Best Vegetarian and Vegan Keto Diet plan for beginners

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I am a vegetarian (or eggetarian to be precise). I have been following High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) or a keto diet for almost a year now. In the month of September, I was in India so I did not watch my food. However, I jumped back into keto diet upon my return.

Many people have asked me how it is mpossible to remain on ketogenic diet while avoiding all meat products and tasty carbs. My answer is, if you want something badly, anything is possible.

Salad in a white plate
Trust me, Paneer Pakodas are Keto

Some people consider sea foods as vegetarian. This concept is still foreign to me. Vegetarian for me is not to eat anything that is classified as animals. In this article, I will describe how one can be on the high fat low carb diet even when they avoid all types of meats.

Veganism was also very new concept to me back in 2007 when I heard this term for the very first time. My PhD adviser was vegan. I was unable to digest the fact that people can live without dairy products. This was similar to non vegetarian friends who were shocked when I told them I don’t eat meat and can still run 100 miles for fun.

Anyways, let’s define vegetarianism and Veganism first. We will then discuss some vegetarian and vegan high fat low carb recipes.

My definition of a vegetarian

Someone who does not eat animals for food. They use animal products like milk, butter and cheese. Vegetarian who eats eggs are also called eggetarian. I am in this category. I do eat eggs but if you don’t, that’s alright we will figure some way out. The amount of fat and protein that you get from eggs can be replaced with many plant based foods.

My definition of a vegan:

If you are a ultra runner then you must have heard name of Scott Jurek, He is one of the greatest ultra runner of all time. He follows lifestyle of no meat-no dairy. Vegan people don’t eat any animal, they also do not eat anything coming from animals. So butter, cheese, milk or anything made from them is a big no no for them.

How do I sustain a vegetarian diet: Overcoming the fear

Let’s admit this, it’s not easy but it’s certainly doable. It takes some time to really control food habits. If one put consistent efforts and pay attention to what he/she eats, things get easier.

One of the main issue that people have while starting a diet is consistency. They will do it for a day or two, may be even for a week but things become highly unsustainable afterwards.

Two excuses that I used to have were 1. Oh, I ate lot of carbs on the 4th day and so I can not do it anymore. Since I ate now, what is the point of trying again 2. If I exercise a lot eating whatever is ok. I will explain both of these points so that you can stay on track of your diet.

  1. If you eat something after 3-4 or a week on a diet. THAT IS TOTALLY OK. Next day do not eat that. Now try to extend this for 7-10 days and treat yourself with lot of carbs on the weekend (one full day). To take it to next level, challenge yourself to do it for 15-20 days in a row and you will be surprised by yourself. I did that a lot when I started my diet but I jumped back to my normal keto approved foods the very next day.
  2. I was wrong to think that as long as I am running lot of miles, I can eat anything. That is not true. You must have heard of the saying that you are what you eat. It took me some years to digest it. I was running not as much as I run now. But I was putting 50-60 miles per week which is above average. My weight never came down just because of my food routine.

I became serious about my running performance and realized that food is a major part of endurance success. Switching to High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) diet was a total bliss. Since I switched to keto diet my weight has been in control and now stays below 155 pounds (70kg).

Here is list of foods that I eat in my low carb vegetarian diet. You can use it as a sample menu for keto diet.

Breakfast 6:30-7am

1. Hard boiled eggs: I add some sauce like mayonnaise or little salt to eggs. Sometimes adding Sriracha sauce (hot) keeps it interesting and i don’t get bored with the same hard-boiled eggs breakfast.

2. Coffee with coconut oil- coffee with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. You can also make it bullteproof for these two reason 1. The coconut oil wont float on top of the coffee and it will taste much better. Even, I make bullteproof chai. The concept is exactly the same as described here.

Snacks on a ketogenic diet (10 am & 3pm)

1. Brazil nuts, pecan nuts or macadamia nuts (20-30 counts)

2. Hard boiled egg, black coffee-no added sugar (1 egg at 10 am and another one at 3 pm)

Lunch & Dinner

Broccoli and cucumber in a bowl-ketogenic diet-ketosis-keto salad
My typical salad in dinner. This is the best low carb vegetarian salad recipe I have found.

I cook these veggies regularly in the Indian Style and take a medium size bowl with 3 tablespoons of ghee ( clarified butter). Microwave two minutes and just eat that. This is what I cook for low carb vegetarian diet.

1. Cauliflower

2. Broccoli

3. Eggplant

4. Asparagus

5. Brussels sprout

6. Cabbage

7. Spinach

8. Paneer

9. Green soy beans also know as edamame

Even if you cook 3 of them each week and rotate, you won’t be bored of eating the same thing. I mixed two or more veggies sometimes like Cauliflower with green soy, asparagus and Brussels sprout. Broccoli with paneer, spinach with paneer (also known as palak paneer). Along with the aforementioned veggies, I add salad to my dinner. Simply mix cucumber and broccoli, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a bit of salt.

I also cooked purple cauliflower one day along with broccoli. This tastes real good.

Purple cabbage and broccoli in a bowl
Purple cabbage and broccoli

What is the Indian style cooking:

Almost all the veggies that we prepare have same pattern. Here is step by step guide for some of the vegetarian keto recipes. This will make you ready for best low carb Indian diet.

1. Take 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil on medium heat

2. Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds.

3. When cumin seeds turns brown, add chopped onion ( one medium size onion is good) and let it’s cook till they turn golden in color

4. Add 1-2 chopped tomatoes

5. Add salt, 2 tbs of coriander powder, one tbs of garam masala, 1 tbs of cumin powder and 1 tbs of turmeric

6. When oil start separating from the onion and tomatoes, add all the veggies and mix it. Keep this on medium heat until it cooks. The best test to check if it’s cooked or not is by pressing the veggies against the wall of cookware. If you can break it easily, your veggie is ready.

How Vegan Can Follow a Ketogenic diet

Since the only dairy product that I eat on the daily basis is Ghee (Clarified butter). You can avoid ghee at all and replace that with healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil. I do not recommend cooking in olive oil.

Cook in coconut oil and you can also add on top of any veggies. Make salad with olive oil. You can also add more nuts such as macadamia to your diet. Macadamia is 70-80% fat. Another very tasty snack that i recommend is Haldiram’s nut crackers. Peanuts coated with thin layer of chick peas flour taste yummy. This is my favorite snack.

I have never tried a vegan diet but this is a subject of my future experiments and I would certainly give it a go one day.

Now, lets talk a little bit about which food items one should avoid. Here, I am going to list what I DO NOT eat. 

I do not eat following food items (except when I cheat once in two weeks)

1. No bread, rice or bread and sugar at all. 

2. No potato and veggies that are high in carbs and or sugar i.e apple banana oranges.

3. Nothing that contains pure sugar.

4. I rather use Stevia for sweetness 

I cook cauliflower with green soybeans

Where can you buy best keto products:

Kiss My Keto is my favorite online store and I am their affiliate. If make any purchase using this link, I will get a little commission. Thank you.

Disclaimer:

I am not a doctor or nutritionist. All of my blog posts are based on my experience that I gained by training for ultra, reading, listening to various podcasts, watching videos and by performing experiments on myself. My thoughts are not medical advice.

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