I want to be totally honest about what I experienced on a vegan keto diet so that you know what you are getting into. My intention is not to turn anyone away from the diet, just be transparent about my experience with it. I would do a lot of research before starting it so that you know what you are getting into and how to maintain it without any symptoms.
“I have met the most amazing and supportive runners over the past year from all over the world who have become life long friends of mine. They helped me out and answered all the questions I had when I first started running. The highlight and most rewarding part of running for me is getting to run with my daughter Amanda. I have always supported her in her running over the years, but I never thought we would ever get to run together. Now, we run occasionally in the mornings, and do long runs together on weekends. The biggest highlight was running the Hershey Half together in October in 2:29 the day before my 56th birthday.”
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Vitamin B12 - B12 is a vitamin required for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, so it is pretty important. Unfortunately, it is almost exclusively comes from animal products, so vegetarians might not get as much of it as they need. Vegans definitely will not. Interestingly, vitamin B12 is actually made by animals’ gut bacteria, so you can find vegan-friendly sources. Also interestingly, your body can store B12 for as long as 3 to 5 years before you become deficient, so it may take a while before symptoms show up.
If you follow our 5-step plan, eating good-quality vegetarian protein sources and plenty of very-low-carb vegetables, you should manage your micronutrient intake well on a keto vegetarian diet. If you want to be extra sure, eating a range of the following nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis will ensure that you provide your body with the range of micronutrients that keto vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in.
Although many people avoid eating meat due to concerns about animal welfare or the environment, others choose vegetarianism because they believe it is healthier. However, vegetarian diets are typically high in grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which aren’t appropriate for individuals with diabetes, who want to control their blood sugar without medication. Additionally, many people find that they are constantly hungry when following a low-fat, high-carb vegetarian way of eating.
“Understand that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Some days may not be great but don’t beat yourself up. Also understand what works for you—maybe only for you. Tracking my food and running have been my unlock, but everyone must figure out what’s best for them. It could be meal prep, cutting out certain foods, doing more cross training... Whatever it is, do what you can practically manage, and also enjoy.”
This one's kind of sneaky and a little difficult too, depending on your current dietary preference. If you're vegetarian, it's likely that a large portion of your diet is attributed to grains and beans like quinoa, rice, and lentils. According to Smith, these foods contain too many carbohydrates and not enough protein to make them foundational foods for following a keto diet. So instead of eating a quinoa bowl or a stir-fry on a bed of white rice, try making a keto-friendly vegetarian lasagna (head to our sister site MyDomaine for the recipe).
Nuts and seeds - Most nuts and seeds are rich in protein. However, they usually don't contain all essential amino acids. That's why you will need to eat a variety of nuts and seeds to ensure you're meeting your protein needs. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, and chia seeds are great options on keto. Nut butters should also be on your keto food list.
With Samantha’s personal training, I feel freer than I’ve ever felt before. I’ve learned so much and I’ve become so self-sufficient that I will never again be a slave to bad eating habits or laziness. What’s even better is that, as my health has improved, I’ve found that I enjoy cycling more now than at any other time in my life. Thank you Samantha for your help and your support, I truly couldn’t have accomplished so much in so little time without you!"
MacDowell has been following the vegetarian keto diet for six years. She’d been a vegetarian for a long time before that but decided to try keto with weight loss in mind. Some research suggests the keto diet may be beneficial for that reason: A study published in May 2013 in the British Journal of Nutrition found the keto diet led to greater weight loss than a low-fat diet and could be useful in fighting obesity.
This is where it gets a little more complicated, and where a list can come in very handy. It’s important to add healthy low-carb veggies to your meals while on the keto diet, so you still receive enough healthy fiber to keep you feeling full. Fruit can also be incorporated into your meal plan, but you have to be selective as the fructose content in a lot of fruit can easily tip you over your daily carbohydrate ration and kick you out of ketosis. Make these veggies and fruits your friends:
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…?
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