In last week's newsletter, we talked about a new book by one of our favorite functional medicine doctors, Dr. Mark Hyman, that's all about the ideal healthy lifestyle: The Pegan Diet.
As a quick refresher: The story of 'Pegan' goes like this: one day, Dr. Hyman was sitting on a panel with other well-known health experts when those on either side of him -- one paleo and one vegan -- were arguing about which lifestyle was better.
Hyman believes the ideal lifestyle is a mix of the two. In his latest book, The Pegan Diet, Dr. Hyman provides guidance on how to live healthy in a nutritionally confusing world. His 21 principles and recipe ideas in this book are sure to keep you well informed and on track in your health journey.
Here's the second half of my quick cheat sheet of The Pegan Diet for you, starting with the Pegan Diet Food Pyramid and Principle 12:
12. Leverage personalized nutrition for optimal health – What he means by this one is to find a functional medicine doctor who can help run blood tests, stool tests and spit tests. These tests will help you understand what types of food cause inflammation for you, whether you have leaky gut, whether you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, etc. All are critical components to health and longevity!
13. Cleanse, detox and reset wisely – Dr. Hyman says to try removing foods on his “Don’t Eat That” list for 10 days. Other tips include: try to leave 12 to 14 hours between dinner and breakfast. Get 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight in the morning. Commit to the same bedtime daily.
14. Assess the risks and benefits of a Vegan Diet – Dr. Hyman says that “be definition, a vegan diet is deficient in certain essential nutrients – omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, iron and zinc.” He has some concerns about the vegan diet as a result but provides some tips for healthy living if you do choose to eat vegan for ethical or religious reasons. Eating protein-rich vegan foods, sticking to whole kernel grains and taking supplements are on his list for vegans.
15. Eat for gut health – This is the decade of the microbiome. “Who knew poop was the key to health, weight loss and longevity?” Dr. Hyman says to optimize gut health we need to Weed, Feed and Seed. Weed out gut-destroying foods and drugs like processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar, refined oils, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and acid blockers. Seed by adding in the good bugs – eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, tofu, etc. And Feed to support the growth of healthy bacteria by including prebiotic and fiber-rich foods.
16. Eat for Longevity – Insulin resistance is the biggest cause of aging. How does insulin resistance happen? “Simple. When you overeat starch and sugars in any form, your pancreas pumps out loads of insulin. Your cells become resistant to insulin’s effects, meaning more and more insulin is required to keep your blood sugar normal.” That’s what begins to cause a host of other problems. So we need to focusing on reversing insulin resistance by reducing consumption of starches, reducing stress, increasing movement, and adding more disease-fighting foods like colorful plant foods.
17. Eat to Boost Mood – Dr. Hyman says that when it comes to brain disorders like anxiety depression, memory loss and ADHD, nutritional deficiencies are the first place he looks. He recommends balancing blood sugar and eating brain boosting foods (think: fish, berries, nuts, seeds and green tea).
18. Make healthy eating affordable – Organic healthy food can be expensive but think about the long term costs of eating poorly. Seeking out affordable sources for healthy foods like Thrive Market and ButcherBox can help.
19. Feed your kids what you eat – I can say from experience that this one is much easier said than done. But Dr. Hyman recommends involving kids in meal prep and planning to help them learn to make healthier food choices long term.
20 Make health habits stick by understanding your “why”. Knowing why you want to live in a way to optimize health and longevity will help you stick to that plan. Make changes with like-minded friends and start small to create baby steps to big change.
21. Start the Pegan Diet today – using Dr. Hyman’s Pegan food pyramid above. We love this framework in the Kosterina household!
What do you think about the Pegan lifestyle? We cant wait to hear from you!
If you enjoy our wellness content, please forward our newsletter to a friend of family member. For more bite-size, easy to incorporate wellness tips, please follow us on Instagram at @kosterina.
Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier, Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean lifestyle and eating for health and longevity.
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