Can you be a vegetarian on a keto diet?

By Tori Hopp - 11:25 AM

This was a question I asked everyone I saw doing the keto diet. Can I be vegetarian and still get the benefits from the diet? A lot of people said yes but what I was really asking is "how hard is it to be a vegetarian on a keto diet?"

This week was my first "real" week on the keto diet. I say real because I spent a lot of time looking for recipes, learning about the keto diet and experimenting with meals. This was the first week that I actually did the keto diet for every meal.

The vegan meat industry has grown by leaps and bounds but most vegan meats are made using flour, chickpeas and pea protein so they tend to be pretty carb heavy. This is a major problem since the keto diet restricts carbs. I did a strict keto diet using the Lifesum app and my carbs for the day are at 20 grams PER DAY! I love pasta, toast, and a nice bread bowl with my mac and cheese. I couldn't have hardly any sweets, which was going to be a real pain when my period came, and I couldn't enjoy the desserts I loved. What was I going to do?

My solution was to save most, or all, of my carbs for dinner. That way I didn't feel like I was only having a few carbs here and there. I just loaded up at one meal. Next, I researched what vegan meat alternatives would be good for this diet.

Beyond Meat Chicken Strips are my favorite thing and I was pleasantly surprised to see 6 strips only had 5 carbs. That's enough for a salad topping or just as a side with dinner! Their Beefy Crumbles were even better! 1/2 a cup only has 1 gram of carbs! I am not really a fan of their Beyond Burger (I know!) but one burger only has 6 grams of carbs so they seem great too!

Since I am just a vegetarian, that enjoys vegan food, I knew I would be fine eating the cream cheese, whipping cream and whole milk people live off of. My lactose intolerant stomach, on the other hand, wouldn't enjoy it too much. The keto diet is about upping your fat and protein intake so they encourage things like whole fat dairy and eggs. I like almond milk but I was concerned about the carbs. Turns out, Silk Almond Milk has fewer carbs than whole milk! But the downside is the lack of protein. So it really is a toss-up. If you have the carbs to spare, I would go with regular milk. If not, almond milk it is!

2 Eggs - Hard Boiled
2 Strips MorningStar Farm Bacon (2g Carb)

Huge Salad with:
6 Beyond Meat Chicken Strips (5g Carb)
1 T. Imitation Bacon Bits (1g Carb)
Tomatoes, onions, spring mix greens, olives

1 MorningStar Farm Grillers Burger (5g Carb)
1 Cheese Slice
1 T. Just Mayo (1g Carb)
1 T. Mashed Avocado (1g Carb)
Tomato, Onion, Lettuce Topping
Side of Steamed Veggies

If you eat this in one day you will use about 15g carbs. You can subtract the fiber from the carbs and it brings it down to about 10g but I don't look at that. I wanted to show you what I eat to give you some ideas. If you are a seasoned pro at keto then maybe you have some suggestions! I love trying new things.

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