Episode 92: The Pegan Diet with Dr Mark Hyman

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What Is the Pegan Diet?

Dr. Mark Hyman is one of the most well-known names in the functional medicine movement. He is a practicing physician, a 10-time New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate. He’s recently published a new book called, FOOD: What the Heck Should We Eat? In it, he cuts through the confusion of conflicting dietary studies, and tries to simplify healthy nutrition choices. He has coined the term “peganism” and in this podcast, we talk about what that means, alongside other tips for autoimmune health.

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Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Thank You to our Podcast Sponsor – Paleo on the Go (1:49)
    • A frozen meal delivery service, they have a large menu of items for the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).
    • Use the code PHOENIX for 10% off your first order.
  • Eileen’s Updates (3:15)
  • Meet Dr. Hyman (3:56)
  • What Is the Pegan Diet? (7:17)
    • Named for the intersection of Paleo and Vegan diets, it’s Dr. Hyman’s food recommendations for optimal health.
    • It’s very similar to Dr. Terry Wahls and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s recommendations. Focus on nutrient density, and avoid inflammatory foods.
    • Eat a low-sugar, low-glycemic diet.
    • 1/2 to 3/4 of your plate should be filled with vegetables.
    • Avoid refined and processed oils, and choose healthy fats instead: olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and the fats naturally contained in pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, and low-mercury seafood.
    • Include 4-6 ounces of high-quality protein at each meal.
    • Ideally choose foods that are organic, local, fresh, and low in pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs.
    • No chemicals, no fake food. There are 3,000 chemicals currently allowed in processed foods.
    • Dairy isn’t a health food. If you choose to eat it, grass-fed or goat dairy are the best choices.
    • Nuts and seeds are healthy options.
    • If you eat grains, choose gluten-free.
    • If you eat legumes, keep quantities small.
    • Modifications for autoimmune disease: No grains. No legumes. No dairy. And an elimination diet like the AIP might be helpful.
    • This is a template. Personalize the diet for you.
    • Resources:
  • Biggest Mistakes People Make On the Paleo Diet (12:01)
  • Let’s Talk Protein (13:05)
    • Eat 4-6 ounces per meal (filling the rest of your plate with vegetables and a little healthy fat).
    • High quality protein sources: grass-fed meat, pastured poultry, low-mercury seafood, pastured eggs, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.
    • When you hear Dr. Hyman say he only eats 4-6 ounces meat daily, he meets the rest of his protein needs from the other categories, being sure to get adequate protein at every meal.
  • Best Foods for Autoimmune Health (14:23)
  • The Feel Good Wheel (16:31)
    • A diagram created by Dr. Hyman and his team, it includes 8 aspects to a balanced and healthy life: Nutrition, Body & Movement, Purpose, Mindset, Community, Spirit, Emotional Health, and Relationships.
    • We plan our vacations better than we plan our lives. The more we structure our life to support our health and remove influences and obstacles that derail our health, the easier it is to maintain health. This is the secret to healthy habits. For example, if you stock your kitchen with healthy food and remove the unhealthy choices, it’s easier to maintain a healthy diet. When it comes to exercise, what do you enjoy, and where is the easiest place to fit it into your schedule? Do you structure your evenings to help you sleep, or do things that keep you up? Etc.
    • The Feel Good Wheel can be a great exercise in self-reflection. Where are your self-care practices strong? Which need work? It will be different for each one of us. If you feel overwhelmed, Dr. Hyman recommends starting with food, because a good diet affects change in every area on the wheel. Then, when refining your health, you can choose small steps in other areas that over time can lead to larger changes.
    • The Feel Good Summit is an immersive retreat June 7-10, 2018. It will focus on all of these aspects of health.
  • A Functional Medicine Approach to Autoimmune Disease (23:34)
    • Functional medicine looks for root causes, rather than symptom suppression. The causes are different for everyone, so the top tests Dr. Hyman chooses depends on the patient’s history and symptoms.
    • Top 3 things that trigger autoimmunity:
  • Qualities of an Effective Doctor-Patient Partnership (26:57)
    • A doctor who listens and cares, and takes a detailed health history to discover each patient’s story.
    • A client who is willing to change, and is committed to following the treatment plan. In functional medicine, it’s about making life changes, not just taking a pill.
    • Resource: Episode 67 – Building Effective Doctor-Patient Relationships.
  • Why Is Nutrition So Confusing? (29:42)
    • Nutrition studies are often funded by food companies looking for a specific result.
    • Food lobbies have a huge influence on government food policy and diet education, often contrary to what the science says.
    • There’s also a wide variety of quality among scientific studies, and very few prove cause and effect. Most studies on nutrition show possible association and correlation, but there are multiple variables.
    • Nutrition headlines rarely tell the whole truth.
    • In his book, FOOD: What the Heck Should I Eat?, Dr. Hyman evaluates the science for each food group and shows what has been proven, what hasn’t, and guides people to make the healthiest choices.
  • Outro (32:44)

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