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gernerpie 01-03-2013 09:22 PM

Vegan AND Low Carb???
I've done everything in stages. First, I took myself off of sugar. Then I went low carb. Then I went unprocessed, clean low carb. Now for the final challenge, I want to go vegan.

Why? I know that if I continue the low carb diet I've been doing, I will lose more weight, and that's great. However, blood work came back, and it shows a cholesterol level that I'm not happy about. I'm young, and not only do I want a thin, lithe figure... but I also want complete and total health. I have done much research, and the verdict is in for me: animal products do not necessarily contribute to good, stable overall health. My elevated cholesterol is proof enough for me to want to make another overhaul of my food decisions.

So... what's my problem? My issue is kind of simple, and I hope to hear from fellow low-carbers, vegans, and vegetarians alike (or anyone doing their own modified version of low carb). RECIPES. I'm having a hard time finding simple, effective LC vegan recipes that I can make on a daily or weekly basis. Most vegan recipes rely heavily on wheat (or other grains), sugar (or other sweeteners), and corn - in short, everything I've trained my body off of for the last six months. I don't want to go backwards. I've lost 43 pounds.

The problem exists the other way around as well. Many LC recipes rely heavily on dairy and meat.

I know there's gotta be an easy way to make many different kinds of meals that don't requires hours of preparation OR, on the flipside, aren't just salads. I know all about soups and salads. I'm looking to move beyond those staples.

If anyone can recommend a good website, book, or tried-and-true recipe, please share! I would be eternally grateful!!! Or just share your story. :jumpjoy:

thealything 01-04-2013 11:48 PM

I know there is at least one book out there on this subject, but I wouldn't be able to recommend it because I forget what it's called. definitely do a quick google search. there was an article about it in Real Simple magazine last year.

I personally don't think that eschewing animals products altogether is the way to optimum health and I also think it's going to be very difficult for you to get correct protein if you're limiting your scope of food so severely. just off the top of my head I know there are food combinations that veg*ns use (like rice and beans) to get complete protein which would be unavailable on a low carb diet. have you considered transitioning to vegetarian first and then slowly making the change to vegan?

what plan were you doing before? have you read any of the 'conventional' low carb books? many people see their cholesterol levels rise at first, then drop off while low carb. I know mine are perfect. I'm 27. I eat bacon and eggs all the time, consistently. my Drs are very pro LC. go check out the Main Lobby here... there have been many good discussions, complete with references to studies, about how low carb with fatty animal products actually HELPS lower cholesterol.

all that being said... acceptable recipes are going to depend on what ingredients you find acceptable. are there any things you will not eat (like gluten for example)? will you be eating fruit? what are you planning to do about protein? also, how many carbs do you plan on eating each day? do you believe in subtracting "net carbs"? you will never get to Atkins-Induction-Level low carb eating vegan. it's impossible. but "low carb" has many flavours. some people consider anything under 50g to be low carb, or even 100g. some people are able to get into ketosis at like 60g carb and I think that's doable as a vegan... difficult and frustrating, but doable.

I know it kind of sucks to eat salad all the time but... I think out of necessity you'd be eating salads all the time with tons of nuts, seeds and oils to bring your calories and fat into proper proportion. I'm assuming you'd be eating a lot of beans and legumes. hummus. tofu. mushrooms. riced cauliflower, jicama, celeriac etc for texture.

I bet if you search "vegan gluten free" you will come up with a lot of stuff that is naturally lower carb. a blogger called "gluten free goddess" makes an awesome recipe called "New Mexican spaghetti squash" with black beans, onions, jalapenos, garlic, and plenty of spices. it's AWESOME and would fit your needs perfectly.

and there is a product called Vega out there that I use. it's a vegan shake mix with no soy, gluten, sugar, or any other allergens. one serving is 220 calories, has 100% of your RDA of all vitamins, plus fibre, amino acids and like 25g protein. unfortunately it is expensive and tastes foul but it could be worse. there are different flavours. the "original" is only 2g net carbs and the other flavours are I think 7g.

gernerpie 01-04-2013 11:59 PM

Vegan and Low Carb
Thanks for the info. I will try to find that book. I'm sure it'll be a great help. And technically, anything under 100 grams of carbs per day is considered low carb, even if you're not in ketosis. I'm certainly not trying to reach those low induction levels at this point! Now I'm going for complete health.

What I'm doing is combining both vegan recipes with low carb. If I find something vegan that relies on grains, I do what I did when I was just low carb: use substitutions and tailor it to Atkins. When I find a great Atkins-friendly recipe, I swap out the dairy for non-dairy substitutions!

Of course, I realize that this won't work all the time... but for me, low carb isn't about being in ketosis; rather it's about keeping all forms of grain and processed sugar out of my system! I feel the same way about veganism - I don't actually need cheese and milk. There are alternatives to those that are just as nutritious.

I also realize how incredibly ridiculous this all sounds. But I will find a way to make it work.

Thanks, thealything!!!! :hugs:

gernerpie 01-05-2013 12:06 AM

Also... not trying to argue...
I also don't want to come across as arrogant on this matter. I understand how many low-carbers consume animal products. I would know; I was one of them. And I don't begrudge anyone who chooses to eat animals/byproducts.

But evidence-based science actually shows that optimum health - free of neurological and heart diseases - comes from a nutritious, plant-based diet. I would love to see a longitudinal study that suggests otherwise. However, I'll assert the claim again that I have NO PROBLEM with others eating meat and dairy. I just know that a life free from that will benefit me.

Protein is not a problem as a vegan. I have already found many vegan-friendly powders, such as yellow pea, soy and hemp, among others. In fact, all plant material (all life) is protein based. It's impossible not to eat protein pretty much on any diet!

And just for the record for anyone else reading this, by low carb, I mean less than 100 grams of carbs daily. I'm certainly not suggesting that people give me tips on how to go vegan and stay in Induction. That definitely sounds nightmarish.

thealything 01-05-2013 12:30 AM

I updated my post a bit so it's not all 3am-garbled. pea protein is what's used in that Vega shake, as well as chlorella and spirulina and some other stuff that I'm not used to eating. I didn't even know it was a thing before I started using them.

if you feel better eating vegan/LC and you're happy with what you're doing, then all the power to you. definitely keep us posted here on how you're doing!

gernerpie 01-05-2013 10:34 AM

Thanks, aly. I will definitely keep this thread somewhat updated as I find what does and doesn't work on this twisted little diet. :shake:

And if anyone else is doing something similar or has a story about their success or failure trying vegan LC, I definitely am interested in hearing about it!

thealything 01-23-2013 12:48 PM

how's it going, gernerpie?

gernerpie 01-26-2013 07:52 PM

So far, it's going well. Did the low-carb vegan thing for 3 weeks. It was amazing. I felt fantastic mentally, physically... I cannot stress that enough. If you're wondering why I'm not on it, it's because I quit smoking. Now? Not on any diet. I'm going to give it one more week of eating junk to get through this withdrawal period. Then back to low carb vegan!!!!

Thanks for checking in with me! ;)

thealything 01-28-2013 01:45 PM

no problem! good work on quitting smoking. I keep trying to, but fail a lot. low carb keeps me feeling calmer when I'm in nicotine withdrawal, though.

gernerpie 01-28-2013 02:00 PM

smoking fail!
Yes, it took me about 15 tries. I started trying to quit a week before Christmas and it didn't stick until January 13th. So don't beat yourself up for failing. Pat yourself on the back for trying, Aly.

I'm on day 16, and while I feel more in control than I did the first week, I'm still struggling. Like right now, I've got a wicked strong craving. It came about an hour ago and hasn't let up. It's super tough.

Anyway, keep me posted on your quitting progress or story. I'll update when something else has changed for me.

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