The biggest thing to watch out for (aside from keto flu, which you should read about just above this section) when it comes to vegetarian keto is vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. This is something that vegetarians and vegans are all too familiar with. Before getting any kind of vitamin supplement, make sure you consult with a doctor and have them check the vitamin levels in your bloodstream.

Sugars and processed carbs have an interesting effect on your hunger. The sharp rise in blood glucose causes your body to release tons of insulin, causing your blood sugar to then dramatically drop. This "sugar crash" leaves your body telling you that you need more energy, since your blood sugar is low. Carbs make you hungrier. This leads to a very dangerous cycle of overeating that can lead to prediabetes and insulin resistance.

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).
Another challenge, Vizthum adds, is not falling into the trap of eating foods that may be compliant but aren’t actually healthy. “As with any diet, the label itself does not make it healthy. The labels of ‘vegan,’ ‘vegetarian,’ ‘keto,’ ‘gluten-free,’ and many others include a range of food choices that fit the standards of the diet but aren’t necessarily healthy,” she warns. This is especially true of processed foods that may carry these labels.
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Spaghetti squash is a smart addition to your keto diet because it strings apart and mimics true spaghetti so easily. Sliced in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and drizzle a healthy oil onto its open-faced side. Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice, and place face-down into a roasting pan to roast until it’s soft when pricked, and pulls apart into spaghetti-like strings when a fork is taken to it.
Meat substitutes. Meat substitutes are often the punching bag of vegetarians and vegans, and I’m not really sure why. Some say that soy is a poison that gives you cancer and disrupts your hormones and things like that, but the science says otherwise. Meat substitutes are healthy, good for you, and a godsend for vegetarian keto. Gardein, MorningStar, Quorn, Boca, Beyond Meat, Lightlife, almost all of them are GREAT for low carb, high fat, high protein meals. I would not be able to do vegetarian keto without fake meat products.
Eggs are quite possibly the perfect food. They’re full of protein, easy to cook, simple to work with and they’re even easy to carry with you, thanks to their shell. A hardboiled egg might not be the most exciting breakfast, but if you’re on the go, it’s certainly a fast and filling way to get your protein. I like to cook a big batch of hardboiled eggs in my Instant Pot to use for snacks, fast breakfasts and meals all week long.
There are plenty of plant-based fat sources but in order to meet your protein needs you will need to incorporate high protein, vegan friendly foods such as nuts and seeds, tempeh, tofu, and vegan protein powder. Food companies such as Beyond Meat are now providing alternative meat products that are a great source of protein while still relatively low in carb. Unlike meat, some of these vegetable based proteins do not contain complete proteins but if you are good about eating a variety of plant-based foods you can meet all of your essential amino acids needs.
As with any healthy diet plan, and especially a vegetarian one, be sure you're consuming a diversity of plant-based whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Popular vegetables to eat as a part of the keto diet are green peppers, spinach, lettuce, green beans, and cabbage, among others. Try to avoid starchy and carb-heavy vegetables like potatoes. As for fruit, some people recommend avoiding too many berries or citrus fruits, which contain natural sugars (aka carbohydrates). However, this doesn't mean you should avoid them completely. As always, eating a colorful and varied diet, no matter the plan you're following, is key to maintaining good health and wellness. If you need some inspiration when dreaming up new vegetarian/keto recipes, invest in a cookbook (the one above includes a 30-day meal plan).
You conscientiously check food labels, but do you pay attention to serving sizes? (You don't have to answer that.) Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., and nutritionist on NBC's The Biggest Loser, calls for a "reality check" when it comes to reading serving sizes on packaging. "Many cereals have a serving size of half a cup or two-thirds of a cup, but no one sticks to a measly half a cup of cereal." She suggests limiting yourself to single-cup servings that don't exceed 200 calories. Make measuring cups your new BFFs, and resist the temptation to let em overflow.
The right types of oils are great for a ketogenic diet because they’re entirely made of fat. MCT’s in particular are a type of fat that is metabolized quicker than most and broken down into useable energy. It also can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why they are so beneficial to our mental clarity and performance. Perfect Keto made a convenient MCT Oil Powder just for this reason, and more can be found in our article Are MCT Supplements Worth Taking? Here are some more great options:
By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegan ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. At first, however, it may be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle with all of the low-carb and keto recipes that contain animal products. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe.
Snacks are very important when you are on the keto diet. It’s often the time between lunch and dinner when you can slip up and ruin your diet. These keto snack crackers can be stored in a zip-top bag for 5 days and are the perfect thing to munch on at work or school when you get a hankering. If you need more keto snack ideas, then check out our spinach and feta muffins and our low carb cheesy cauliflower tot recipe.
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You thought since you were dieting that you were already doing this, but nope. Far too often I have seen people make all their dinners and foods assuming that they need a plate full of sides of vegetables and colors and things like that. I don’t really think this is a great use of your calories or nutrients. While it is important to have a varied diet, you can survive without having asparagus as a side for your meal, only using pink Himalayan sea salt, or without squeezing fresh lime juice onto your fajitas. These small things add a pretty large amount to your shopping bill over the long term. Would it be ideal to have a highly diverse diet? Of course! If you have the means, go for it, but just be aware of your shopping expenses and how they might be adding up.
“You will likely lose weight on this diet, and if that’s your only goal, then great,” says Bailey. “However, this diet is extremely hard to achieve and maintain. It eliminates a lot of really beneficial foods, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables. Based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, one would need to consume 165 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of protein. This is unrealistic and also very unhealthy for our bodies,” she says.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for the body, which uses it for many tasks. Vitamin D is required to move your muscles, fire your neurons, and fight off foreign pathogens. It also helps the body absorb calcium, aiding in the strengthening of bones. Vitamin D might also help combat depression. Unfortunately, it is also nearly exclusively derived from animal products.
By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegan ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. At first, however, it may be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle with all of the low-carb and keto recipes that contain animal products. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe.
During the five months we’ve worked with Samantha I’ve - Lost over 40 pounds and 10 inches from my waistline - Gained a solid foundation in the mental and physical aspect of working out with weights - Learned how to push my body to new limits while becoming so much more in tune with my body’s needs - Learned how to manage my food to keep not only keep the weight off but also to keep my body functioning at peak athletic performance - Increased my average cycling speed by over 4 MPH
“As a mother of four children over the last 12 years I’ve not devoted much time to myself, and as a result I developed issues with weight. I’ve tried many things but the weight would always creep back on. I’d seen Samantha’s flyers for almost a year before I contacted her, it’s only been two weeks since our first meeting, and I’ve already seen so many changes in both my body and my lifestyle, ** I'VE ALREADY LOST 8 lbs.! ** She is a personal “Instructor”, teaching you how to weight-train and healthier eating as a lifestyle. Samantha not only shows you what’s given her success, but also explains the mechanics behind the exercise and food. She’s great!” * Lori
You may have noticed that glycerin and HSH are both absent from this chart. In one 1990 study, researchers found that HSH corresponded to a glycemic increase that was 71% as strong as pure glucose. According to this website, the glycemic index for glycerin is only 5, which is significantly smaller than glucose's 100. Although the site doesn't cite a source, the table is a good guide for most sugars and sugar alcohols.
If you’ve read through this entire guide, bravo. It’s huge, much bigger than I ever intended, actually. I’m really passionate about both vegetarianism and the ketogenic diet, so I honestly had a lot of fun producing all this information for you. I hope it was helpful, that you learned something, and that you feel better equipped to take on this mash-up diet.
By being aware of the things you might be deficient in, you could (and should) load up on foods that are rich in those nutrients, such as cheese for vitamin B12, eggs for vitamin D, and leafy greens like kale for calcium. If you are interested in trying keto without eating meat, Mass also recommends easing up on how strict of a vegetarian you are and eating fish if you don’t already since it’s a great source of omega-3s and protein.
Eating a bowl of this oatmeal will increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial since the keto diet demands high amounts of healthy fats. Even if you're not eating keto, you should probably be eating more of them anyway, as omega-3s can boost your heart health and have been linked to better brain and eye function. This recipe is loaded with ingredients that are excellent sources of the healthy fatty acids, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Some diets are set up to include an initial phase where you lose more weight. Atkins, South Beach and many other popular programs include a jump start for a week or two when food restriction is more intense and you lose more weight. You can lose five pounds or more per week during this initial phase. As a result, the weight loss will be noticeable sooner.
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.

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).


This is going to be tough, but always ask your server for help. Usually they’ll be more than happy to help you find what you need (especially since they’re expecting a tip). Look out for side/garnishing sauces or glazes, many of which will contain a lot of sugar. Most restaurants have their nutritional information online somewhere, so take a look at their options online before you go or on your phone while you’re there.
Top Tip: Move more to stress less. "I've learned to exercise instead of eating when I'm stressed," Sarah says. "I've started walking two to three miles outside two to three times a week. The fresh air instantly puts me in a good mood, and I think of it as time to unplug. Now I put exercise on my to-do list just like any task—it's about committing to myself. My mom bought a Fitbit and aims for 10,000 steps per day."
The bottom line? This way of eating is tough to stick with because it combines two restrictive diets. Mass believes the risks outweigh the benefits. But if you decide to try it, Mass cautions to approach the diet carefully, ideally under the guidance of a qualified registered dietitian who can help you pick your foods strategically and ensure you are supplementing the diet where needed. Mass also suggests reducing your carb intake gradually rather than going full-blown vegetarian keto overnight so you don’t completely shock your system.
One big reason people go keto is sustained energy. When you don’t eat copious amounts of carbs, levels of insulin—the hormone that controls blood sugar—remain much steadier than they do on the carbohydrate-based diet most people are used to. When your blood sugar is stable, you don’t have afternoon energy crashes that make you want to fall asleep at your desk. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that a ketogenic diet controlled blood sugar more effectively than a more standard, low-calorie diet that was high in carbs.
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I'd treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn't finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week. Many might wonder how to reduce belly fat quickly at home with natural remedies
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