Everywhere you turn these days, you’ll find news and stories about the ketogenic diet.
This low-carb, high-fat, high-protein diet is helping people lose weight and giving them much needed mental clarity.
However, one of the misconceptions of the keto diet is that animal products are an essential component of it. And for people who only eat plant-based, this can be quite disconcerting.
Along with her co-author Nicole Derseweh, my good friend Whitney Lauritsen — also widely known as the EcoVegan Gal — has just come out with a fantastic book called The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, and it is a phenomenal resource for people looking to explore this lifestyle.
Not only does it clear up a lot of the confusion about the keto diet requiring the consumption of animal products, but it provides 75 delicious recipes. And when I was sent an early version of the book, I literally read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. I was that impressed by it.
The other day, I spoke with Whitney and had several questions for her about the book and the ketogenic lifestyle.
What motivated you to write this book?
As advocates for the plant-based diet, we saw the book as an opportunity to show people on the keto diet how to eat fewer animals, or perhaps switch entirely over to a vegan diet.
It also feels like a great way to introduce keto to vegans. Nicole and I each know people who considered taking a break from their vegan diet to try keto, so we wanted to show them how they can do both at the same time. Plus, I have enjoyed eating a low-carb, plant-based diet, and this book was a way to summarize my experience and provide tips that I have learned.
What kind of impact has the vegan keto diet had on your life?
It’s opened up both of our eyes to different ways of eating and helped us get creative with plant-based recipes.
I starting eating a vegan keto diet in summer 2018 and felt major changes in my digestion and an increase of energy, along with a reduction in inflammation. When Nicole eats low-carb foods, she notices faster muscle recovery and clearer mental function.
Where does organic fit into this lifestyle?
Nicole and I both advocate for eating organic, and an important element of the book is the focus on whole foods. Far too many people consume processed, non-organic food when on the keto diet, and we encourage people to eat more fresh, locally grown, Non-GMO foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, fermented foods, herbs and low-glycemic fruits.
What are the biggest misconceptions that people have about the vegan keto diet?
Many people think that all plants are high-carb, so it’s been exciting for us to bust that myth.
A common question we receive is — “What is left to eat when you’re vegan and keto?!” — to which we can now easily share 75 satisfying recipes that demonstrate how versatile the diet can be.
What is the biggest thing that you both learned from writing this book?
At the end of the day, listening to our own bodies and experimenting with different foods are great ways to figure out how to feel our best.
There are many conflicting opinions about which diet is ideal, and we each need to determine the right path for ourselves (along with the guidance of a medical professional). We have each tried many different diets over our lives, vegan and otherwise, and it’s an ongoing exploration. We don’t believe there is one right way to eat, just the way that feels good at any given time.
Researching and trying out the vegan keto diet has been a wonderful experience for both of us, and we hope our book helps others determine if it’s the best diet for them.
The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook is an excellent and incredibly approachable resource for anyone looking to explore the vegan ketogenic lifestyle, and I strongly recommend it.