As, yes, the age-old question: but where do you get your protein? If you’ve been plant-based for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard this asked in at least five different ways. At least here in North America, it seems as though people really struggle to wrap their heads around the idea that you can get enough protein without eating meat, dairy or eggs. This issue becomes especially pronounced when we talk about vegan keto diets.
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Your best bet for low-carb vegan protein may be hemp seeds, which provides 30g protein and 8g fiber (NOT counted as carbs) in a mere half cup. Seitan, which is made from wheat, is another good choice and offers about 18g protein and 2g carbs every three ounces. Tofu and tempeh rank high as well (tofu has an 8:1 ratio of protein to carbs; tempeh is about 6:1).
Use all of these to meal plan some vegetarian keto recipes! Be creative with your meal plans. As far as recipes go, try to re-imagine the foods you used to eat with a low carb perspective. This can go a long way. Instead of nachos, make a taco salad with some meat substitute grounds. Make a pizza using cauliflower crust. Make a grilled cheese using a keto bread recipe. The possibilities are endless once you get on board.
Depending on who you are, having fun can mean dancing naked while you cook or it can mean swapping out the ingredients you don't like for those you do. As always, making any substitutions will change the nutrition from the calorie guide we've provided you, but eating shouldn't be a chore, it should be fun! If adding a dash of cinnamon and sugar free maple syrup to your keto oatmeal or using a blue cheese dressing for your curry tofu nugget salad makes you enjoy your meals more, then run with it! 
“The day I met Samantha, it changed my life. Before I met her, I felt invisible because of the continuing frustrations I had with my weight. Now I don’t feel invisible anymore! ** I WAS BUSTING OUT OF A 14, BUT NOW I CAN EASILY FIT INTO A SIZE 6! ** I was consumed by negative feelings about myself. I would fight myself all day long between eating, starving and binging; caught in a circle of guilt. Thoughts of food were obsessive, food was my consolation. My very first visit with Samantha changed my life. She had so much energy and this amazing belief in her own ability to help me be successful. She made me believe that I too could realize my personal goal, with a lot of hard work. I have lost 30 pounds and 50” in 12 weeks! It’s not just about reaching a number on the scale. I have changed inside; the way I think about food and myself. I’m a different, more confident person now with tons of energy. I have never felt healthier in my life. I have never been more motivated. Nothing tempts me. The old me always gave into temptation. The new me is excited to be alive and feeling good. My clothes are too big! I had to go shopping! And . . .the best part is I don’t feel invisible anymore!” - Laura 52
A study published in The International Journal of Obesity studied 420 overweight and obese adults and found those who ate their major meal after 3 p.m. — lunch for this Spanish cohort — lost less weight than those who ate earlier in the day despite similar calorie consumption and activity levels. Scheer, who co-authored the paper with professors Marta Garaulet, believes diet-induced thermogenesis, the increased energy expenditure after food intake, could be the reason for the results.
Even though MacDowell has stuck with it for so long, she admits this way of eating can be tough in social situations. “It’s not only the reaction of your family members who will tell you eating that much fat will kill you, but going out for appetizers and drinks with friends is challenging,” she says. “You learn to work around it, but there’s a learning curve for sure.”
If you’re interested in finding out what nutrients you actually might be needing more of based on your age, body, activity levels, etc., check out this calculator from the US Department of Agriculture. However, vegetarians have been known to lack nutrients including but not limited to iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D (read more about deficiencies below). While supplements for these deficiencies are fairly easy to get, you should check with a doctor to make sure you need them before purchasing.

Take the cauliflower florets and roll them in the dry mixture to coat them and place them in the hot ghee. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the cauliflower florets on medium high heat for 5-6 minutes. Turn them and add the remaining ghee. Lower the heat and cook for another 6-7 minutes. Remove the pakoras from the pan. You can cook the remaining cauliflower pakoras in the similar manner.
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Opting for high-fat plant foods like avocados, coconuts, and nut butters is one way to meet your keto macros on a vegetarian ketogenic diet. Making sure you're eating high-quality protein is also important. But one of the biggest concerns on a vegetarian ketogenic diet is omega-3 fatty acids intake. These essential nutrients are difficult to obtain on plant-based diets, so make sure to eat foods rich in this fatty acid or go for supplements.
The ketogenic diet puts the body into the fat-consuming condition of ketosis and expects devotees to source 80 to 90 percent of their day by day calories from fat, 5 to 15 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs. Most Americans get about a portion of their day by day calories from carbs, so this is a noteworthy move from the run of the mill American diet.

“I have had people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen in awhile not recognize me. I love that. I love the way I feel, the way clothes fit, and being able to shop in regular clothing stores. Mostly I stay motivated for the years, days, hours and minutes I’m hopefully putting on the end of my life. I’ve got two adult daughters and amazing wife, and I want to be here with them for as long as possible.”
“I was 18 years old and 230 pounds. I was unhappy and realized after my freshman year of college that I needed to change my lifestyle. I come from a family of marathoners, but in 2012 when I told everyone I wanted to run my first marathon, I was told I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it—by family, friends, and even professors in front of my whole class. I took that adversity and have run the Marine Corps Marathon five years in a row, competed in six half marathons, and lost 83 pounds along the way.”
“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.”
Coconut butter comes in a jar as a solid substance, but when melted slightly in the microwave and mixed together, it has a taste and texture reminiscent of a frosting. In a room temperature environment, it becomes solid once again. Whether you simply enjoy it off the spoon, or as the icing on a keto cookie, this is one food that is not to be missed out on.
Still, Mass is hesitant to recommend this way of eating. “I don’t see many benefits to going keto vegetarian,” she says. The major concern is nutritional deficiencies. As Medline Plus notes, vegetarians already are at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Keto then puts more restrictions in place, further increasing the likelihood of being deficient in some of these nutrients. For example, breakfast cereals, which are usually rich in vitamin B12, are not allowed on keto.
“The original keto diet is extremely high in fatty meats, which is not good for our cardiovascular system,” says Melissa Bailey, RD, creator of the Nourished Fork. “The vegetarian version eliminates these meats and allows for more plant-based options, such as avocado and nuts and seeds. In general, the population is going towards a more plant-based, whole-foods diet, which is why the ketotarian diet is emerging.” Luckily, you'll find that many of the best foods for weight loss are inexpensive, convenient, and easy to find in your local grocery store. When you learn how to plan and prepare meals in advance and fill your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods, you can even save time and money while you slim down.
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