When we launched Five Monsters Paleo, we were so excited to share the paleo lifestyle we loved with everyone who might find their way to our little site. And we still are!
However . . . while we still feel like a traditional paleo diet helps us feel and function our best, we have recently made one big change to our family diet plan: the inclusion of certain legumes. This change comes after a diagnosis of esophageal cancer in someone very close to us, which encouraged us to re-examine our beliefs on optimal nutrition.
While we continue to love meat and eggs and believe that they do have healthful advantages that fuel us extremely well, a convincingly significant number of studies specific to cancer suggest that animal protein may do more harm than good.
Thus, while this remains a paleo blog, you will also find recipes we are dubbing "valeo" that replace some or all of the animal protein in a given dish with legumes.
The term valeo was actually coined as a joke between my amazing friend Sarah and I a while back. We were discussing our different approaches to healthful eating, and she described her dietary outlook as similar to paleo, but with less meat and more beans. I told her she was basically Pegan, a term created by Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Pegan Diet. She replied, "Pegan? That sounds gross. They should call it valeo."
I laughingly agreed.
In the back of my mind I have long-considered valeo a good term for our approach to paleo, which has always been very veggie-focused. Now, with our greater restriction of animal protein and selective inclusion of legumes, it feels like the right word to capture our progression.
So here's what this shift actually looks like: eating animal products less often, and trying to only eat the highest quality animal products when we do. Grass-fed, organic beef and eggs can be ridonkulously expensive, but they are generally higher in the good stuff and lower in the bad stuff. Since we'll be eating animal products less often, we'll be replacing some of that protein with legumes. And good news--those are crazy cheap! We are incorporating things like black beans, chickpeas, and lentils but continuing to steer away from peanuts and soy, which may be associated with greater health concerns than other legumes.
Have you found that legumes are definitely not for you? No worries. We still have plenty of traditional paleo recipes to help you take a bite out of life. We will continue to deliver delicious, grain-free, dairy-free recipes loaded with power-fueling fats and nutrient-packed produce. We sincerely hope that wherever you are on your health journey, you will be blessed by this site in some way.
Thanks for stopping by! Now, get cooking!
I'm the Monster Momma.
I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and
paleo food fiend.
Join me and my family on our paleo journey!