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Chicken and white rice on a bed of lettuce at Go! Sy Thai in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Go! Sy Thai.

Paleo + Vegan: Going Pegan in Metro Detroit


As we enter the end of the first month of the year, those that recently set health/fitness goals for the new year are no-doubt looking at their first month of progress. If my personal experience has shown me anything, it’s that a month is hardly enough time to see results.

If you’ve been sticking to a strict workout regimen (three days/week myself) but haven’t noticed big results, it might be a good idea to look at your diet, too. With so many different diets and recommendations out there, it can be hard to find the right one for you. But, that’s the key. What works for your friend’s body, who just lost 30 pounds or gained a bunch of muscle mass, won’t necessarily work for your body.

That’s one thing that is great about the pegan diet (no, not the witchcraft kind). It marries the best elements of the paleo and vegan diets into one diet that promotes foods that are good for your body.

When taking on any new diet, eating out can be difficult. Below, you’ll find a few recommendations of Metro Detroit restaurants that can help you stick to a pegan diet, even when dining out.

Folk

From its seasonal, made-from-scratch approach to its menu to its bountiful gluten-free and vegan options, there’s a lot to love about Corktown’s Folk. Pegan dieters should look to options like the “Folk Bowl,” which is filled with kale, roasted fennel, berbere spiced carrots, crushed chickpea, toasted sunflower seeds and vegan cashew dressing. If you’re looking for some a little more “comforting,” try the Phuc Tong Stew. The chicken is slow cooked, paired with butternut squash, coconut milk, Thai basil, chili & lime leaf sauce and served over rice.

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Go! Sy Thai

With two Detroit locations and halal, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options, you’d be right to guess that this spot will fit your pegan diet. That comes from the flexibility and options available at Go! Sy Thai. You can pick your protein (I recommend the chicken, beef or veggies) and your choice of carb (white rice, brown rice, fried rice, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, egg noodles or udon noodles). Go for the white rice or rice noodle as brown rice contains anti-nutrients and gut irritants and udon noodles are made from wheat flour. Note: when it comes to rice, try to limit your intake (~½-cup per meal).

Brome Modern Eatery

What sets Brome Modern Eatery apart from other burger joints is their commitment to only using meat and vegetables that are responsibly raised. That means all of the beef at Brome is organic and comes only from grass-fed cows. If you’re okay with going bunless, you’ll be able to find some juicy options at either location (Dearborn and Detroit). You don’t have to go with the organic vegan patty, but the “Vegumami” and “Veganmami” burgers are plentiful in their field greens, wild mushrooms, tomatoes and more. Also, skip the fries and soft drink and ask for a house salad sans croutons with a vinaigrette dressing and a bottle of water.

chartreuse bigeye - pegan diet

Bigeye tuna at Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails. Bigeye tuna supplied by Motor City Seafood. Photo courtesy of Motor City Seafood.

Motor City Seafood

One thing that will seem odd to anyone approaching the pegan diet from the vegan perspective is that animal products are okay, so long as they are ethically raised and free of GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Motor City Seafood isn’t a restaurant itself, but ethically sources all of its seafood and supplies it to many local restaurants.

With the pegan diet, you’ll likely be making some sacrifices in terms of your favorite foods, but there are so many benefits when you’re only digesting unprocessed, protein-rich, nutrient-rich foods. As I said earlier, take note of how any change in diet affects your body and adjust accordingly.

Here’s to happiness and good health!

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