As, yes, the age-old question: but where do you get your protein? If you’ve been plant-based for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard this asked in at least five different ways. At least here in North America, it seems as though people really struggle to wrap their heads around the idea that you can get enough protein without eating meat, dairy or eggs. This issue becomes especially pronounced when we talk about vegan keto diets.
Here, we’ve broken down our protein grocery list into animal and plant sourced — so depending on where on the plant-based eating spectrum you find yourself, you have ample choices available. If you go for soy products, try to stick to non-GMO and organic options, and pick ones that are fermented as they are even more abundant in nutrients (think organic tempeh).
"I weighed 200 pounds when I had to get a hysterectomy in 2011 to undo damage caused by an infection. Afterward, I was lethargic and gained 53 pounds. I was put on two different medications for high blood pressure and another one for acid reflux, plus I had high cholesterol and was prediabetic. I was also having heart palpitations, so I went to a cardiologist and was diagnosed with sleep apnea and put on an oxygen tank at night. My family doctor told me that my sleep apnea would probably go away if I lost weight."
The benefits of a low-carb keto diet are also hard to pass up. It's one of, if not the strongest weight loss diet through ketosis. Keto may also improve acne, brain health, and seizure frequency, improve heart health, and combat type 2 diabetes, as well as assist with a host of other conditions. Others that adhere to the keto diet also self-report other benefits:
The percent in carbs that will put you into ketosis is different for each individual. I don’t think there is an established scientific maximum amount that allows ketosis for all. In addition, the 43% in calories of fat of this meal plan is a long way from the 70% fat of a strongly ketogenic diet. However, the 29% protein is in line with a moderate protein ketogenic diet. To sum up, this meal plan is on the border of ketogenic at best. You would have to see if you can actually pink a urine stick on this diet. It’s an oxymoron to have a diet that is low carb and high carb at the same time!
Listen, I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as much as the next guy. The simple fact is that all of their food is much higher priced than your average Walmart or Aldi. Aldi in particular is a great place to get all your staples since there are not many extras you can spend your money on. Their produce is spotty at times, but good at other times. Learn how to make good judgments about the freshness of produce and take the plunge. I have seen avocados at Aldi in the midwest for $1 per avocado. These prices really just can’t be beat. Also, Aldi has recently started carrying more meat substitutes like soy protein burgers, soy “meatballs,” veggie burgers, and more. Each store likely has different stocks. There are also rumors that this is a temporary thing, so your mileage may vary.
Vegetarians following the keto diet could also run the risk of becoming deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Three big ones: B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. "B12 is largely found in animal products; heme-iron, which is most readily absorbed, is only obtained in animal products; and fish is a great source of omega-3s," explains Sharp. Unfortunately, those aren't the only elements at risk of being deficient. Zinc, an important antioxidant, most often comes from meat and poultry; calcium and vitamin D—two nutrients that are crucial for bone health—are mostly found in dairy products; and magnesium, another important nutrient for bone health (and energy) is typically ingested via grains, which are on the no-no list for vegetarian keto followers.
Another part of this is opting for frozen or canned foods over fresh. The frozen and canned options are going to last a lot longer than the fresh options, giving your more versatility if you accidentally make an impulse buy of something you don’t end up using before it goes bad. This goes against a lot of the popular culture right now, but it’s an underrated strategy of saving money
Meat substitutes. Meat substitutes are often the punching bag of vegetarians and vegans, and I’m not really sure why. Some say that soy is a poison that gives you cancer and disrupts your hormones and things like that, but the science says otherwise. Meat substitutes are healthy, good for you, and a godsend for vegetarian keto. Gardein, MorningStar, Quorn, Boca, Beyond Meat, Lightlife, almost all of them are GREAT for low carb, high fat, high protein meals. I would not be able to do vegetarian keto without fake meat products.
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.
Sugar cookies are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges and this healthy twist on the classic holiday favorite does not disappoint. Despite their name, they are indeed sugar-free (not to mention they're also gluten-free and paleo)! And the low carb glaze is optional, but really adds to the festive look of this recipe and would be a nice touch if you've decided to gift them.
Ketogenic diets originated in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, but they’ve since been credited for promoting a number of health benefits ranging from improved insulin sensitivity to everyday mental clarity, in addition to fast weight loss. Strict ketogenic—or “keto”—dieters limit carbohydrate intake to about 5% of their daily calories while keeping protein intake at around 20%. Fats, then, make up close to 75% of their calories. (For more details on setting up various ketogenic diets, see our guide HERE.)
Common side effects of Saxenda® include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headache, vomiting, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), decreased appetite, upset stomach, tiredness, dizziness, stomach pain, and changes in enzyme (lipase) levels in your blood. Nausea is most common when first starting Saxenda®, but decreases over time in most people as their body gets used to the medicine. Tell your health care professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Meat is a cornerstone of the ketogenic weight-reduction plan, however that doesn’t suggest the weight loss plan is off-limits for the vegetarian population. As the excessive-fats, low-carb approach has grown in recognition, many vegetarians have desired in on the hype and feature located a manner to make it work for them, tweaking the typical keto diet menu and food list to in shape inside their meat-loose existence.
Still, Mass is hesitant to endorse this way of consuming. “I don’t see many blessings to going keto vegetarian,” she says. The main challenge is dietary deficiencies. As Medline Plus notes, vegetarians already are liable to being deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Keto then puts extra regulations in vicinity, further growing the probability of being deficient in a number of those vitamins. For instance, breakfast cereals, which are commonly rich in vitamin B12, aren’t allowed on keto.
"I always told myself that once things slowed down at work, I’d try to lose weight. The only problem was that work never slowed down. After being overweight for several years, I finally decided to take action, but had no idea how to begin. I thought it would be a long and difficult process to slim down. Luckily, I was wrong. It turned out to be much easier than I expected and I have now lost over 40 pounds!
Because different plant foods contain different types of amino acids, in excluding all animal products, vegans come to rely on a combination of grains, legumes, and seeds to get all of the essential amino acids their bodies need. Many of these foods are too high in carbs to be included on a keto diet, which is usually restricted to 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. However, those who want to avoid all animal products can follow a lower-carb, non-keto vegan diet, such as the “Eco-Atkins” diet.
Now this recipe looks like exactly the type of meal you’ll be craving when following a plant-based keto diet, but appearances aside, it’s actually not only vegan and keto-friendly, but paleo-proof too! Those noodles aren’t, in fact, your usual wheat or rice variety. They’re the miraculously carb-free, fat-free, sugar-free shirataki noodles! Top with an almond butter sauce and your favorite veggies and you’ve got one of the yummiest quick and easy keto recipes.
In the long term, dietitians warn that you could experience deficiencies in nutrients. “When eating a very low-carbohydrate diet, it is possible to become nutrient deficient because many of the food groups from which vegetarians get their nutrients (whole grains, legumes, root vegetables) are eliminated,” Davis notes. “So by eating vegetarian and keto, you could be at risk for nutrient deficiencies.” Learn about 11 hidden dangers of the keto diet.
Many dieters think that being ‘good’ during the week gives them a license to let go on the weekends, but if you add it up, eating poorly and not exercising Friday to Sunday comes out to 12 days “off” a month! Instead of letting the days of the week influence your habits, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable all month long (with the occasional indulgence) for lasting weight loss.
“Eat only in the food-appropriate areas of your home like at the kitchen or dining room table,” recommends Mary Miriani, an American College of Sports Medicine certified Health and Fitness Specialist in Naperville, Ill. Sitting down at the table to eat (instead of in the car, standing at the kitchen counter or sitting at your desk) means you are more likely to focus only on eating and pay more attention to the visual cues that help us decide when we are full. According to research, being able to see all that you have eaten (evidenced by the remnants of food on the table) could help you eat up to 27 percent less at meals.
It’s hard to imagine breakfast without eggs and bacon, of course. For most of us, they’re a standard part of our morning repertoire. But frying bacon is messy and a challenge. The smell often lingers for hours, even days. Instead, try this easy, step-by-step method to show you how to cook bacon in the oven. Bake a big batch to crumble over vegetables enjoy in salads and of course, go alongside eggs in the morning.
"My New Years resolution for 2010 was to get back into shape and to improve my health. I was turning 40 in May and I wanted to make a significant change in my life but knew that it would not be easy for I did not want to start a program or a diet and give up like I had done for the past 10 years. We have two beautiful boys and like most mothers, I have struggled with weight ever since I gave birth. My boys are eight years apart and I started to feel like I did not have the energy to keep up with my youngest son. I was afraid that I was not going to be able to play with him the way I did with my older son because I was so much older and out of shape.
“After four years of running, I feel great. I run two to three times during the week from three to six miles per day, unless I am specifically training for a longer distance race. On the weekends, I like to trail run on unpaved paths near my home and, up until 2017, I was racing at least once a month. This year, because of finances, it has been once every couple of months, if that. I do everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and obstacle course races. I am working toward completing a full marathon eventually.”
As with any new diet, you should consult a professional before committing, as it might not necessarily apply to extenuating health circumstances. It's also helpful to hear an expert's opinion firsthand. As for Smith, she's not entirely sold on the keto diet in the first place. "Some principles of the keto diet can be helpful," she says, such as few refined carbs and sugars. "When done right (more plant-based that is) it can be a great way to get some healthy fats in, but I don't find, especially for women, that it contributes to significant weight loss if that's a goal." While we're on the topic, it's also possible that you might need supplementation to your diet to achieve utmost wellness. "this is case by case, but often, in general, vegans/vegetarians need iron, B complex, b12, extra protein, and potentially zinc and biotin as well," Smith tells us. This is just another reason consulting an expert can be so helpful.
Preliminary studies have also linked the keto diet to certain diseases, including diabetes. A study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Obesity and Eating Disorders, for instance, found the presence of ketones in the blood can lower HbA1c levels, potentially by way of ketone bodies decreasing glucose metabolism, and benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
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“I’ve been going to ‘get in shape’ for years now. Would start to, but never really saw any results. Samantha took this junk food junkie and showed me how eat healthy and so I would enjoy it! ** IN ONLY 16 WEEKS I'VE ALREADY LOST OVER 30" AND 30 lbs. OF FAT! ** I really can’t believe how easy the transformation has been. I only wish I had called Samantha sooner!” - Karen
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Although it’s just recently entered the limelight in the past few years, the ketogenic diet actually has a pretty extensive history that stretches back for centuries. Since at least 500 B.C., fasting has been used as a natural method to treat epilepsy. In the 1920s, the ketogenic diet was developed as a way to mimic the effects of fasting and aid in the treatment of seizures in children. (1)
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While there are nutritional benefits associated with eating red meats and poultry in moderation, you can certainly still live a ketogenic lifestyle without them. In fact, looking at the bigger picture, the keto diet and vegetarian diet are more sustainable ways of dieting because they rely less on eating massive quantities of meat. Here are a few keto diet recipes you can try today: