So I've been following a vegan keto diet for almost two months now and I absolutely love it. Researchers and leading keto diet scientists say that keto adaptation takes about six weeks and from my experience, that's spot on. I especially noticed these immediate changes:
-I'm able to fall asleep faster (great because I suffered from insomnia for most of my life) and get more restful sleep
-I run warmer, meaning I am no longer constantly cold
-I have more sustained energy so I never run out of fuel
-I don't get "hangry" anymore
-I don't crave sugar or sweets like I used to
-My bloating, especially around my period, is less
I've received a lot of people asking about what I eat in a day so I've listed a few recipes below and an example of a daily meal schedule/plan so you can see how I maintain vegan keto. Now, before I dive into recipes and meal plans, let me just say that I'm a nosher. I like to snack throughout the day and rarely eat three meals; instead I almost constantly eat within a certain time window and then practice time restricted eating, or intermittent fasting. That means I eat within about a 10 hour window during the day and then fast overnight. That may sound strange to you but there's loads of science on intermittent fasting that I highly recommend you check out because the benefits are incredible. Anyway, if you're not a snacker like me but more of a meal person, feel free to boost the below recipes with other ingredients or combine two or three to make a more hearty meal.
This is usually all I have for breakfast as it's super filling. My keto coffee recipes can sometimes change daily (I have a few posted on my blog so see previous posts for details). My main go-to recipe is as follows:
2 cups of fresh brewed coffee
1 scoop MCT oil powder (I use Quest)
2 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener (I use Lakanto)
1 Tbsp peanut butter (all natural - no added sugar)
1/2 scoop exogenous ketones (you can omit this if you like, exogenous ketones can be expensive)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (cold pressed, extra-virgin)
Just blend until frothy and enjoy!
These burgers are my everything, check them out here. I usually cook 1-2 up a day in about a tablespoon of avocado oil and sprinkle on some salt. I eat these by themselves for snacks and I add them to things like salads and taco bowls for some extra delicious macros. Some examples:
Taco Bowl : Beyond burger, a few handfuls of spinach, avocado, diced tomato, diced onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, and taco seasoning.
Salad : Beyond burger, cabbage, spinach, avocado, tomato, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and Annie's Goddess dressing (or other fatty dressing).
These are a great snack and good source of fiber. I LOVE fiber so these end up being a staple for me. I usually quarter them (or half them if they're small), mix them in avocado oil, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, hemp hearts, and balsamic vinegar and then broil them until they're practically black. Sometimes I add pumpkin seeds to them as well.
Tofu "Egg" Salad
On heavy workout days I rely on this for a good protein boost without compromising keto.
1 block firm tofu
2-4 Tbsp dijon mustard (depending on preference)
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1 Tbsp Vegenaise (I use Follow Your Heart)
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced
pinch of salt and pepper
Combine and enjoy cold or heat in a pan for a scrambled egg flavor and texture.
Spaghetti Squash Masala
This recipe is really all about the sauce. Spaghetti squash is a low carb food so it's great for keto but the sauce is where you get your fat. This is so easy to do and can make a lot of servings!
-Preheat oven to 400
-Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds
-Cover with avocado oil, salt, and pepper and place cut side down on a baking sheet
-Bake for 40-50min depending on the size of the squash
-Remove and let sit
-Dice a medium onion and cook in a skillet in two tablespoons of coconut oil until the onion is translucent
-Add 1/2 a piece of fresh ginger (grated), and 1/2-1 jalapano (diced)
-Add minced garlic and turn off the heat (just heat the garlic through but don't cook it too much)
-Then, in blender, add 1 roasted red pepper, 3 halved tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes), 1/4 cup cilantro, 3/4-1 cup full fat coconut milk (depending on how creamy you want the sauce)
-When the onion mixture is done, add it to the blender and blend until combined
-Add the blended mixture back to the sauce pan
-Add 1 1/2 tsp garam masala,1 tsp ground corriander, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and red chili powder (optional)
-Cook for 10-15 min uncovered on medium-low heat
Then I fork the squash into shreds, place it in a bowl, cover with the masala sauce, and add 1-2 Tbsp of coconut manna on top for a little extra creamy goodness!
Coconut Ice Cream
I combine full fat coconut milk with 1-2 Tbsp coconut manna, vanilla extract (or vanilla bean), melted sugar free chocolate (I use Lily's chocolate chips), 1 Tbsp peanut butter, and monk fruit sweetener to taste. Blend everything together and then either put into an ice cream maker or freeze in an ice cube tray. I just blend the ice cubes in my Vitamix for "ice cream". It's not as creamy but it does the trick.
I love to snack on things like celery, red cabbage, coconut manna, peanut butter, hemp hearts, and almonds. I consider these more or less free foods because the macros are great in moderation and most of them add fiber. Now, many of these, especially the veggies, have little to no fat so you may need to slightly increase your fat intake if eating lots of veggies. I personally need veggies to keep me regular so it's worth it for me!
For me, a typical day looks like this:
Breakfast : keto coffee
Morning snack : carrot or celery and a handful of almonds and/or pumpkin seeds and possibly a tablespoon of coconut manna or peanut butter
Lunch : beyond burger (probably in a salad form)
Afternoon snack : keto coffee - this time I use Lion's Mane coffee from Four Sigmatic
Dinner : spaghetti squash masala or hash browns with a side of roasted brussels sprouts or cauliflower (I usually prepare the cauliflower the same way as the brussels sprouts)
Dessert : full fat coconut ice cream, usually homemade
I have lots of keto recipes on here in other posts so be sure to check those out and I'll be posting more vegan keto finds and recipes along my journey so keep an eye out and follow me on Twitter/Instagram @christengerhart!
Let me know what you think!