How Vegetarian Keto has Changed My Late 40’s Metabolism
I have heard all sorts of things about the Keto diet for years. Unfortunately, most of them were either wrong or wrong. After years of yo-yo dieting to lose that “final few pounds,” it never seemed to fail that no matter how much money I spent or how disciplined I was in using a program, it was only short lasting. Then, of course, we have all heard, “Diets don’t work, and it must be a lifestyle.” But what does that even mean? Everything that I tried; the moment I stopped eating their costly diet food and started eating real food, I put the weight back on, plus a little more.
As I continued year after year to do this with yet another failed promise from another “Lose weight for good company,” ultimately, it was the same thing all over again. That was it. I was sure my metabolism was long gone! But, let’s face it; my beloved Grunge music was now on the classic rock stations! Maybe this was just it. As good as it got.
After reading an article on how Ketogenic diets helped improve brain function and mood, I researched seriously. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about weight loss for the first time. Improved brain function and mood improvement was a win for me! Probably a win for my husband as well. (You’re welcome, Richard) So November of last year, I started messing with this way of eating.
Not your typical way of “going Keto” was the research leading me to. I wasn’t going to load myself up with no veggies, loads of unhealthy fats like massive amounts of cheese. Most Keto is all about the meat. So this was indeed going to be a task considering I have been a vegetarian for the last 30 years. Also, true Keto is NO carbs. I wasn’t looking to get rid of vegetables!
As with everything, I became obsessed with research. Which led me to Dr. Berg on YouTube.
Dr. Berg has a ton of videos, books, supplements, etc. This video is excellent! He gives the why’s in a simple way that everyone can understand. He’s also not just about weight loss, but instead overall health.
Phase 1- Quit the Sugar!
What I varied is how I approached the Healthy Keto. I didn’t try to do everything at once. I started by ditching sugar for about ten days. The first 3-4 were the most difficult. Mainly for the people in my life. Like every hardcore addiction, there were some withdrawals!
I started with the glaring areas. For instance, the nightly ritual of ice cream was number one. This was followed by reading every label and replacing everything with a no-sugar substitute. And I mean everything!
You get the picture. No, before I lose you. Stay with me on this.
Processed foods were not my problem. Most people do eat a lot of processed foods that contain sugar. So, yes, it takes a long time to shop in Phase 1 because you have to find YOUR food. (So online grocery shopping is ideal here)
I switched mayo to Primal Mayo, the same with the salad dressing. I like their Cilantro Dressing.
Unfortunately, I broke up with Ranch after decades. I am sure Hidden Valley will have a Keto-friendly version soon!
Phase 2 – Goodbye to Unhealthy Carbs
I was starting to feel better after about ten days of no sugar. Next. Carbs. I mean the for-real carbs. Bread, BAGELS, Pizza, and POOOOOOTAtoes!!!!!! Ok, so here we go.
I realized I didn’t want to live without my favorite foods! I just need to find recipes for Keto versions of everything. Also. It had to be FAST! Easy. I am no martyr! I am not looking to spend hours in the kitchen. Those days are long gone. I mean, I’m almost an empty nest!
So I started experimenting with recipes. These are my favorites:
I make a batch and freeze them. I microwave it for about 30 seconds, cut it in half, and throw it in a skillet to brown. Don’t put them in the toaster!! They have cheese in them!!
Pizza- Every Friday Night, Baby!
Shredded Italian blend cheese
Topping of choice
Phase 3 – Healthy Fats
Cooking with butter seems counter-intuitive. But the real deal? Grass-fed, Irish butter. Yum!
Coconut Oil? Yes, I have used it on and off for years, but to most, it’s not a thing. Coconut and Avocado oils are significant for the Keto Esque Vegetarian. The same goes for Olive oil and olives.
Nuts. I know it all sounds crazy, but in moderation, all of these will help you lose weight and feel fantastic.
Nut Butters (SUGAR-FREE, of course)
My Favorite go-to Vegetarian Proteins
Nuts- Pecans especially
I’m not big on meat alternatives, but plenty of low-carb versions are out there.
This is the one I like-
Ok, by this point, I was feeling pretty great! My energy has increased drastically. My clothes are feeling good, and I was losing some weight.
Phase 4 – Increasing Vegetable intake
Now, remember, I was already a vegetarian. Here’s where I am increasing my non-starchy vegetable intake to about 7-8 cups a day.
My favorite nonstarchy vegetables:
Cauliflower ( I have learned to like it!- It can be turned into mac n cheese or “mashed potatoes”)
Cucumber – (mostly for dipping)
You noticed I didn’t say, Kale! But these are my favorites!
How to get your veggies Fast and Easy!
I load up on frozen organic vegetables. Super nutritious, cheap, don’t go wrong, and fast!
Once a day, usually lunch or dinner, I have a “Big Salad”. I load up a pie plate with 3-4 cups of veggies, an avocado, Greek olives, and a sprinkle of cheese. I put a little olive oil or dressing and have a protein. Something like egg salad, tuna salad, or a piece of salmon.
That’s 3-5 veggies right there! Super yummy and filling!
Phase 5 – Play with Sugar Alcohols – Just not too many
My favorite Sugar Alcohols
Did you know there is keto creme brulee? Yep! Yum!
Some weekly things I do to make this all very doable.
Favorite Coffee Creamer – Super Creamer
I have groceries delivered the same day every week.
I make some hard-boiled eggs for quick protein.
I make a couple of cans of tuna salad with my Paleo mayo and Wild Planet Tuna.
Once a month, I have Salmon delivered by Wild Alaskan Company
Hands down, the BEST seafood!!!
I keep it simple. It’s the only way this lifestyle worked for me.
What I would say almost a year in is that I lost the weight I wanted pretty fast early on. This truly is a lifestyle for me.
Weight Stayed off
I feel fantastic
My mood improved
My energy is terrific
I sleep better
My hormonal issues decreased
Night sweats gone
The best part of this lifestyle change for me is… If it’s a
I don’t worry about what I am going to eat or drink. Once I lost weight, and my metabolism remembered it was there and supposed to be working-
I just go back to it once I have finished celebrating.
I am not uber-wealthy, so my vacations are your typical seven days. I wouldn’t push it for too much longer than that.
Another cool thing? Seeing that it was not my “lack of discipline only” that was making me feel horrible and killing my metabolism. I was then inspired to make many other changes in my life because I finally had the energy to keep up with my ideas!
I should mention. If you are a meat eater, I do not hate on you- I married one and gave birth to his meat-eating sons. Keto can be done healthfully as a meat eater! Keto Vegetarian was a win for me! Maybe it could be for you as well. But if I could convince you to become a vegetarian, the cows and I, thank you! – Lol.
Vegetarian Keto on!
- 1 How Vegetarian Keto has Changed My Late 40’s Metabolism
- 1.1 As with everything, I became obsessed with research. Which led me to Dr. Berg on YouTube.
- 1.2 Phase 1- Quit the Sugar!
- 1.3 Phase 2 – Goodbye to Unhealthy Carbs
- 1.4 Phase 3 – Healthy Fats
- 1.5 Phase 4 – Increasing Vegetable intake
- 1.6 Phase 5 – Play with Sugar Alcohols – Just not too many
- 2 The why’s