Eating keto foods while still enjoying your favorite dishes can be a big challenge especially if you're just starting a keto, low carb, or paleo lifestyle. Fear not! Committing to healthier eating doesn't mean that you need to miss out on an occasional chocolate chip cookie or your favorite holiday shortbread. It simply means that you need to find a new recipe!
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Vegetarian and vegan diets are gaining popularity. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there’s been a 600 percent increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years alone, so plant-based lifestyles are clearly catching on. Another diet that’s quickly climbing the popularity charts is the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet. This eating plan calls for the restriction of carbs by following the LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) principle. Essentially, by reducing carbs, the body’s forced to break down and use fat for fuel instead, a process called ketosis.
Rickard Lindroth is a developer, mountain bike enthusiast, climber and one of the most joyful characters in the Diet Doctor office. He prefers easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes and his absolute favorite ingredients are halloumi, eggs and broccoli. It’s not a surprise that this is what you’ll be eating this week. According to Rickard, everything is better with garlic and you should devour the whole broccoli — even the stalk! Oh, and did we mention garlic…?
"We know that reducing your carbs to a very low percentage of your daily calories can stimulate ketosis, [which is] when your brain and body begins to run on ketones (aka fat) rather than carbs for fuel," says Abbey Sharp, R.D. And that stands true whether you eat animal products or not. "Ketosis has been shown to help promote weight loss because it helps suppress your hunger hormones and therefore your appetite, while also promoting substantial water loss to reduce bloating," she adds. (Check out the results of one woman's keto diet weight-loss program.)
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.
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This was mentioned just recently, but deserves some more spotlight. Nut milks are great for vegetarian keto. Dairy milk is more carb-heavy than many drinks, and should not be your first choice if you’re going for milk due to the lactose. Nut milks are especially good if you’re trying to accomplish vegan keto. Just make sure to avoid the sweetened versions - they contain sugar!
Many dieters get so bored with bland “diet” foods they end up eating more of them to feel fulfilled. Instead of eating for quantity, focus on the quality of your food. “You may notice that the first few tastes of the food are the most satisfying—your taste buds are on high alert,” says Steinmetz. “Buying small quantities of high quality food and concentrating on taste will help you savor small bites. Stop after the first four bites so that your taste is not ‘saturated’, and then try a different food.”
One big reason people go keto is sustained energy. When you don’t eat copious amounts of carbs, levels of insulin—the hormone that controls blood sugar—remain much steadier than they do on the carbohydrate-based diet most people are used to. When your blood sugar is stable, you don’t have afternoon energy crashes that make you want to fall asleep at your desk. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that a ketogenic diet controlled blood sugar more effectively than a more standard, low-calorie diet that was high in carbs.
Vegans have long known that they can’t get all the amino acids they need from one source of plant protein, so they make an effort to eat a diverse selection of them and often combine foods in the same meal to get a complimentary assortment of aminos. You don’t need to do this at every meal—your body can hold on to the aminos from one food a few hours until you eat another food with aminos that complement them and form a complete protein. But don’t get in the habit of basing your meals around only tofu or only hemp. Eat as broad a menu as you can to ensure the richest nutritional intake you can. (See more reasons to limit tofu under the vegan substitutes list below.)
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…)
Do you know what personal triggers have you reaching for the snacks (think road trips, celebrations, weekends, etc.)? Heather Bauer, R.D., co-author of Bread Is the Devil, calls these triggers our "diet devils" because they keep us from making smart decisions. For example, how many cookies do you absentmindedly eat in front of the TV after dinner? What about that binge-inducing boredom devil or, most dangerous of all, that vacation-eating demon? Start taking note of your diet-ruining trigger situations and you'll be able to stop them from ruining your diet.
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."
I made this last night. I rarely comment on stuff but need to as I often use other people’s comments for inspiration! My partner enjoyed this and I thought it was okay. I halved the recipe, added a chopped serrano, and omitted the celery and chipotle and I think the latter was a mistake. I have some chipolte chili powder I could have subbed but forgot. So I felt like it was missing something in my version. Next time I would cut some of the walnuts in half, too.
I’ve also heard some of my vegan friends say that they’re going to give a keto lifestyle a try to help them lose weight. Personally, Travis and I don’t follow a vegan keto diet, we just live a very simple and easy vegan lifestyle and eat whatever we want (within reason). However, I wanted to put together a list of vegan keto recipes to help anyone thinking about trying a keto diet this year.
“I have had people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen in awhile not recognize me. I love that. I love the way I feel, the way clothes fit, and being able to shop in regular clothing stores. Mostly I stay motivated for the years, days, hours and minutes I’m hopefully putting on the end of my life. I’ve got two adult daughters and amazing wife, and I want to be here with them for as long as possible.” #keto