First things first: When you hear that the keto diet emphasizes consuming fats over carbs, that doesn't mean fats from drive-through fries or something of that sort (as sad as that may seem). It means consuming fats from things like avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, ghee, and coconut oil. These healthy fats fuel your body's energy in replacement of carbohydrates, contributing to the aforementioned possible benefits of the diet. That's why these foods are a good place to start when talking about all things vegetarian and keto and can be considered as the building blocks of many healthy vegetarian/keto recipes.
Look for your weight loss results after a few weeks of dieting and exercise, but be kind and patient with yourself. Each person's body is unique and the rate at which you lose weight may be different than it is for someone else. Stay consistent and remind yourself of the many benefits of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight so that you stay motivated for the duration of your journey.
Traditionally you may know them as the “ch-ch-ch-chia” plants that made it look like hair growing from a terracotta head as a child. In your diet, chia seeds are used before they sprout, and they truly are an odd little seed. You’ll know that if you’ve ever had one stuck in your teeth, only to discover it’s turned into a gelatinous mass. You see, chia seeds have the ability to absorb liquid and multiply in size.
Takeaway: It’s possible to be vegan and do nutritional ketosis but you will need to do some research, planning/calculating, and self-experimentation to make sure you are meeting all of your requirements. You may also want to include a multivitamin containing vitamin B12 and a vegetarian omega-3 supplement (such as flaxseed oil or algal DHA such as ‘Neuromins’) to ensure you are meeting all of your nutrient 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).
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.
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):
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).
A lot of this initial weight loss is water. Your fluid levels fluctuate often and can change dramatically when you alter your diet. For example, when you start a low-carbohydrate diet, you deplete the stored glycogen in your muscles. When you lose this glycogen, you also lose the water it retains. As a result of this loss of water weight, you may experience a flatter-feeling tummy and the first pounds lost on your scale. Lose just 2 cups of water, and it results in a pound lost on the scale, but it's not actual fat loss.
My best advice for anyone who has been challenged with trying to loose weight is to invest the money in working with a personal trainer, because that will give you the jump start you need and trainers will push you like no one else will. Also, remember that healthy eating and exercise is a way of life and not a diet. You have to set goals for yourself and stick with them. Work out with a friend or make a new friend at the gym where you train because accountability is everything."
All in all, soy looks like a safe food that most people will have no problems with. However, there may be a handful of individuals that may experience thyroid issues after increasing their soy consumption. This may happen because soy contains goitrogens — plant compounds that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.
The Keto diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs. It’s a highly effective diet as it takes into account accurate tracking of your meals, to find the right body balance, followed by charting your goals. I’m a big fan of the low-carb diet. Not only has it been shown to be more effective than a low-fat diet, but it bestows many additional health benefits over a typical diet.
Although treats like chocolate, candy, and cookies may look beautiful on your countertop in clear glass jars, having them front and center will make them a constant temptation. "Keep [treats] in very inconvenient places — like in your garage or in hard-to-access areas of your kitchen," suggests Julie Upton, MS, RD, blogger at Appetite for Health. "If you keep them in your fridge or pantry, cover them with aluminum foil so you can't see the food and won't be as tempted by it."
The following menu, courtesy of Dr. Nelson, will give you an idea of how a day of eating on a vegan keto diet could look (with a Mod Keto carb allowance). One thing’s for sure: you can eat a high volume of food without having to worry about taking in too many calories, so you’re unlikely to gain weight by accident with this style of eating. It’s easy to stay satiated due to the fat content and the abundance of fresh vegetables makes this diet rich in phytonutrients and fiber. On the downside, it’s very tough to get enough protein in. As you can see, aiming for the bare minimum amount—20% of calories—almost certainly requires supplementation.
The strategy can be a successful one: According to research published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, the keto diet may burn 10 times as much fat as other diets. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for everyone—including vegetarians. (Look at how the keto diet transformed Jen Widerstrom's body.)
Speaking of skiing… I also need to begin exercising more frequently. That will be my big push this month. I’m already in a 5k preparation group at our church, but that’s only once a week and I’m not running. I’m walking. I’m supposed to walk 2 more days a week, but sometimes I let that slip. I’m also planning to start the 15 minute T-tapp workout. When I do this workout regularly, I drop inches like crazy. In fact, I was just reading testimonials from last year’s T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge and saw where one lady lost over 50 inches from just doing that 15 minute video and some basic walking. Craziness! I’ll be starting the 60 Day Challenge again on the 20th of February. Feel free to join me.. after all, you can get away with just 15 minutes a day… and some consistency!
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.
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.
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.
That said, a recurring mistake among vegetarians who go keto is incorporating too many vegetable-based carbohydrates, without even realizing. You’ve got to be quite vigilant of all your carb and protein sources following a vegetarian keto diet meal plan, as most vegetarians tend to source their protein from foods like legumes and grains, which aren’t supported on the vegetarian keto diet. If you’re following a diet that’s strictly plant-based, then you’ll have to be even more mindful.