“I love to run. I like to say, after years of battling addiction and depression, I’m a better dog when I’m walked. So I just try to get out there as much as possible and run by feel. On days I feel great, I’ll go longer or do a tempo run. On days I feel like I need a break, I’ll back off and take it easy. On weekends I run long, usually at least 20 miles. I also try to strength train at least once a week.”

Vegetarian and vegan diets are gaining popularity. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there’s been a 600 percent increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years alone, so plant-based lifestyles are clearly catching on. Another diet that’s quickly climbing the popularity charts is the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet. This eating plan calls for the restriction of carbs by following the LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) principle. Essentially, by reducing carbs, the body’s forced to break down and use fat for fuel instead, a process called ketosis.
Besides getting plenty of healthy fats, watching your carbs is one of the most important factors here—and a lot of the go-to meals and especially snacks common for vegetarians and vegans are pretty carb-heavy. But excessive carbohydrates (even from veggies) aren’t part of a keto diet. Of course, refined carbs like sugar, flour, bread, cereal, chips, etc. are immediately off the table.
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.
You don't ignore the calories in a giant muffin, but that specialty coffee may not always get the same consideration. Solid foods aren't the only hiding place for weight-gain culprits—liquids are diet derailers too. "A 20-ounce nonfat latte contains 200 calories, but the same size coffee with a splash of nonfat milk or soy milk has 25," Beller says. If you're still skeptical that drinks are wreaking havoc on your daily calorie allowance, journal them and you might be surprised.
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.”
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.
While the jury is out on the diet’s long-term benefits, dietitians told Reader’s Digest that one of the most beneficial things about the vegetarian keto diet is that it incorporates fresh foods and eliminates many processed foods. “I encourage people to eat a whole-foods-based diet,” Vizthum says. “The parameters of a ketogenic diet are simply grams of macronutrients—protein, fat, carbs. The vegetarian ketogenic diet tries to also focus on the quality of foods eaten, increasing the micronutrient content of the diet.” Read more about 10 surprising health benefits of the keto diet.
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.
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.
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).
I have achieved all my goals and more…I have lost 35 pounds and have gone from a size 12/13 to a size 5/6. My waist size has changed dramatically – when I began seeing Samantha, I was squeezing myself into a size 32 waist in jeans. Now, I can easily fit into a size 27 which feels fantastic! I tell Samantha and Chris that they are the best thing that ever happened to me and I mean that from the bottom of my heart! I feel like a totally different person now than I did 6 months ago. I am actually excited for beach season this year and I cannot wait to go bathing suit shopping. I can’t remember another time in my life in which I had more confidence in my appearance. I have changed my lifestyle and my entire view on health and fitness. I love the food I eat and I am never hungry! I enjoy exercising now and have all the energy I need to get through the day and more. I feel that I am living to my true potential; I have a healthy body, mind and spirit. Samantha gave me the tools and guidance I needed to change my life and I embraced them whole-heartedly. I can say that, without a doubt, I feel 100% better than I did before I started with her. I start each day by looking at myself in the mirror and actually being HAPPY with the person I see looking back at me. Now, I look the way I have always wanted to look and my husband can’t believe the results either! I can honestly say that my results have surpassed even my expectations. Don’t spend another day feeling bad about yourself or your appearance. You have the power to change your life for the better and to maintain an active lifestyle. I will never allow myself to go back to my old habits. I am a new person thanks to Samantha and Chris at Pure Health & Fitness Studios!" --- Sara
Great question. Since a vegan diet is even more restricted in terms of low-carb foods, keto as a vegan is highly impractical and takes a lot more thought. However, you can still consume plenty of fats if you stick to healthy oils, nuts/nut butters, avocados, seeds/seed butters, and coconut as your sources while making sure you get enough protein too.
Zucchini noodes (zoodles!) are a bit of a staple on the keto diet, when I first started cutting out carbs pasta was one of the biggest thing’s I missed. Pre-keto I would love making pasta as a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but actually the zucchini version is so much better, with more flavour and quicker too. This dish can be put together in under 10 minutes! #keto diet
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