I know others of you are probably like, “Finally! A keto vegan/vegetarian post is just what I’ve been waiting for!” If that’s you, I am so excited to be able to help you out. I know limited food options can lead to a bit of a monotonous and dreary existence, and can eventually result in a horrendous bout of binge eating and crushing guilt later on. My mission is to help you avoid that vicious cycle and discover the wonderful opportunities that are out there in the small, but vivacious, world of vegan and vegetarian ketogenic living!
The bottom line? This way of eating is tough to stick with because it combines two restrictive diets. Mass believes the risks outweigh the benefits. But if you decide to try it, Mass cautions to approach the diet carefully, ideally under the guidance of a qualified registered dietitian who can help you pick your foods strategically and ensure you are supplementing the diet where needed. Mass also suggests reducing your carb intake gradually rather than going full-blown vegetarian keto overnight so you don’t completely shock your system.
I like to cook dinner pretty much every night. Cooking is something that I really enjoy, and as I’m always working on new vegan keto recipes, it kind of just makes sense to test them every chance I get. Of course, there are nights that I just don’t feel like cooking, so I like to have some options available that I can just heat up and dig into without much fuss. This recipe for vegan keto sloppy joes really fits the bill there. It makes six servings in one go, so you can have dinner ready to go every day without more than 1 hour of effort. 🙂 (more…)
Protein is also a big concern. “Since the keto diet is relying on protein and fat for your calorie intake, you are cutting out many of the complete proteins you would be attaining — say from legumes and grains — on a regular vegetarian diet,” Mass says. “On a keto diet, this source of complete proteins is now essentially eliminated.” Protein is important to help the body build bones, muscles, and skin, according to Medline Plus.
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.
“Physiologically speaking, to lose weight, you have to burn more than you eat. It requires a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose a pound,” says Meg Sharp, director of personal training for the Cambridge Group of Clubs. “This can be done through either diet or exercise alone, but the human body is complicated. It’s a bit of an oversimplification that you can choose to either burn your calories or reduce their intake.”
When it comes to buying keto-friendly vegan dairy products, make sure you are not getting any extra added sugar, hidden carbs, or unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils. Some of these products may also have “gums” in them like agar agar or guar gum. These compounds are used to make the product creamier, and they are safe for most people. However, some people may get gastrointestinal discomfort from eating them, so look out for gums when switching to vegan dairy products.
Andrew Heffernan, C.S.C.S., is an award-winning health and fitness journalist whose work appears regularly in Men’s Health and Experience Life. He is the co-author of two fitness books—The Exercise Cure and Your New Prime—and is a frequent top-five finisher as an age-group triathlete and competitive obstacle-course racer. Andrew lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Visit him at andrewheffernan.com.
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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."
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Eggs and dairy — two of the main animal products you can eat on the vegetarian ketogenic diet — are nutrient dense, and their production has much less of an impact on the environment than lamb, beef, farmed salmon, poultry, turkey, and pork. You can even take the positive effects one step further by sourcing your eggs and dairy from local, pasture-raised chickens and cows. By supporting these healthy and sustainable animal rearing practices, you will be investing in the most humane and healthy animal products (more on this later).
In order to get into ketosis and remain there, limit your net carb intake to 20 grams per day. This means you’ll need to avoid many popular vegetarian protein sources, such as quinoa, buckwheat, legumes, and pulses. These foods are simply too high in carbs to be included on a ketogenic lifestyle. Also be sure to steer clear of milk and low fat dairy products, starchy vegetables, and fruits, other than perhaps a few berries.
Although many people avoid eating meat due to concerns about animal welfare or the environment, others choose vegetarianism because they believe it is healthier. However, vegetarian diets are typically high in grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which aren’t appropriate for individuals with diabetes, who want to control their blood sugar without medication. Additionally, many people find that they are constantly hungry when following a low-fat, high-carb vegetarian way of eating.
I went on a vegan keto diet for about seven months last year. During that time I created quite a few recipes for the blog. I wanted to post a bunch of those Keto Vegan Recipes all in one place. That way those of you who have been on the diet for awhile as well as those of you who are starting a vegan keto diet for the New Year have a resource all in one place.
Throughout this article, we will focus on how to implement a vegetarian ketogenic diet that includes eggs and dairy. (No meat, fish, or poultry products will be recommended at all.) On the other hand, if you want to eliminate all animal products for your ketogenic diet, then you will find much better suggestions — like a complete list of dairy and egg alternatives — in our comprehensive guide to the vegan ketogenic diet.
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)
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