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.
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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…)
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.
Special vegetarian keto products - There are tons of non-meat snack options on Amazon like keto cookies, cheese bars, protein bars, etc. Be careful - the search results aren’t perfect, so some Paleo options might show up that aren’t supposed to or some non-vegetarian items might show up that aren’t supposed to. Almost every product has nutritional information, so make sure to consult it before making any purchases.
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.)
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.
Spaghetti squash is a smart addition to your keto diet because it strings apart and mimics true spaghetti so easily. Sliced in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and drizzle a healthy oil onto its open-faced side. Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice, and place face-down into a roasting pan to roast until it’s soft when pricked, and pulls apart into spaghetti-like strings when a fork is taken to it.
Following the ovo-lacto vegetarians are the ovo vegetarians. In keto diets, and especially in vegetarian keto diets, eggs are a superfood. They have plenty of protein, lots of fat, and almost zero carbs! Meanwhile, milk, while often rich in fats, also has quite a bit of sugar in the form of lactose, which makes it not as keto-friendly. Cheeses, however, are a fantastic keto food that lacto vegetarians have access to.
For anyone following any vegan diet, and athletes especially, the question always comes up: “How do you get enough protein?” Nelson recommends about 0.7g of protein per pound of your goal body weight as a baseline daily intake for active people—and most nutritionists recommend up to one gram per pound if you’re weight training. (Goal body weight means the amount you want to weigh—not the number that currently comes up on the scale. So, if you weigh 205 pounds but remember looking and feeling your best when you weighed 175, eat 0.7g of protein x 175, or about 120 grams daily.)

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.


Savoring each bite of food, and paying attention to the taste, texture, and temperature, helps you eat less because you’ll be more in tune with your hunger and satiety levels. "Simply putting down your utensil between bites of food could prevent you from mindlessly 'shoveling in' more than you need," says Sara Haas, RD, and chef. Haas suggests that you take a bite and then let your fork relax next to your plate while you chew. Mindful eating gives the body time to signal that you're full and aids in digestion.
Following the ovo-lacto vegetarians are the ovo vegetarians. In keto diets, and especially in vegetarian keto diets, eggs are a superfood. They have plenty of protein, lots of fat, and almost zero carbs! Meanwhile, milk, while often rich in fats, also has quite a bit of sugar in the form of lactose, which makes it not as keto-friendly. Cheeses, however, are a fantastic keto food that lacto vegetarians have access to.
You've been faithful to a healthier eating plan and working out at the gym, and the number on the scale is even going down. You notice your clothes buttoning a little easier, less bloat to your belly and a slimmer appearance to your face. Whether other people notice these changes really depends on several factors, including their relationship with you and your starting size. You usually notice that you've lost weight far sooner than other people.
"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.
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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.”
“The most rewarding part of running for me is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it, and pushing myself beyond what l ever thought was possible. It has been rewarding to see a transformation in my body, and to feel a transformation mentally and emotionally. My husband sporadically runs and he used to tell me that I should run, too. At the time, I was more than 100 pounds overweight, and that seemed like a ridiculous thing to say. I recall telling my husband back then that, ‘I will never run.’ I laugh now because he rarely runs, and I run all the time.”

Scott Leopold attempted his first diet at 19, when he weighed 438 lbs. He was in college and often drank alcohol and finished the night off with fatty foods such as chicken wings or sweets and chips. “I wouldn’t think twice about eating two whole pizzas,” he tells PEOPLE. After he lost his first 100 lbs., he and his friends “celebrated” at a buffet. 


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.
Yes, you read that right. A vegetarian keto diet means you can load up on the cheese. Freshly sliced mozzarella is packed with protein and fat, making it a perfect accessory for a vegetarian keto diet. Simply top vegetables like portobello mushrooms, eggplant rounds, or zucchini noodles with mozzarella and/or grated Parmesan for an instant protein boost. If you want a cheesy snack that is anything but cheesy, a buffalo chicken dip – sans the chicken – is a delightful keto diet food that pairs perfectly with celery or carrots and fits nicely with a vegetarian lifestyle. This eggplant lasagna loaded with creamy ricotta cheese is perfect for any Italian lover. Just remove the sausage.
"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.)

If you have bad memories of being yelled at for not finishing everything on your plate, forget them. "Stopping before you're full is better for your health," says Ericka Stachura, R.D., a registered dietitian in Boston. That's because it takes 20 minutes for our stomachs to tell our brains that we're full; leaving food on the plate allows your brain to play catch-up. Also, when dining out, consider sharing an entree with a friend—portion sizes are often way larger than the recommended size for one person. You'll still feel satisfied. Promise.
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.
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.
These omega-3 fats provide building blocks for cellular structures throughout the body and aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Fish oil is the most common source of DHA and EPA, but a good vegan source—and one that, arguably, offers a better concentration of DHA—is algae (which is where those oily fish get their omega-3s from anyway). By supplementing with algae oil, you’re effectively cutting out the middle-fish. Aim for about 300mg/day.
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.
“Like many—and I know this dates me—Oprah was my original inspiration. However, the sense of accomplishment running gives me is my fuel. It is far more to me than a calorie burner, a meditation, or even a chance for alone time. It is now necessary to be my best--energized, focused, connected to my city, my dogs, and myself. (Here’s why you should try meditating while running, and how to do it.)”
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.
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.”
Fasting may sound crazy, but it has its benefits. Intermittent fasting makes it easier to restrict your calories by limiting the amount of time you have to eat. This also makes it tough to over-eat at meals since you have less meals to get to your macros, which will greatly aid you in your weight loss journey. Fasting can help you enter ketosis sooner, especially if your fasting window is large.
In our sandwich-with-a-side-of-bread culture, cutting carbs down to the wire trips many people up. “Exact numbers vary person to person, but in general, strict keto dieters need to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day,” says exercise physiologist Michael T. Nelson, Ph.D. (miketnelson.com). “Some people need to go as low as 30 grams.” The Mod Keto approach allows two to three times as many, but it’s still very low-carb compared to the diet of the average American. (For reference, one banana, one apple, or a single slice of bread would put you over your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.) #ketones
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