“I felt ashamed of how I had changed from a veteran Army soldier into someone who I wasn’t proud to be,” Root, 35, tells PEOPLE for the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “When I transitioned out of the military, I was pregnant with my son, and that loss of structure meant I was eating what I wanted to with no regard, and being pregnant I just found myself eating a lot more than usual.”
Of course, one of the big complaints about a keto diet is that—like a vegan approach—it’s very restrictive and can be hard to stick to. That’s why we like to make people aware of a slightly less rigid approach we call Mod Keto that offers much of the same benefits as a strict keto diet but is much easier to follow long-term. With Mod Keto, carbs are raised to about 20% of your total caloric intake, protein to 20–40%, and fat is reduced to 40–60%. While not technically ketogenic (your body will probably not produce appreciable ketones at these levels), the higher protein and carb allowance supports workouts and activity better while still stabilizing blood sugar and promoting fat burning.
Vegans consume no animal products. Like vegetarians, they don’t eat meat, poultry, or fish, but they also avoid dairy, eggs, and other foods that contain even trace amounts of animal ingredients. Most vegans won’t eat gelatin (made from bones), casein (a milk protein), and fish oil supplements, or refined sugar (some brands of which use cow bones as a whitening agent).
Okay, I kid, but seriously. I have been skipping breakfast for as long as I can remember. I really only eat it on special occasions, if ever. It makes my calorie goals much easier to attain, and my body is totally cool with it. I don’t often wake up hungry. If you think you could handle waiting until noon to eat for the first time, give intermittent fasting a try. Even harder is to only do one meal a day, OMAD. This isn’t for everyone, especially if you get really hangry really quickly, but it is a great way to cut costs.

All you need for this low carb snack recipe is some almond flour, dried herbs like rosemary, and a spice grinder or food processor to pulse the sunflower seeds into flour. These crackers are vegan thanks to flax seed eggs, and they are gluten free because of the almond flour. We used the same everything bagel seasoning that we used in the low carb bagels to help season the crackers, they are loaded with sesame seeds, onion and garlic granules, and so darn tasty.
To get an idea of what that entails, consider that an average-sized person who eats about 2,000 calories a day will need 100–200g protein daily (on the lower end for strict keto dieters, and on the higher side for those going the Mod Keto route). A three-quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds nets you 25–30g protein, but also costs you 10g of carbs. Almonds have a similar protein-to-carb ratio at 30g to 15g per cup. The key is to accumulate enough protein from vegan sources without letting your carbs creep up too high.

I think if you halved or quartered the higher net carbs mirepoix components and remember this makes 6 servings, this could be keto adapted. I just wonder if the flavor will get lost. I am trying to stay below 19g of net carbs per day. I will try this, doing everything it takes to keep a serving under 9g and report back. I love the idea of it and it does seem like it would be delicious. Always looking for one pot meals to plan lunches for the week.

My weight loss has definitely slowed like it normally does after the first 2 weeks, but I also think I was getting a little too comfortable with my cheat days.  I let them happen more frequently than I should have.  So now, going into the month of February, I’ll be more diligent about not cheating unless it’s the right day, rather than just deciding on a whim to have a cheat day, just because I wanted what everyone else was having.  I’m going to be traveling to Breckenridge, Colorado for a ski trip this month, so I’m sure that the trip will be difficult on me.  At least, I’ll probably burn a lot of it while I’m skiing. #ketoacidosis


Be wary of packaged vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes: While these might be good substitutes for meat in terms of fat and protein, they might also contain a high amount of carbs. Be sure to check the carb content per serving, and consider the ingredients. Is it full or preservatives and fillers? Better meat substitutes would be any of the proteins mentioned above as well as portobello mushrooms or eggplant.
In addition to a plant-based keto diet being limited in nature, Dr. Axe explains that there’s also a high probability that someone on this diet would struggle to consume enough calories and essential fat-soluble vitamins. This could potentially lead to certain nutrient deficiencies and side effects, like fatigue, as a result. “If you’re at all open to the idea, I would highly recommend that you consider a vegetarian keto diet instead of a vegan keto diet. Include at least some animal products in your diet, such as pastured eggs or fermented cheeses or, even better, wild-caught fish like salmon,” he says. “These goods are great sources of protein, fat, choline and fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamins A and K) that are very difficult to get from plant foods alone.”
When adopting a healthy-eating plan, salads are a nutritional no-brainer. But while loading up on non-starchy veggies is a smart choice for weight loss, it can also leave you feeling deprived, leading to binge-eating later on. To keep salads satisfying, add a crunchy, creamy, or sweet element, like nuts and seeds, avocado, or dried fruit. And be sure to top salad with a filling protein like grilled chicken or fish.
Reaching for a bottle of water before you sit down to eat may help you shed those pounds faster. Research in the August 2015 Obesity journal found that obese patients who drank 500 milliliters (a 16-ounce bottle) of water 30 minutes before eating lost almost 3 pounds more than those who did not. Even more promising is that those who pre-loaded with water before each of the three main meals lost an average of 10 pounds over a 12-week period (compared to a 2-pound weight loss for those who preloaded before just one meal, or not at all).
Most ketogenic diet plans emphasize the consumption of animal-based products such as grass-fed butter and unprocessed meats, which can make it hard if you’re trying to cut back on your intake of these foods or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fortunately, however, there are also plenty of other high-fat, plant-based choices available for you to choose from as well.
My wife and I decided to see Samantha early in 2006 because we decided that it was time for a change. I had decided to participate in the MS150 ride, a 172 mile two day charity cycling event to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the date was fast approaching. With that goal in mind and the hope of carrying less weight with me on those 172 miles, I went to Samantha hoping that she could help me prepare for the event. I had never worked with a trainer before and, to be honest, working out with weights intimidated me. I never really learned how to use any of the equipment in a gym and I really didn’t understand the principles of weight training. Moreover, I didn’t really understand anything about how to eat (perhaps that’s why I managed to gain weight while cycling semi-regularly).

I totally agree with you! There are many other options. It is interesting – you’d think that people who are supposed to be in the health field and are so worried about how we eat, exercising, the environment, etc. don’t know the basics, especially when they are touting the sins of eating meat and fish. Cutting down the forests for palm oil is killing animals and their habitat. That’s a major reason why people go veg and vegan. Thank you for saying this.
Since successfully losing 100lbs by changing her relationship with food and her body, Sarah has taken her passion for food and balanced it between cucumbers and cupcakes. When she's not bustling her way around a kitchen, you can find her working out or winding down at home with her 3 kids and pug. Follow Sarah's journey on Instagram @TheBirdsPapaya.

This chocolate treat recipe is delicious and also ridiculously simple to whip up. These almond haystacks only require 3 ingredients and 20 minutes to make. Easy peasy and the resulting flavor is delicious—sweet, salty, chocolaty, and (of course) crunchy. This is the perfect recipe if you're looking for a quick and easy chocolate treat that's just a little bit sweet.

"When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn't go into stores or restaurants by myself. I'd walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I'm going to die if I don't do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40."

I’ll admit I’m much more of a savory breakfast person. I love getting the day off to a great start with a delicious, filling recipe. This avocado is one of my absolute favorites. I’ll eat it practically any time of day and for any meal or snack. It’s got a great combination of tanginess from the balsamic, savory smoky, salty bacon flavor and the rich, smooth and satisfying avocado. Give this combination a taste and I promise you’ll love it too!


The research on vegetarian keto diets is limited, but anecdotally speaking, MacDowell says she noticed a handful of positive changes once she started following the diet. “I found that not only did I lose weight very quickly [though in a healthy amount of time], I also noticed things like joint pain was disappearing, my digestion was normalizing, little things that I didn’t at all expect,” MacDowell says.

The vegetarian diet is commonly regarded as one of the healthiest diets for humanity. Many studies have found that vegetarian diets reduce the likelihood of prevalent diseases like heart disease and diabetes and improve health more than the average non-vegetarian diet. However, this doesn’t mean that the vegetarian diet is the best diet for everyone’s health.

This is often easier said than done. Committing to a healthy diet and fitness regimen can be a challenge, especially when you don’t see the meaningful results you're hoping for in a relatively short period of time. To keep you motivated and working toward your goal, we consulted the health experts for some of their best tricks for getting — and seeing! — results quickly. Whether you have five or 50 pounds to lose, these tried-and-true tips will encourage you to stick with it.  


I hope I’ve shown you that you can have a lot of fun exploring the ins and outs of vegetarian keto. There are tons of good foods and recipes out there just waiting to be tried. Shop local if you can, supporting local farmers is great for the environment. Don’t be afraid of meat substitutes. Go crazy with the cheese. Listen to your body. Most people, upon switching off from keto, say they feel sick after eating carbs, even once they reach their goal weight. Don’t get down if you mess up, just get back on the horse.
Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost ketogenic diet researchers and founder of ketonutrition.org, agrees. “I generally avoid soy isolate and soy milk,” he says. “But I don’t think this is a major concern unless you are consuming large amounts of soy.” Note that fermented soy products—such as soy sauce and tempeh—don’t pose the same risk, and can, therefore, be eaten more liberally.
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I went on a vegan keto diet for about seven months last year. During that time I created quite a few recipes for the blog. I wanted to post a bunch of those Keto Vegan Recipes all in one place. That way those of you who have been on the diet for awhile as well as those of you who are starting a vegan keto diet for the New Year have a resource all in one place.
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For the vegetarian daily meal plans, can you swap?  For example, can any breakfast option be combined with any lunch option and any dinner option?  Or do you have to eat the breakfast, lunch and dinner as they are laid out daily.  I would like to mix and match since I don't like some of the options but I am not sure what that does to the daily totals.
Vegetarians following the keto diet could also run the risk of becoming deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Three big ones: B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. "B12 is largely found in animal products; heme-iron, which is most readily absorbed, is only obtained in animal products; and fish is a great source of omega-3s," explains Sharp. Unfortunately, those aren't the only elements at risk of being deficient. Zinc, an important antioxidant, most often comes from meat and poultry; calcium and vitamin D—two nutrients that are crucial for bone health—are mostly found in dairy products; and magnesium, another important nutrient for bone health (and energy) is typically ingested via grains, which are on the no-no list for vegetarian keto followers.

***Whether you go full or Mod Keto, supplementing with MCT oil can help support ketosis by providing a quick-burning fat for fuel, says D’Agostino. Other helpful strategies for making a keto diet more user-friendly, he says, include “eating in a time-restricted window [such as 16 hours of fasting followed by an eight-hour period in which you get all your food in], and breaking the fast with a ketone supplement. You can have a whole-food vegan keto meal a few hours later.”
I am brand new to this concept! I just downloaded the app and transferred the vegetarian 2-week plan into my app settings. (Great app btw!). I noticed that the net carbs are really low. For example, day one is 10.3 for the day. I set a goal of ~20 based on what I am learning from app. Should I be concerned? I meet the calories for the day by not the protein or net carb goal.  Hope I am making sense!
Taking cues from your body on what to eat on a daily basis can help you eat less, says Jasia Steinmetz, a registered dietitian and author of Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food. Next time you’re hungry, pay attention to what foods seem appealing to you—and why. Craving sweets, for example, may be a cue that you need energy. If you really want a Snickers, for instance, enjoy a bite-size. Don’t limit yourself—if nothing is off limits, you may find yourself craving nutritional food as well. “The vitamins and minerals that are so essential to the various functions of your body will come from a wide variety of foods, and choosing which foods appeal to you each day will help you tune into your body. Paying attention before, during and after you eat will help you respond to the positive feeling you get from eating healthfully and lovingly.”
"I was 251 pounds at the time, so walking laps around my neighborhood was all I could muster at first. I knew I had a lot to lose, but I was starting at square one. To stay motivated, I celebrated each 10-pound loss with a new clothing item. As I slimmed down, I noticed shopping was fun again. At one point, I tried on a pair of size 16 jeans and I wasn't sure if they would fit. (I started out a size 22.) When I was able to zip and button them, I stared at the mirror with my mouth open—I couldn't believe it! I was so excited that I ran out of
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Most of the studies about ACV have been done on animals—or in really small groups of people, explains Eliza Whetzel-Savage, R.D., a registered dietitian at Middleburg Nutrition in New York City. “There is one study of people that showed ACV may slow digestion of food and liquid, which may help stabilize blood sugar,” she says. “But overall, there is not much science to support many of the claims.”
Speaking of skiing…  I also need to begin exercising more frequently.  That will be my big push this month.  I’m already in a 5k preparation group at our church, but that’s only once a week and I’m not running.  I’m walking.  I’m supposed to walk 2 more days a week, but sometimes I let that slip.  I’m also planning to start the 15 minute T-tapp workout.  When I do this workout regularly, I drop inches like crazy.  In fact, I was just reading testimonials from last year’s T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge and saw where one lady lost over 50 inches from just doing that 15 minute video and some basic walking.  Craziness!  I’ll be starting the 60 Day Challenge again on the 20th of February.  Feel free to join me.. after all, you can get away with just 15 minutes a day… and some consistency!

If you’ve kept abreast of the latest trends in health and nutrition for the last few years, then you’ll have inevitably stumbled upon the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb diet is most times rife in animal protein, so how can the average plant-based eater be able to adapt this diet to meet their lifestyle needs? Well, if you’re vegetarian and looking to give a vegetarian keto diet a go, then you’re in luck because we at 8fit have you covered.
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