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.”
One thing you can rejoice about are hot drinks like coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea do not inherently have any sugar if made from scratch. Even coffee and tea K-cups tend not to have any sugar in them (and are, in fact, calorie free), but the other flavors of K-cups do. You can even order a black coffee at Starbucks or an Americano, which has only 3 carbs. Take a look at Starbucks’ menu organized by nutritional information too.
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.
My weight loss has definitely slowed like it normally does after the first 2 weeks, but I also think I was getting a little too comfortable with my cheat days. I let them happen more frequently than I should have. So now, going into the month of February, I’ll be more diligent about not cheating unless it’s the right day, rather than just deciding on a whim to have a cheat day, just because I wanted what everyone else was having. I’m going to be traveling to Breckenridge, Colorado for a ski trip this month, so I’m sure that the trip will be difficult on me. At least, I’ll probably burn a lot of it while I’m skiing. #ketoacidosis
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.”
Something like this green omelet is a perfect breakfast for a vegetarian keto diet! If you want to try another option, check out this breakfast casserole – just leave out the meat! This zucchini casserole is also a crowd favorite – simply omit the bacon! Eggs aren’t just for breakfast, so if you’re feeling a little devilish, give this deviled egg recipe a try – again, sans bacon. It’s eggs-actly what the doctor ordered.
Hey Madison, you’ll want to check with your doctor on this first. I can say that eating lots of fibrous vegetables will aid in your fiber consumption and when you do eat meat, choosing the highest quality, fattier cuts will be key to getting all the beneficial nutrients you need. You could also try out our Greens Powder which will help with consuming a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. You can check that out here: https://shop.perfectketo.com/products/perfect-keto-micros-greens-powder. Additionally, the scientific literature behind keto and seizure control is very extensive and many many people have found success with it. But like I said – it’s best to check with your doctor first. #ketogenic diet
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.
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When you are following a vegetarian keto meal plan, though, Palmer recommends focusing mostly on whole foods. Not only will those help you hit your nutrient checkboxes, but they're also rich in slow-digesting carbs and help maintain energy levels longer. And as with any healthy diet, you should avoid processed foods and refined carbs and sugars, which are stripped of important nutrients that prevent sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. (Not sure which drinks are keto-approved? Check out this list.)
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.
For an overall view of what a successful vegetarian keto diet meal plan looks like, you have to consider your three main macronutrients first: Healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Because you're not eating meat, you'll have to turn to other sources for fat. Plus, "since some of the vegan meats on the market will contribute some carbs, you'll have to be extra careful about limiting portion sizes," says Sharp. "This means that the majority of your fat calories will need to be coming from foods like nuts, seeds, eggs, and oils."
Getting enough fat and protein on the vegan ketogenic diet shouldn’t be a problem either. Plant-based oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts, and seeds, will cover all of your fat needs. Moreover, to help cover your protein needs, make sure you have a vegan meat alternative, vegan protein powder, or high protein nuts and seeds with each meal.
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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.
There was one person who I watched on youtube who was on a raw vegan keto diet who showed what she ate in a day. That might be the way to go if you want to avoid processed and cooked foods. For all I know it might be a good way to avoid the side effects of leg cramps because you are eating whole plant based foods and getting high quality nutrients.
“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.”
Opting for high-fat plant foods like avocados, coconuts, and nut butters is one way to meet your keto macros on a vegetarian ketogenic diet. Making sure you're eating high-quality protein is also important. But one of the biggest concerns on a vegetarian ketogenic diet is omega-3 fatty acids intake. These essential nutrients are difficult to obtain on plant-based diets, so make sure to eat foods rich in this fatty acid or go for supplements.
Tofu and meat substitutes - Soy products are a bit controversial in the keto community. Some dieters claim that phytoestrogens and antinutrients in soy could have a negative effect on health and nutrition. On the other hand, soy is a rare plant source of all essential amino acids, making it a valuable vegan-friendly food. While soy milk may be high in carbs, tofu only has around 2 grams net carbs in a 7 oz. serving.
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. Now, there's nothing wrong with training in a fed state. Any exercise burns energy, which supports your weight-loss efforts. What many people don't know, however, is that training in a fasted state offers several unique fat loss benefits.