“As a mother of four children over the last 12 years I’ve not devoted much time to myself, and as a result I developed issues with weight. I’ve tried many things but the weight would always creep back on. I’d seen Samantha’s flyers for almost a year before I contacted her, it’s only been two weeks since our first meeting, and I’ve already seen so many changes in both my body and my lifestyle, ** I'VE ALREADY LOST 8 lbs.! ** She is a personal “Instructor”, teaching you how to weight-train and healthier eating as a lifestyle. Samantha not only shows you what’s given her success, but also explains the mechanics behind the exercise and food. She’s great!” * Lori
If you’ve kept abreast of the latest trends in health and nutrition for the last few years, then you’ll have inevitably stumbled upon the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb diet is most times rife in animal protein, so how can the average plant-based eater be able to adapt this diet to meet their lifestyle needs? Well, if you’re vegetarian and looking to give a vegetarian keto diet a go, then you’re in luck because we at 8fit have you covered.
By this point you’ve probably been hearing that buzzword around your neighborhood, family, social media or workplace – “keto”. The word is simply short for the ketogenic diet, growing incredibly in the last few years for its powerful ability to help one increase their brain clarity, increase their energy and all the while, decrease their body fat (read more about it here). Many are drawn to its high-fat low-carb ways that allow bacon and eggs to be a part of their regular intake. However, that makes it a challenging diet to adhere to when you’re part of a vegan or plant-based lifestyle. Good news is, it’s a misconception that this is a meat-based diet. The keto diet, while focused on taking in a low amount of carbs and high amount of fats, it’s also dependent on a steady flow of good proteins, as well. Vegans have been thriving for decades with protein alternatives to meat, and fat alternatives to dairy, therefore, the keto diet is no exception. Regardless, many feel lost when trying to even wrap their heads around doing a vegan keto diet, so we are taking a look today at some key foods that are both vegan, and keto diet approved!
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.
A 2017 study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found meal timing had an impact on BMI. Researchers noted those with the lowest BMIs tended to fast for more than 18 hours between supper and breakfast, eat breakfast and plan for their largest meal first thing in the morning. (In comparison, those with shorter fasting periods between supper and breakfast, breakfast skippers and those who ate their largest meals at supper had higher BMIs).
The ketogenic diet has received a lot of attention this year, probably because celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Megan Fox, and Adriana Lima are among its devoted followers. (Halle Berry even recently shared a rundown of her daily ketogenic meals with her 2.7 million Instagram followers). It's officially replaced the Mediterranean diet as the most popular diet of 2018 with nutrition experts, wellness bloggers, and regular health-minded individuals analyzing its benefits and downfalls, so to say it's simply "buzzy" would be an understatement. It would be more accurate to call it a dietary movement.
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"When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn't go into stores or restaurants by myself. I'd walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I'm going to die if I don't do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40."
Nuts. Nuts are a fat-rich and healthy addition to any diet. I tend to favor macadamia nuts and cashews over any other nut because they have the highest amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and the lowest amount of inflammatory omega 6 fats. Make sure, however, that you know the carb content of these nuts. Consuming too many cashews, for example, can easily kick you out of ketosis.
I am brand new to this concept! I just downloaded the app and transferred the vegetarian 2-week plan into my app settings. (Great app btw!). I noticed that the net carbs are really low. For example, day one is 10.3 for the day. I set a goal of ~20 based on what I am learning from app. Should I be concerned? I meet the calories for the day by not the protein or net carb goal.  Hope I am making sense!
So this winter has been a real doozy. I’m sure if you’re reading this from your balcony in LA you’re probably like “WTF is this chick talking about?” but for the rest of us east coasters or Canadians, the struggle has been REAL. Honestly, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the cold nights is a warm meal (sorry salad, you’re out). This is where this Vegan Keto Walnut Chili totally comes into play.
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).

Vegetarian diets are touted as one of the healthiest on the planet. However, the exclusion of meat is not the only thing that makes these diets healthy. It's also the inclusion of real food and wholesome ingredients. Besides, a vegetarian binging on donuts, fries, and cheese is doing their health and environment a disservice as much as any other food junkie.

Saxenda® is an FDA-approved prescription injectable medicine that may help some adults with excess weight (body mass index [BMI] ≥27) who also have weight-related medical problems or obesity (BMI ≥30), lose weight and keep it off. Saxenda® should be used with a reduced-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity. Click here for full Indications and Usage.
Better brain health – Ketones are your body's natural nootropics. They're a more powerful source of energy than carbs and protein, providing a constant influx of energy to the brain. Carbs, on the other hand, lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can lead to brain fog. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action of ketones also helps protect the brain against free radical damage.
Coconut butter comes in a jar as a solid substance, but when melted slightly in the microwave and mixed together, it has a taste and texture reminiscent of a frosting. In a room temperature environment, it becomes solid once again. Whether you simply enjoy it off the spoon, or as the icing on a keto cookie, this is one food that is not to be missed out on.
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).
The materials and information provided in this presentation, document and/or any other communication (“Communication”) from Onnit Labs, Inc. or any related entity or person (collectively “Onnit”) are strictly for informational purposes only and are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a qualified medical professional. Some of the concepts presented herein may be theoretical.
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.

Fat is important on the keto diet, but especially so if you are vegan or vegetarian. “Aim to get 75 percent or more of your calories from plant-based fats like coconut oil, coconut cream/butter, MCT oil, olive oil, avocado, and—in lesser amounts—nuts and seeds,” says Dr. Axe. “Keep nut and seed consumption to about 1/4 cup per day (or two tablespoons of nut butter), since these do provide some carbs and can also be hard to digest in large amounts.” To help with absorption of minerals, he recommends soaking or sprouting nuts first.
Of course, one of the big complaints about a keto diet is that—like a vegan approach—it’s very restrictive and can be hard to stick to. That’s why we like to make people aware of a slightly less rigid approach we call Mod Keto that offers much of the same benefits as a strict keto diet but is much easier to follow long-term. With Mod Keto, carbs are raised to about 20% of your total caloric intake, protein to 20–40%, and fat is reduced to 40–60%. While not technically ketogenic (your body will probably not produce appreciable ketones at these levels), the higher protein and carb allowance supports workouts and activity better while still stabilizing blood sugar and promoting fat burning.
aThese results were from a 56-week trial of adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) with at least 1 weight-related condition, or obesity (BMI ≥30), not including patients with type 2 diabetes. On average, 27% of people on Saxenda® and 34% on placebo did not complete the study. In the study, 62% of patients on Saxenda® lost ≥5% of their body weight (vs 34% placebo) and 34% lost ≥10% body weight (vs 15% placebo). Significant weight loss was only evaluated at 56 weeks, as per study design.
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
Processed soy-based meat substitutes (such as Boca Burgers) and protein powders are major go-to’s for people transitioning to vegan diets, but they come with a catch. A 2016 position paper published by Virginia State University explains that soy contains isoflavones, a kind of plant estrogen that can act like the female hormone in humans. While typical serving sizes (one to three of soy foods, or less than 25g of soy protein from non-concentrated sources like tofu) have not been shown to be problematic, amounts more than that (totaling around 100mg isoflavones or greater daily) could negatively impact testosterone. To our thinking, why take the risk? It may be best for a keto dieter to get the majority of his/her protein from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and supplements and less from soy products, apart from the occasional slice of tofu.
So she began a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb keto diet and tracked her goals, eating habits and exercise in an app called “Lose It!” Wallis also opted to bike to work instead of drive, and do an additional 30 minutes of exercise each day. Now, at 146 lbs., Wallis is able to bike 29 miles and ran her first half marathon. “I feel empowered,” she says. “I could have given up, but I persevered.”
I hope I’ve shown you that you can have a lot of fun exploring the ins and outs of vegetarian keto. There are tons of good foods and recipes out there just waiting to be tried. Shop local if you can, supporting local farmers is great for the environment. Don’t be afraid of meat substitutes. Go crazy with the cheese. Listen to your body. Most people, upon switching off from keto, say they feel sick after eating carbs, even once they reach their goal weight. Don’t get down if you mess up, just get back on the horse.
Keto protein bars - Normally I wouldn’t recommend these, since many protein bars are really not as low carb as they need to be for an intensive vegetarian low carb diet. However, Quest bars and ONE bars are both pretty good for this, with Quest bars generally hovering below 5g net carbs and ONE bars being below 10g net carbs. These add up very quickly though, so use sparingly!
Nuts. Nuts are a fat-rich and healthy addition to any diet. I tend to favor macadamia nuts and cashews over any other nut because they have the highest amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and the lowest amount of inflammatory omega 6 fats. Make sure, however, that you know the carb content of these nuts. Consuming too many cashews, for example, can easily kick you out of ketosis.

Another challenge, Vizthum adds, is not falling into the trap of eating foods that may be compliant but aren’t actually healthy. “As with any diet, the label itself does not make it healthy. The labels of ‘vegan,’ ‘vegetarian,’ ‘keto,’ ‘gluten-free,’ and many others include a range of food choices that fit the standards of the diet but aren’t necessarily healthy,” she warns. This is especially true of processed foods that may carry these labels.


With all that in mind, one thing is clear: A vegetarian keto diet has the potential to get confusing, fast. So if you're considering it, Sheth recommends meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to ensure that you are adequately meeting your nutritional needs. (You could also share this beginner keto-friendly meal plan with non-vegetarians.)
"When I was really heavy, I felt like people were staring at me, so I didn't go into stores or restaurants by myself. I'd walk with my head down and avoid eye contact. My mom had a heart attack at age 41, when I was 19, and that was never far from my mind. On my 39th birthday in 2012, I hit 250 pounds and thought, I'm going to die if I don't do something. So I set a goal to get under 200 pounds by age 40."
I’ll admit I’m much more of a savory breakfast person. I love getting the day off to a great start with a delicious, filling recipe. This avocado is one of my absolute favorites. I’ll eat it practically any time of day and for any meal or snack. It’s got a great combination of tanginess from the balsamic, savory smoky, salty bacon flavor and the rich, smooth and satisfying avocado. Give this combination a taste and I promise you’ll love it too!
Eggs are quite possibly the perfect food. They’re full of protein, easy to cook, simple to work with and they’re even easy to carry with you, thanks to their shell. A hardboiled egg might not be the most exciting breakfast, but if you’re on the go, it’s certainly a fast and filling way to get your protein. I like to cook a big batch of hardboiled eggs in my Instant Pot to use for snacks, fast breakfasts and meals all week long.

This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


You conscientiously check food labels, but do you pay attention to serving sizes? (You don't have to answer that.) Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., and nutritionist on NBC's The Biggest Loser, calls for a "reality check" when it comes to reading serving sizes on packaging. "Many cereals have a serving size of half a cup or two-thirds of a cup, but no one sticks to a measly half a cup of cereal." She suggests limiting yourself to single-cup servings that don't exceed 200 calories. Make measuring cups your new BFFs, and resist the temptation to let em overflow.
“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.”
Another food you'll find to be a good source of protein on your vegetarian keto diet is cheese, which I'm sure you could have guessed. Cheese comes in a variety of of textures, tastes and colors, but don't let this delicious ingredient fool you -it'll help you hit your protein goals! One thing to note, however, is the varying carb count in different cheeses. It ranges from a low .10 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Gruyere cheese to a higher 1.5 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Swiss cheese. 
The research on vegetarian keto diets is limited, but anecdotally speaking, MacDowell says she noticed a handful of positive changes once she started following the diet. “I found that not only did I lose weight very quickly [though in a healthy amount of time], I also noticed things like joint pain was disappearing, my digestion was normalizing, little things that I didn’t at all expect,” MacDowell says.
Don't shy away from a handful of processed foods if they help you meet your macros. Normally, you'll hear that excluding processed food is the way to go on keto. And while that is a wise thing to do, it can cause trouble when you adopt a more restricted version of the ketogenic diet. Adding TVP, trans-free margarine, and canned goods can be a convenient way to get all the nutrients you need on your vegetarian ketogenic diet as long as it's low-carb and rich in healthy fats.

“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
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.
If you’re old enough wherever you are, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite alcoholic drinks on vegetarian keto. The first thing you have to remember is that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that the more alcohol you drink, the more dehydrated you will get. This is generally bad news for ketosis. Maintain switching drinks from water to alcohol as you drink, if you choose to.
Think twice before noshing on grab-and-go items like sugary cereals and calorie-laden muffins, and aim for a high-protein first meal. Sweet foods give you a quick energy spike, but the rapid drop in blood sugar that follows will make you want to curl up under your desk for a nap. Research shows eating 45 grams of protein at breakfast is optimal to trigger satiety. Yes, bacon is protein-packed but it also comes with a lot of fat. “The quality of calories counts,” warns Vicki Shanta Retelny, a dietician and author of “Total Body Diet for Dummies.”Aim for a mix of protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to fuel your day.

”Ketone bodies exert negative feedback on their own production by reducing hepatic FFA supply through βHB-mediated agonism of the PUMA-G receptor in adipose tissue, which suppresses lipolysis (Taggart et al., 2005). Exogenous ketones from either intravenous infusions (Balasse and Ooms, 1968; Mikkelsen et al., 2015) or ketone drinks, as studied here, inhibit adipose tissue lipolysis by the same mechanism, making the co-existence of low FFA and high βHB unique to exogenous ketosis.”
Here's a keto, dairy-free and egg-free recipe for shortbread cookies. Yes, you read that right. Keeping this keto cookie recipe dairy-free means that it's one of the rare keto shortbreads that skips on butter! Cristina points out that chocolate and hazelnut are a match made in heaven and I couldn't agree more. This recipe is delicious, easy, and comes together in approximately 30 minutes. Perfect if you're whipping up a last-minute batch for an upcoming cookie exchange!
The easiest way to combat this loss of electrolytes is to add tons of salt to your food while making sure you're drinking plenty of water. I have also heard of people that take a "shot" of saltwater as a faster alternative. To do this, just take a pinch of salt and put it into a glass of water and chug it. It's not fun, but it gets the job done. If you want something a little more palatable, there is a drink that people like to make that they call “keto-aid.” Here’s what you do:
Eggs are quite possibly the perfect food. They’re full of protein, easy to cook, simple to work with and they’re even easy to carry with you, thanks to their shell. A hardboiled egg might not be the most exciting breakfast, but if you’re on the go, it’s certainly a fast and filling way to get your protein. I like to cook a big batch of hardboiled eggs in my Instant Pot to use for snacks, fast breakfasts and meals all week long.
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.)
If you follow our 5-step plan, eating good-quality vegetarian protein sources and plenty of very-low-carb vegetables, you should manage your micronutrient intake well on a keto vegetarian diet. If you want to be extra sure, eating a range of the following nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis will ensure that you provide your body with the range of micronutrients that keto vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in.
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