, there was lots of delicious common ground! We love to make guacamole together. She will eat hers on blue corn tortilla chips and I eat mine with carrots. We also both love zucchini noodles, smoothie bowls, almond butter, and all kinds of fresh fruit!
Last week, Pooja and I threw a paleo AND vegetarian brunch for several of our friends. She provided the amazing rooftop views, the boys brought some wine, and I made the food!
This paleo and vegetarian spread did not disappoint. The "Stained Glass" Frittata made for a wonderful, protein-packed main dish. I created the Grain-Free Pumpkin Granola with one guest's nut allergies in mind. The Avocado Salad and Citrus Salad each brought their own profile of fresh, bright flavors and added plenty of color.
I can't wait to host more all-inclusive get togethers like this in the future! In the meantime, check out the recipes below from The Brunch Chronicles Part I.