Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to begin bicycling again. I was out of shape and had fond memories of my “fit” days in high school when I used to ride my bike everywhere (even after I bought my first car). Back then, my bicycle was not only a means of transportation, it was something fun to do to stay healthy. I went out to the local bike shop and purchased a new road bike, intent on restoring my body to the slim and fit self I remembered so well. Unfortunately, after several years of riding I had actually managed to gain weight and my cycling hadn’t really improved at all (still as slow as when I first started again).
So this winter has been a real doozy. I’m sure if you’re reading this from your balcony in LA you’re probably like “WTF is this chick talking about?” but for the rest of us east coasters or Canadians, the struggle has been REAL. Honestly, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the cold nights is a warm meal (sorry salad, you’re out). This is where this Vegan Keto Walnut Chili totally comes into play.
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.
When you eat carbs, your body ingests them and converts them into an energy form that it's able to use - glucose. Glucose is at the top of the pecking order for your body to use for energy, if available. Insulin is the hormone that carries glucose around the bloodstream. The more carbs you eat, the more glucose your body produces, and the more insulin your body produces.
“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.”
So what’s the difference between a vegan and vegetarian keto diet? Unlike vegetarians, vegans are more restricted in their use of animal products. While both diets eliminate meat entirely from the diet, vegetarians can include non-meat animal foods like eggs, grass-fed butter and ghee to help meet their protein and fat needs while vegans rely solely on plant products such as nuts, seeds and veggies.
Keto baking is particularly difficult because many of our favorite recipes rely on traditional flour, sugar, and dairy as the main ingredients. Unfortunately, converting traditional recipes with keto and paleo ingredient substitutions doesn't usually work. This is because while almond and coconut flour certainly make delicious baked goods, the texture and binding properties are very different from traditional flours.
That depends. Mass says if going keto motivates an unhealthy vegetarian to clean up his or her carb game, it could be beneficial and lead to better blood sugar control. Plus, transitioning from a pasta-heavy diet to one that’s rich in veggies and healthy fats should help someone drop unwanted pounds, she says. But for vegetarians who eat relatively clean already and rely on healthy carbs like quinoa and oats — which are limited on the keto diet — to help them feel full, adopting low-carb keto might be overly restrictive.
“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.