Eating the Keto Diet as a Vegan
After doing a lot of research about the Ketogenic diet - or "Keto" diet - I have started taking my initial steps in changing the way I eat. There were a lot of resources online about doing the Keto diet as a vegan which I found to be really helpful. After expressing my interest in the Keto diet, a friend of mine showed me a Podcast on Spotify by Wise Traditions called "Low-Carb, High-Fat (LCHF) Diet on Trial" that was particularly helpful in affirming my decision.
Some of you may have heard of the Keto diet but are not sure what it entails. It is essentially the idea of switching your body's primary energy source from glycogen, which comes from carbs and sugar, to the energy produced from fat, also known as triglycerides. When your body is not using so many carbs, it activates an enzyme that causes your body to burn fat and enter a state of "Ketosis." Of course your body still needs carbs, but instead of taking the normally recommended amount of 135 grams a day, you reduce your intake to 35 grams a day and supplement with fats and proteins.
What attracted me to the Keto diet was the appeal of eating more nutrient-dense meals less often and also the reduction of cravings caused by carbs and sugar. Many participants in this diet report having to eat only one solid meal a day, and feeling fine because they are not experiencing the blood sugar spikes that their body would normally be subjected to when on a high-carb diet. As a vegan, I feel that I have to eat constantly to maintain my energy levels so one meal a day definitely sparked my interest.
It's been less than 24 hours since I have made this decision so this is a fairly new experience for me. I ordered a bunch of different products off of thrivemarket.com that are Keto and vegan friendly. For those of you who are interested in this diet, I wanted to provide you with some different foods that you would be able to eat (and not eat) if you choose to try it out:
Keto-Vegan Friendly Foods
Tempeh, tofu, seitan, shiitake, king oyster, lion’s mane, unsweetened coconut products (cream, milk, flakes, etc.), vegan cheese, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia, pecans, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, avocado, raspberries, blackberries, Natto, sauerkraut, kim chi, dulse, bladderwack, kelp, stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, red palm oil, artichoke hearts, arugula, asparagus, spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, radish, eggplant, endive, fennel, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, turnips, lemon, tomatoes, watermelon, almond flower, baking soda, baking powder, coconut flower, cacao, hearts of palm, jackfruit, psyllium husk, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, dill pickles, microgreens, edamame, kelp noodles, kelp flakes, lupens, Shirataki noodles, Nori sheets, roasted seaweed snacks, chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce, tamari, coconut aminos, vinegar, wasabi, Raw Revolution Glo bars, Julian Bakery Pegan Bars, Nugo Slim Vegan Bars, Vega Sport Potein, Vega Clean Protein, Garden of Life RAW, Sun Warrior Warrior Blend, Sun Warrior Classic Plus, hemp protein powder, pea protein powder, soy protein powder, Amla powder, chlorella, moringa, spirulina, tumeric.
Not Keto-Vegan Friendly Foods
Wheat, corn, rice, cereal, lentils, peas, sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, potato, yams, carrots, parsnips, peas, yucca, corn, tomatoes, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, bananas, pineapples, papayas, apples, oranges, grapes, mangos, fruit smoothies, dried fruit
After eating keto for 24 hours, I have already noticed a change in my body. I am no longer experiencing drastic changes in my energy, as it remains more even-keeled throughout the day. I don't experience an urgency to eat like I normally do, and when I do eat I don't experience bloating at all afterwards which is awesome. Eating vegan is difficult enough, so adding the keto element has definitely been a challenge but the results have been very rewarding thus far so I will do my best to continue. I will also post some keto-vegan recipes as soon as I can for those of you who are eager to try it out :)
- UPDATE -
I am no longer fully Keto, as I have reintroduced carbs back into my diet quite a bit. I will say that I am eating a much more high fat / protein diet and still remain low carb which I find my body really loves. I will say that if you decide to try Keto, just make sure you are getting at least a small amount of carbs because it is a macronutrient required for functioning properly.