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Thread: can a vegetarian ever be primal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Linz, Austria


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    Since the challenge has started I feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of interest this has created on the site. Quite amazing!Anyway...

    I saw a member introducing herself and not wanting to pick on anyone I was wondering IF it is even possible to be Primal and a Vegetarian? Doesn't this go against all the fundamental ideas of the PB?

    Ideas and comments are welcome.


  2. #2


    I'd say, let them try. While most protein sources from plants aren't really all that good for us, if it helps him/her cut grains and and sugars out of their diet, more power to them.

    But, from what I've noticed, most veggies end up eating at least fish and chicken after a while.

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  3. #3


    Maranne I hope it's possible. My g/f is an emotional vegetarian (so appeals to logic are completely useless). She eats eggs and diary though, so in theory she could be primal by getting her proteins and omega-3s from pastured eggs and meet her daily caloric requirements with food fats.

    The problem is how sustainable this is in the long term. Plus I am sure she would have satiety issues without any meat.

    If I manage to convince her to give strict primal a go for a month, weight loss and overall wellness might encourage her to make an extra effort. Ideally she would cave into including fish in her diet, although I find that extremely unlikely.

    I wish I knew how to make her reconsider her vegetarianism.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Serial Sinner. . .you might want to check out this website--there might be some info in there that will help. Some of the best meat/poultry places treat the animals way better than some of the dairy/egg producers that many vegetarians get their products from.

  5. #5
    marika's Avatar
    marika Guest


    I just made a sample menu for someone on another forum, and found if you do dairy and eggs, it could work!

    Here's my sample menu:


    Lacto-Ovo Paleo Menu (REVISED)


    Two pastured eggs and dandelion greens cooked in olive oil, glass of milk, followed by a banana


    Sunflower seeds


    Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms sauteed with swiss cheese in olive oil, glass of milk, followed by a "pudding" made of blended pear, banana and avocado


    Two pastured eggs sauteed with asparagus in olive oil, glass of milk, followed by an orange and banana


    Sunflower seeds

    Total Calories: 2107


    Proteins:Carbs:Lipids: 16:30:54

    Omega 6:3: 11.6:1 (Seeds made this high)


    -Vitamin B3 (84% RDA)

    -Potassium (91% RDA)

    -Sodium (73% RDA)


    All in all, that's really good! I think the potassium and sodium levels are just fine, it's just the B3 that is a little bit low, but really, I don't think it's that bad!

    I did use pastured eggs in this calculation, which helps a lot with nutrients! I calculated two eggs at breakfast and dinner, you could add more to bring the protein levels up a bit more.

    If you just added a half can of sardines, your B3 would be 101% RDA, potassium would go up to 95% RDA, and sodium would be 89% RDA, so you'd be really set. Also, that would lower your omega 6:3 ratio to 9:1.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Marika, what web-site did you use to calculate the calories. I eat much more than that and my calorie intake, on Fitday, doesn't normally exceed 1300. And I've been wondering why I haven't lost any weight in the last 3 weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    If your eating eggs I definitely think you can do it and still be vegetarian. My fiancee isn't vegetarian, but just can't really stomach much meat intake, so we supplement with eggs. With just us two we probably go through 3-4 doz eggs a week.

  8. #8
    marika's Avatar
    marika Guest


    @maba, I used the Cron-o-meter,

    I bought a kitchen scale and have been weighing everything too, which helps a lot to know for sure how much I'm eating.

  9. #9
    Mick's Avatar
    Mick Guest



    I was wondering IF it is even possible to be Primal and a Vegetarian? Doesn&#39;t this go against all the fundamental ideas of the PB?</blockquote>

    I&#39;d doubt it. Mark&#39;s "PB" seems to put a high value on meat. It&#39;s specifically shown in a "pyramid" he published in a blog post yesterday.

    I suppose "Can one be healthy and a vegetarian?" is a different question.

    I think people can probably get by without that much meat or fish, if they eat enough eggs and dairy products. But once it has to be "none" you&#39;re getting into more difficult territory.

    The Swiss studied by Weston Price seem to have eaten mostly dairy products and sourdough rye bread with some vegatbles. They only ate meat about once per week. But they did eat it, and I think they ate broth made from bones and scraps of meat on a more regular basis.

    Sir Robert McCarrison&#39;s studies on Indian diets are of interest here, too. He was Director of Research on Nutrition in India under the British Raj. Southern Indian diets - which included some vegetarian groups - were not good. There were characteristic deficiency diseases, and the people were small and not strong. In northern India, by contrast, there were some very large, strong, and healthy populations. Some of these got most of their protein and animal fat from dairy products, but they did get meat at least once a week.

    McCarrison fed hundreds of rats on different Indian diets, and found the rats got the same deficiency diseases, or not, depending on the diets he fed them. The pictures of the rats are quite striking.

    Rats fed mainly on polished rice and vegetables do not grow large. They tend to be less contented, too. Some of MacCarrison&#39;s rats on less satisfactory diets were far more aggressive and even bit the handlers.

    I&#39;d say the evidence from traditional societies and the experiments with rats tends to suggest that you don&#39;t necessarily need much meat, so long as you have enough good-quality animal food from other sources ... but you probably need some.

    Vegetarians in Southern India have some of the shortest lifespans in the world. It&#39;s apparently been found to be shorter when they move to England. The reason is thought to be that food in India contains insect parts. So better hygiene in the English food distribution system is actually counterproductive, since it stops vegetarians at least unwittingly getting a little animal food in the form of insects.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Don&#39;t forget, the milk and cheese is definitely not primal per Mark&#39;s and Dr. Cordain&#39;s dogma. Probably the carbs and protein ratios need to be reversed, too. The bottom line premise of the Primal diet is high fats and proteins, carbs few.

    The sunflower seeds iffy, high Omega 6&#39;s as you point out. 12:1 ratio is nowhere close to the desired 4:1 or better.

    I&#39;m not saying the suggested diet isn&#39;t decent and nutritious, and it is certainly a lot better than the SAD, but it isn&#39;t Primal by definition.

    The bottom line to the question being asked, can a veggie every be primal, the answer is "No." One or the other has to give.

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