Vegetarianism itself is powerful for your health and nutrition, but also for environmental friendliness. The vegetarian diet has been correlated with decreased risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney/gall stones, osteoporosis, and more. Meanwhile, reducing your meat (and dairy) intake is the single strongest way to reduce your carbon footprint. Talk about an awesome lifestyle. These are just scraping the surface of the many reasons to adopt a vegetarian diet.
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.
“I reached my target weight just over a year after joining, and just before Christmas [my boyfriend] Luke asked me to marry him at Harry Potter Studios in London (I love Harry Potter)!” she told PEOPLE. “It was such an incredible feeling to be able to say ‘Yes!’ without even a second thought about my weight, and I can’t wait to go dress shopping.” 
I get asked for meatless keto recipes for the low carb vegetarian all the time, and with the help of my assistant Stacey, I finally put together a collection of the 101 Best Keto Vegetarian Recipes we could find!  We will be adding more meatless low carb recipes to a Keto Vegetarian Recipes Pinterest Board in the coming months so be sure to follow IBIH on Pinterest if you aren’t already!
This diet plan may not be suitable for everyone. You may have to make small adjustments. If you need to have less protein, reduce the portions of dairy and eggs. Don't worry about small excess of protein, it will not kick you out of ketosis. In fact, protein will keep hunger at bay. If you need to add more fat (or less), focus on added oils and fatty foods when making your adjustments. You can find your ideal macros using KetoDiet Buddy. If you need to add snacks and more food to serve with the meals, have a look at this list.
“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.” #keto
A 2017 study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found meal timing had an impact on BMI. Researchers noted those with the lowest BMIs tended to fast for more than 18 hours between supper and breakfast, eat breakfast and plan for their largest meal first thing in the morning. (In comparison, those with shorter fasting periods between supper and breakfast, breakfast skippers and those who ate their largest meals at supper had higher BMIs).
“It’s been a real confidence builder to realize that I can set goals and accomplish them. I was never athletic as a kid, and now as a person eligible for Social Security, I’m signed up for two 10 mile races and a half marathon in 2017—and I know I’ll finish them. As a matter of fact, running has improved my mental health as much or more as my physical health. Running is the one thing that I do just for me, which is needed in a life full of stress.”
Making gluten free crackers is easy: substitute the wheat flour with almond flour and sunflower seed flower. You can buy almond flour almost everywhere now, but you will need to grind roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds in a coffee or spice grinder or use a food processor. The combination of the two gluten free nut flours gives the crackers a great consistency and the nutty roasted flavor of the sunflower seeds is so darn tasty.
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Many dieters think that being ‘good’ during the week gives them a license to let go on the weekends, but if you add it up, eating poorly and not exercising Friday to Sunday comes out to 12 days “off” a month! Instead of letting the days of the week influence your habits, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable all month long (with the occasional indulgence) for lasting weight loss.
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.
Jay Te thank you for pointing out the health concerns of some of the recommendations on the site. I have to admit that a red flag went off for me but still is unsure of piecing together a healthy meal plan for vegetarians or pescetarian. I have to admit I wasn’t impressed with the meal plans here on my own account of not liking several of the ingredients. Can you recommend a healthy list that is not in contradiction to health risk for others like me? Thank you.

When you’re restricting certain food groups from your diet, it’s even more important to take a multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps. “If symptoms like fatigue, aches, weakness, moodiness, and trouble sleeping persist for more than two weeks, consider ending the diet and consuming a larger variety of foods,” says Dr. Axe. “It’s usually recommended that the keto diet is followed short-term, for about three months at a time (up to six months). Although, it’s important to always listen to your body and make changes if you’re reacting negatively.”
As with any new diet, you should consult a professional before committing, as it might not necessarily apply to extenuating health circumstances. It's also helpful to hear an expert's opinion firsthand. As for Smith, she's not entirely sold on the keto diet in the first place. "Some principles of the keto diet can be helpful," she says, such as few refined carbs and sugars. "When done right (more plant-based that is) it can be a great way to get some healthy fats in, but I don't find, especially for women, that it contributes to significant weight loss if that's a goal." While we're on the topic, it's also possible that you might need supplementation to your diet to achieve utmost wellness. "this is case by case, but often, in general, vegans/vegetarians need iron, B complex, b12, extra protein, and potentially zinc and biotin as well," Smith tells us. This is just another reason consulting an expert can be so helpful.
If you’re flexible enough to allow fish or seafood in your diet, we have some amazing seafood recipes for you. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, a little bit of seafood can go a long way. Check out our recipes for Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce and Parmesan-Encrusted Halibut – they will delight and deliver all of the benefits of keto diet foods.
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.

“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
For this reason, it is best to buy RSPO-certified or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products. The companies that produce these products are approved by the RSPO (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) for using sustainable practices that meet strict environmental and social criteria. By opting for RSPO-certified or CSPO products, you will be casting a vote for sustainable oil producers that are dedicated to protecting the environment.
“Before I started running and eating well, I was 205 pounds. While I was in grad school, my friends and I went out every night drinking, stayed out until the bars closed, and then went to Taco Bell before going home. I rarely cooked at home and often ate out. Looking back at what I ate then makes me realize just how unhealthy I was. I would cook a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and eat the entire box or eat an entire frozen pizza and wash it all down with Dr. Pepper, and then go to Cookout or Taco Bell later—gross. I joined Weight Watchers in July of 2013 and now I weigh 133.5 pounds and I’ve been able to keep it off by exercising and maintaining my healthy eating.”
Powell was overweight as a child, eating a diet full of processed foods and little water and vegetables. In college, Powell says she dramatically gained more weight. “I walked into my apartment, stared at my reflection in the mirror and asked, ‘Who is that?’ It was a defining moment for me,” says Powell, 38, who is now a holistic health practitioner and fitness trainer who has founded the company Black Girls Nutrition.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I had a treadmill in my garage that I'd been ignoring for years. I started walking on it for 30 minutes five days a week. Four months later, I'd dropped 20 pounds and added 1-minute jogging intervals. When my weight loss stalled, I started lifting weights three days a week as well. About two years later, I'd lost 90 more pounds. Now, I warm up with 5 minutes of walking and end with another 15 to 20 minutes."
A fast includes any period of time in which you consume 0 calories. This includes drinks, snacks, and all of that. In addition to water, coffee and tea are extremely common drinks that you can rely on during a fast. The two drinks’ caffeine works as an appetite suppressant while allowing consumption of some type during the fast. The key with drinking during a fast is to not include any milk, cream, or sugar (unless it’s one of the keto-friendly sugar alternatives and is calorie-free).
So I was inspired to make this Vegan Keto Walnut Chili from a Marilyn Denis segment I did for heart health. Walnuts are such a heart healthy ingredient, since they have about twice as many antioxidants as other nuts, and they pack both monounsaturated fats and omega 3s. I was brainstorming yummy easy ways to incorporate them in a recipe that was more than just a sprinkle on top and this recipe came to me. When crushed really fine, walnuts actually have a similar texture as ground beef but without the saturated fat. It also makes this recipe for Vegan Keto Walnut Chili totally safe for my plant-based friends, yet CRAZY satiating across the board.
Fat is important on the keto diet, but especially so if you are vegan or vegetarian. “Aim to get 75 percent or more of your calories from plant-based fats like coconut oil, coconut cream/butter, MCT oil, olive oil, avocado, and—in lesser amounts—nuts and seeds,” says Dr. Axe. “Keep nut and seed consumption to about 1/4 cup per day (or two tablespoons of nut butter), since these do provide some carbs and can also be hard to digest in large amounts.” To help with absorption of minerals, he recommends soaking or sprouting nuts first.
According to dietitians, there are several types of people who should consider the keto diet. While many people look to the diet for weight loss, the keto plan has other potential health benefits. Those with epilepsy may see improvement on the diet; people with diabetes may also see drastic changes in their health. However, notes Diane Vizthum, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins, people with chronic health issues should be under the care of a doctor when starting these programs because of the need to monitor their medications. And, she added, anyone who is undertaking a new diet regimen should make his or her physician aware of it. Find out the 10 things doctors want you to know about the keto diet.
Don't shy away from a handful of processed foods if they help you meet your macros. Normally, you'll hear that excluding processed food is the way to go on keto. And while that is a wise thing to do, it can cause trouble when you adopt a more restricted version of the ketogenic diet. Adding TVP, trans-free margarine, and canned goods can be a convenient way to get all the nutrients you need on your vegetarian ketogenic diet as long as it's low-carb and rich in healthy fats.

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.”
Using a flax seed egg is the perfect vegan substitution when a recipe calls for an egg. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit at room temperature for a least 15 minutes. For every egg a recipe calls for, you will need to use this ratio, so if you need 3 eggs, use 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 9 tablespoons of water.
Fresh vegetables. Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients, so if you enjoy them, your keto journey will be much easier. Some vegetables have tons of versatility, like cauliflower, which can be blended into a rice alternative, cut up and baked as fake wings, mashed to make “mashed potatoes,” etc. Other great veggies for keto are mushrooms, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, and broccoli. Paired with the seasonings and ingredients above, you can make some awesome meals.
If you are a petite woman who is five feet tall, a ten-pound weight loss may mean that you've lost up to ten percent of your body weight. That amount of weight loss will be very noticeable and can change her clothing size up to two sizes. But if you are a very tall athletic woman, a ten-pound loss probably won't even be noticeable and may not change your clothing size at all.
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Rickard Lindroth is a developer, mountain bike enthusiast, climber and one of the most joyful characters in the Diet Doctor office. He prefers easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes and his absolute favorite ingredients are halloumi, eggs and broccoli. It’s not a surprise that this is what you’ll be eating this week. According to Rickard, everything is better with garlic and you should devour the whole broccoli — even the stalk! Oh, and did we mention garlic…?
“If you are considering starting any kind of ketogenic diet, you should discuss it first with your doctor. The diet may be harmful if you have existing kidney, liver, or heart disease. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure and are on medications, you should be in close contact with your physician to monitor changes and adjust medications as needed,” Vizthum says.
Sugar cookies are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges and this healthy twist on the classic holiday favorite does not disappoint. Despite their name, they are indeed sugar-free (not to mention they're also gluten-free and paleo)! And the low carb glaze is optional, but really adds to the festive look of this recipe and would be a nice touch if you've decided to gift them.

These omega-3 fats provide building blocks for cellular structures throughout the body and aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil is the most common source of DHA and EPA, but a good vegan source—and one that, arguably, offers a better concentration of DHA—is algae (which is where those oily fish get their omega-3s from anyway). By supplementing with algae oil, you’re effectively cutting out the middle-fish. Aim for about 300mg/day.

“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.”


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Reading ingredient labels is also important. You should know what’s in the food that you put into your body! Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet are used to checking ingredient labels to make sure that they’re not unknowingly consuming an animal product or byproduct. When on the keto diet, you have to look out for food that contains sugar and flours. They can interfere with ketosis. “Don’t consume any added sugar from desserts, juice or soft drinks, grains, beans or legumes. Instead of consuming sugar or even honey, try using stevia extract or monk fruit to sweeten meals,” says Dr. Axe. “Even starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets provide carbs that can interfere with ketosis. These should be avoided or [eaten] in very small amounts.”
With all that in mind, one thing is clear: A vegetarian keto diet has the potential to get confusing, fast. So if you're considering it, Sheth recommends meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to ensure that you are adequately meeting your nutritional needs. (You could also share this beginner keto-friendly meal plan with non-vegetarians.)
Some people, however, go into the diet in hopes of controlling a chronic illness or just to ensure that they are eating more whole foods and fewer processed ones in their everyday lives. “How someone monitors their diet will depend on their desired health outcomes. Although there is usually quite a bit of initial weight loss, losing one to two pounds per week is ideal. Any more, and you’re likely not eating enough and the diet won’t be sustainable,” says Henry-Barron. Check out 14 amazing before-and-after pictures of people who followed the keto diet.

The goal of a traditional keto diet is to speed up weight loss through fat burning. It's done by following a meal plan that's high in fat, very low in carbs, and moderate in terms of protein, says Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those ratios mean your diet should break down to approximately 80 percent fat, less than 5 percent carbs, and 15 to 20 percent protein.


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.
Solution: Cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms, soy beverages, milks, and other breakfast foods all provide a small amount of Vitamin D. Additionally, direct exposure (not through a window) to sunlight generates Vitamin D in the body. There is always the supplement option - this supplement is a delicious apple flavor and melts under the tongue, which is why I buy it.
Walking is great exercise for weight loss, but it seems to be even more effective when done just after eating. A 2011 Japanese study found that walking immediately after a meal was more effective for weight loss than waiting up to an hour afterwards. Subjects who went for a brisk, 30-minute walk just after lunch and dinner lost more weight than those who waited to walk. And because walking is a low impact form of exercise, it shouldn’t cause any digestive distress.
Fat is important on the keto diet, but especially so if you are vegan or vegetarian. “Aim to get 75 percent or more of your calories from plant-based fats like coconut oil, coconut cream/butter, MCT oil, olive oil, avocado, and—in lesser amounts—nuts and seeds,” says Dr. Axe. “Keep nut and seed consumption to about 1/4 cup per day (or two tablespoons of nut butter), since these do provide some carbs and can also be hard to digest in large amounts.” To help with absorption of minerals, he recommends soaking or sprouting nuts first.
In the vein of not being afraid to ask: connect with someone (a friend, neighbor, family member, coworker, etc.) that has a vehicle and ask to tag along on their grocery trips. They get to have a friend with you while you shop and you get a ride to the store, so it’s a win-win all around. People are eager and willing to help out, they just need to know how first!
With all that in mind, one thing is clear: A vegetarian keto diet has the potential to get confusing, fast. So if you're considering it, Sheth recommends meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to ensure that you are adequately meeting your nutritional needs. (You could also share this beginner keto-friendly meal plan with non-vegetarians.)

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.


Some do, and some don't. Similarly to sugar alcohols, different sweeteners have different glycemic indexes. Powdered versions of artificial sweeteners like splenda and even natural ones like stevia have added carbs that come from maltodextrin and other fillers, so stay away from those. Here are the best sweeteners to use while on vegetarian keto (all of them have a glycemic index of zero):

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.
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.”
This low carb, high protein vegan keto recipe is the perfect go-to when you’re looking for an afternoon snack that’s both filling and satisfying. Gluten-free and high in healthy fats, it’s also one of the easiest keto recipes you’ll come across. Just mix, spread, and bake – what could be simpler? Make several batches at once and keep them on hand for snacking emergencies!
Unfortunately, carbs are secretly in everything. Once you start consistently reading the nutritional labels of your foods, you'll realize that food manufacturers are constantly trying to put sugar in the weirdest foods. Chili, peanut butter, fake meat, etc. sometimes have significant grams of sugar in them that could add up over the course of a day.
Listen, I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as much as the next guy. The simple fact is that all of their food is much higher priced than your average Walmart or Aldi. Aldi in particular is a great place to get all your staples since there are not many extras you can spend your money on. Their produce is spotty at times, but good at other times. Learn how to make good judgments about the freshness of produce and take the plunge. I have seen avocados at Aldi in the midwest for $1 per avocado. These prices really just can’t be beat. Also, Aldi has recently started carrying more meat substitutes like soy protein burgers, soy “meatballs,” veggie burgers, and more. Each store likely has different stocks. There are also rumors that this is a temporary thing, so your mileage may vary.
In our sandwich-with-a-side-of-bread culture, cutting carbs down to the wire trips many people up. “Exact numbers vary person to person, but in general, strict keto dieters need to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day,” says exercise physiologist Michael T. Nelson, Ph.D. (miketnelson.com). “Some people need to go as low as 30 grams.” The Mod Keto approach allows two to three times as many, but it’s still very low-carb compared to the diet of the average American. (For reference, one banana, one apple, or a single slice of bread would put you over your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.)
To prove to yourself that you are making progress—even when your weight stays the same—Dulan recommends doing a jeans test. Find a pair you’re aiming to squeeze into, and see how your body feels in them. As you clean up your diet and clock more sweat sessions, you’ll likely notice a gap between your belly and jeans because your body is becoming leaner—even if that isn’t immediately obvious when you step on the scale. 
First, even nonvegetarian keto eaters shouldn’t focus too much on meat: “The misconception that keto diets require huge amounts of meat or meat products may scare off vegetarians, those concerned about the environment, or people that want to eat healthier,” says Bobbie Henry-Barron, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins University. “A vegetarian version of the ketogenic diet may be appealing for its weight loss and other health benefits.” Check out 12 things that happen to your body on the keto diet.
One of the coolest things that intermittent fasting does is trigger a phenomenon in your body called autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which your body recycles and consumes its own cells and proteins in a healthy manner. Often it means that damaged cells are turned into energy for your body, which is the equivalent of cleaning out the depths of your kitchen cupboards. For more on this check out this article.
However, keep in mind that weight-loss results aren’t just measured by the number on the scale—in fact, the scale can be deceiving, says Dulan. See, your new diet and exercise regimen burn fat—but you’re also building muscle, which weighs more than fat and can prevent the scale from shifting. And that’s not a bad thing because building muscle mass fires up your metabolism to torch more calories even when you’re not working out. 
Better brain health – Ketones are your body's natural nootropics. They're a more powerful source of energy than carbs and protein, providing a constant influx of energy to the brain. Carbs, on the other hand, lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can lead to brain fog. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action of ketones also helps protect the brain against free radical damage.

So you've decided to take the plunge. Congratulations! The first thing you need to is to get an app so that you can closely count your carbs. There are a few to choose from. MyFitnessPal is certainly popular, and free, but there is also Cronometer, which is also popular, as well as some lesser known ones. Ultimately, the decision is personal preference.
“What is a keto diet?” you might ask. The keto diet plan involves eating lots of fat, a modest amount of protein, and tiny amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. Following a keto diet plan will eventually bring your body into a state of ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This supports quick, but safe and healthy, weight loss! #keto diet menus
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